As i sit in Crete getting ready for a day of training and ministry in this great city of Chania I find myself so deeply stirred by the truth of the song “City of hope” by Amanda Cook.
It is easy to be overwhelmed in a post Christian culture that seems so disinterested in God.
It is easy to mistake perception for reality
But the reality is today what it has always been. Jesus is building His Church and the gates of hell will not overcome it. The Great God who set this world in motion is finishing what He started. Jesus has and is reconciling all things to Himself. His arm is not short to save.
Today I am reminded that this is not my fight. The fight is His and it has been won. My privilege is simply to join Him in the beautiful ministry of reconciliation as one who has been reconciled. What is impossible with man is possible with God and I cannot wait to stand in the midst of His miracle.
Jesus. “You are mending the broken hearted. You are making all things new. You’re rebuilding, out of the ruins, a city of hope with the ones you love.” Thank you that we are the ones you love.
May you find yourself in the midst of His miracle today.
When I see Him, truly see Him, who He is dethrones every lesser thing within me and in His strength I find my own.
I am a person of many failings just like you. But Christ is a God who raises the dead to life. I pray that He would awaken your soul to realise that – In Jesus- you are all you are afraid you’ll never be.
Oh this light
Is breaking the darkness and night
This sacred revealing of life in all as all He owns
This King and I
This lion that walks by my side
His fire that burns in my eyes
His heart astounds my own.
Oh I see so clearly
Oh I see so clearly now
Oh I see so clearly
The lover of my soul
Awake my love, awake He says to me
For you are all you are afraid you’ll never be
The fall you fear I fell as Love would lead
And yours is everything you never dared believe
So wont you take my hand
It’s stronger than your own
And you’ll be free
The war is won, your eyes to see
My soul yearns for that place where pretence and religiosity are displaced by the surpassing Glory of actual communion with the living God.
In my journey of faith thus far I have been convinced that nothing is more valuable than a personal knowledge of and deep dependence on God. In Jesus God has reached out to us, In the Spirit God is made known to us and in every moment God is available to us.
Far more than moralistic philosophy or mere theological reflection, the proclamation of the Gospel is the stunning declaration that God can be known. It is in this knowing of God that we are found and formed. Regardless of how impossible it may seem we must not lose hope that the miraculous is possible.
God can be as real to us as the very skin on our bones and breath in our lungs. His presence as near and tangible as the heart that beats in our chest.
I pray that our God-given yearning for divine intimacy would drive us to our knees behind closed doors, with open hearts and a faith filled expectation that the impossible is possible in Jesus.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Psalm 62: 5-7 My hope is from Him… is it really? Psalm 62:1 reminds us that we wait on what we hope in. And so we must ask what it is that we wait on.
In financial difficulty do we wait on that tax break or salary increase? In loneliness do we wait on that text message or phone call? In sickness do we wait on that doctor or scan result?
In life do we wait on ourselves or on God?
I can hear the cries of an enlightened society objecting to the idea that God exists at all, never mind the naïve proposition that we should wait on Him. But one glance at our world reminds us that we have no answers to the questions that matter most. In spite of medical advancements we still have no cure for the malady of the human heart. While we boast in our own ability with a self-assurance that is evidently misplaced. God is still God.
Perhaps what we need is less enlightenment and more faith.
Faith that resurrects the heart and affects the world at its point of deepest need. Faith that understands where power lies and runs to the place of prayer.
Our prayer reflects our theology
If we believe that God alone is our rock, our salvation and our refuge, then our lives will reflect that. Our prayer will reflect that. Not only in frequency but also in nature.
A redemptive life in a broken world will endure the storms of suffering. If Christ is an anchor for the soul, prayer is where we tie the rope.
We wait on what we hope in. May we hope in God and wait in prayer. Much Love Matt
Worship is one of those words that evokes all kinds of emotion and imagery. Perhaps this is why some people don’t consider themselves to be worshippers. Because they don’t do certain things. In reality we are all worshippers. While worship is something we do, it is ultimately rooted in something we are. The question is not wether or not we worship but what we worship.
Worship is essentially the posture of the heart as it pertains to whatever we value the most.
It is important that we discern what the objects of our worship are. Because they will determine the nature of our lives. For as long as we worship the broken “gods” of our own making we will experience the broken lives that they produce.
To live lives of authentic worship we must discover the authentic God for whom our worship is intended. When we see Him as He is, we will worship as we ought and our lives will reflect the healing of right devotion.
The invitation of Christ is to surrender our lives to God as He is, not as we would like Him to be.
As we do this we will experience the freedom that He alone can give. I pray that we would learn to reserve our worship for the only God who is worthy of our devotion. In so doing we will be lead into the healing of His Kingdom and mobilised for the calling of His mission.
You might think that this is obvious, but speak to enough christians and you will find that it is not. Too many of us misunderstand prayer as an end in itself rather than as the means to meet with God. Because of this we pray out of obligation in an effort to ease our spiritual conscience. This kind of prayer is often tedious and short-lived because we were not made for prayer.
We were made for God.
I believe that God intended prayer to be a gift of intimate communion between us and Him. I believe that prayer is a space where the eternal invades the temporal and changes it. I believe that when we realise that God’s intention for prayer is encounter it will change the way we pray.
It is not only that we come to God, but how we come to God that matters.
When we see prayer for what it is. Not as obligation but as privilege. Not as duty but as Joy. Not as an end in itself but as a means TO MEET WITH GOD. We will run to the place of prayer with frequency and great joy. Our lives will be punctuated with moments of longing followed by prayerful thoughts, words and deeds. When our reason to pray changes our experience of prayer will change as well.
Prayer is not an exchange of information but an exchange of the heart.
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:14-21
Church has become one of those controversial topics that people avoid talking about.
The question I’m asking is why.
In reality the Church is a bastion of hope in a broken world. I think the problem is that we have made church about peripheral issues and allowed those issues to divide and destroy something that is anything but contemptible or prejudicial. The Church; those called out by Jesus to live and share His gospel message in the power of the Holy Spirit, is essential, beautiful and beneficial. We are a community that offers the world an alternative narrative to the self indulgent, self destructive anthem of our hedonistic world. We hold up Jesus as the great example of life and life to the full. In his Grace he has found us, restored us and commissioned us to lose our lives to find them as His name and Renown become the desire of our hearts.