Heaven released as each come together blending their sounds harmoniously

One of the talks at Cherish was titled Opus Number 3.  This was all about God’s church releasing the sound of heaven here on earth and how we all had a part to play.  Much as an orchestra has many musicians so we all play a part in God’s church.  If one of us is missing, out of tune, flat, too fast, too slow it shows and the noise is not harmonious.  As a church, we need to be sending out a harmonious sound to attract others to come find out what the beautiful noise is all about.

1 Corinthians 13:1- What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

We need to become one, to stop the current cacophony of sound and instead send out a symphony of beauty. 

OPUS #3

Opus number one, creation, all heaven looked down and saw that it was good, all hailed the Holy Trinity as God’s symphony of beauty was completed, on earth as it is in heaven.

Opus number two, the crucifixion, no more separation, not since creation had the veil been removed, God’s beauty and love revealed through that one selfless act, on earth as it in in heaven.

Opus number three, God’s church at last in unity, the sound of heaven released as each come together blending their sounds harmoniously, attractively loving others like Jesus did, on earth as it is in heaven

Look he is coming with the clouds, every eye will see him

Acts 1:   9-11 – After Jesus had said this and while they were watching, he was taken up into a cloud. They could not see him, but as he went up, they kept looking up into the sky. Suddenly two men dressed in white clothes were standing there beside them. They said, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here and looking up into the sky? Jesus has been taken to heaven. But he will come back in the same way that you have seen him go.”

Do you ever gaze up at the sky as you pray?  I do this quite often as I use my dog walking time as a special time of talking to God.  I often look up at the sky, that’s where I imagine God to be, somewhere beyond the clouds, I lift my arms skyward in praise, I chat, sing, shout and praise my God who’s beyond the sky that I can see.

How awesome to think that the disciples witnessed Jesus returning to heaven, but even better than that, one day he will return in the same way.

No wonder I keep looking to the sky, in hope and confidence that Jesus will return again soon, come Lord Jesus.

TAKE A MINUTE

Just take a minute, go outside and look up at the sky, close your eyes and visualise Jesus ascending into heaven, this wasn’t his home just like it’s not mine, a temporary place to rest my head, Jesus himself said whoever believes in me will have eternal life, I know this human body is a makeshift  shelter for my soul and when God’s ready he’ll call me home to a world I’ve never known, yet long to see, a place of love and peace, a place where I will see Jesus face to face, he overcame this world before returning to his Father and just like David said, I’d rather spend one day in his courts than a thousand elsewhere, so as I gaze into the sky I wonder when he will return, when will his Kingdom come to earth, when will every knee bow and how will that happen, what will it sound like when we worship with passion, millions of voices praising our Saviour, all those who have found his favour rejoicing with fervour, what will it feel like to finally be with Jesus, to be home, never again to be alone, no more tears, no more pain, new bodies with no constraints, complaints a thing of the past as we sit at the feet of the Lamb at last, I can only imagine the joy we will feel when we look at the sky and see Jesus returning, the days of yearning finally over, look he is coming with the clouds, every eye will see him even those who pierced him, look Jesus is coming again, with all the Saints on earth to reign

I am a bundle of potential, my ability unrealised

I was thinking today about our potential.  What got me started on that was reading about Saul’s jealousy of David.  Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and we can feel jealousy if we don’t feel we are as good as them or if we feel their gifts are more honed than ours.  But then I thought, maybe I’m not supposed to have the same gifts, I have other gifts and tons of potential.  I have God living in me.  Now, if that doesn’t speak of potential, nothing does!  So, I need to unlock the treasure I have, not try and gain gifts that are not mine but pray for God to use the gifts I have been blessed with.  I have so much to give to light up my own little corner of this vast world, that’s what I need to work on.

Genesis 11:6 – And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 3:20 ­ Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

POTENTIAL

I am a bundle of potential, my ability unrealised, my treasure hidden in clay jars, I possess an earth shattering dynamism, I am a force to be reckoned with, I have no limits, except my belief, if I fail to believe I will fail to leave my mark on society, if I fail to trust God I’m going to fall hard, If I’m a slave to comparison I have no reason to call myself Christian, if I fail to listen to what God calls me I’ve lost my identity, chosen, loved, cherished, redeemed it’s more than I dreamed it could be, forgiven, citizen of heaven, confident and kept from falling, that is my calling, sanctified, no longer ashamed, called child of God, beloved and safe, no condemnation, a new creation, l am what I am by his Grace alone, I’m helped in my weakness, rescued from the darkness, buried with Christ and raised up with him too, more than a conqueror through him who loves me, predestined to be part of his family, born of the Spirit, reborn and baptised, alive in him, the apple of his eye, I am that bundle of potential and I will be influential, I am a miracle, an individual created by God, integral to his plans for his Kingdom, I will shine in the places I inhabit, in this my corner of the planet I plan to use the gifts he’s given, to share his love, his peace and his vision.

Let’s have a conversation about heaven on earth

I am reading “Love Says Go” by Jason Chin and one comment that really stood out to me in the first couple of chapters is this:

Heaven is not a future attraction

Yes praise God.  We are not just here on earth biding our time until we die or Jesus comes again so we can enjoy heaven, we can enjoy a part of heaven right here, right now.  It brings a whole new perspective for me on the Lord ’s Prayer “your will be done on earth as in heaven”.

If we could but embrace all that God offers us now, learn to harness the power of the Holy Spirit we could bring unimaginable change to our world, we could be showing God’s immense love to others on a daily basis, pouring out blessings on people and I’m meaning so much more than saying bless you.  I believe God’s wants to bless people with joy, with healing, with love and by changing their circumstances, and we can be the catalyst for all that to happen if we just step out in obedience and faith.

  • Hebrews 10:19-20 – Brothers and sisters, we are not afraid to enter the Most Holy Room. We enter boldly because of the blood of Jesus. His way is new because he lives. It has been opened for us through the curtain. I’m talking about his body.
  • Ephesians 1:17 – I pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the glorious Father. I keep asking him to give you the wisdom and understanding that come from the Holy Spirit. I want you to know God better.
  • John 17:3 – And what is eternal life? It is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
  • Ephesians 2:6 – God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus.

 HEAVEN IS NOT JUST FOR LATER

Heaven is not a future attraction, the future is now and yes we are destined to end up somewhere unfathomably better when we reach our final destination but let’s have a conversation about heaven on earth, you’ve heard it maybe a million times, on earth as it is in heaven, so answer this question?  What does that expression mean to you? Are you afraid to enter the most Holy Room or are you on fire for God now? Don’t be lukewarm, enter boldly because Jesus told us to go out and make disciples, anointed us to heal the sick, to set the prisoner free, look around and you will see prisoners of addiction, prisoners of pain, should they remain ignorant of God’s gifts, we are lifted up with God, seated with him in his heavenly Kingdom, so although your body is rooted on earth, your Spirit soars, you can do more than you ask or imagine, God can use you, it will happen, ask, believe, receive, be hungry for more, do not be content with a future concept, it’s kind of nonsense to leave the biggest gift unopened on the shelf, take a look at yourself and see what God sees, an amazing disciple who he can use to bring a little piece of heaven to earthly issues.

 

 

God will give me a name that I can claim as my own

I was looking through some of my favourite verses and one which is really special for me is:

  • Isaiah 49:16 – See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

I read this quite early on in my walk with God and it’s an amazing thing to feel so loved by our God.  I suppose when you think about it the palm of the hand must be a very painful place to have a tattoo due to the sensitive skin there, but God would go through any pain for us.  It also means he can see our names at any time by just looking down at his hands, we are constantly in his thoughts and on his heart.  I suspect that the name is just a window to the countless thoughts he holds for us.

When thinking about this today I discovered these two verses which are new to me and was blown away, I’m going to have a “God given name” something that is just between me and God…WOW.

  • Revelation 22:4 – They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
  • Revelation 2:17 – Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

TATTOO

A tattoo, a constant reminder, an indelible mark of my name, claimed by God, branded on his palm, an emotional attachment symbolic of an intimate relationship, a deep lasting covenant of love characteristic of God’s deep thoughts towards me, a window into how he sees me, not just a name nor a symbol but a reflection of the myriad thoughts he has of me, how he sees me as a completed saint, righteous and free, fulfilling my destiny as a child of the King and this thought fills me with praise, when I finally see his face his name will be engraved on my forehead denoting that I am free through the blood of Jesus shed for me and get this a new name will be given to me and only I will know it, intimate and personal, God will give me a name that I can claim as my own, he will call me by name and I can claim that intimacy, unconditional love from a Father who loves me eternally.

Spirit of God a gift for me, another benefit of being free

Trinity Sunday and we were talking about the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit and I had not thought of the Holy Spirit in that light before – a “Gift” freely given by our heavenly Father.  So not only do we get access to God and Jesus we also have this amazing person living in us, to help us in every situation, draw us closer to God, help us in our daily walk, it truly is an amazing gift and isn’t God amazing, he knew we couldn’t do it on our own so when Jesus ascended into Heaven he had to give us something to help us through PRICELESS.

Acts 2:38 – Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:26 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Holy Spirit

I am Spirit filled, I have part of the Holy Trinity in me, access to my Father in heaven 24/7, no messing, the Holy Spirit lives in me, he came to me when I became a Christian when I turned to God and said sorry for my sins, when I was baptised he opened my eyes to the most incredible gift, and that’s what he is, Spirit of God a gift for me, another benefit of being free, and he doesn’t push me to do things I don’t want to do, he waits patiently to be desired, waits for me to recognise the power within me, brings gifts that are free like love, joy and peace, an amazing peace that surpasses all understanding, he fires me up to serve the Lord, prompts me to turn to God about others, conversely prompts me to talk to others about God, and although it sounds hard with the Spirit it’s easy, he gives me the words, gives me the courage, and I flourish because he lives in me, closer than you will ever get, he’s my safety net, my guide, my counsel, never doubtful he guides me to the truth, soothes me, smooths the path for me and understands my needs, Spirit of God walk with me, remain with me, live in me.

The new Jerusalem, a city of diversity, full of the richness of humanity from across the centuries

Our sermon yesterday was based on two passages in Revelation but it was the second one that stood out for me.  Now the message from the preacher was a great message but I sat there feeling very much like the preacher had glossed over the most important part (maybe it was just me felt that way!) but in a full church what an opportunity to preach and teach about how you get to heaven because it clearly shows us in this passage who isn’t going to get there and that’s agonising because there will have been people there (in any church) who need to hear that going to heaven is a two way thing, Jesus died for us but we need to turn away from sin and claim that victory.

Revelation 21: 1-7 – Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.’

 EVERYTHING NEW

I am making everything new (and his words are trustworthy and true), a new heaven and a new earth which means those who have enjoyed the second birth will live in a Holy City, the new Jerusalem, a city of diversity, full of the richness of humanity from across the centuries, no evil, no pain because unlike the current world filled with the rain of despair the new world will see the eventual and rightful reign of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, full of indescribable joy.

I am making everything new, to the thirsty I will give water and my obedient sons and daughters will inherit all this, for I am their God and they are my children, but I urge you to see that whilst heaven is freely available it is unattainable unless you turn from your sins and OK this world can be unsatisfying and it’s tempting to thirst for something new, for our longings to be met right here, right now, but we know that there is a new heaven and earth and that through our rebirth we are no longer of this earth, but part of God’s chosen nation, his children redeemed, receiving salvation.

I am making everything new and that includes you, take courage and know that God loves you, believe in his redeeming power, turn from immoral practices, harbour no hatred in your heart, have nothing to do with magic arts and worship only the Lord your God, speak the truth, do not lie and God will satisfy all your earthly needs and more, just remember God adores you and yearns to spend eternity with you, search your heart and turn back to Jesus, may his joy be in you for his joy completes us.