As we share bread and wine together, John 13 introduces us to Jesus’ most lavish hospitality as we gather around His table. So here we are – invited by our Host, Jesus, announced as His ‘Loved Ones’, named and placed at His generous table, washed and cleansed to the core and free to feast on His abundant provision. What a banquet!
Paul concludes his letters to the Corinthians by commending the church to “The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit”. In this message, Arne Skagen explores what this means for us practically: How do we enjoy a close relationship with the Holy Spirit? How does He lead and guide us day by day? And how do we play our part in this wonderful fellowship with Him?
We read in Ephesians 4:16 about how God is building His church: “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”. As we look at this further we discover that the Church that is being built is not made of bricks and mortar, but of people! It can be easy to become focussed on physical buildings, but as we develop our understanding of the Church, we see how each person fits in to the whole ‘building’ and how we can make room for each of us to be shaped and cut to size, in order that God’s Church is built according to His plan and purpose.
This week we consider Paul’s description of the believer – not controlled by sinful nature but rather in radical relationship with the Holy Spirit. We think about how the Holy Spirit confirms our adoption, identity and inheritance as children of God and we take a look how Paul’s ‘theory’ found in the book of Romans played out in practice in his real-life care for the churches.
Romans 13:8 tells is about one ‘debt’ that you will always owe and can never pay off – the debt of love to others. As we explore what this means together, we see how we will never be able to reach the point where we can say “now I love others as much as I should”! No matter how much we have grown as a Christian, we still have room to grow in love.
As we read through Romans 12, we see what our ’new life’ should look like. Paul encourages us in this chapter that we are no longer bound by sin and death because Christ has been raised up and we sit alongside him in heavenly places. In this message, Stephen unpacks what this means for us and gives us some practical ways that we can enjoy our new life in Christ.
In Romans 5 Paul continues to tell of the God-given Radical Righteousness that is freely ours when we repent and make Jesus the Lord of our lives. Unless we are completely convinced that God has given us a free gift of righteousness that makes us completely acceptable to Him, we can be forever battling a sense of guilt and unworthiness which can paralyse us spiritually and if uncorrected will prevent us from being effective within our families, in the body and in the mission of the church.
God is a God of restoration, and He does not want to return things to their original condition, but rather to advance all things to the fullness His original intention! As the church we are to play our part in this, to be restored and to be restorers, those who are giving our all to serve God’s purposes in our generation.
Jesus said “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. Jesus has given a great commission to carry on His work in the world today, equipped by the “same” spirit. The fields are white for harvest, and we are the labours – therefore go, and bring in the harvest!
We can be passionate about lots of different things in our lives, but are we passionate about Jesus and His Kingdom? In this message, Stephen encourages us to be those who are consumed by Jesus and know what it means to have a passion for the things of God. Will we be known as those whose passions for God define our lives?
As we look at the first miracle that Jesus performed, turning water into wine at a wedding, we discover how the wedding signifies the reason that the Word became flesh; to rescue us and give us eternal life and right standing with God. Through this story we see that we are to embrace all that Jesus has for us in His new covenant.
Hebrews 12:18-29: The writer to the Hebrews points back to the time of the prophet Haggai, who spoke of God’s intention to shake everything in this world, in order that ‘treasures of the nations’ would come into His kingdom and His house would be filled with glory. In Hebrews we see that this remains God’s plan, and we consider (i) The Context in which we live, (ii) The Company in which stand and (iii) The Core of who we are … a ‘Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken’, ready to reach out to a world in need of hope!
The supernatural church speaks with an authoritative, faith filled, supernatural voice. A voice with the power to proclaim that what is already bound in heaven will be bound on earth and what is already loosed in heaven will be loosed on earth. As we draw near to God to hear His heart, we can boldly speak the word of God with the assurance that the Spirit of God is ready to bring dynamic life and power to the words that leave our mouths.
Time and time again in scripture, God promises to bless those who honour Him – but is such blessing possible in our day? This week we examine three areas of our life in which God promises His blessing with an expectation that we can indeed choose to walk in the blessing of God.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to be used by the Supernatural Church. As we strengthen our relationship with the Holy Spirit, He asks us if we are willing to be used by Him and willing to receive and activate the gifts that He gives. It’s not about us or the way we see ourselves, it’s about working with Him and being ready to move when He tells us to. When we look at these gifts there is no requirement in terms of character; it’s nothing to do with the recipient and is everything to do with the giver.
God wants fire in our lives! Not only for ourselves, but so that we can be effective in reaching those around us. Paul encourages Timothy to “fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” We are called to yield to the total control of the Holy Spirit, so every emotion, thought and act is under His direction. That kind of complete spiritual control is for our benefit and in-line with God’s will.
The Bible’s big story of God’s purpose for His people is centred at various times around a significant encounter with a particular person! Both Old and New Testaments contain numerous stories of individuals having an encounter with God that changes everything! In this message we look at Jacob’s powerful encounter with the Lord (Genesis 28) and find characteristics we should expect when we meet Him ourselves. Get ready to meet Him in this way!…
Jesus has made us children of God; we have been born of God and we are adopted into His family, but like Christ we are not to grasp at this but instead be willing to serve and follow His example. When the Spirit came into us He didn’t only give us the ability to be servants but servants who are supernatural and live powerfully! We are a Supernatural Church because the people who make it up are supernatural and we will be effective in this world because we are willing to serve it, just like Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is speaking all the time, and as the Supernatural Church we can hear Him speak to us. He is God and He lives in us! As we learn more about the Master’s voice, we see some of the reasons He speaks to us, the ways we can prepare ourselves in order to hear Him speak, the things He speaks to us about and what we are to do when we hear Him speak. Hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit isn’t complicated; it’s one of the most natural things that the Supernatural Church can do.
God’s “House of the Spirit” is filled with powerful, spirit-filled believers. They confess Gods Word to encourage and strengthen themselves. Filled with the Spirit they declare and share the Word of God as the church gathers, and they have words of life to share with friends and colleagues everyday. A Supernatural Church has a tremendous announcement to make to the world, that Jesus is alive!
It’s clear from reading the letters of Paul that one of his chief concerns as an apostle and spiritual father was that believers should grow into maturity, both individually and collectively. As we strive for maturity together, our unity in the Spirit is crucial. A supernatural church will exhibit supernatural unity!
We read in 1 Corinthians 12 that when the church meets together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. Everything that is done is to strengthen the body. Spiritual gifts are for every born-again believer; no one is missed out! When we share, verbally, with singing, shouting, and testimony, we strengthen the body, and one another. When we worship “extravagantly” we encourage others to do also, we encourage our children, we help others. It is the first thing we can all do to encourage and strengthen the body. We all need to be those that prepare to share; not be prepared to share but “Prepare to Share”.
John’s gospel ends with a wonderful story of hope and restoration: Jesus is alive and appears to his disciples at the Sea of Galilee, providing them with a miraculous catch of fish! Join us as see how Jesus transforms dejection and defeat into hope and wholeness, and how He offers each of us the opportunity to start a ‘New Day’ with Him…
Because we belong to Jesus, we have been anointed and sealed by the Holy Spirit! As supernatural church, we can be certain of our identity and our inheritance because of this Divine Deposit of the Holy Spirit within us. It’s time for faith to make a drawdown on this Deposit and an investment to see God’s inheritance realised more fully!
On this Mothers’ Day, we look in Luke 11 at the account of Jesus when given the opportunity to praise and honour His own mother, considered it vital to redirect his listeners to where true blessing is to be found. In hearing the word of God and putting it into practice.
The Church Jesus is building is fundamentally ‘supernatural’: its members are “born from above” (Jn 3:7); we’re “baptised by one Spirit into one Body” (1Co 12:13) and are being “built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit: (Eph 2:22) – everything about us is supernatural! The Holy Spirit is a Wonderful Person and an Amazing Creator. And He invites us to begin living in a new dimension – life in the Spirit – characterised by dynamic lives and gatherings and an overwhelming passion to join Him in His mission to reach the world!…
For many Christians, ‘stewardship’ is associated with finances and budgets, but in this message Stephen helps us to see that stewardship is so much more than this. Stewardship includes our time, our gifting, our families and our own walk with God… stewardship is about our whole lives; it is about faithfully developing and using our gifts, talents and resources within the amount of time God has allotted to us.
God wants to pour out His Spirit on you! God doesn’t just want to refresh us when times are tough or have been difficult, He wants us to be in a place of refreshing all the time! He wants us to be those that are a well spring of life to all those around us, as we “hasten” the day of His return. The well spring of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the key to a restored Kingdom – The Kingdom of God! God wants to restore back to the original intention! The restoration of Eden in our lives – the perfect relationship, man having dominion, multiplying and subduing the earth, and unbroken fellowship with God. A Church where healing and miracles are common place, where believers are all filled with the Holy Spirit in abundant measure and move in a divine purpose and anointing. A Church that is a haven of health, full of blessing, provision and joy! The Acts Church was a model – we are destined to go beyond Acts. We are writing Acts 29! We have and are having a glimpse of the age to come. He is preparing His Church, His bride, and The established Kingdom is coming!
When God sent a great flood to the earth, He had a plan. Noah couldn’t see it physically, but he could “see” it with the eye of the spirit. We are building something wonderful and it’s important that we ‘see’ it. The good news is it is by His strength and not our own. God doesn’t want you to miss the boat, in fact He doesn’t want anyone to miss the boat! We all need to be “on board” with Him; His presence, His people, His power! Are you on board?
When we read the account of Jesus going to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead, we see how, on the way, a woman with internal bleeding pushed through the crowd to receive healing. Jesus met her where she was at, but remained a ‘man on a mission’ as he continued to raise the girl from the dead. Stephen picks up this story and asks us “what is our testimony – are we in mission mode?”. Our testimony is more powerful than our beliefs. Sometimes seeing is more powerful than hearing! We are Jesus to all those around us, because we are filed with His spirit. Let’s all be men and women on a mission.
As we start a new season together we are putting a focus on all that it means to serve the Lord and one another as part of the body of Christ, His Church. We want to excel in all we do together to glorify God and to win people to Christ. Today we set a biblical context for our serving, that we may consider our serving to be part of the normal Christian life.
When we look at the great commission in Matthew 28, we read how Jesus told his disciples to “GO”. The church today also shares this commission. We take a look at three steps we can take to get to the ‘go’; we first get ready, by being filled with the Holy Spirit daily. Next we get set, by being filled with love, faith, zeal and boldness. Lastly, we go! We choose to respond to the Holy Spirit by saying yes and being men and women of action.
God is calling us to be those who are preparing the way in our lives- every day! To allow us to more fully embrace the cross of Christ, we make sure that our priority is Him, His word and His people. As we do this, our valleys are filled in, our mountains flattened, and the twists and turns of our lives are straightened.
Because of the Cross and the Crown we are a people of the presence of God, set apart and commissioned for the purpose of God wherever we are. As we proclaim and demonstrate the Kingdom of God, we leave strong and powerful Kingdom footprints in our homes, communities and the nations! ‘Wherever you set your foot’…
The gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke all contain a tantalisingly short account of Jesus blessing little children. But what did He pray? What did he say as he blessed them? Who were these children and what became of them? What great potential and purpose was released in their lives just because Jesus laid His hands on them? Whilst we don’t know all the detail, we can examine some principles and promises that God makes over children and encourage one another to be quick to bless our own children.