Monday, 31 July 2017

Nehemiah - A Shadow of Christ



Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10

One of the most glorious and wondrous pictures of Christ in the Old Covenant can be found in the person of Nehemiah.  Here is the Cup bearer and food taster to the king, our living communion of bread and wine. Here is the redemptive plan of the Father as Nehemiah is the response to the King’s heart and the desolate captivity of the people.  Here is the servant laying down his life from the glory of the palace to work in the dust and broken ruins of hopelessness and here is the restoration and completeness to restore, hope, security and dependence upon God’s unlimited goodness.

For Christ has rebuilt the wall of separation that has invaded each of our minds. We like the stones of the walls of Jerusalem are now living stones cemented into Christ our eternal wall of salvation.

And what is the command of God to us now that Christ has finished his work and the cross has accomplished our new life in him. It is to enjoy the choice food and sweet drink because God has made you holy.

The finished work of Christ is a day of celebration, a day of entering into the party of Christ and a day where the joy of the Lord is now the strength within your heart.


Christ in you is the hope of glory, the living communion, the restoration of all that sin had destroyed and the abounding joy of the father.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

God's Faith In Me



This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life.” – Psalm 119:50

The power of the Kingdom of God is rooted in God’s faith in me.

I have received the mind of Christ; I have been planted in the good soil of New Creation life.

In Christ I lack nothing; I have the abundant, overflowing streams of eternal life living inside my heart.

The vastness of His provision that resides within me is beyond all I could ask or think. For his values, power, have been deposited into the chamber of my heart.

Now every scripture that I take into my heart, memorize, mediate on combats the influence and lies of the world. God speaks through his word to remind me of his faithfulness and love that he has imparted into my life.

Every verse is an anchor of hope, and every promise is strength to my heart and life to my body.
The essence of all Christ is is contained in his promises to me.


Grab that promise, take that verse let it be planted in your heart and be rooted in the good soil and grow into an oak of righteousness in your life.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Jesus + Nothing = Everything


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – Genesis 1:1

One of the expression that I often hear quoted and I have quoted myself on numerous occasions is “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.”

This expression does capture the realisation that without Christ everything has no meaning and that if we add anything to Christ we start to live by our own efforts.

Often the focus of our attention is on the everything. All the promises of God, all the blessings of heaven, all the inheritance of grace and whilst this is exciting, powerful, relevant and essential to our understanding of our relationship with the father, the other dynamic is that of nothingness.

When we talk of nothingness what does it look like? What is the essence of adding nothing to Christ?
The very first verse in the Bible is a catalyst of this expression and within it ten words are the very foundations of all Christ accomplished for us at the cross.

The universe was created out of nothing. Before God spoke the word, nothing existed, there wasn’t a single atom, a single speck of dust, the tiniest particle, nothing existed before God created it.
Our hearts are easily absorbed with something and that something invades our lives with things and ideas that try to give us what only God can give.

And here is the bottom line, how much do we let something invade and permeate into the finished work of Christ?

God is the creator, Christ is the author and finisher of our faith and the Holy Spirit is our guide into all truth.

We are already reconciled to heaven; the divine has reached down, kissed and embraced the lost child.


His finished work is complete; you are now complete in him, live in the fullness of his completed work.

Friday, 28 July 2017

God With Us


“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” – John 15:7

There is a lie of Satan that has echoed from the very first lie, that God does not want us.

That God who designed us, created us, put his breath into us and poured his delight on us has somehow withdrawn himself from us.

But the truth is that God has always been close to us. In fact we can’t get away from the One who fills the whole universe and sustains our life and breath by his spirit.

Before anything existed, before anything was created God provided a solution for us, he provided the perfect sacrifice to bring us into his family, he planned and purposed our adoption.

God revealed himself to us in Christ. He entered time and become man, ’God with us.’

For our value to God is beyond measure, our worth is greater than the expanse of the cosmos.  And through Christ we have been reconciled and adopted into the eternal family.

Christ is the answer to God’s prayer.  Christ is the answer to our heart’s cry. Every prayer Christ prayed was answered, and we now remain in him because he remains in us. There is no separation between God and man, but we can separate ourselves from Him and his love for us by our belief’s and feelings that dwell in our hearts. We choose to receive all God has freely given us or reject his love and live apart from his grace.


His love and life, his glory and power now reside in the heart of every believer. His life in us gives us the power to grasp and possess all he won for us at the cross. We have received his holiness and his perfection, God has given himself to us.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Innocence



"I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley" - Song of songs 2:1

You were reborn into a time of innocence.

You were reborn into the goodness of God into a New Creation devoid of evil. For where there is the light of God darkness has to be extinguished. Light and darkness do not share the same space.

It is the revelation that you now in Christ, you are Holy and righteous in your Spirit and the former darkness that invaded your thinking, your desires and your actions has been eradicated by your new birth into the fulness of God.

Our past, our sin tainted nature died with Christ.

And just as the spring crocus takes root and flourishes in the rich phase of a new season, we receive the purity  and innocence of new life.

For within us even before we believed and were made new there was calling that believed in a place of joy, an existence of bliss. That we we created to be part of an eternal dance of love.

Today you have in Christ been reconciled back into the arms of your Father and the love your heart cried out has been placed into your new innocent heart.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

A Resurrected Life



"How lovely are your cheeks, your earrings set them on fire, how lovely is your neck, enhanced by a string of jewels. " Song of songs 1:10

This morning I took a stroll through the local Church cemetery on the way to catching a bus for work. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the Church clock slowly moved as every second passed and restlessly time moved on as I passed by ancient grave after ancient grave. Some of the residents of the cemetery had laid there for hundreds of years. Since they took their plot Kings and Queens had come and gone, America had been discovered, World Wars had been fought, Man had been to the Moon and back and 'I' phones had been invented. But each of these residents were totally and utterly unaware of any of this because they died years before it happened.

Paul in his letter to the Galatians tried to convey the truth of new believers new life in Christ by declaring that we were crucified with Christ and have been raised to new life in Christ.

But why did he do this? Why did he emphasise the fact that In Christ we are now a new creation?

We are born into a world that focuses our attention, our thoughts, a world that captivates us with what we wear, what we drink and with what we eat. A world which turns our hearts to worship the things we want, the things we can possess and the things that give us value.

In this deluge of self satisfaction our hearts can be swayed to seek after all manner of other God's and we can feel the weight of condemnation and guilt building up inside as it seems that we have strayed from the wonder and beauty of the new life birthed in us.

But this is just a wrong perspective of our new life. Instead of looking at the influence of the world on our hearts we need to live from the truth of our new life.

So how do we do this?

By realising the we have died to our old nature. That although things and influences are happening all around us we are in fact a totally different species, we are part of heaven, we have the glory of God within us

The more we let the truth of our new creation infiltrate, permeate and consume our thoughts and emotions the more the influences of the world diminish.

It is here in the realm of the heart that as we let go of false desires and false God’s that we release ourselves from all condemnation.  In fact we are already released all we do is bring our soul back in line with our New Creation Spirit.

Dead people have no problems with the influences that would try to capture their hearts and drag them back into a life of fear, worry and doubt.

Resurrected people live from their new nature free from the old man, it's influences and it's desires. Their desires are now centered from the Glory that resides and transforms them effortlessly.

Today know that you are dead to sin, dead to your old man and you are alive and victorious in the power of the Resurrection within you.




Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Glory of God



"You are as exciting, my darling, as a mare among Pharaoh's chariot horses. " Song of songs 1:9

The glory of God cannot be extinguished.

Before the foundations of the world the plan and purpose of God was to radiate his glory through his creation. The pinnacle of his creation was you and the pinnacle of Christ was his death and resurrection that reconciled you into the New Covenant.

In Christ you are now a new creation.

Your heart was created to live in the glory of God.

Solomon captures in this verse the trap of the world that entices us. The constant temptation to identify with Pharaoh and let the influence of others gain control over our mind and slowly extinguish the glory of our creation.

John saw how this influence affected the heart of the believer. In 1 John he finishes his letter by encouraging us to put away all idols, that would rise up and draw us away from the freedom and living union we have in Christ. It is not that Christ leaves us, it is not that Christ draws away or hides or is silent. It is that we start to fill our hearts with other things and these things become our idols.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made and the glory of God is the deliverance that has set your heart free to enjoy the delight of heaven, don't let your experience of God be diluted and diminished by filling your heart with idols.

For whoever the Son sets free is eternally free.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

God’s Goodness



"If you don't know, O most beautiful woman, follow the trail of my flock, and graze your young goats by the shepherds tent. " Song of songs 1:8

The world has tried to disguise goodness.

It is a subtle trick that uses our senses to evualate our perception of goodness. It turns love into manipulation and righteousness into acts.

It first raised it's head in a perfect garden, when perfect love and perfect harmony was punctered by a serpent who disguised goodness as an attribute to gain favour.

The world fools us by appreances, it makes us look at motives, concentrate on externals and makes us choose between good and evil by providing it's own criteria.

Paul in his letter to the Ephesians attempted to refocus our understanding of goodness when he wrote  "That you may really come to know practically through experience for yourselves the love of Christ , which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience, that you may be filled through your whole being unto  all the fullness of God; may have the richest measure of the divine presence and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God himself." Ephesians 3:19

For goodness is found in the depths of experiencing the love of God. And out of this experience all acts of love flow in response to the glory that resides inside.

To be flooded with God is to graze your life at the Shepherds tent. To find your value and worth in presence of your shepherd, to take everything that you were created to be and see your beauty in everything the shepherds says about you.

For in Christ goodness has been planted into your heart, let it flourish and let his value of you be the perspective of your life.

Go to his tent, listen to his words and let his love dwell in you richly.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

God is After Us



"For why should I wander like a prostitute among your friends and your flock." Song of songs 1:7

What God is after is us.

We are the delight of his heart. He wants to enjoy and celebrate with us the wonder of his love.  To share with him in the beauty of his creation.

But it is this very idea that God wants to enjoy us that seems so difficult to grasp. Our minds are so rooted in the theology of the world that it we live a sort of Christian Karma, a spiritual blessing game of monopoly that as long as we land on the right squares it is all okay but as soon as we make the wrong move we are made to pay for it or at worse we might even be sent to jail.

Let's take a look at the book of Jonah where we are introduced  to a wonderful bunch of free spirited sailors. These seafaring traders were going about there daily lives when a Hebrew traveller asked them for a place on their ship to Spain. Not wanting to turn down a quick profit they are only too happy to take this extra load, after all this is easy money.

Somewhere on their journey, they start to experience the greatest storm that they had ever known. And it soon becomes a matter of survival, a desperate struggle to keep their ship afloat and save their lives.

The questions that enters their minds is where did this storm come from and where is God?

They cry out to their God’s to save them, but to no avail their God’s are silent, their God's are not rescuing them!

Deep within their ship lies the Hebrew fast asleep while they desperately trying to stay alive. Perhaps it is all to do with him? Before he came everything was all right! The only course of action is wake him up and get him to talk to his God.

Awakening Jonah awakened their hearts to the grace of God. Awakening Jonah awakened their hearts to the mercy of God. For the grace of God was always there, available and reaching out to them deep within the heart of the ship.

It is his grace extended to us even when we don't realise it and when we don't perceive it. Often we are more like the Sailors as we reach out to God as a last resort, we try everything in our own effort and finally we awaken ourselves to the reality of the sleeping Christ we have alive within the depths of our heart.

In Christ you no longer have to wander for He has found you.

You no longer are left searching in the darkness.

When the storms of life arise remember that in Christ you are one with him and his life is united to your life, his heart has become your heart.

So awaken your heart, your senses and experience the freedom of Christ alive deep within your heart.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Created in God's Image



"I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem . " - Song of songs 1:5

You were created in the image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

You were designed to be a reflection of the Trinity.

You were formed by the glory of God, in the glory of God to radiate throughout eternity the glory of God.

The love of God, which is out of time, entered time in you and took up residence in your jar of clay.

And just as the three in one draw their identity from each other, we were created to draw our identity from our creator. This identity is the real treasure our hearts desire.  And this identity is the value of our true worth.

To look for indentity in anything else diminishes our value, to each other and to ourself.

Our value is a reflection of our hearts treasure.

You are a child of your Father's love and you are a beautiful, captivating image of your father's love and everytime He looks at you it reminds him of the consuming passionate love that created you.

Above all else you are the climax, the pinnacle of creation and God sacrificed himself so you could run straight back into your Father's arms.

Your real identity is found and established in the heart of the Father's love.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Perfect Love



"How right they are to adore you." -  Song of songs 1:4

The heart of the universe is perfect love.

This love has been given to us by and through  grace, and grace is not a doctrine or a theology but a person, Jesus Christ.

He followed us into our own darkness. The darkness we had fashioned, we had so expertly created by our own hands and the God's we had so convincingly made to satisfy our hearts desires. It was here behind the walls we built of our own imaginations that we thought we could finally escape God.

But God instead of rejecting us gave us the freedom to follow our own cravings and offered himself up and ran straight into our arms. He sent himself as the messenger of reconciliation and took our judgement, our punishment and gave us mercy offered up in grace.

We can have abundant life because of His determination to deliver us from the separation that we had created.

Christ never gives up on you, never leaves you and never forsakes you.

You are the delight of the Father's heart the joy of the eternal God who adores you from beyond time .

For God's love doesn't depend upon you, isn't conditional to your response, it is founded and shown in the sacrifice of Christ who loved you and died for you when you had turned your back on him.

In the depths of your heart is a residence of perfect love for the precious son of heaven has planted himself into the garden of your heart.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Love Surpasses Wine



"How happy we are for you, O King. We praise your love even more than wine."- Song of songs 1:4

You would think that God who created the universe, who set the earth in motion and put each star in its place would want to control all things. Often we hear preachers and ministers tell us that God is in control and whether you believe this is absolute control or partial control there is one element in his creation he cannot control. That is the love that flows from your heart. God cannot control where you give your love.

It is here in the mystery of love that we connect with the reality of our desire. For our hearts longing is the declaration of our true affection.

And here in the garden of our heart is the foundation of our deepest problem and that root that was created in love is the freedom to love.

For with the freedom to love comes the reason for evil. Freedom opens the door to love whatever our heart desires.

The lie of evil was and is that God is not good, he is withholding life from you and that you have got to take things into your own hands.

For our freedom is established in our passion to delight in our Father's  goodness or our belief that God does not want us.

Our response is ultimately founded in the delight of our heart.  For to be found in the depths of his love is far better than to be satisfied with all the world can offer.

Love surpasses wine.

God desires your love, he longs for the intimacy of your heart, for your cries of passion.

For from the fountain of his love flows everlasting joy and streams of living peace.

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Discovery of Love


"Take me with you come let's run! The King has brought me into his bedroom." Song of songs 1:4

The story of your heart is a discovery that God has taken you into his bedroom, he desires to share his most intimate moments with you and awaken your senses to the glory of his love.

For this love that has been planted in your heart is an intimacy beyond your wildest imagination.  It is a reflection of the love that upholds the universe, it is a love birthed in infinite desire and consumed in intimate delight. It is the perfect love in the perfect relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is a love that longs to be shared and enjoyed. Boundless in its nature, relentless in its giving, fathomnless in its appreciation and bottomless in its dedication.

It is a love that bears all things, believes all things, endures all thing and is totally and utterly faithful.

It is a love that goes beyond doubt and failure and is captured in tiny glimpses in times of uttermost despair and disappointment.

Throughout history our Father's tries to help us understand this love and in a tiny phrase to a chosen people who have constantly and relentlessly rejected his love for him and crafted their own hand made God's forged from the mind and desires of their lusts, he writes from his heart,  "Oh, how can I give up on you , Israel?  How can I let you go?....My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows." Hosea 11:8. 

It is God's overwhelming love that rips his heart apart, his overflowing compassion that works through his grace.

And this is the love that invites us into the intimate chamber of comsumation, the love that invites us into a romance of discovery, a love so immense, so intense, so fierce that it refuses to let failure, doubt, and lust stand in its way

The invitation is to run and embrace this all consuming love and let it take root and flourish in the garden of your heart. 


Saturday, 1 July 2017

God is Drawing You




"Your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils no wonder the young women love you " Song of songs 1:3

God is looking for you. His fragrance is the spreading love that is reaching out to captivate your heart.

You don't have to look for him he is drawing you.

He is awakening your heart  to his love and the treasure  of his grace. The spreading intoxicating fragrance of heaven is immersing you with the promise of his delight.

But the tragedy of our hearts is that we  often settle for what we have instead of entering into all God has provided.

We settle in a place called perhaps.

Perhaps God will come through, perhaps he won't, perhaps God will show up, perhaps he won't. Perhaps God will be good to me, perhaps he won't.

It is here in the realm of reason that we plant the seeds of unbelief in our hearts. It is where we can trust the faithfulness of God’s  promises or doubt his goodness.

But God continues with us , he stays faithful, committed, trustworthy, he ministers his grace into our hearts.

He is our cloud of provision and our pillar of fire. And we are his priceless jewel, his unswerving delight.

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