Completing Salvation – finishing the race

God has been showing me something about salvation.  If you have ready any of my previous blog posts, you’ll see that I have already covered the 3 tenses of salvation (you are saved, you are being saved and you will be saved) – but what does that look like practically?

So here are the steps to genuine salvation:

  1. Repent and believe (have faith in Jesus)
  2. Get Baptised (in water)
  3. Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:38

So now we have a choice for the first time.  We are longer slaves to sin, and no longer under the law.  We have a new nature, we have become a new creation!  So we now live out of the new desires of the new nature, and not the old nature.  (Not by the law, but by the Spirit through our new nature).

Step 4 then is to start living the new life out, putting off the old nature.

But here’s the revelation I got.  The kingdom starts as the smallest of seeds (Matt 13:31-32).  So at first, it’s like nothing much has changed.  All the old temptations come back, and it seems like the euphoria of the baptism experience was just a one off event.  But no – there is a small seed of the new life inside of you, that will grow – as it is watered, and as God grows it.  And as this grows – genuinely, your desires change to WANT to do the right thing, to want to live God’s way!  Til eventually there is full freedom from sin!  Amen.

These guys sum it up well in some detail here.  Enjoy.

Discernment in these times

Today I was in the presence of The Lord, and came to realise through discernment that at this current time, there are certain “solutions” to long standing problems (in our lives) that are being presented at this time which may not be from God, but appear like a very real answer.

This will vary for everyone, but the litmus test is this: does the solution to my problem – that feels so right, and so good – does it line up with what the Word of God says?

If you are not sure, go back to the Bible and see what it says.

Marinading in Him

As I was driving home last night, and spending time in the Spirit – I discerned that God is doing a very special work at this time which requires that we “be still and know the He is God”.  This work is a deep deep work, which permeates our entire being, and is much like you would marinade chicken or beef or some other meat!

It’s about God bringing His Truth, wisdom and presence to the inmost parts of us.  But we must switch off from the world, and allow His presence to come.

Don’t miss out on this work.  Get alone with God, surrender to new depths – and allow Him to change you from the inside out.

Pslam 51:6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Fruitfulness

The Bible tells us that there are 2 systems that we can operate in.  There’s “Egypt”, or the World’s system – which is actually a system of slavery, and control.  And there is God’s system – which is based on freedom and love.

The problem with the system of the World is that you have to control outcomes in order to be successful.  (We sometimes call this taking responsibility, or ownership).  And although the inputs to this kingdom are similar to God’s kingdom – we put in love, patience, kindness, truth and all the ingredients needed to produce a good outcome – but, if for some reason the expected outcome doesn’t materialise – the system of the world requires that you “force” it to work.  (After all, people have paid their money and for the most part, they don’t care what you have to do in order to deliver the thing they have bought.  They just want what they want – and you have to deliver it!).

But the Kingdom of God is different.  We still do our bit (planting, watering, etc) – but the outcome – the growth if you like – is up to God.  And the consequences of this largely, are up to God – not us.  We do our bit, and trust God that He is working it into His overall plan.

“So neither the one who plants counts for anything, nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:7‬ ‭NET‬‬

The revelation is this: if we try to force outcomes, we become unfruitful in God’s Kingdom.  The worries of the world put us into a false cycle of thinking “if I can just get this current problem sorted, then I can get on with more meaningful things – like spending more time with those who I am discipling etc.

But just as you solve one problem, up comes another.  Someone key in your team suddenly resigns, leaving you with a huge mess to clean up – sucking up all your spare time.  Or something technical fails, meaning that you have to cancel that relaxing weekend away – when you were going to have some God time, or you’re at a ministry activity serving and something at work goes badly wrong and you have to leave to go and sort it out.

I think Jesus told it best in the parable of the different types of soil:

“…but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”  Mark 4:19.

It’s not that we don’t take “responsibility” in God’s Kingdom – but what we don’t do, is try to force the outcome – that is, try and produce fruit our own strength.  But the World’s system requires us to force outcomes in order to be successful, and this is what kills off all our good fruit.

Get out of debt

A few years back The Lord said to me: “get out of debt”.  I took this literally and began looking at ways to pay off all my loans and debts I had, naturally speaking.

He did indeed get me out of debt however now that I reflect back on this word, I believe the Spirit of God was saying something more than this.  I believe what He was saying, in another way, was “repent”.

You see, when we don’t repent we are carrying a debt, being the cost of our sins.

Our sins are like debt that needs to be paid off.  But we can’t pay it off ourselves, we need someone with a higher authority to clear out that debt.

And this is exactly what Jesus did on the cross.  He took your debt and my debt and paid the price for it. But we have to hand that debt over to Him, to repent – that is, to “think again” and turn from our old ways into Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins and the wiping out of our debts.

So – will you allow Jesus to pay off your debt this day?

Breakthrough comes when we move from believing, to knowing.

“For God so loved the world, that He sent His one and only Son – that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

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There’s something that God revealed to me the other day I felt to share.  He said: “breakthrough comes when you go from believing to knowing“.  We believe we are loved, but do we really know it?

One of the blockers to receiving God’s love is not knowing (in our hearts) that we are loved.  And this is because very few have experienced Him, and the love He has for us.

So how do we experience God’s love?  Actually, its very simple!

Acts 3:19-20 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you”

There’s a lot of legalistic teaching about repentance, but actually, we need to receive the gift of repentance (yes – repentance is a gift from God, see 2 Tim 2:25), and with this comes the revealing of Jesus, our sins are wiped away and times of refreshing come.  All in His presence!

So it’s in His presence that we experience the person of Jesus Christ, and the love He has for us.  As we experience these times of refreshing, we move from believing that we are loved to knowing that we are loved.

Here are some basic steps to try:

  1. Find a quiet place.
  2. Ask God for a godly sorry of your sins (which leads to repentance, see 2 Cor 7:10).
  3. Receive the gift of repentance (and grace), and repent (turn away from sin and towards Jesus), knowing that grace covers your sin and enables us to overcome it too.
  4. Get rid of all distractions – thoughts about your sins, requests you have of God, what you need to do next week, etc and just focus 100% on Jesus.  Give Him all your attention.
  5. LOVE HIM.  Turn your heart towards God and begin to Love Him with all that you are (the 1st Commandment).
  6. God will manifest His presence.  (James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”).  Experience Jesus, and the times of refreshing!

Some other scriptures that helped me with getting into God’s presence are these:

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God!”

Isaiah 30:15 “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

Jesus is wonderful, and it’s my prayer that you will experience and know the real Jesus, who loves you very very much.

 

Who is Jesus, and why do I need Him?

It’s Christmas day, and although it’s an obvious time to be writing a blog specifically about who Jesus is (since we are celebrating His birthday), I had a burden on my heart to share to those who don’t know who He is.

I’m just going to bullet point this to make it simple:

  • You are more than your body and soul – you are actually a spirit being who lives inside of a body (that has a soul).
  • You are an eternal being regardless of whether or not you believe in Jesus.  The matter is simply where you will spend eternity.*
  • At birth, we are born cut off from the source of life, who is God.  (And Jesus is God, who came to earth in human form).
  • Your spirit man was cut off from God, because of sin (“the fall”, Adam & Eve), and thus, you were disconnected from the source of life.
  • We have all sinned (done wrong) against God, and need Jesus sacrifice on the cross at Calvary to restore us back into a relationship with God – to restore our connection to the source of life.
  • All of us are in a search for this connection back to the source of life.  We do it instinctively.  Some try to find life through money, possessions, social media, sex, sports etc.  (NB: there’s nothing wrong with the proper use of these things, but they do not contain life in themselves).
  • You may not realise it, but you should actually feel more alive than you currently do, because if you are not “born again”, you are disconnected from the source of life – Jesus (who is God).
  • You need Jesus to enable you to be “born again”, where your spirit comes alive again and is connect to God – and you have the ability to receive life again.
  • Jesus gives life, and life to the full.  He is the most wonderful person I know (in spirit, and by His Word).  Although I can’t see him with my eyes, I see the effects of what He has done and is doing in me, and I also experience Him inside of me.  He is tangible, and when I’m in His presence, it’s like a summer breeze blowing inside of me, or rivers of living water in my chest, or just this unexplainable feeling that everything is good.)
  • If we come to Jesus and ask Him to forgive us our sins, He will do that, and we will be restored into a relationship with Him.  We can then learn more about Him, and become born again.

There’s lots more to explain about all of this, but I just wanted to come at this from a different angle for those who don’t get it.

I cannot understand why ANYONE would not want Jesus in their life.  The only reason I can think of is that most people don’t understand who He is.

So let me finish by saying this.  Why wouldn’t you want life and life to the full?  It will cost you everything of your old life, but in exchange you get a new life.  Call out to Jesus with all your heart and He will answer.  And when He does, He will show you the next steps.

Here’a a short sentence you can say to God if you don’t know how to initiate: “Jesus, I want to know that you are real.  I want to be reconnected to the source of life.  I’m sorry for the sins I’ve committed against you and I want your help to change my mind about those things and your grace to overcome them.  I want life.  I want to follow you.  I want to be born again.  Amen.”

*Your spirit (the real you) and soul, will either go to Heaven or Hell, depending on whether or not you are born again.  To be born again is to have your spirit connected back to the source of life, and you have surrendered your life to Jesus, who will then lead you.  (The default is Hell for all who are not born again).  Hell is simply your existence separated from God, who is the source of life.  Hell is not a place you want to go.