Lessons from my dog - looking into the face of Christ.

August 10, 2013 at 5:11 PMTony

When you have a dog one of the things to get it to do is to look into your eyes and do it steadily for a number of seconds/minutes. At first the dog doesn't want to do this and keeps looking away but it's worthwhile to persist. If you can build this level of trust you can get it so that it always looks to you before it does anything. So it never just dashes off and does something stupid.

Do you think Christ is looking at us in the same way. But we daren't look up. Because we can't believe we're accepted, loved, forgiven. Let's keep glancing at Him and see if we can deepen our level of trust.

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Testimony Two: Jesus and the one way bus trip

August 5, 2013 at 3:23 AMTony

This too is from my early days as a Christian. I thought the Lord was telling me to go to Skelton a village about 15 miles from where I live. I replied that I only had change in my pocket and no other funds. He seemed to be insisting so I thought I could at least go to the bus station and find out what the bus fare was. I asked the driver and the single fare was exactly the amount of change I had. So I got on the bus slightly apprehensive as to why I was going and how I was going to get back.

When I got to Skelton as soon as my feet touched the ground (and not before) I thought of someone who lived there. When I went to see her it was obvious she needed someone to chat to about a few different things. So I guess the Lord sent me to listen and pray and of course she lent me the money to catch the bus back.

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Testimony One: Jesus and the broken boom box

August 4, 2013 at 9:14 PMTony

This was when I first became a Christian about 25 years ago. An older Christian who I really respected asked me if I could fix his tape player/radio. This was one of those boom boxes about three foot long popularly seen carried about perched on young men's shoulders at the time.

I had no qualifications whatever to be able to do this but for some reason I took this as a challenge from the Lord. For three days I felt a burden to get this thing sorted out.

On the first day I opened it up (lots of components) and prayed that the Lord would show me what was wrong. He told me it was a particular small component and I decided to test it even though I wasn't a 100% sure I'd heard his voice.

On the second day I prayed for the Lord to find me someone who had a soldering iron and a multimeter. He put someone across my path.

On the third day I met up with this person. We unsoldered one end of the component (a resistor), tested it and it was blown. A nearby shop sold me another one for 20p. We soldered the new one in and everything worked.

On the fourth day I returned the working boom box to my Christian friend. He didn't seem particularly impressed. But I'd had an interesting and challenging time with the Lord in which (looking back) I think he'd taught me some essentials about intercession even though it was only for a boom box.

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We're in the forgiveness and reconciliation business but we're the employees not the owner

July 27, 2013 at 5:41 PMTony

I still struggle with people laying down the law saying "You have to forgive". Yes, but Jesus also says His yoke is easy and His burden light. He's the boss. And He is also the empowerer - the one who enables us to do in the New Covenant what we couldn't do in the Old. We failed in the Old so it's only by His power and grace we can succeed in the New. Especially since the standards are even higher in the New. Watchman Nee said to pray like this "Lord, I cannot love and I give up trying, but I count on Thy perfect love. I cannot forgive, but I trust Thee to forgive instead of me, and to do so henceforth in me." (see previous post).

Yes, we are in the forgiveness and reconciliation business.  As the Body we have been given "the ministry of reconciliation: that God is reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them." (2Cor 5:19 NIV). I believe that forgiveness is primarliy the business of the Body not of the individual.

As far as individual forgiveness is concerned - because of Jesus it's a done deal - even though we are still working it out. Because of Jesus all my sins are forgiven and I have forgiven everyone who has ever hurt or harmed me.

In the Lord's prayer in Luke 11:4 (NIV) it says "Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us." This is prophetic - a done deal. Where the Lord's prayer is recited as "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" the word as is to be read as 'because' not as 'when'. This is how as was commonly used even when I was young. Once again prophetic - a done deal.

Satan is always trying to get us to move from the ground of Christ's complete and total victory. Don't let him whether it comes from outside or inside the Church. In fact Paul says "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!" (Galatians 1:8 NIV)

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The Spirit says "You are healed, you are healed, you are healed"

May 29, 2013 at 12:14 PMTony

When Jesus was told that Lazarus was sick (John 11:1-45) He said "This sickness will not end in death". But in the world's reality it did end in death. His sisters said he was dead and the many Jews who had come from Jerusalem said he was dead. He had been in the tomb for four days. Every physician had said he was dead and I have no doubt he was. But none of their opinions (or mine) counted. Jesus' words trumped everyone and everything.

So if you're reading this and you need healing then what you think or anyone else thinks including your physician can be perfectly true. But what Jesus says comes from a whole different level of authority. So read the title again.

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I am a somebody in Christ

May 11, 2013 at 11:55 AMTony

Well the last post got me suspended by twitter. I've still no idea why. But yes I know that in Christ I am a new creation. And that in Christ I can no longer continue to sin. And that in Christ I actually become more me than I've ever been before. It's still all about Him though. If you're reading this then I pray every blessing in Christ for you and yours.

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I am a nobody in Christ

May 9, 2013 at 10:18 PMTony

Jesus said "I am the vine, you are the branches". So you can call yourself apostle, prophet, leader, oligarch. I don't care. As long as it's in Christ. And actually I'm not just a nobody in Christ. I'm a really bad sinner in Christ. But the important thing is IN CHRIST. If I am in Christ then I will bear fruit. And if I bear fruit then I'm sure I will share in that fruit. And the fruit of the Spirit is 'Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control. Who could want anything better than that.

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True or Really True

April 16, 2013 at 12:30 PMTony

There's a leader at the church I go to. A lovely man, an evangelist with a lovely Christian wife and two sons on fire for the Lord. He was once in the army and now works as a lecturer at the local university. He is disabled having lost a leg in a road traffic accident many years ago. All this is true.

But what is really true is that he is seated with Christ Jesus in heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named (Ephesians 1:21). If you doubt this eventually death will confirm where he really is both for him and likewise for the rest of us.

Now the question is 'Where he really is - does he have both legs?'. I think the answer is 'Yes'. And if we then pray 'Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)' is that not the key to his getting his leg back here on earth?

That would be great wouldn't it and I look forward to it happening but as Jesus said to his disciples 'Do not rejoice that the demons submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20)'.

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God or Abba

April 3, 2013 at 5:24 PMTony

The only time Jesus used the word 'God' was on the cross when He was quoting Psalm 22 (My God, My God, why has thou forsaken Me). Up till then He'd always used the word 'Abba'.

I'm fairly sure I knew Abba as a child. And then I was taken to church and taught about God.

Abba is someone you can never fully know but who just loves you to bits. God seems to be a word that is used like a whip to get you to conform. I've had so many people telling me what God is like. And yet if God is God how can He be encompassed by anyone's imagination.

Jesus gave many parables about Abba. And He also said 'If you have seen Me, you have seen Abba'. I think I'll stick with that for now.

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Religion is boring and cruel

January 21, 2013 at 11:54 AMTony

That's a quote from Bill Johnson in the latest Bethel 'Sermon of the Week'. He also said "God's blessing is without sorrow".  I read that as 'He doesn't bless someone in the body of Christ in a way that causes pain and sorrow to another member." We are all members of one body. That is why we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

Paul says in Romans 14:15 "If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died." If this applies to eating it must apply to other actions too.

I admit I'm personalising this because of some experiences I've been through but I think I've got it fairly right.

Jesus said to beware the yeast of Herod and the Pharisees by which I think He meant the political and religious spirit.

I don't know what the answer is if we've experienced cruelty and sorrow (especially in the church) except to perhaps fix our eyes on Jesus. He has the victory. Of the increase of His government there is no end. And His government is peace, love, kindness, reconciliation, joy and all manner of good things.

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