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 Bible rather than a liturgy, the Lord's Prayer is rarely used in our public worship and suggested that this might be a great omission, before getting us to stand and pray the Lord's Prayer together.

The sermon was about 3 values of the Kingdom of heaven.

1. We know the Fatherhood of God

The God whose name couldn't even be spoken can be approached by us as Father.

We are not only subjects of the Kingdom, but children of the King.

2. We are forgiven freely by His grace.

'Forgive us our debts'. Our debts were the result of our sin. So we need a Redeemer - Jesus Christ, who shed His blood as a ransom so that we could be forgiven.

So everyone who is in the Kingdom of God has been forgiven of His sins. Yet many children of God lack an assurance of forgiveness. Many fear that 'if I'm not living the life I won't go' and so love under condemnation, still carrying scarves of guilt, blame and shame.

But we won't get any further in knowing His rule and His reign in our lives unless we know that we are forgiven through Christ's substitutionary sacrifice.

Some who have grown up in Christian homes need to know the wonder of God's forgiveness and release from all guilt.

3. Submission

'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven'. Compare Jesus' prayer in the garden on Maundy Thursday - 'Not as I will, but as You will'.

Submission involves pain.

There is a danger today that we only think of the Kingdom in terms of blessing and gain. Remember in Acts we are told that 'through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom'.

If you want to see the Kingdom of God at its greatest, come to Calvary and see Jesus dying. Nowhere do we see a greater display of God's glory than at the Cross.

He won by surrender and in the Kingdom of God we win by surrender. We win the way of the Cross.

We can only know His rule and His reign when we know God as our Father, when we know His forgiveness, and when we live our lives in submission to His sovereignty.

Well, hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea of the first night's ministry. These brief notes can't do justice to an excellent sermon and a powerful prophecy. I'll try to keep you up to date with the convention as best I can during the week.BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop