Archive for April, 2009

Mighty Men

Posted in Reflections, Testimony on April 27th, 2009 by phil – Be the first to comment

This weekend about 140 000 men gathered in a farming community outside Greytown to sit under the ministry of Angus Buchan. God has raised Angus up in South Africa in these days and he is having a significant influence. He has been calling men into a genuine relationship with Christ and to live in a way that is consistent with their faith. On Friday night there were an estimated 20 000 men who responded to a gospel invitation to receive Christ.

A number of men from our local church have attended this conference over the last few years and many of them have come back with testimonies of God’s work in their lives. One young man testified on Sunday night that his first love for God had been revived.

To me, this is undeniably a move of God. For this number of men to attend a weekend gathering in the name of Christ, and for the fruit that is coming out of times like this, it can only be by God’s hand. May God continue to use Angus in South Africa and beyond. May there be many thousands and even hundreds of thousands who come into a genuine new birth experience with God through his ministry. May there be an activation of the men in this country to stand up and take leadership over their homes, businesses, churches etc. And may the kingdom of God advance in our day even more than we could ask or imagine.

I am reminded of the song of Deborah and Barak recorded in Judges Ch 5.

When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves — praise the LORD!

A Weekend of Apostolic Input

Posted in Apostolic, Reflections on April 20th, 2009 by phil – Comments Off

This last weekend in Victory Faith Church, we had Ray and Moira Oliver minister to us at an Elders meeting on Friday and at our 2 Sunday services. Ray and Moira have been serving God faithfully in ministry for many years (Ray has been a believer for about 50 years). They have planted churches, raised up leaders, seen the lost come to Christ and helped build the local churches around the world through their relationships with others. 

In this blog I have highlighted some of the key points that stood out to me from the weekend for your meditation and encouragement:

  1. The primary position of elders is to be around the throne of God (Rev 4:4). People are longing for a leadership that spend their time in the throne room of God and minister out of that place to the people. When leaders are consumed with activity primarily rather than intimacy with Him, the result is a lack of anointing and effectiveness in ministry.
  2. Victory Faith Church is called to “Keep Pioneering”. A mature church needs to relaunch itself so that it is able to have the zeal of a new church plant along with the wisdom of maturity which will make it truly effective. (This is a paraphrase of a quote by Mark Driscoll)
  3. The christian community is to be a worshipping community. The promises of scripture are that if we draw near to him, he will draw near to us (James 4:8) and that there will be glory in the church throughout all eternity (Eph 3: 21). As we worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4: 23) he will manifest his presence and his glory among us and we will be a people that draw others into his life.

Let us take to heart the words that we receive from God and apply them to our lives. Let us fall more and more in love with Christ all the days of our lives and let us bring glory to his name by fulfilling his purposes in our generation and by passionately worshipping him with all our beings.

The Gospel

Posted in Reflections on April 15th, 2009 by phil – Be the first to comment

Right through the New Testament there are some rich summary verses which give us a concise yet very clear picture of the gospel message. These are great verses to have at your fingertips to be able to walk someone through the gospel in a short space of time and in an uncomplicated way. Perhaps the most well known example would be John 3: 16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The gospel starts with God - ‘For God’. If God did not take the initiative in salvation, there would not be a single human being who would be saved. It was God’s plan of salvation (we are told that the lamb was slain before the foundation of the earth - Rev 13:8). It is also God who works on the hearts of men to cause them to be born again, to be made alive because they were dead in their sins (Eph 2:1). The initiative is completely with God.

The gospel is good news because it speaks of the love of God for people. This verse does not speak of a God who so tolerates the world that he sent his Son but of a God who so loved the world. God loves all the people of the world so much that he offered the greatest sacrifice imaginable to provide a way of salvation.

The salvation that God has provided is for everyone. ‘Whoever’ believes. There is no restriction. No culture is excluded. No sin is too great to be covered over by the sacrifice of Christ. There is no-one who is above or below the salvation of Christ. ‘Whoever’ believes!

The way to receive this salvation is by faith. The only criteria for someone to be reconciled to God is to believe in Christ. To believe that he is the saviour whom God has sent. To believe that the sacrifice he made was sufficient to cover your sin. To believe is to appropriate Christ’s sacrifice to your life. 

The result of believing is that we escape judgement and enter into eternal life. The whole world stands condemned already because of sin (John 3: 18). The default position of man is that he will be judged by God because of sin. Man is guilty and will be held accountable. But if we believe we will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3: 16 along with many other verses is a wonderful summary of the gospel. It comforts the hearts of believers and serves as a guide to lead others to Christ so that they too can enter into this great salvation

Amazing Grace

Posted in Book Review on April 7th, 2009 by phil – Be the first to comment

I have just finished reading a book called “John Newton - From disgrace to Amazing Grace” by Jonathan Aitken. Although I have heard of the transition from slave trader to hymn writer and full time pastor, I have never explored the detail of John Newton’s life story. This book is compiled largely from personal journal entries and also his written correspondence between himself and various other persons.

It is a story that is truly a testimony to God’s incredible power to save and also his power to transform a life. John Newton’s life prior to his meeting with Christ was an absolute disaster. He deserted from the Navy during war time. He was rebellious and insolent as a sailor. He ended up being held captive in Africa by locals who were participating in the slave trade. Eventually he became the captain of a slave ship himself where he was responsible for buying and transporting slaves from the coast of Africa to the West Indies. From these depths following his salvation, he rose to become a prominent church leader of his day eventually using his influence to assist William Wilberforce to abolish the slave trade.

It is a story of redemption and is characteristic of God who takes the worst of sinners and turns them into trophies of his grace.

1 Timothy 1: 15-16

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.