Wednesday, 4 February 2015

SIgnposts for right living: promises and people

 Brian Houston: (Release, Repair, Restore, Rebuild) Centuries ago, Ezra foresaw a prophetic foreshadowing of the days in which we now live. Ezra declared seven prophetic promises of God to His people, which I believe God declares over us today:

1) A season of Grace and Favour.

We live in a season of grace. Speak His grace into your business, your home and family and your individual life. Why should you settle for anything less? You may say "What if it doesn't happen?" but I say, "What if it does?" Psalm 65:11 says, "You crown the year with Your goodness and your paths drip with abundance." Expect breakthrough, blessing and opportunity to show up in your everyday life.
God's Tangible presence clearly evident.

Ezra spoke about a stake in God's Holy place. Today, through Jesus we can enter boldly into the Throneroom of His presence and grace. God has promised His continual presence with us, not just in church during worship, but in our life. Wherever you find yourself - in the marketplace, workplace - believe for an overwhelming sense of God's presence in your circumstances.

A clear way forward.

When we align our lives with God's Word and His ways, the future opens up with hope and expectation. The Psalmist said, "Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path."

Great testimonies of miraculous salvations.

We all have a story. And no one has walked too far, done too much, or is too far gone for the love of Christ. The days we are living in are days for 'harvest', and I believe that as we each live out our own salvation, we will see testimonies of miraculous conversion in the lives of our family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Divine favour with people.

Just like Ruth in the Bible, when you walk with God and in His grace, you will find unexpected favour from people and places. "Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found favor in your eyes that you should notice me...?" Ruth 2:10

(Sometimes. But only unexpected. Because usually - often - there will be opposition, dislike, rejection...)

A commitment to wholeness and personal revival.

Be strong in your spirit and refuse to live mediocre lives. God has made everything we will ever need available to us to live an overcoming and successful life if we will take hold of it by faith.

Fresh Passion to see His House built.

Just as Ezra had a passion to build God's House,
determine in your heart that you will make the House of God a priority in your life. We are 'living stones', the fabric of His Church and our contribution and commitment to it is the key to living a blessed life.Promises for the future:

Galatians 6:9  Don't get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don't give up

Psalms 31:24 CEV  All who trust the Lord , be cheerful and strong.

And Jennie Allen, 'Threads of People':

"...Joseph...couldn't control his circumstances, but he intentionally leveraged every relationship in his path for the glory of God. Despite the chaos of his circumstances and the incredible evil brought against him by people he trusted, he never quit choosing to trust and love people. He never wasted opportunity to serve-even those who wronged him.
If we are honest, we'll admit that it is hard to love people-especially like Joseph did. So you know what we tend to do instead of doing the difficult work of loving them? We piddle.

To piddle is to waste time, or spend one's time idly or inefficiently. It's easier to survive this life on the surface, bumping up against people gently than do the mess of intentionally loving them. Love takes risk. Love takes forgiveness and grace. Love takes effort, time, and a commitment to not bolting when it gets hard (because it will get hard).
If this is the cost of deep relationships, we can't possibly have capacity and space to go deep with everyone. So we have to become intentional, because we need people. We need the right people. And sometimes finding the right people takes discipline and effort. When we find those right people, we have to fight for them. We have to prioritize time and issue grace over and over, because every human on this earth will disappoint us. And when that happens, we love and fight for them even harder.
We all fell in love with shows like Friends, because we deeply want to have "our people." Close friends and mentors don't fall into our laps. You search and invest, and then you allow them to be imperfect versions of what you were hoping for in your head. Most of us are waiting to be invited, waiting to be pursued, waiting for friends to come to us.

Love is such an active process, and we are fairly lazy. So initiate. Then when you come together, initiate depth. Great conversations come from great questions and honest answers. Become someone who does both well."

Brian Houston (Release, Repair...)
"Praise works best at the start, before the miracle, before the breakthrough, before the restoration. It sets the stage for our Almighty God to act on our behalf; that is why we sing songs of praise at the start of our services.

Ps 100:12 says, Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

With Phaoroah in forceful advance, Moses praised God BEFORE the miracle at the face of the Red Sea. The people praised on the other side. It's easy to praise after we experience a breakthrough, but the power is in knowing how to praise beforehand, while we are waiting.

Jesus lifted His eyes to heaven and offered praise to God at the face of Lazarus's tomb. There is such power in a heart of praise. What are you trusting God to bring to life in your life? There is nothing God can't turn around - He can bring life to anything that is lying in ruins. Start to praise TODAY and begin to see the power of praise at work in your life.

"You have taught me since I was a child,
and I (
want to) never stop telling about your marvellous deeds.
Don’t leave me when I am old and my hair turns gray.
Let me tell future generations about your mighty power.
Your deeds of kindness are known in the heavens.
No one is like you!

You made me suffer, but you will bring me back from this deep pit
and give me new life.You will make me truly great and take my sorrow away.

I will praise you, God, the Holy One of Israel. You are faithful.
I will play harp and sing your praises. You have rescued me!
I will celebrate and shout, singing praises to you with all my heart.
All day long I will announce your power to save.
I will tell how you disgraced and disappointed  those who wanted to hurt me
And yet: I am called to invest in people:
Jennie Allen: "It is our turn to be Jesus to this world. We exist for God and for those who need God. Within the church, we use our gifts to build up and equip the body. Outside of the church, we show love to show God....People, nearly every one of them, are hurting, even if they don't say it. And we hold armfuls of their cure. We get God, and we get to give God away; it is for our joy. ...

In the movie Amazing Grace, William Pitt's character races barefoot through a field with William Wilberforce and says to him "Why is it you only feel the thorns in your feet when you stop running?" When we run for God and for people, we forget for just a moment about ourselves, and it feels amazing. Nothing makes a soul sicker than too much time given to itself.

Pursue them.
Ask them great questions.
Share your struggles and your God.
Dream of ways you can meet their needs.

God's economy makes beautiful exchanges: as we give, we grow.

Seek the uncomfortable. Life is short, and it is worth the risk. You do not risk like a fool; you are wisely investing in the only two things that will not die: God and people.

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