GROWING IN GOD

Ways to stay focused on God’s agenda for your life

1. Holy Spirit Journal: Once you decide to record all the moments the Holy Spirit cautions/blocks/directs/inspires events during your day you will discover the significance of these experiences/miracles. Take your H.S. journal with you so you can jot down the incidences whilst still fresh in your mind and you do not forget to thank God for them. He will love that you do. Too frequently, we miss those God-moments that, whether they seem large or small, are truly phenomenal. Also, take time to review them at the end of every day, the Holy Spirit may give you fresh revelation something you missed at the time.

2. Before every new challenge, every new day, pray. Pray and fast if necessary. Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness! Every prayer He has answered. Replay every victory He has given you before you make a critical decision. Make sure you have “put on the whole armour of God each day so that you can stand against the evil forces of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10  The devil and his minions will do their best to get you thinking negatively to produce the wrong outcome.

3. Keep a visual image of what you’re aiming for—the outcome the Bible promises. Do this and watch what happens.

What are some daily habits you employ to stay connected to the Holy Spirit and living eternal now?

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ARE YOU EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT?

This is important new teaching from Torben Sondergaad. Whilst the series is called FIGHTING FOR THE TRUE GOSPEL, the emphasis is on the Holy Spirit. In the first video Torben looks at the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life. In the second video he looks at the Holy Spirit in the early disciples’ lives. In this video, the focus is on HOW TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. This is such an important message. He starts by looking at Pentecost and what that day was all about. Torben connects Pentecost with the first harvest, and to the Law given by Moses at Sinai. When you do this, you really see how beautiful it is. At Pentecost God did not write the Law on stones. Now, He came down to write the Law on our hearts by the Holy Spirit! We also see that Acts 2 was really the birth of the church! We are also looking at how people in the early church received the Holy Spirit, and that it was not something which happened automatically when people came to faith, as sadly many people think today, and where they misquote Ephesians 1:13. He also looks at the misunderstandings there are today with the baptism of fire, as John was saying in Matthew 3, that Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. What was that fire baptism?

You will love this teaching, and it will challenge you, and bless you, and give you a clear understanding of how we receive the Holy Spirit!

LET US CELEBRATE PENTECOST SUNDAY 2021

With Pentecost Sunday coming up, it is an appropriate time for us to reconsider what Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to do when He went to the Cross and died on our behalf.

Our Heavenly Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to make it possible for us to live the Christian life.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.1 Corinthians 2:12-13.

If we have the Spirit, our hearts will be gentle and kind. 

If we have the Spirit, our intentions will be pure.

If we have the Spirit, our words will show compassion and not judgment.

If we have the Spirit, our lives will exhibit the fruit of spirit: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control.

And God will give us the right words if we heed His SpiritHe will guide and guard our every step.

When we allow God’s word and His Spirit to shape our actions and our words, we are walking in the Spirit and pleasing God.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.Galatians 5:16-17

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

How are you living your life? According to the works of the flesh or will you follow Jesus and commit your life to walking in the Spirit.  It is never too late to make the right decision! 

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mathew 20:28, Mark 10:45.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:5-8

GETTING IN STEP WITH GOD

Teach Me Your Paths – Psalm of David (Psalm 25)

David understood the truth of God’s Word. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19

What about us? Do we know God has heard our prayers as David did? Read what David had to say in this Psalm and then let us consider what we now have in Jesus and how we pray.

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.Psalm 25:4-5

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25: 8-10

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.Psalm 25:11-15

We know David was a sinner (Bathsheba and Uriah) but he understood repentance and God’s forgiveness. He was a man who feared the Lord. God even said He was a man after God’s own heart. What does this mean? I think it means David knew and trusted God and was doing His best to live that out. What we need is humility in relation to ourselves and confidence in relation to God.

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Consider now what Jesus has provided for all who believe in Him as Lord and Saviour. Through His sacrifice, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit, to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

For us the Spirit is there revealing God’s will to us in the Scriptures and bringing God’s prayer concerns to life within us. He is searching our hearts and trying our ways so He can bring us to true repentance. He reveals the glory and goodness of God so that our prayers will be filled with praise and thanks.

We can be confident that God will hear when we come to Him. God answers every prayer that starts in heaven, every prayer born in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, every prayer based on a sure promise from His Word. As we pray to our Heavenly Father we need to acknowledge the Spirit and ask Him to help us to pray aright and to recognise His promptings that our prayers may be pleasing to our Heavenly Father and accomplish His purposes.

THANK YOU FOR THE CROSS

A message you need to imbibe. Imbibe is not a word I use. It just came to mind and it means “to take or receive into the mind”. The Holy Spirit does His work to give you the right word at the right time. Hopefully, the message will not only be received into your mind but it will inspire, even empower you to act and step out to do what God has for you to do in these “last days”.

HOW TO BE LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

Torben Sondergaad delivers an amazing message on how God is moving the Last Reformation Movement on from their present location in North Carolina. How God provided the present premises just over 12 months ago was miraculous. Most of us realise that in these “last days” it is like we have gone into “fast forward”, events good and bad are unfolding rapidly. The world is getting darker by the hour but at the same time God is also stepping up the attack of His warriors to expand the Kingdom of God. This move by the Last Reformation is an example of how quickly we can expect change as we follow the Holy Spirit’s lead.

“I’m very excited to share with you that God has been speaking to us these last weeks. It came as a big, big surprise when suddenly, two Fridays ago, He told us we have outgrown the Ark, and He has a new place for us. We have now been renting this place for over one year, and it has been amazing times! We’ve had many training schools – many people coming by, being trained and sent out… At this moment, as this video is being made, there are twenty teams around the neighboring cities, preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, and making disciples. We’ve had an amazing time here in North Carolina, but Friday a couple weeks ago, God spoke very clearly… Our time is over. The Ark is moving. Saturday, the day after, a man came from Tennessee and asked me if I need another building. This became the beginning of an amazing journey, a crazy story where God has been speaking through dreams and confirmations, and we are now sure our time here is over, and God has another place for us. We are so excited to share this with you! We have not gotten the new place yet, but we walk by faith and not by sight. We know it’s time to move on. The reason we’re doing this video now is that we want all of you who are living near us in North Carolina, in this part of America, who want to connect with us, to know that in a few weeks we will be going to another place. So, if you want to meet us, meet our teams, set up a house fellowship, do a mini-kickstart, or anything with us in the next few weeks, please let us know. At this link here, you can see a video we did a few days ago where we tell more about how we are ready to come and serve where you are.

TESTIMONY OF A TRANSFORMED LIFE

For me, prison ministry is a no-brainer,” he says. “I’m going to do that until the Lord calls me home. … I want to help the parole board see that people can change. … I want our senators and lawmakers to have a different mentality, and I want the people who are coming home to have the resources they need.

The above quote was made by Jon Kelly the same man who made the following quote

“I was always high every day … always in fights, always getting shot at or shooting at somebody,” Jon Kelly says. “I for sure did not think I would make it past 16.”

Growing up in north Philadelphia with a single mother and a little sister, Jon was the epitome of a disrespectful, troubled teen. He grew up in a rough neighborhood. Multiple schools—including a disciplinary school he says was “like prison, but you get to go home”—couldn’t keep him out of trouble. He dropped out by ninth grade.

Jon began selling crack cocaine when he was only 12 years old, but in his teens, he decided it was more lucrative to rob drug dealers. “I thought it was a good thing,” he says. After all, “I wasn’t bothering law-abiding citizens.”

One night, Jon and his friends went to a drug dealer’s home and robbed him. Things got out of hand, and in the process, one of the group shot and killed their victim.

Jon remembers the day he was arrested. It was a Friday—March 15, 2002—and he had just turned 19 two months before. He was arrested for his role in the murder and brought to jail, but it was overcrowded from the city’s violent crime. The only place with room for Jon was in isolation, or solitary confinement.

A couple of the corrections officers would talk to Jon from time to time. That first week in jail, Jon was so bored he asked if either of the men could bring him something to read. The officers handed him a New Testament. On the cover were the words, “There’s hope for you. Jesus cares.”

“I read God’s Word for the first time,” Jon says, “and I haven’t been the same since.”

pastor jon kelly
Jon Kelly today

Today, Jon Kelly is the pastor of Chicago West Bible Church, a 2-year-old church he helped start after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Moody Bible Institute. He is married and has two children.

“It’s been an amazing journey, and I praise God for that,” Jon says.

Only God can change lives like Jon Kelly’s and provide the people and the resources to make use of that life for the benefit of God’s Kingdom.

Only Holy Spirit led lives are both transformed by God to produce the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self-control and be available to be used by the Holy Spirit using the gifts of the Spirit – Revelation Gifts – Words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits, Vocal Gifts – Prophecy, Tongues, and interpretations of Tongues, Power Gifts – Faith, Healing and Miracles.

ARE YOU A TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST?

“In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:16-17

These verses confirm that it is only those who repent, believe in Jesus and His sacrifice on The Cross, they receive and are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever1 John 2:17

“If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.1 John 2:29

He will render (repay) to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Romans 2:6-8

These three verses truly verify that it is only those that do the will of God and practise righteousness are granted eternal life.

“But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind,…” Jeremiah 11:20 (ESV)

“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.” Psalm 66:10 (ESV)

“the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Note: the above four verses makes it clear that God tests the hearts and minds of true believers.

Faith is what is so very precious to God. And that is why God has to test people to find out if they have genuine faith. That is the biblical truth of the matter.

END TIMES JUDGEMENTS ARE ALREADY UPON US

Sister M. Basilea Schlink, wrote a remarkable book, Repentance -The Joy-Filled Life

Considering her book was written in 1959, after reading this excerpt, you will realise how much more appropriate the message is for us now. Apostasy and lawlessness abounds just as prophesied by Jesus. The following is from the last chapter of her book.

“The end-time judgements are already upon us.  Now is our last chance to repent and to allow God to judge us personally, so that we can escape what is to come.  That will be the grace of the rapture —delivered from a world in the throes of judgement and caught up to the Lord ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).  But not all who call themselves believers will be taken (Matthew 7:21).  When Jesus comes again, He will be revealed in His majesty and divine glory.  No one can enter His immediate presence or take their place beside Him unless they have been sanctified and remade in His likeness (Hebrews 12:14) .  As we allow the Lord to judge us, chastening will do its transforming work in us.  ”

Repent!Like a trumpet blast from heaven the call sounds forth with tremendous urgency.  Time is running out.  Who will hear the call and pass it on?  The Church needs to take up the challenge, so that nations are impacted and a movement of repentance gains momentum all over the earth.  Where there is repentance, the hand of the Lord is stayed and judgement deferred or tempered with mercy. “It is not just for our own sake that God wants us to repent.  More is at stake.  In a world headed for destruction we as believers bear responsibility for our nations and for the human race at large.  Soon the time of grace will be over.  Soon God’s patience will run out, and His wrath will descend.  Have we any idea of the full extent and horror of these judgements?  

“Here in Germany our hands are stained with the blood of six million Jews.  The day of reckoning will come.  Our repentance, our weeping and mourning, needs to correspond to the enormity of our deeds. 

“Tragically, it is the Church that is storing up God’s wrath.  

We have missed so many chances to repent.  Are we going to continue along this road? At the first coming of Jesus it was the religious who resisted the call.  Sure of their own rightness, they objected when John the Baptist tried to shake them out of their complacency. ‘Why this constant emphasis on repentance? It’s so one-sided.’  Today anyone who consistently preaches repentance can count on similar reactions. ‘Fanatical.  Unbalanced. A gloomy brand of Christianity. This is not the Good News.’ But the call to repentance is at the heart of the Gospel.  Contrition and repentance lead us straight into the joy of forgiveness. “If we want Jesus to draw near, if we want to be delivered from judgement, there is only one way—repent!  This is the call of the hour.  Grace lies in store for those who lives are marked by repentance.  In a world headed for the fullness of judgement, theirs will be the fullness of grace.  

When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, He will gather them to Himself. They will be changed in an instant.  Once humiliated, now they are exalted. Once they came weeping, wearing the garment of repentance.  Now they wear the dazzling white wedding garment and, shining like the sun in the kingdom of their Father, they go in to celebrate the Wedding Feast.  Matthew 13:43 “The greater the threat of judgement, the greater our repentance needs to be.  And the greater our repentance, the greater the pardon and glory.  Repent!  That is God’s message to us in these end times.  Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it (Luke 11:28, Revelation 1:3,22:7).  Blessed are those who respond to God’s offer of love. Here and now they will have a foretaste of heaven. More wonderful still, they will be prepared for their Lord, to celebrate with Him the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.’ He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.’ (Revelation 22:20).”

Thanks to Jeff Daly of repentday.com for this gem.

GOD IS EQUIPPING MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL AGES FOR “LAST DAYS” MINISTRY

Acts 2:17-18 says,In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on my bondservants, both men and women, I will in those days pour out My Spirit and they shall prophesy.

You are not left out, this Scripture is inclusive of all people. If you are not experiencing Acts 2 manifestations of the Holy Spirit in your life like those on the Day of Pentecost, I want to encourage you not to measure revival or your personal relationship with God strictly by visible manifestations. In fact, one of the most distinctive signatures of revival is a renewed hunger for God and a deep desire to find your identity in Him. Pursue God with all your heart and He will come in. He is always at the door.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Man knocking on the door. Stock Vector - 91216822

Here are a few ways Kris Vallotton of https://krisvallotton.com recommends for you to experience revival and refresh your relationship with God: 

  1. Hang out with people who are alive and well in God (even if they may be having manifestations you’re not having). You may have heard me joke about having the “statue of liberty anointing,” meaning it seems like everyone around me is often powerfully touched by God while I seem unaffected! Check out this short clip of a sermon where I share what God directly said to me about being moved by God.
  2. Share your faith and testimony with others. Psalms 119:99 says, “I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.” This simply means that when you allow your history with God to counsel you, rather than your fears or any other thing, you will indeed grow in stature and wisdom. Allow your testimonies to be your counsel. Share them with others, and witness the power that you’ve been given. 
  3. Be humble. You were born to be amazing—in the very image and greatness of God. I find that one of the biggest deterrents for owning your God-given greatness is the fear of stealing God’s glory. If you don’t want to steal God’s glory, then here’s some good news: you ain’t that big! And get this… the truth is you can’t steal something that was given to you (John 17:22)! For more on humility, check out a recent podcast of mine, Humility is the Way Forward

In these “last days”, I believe you will experience the demonstration of God’s power in your life because, as we’ve learned, God is pouring everything out on “one generation”—all flesh; He is not withholding anything from you. As a Believer, you are a walking encounter of the living God. You are the embodiment of God’s revival.