Thursday, February 23, 2017

THE GLORIOUS CHURCH 2017 - Waiting on God | Steve O

The is the final part in a 9 part series that was preached at the 
Glorious Church, RegionsBeyond Conference 2017 held in Mumbai.

To listen to the audio ( which is in English and Hindi) Please click here

1 kings 17
We can learn lessons and be strengthened by the life of Elijah. I feel like I need to stir the younger people.
As we saw Elijah’s life, many said I want to be like him. Elijah who came from nowhere, stood before the King with all authority of representing God. He declared that there will be no rain in Israel. Then, God sends him from the lime light to an isolated place. So much that for 3 years they couldn’t find him. It is th Steve Oere that he grows.
We live in a world where we want things immediately. Waiting is not in our culture anymore. But Elijah finds himself after the big profile, just waiting before God.
Q. Do you want to sit before God and wait?
I know that on the second morning I’ll be saying, what’s next? Elijah stood before God and so he waited. He was patient. Years later in 1 Kings 17:8 the word of the Lord came to him- Arise and go to Zariapath.
At times, lonliness must have consumed his life. When these words come, they’re refreshing. As we go back to our churches, we are going back with his word. Now is the time to be patient and give ourselves to the purposes of God. He commanded a widow. Widows love to feed people. But he is still having to walk by faith.
The journey to Zariapath would have been a long journey. In verse 10 he asked the widow gathering sticks for some water and some food. Here the word is coming to life. She is a very poor widow with only a handful of flour and very little oil.
As we go to our churches we will face situations like this. But I know you’ll go back full of faith. You will face situation like and know the hope that comes with hearing God.  
When I was in Lesotho, building up the church there, we were looking for a church building. There was an auction and I felt God saying go and bid. I bid for a building with no money to pay for it. I came back home having to pay the money in a couple of days. As I reached home, God spoke to someone else to give the exact amount of money to me.
To grow in faith, follow God to the platform- to the desert- to the widow. Don’t think that because someone gets up to preach they don’t have to learn this. Elijah has to learn faithfulness with the widow so that he could call forth the rain later. Do not fear. Go and do as you have said.
This conference has been marked by 3 things:
1.      Identity- who we are. I’m leaving as a different person. That means you’ve heard the word of God. Sit before God, take note of what he had said. Say, Lord, don’t let me go back to where I was.
2.      Mandate- why are we gathered
3.      Continuing to work on our relationships with one another.
God wants to give us a double portion, to multiply it. It is a promise over us. We are entering a season of multiplication. It’s going to happen through faith and obedience. We haven’t got enough flour. Our oil is little. But the promise was massive. We are going to go through a season of multiplication of gifting, grace and all that makes us who we are. There is a double portion.  


THE GLORIOUS CHURCH - Being Childlike | Simon T

The is the eighth in a 9 part series that was preached at the 
Glorious Church, RegionsBeyond Conference 2017 held in Mumbai.

To listen to the audio ( which is in English and Hindi) Please click here

I love kids. They see the world through completely different lens. Where we see danger, they see fun and adventure. Jesus takes children to explain Kingdom Principles. Jesus and his disciples were going to Capernaum. Wherever he went, people followed him. People join a crowd for different reasons. Some followed him to listen, out of intrigue. Some followed him seeking healing, and some just to harass him.

Mark 10:13-16 “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”

Q. What is the Kingdom of God?
Jesus uses this moment to talk about the kingdom. The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God in the Universe. Being a part of the Kingdom of God is believing God is who he says he is. It is a kingdom that has come and is coming. We can know something of the Kingdom of God now by following Jesus and live as citizens of his kingdom- administration.

The kingdom of God is the hope of this nation and the nations of the world. He uses us to bring his Kingdom- it’s only a foretaste. There is a fullness that awaits everyone where there will be no pain, or suffering forever.

In this passage, we see that people were bringing children to Jesus. It was customary in those days for mothers to bring their kids to get blessing from the Rabbi. But there was a huge crowd. The disciples were used to crowds. So that can’t be the problem. The problem was that they were women with children. They have been shaped by their culture to respond in a certain way.

Children were to be seen, not heard. They were a burden until they give back to the community. But we have a problem. The disciples were now a part of the kingdom of God and have a new culture.

In Regions Beyond, we are intentional about diversity. Different cultures, clothing, friendships, etc. but our first culture is that of the Kingdom of God. We celebrate diversity until it is against the Kingdom of God. In UK, we are currently fighting our culture. It is not just our culture that has a problem.
In the Kingdom of God, the weaker parts are given more honour. No Jew and Greek, Man and Woman- it is one new man in Christ. We can’t earn salvation or work for favour. Forgiveness, holiness and salvation are gifts from God. Children have equal value.

The disciples were responding in a way their culture would respond. Jesus rebukes them for it. Jesus says, go towards those who are neglected- whom the world has rejected. That’s what he did. The attitude of the disciples was not through Kingdom thinking. How we live and love will either allow people to come towards Jesus or go away  

All, includes all! Even those you would avoid, those who hurt and persecute you. No one is outside God’s love and we must remind ourselves of that.
Jesus was indignant about this. He says, don’t hinder the kids from coming to me. Can you imagine the look of the parents at this time? They would have been proud, knowing their children are of value.

Matt 18:4-6-Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Jesus has already taught into this. Under his kingdom, in his rule and reign, they have to become like children. But in a live situation, the disciples did not apply it. It’s practice over theory. Practice is so different from mouthing words.

So the children have no rights, and suddenly they are the centre of attention. Jesus does not say send the children or carry them to me. He said, let them come. The kids wanted to come to Jesus. Jesus takes this moment in a silenced crowd- where the disciples are embarrassed and the parents are smug- to explain a principle which is still true. The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
We need to become childlike. Not childish.

Q. What is it to be childlike?
Children demonstrate what this is.
1.      100% trust in their parents. Insecurity becomes a stronghold. A childlike trust in God makes us free from fear.
2.      A child is 100% dependant on their parents. Just like that we need to be dependent on our heavenly father because he is faithful and knows what is best. Some of us are going to have injections form God. Every situation you’re going through has a name. Jesus’ name is greater than all other names. He is a good father and will provide for us. 
3.      A child is unqualified, yet unconditionally loved. It is not what we can bring to God. It is who we are. Its not true that you can be useful only when you are 21, married, with money in the bank, etc. You do not need to be Ravi Zacharias, Steve Oliver- men who have faith like mountains.
4.      Mature believers have childlike faith- a child is obedient to their parents- Not all the time, but eventually they do it.

5.      A child has access to their parents. We sit together in intimacy. No need to make appointments, try to tidy up our own mess. Too many Christians look like they’ve been baptised in lemon juice- so Serious!
One of the most difficult questions I’ve had to answer is Why. When we don’t get an answer to why God, we have to go to what we do know. We have to rest in the truth- that he is good, faithful, loves me with an everlasting love and provides for my every need.

6.      Children forgive quickly. To be childlike is to forgive quickly.

7.      Children enjoy grace. They receive gifts with excitement and gratefulness
Have faith like a child. In the power he has placed in us. Our experiences can make us sceptical. To be secure, all a child needs is a loving look and a gentle touch. Jesus said we should believe with this faith. 

We think we have to work it all out before we do it. But then we don’t need God in that. Joshua at the walls of Jericho had a childlike faith. 

The attitude of trust, joy, humility, simplicity, dependence on the Father- all these are characteristics of a true disciple

Receiving the Kingdom is a gift. We can only accept it as a gift. Grow up and be more like a child. Our Father is for us. He is a good Father, giving good gifts to his children. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

THE GLORIOUS CHURCH 2017 - Secure in Jesus |Sheldon K

The is the seventh in a 9 part series that was preached at the 
Glorious Church, RegionsBeyond Conference 2017 held in Mumbai.

To listen to the audio ( which is in English and Hindi) Please click here

Q. Do you know the call of God on your life? Are you prepared to do what it takes to fulfil that call on your lives?
We need to understand that there is a false self and a true self. The false self is also called your super-self because that’s the self you want people to see. I’m going to speak about identity. We have to respect who we are. We don’t preach self-esteem. That’s just security in who you are. You are made the way you are, but identity is a deeper rooted thing. It brings you security, confidence and is rooted in Jesus. It starts internally. If you want to have freedom and live from a place of freedom, it starts inside of you. Then it bubbles up in the external.

This whole life we live, goes a deeper to one day when we stand in heaven waiting to hear, Well done, good and faithful servant. What’s deeper than that is that we will have a father waiting to say welcome home my son/ daughter.

2 Peter 1:3- 11: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Divine power and divine nature- two stories in the Bible- Peter and Adam and Eve. In 20-30 years time, you guys who are in the front, you’ll be at the back and your children will sit here. It will happen because we’ll grab a hold of it. About 20 years ago, I had an encounter with God at a Sunday night meeting and God broke my heart for the church. I broke down! It was tears of pain because he gripped my heart for the church.

Revelation is not head knowledge. It’s a deep understanding that God gives you about something and it cannot be stolen from you. I had the honour of taking over the leadership of the church from him. For 20 years I served him and in the midst of that God raised me up. We need to be willing because you are the future church leaders. You will go out and do great things for God.

There are many temptations in this world right now- many things that look like they satisfy you. But God is testing this generation because he is seeing if you are ready for a mighty outpouring. Are you willing?
Q. Do you get saved into the church or into the Kingdom of God?
You get saved into the kingdom. It’s like the United kingdom which is under the Queen. Now, a British person does not have access to the Queen. We are part of the kingdom that is unseen. Giving your life to Jesus means being adopted into his family. The vehicle used to expand this kingdom is the Church. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Peter was the apostle who spoke before he thought. He walked on water, and saw phenomenal miracles at the hand of Jesus. He received revelation about Jesus being the Christ, the Messiah. On this revelation, Jesus said he will build his church. Luke 22: 31- 32Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”” Then he goes on to tell him that before the rooster crows thrice he will deny him. But Jesus is giving a little hint here- that he prays his faith will get him through. We know what happens after this.

Peter is standing there and when asked if he knew Jesus, he denies him. In verse 61- the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. He then went outside and wept bitterly. He let his greatest friend, his saviour down. How do you come back from that? He felt deeply guilty. He felt great shame.

Now we go right back to the beginning in the Garden of Eden. There was no sin. They was no need to talk about self esteem and security. God gave them one command- not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We know how the story goes. The one thing they did is that they disobeyed what God said not to do. In that moment they lost their innocence of consciousness. All of a sudden they were aware of good and evil. Before that they were only aware of good. 

3 things happened when they disobeyed:
·        They ran and hid because they were fearful
·        They had shame
·        They were filled with guilt
What started was a plan of showing who God is from a place of brokenness. We cannot be innocent in our own strength. From the Garden of Eden, striving hard to please God, the law fell short. Jesus the saviour came and by his perfect blood all our sin, guilt, shame is gone. His perfect love casts out fear.

His divine power- this is beyond this world, it’s powerful. This is given to us so that we can participate in his divine nature. Before you knew Jesus, you have a sinful nature. But now you have a divine nature. You are perfect before God. you are being made holy. There is justification- that the mercy of God has paid for your sin; and sanctification- that you are being made new.

Nothing is holding you back from running hard for the things of God. Not even the enemy lying to you. Make sure your Election and calling. When you have security in your identity in Christ, you can stand strong as a child of God against the evil schemes of the enemy. It is an understanding of who you are in Christ. We need to be secure.

 Any hint of insecurity, guilt and shame, fear- the enemy rushes in like a flood. But our king has raised up a standard against him.
 Now you are free. When we go to the world secure, they will see the love in our hearts. It’s not a love we’ve worked hard for. It has been freely given to us- to do incredible things on earth.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

THE GLORIOUS CHURCH - Pray like never before!| Nigel P

The is the sixth in a 9 part series that was preached at the 
Glorious Church, RegionsBeyond Conference 2017 held in Mumbai.

To listen to the audio ( which is in English and Hindi) Please click here

God has given us a great responsibility and I want to share something God has given us to enable us to all these things.
We need to be a trusting a praying people. We can’t do what God has called us to do without prayer.

Mark11 :22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

The context is the Kingdom of God and his purposes. The Kingdom of God has come and there is a mandate to transform the nations. God has given us an access to a relationship with Him.

This kind of relationship is there to move mountains. It talks about your blessings as well. There is a promise and a prayer. Let’s be a movement of mountain movers. There is a response required.

1.    Whatever you ask! What does that mean? Nothing is excluded. If this is true, our prayer meetings will be full and God is going to give us whatever we ask.
2.    Believe. This is key. Whoever doesn’t doubt. He taught us the prayer, which says your kingdom come. It is a prayer that must happen. The kingdom of god is with you .If you believe you will ask because you know it is there.

God has things for us but it is dependent on what we ask for.
James 5:15. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
When we pray in faith something has to happen. Pray continually.

We need to be a people of continual prayer.
2Kings 19:20 20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria

2Kings 20:5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord.

Is 38:5 Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.
It is so exciting to see this. God heard his prayer.

When we pray, he is waiting to hear and to do. Some of these discovered a secret of obtaining the things promised. Accessing the things God has promised. It lies unused by many Christians.  We need consistent and persevering prayer until the promise comes. Prayer is rooted in the promise of God.

Prayer is not a formula it’s a relationship with God.
2Chron 7:14  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

God wants us to encounter Him. We are meeting with God to seek his face and turn from our wicked ways. God reminds us in prayer of things we need to do. God is hearing our prayer.

You, were chosen and saved to have your prayer answered. When we know this, we push and we pray. We keep doing this out of confidence that the promise of God will come. We are called to go from victory, to victory.
How do our prayers get answered?
Rev 5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

Here the 24 Elders were holding the prayers of the saints.
Rev 8:4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.

It gives us a glimpse of what happens with our prayers. When God wants to do something through you and I, it requires that we keep persevering till the tipping point when god does something. You have to keep praying because you know it’s God’s will.
We prayed for barren ladies (some were barren for seven years) last year four of them gave birth.

There are somethings only God can do. We have to pray
The devil wants you to think that the answer won’t come. Don’t quit. God has your case.

Luke 18 The parable of the persistent widow. The weakest person in society, a push over. She goes to the judge for justice. He was a judge who did not care. But she goes again and again. She did not give up. Jesus is telling us this story to teach us how to pray.
In the end the judge is fed up, and gives her what she wants
How much more will God give us what we ask for? So, will he find faith like the widow – faith that never gives up. Can our life be filled with this kind of persistence?

Psalm Delight yourself in the Lord. God wants to gives us things. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. God will do things for us when we walk righteously.

V17 Elijah was a human just like us
V18 He prayed again and the heaven gave rain
Elijah did not stop. What makes Elijah prayer again and again? He now something. He knows this the will of God. He prays because he know it will come.

We see this with Abraham as well so the sake of 10 people in Sodom and Gomorrah we have to pay and it will be said of us that God heard their prayers.
Sometimes prayers don’t get answered because we give up. This is the secret. We must continue to pray.

James 4:15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”. Sometimes it’s not God’s will.

But let’s be a people of prayer. We cannot continue praying like we used to which fifteen minutes on the train etc. We need to make time for prayer. Jesus knew this and kept praying.