Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2010

Good Reasons for Godly Change

Change is a difficult subject. Some people love it, some people hate it. Yet when it comes to our Christian lives and the lives of our assemblies our enthusiasm for change, or distaste therefor, shouldn't be the be all and end all. While change for change's sake isn't the right approach, neither is staying the same for the sake of staying the same.
So when and why should we change? How do we determine when change is a good thing? Well, let's take a biblical example of a big change. For the first few years of the existence of the church, all the members were Jewish. Lots of people were getting saved, and lots of assemblies were being planted, but only really among Jewish communities. Eventually, after the pioneering preaching of Philip (Acts 8), some not-quite-Jews were accepted in, but these were Samaritans, and for all the animosity that existed between Jews and Samaritans, they at least accepted the Torah and were looking for the coming of the Messiah.
Gentiles were an…

AblazeUK 2010: The Finale

Thursday evening brought with it the last night of the Convention. (If you're wondering where Wednesday went, I was on carpark duty for the convention service.) The speaker for the evening was Ps Peter Vincent (Glasgow assembly), who expounded Psalm 2 under the title 'The LORD reigns!'.
Ps Vincent linked Psalm 2 with Acts 4:23-31 where it is quoted at a prayer meeting. The result of that prayer meeting was that the believers received boldness to proclaim the gospel. We want to go from the Convention back to our assemblies with Pentecostal boldness. Boldness means confidence and courage; confidence in the message and courage to take it.
Psalm 2 is made up of 4 speakers.
1st Speaker (verses 1-3): The Voice of Rebellion
The word translated 'rage' means to assemble tumultuously. Think of the turmoil of a storm at sea. Note their stubborn will and unity in their stand against God and Christ. In verse 3 the world sees God's rule as a prison. They think freedom means gett…

Ablaze UK 2010: History in the Making (or Tuesday Evening Part 2)

History was made on Tuesday evening when, for the first time ever, an Anglican bishop spoke at the Apostolic Convention. The Right Reverend Michael Nazir Ali was the 106th Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England. He was born into a Shi'a Muslim family in Pakistan and came to faith in Christ as a university student.

The Bishop's main point on Tuesday night was that Jesus is Himself the Kingdom. It is Jesus who makes the Kingdom present to the world and to us.

There is a rumour around about Jesus, and even in the most hostile people there is something about Jesus that they cannot ignore. Yet sometimes they turn this into blasphemy. Many give Him a place, but not the place He deserves on the throne.

What did Jesus say about Himself?

To answer John the Baptist's disciples, Jesus talks about Himself in terms of Isa. 35, a chapter which speaks about the coming of God. Jesus also spoke about Himself in terms of the Old Testament concept of wisdom.

He called Himself the Son of…

Ablaze UK 2010: Tuesday Evening Part 1

On Tuesday evening Ps Emmanuel Mbakwe reminded us that 'the Cross brings us to the heart of the gospel'. In fact the Cross was prominent throughout the evening as the prophet spoke of the riches of God's grace, we sang of the wondrous cross, and an Anglican bishop spoke to us of Christ's penal substitutionary sacrifice on Calvary (more on that in the next post).

In prophetical ministry through Ps Elwyn Williams, the Lord told us that He wants us as a fellowship to focus upon what He is hearing in the nation of Britain. People are crying out for someone to tell them the way, someone to give them an answer, someone to tell them who is in charge of their life. He wants us to realise the agony in His heart when the church is not declaring that they have the answer, and that the truth in our heart is able to set our villages, towns, cities and nation free. God wants us to declare His sovereignty and He wants us to know that our God reigns. He has raised us up to sit with Him…

AblazeUK 2010: Tuesday Morning Seminar 2

His Rule, His Reign in the Family
Next up was Ps Jonathan Morgans (Aberdeen assembly), speaking on His Rule, His Reign in the Family. Jonathan started off reading from Isa. 1:16-17. The ministry of the kingdom finds its source and motivation in love. We won't know the work of the Spirit unless there is love.
1. In Family Relationships
Sometimes we diminish the importance of the family to God. In order to undo this mistake, Jonathan took us through a number of Scriptures which highlight the importance God places upon the family. God even uses family relationships to reveal something of the relationship between Christ and His Church and something of the relationships within the Trinity.
After scaring a good number of pastors into thinking they were about to undergo a mid-life crisis, Jonathan suggested that the antidote to such a problem is to really know our identity as a child of the Father.
Prov. 22:26 speaks of training up a child in the way he should go, not the way he should stay. …

AblazeUK 2010: Tuesday Morning Seminar 1

Tuesday morning at AblazeUK 2010 was all about 2 things: seminars and rain (lots of it!).

His Rule, His Reign in the Marketplace

Julie Andrews, the National Women's Leader gave a seminar this morning on His Rule, His Reign in the Marketplace. Julie stressed that all of us are in full time ministry, not just the pastors. God has something for each one of us to be and do. The enemy would try to tell us that there are only a few in each generation that are truly significant, but we must remember that we are significant, not in ourselves, but in who we are in Christ.

There isn't supposed to be a sacred/secular divide. Rather, we should be the church scattered as well as the church gathered. As Spurgeon said, 'Every Christian is a missionary or an imposter.'

Kingdom work isn't about numbers in our churches or notching up converts. We should be helping because that's what God calls us to do.

We need to be the church on Monday morning. The exciting stuff is great, but the…

Ablaze UK 2010: Monday

The prayer meeting at Ablaze is an exciting event. For a start, it's unusual and very encouraging to gather with so many people to pray together. For part of the prayer time on Monday morning we gathered into regional groups to pray for the cities in our own regions. So people from all across the north of England gathered in one block to pray for key cities like Newcastle, Bradford and Leeds. For those under the mistaken impression that prayer meetings are boring, the Ablaze prayer meeting will certainly change your mind.

In Monday's morning meeting God spoke through the prophet to all those who were battle-weary, saying that He had come to refresh, renew, bind up and help us understand that the battle is His already and He reigns victorious. The sound of rustling is not the enemy but rather God's hosts behind us and no weapon formed against us will prosper for we are more than conquerors. So stop cowering! Declare in your hearts that the battle is the Lord's and He i…

Ablaze UK 2010: God of the Impossible

Sunday night at Ablaze is a wee bit different from a typical Sunday night in the Leeds assembly, and I was very happy to share it with such a large Leeds contingent.

God spoke through the prophet to remind us that, although the rule and reign of man is subject to limitations, the rule and reign of God has no limit and so where impossibilities begin with man, there possibilities begin with God. God promised that He is here in power and authority to make every impossibility bow before Him. We were reminded of how God visited Israel in Egypt to rescue them and bring His promises to pass, but they were pursued by pharaoh. Yet God surprised them when He parted the Red Sea. They were in a place of impossibility for man, but at that point the possibilities of God began to be made manifest. Then God challenged us, saying that although we had come bearing many impossibilities, we should rejoice, for the sea will not drown us as He is in control.

The prophetical ministry brought such a respons…

Ablaze UK 2010: Sunday morning

It's Sunday and the marquee was packed this morning, or at least the carpark was, as that's as far as I made it. (The pastors have jobs to do during the convention, so this morning I was on carpark duty.)

Dr John Avant, our American guest speaker, preached what was by all accounts a faith inspiring message from Eph. 3:20-21. The Lord also spoke prophetically through Pastors David Olphert and Elwyn Williams.

Out in the carpark, whole we may have missed the meeting, things were still interesting. We had everything from a Bentley driver who wanted to know what was going on in the marquees to someone who was convinced we were selling caravans! I also discovered that I'm not the only pastor with a large theological tome in the back of the car.

Tonight I'll be in the tent and not the carpark, so hopefully I can bring you more informative news from the evening meeting.

Ablaze UK 2010: We Stand Forgiven at the Cross

'He is exalted, the King is exalted on high...' So began Ablaze UK 2010: His Rule, His Reign. And right at the beginning of the convention the Lord spoke through the prophet to us, not as a denomination, but as individuals, of our need for His rule and His reign in our lives and our experience, no matter what it may cost us. Through the prophetical ministry we were reminded of the decline of Israel when they rejected God as their king. Instead we were encouraged to open our hearts to God.

Ps Roy Lewis (Bridgend Assembly) was the preacher for the opening night of this year's convention, preaching from the text from which this year's convention got its theme: the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6). Before he began, Roy shared the counsel he had received this morning from one of our retired apostles - 'Put Jesus right at the centre' - excellent advice for every preacher, whether at convention or on a typical Sunday.

Ps Lewis noted that, although we say we follow the Bibl…