Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Mission Preaching & the Two Birds

March 10th

Preaching at the Homeless mission about six people came up for an altar call afterwards. As I was praying for them I felt that God wanted me to particularly minister to a young, tall, dark-haired woman.

I’d never seen her before. Her striking features reminded me of the gypsies I had seen years ago in Europe.

I simply said to her “God wants to say something to you”, but at that point I had no idea what.

She looked at me expectantly.

I said let’s pray.

So as I prayed for her I saw above her head a black bird and a white bird.

I told her this picture I saw and asked if she knew what it meant. No, she shook her head.

Neither did I. Let’s ask the Lord I said.

So we did and then a question for her:

“Have you ever been involved in the occult?”

“No,” she said, “not the occult. Just sometimes my friends read Tarot for me.”

I explained to her Deuteronomy 18 and that Tarot reading is one type of divination which God forbids. She had no idea.

“And horoscopes is the occult too?” she then asked.

Yes

“And psychic mediums?”

YES

“But that was years ago,” said she.

I told her a story my pastor told me years ago. The occult can be likened to a legal situation we find ourselves in. We spend an hour with a solicitor discussing the matter, but when we leave we decide against pursuing the legal situation after all and let it drop. However that time we have spent with the lawyer must be paid for despite the fact that we have decided to let the matter drop. And you can rest assured that he will make us pay.

When a doorway is opened into the forbidden spiritual realm it is not closed by time, disinterest or our will. It is only closed through our repentance and renunciation.

I then saw that the two birds represented the two kingdoms – one of light and one of darkness. She was trying to mix Christianity with occultism/paganism, but they can’t be mixed. Those two birds are two very different birds and it’s one or the other. A plain and clear choice must be made. And the consequences are eternal.

The devil will try to murder us outright as Christians (physically or spiritually) and if that doesn’t work, he will bring in mixture. Think of Balak engaging a diviner to try to curse Israel. Murder. When that didn’t work what happened? Mixture. Instead the Israelite men began to engage in sexual immorality with Moabite women, then sacrificed to their idols. (Numbers 24 & 25). Murder or mixture.

Well praise the Lord my friend eventually repented of her sin and renounced it all. At the end of the night she lifted her hands in worship and sung with all her might praises to the Lord Jesus Christ, whom is far above all.

“Far above all, far above all. God has exalted Him far above all. Crown Him as Lord at His feet humbly fall. Jesus, Christ Jesus, is far above all.” Christian hymn

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Where is Jesus in the Church?

cropped-girl-praying1.jpgThe state of the Church breaks my heart. Yes it does.  I weep over it, and I believe so does Jesus.

The deadness, the formality, the coldness.  Where is the life?  Where is the joy?  Where is my Jesus?

I don’t seem Him in it.

I don’t see Him in the dry formality, I don’t see Him in the ritual, the “way we’ve always done it.”

Why do people’s faces look sad and somber in church?  Why do we feel we have to pretend to be serious to be spiritual?

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

The thing is, we know it.  We know it’s not right, that something is missing. We know that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t so we could sit and be bored in Church for two hours every Sunday morning.  We feel it.  Something in our spirit says this is not the way it was in the early Church, there is something more.  What are we missing?

 

So, we try to fix it in our human-ness.

Entertainment, rock concerts, frenzied behavior, yelling, emotional manipulation.  Get people to cry, yes, if that brings emotion, ANYTHING but that dead dryness.  Oh God, anything but that.

Entertainment for true joy.

Emotional manipulation for true broken-ness

Frenzied behavior for the real work of the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

After awhile, the yelling makes us tired, the emotive manipulation falls on dead ears, and, after all, we are not changed.

That didn’t work either.  Oh  God, what next?

Look at pubs, worldly concerts, sporting events.  They are full of happy, excited people.  There are crowds.  They must know something we don’t.  We must learn from them.

Advertising, marketing surveys, seeker-sensitive churches.  Things not to mention:

  • the cross
  • sin
  • the Blood
  • God’s holiness
  • never ever use the word “sinner”
  • hell
  • judgment (shriek)

(But make sure you use the word “unpack” in your sermon at least 5 times.)

 

Jesus where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Something wrong. something missing.  something different than the Church in Acts.

Spirituality.  Candles, liturgies, labyrinths, darkness.  Ooooh, we get goosebumps again.  This is it! we feel again, we are not dead, not bored, we are spiritual.

We feel.

JESUS where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Don’t we see?  don’t we know where He is?

He is outside the Church.

He is outside the door.

Long ago He was asked to leave.  Oh yes, we use His Name, but we don’t really want Him.  We want to be comfortable, we want convenience at all costs.  We don’t want our formality and rituals confronted or thrown away.  We want to feel good, positive emotions. We don’t want to be convicted.  We want to feel intellectual and deep and have wonderful spiritual experiences.  We want lots of people around us because that shows we are on the right track.

But we don’t want HIM.

 

Him – the goodness, the holiness, the righteousness, the kindness, the love, the truth, the mercy, the conviction, the call to the lost, the call to obedience, the faithfulness to Him that is required, the cost of the cross of Christ…

 

Jesus is a gentleman, He will not stay where He is not welcome.

 

There is only one way back to Him.

Let us cast off everything else and fall on our knees before Him.

There is only one thing that is required:

BROKENNESS

Utter broken-ness.

Let us fall on our faces before our Lord and weep for the state of our own hearts, for the Church, for the lost around us.  Let our hearts be broken.  It is only when our hearts are broken before the Lord that LIFE, the real life of the Holy Spirit enters in.

 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the deadness any more.  I have had enough of formality and boredom.  I have had enough of human solutions to the problem.  I can’t handle any more extraneous rubbish – I WANT HOLY GHOST REVIVAL!  This world needs men and women who have the fire of the Holy Ghost.

 

Lord, send Your Spirit.  Revive us again. We need You Lord.  I repent of my hardness of heart Lord. My heart breaks for the state of the Church Lord.  My heart breaks for those around me on their way to Hell.  Enough Lord !  Rend the heavens and come down!!!  In Jesus’s Name, Amen

 


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Prophets and Revival : Leonard Ravenhill Quotation

“Ahhh the prophets were men who walked with God, they felt like God, they saw like God, they wept like God, they yearned like God…..leonard r

….And in the richest most comfortable country in the whole world….we stink in the nostrils of Almighty God tonight….

….But ohhh what a difference when a man gets a heart that craves for revival, that longs that God will make bare His arm that all nations will have to acknowledge…”

 

This man has to be the most anointed man I have ever heard preach.  Oh for more like him ! Holy Ghost anguish descends upon grown men as he preaches.  What does it sound like when Holy Ghost anguish comes upon grown men? “To some of you I am sure this is chaos but its music in the ears of Jesus…” (LR)

Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKLlcwd_nqE

leonardravenhill

 

 

 

 


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The Saviour’s Hands

When I look at the Saviour’s handshands1

What do I see?

I see hands that have

Worked hard

With wood in carpentry.

 

Hands that have known

A nick, a cut or two

As they moulded

And chipped away,

Making something of use

 

Callouses perhaps.

Scars on His fingers,

Maybe.

My Lord was not afraid

To live in reality.

 

Hands tanned brown

From being out of doors.

Town to town

He Walked

Calling sinners to

“Repent!

(For the Kingdom of Heaven

Is at hand)”

 

Hands that were used to

Cushion His precious head.

Sleeping rough at night,

Seeking the lost sheep,

He had no bed.

 

Hands that were raised upcropped-jesus.jpg

In prayer before dawn.

Tears splashed down

On those hands

As the Father’s will

Sought.

 

Hands used to touching

What others would not dare

Lepers, the demon-possessed –

Our true condition

Before Him laid bare.

 

Hands that were warm,helping-hand-1

Always giving

Never idle,

Full of holy life,

And truly living.

 

Hands that pointed to Truth

That held not back.

These hands were unafraid

To be attacked.

 

Hands that took

The nails –

He could have resisted.

Hard, cold, real nails

But He, for the Father’s will,

Persisted.

 

OH Lord, if the Church could only see

How far we are

From being,

Truly being

Your hands and Your feet.

 

How cold and limphands2

And lifeless our hands hang down

Too afraid of men now

To Call them to repent

From town to town.

 

Hands white from fear

Of speaking out the Truth.

Hands cold-

Keeping them safe

And aloof.

 

Hands that feel not

A tear drop in prayer

Hands that are only raised

At concerts

Or in the sporting sphere

 

And scars?

No.

Hands kept neatly manicured

We dare not break a nail.

In the Master’s service,

They tremble and flail.

 

Hands that are neatly folded

Asleep on our comfy beds

Hands that hide and cower

When opposition is met

 

Wake Up Church!

Stand up.

Raise your hands,th

Heavenward!

For if not us His Body –

Then, WHO WOULD?

 

It is time

It is time

To Speak the Truth again.

Don’t let the devil your hands bind.

Stand in His strength

And point to the Saviour

For all men to find.

 

Will you let your hands go brown?

Will you let them be of use?

Will you get a nick or two for Him,

Just like Jesus did for you?