The Perfect Storm?

October 31, 2013 | Posted in Comment | By

SeahamharbourWell…. Its been a few days since the UK’s most unpleasant weather for some while, made headline news. Many people lost roof tiles, cherished plants and greenhouses. Some people lost cars, homes and sadly, lives.

There’s no doubt that misbehaving weather is always a great leveller. It always reminds us of our fragile existence; how powerless we truly are and how easily our personal world can be shaken and turned on its head.

It was a bad storm, but not as bad as some.

In 2006 Sebastian Junger penned a non fiction work entitled The Perfect Storm. It was an account of a once in a hundred years weather event that hit the eastern seaboard of the US in 1991. A storm that was a confluence of separate meteorological conditions that became drastically aggravated to produce one of the most fearsome storms ever recorded. A storm that destroyed communities, sank boats, killed fishermen and tested the emergency and sea rescue services to the limit. The storm was a confluence of conditions that in isolation would have proved difficult but when combined was devastating.

As the Jewish captives returned from 70 years of exile at the hands of the Babylonians God speaks through Haggai the prophet…

6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.

Although these verses would have had a physical and immediate fulfilment in the years after Haggai wrote them; I love the hint of the ‘greater’ fulfilment to be realised through the work of Christ. A great shaking will cause the treasures that Christ died for to come into His temple (the church ). A temple greater because of the measure of glory it will house; glory which leads these treasures to find peace .

I humbly submit to you that I think God has been allowing a confluence of spiritual weather systems to stack up. The perfect storm is on the way. Our news stories have declared the first tremors of what seems to me a great shaking in our nation…

  •  The MP’s expenses scandal
  • The international Banking crash
  • The Housing/equity crash
  • The Media phone tapping scandal
  • The NHS Trusts cover up
  • The BBC peadophilia scandals

When you examine these stories each one features an area of our society where great trust was placed… only to be betrayed. I believe God is narrowing the options in readiness… readiness to accept the one who is outrageously faithful in the demonstration of His goodness.

I’ll end with this clip of Russell Brand taking on Jeremy Paxman (contains strong language). I don’t hold to his politic or his indifference, but I do believe below the surface is a heart cry about the state of our nation and a hunger for what only He (Jesus) the desire of nations can bring – Peace. In the days of Wesley and Whitfield the nation was in a similar state. It was only the revival that followed that saved our nation from a bloody revolution. The answer is not Russell’s revolution, but it is the Holy Spirit birthing revival in the heart of His temple.. the church. The only answer is the people of Jesus Christ full of heaven’s presence, power and principles. Kings reigning with a servant heart.

…Selah

 

 

 


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you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (ESV)


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17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

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Kingdom 101: Part 1 – Priority

October 22, 2013 | Posted in Kingdom 101 | By

glory1 copy‘Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand…’

Not only did these words inaugurate Jesus’ public ministry , but they also signalled a radical shift in the ages. The long-awaited moment when God’s increasing government and peace could be accessed and experienced, was now within reach… if you made the radical 180 degree turn known as repentance.

That was Jesus’ good news… the ‘gospel’ of the Kingdom. I want you to just think about that for a moment…

The ‘good news’ that Jesus proclaimed and practiced indicated the incursion of the Kingdom of God into a fallen and dark world… Sure Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but His purpose in this act was so that the lost could enter the Kingdom. And that is the problem! The church has somehow managed to lose the end (the Kingdom) in the means (salvation). Jesus clearly differentiated the means from the end yet we so often confuse them.

Let’s consider the Israelites. Paul clearly paints them as an example for us in matters of faith . Their story in the natural is an example for us in the spiritual. We can see clearly from their story that they were saved from the misery of slavery in Egypt to the joyous liberty of life in the promised land. Note that! They were saved from something and they were saved to something. The sad truth is that much ‘gospel’ preaching revolves around purely being saved from something. Hell, fire, darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth!

This kind of fire insurance ‘gospel of salvation’ preaching, more often than not produces miserable, disengaged, ‘eternal ticket’ holders who sit on their ‘blessed assurance’ waiting for the first flight out of here. That, my friends, is far less than Jesus paid for.

The simple reason for this series (Kingdom 101) is to cause a a kingdom collision in our thinking and consequently a radical turnaround in our living.

My starting point is simple… We should have one priority: The Kingdom of God.

Now the principle of ‘the Kingdom’ as the key interpretive thread of the Bible is not intended to somehow denigrate the centrality of Jesus in Christian thought or doctrine. The King cannot be separated from His Kingdom; for the word ‘kingdom’ simply means a domain where a king exercises his rule and reign. The Kingdom of God is the domain marked by His presence, power and principles at work in synergy with His perfect will. To make it simple, the Kingdom is the King in action. For us as His people then the Kingdom should be ultimate desire of our hearts; the key to our experience, the heart of our message, the DNA of our prayers and the defining marker of our walk. If you are still not sure check these passages out!

  •  The Kingdom was Jesus’ message in His preaching and His parables
  • The Holy Spirit ministry of Jesus was proof of a ‘Kingdom now’ incursion
  • The Kingdom was the very purpose and sphere for which people must be born again
  • The Kingdom is to be the first priority of life
  • The Kingdom is the mother of all legitimate prayers
  • Preaching the ‘gospel of the Kingdom’ will usher the return of Christ
  • The inheritance for those who will be rewarded by Christ will be the Kingdom in all its fullness

Beloved your salvation is a precious thing. Firstly, because it is to His glory that you are saved. Secondly, because of who took the initiative to save you when you were His enemy. Thirdly, because of what it cost Him. . However, He is most glorified when we walk in reality of all he unlocked for us at the cross… a realm where His presence, power and principles work in perfect synergy with His will.

It is time to make Kingdom the priority!

 


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17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (ESV)


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Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (ESV)


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Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (ESV)


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11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (ESV)


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17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (ESV)


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25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (ESV)


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This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (ESV)


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33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (ESV)


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10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
(ESV)


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14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (ESV)


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34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (ESV)

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