CHOOSE TODAY WHO YOU WILL SERVE

God is in control of our circumstances but He left us in charge of our choices. In these “last days” our daily life choices are crucial so that we live our lives by the grace of God, in His strength and to His glory. Tomorrows regrets are today’s wrong choices. These thirty Biblically based life principles provided by Peter Rahme (Inner West Baptist Church, Chullorah) will help you choose wisely and well, so you wholeheartedly serve our deserving Lord.

It is crucial you let the indwelling Holy Spirit play His role as your counsellor, comforter and teacher concerning all thirty of these Biblical principles. Let Him direct your choices and you will be able to do all thirty, without Him you will do nothing pleasing to the Lord.

  1. Today I choose to experience Forgiveness from God (and others) and express it freely to othersrather than hold on to bitterness.
  2.  Today I choose to be Grateful to God (and others) for His amazing grace, rather than be angry at Him (and others) for almost everything that seems to go wrong in my life.
  3.  Today I choose to extend Love and Grace to my family and friends rather than being critical of them.
  4.  Today I choose to exercise Mercy towards my family and friends rather than being condemning of them.
  5.  Today I choose to experience Peace with my family and friends rather than being contentious with them.
  6.  Today I choose to make Restitution with others, rather than take revenge on them.
  7.  Today I choose to be set Free, serving God and othersrather than be under the bondage of the spirit of ententitlement.
  8.  Today I choose to learn from and let go of the pastrather than being held back by it.
  9.  Today I choose to live in the presentrather than miss out on it.
  10.  Today I look forward to the future rather than worry about it.
  11. Today I choose to accept responsibility for my own action and behaviour, rather than blame others for theirs.
  12. Today I choose to come clean with my painful memories, rather than camouflage them with a fake smile.
  13. Today I choose to be Humble and Reasonable in the way I treat others, rather than be proud and arrogant in the way I mistreat them.
  14. Today I choose to be careful not to re-offend and be much better at understanding, rather than be easily offended at the slightest misunderstanding.
  15. Today I choose to be comfortable in my own imperfectionrather than look to find faults in others.
  16. Today I choose to lift people up and have fun, rather than put people down and making fun of them.
  17. Today I choose to be able and willing rather than stubborn and unwilling.
  18. Today I choose to be positive, exploring ALL the options available to me rather than negative opposing ANY opportunities presented to others around me.
  19. Today I choose to be proactive in going forward rather than reactive and getting nowhere.
  20. Today I choose to be productive getting things done rather than busy doing things and getting nothing done.
  21. Today I choose to be a User Friendly person rather than a person who is User of Friends.
  22. Today I choose to function according to my design rather than exist in a dysfunctional state of failure.
  23. Today I choose to function at an Interdependent level rather than a Co- dependent one.
  24. Today I choose to focus on the Us and What Is rather than ME and What if.
  25. Today I choose to focus my effort, energy and emotion on doing my best rather than being the best.
  26. Today I choose to make my priority in my business is to serve the people rather than sell a product.
  27. Today I choose to do life for the betterment of all rather than the detriment to any.
  28. Today I choose to connect and contribute rather than control and be contentious.
  29. Today I choose to take the necessary action to do my life goals rather than talk needlessly about doing them.
  30. Today I choose to give and receive rather than grab and run.

A NEW CHURCH REFORMATION NEEDED SAYS JOHN LEE GRADY

The following article by John Lee Grady for Charisma Magazine outlines great reforms needed in the church. What it does not address is what Francis Chan is heralding; we need to get back to church as it is outlined in the Book of Acts. Francis discovered that you can’t train up disciples who will be committed to the great commission in a church of thousands, even hundreds. Moreover, the cost of buildings and paid staff is better off being spent on outreach to our communities.

Image result for picture of Martin Luther nailing Theses to door in Wittenberg

In honour of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I’m (John Lee Grady) offering my own list of needed reforms in the modern charismatic/Pentecostal movement. And since I can’t hammer these on the Wittenberg door, I’ll post them online. Feel free to nail them everywhere.

  1. Let’s reform our theology. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is God and He is holy. He is not an “it.” He is not a blob, a force or an innate power. We must stop manipulating Him, commanding Him and throwing Him around. (And we should also stop ignoring Him, as if He is an optional “add-on” to our scripted agendas.)
  1. Let’s return to the Bible. The Word of God is the foundation for the Christian experience. Any exotic experience must be tested by the Word and the Holy Spirit’s discernment. Visions, dreams, prophecies and encounters with angels must be in line with Scripture. If we don’t measure them against Scripture, we could end up spreading deception.
  1. It’s time for personal responsibility. We charismatics must stop blaming everything on demons. People are usually the problem.
  1. Stop playing charismatic games. Spiritual warfare is a reality, but we are not going to win the world to Jesus just by shouting at demonic principalities. We must pray, preach and persevere to see ultimate victory.
  1. Stop the foolishness. People who hit, slap or push others during prayer should be asked to sit down until they learn that gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  1. End all spiritual extortion now. Christian television ministries must cease and desist from all manipulative fundraising tactics. We must stop giving platforms to prosperity preachers who make outlandish claims of supernatural financial returns, especially when Scripture is twisted, deadlines are imposed and the poor are exploited.
  1. No more Lone Rangers. Those who claim to be ministers of God—whether they are traveling evangelists, local pastors or heads of ministries—must be accountable to other leaders. Any who refuse to submit their lives to godly discipline should be corrected.
  1. Expose the creeps. Preachers who have been hiding criminal records, lying about their past marriages, preying on women or refusing to pay child support should be exposed as charlatans and shunned if they do not repent.
  1. Stop faking the anointing. God is God, and He does not need our “help” to manifest Himself. That means we don’t sprinkle glitter on ourselves to suggest God’s glory is with us, hide fake jewels on the floor to prove we are anointed or pull feathers out of our sleeves to pretend angels are in the room. This is lying to the Holy Spirit.
  1. Let’s return to purity. We’ve had enough scandals. The charismatic church must develop a system for the restoration of fallen ministers. Those who fall morally can be restored, but they must be willing to submit to a process of healing rather than rushing immediately back into the pulpit to cause more damage.
  1. We need humility. Ministers who demand celebrity treatment, require lavish salaries, insist on titles or exhibit aloofness from others are guilty of spiritual pride. Christians should avoid prideful leaders instead of rewarding them with applause.
  1. No more big shots. Apostles are the bondslaves of Christ and should be the most impeccable models of humility. True apostles do not wield top-down, hierarchical authority over the church. They serve the church from the bottom up as true servants.
  1. Never promote gifts at the expense of character. Those who operate in prophecy, healing and miracles must also exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And while we continue to encourage the gift of tongues, let’s make sure we don’t treat it like some kind of badge of superiority. The world needs to see our love, not our glossolalia.
  1. Hold the prophets accountable. Those who refuse to take responsibility for inaccurate statements should not be given platforms. And “prophets” who live immoral lives don’t deserve a public voice.
  1. Stop the politics. Our deadly mixing of nationalism and party politics with the gospel has diluted our message and ruined our credibility. We are not Democrats or Republicans first—we are followers of the Lamb. Our allegiance is to Jesus, not Trump or Obama. Christ’s kingdom transcends presidents.
  1. Quit trying to be so cool. Our desire to be popular has ruined our witness. Today we care more about our giant LED screens, our coffee bars and our stage lighting than whether people have an experience with the Holy Spirit.
  1. No more racial division. Let’s get rid of the idea of a “black church” or a “white church.” There is only one body of Christ, yet we pretend we are integrated if one person of color serves on our greeter team. True Pentecost is multicultural. The Holy Spirit builds bridges, not walls.
  1. Let’s make the main thing the main thing. The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s anointing is to empower us to reach others. We are at a crossroads today: Either we continue entertaining people with our charismatic sideshows or we throw ourselves into evangelism, church planting, missions, discipleship, and compassionate ministry that helps the poor and fights injustice. Churches that embrace this New Reformation will stop trying to please the crowd so they can focus on God’s priorities.

J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organisation that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression.

GOD INVARIABLY USES THE MEEK & HUMBLE TO ACHIEVE HIS PURPOSES

On what was more than likely an ordinary day 500 years ago, Luther nailed his 95 theses, written in Latin, to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. He intended them to be read only by church theologians.

Without Luther’s permission, someone took the 95 theses and translated them into German and printed them. Luther’s ideas went viral, spreading like wildfire throughout the whole of Germany, causing a tremendous stir within the church and with the common people.

WHO WAS THE UNKNOWN PERSON WHO TRANSLATED AND DISTRIBUTED THE 95 THESES?

“Ordinary people didn’t know their Bible because they didn’t have Bibles,” says Dr. Kendall, an admirer of Luther’s and a student of Luther’s life and ministry. “The Roman Catholic Church did not want you to have Bibles. They just told you what the Bible said. Your faith [was] whatever the church believed. For Luther, it was deeper than that.”

In 1520, Luther stood trial before the German emperor, Frederick the Wise, and Cardinal Catejan, and was asked to recant his words. He didn’t, and while awaiting a possible execution, Luther was “kidnapped” by a group of friends, who took him to Wartburg, where he spent 10 months translating the Bible into the common German language.

“Martin Luther began to teach the Bible, and it really began to turn things upside down,” Dr. Kendall says. “People had never heard the Bible explained to them the way he did. They came in droves to hear him preach. And now, 500 years later, people have Bibles, but they don’t read them.

Extract from article by Steve Strang in Charisma Magazine

AOG CHURCH MUST EMBRACE BIBLE AS ABSOLUTE TRUTH

It will be interesting to see what impact Dr Doug Clay will have in getting the AOG church to reaffirm the Bible as the absolute inerrant word of God – the truth about the cosmos from Genesis to Revelation.

During his recent consecration as the new general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Dr. Doug Clay had two things in mind: First, he wanted to reaffirm the identity of his denomination, and second, to look to the future by keeping four AG core values at the forefront.

Drawing an analogy between Martin Luther and his 95 Theses and today’s Assemblies of God church, Clay, 54, said he recently had a dream about what it would look like to start a Pentecostal Reformation through the denomination. It would begin, he said, with the reaffirmation of these tenets:

  • The Holy Spirit is a person, not an “it.”
  • The Bible is the absolute truth.
  • Character, regardless of your title or position, matters.
  • The purpose of the Assemblies of God is evangelism, and the denomination must avoid getting sidetracked from that purpose.

A third-generation pastor’s kid, Clay spoke passionately about each of these values as applied to the AG church. The largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, the Assemblies of God has grown to more than 67 million members worldwide.

“I really want to see the Holy Spirit do what He does best: magnify Jesus,” Clay said. “We just need to let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. … With the Bible, we really do believe it is the foundation for all of life transformation and community transformation. Biblical literacy is one of the major initiatives I want to take on during my administration.

“We also need to place a high value on character. Paul says that if you don’t have the fruit of the spirit, then you are not a tuned instrument. … And finally, I’m committed to say that, in the DNA of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal organisation, evangelism is going to have a high priority, as it has for the last 103 years.”