Last Sunday’s Sermon

I forgot to post last Sunday’s sermon until now.

In this sermon, Margaret Bates talks about listening to God and doing things His way. The sermon did involve some group craft work so there may be random noise in parts of it.

Click here to listen, here to download the mp3

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Reflection on 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

1-cor

Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+9.16-23

Scripture

I don’t have any reason to boast about preaching the Good News. Preaching is something God told me to do, and if I don’t do it, I am doomed.

Observation

Paul does not preach the Good News because he wants to or because he gets paid. The Holy Spirit drives him onward, and because God has commanded him to preach, he feels doomed if he doesn’t.

He is not by nature a slave, but he enslaves himself to everyone in order to win them. So he lives as a Jew when he is among Jews and as a Gentile when he is among Gentiles. He does all this for the Gospel so that he can share in its blessings.

Application

Paul had no reason to boast about preaching the gospel. It was God’s command for him to do this so he was compelled to do it.

When I stepped out of ministry with the Uniting Church to plant a new church, it was not a decision that we made lightly. We knew that God had commanded us to do that. One colleague said it was the bravest step of faith he had ever witnessed. But to my thinking it would be far braver to say “No” to God, knowing that you are being deliberately disobedient.

Sometimes God backs us into a corner, forcing us to say “Yes” in the hope of greater blessing.

For Paul the blessings were not always obvious. He was badly beaten, imprisoned, ship-wrecked and ultimately executed because of his obedience. Yet it was in these times that he knew the greatest sense of the presence of Christ.

For most of us the steps of obedience come in small daily decisions that lead us inexorably to the presence of Christ. We learn to obey and it feels like choosing a curse to do anything else.

Prayer

Lord you always lay before us the choice of life and death, obedience and sin. Help me to choose your way every day. Amen.

Reflection on Isaiah 40:21-31

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+40.21-31

Trust the Lord, all you people

Again I say, Trust the Lord

It is He who made all things

Above the world, above the sky

And rules the world

The affairs of men.

Presidents and kings, rulers and bosses

All serve at His pleasure.

They think they’re so big

But they are flowers in the sun.

What about us?” you say

God controls the stars, but He forgot me”

No! If you are weary

Wait on Him.

He will lift you up

And give you strength for the marathon.

Ben Lim: “The Suddenlies of God are Upon Us…Because of Years of Preparation”

This is  a powerful message of how God’s “suddenlies” are preceded by faithful prayer and humble worship

From The Elijah List, Ben Lim writes:

Ben Lim: “The Suddenlies of God are Upon Us…Because of Years of Preparation”

The spirit of suddenlies is a spirit of power and promotion. However, it doesn’t just happen suddenly. It happens at a cost. It happens at a time of being connected with the Savior. Suddenlies happen, not because it’s a spontaneous happening. They happen rather because there’s been a divine preparation in the heavens and in the natural for this phenomenon. Though it may seem sudden, it actually isn’t. Though many be surprised at how sudden your promotion is, the Lord isn’t. Most of the time, the person who is experiencing the spirit of suddenlies does so because he/she has been pressing and tarrying into the very subject and matters for years.

What wisdom! Don’t be surprised when you see God’s people suddenly promoted as if it just happened overnight…oftentimes they’ve been toiling and sowing for years, hidden, humble and paying a great cost. BUT then suddenly…God promotes them!

There is a spirit of suddenlies that is overtaking the Earth. The whole Earth is being swept up in outrageous, fascinating and overwhelming creativity. The whole world is being taken away into new dimensions of God’s glory. Not only is this a spirit of acceleration, but this is the spirit of God’s suddenlies. This is the doing of the Lord.

The spirit of suddenlies is a spirit of power and promotion. However, it doesn’t just happen suddenly. It happens at a cost. It happens at a time of being connected with the Savior. Suddenlies happen, not because it’s a spontaneous happening. They happen rather because there’s been a divine preparation in the heavens and in the natural for this phenomenon. Though it may seem sudden, it actually isn’t. Though many be surprised at how sudden your promotion is, the Lord isn’t. Most of the time, the person who is experiencing the spirit of suddenlies does so because he/she has been pressing and tarrying into the very subject and matters for years.

We must put a high value on our prayer life, otherwise, we will not step into suddenly moments of miraculous manifestations.

Sometimes we step into a suddenly moment, not because we’ve pressed in, but because of the sacrifice that was paid by our fathers and mothers. It’s almost like stepping into a vacuum and being shifted up into glory. All you have to do is show up and things happen. All you have to do is open up your mouth and things shift. Because there’s a sound, movement and frequency inside of you, all you have to do is release it and in Jesus’ name things seem to suddenly happen!

The Evangelist

How many times does the world-famous evangelist come into town and sweep up scores of souls? However, most people will know that it wasn’t just the coming of the evangelist, but it was also the preparation of the intercessors that ploughed through. It wasn’t just the hard work of the evangelist who preached the Gospel of salvation, but it was also the prayer warriors who prayed blood, sweat, and tears that tilled the hard ground for glory!

You cannot have the spirit of suddenlies unless you’ve laid yourself down in the spirit of intercession. Your intercession leads you to your inheritance. Your intercession aligns you with your destiny. Your prayer life connects you to your suddenly moments!

Most people will only see the seasons of fruit and flowers blooming and blossoming. But most will rarely see and know the cold winter nights of toil and pain. Most will see the sparks of revival and testimonies, while not even recognizing the many years of rejection, pain, hatred and agonizing prayer that one had to go through.

There is so much more than what meets the eye. Things don’t just happen on the Earth because God wills it. Things happen because His Church and prophets decree it and declare it. Things are established not by accidents nor by coincidences, but because of divine actions that are aligned with Heaven. When you are aligned with the heart of Heaven, you will experience its manifestation here on Earth. Most people will call this a sudden explosion, when in reality, there’s been a shaft ready to ignite…that’s been kept shut for years!

Prayer Activates Miracles and Glory!

There was a great revivalist, who was known as Charles Finney. He was noted to be the father of Modern Revivalism. He is also known as the leading minister and voice of the Second Great Awakening in United States. He would see masses of conversions and altars being thronged with crowds crying out in repentance. His ministry was mainly based around the areas of New York state. (Photo via Unsplash)

This man and his ministry would hardly be nothing, if it wasn’t for the humble and hidden intercessor, known as Father Nash. It is quoted: [1] “While Finney was preaching to the masses and seeing remarkable conversions, a humble man was prostrate in a house nearby, in intensive prayer for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The story of the almost unknown Daniel Nash is the story of a very powerful prayer ministry. So important was Nash to Finney, that, a few weeks after Nash’s death, Finney went back to an ordinary pastoral ministry.”

This is a very familiar story that is recounted many times: [1] “Finney recounts one episode; “When I came to a town to start revival, a lady contacted me. She said, ‘Brother Finney, do you know a Father Nash? He and two other men have been staying with me for the last three days, but they haven’t eaten anything. I heard them groaning, so I looked in and saw them prostrate. They have been lying like that for three days. I thought something terrible must have happened, but I was afraid to go in and didn’t know what to do. Could you please come and see if they are all right?’ No, that’s unnecessary, I said. They are only travailing in prayer.”

[1]”Nash didn’t just pray before Finney came. While Finney was preaching, Nash and other intercessors were in a separate room, praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the preacher.”

Where are the prayer warriors who will toil with agony in the Garden of Gethsemane? Where are the intercessors that will cry sweats of blood with Jesus in declaring, “Father not My will, but Yours?”

Third Great Awakening

Everybody is talking about the Great Awakening, but where are the Father Nashes? Where are the humble and hidden prayer warriors who will give the last seven years of their lives, to praying for the man of God and his ministry? We must put a high value on our prayer life, otherwise, we will not step into suddenly moments of miraculous manifestations. Don’t neglect the tumultuous Father Nashes who prepared the way for Charles Finney. Don’t neglect the John the Baptists in the wilderness preparing the way! You cannot have one without the other.

Suddenlies Change Everything!

You cannot have the spirit of suddenlies unless you’ve laid yourself down in the spirit of intercession.

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4 NKJV)

Right before this passage, we see that the apostles and disciples were gathered in the Upper Room for a period of ten days. This outpouring of the Holy Ghost didn’t just happen out of nowhere but it happened after days of tarrying. It happened after the air and the atmosphere was ripe with an open Heaven! It is said that the Believers were gathered in one accord for a period of ten days! Ten days they were stuck in the Upper Room, praying and tarrying.

In order to step into the spirit of suddenlies, here are three pointers that will keep you in the place of readiness and preparation for the Spirit’s sweeping:

1. Prayer

Your suddenly moments are always defined by a period and process of prayer. Your prayer life will always produce an atmosphere for suddenlies. Your obedience will always align your heart for sudden moments of glory.

2. Pay the Price

It was during this ten day period, that the Believers in the Upper Room lessened from 500 to 120! There were many who left because they could not take the heat. Many wanted the blessing but not many were willing to wait. Don’t give up your sudden moments because you’re tired of waiting. Keep waiting, keep pressing in, and continue to count the cost. Don’t give up your moments of miracles for a measly bowl of soup. Continue to prepare yourself for the more of the Lord. (Photo via Pixabay)

3. Heart Posture

The Bible says in Acts 1:1, that they were all in one accord. This is total oneness and, rather, total union. There was not a thing divided in their minds and in their hearts. Your heart posture will position you for greater glory. Your heart posture will position you for your suddenly moments. Once your heart becomes one with God, all of Heaven will be poured out. There must be a spirit of unity within you and within your organization before the blessings flow. Unity and oneness and alignment with Heaven releases suddenly moments in the Lord.

I pray that the spirit of suddenlies will overtake you in this coming season. I pray that you will step into moments of suddenlies that will transform you and your being like never before. Suddenly there came a rushing wind and tongues of fire upon the people…suddenly! Get ready for your suddenlies in Jesus’ name! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

[1] (Quotes taken from Daniel Nash – God’s Secret Weapon on Jesus.org.uk)

Ben Lim, Senior Pastor
His Way Life Church

Email: benjaminlim6@gmail.com
Website: www.B100lim.org

#ChangeTheDate Is Against Indigenous People Not For Them

From xyz.com

Quote of the Day: #ChangeTheDate push coming from Greens, not aboriginals

 

Jacinta Price, an aboriginal activist and politican, has been all over TV, the airwaves and social media, defending Australia Day against inner-city based left-wing elites. She makes the point, as I have seen from a number of aboriginal leaders, that the push to #ChangeTheDate of Australia Day is not coming from Aboriginal people themselves.

About a week ago she shared this letter she received from an aboriginal woman. It has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people, and deserves to be seen by more. You can read the full letter at Price’s Facebook page here.

Here are a few choice excerpts:

“Over the last few days we have seen The Greens party cause a huge division between us, Indigenous pitted against Indigenous, Black against whites in what I can say is some of the most vile and racist hate speech I’ve ever seen, those defending the Greens have played right into their hands like the puppets you are, you think you’re smart but you’re not. Have you ever read the story of The Pied piper? The Greens are the piper and you’re the rats.

“I see so much screaming and crying over the date, the 26th of January, the national day of Australia, Australia Day but not the correct date of the first fleet arriving, more fool you. So foolish to believe that the people crying for changing the date actually care about you? They don’t care about you! They care about division, widening the gap not closing it, a fool is easily parted from his family.”

“You cry and you scream about changing the date while there are children like me, little boys and girls living the same life I did as a child, living in constant fear of violence and sexual abuse. No, white man didn’t oppress me, white man didn’t commit those repulsive abhorrent acts, white man failed me in the way that he failed to take me and my brother away from my mother. But we mustn’t talk about the real issues effecting the indigenous community to this day! To this very day! Is it racist to speak out? NO! You professional victims cry about a date while real victims suffer horrors only seen in nightmares or in a movie, no, that’s not accurate, the greatest horror writer on the planet would cringe if he heard my story, the story of children still suffering today.

“You say it’s “racist” to even speak of these issues, it’s not racism, it’s realism. I have no time for you and your virtue signalling change the date crap. Your voice is only loud when you want to play the victim.”

“Personally I’ll keep the date, some of the good memories I have is from that date, you see I spent most Australia Days with my nan, she would have BBQ’s where family and friends would get togeather and play cricket and laugh, us kids would play and play, I never wanted those days to end. My nan always taught me that it was about unity not division, she taught me not to hate.”

XYZ Quote of the Day.

Australia Day

AustralianFlag.jpg

After weeks of pounding heat and hardly any rain (3 mm since before Christmas) last night we had one of those huge storms that dumped 33 mm of rain. It just kept raining for most of the night. There is water in the creek again, and you can almost watch the land greening up.

So here is my favourite Australian poem for Australia Day.

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

**

Happy Australia Day!

Reflection on Mark 1:21-28

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+1.21-28

Scripture

Everyone was amazed at his teaching. He taught with authority and not like the teachers of the Law of Moses.

Observation

Jesus goes into the synagogue in Capernaum and teaches with great authority. A demonised man comes in and calls out, “Jesus of Nazareth, what do you want with us? You are God’s Holy One.”

Jesus commands the spirit to leave the man, which it does. Everyone is amazed at this authority. News of Jesus spreads throughout Galilee.

Application

Jesus taught and ministered with authority. His authority came from His relationship with the Father.

There are many bible teachers who know lots abut the Scriptures- the languages, the history, the authors, how different parts fit together. But these people can lack authority because they have not lived in the presence of the Lord.

Every pastor, indeed every christian, should have such a close relationship with the Father that their words and actions carry His authority, His grace, His power.

Jesus cast out demons and performed many miracles because of His relationship with the Father. We can do the same things that Jesus did, even “greater things” (John 14:12) because it is the Holy Spirit in us not us by ourselves.

The key is intimacy with God. We need the presence of God. This can only come through vibrant prayer and listening, together with regular reading of the Bible.

Prayer

Come and fill me with your Spirit, Lord. Teach me how to walk close to you so that I carry your authority and your grace. Amen.