The Church is a Bride not an Organisation

February 15, 2014 at 10:22 AMTony

What do you notice about a bride? Do you notice the way she's put together? Well, perhaps you might to some extent. That she carries herself well. That she has an elegant posture. But what you really notice is her radiance, her beauty, her smile. And if you get talking to her you will feel her sheer joy at being a bride and maybe catch some of the humility the occasion brings to her spirit.

And you notice her dress. How beautiful her dress is. What should we notice about how the church is dressed?

We are to put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. And above all love. That is what you should notice about us - as well as the joy and the radiance and the beauty. It cannot be about events and being preached at. If you notice leaders at all you should notice them flat on their face before the Father (just my opinion).

So if the church isn't yet a radiant joyful bride of Christ, how is it going to get there? We need the Holy Spirit to make that happen. And many people are prophesying a new wave of the Spirit coming soon.

Posted in: Teaching

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Why doesn't God do something?

January 18, 2014 at 1:54 PMTony

We are totally forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ. God not only forgives but forgets our sins. All because of Christ who took the punishment for us. The thing is He took the punishment for everyone else as well. I would like God to do something about those who've hurt me, who've abused me, who've treated me unjustly. Maybe those I've wronged and badly hurt feel the same. But how can He? To do so would be to say that the Cross was not enough.

What He can do though, through the Holy Spirit, is to totally and completely heal our wounds. And we can become like Him and 'keep no record of wrongs' and be part of the 'ministry of reconciliation'. We can be like 'our Father in heaven who makes the sun shine on the good and bad alike'.

Posted in: Forgiveness

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Playing hide and seek with God

November 28, 2013 at 9:31 AMTony

Have you ever played hide and seek with your children. If it's a two year old there's a large part of your leg sticking out so they can find you easily. If they're a bit older you make it more challenging but you never let it get to the point where they get anxious because they can't find you. I think God the Father is the same.

In Jeremiah it says "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart". But Jesus uses the parable of the lost coin and the parable of the last sheep to say that rather it is God earnestly seeking us. Even in the parable of the prodigal son the father is earnestly looking for the son and the son knows where home is. He just has to return.

So, I personally go with Jesus. If we need to seek God I think He will always let Himself be found. Sometimes after a bit of effort. And quite often not in the way we expected. He is God after all.

P.S. Just been to church and reminded that Jesus said that the Father is more than willing to give the Holy Spirit just for the asking (Luke 11:13)

 

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Testimony Six: Jesus and the Random Phone Call

October 31, 2013 at 12:55 PMTony

So I was sat in the house one night and I thought the Lord was prompting me to just ring a random number on the phone. So after a fair bit of hesitation I did. And I got through to the phone number of someone called Gram Seed. I didn't get him personally but I got his answering machine with a little poem on it saying he was out telling people about Jesus.

This was a man I'd first met when he was living on a bench drinking cider or whatever. He was wonderfully saved through the ministry of some young Christians I knew.

You can find out something about him on the Sowing Seeds Ministries website. He has an amazing testimony.

But what was also amazing was that I would reach his phone number by a random phone call. The odds of even reaching anyone you know at all are very very small.  I met him again the other day which brought this back to mind. And he is still telling people about Jesus.

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Testimony Five: Jesus and the Stigmata

October 31, 2013 at 2:59 AMTony

I was a baby Christian. All was new - awesome, scary and challenging. All things Christian became interesting as they had never been before. I became fascinated by the Saints and other great men of God.

There was a Catholic priest named Padre Pio who had stigmata (the signs of the crucifixion) on his hands and feet. This was said to be a sign of his holiness. And somehow I knew that I was holy, as holy as any Saint. So I said "Lord, I'll have those". And within a week I had the marks on my wrists.

However, no-one ever noticed them. I think the Lord knew I wanted them for the wrong reason. Maybe He had a good laugh at me. Anyway after about six months I said "You might as well take them away Lord" and within a week there were gone.

Thinking about it now maybe He wanted to reassure me that I was holy in the midst of doubts and anxieties. And of course I am, but entirely because of Jesus and the Cross.

P,S. Padre Pio was also said to have the gift of bi-location so if any of you see me in two different places at once let me know.

 

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When did Jesus get angry? I bet you get it wrong. I did

October 1, 2013 at 5:22 PMTony

I would have said He got angry with the moneylenders in the temple but the word used there is not angry but zealous.

The one time where it is mentioned that Jesus got angry is in Mark 3 (NKJV)

And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man,“Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.

It is possible (although I don't like doing it) to look at this from the Pharisees' point of view. The warnings about and penalties for doing any kind of work on the Sabbath are very serious (Exodus 31:12-17). Also why couldn't he be healed the next day? What was one more day? Then the man could have been healed and all the proprieties satisfied. They saw themselves and portrayed themselves as reasonable people.

But what was being covered up and what grieved and angered Jesus was their hardness of heart.

I definitely see many 'reasonable' people like that in the world and more than a few in the church. And of course this might be another 'get the log out of your own eye' situation. So maybe I'd better start by asking the Lord to soften my own heart.

Posted in: General

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My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father

September 27, 2013 at 11:08 AMTony

Our advocate is Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 

Suppose you owed a lot of money, say £100,000 (That's a lot for me but choose your own amount). And suppose you had a rich and powerful friend who paid it off for you and also paid extra, say £200,000.

Now suppose your former creditor comes to you and says you owe them money. Will you not got to your friend and say "Didn't you pay that back for me?". What will your rich and powerful friend do? Will he not go to your former creditor and say "I paid that back and more besides. Get out of here and do not show your face again." Or words to that effect.

Jesus has paid (and more than paid) for all our sins past, present, and future no matter how bad they were. If Satan or anyone he's working through tries to tell you otherwise take it straight to the Father and say "Weren't all my sins paid for by Jesus through the Cross?".

I think I might take my own advice and try this myself.

Posted in: Forgiveness

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Awesome, awesome, testimony

August 28, 2013 at 3:29 AMTony

An awesome, awesome, testimony which is from the Bethel podcast of August 18th. You can maybe still get it there or listen to it below.

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Testimony Four: Jesus and the Cadbury's flake

August 14, 2013 at 11:34 PMTony

This is a more recent testimony. My ex-wife (with whom I thought I'd made a lot of progress towards reconciliation) had just told me she'd found someone else. I was with her and my children (grown-up) out for a walk. I was feeling low, totally crushed really. Actually I wanted God to throw a few thunderbolts around. Not just at her but at others who'd encouraged and supported her in this.

We stopped at an ice-cream shop and everyone was getting cones or tubs with flakes in. I only had small change in my pocket so I just went for a tub (no flake). I had a spoonful of ice-cream, looked up to chat with my daughter, looked down again and there was a flake in my tub.

I think now that the Lord was telling me He loved me. Maybe I wasn't going to get my thunderbolts but His love was still there for me.

Also, I had been praying recently before then that I'd like to see some creative miracles. It was not quite what I expected but it was an answer to that too.

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Testimony Three: Jesus and the sunshine

August 14, 2013 at 11:23 PMTony

I think this was the first winter after I'd been saved. I'd been reading my bible a lot and I came across a phrase: The sun shines on the righteous. I think I sort of realised I was righteous even though the condemnation I was receiving was trying to tell me otherwise.

Anyway, this seemed to me the sunniest winter ever. Everywhere I went the sun seemed to be shining. I got really used to it. Then one morning I woke up and it was torrential rain. So I said to the Lord: What happened to 'The sun shines on the righteous'? And I thought He said: Go to Guisborough.

So I went and got on a bus to Guisborough which is about 10 miles away. I got on in torrential rain and I got out in glorious sunshine. So I think this was Jesus telling me that I was righteous. Of course that's not because of anything I've done or not done but because of Him and the victory of the cross.

Posted in: Testimony

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