IS YOUR LIFE BRINGING GLORY TO GOD

God never called us to do anything for Him. He does, however, call us to work with him.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, taught: “In the same way, faith also if it has no works, is dead.” James 2:17,

The simple truth about the difference between good works and bad or religious works, is that good works are works that God by His Holy Spirit calls us to do, through prayer and our ongoing relationship with God in Christ.

Dead religious works, in contrast, are things we try to do for God in order to earn His favour. Jesus died on a cross for our sins, and we receive His favour only by His grace. No amount of works will ever purchase that favour. However, because of that grace we now do good works for Him through the leading of His Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 25:23, Jesus said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.”

It sounds to me like Jesus was building some form of “performance-based Christianity!” Our true calling is to be living so close to Him, and to be so biblically astute, that our whole lives bring glory to His name in the process. Moreover, what you do on earth for Him will determine your role in serving Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

In fact, God, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter to make us like Jesus and to prepare us to rule and reign with Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

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 “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:9-10

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

COVID MADNESS

AUSTRALIA

State governments continue to pursue a foolish Covid-zero policy – even as vaccination rates rapidly accelerate, and the lethality of the virus has markedly decreased. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is right – This isn’t a sustainable solution.”

“The virus is not going anywhere. We cannot do this forever. Indeed, the longer we delay the inevitable, the greater the cost will be.

We are incurring unthinkable additional costs for fear of what we must face… lives, livelihoods, children, the economy and democracy are all straining under the burden of Covid-zero.

Fear is making us foolish. 

Let’s take a glimpse at the state of our nation…

  • 3,345 suicidal people called LifeLine on a single day this week – yet another record.
  • Our children simply won’t be able to pay back the debt levels.
  • Many small businesses are finished.  
  • We are not living (or even leaving the house) for fear of dying.
  • We are giving up total authoritarian power to people who despise what we believe.
  • Compassion is dead, with callous disregard for those torn apart or mourning.

And yet our State Premiers are telling us all this and more will continue – despite decent levels of vaccination.

It seems we’re too afraid to accept the brutal reality that, with half-decent levels of vaccination, a tiny proportion of Delta cases will die. Moreover, we will spend anything to delay it. 

Fearfulness and fearmongering are winning the day. This will change only when public opinion changes, and when Premiers stop getting the approval ratings they crave.” 

Christians – that’s you and me – should lead the way. We do not fear death, Jesus has secured eternal life for us and He will ensure you live to complete the work He has assigned for you to do.

Contact your Premier and set him/her straight on the need to get people vaccinated but then to start living normal lives accepting the risks associated with Covid 19 as we do with any other virus, bacteria or other pathogen. Let Scott Morrison and your local member know what you are doing.

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Heb 2:14-15) 

GIVING GLORY TO GOD

Record-Setting Olympic Athlete Gives Glory to God

Tatjana Schoenmaker — an Olympic swimmer from South Africa — set a new record Wednesday in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, and she’s using her success to point others to God.

In all her competitions in Tokyo, Schoenmaker has worn — under her green South Africa swim cap — another cap proclaiming her faith. The white Speedo cap the athlete is wearing features a blue Jesus fish under the phrase “Soli Deo Gloria,” which means “Glory to God alone,” printed on the side of it.

In an Instagram post last week, she posted a prayer as she travelled to Tokyo for the summer Olympic Games.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

“Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by Your strength to give our all and may we forever be in awe of Your goodness! Thank You for bringing us to this very moment.”

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31  

ACKNOWLEDGING GOD’S GOODNESS

During the U.S. Olympic track and field trials on Sunday, Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, giving all of the glory to God. McLaughlin, 21, recorded a time of 51.90 seconds and became the first woman to run the event in under the 52-second mark. She beat defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad’s previous time of 52.16, Sports Spectrum reports.

McLaughlin recalled the moment she crossed the line during a post-race interview.  

“All the glory to God,” McLaughlin told NBC Sports. “Honestly, this season just working with my new coach and my new support system, it’s truly just faith and trusting the process. I couldn’t ask for anything more and truly it is all a gift from God.”

AP Photo/Ashley Landis
‘A Gift From God’: Sydney McLaughlin Breaks 400 Meter Hurdles World Record to Win U.S. Olympic Trials

When she compared this race with previous competitions against Muhammad, McLaughlin pointed out that the most important difference was placing her faith in her Lord and Saviour.  

“Dalilah’s a great competitor,” McLaughlin said. “I think I was growing into my own person. And I think the biggest difference this year is my faith, trusting God and trusting that process, and knowing that He’s in control of everything. As long as I put the hard work in, He’s going to carry me through. And I really cannot do anything more but give the glory to Him at this point.”

On Monday, McLaughlin continued to direct the focus on God while reflecting on her victory.

“I just kept hearing God say, ‘Just focus on me.’ It was the best race plan I could have ever assembled,” she wrote on Instagram. “I no longer run for self-recognition, but to reflect His perfect will that is already set in stone. I don’t deserve anything. But by grace, through faith, Jesus has given me everything. Records come and go. The glory of God is eternal. Thank you Father.”

GIVE GLORY TO GOD

The first purpose for which we were created was to give God glory and make His glory known to others. For example, if we get into trouble, we are told to “call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me (Psalm 50:15). The psalmist knew that it was Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1). 

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”. (Psalm 19:1), so rightfully we should say, O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).

Answered prayer gives God glory, so the Lord our God is to be praised and we should seek to glorify His name.

Jesus is returning to this earth to complete unfinished business with Israel and all of the nations. Jesus will rule the nations from a completely restructured Jerusalem. Israel will be the lead nation exactly as Jesus promised the O.T. prophets.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” Psalms 86:9.

In the Millennial Kingdom, they [will] sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3a), asking, “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Rev. 15:4).

Give glory to God now, you will have no choice if you survive to live on in the Millennial Kingdom.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

RESTORE THE GLORY OF GOD

 What the church needs most right now are God-appointed leaders who are jealous for His glory.

Years after Samuel’s ministry was established, David rose to restore the glory of God back to its rightful place (see 2 Sam. 6).

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‘Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You.’ 2 Samuel 7 :25

When God-appoints men to leadership, their first agenda is to make sure the glory of the Lord is restored and dwells where it belongs.

The ark did not belong in the Philistine camp, Abinadab’s house or Obed-Edom’s house (see 2 Sam. 6). It belonged in the temple of the Lord. David gathered all the choice men in Israel with an eagerness and a zeal to restore that which was lost.

I believe the highest priority on God’s heart for 2018 and beyond is the restoration of His glory in His church.

True leaders are always seeking to find grace in God’s sight, and like Moses, they will not lead without the presence of God.

The greatest concern of a godly leader is for the church to be separated from the world and wholly consecrated to God. A true leader’s longing and desire is to see the glory of God and have it restored among His people (Ex. 33:15-18).

It is not popularity, bigger buildings, increased attendance and more money that has priority in the hearts of godly leaders. It is the glory!

Men who live close to the heart of God know that it is only His glory that will change everything.

It’s time for the glory, the manifested presence of God, to return to our churches, our personal lives, our homes, our thinking, our conversation and our conduct. The glory of God will break us from going through the motions, and make everything new, fresh and alive again.

Here are some mindset changes we must make to recover the true glory of God:

  1. Don’t be impressed by the trappings of the production of the church and fooled by its big names and big conferences.

Elaborate buildings, large numbers of people and an increasing flow of cash have fooled much of the modern church. The church did not begin with that focus, and yet somehow, modern church principles have put the emphasis on attendance, buildings and cash.

Another meeting, another offering, another song, another convention, another banquet, another special speaker, another concert, another project, another program … and so ‘church life’ continues, but the changed life remains scarce. If the horse is healthy, the cart will be pulled. If the horse is unhealthy, making the cart more attractive is useless.” —Roy Farias

I’m afraid there is a large gap separating the culture of the modern Western church from the heart of God as revealed through Jesus in the Gospels and through the early church.

How do you convince a believer that what they have is a counterfeit if they’ve never witnessed the real? I’m afraid so much of it is New Age gobbledygook and psycho-babble tainted with false motives and a desire for filthy lucre at the root of our agenda. We have so irreverently cheapened and merchandised God’s sacred gifts and grieved the precious Spirit of God. Let’s stop this mess! This is not Kabod (the heavy glory). This is Ichabod—further evidence that the glory has departed.

Holy is the Lord.

  1. Restore the culture of the kingdom of God.

The sad truth is that in much of the church world, the culture of the kingdom of God has been lost to the culture of hype, greed, religious politics, a Hollywood Jesus and the professional business of the church to such an extent that many churches resemble a political machine or a corporation more than God’s culture.

God’s culture begins with the family, the home, making disciples through life relationships, reaching and caring for others with the gospel and the love of God.

The true disciples of Jesus are losing their taste for the shallow and superficial, and are separating themselves from those entangled in the appearance of spirituality. Many people have become disenchanted with the church because of hurt, misuse and abuse, religious politics and leadership caught up in the things of the flesh. People are looking for depth in the Word and in their relationships, a free-flowing move of the Spirit, personal empowerment and leadership that does not play political games.

Word received by John Fenn, World Wide House Church Network.

“See what I see, many small churches and ministries investing in relationships, walking in love, pouring their lives into each other; this is where the Spirit is moving today. There is a revolution taking place in my body, a revolution of relationships, discipleship and love. This will affect whole communities and economies.

See what I see, many churches all over the world in which people are accountable to one another, working through conflicts, walking in love and growing as my disciples. That is where my Spirit is moving today.

Many are running to and fro asking, ‘Where is the next move; what is the next season of the Spirit?’ And I say to you that it is under their very noses. They stumble at the supernatural work in their midst and refuse to humble themselves and be taught because they seek the sensational and that which appeals to the outward man. They fail to recognize the true move of God because it must be spiritually discerned. —John Fenn

  1. Return to the preaching and practice of the cross.

The cross-less gospel is the greatest lack in Western Christianity today and the reason for many of the church’s failures and the biggest reason why it is becoming increasingly difficult in many places of the world to tell the difference between a real Christian and non-Christian.  Listen to the following quote from a hero of the faith who knew God deeply and experienced His glory:

“The way into the glory is through the flesh being torn away from the world and separated unto God.” — Smith Wigglesworth

I believe God’s promises are true, and I am all for instilling hope in people, but sometimes the best thing the church can hear are the warnings, rebukes and roadblocks of what is actually hindering revival, the glory of God and His promises from coming to pass.

There is a new gospel and new so-called national prophets—really, wolves in sheep’s clothing. The false prophets Jesus warned would lead many astray in the last days. They speak peace to all those who have itching ears for something new and exotic and they cause them to trust in a lie, and subtly supplant within their hearts rebellion against the Lord (Jer. 28:15-16).

adapted from article by Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries

THOUSANDS GATHER IN THE STREETS OF UKRAINE TO PRAISE JESUS

The streets of Kiev filled with songs of praise and thanks as roughly 200,000 evangelical, Ukrainian Christians gathered to celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Once again, it is another “end times” sign as we see prophecy being fulfilled. “And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 This once communist nation where the gospel could not be preached is now exporting missionaries worldwide.

“Many travelled from all four provinces there just to be a part of that celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, to thank God for the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness,” Sergey Rakhuba with Mission Eurasia told Mission Network News.

The gathering came after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed an order recognizing the anniversary of the Reformation.

“It was so exciting to see on the screen of my computer where I was watching young people with so much joy. They glorify God in the midst of their capital. This was the same place where they were protesting just a few years ago fighting for their freedom. But, also, this is the place where many years ago, Communists would force people to demonstrate and propagate Socialism, Atheism, Communism, and other ‘isms’ in their country.”

Rakhuba says young people are the key to spreading Protestantism in Ukraine.

“That’s what Mission Eurasia is doing, working with the next generation, those who take the baton, those who get into the generational gap and take the Gospel to their communities,” he says.

Young people aren’t just spreading the gospel in Ukraine, now they’re exporting missionaries throughout the world.

“I just talked to a group of young people, they just came to this celebration from their mission trip to Mongolia in China — young Ukrainians who felt like the Holy Spirit was leading them to take the Gospel to Mongolia where they reached thousands of young people through summer camps!”

Ukraine may still be in the middle of a war with Russia, but it is growing leaps and bounds spiritually.

“Ukraine is still in the midst of war. Eastern Ukraine and territories are still occupied by Russian or pro-Russian separatists. Crimea was annexed by Russia. So yes, Ukraine is struggling politically, economically, but Ukraine is striving today spiritually, pleading to God to bless that nation,” Rakhuba says.

RIO 2016: FIJI TEAM GIVES THE GLORY TO GOD

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“First of all, I thank the Lord, he has been our source of strength… We reminded each other how God had taken us through the last two years and that the same God that we serve is here with us in Rio.”

That’s what the Olympic Rugby Sevens winners told the media when asked the reason for their success.

The island nation of Fiji has won its first ever Olympic medal – a gold – but while fans hailed one of the great Olympic achievements, the players have given the glory to God.

Rugby Sevens became an Olympic event this year for the first time. Though Fiji are ranked number one in the world, the country had never won a medal at any event before so the pressure was on.

The team came through that pressure to win the tournament – defeating Great Britain 43-7 in the final – and dominating far bigger countries such as New Zealand.

The players dropped to their knees and prayed upon the outcome of the match. Many pointed to the sky before joining in wild celebrations.