Just Believe – Stop Doubting

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Stop Doubting

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”John 6:29

‘Believe’ is a theme of John’s, mentioning it in his gospel 99 times.‘to believe’ in Jesus is about relationship, and another way of translating ‘to believe’ is ‘entrusting oneself to’.

Entrust = ‘to put into the care or protection of someone’

Stop doubting and believe.John 20:27

This is pretty strong language from Jesus! And rightly so, because Jesus is aware that unbelief works to our detriment (1 Peter 2:7&8, 2 Thes 1:9, Romans 11:20), and as in the case of Zechariah (Luke 1:20) it can literally silence our God given witnessand expression of freedom and life.

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.Hebrews 3:12

3 thoughts to consider on the Journey of Don’t Stop Believin’

1. Choose to believe

Believing begins with a choice

…I will not believe.’John 20:25b

Thomas didn’t say, ‘I cannot believe’

2. Ask for help

The Holy Spirit is the Helper (John 14:26 ESV)

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’Mark 9:24

3. Overcome your fear

Embrace God’s love (1 John 4:18)

…Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’Mark 5:36b

Finally, back to John 20 (verse 29b), Jesus reaffirms blessing:

‘…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’John 20:29b

Just Believe – entrust yourself to Jesus today.

Just Believe – Believe Together

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Health Warning

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.John 17:20-21

Before we start, isn’t it just great that Jesus prayed for you!

How can the world believe Jesus was sent?

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

Who did Jesus think he was?

Jesus was told he was God’s son

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”Matthew 3:17

But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.”Matthew 17:5

Jesus was convinced of his deity, convinced of who his father was, and convinced of his role for humanity

The Father and I are one.John 10:30

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.John 14:6

Was Jesus a lunatic?

He was loving but didn’t let his compassion immobilize him; he didn’t
have a bloated ego, even though he was often surrounded by adoring
crowds’ he maintained balance despite an often demanding lifestyle;
he always knew what he was doing and where he was going; he cared
deeply about people, including women and children, who weren’t seen
as being important back then; he was able to accept people while not
merely winking at their sin; he responded to individuals based on
where they were at and what they uniquely needed.

All in all, I just don’t see signs that Jesus was suffering from any known
mental illness. He was much healthier than anyone else I know
including me!Gary R. Collins

Was he a conman, a liar or a demon?

Was he a hypnotist?

If he was, how could he perform all these miracles? How can a crowd of 5000+ be hypnotised?

Was he a liar?

Explain the empty tomb. The body was definitely buried, either the authorities took it – in which case why not present it; or the disciples took it – in which case why go through all the suffering for something you know to be a sham?; or else his body was resurrected

Was he a demon?

22 But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.” 23 Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” he asked. 24 “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. 25 Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive.Mark 3:22-26

20 Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” 21 Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”John 10:20-21

28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They came out of the tombs and were so violent that no one could go through that area. 29 They began screaming at him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?”Matthew 8:28-29

Even demons knew Jesus was the son of God!

Jesus is Lord

There’s evidence outside of the bible for Jesus’ life, his miracles, and his death

He convened a meeting of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a
man named James, the brother of Jesus, who was called the Christ, and
certain others. He accused them of having transgressed the law and
delivered them up to be stoned.The antiquities – Josephus

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to
call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a
teach of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews
and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, upon hearing
him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned
him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him
did not give up their affection for him. On the third day appeared to
them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these
and countless other marvellous things about him. And the tribe of
Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.Testimonium Flavianum – Joesphus

There was the greatest eclipse of the sun – it became night in
the sixth hour of the day (i.e. noon) so that stars appeared in the
heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things
were overturned in Nicaea.Thallus

Just Believe – Amazing God

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Amazing God

Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believeJohn 11:40

When we believe in God, we believe he created the Heavens and the Earth, the stars and the sea, a place where Earth meets sky, where God meets humanity and humanity meets God.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”Isaiah 6:3

We can see God’s glory in everything he has created. His signature lies within every created being, including us.

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.
God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens
and follows its course to the other end.
Nothing can hide from its heat.Psalm 19:1-6

The conidtion of humanity means that we fall short of the glory of God.

20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.Romans 3:20-24

But we are all justified freely by his grace.

Amazing God – Amazing Grace

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

When we believe that God created this world, we see his glory. When we see his glory we realise how short we have fallen of his expectations. But he calls us out of our tomb of sin and offers us grace.

Just Believe – God’s Children

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

God’s Children

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.John 1:12

The Old Testament sets a precedent for God being our Father:

…you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.Isaiah 64:8

…you, LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.Isaiah 63:16

These two OT verses ground God’s ‘Fatherhood’ in Him as a relational Creator and Redeemer

God as our Father means:

We are loved

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.1 John 3:1

We are free

And because wecare his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.Galatians 4:6-7 (NLT)

We are no longer slaves, we have been given freedom. I am who God says I am

We are heirs

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.1 Peter 1:3-4

As a child of God you have an inheritance that will never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance seeps into our everyday living.

You can live – loved!

Just Believe – Good Fruit

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Good Fruit

Just believe sounds so simple doesn’t it but working it out for maybe you, as well as me, is at times not so simple.

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believesin me will do the works I have been doing,and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.John 14:11-12

Jesus tells us that whoever believes in Him will do even greater things but what if the big miracles of Jesus seem out of reach to us? There are ordinary every day things that can be greater than the big miracles.

Defend the cause of the oppressed

21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. 25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”Mark 5:21-34

Good work is in the slow, in the edges. Will we believe Jesus and open our eyes, get messy and see people made whole?

Speak hope

Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” John 11:43

We are called to call out life in others just like Jesus did. We are called to do this where we’re at and where we’re going. We need to speak hope – it’s going to be ok because God is on the throne

Welcome others

But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”Luke 15:2

Food is so important to Jesus, he shares many meals with his followers and sinners. Our theology is best expressed in our hospitality. We need to open our arms and extend our tables

Do I believe that God can work through us in the big miracles, the healings, the blind seeing? Yes and amen! But I also believe that if I believe in JESUS the good things He did, I can do – I can see those who need me, I can speak hope and I can welcome others.

So what one way are you going to live this out this week? Just Believe in Jesus

Just Believe – Living Life

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Living Life

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book.But these are written so that you may continue to believethat Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.John 20:30-31 (NLT)

What does it mean that when we believe in Jesus we have life?

Believing in Jesus means:

  • through His name our sins are forgiven (Acts 10:43)
  • we are made right with God by calling on the name of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:11)

However, when we follow Jesus it’s not just about a moment or just a doorway into heaven but about taking steps and living our lives in the Kingdom of God.

Three areas of what Living Life in His name looks like

We have a Victory already won over sin and death in our lives

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.Romans 5:17 (NLT)

It can feel like sin of the past or present has a hold over us but the truth is that it no longer has control over us. We still have battles and challenges but we have victory!

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture,
and the hillsides blossom with joy.”Psalm 65:11-12 (NLT)

You might think there are areas of your life that can never be fruitful or areas that feel like they have been trampled on over and over again but living life in Jesus those areas can be transformed and flourish!

We can have an expectation like God’s, that’s beyond our own.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.John 10:10 (NIV)

Jesus responded,“Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”John 11:40 (NLT)

Let’s live a life actively believing in Jesus, entrusting ourselves to Him and see the glory of God in our days.

From John 10:10, Life to the “full/abundantly” = “beyond/more than expected”

What is your expectation …because God’s is more than that!

Jesus being demonstrated in and through us so that others are changed by Jesus too

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,walk.”Acts 3:6 (NLT)

When we live life in Jesus we can know we carry the power of God in us and we also demonstrate that as a witness to others who Jesus is.

Living a life that is an active witness in and through the power of His name.

Why not entrust your life to Jesus today!

Just Believe – Longing Fulfilled

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Longing Fulfilled

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”John 6:29

‘Believe’ is a theme of John’s, mentioning it in his gospel 99 times.

‘to believe’ in Jesus is about relationship, and another way of translating ‘to believe’ is ‘entrusting oneself to’.

Entrust = ‘to put into the care or protection of someone’

Our theme today – longing fulfilled – follows on from the pivotal verse of verse 29, and needs to be reflected on in light of the ongoing conversation and the previous event of the feeding of the 5,000.

The crowd seem to want to believe, but first ask for proof, for some kind of sign (v30) – which seems slightly ironic considering what they’ve just witnessed!

Jesus sidesteps their request, and taps straight into their inherent human need for fulfillment.

This need for fulfilment, this longing, expressed in numerous forms and guises, at its most intrinsic level comes from a void than can only be filled by God.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.Ecclesiastes 3:11

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”John 6:35

  1. Jesus is the fulfilment of longing, ‘I am the bread of life…’
  2. Movement is required, ‘Whoever comes to me…’
  3. Entrusting/believing is required, ‘…whoever believes in me…’
  4. Seeing is not believing, ‘…you have seen me and still you do not believe.’ (v36)

Entrust yourself to Jesus today

Just Believe – Spirit Power

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Spirit Power

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”John 6:29

‘Believe’ is a theme of John’s, mentioning it in his gospel 99 times.
‘to believe’ in Jesus is about relationship, and another way of translating ‘to believe’ is ‘entrusting oneself to’
Entrust = ‘to put into the care or protection of someone’

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” John 7:37-39 (NLT)

Feast of Tabernacles

To appreciate the impact of Jesus’ promise we need to understand the first-century water-pouring ritual during this feast. Priest would walk with golden containers to fetch water from stream of Silioah. With much pomp and ceremony they would take the containers back to the temple and pour the water on the altar.

So ecstatic was the joy with which this ceremony was performed—accompanied with sound of trumpets—that it used to be said, “Whoever had not witnessed it had never seen rejoicing at all” Lightfoot

Then the words of Is 12:3 (NIV) were sung, With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation and thus the symbolical reference of this act, intimated in Jn 7:39, was expressed”.

Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that it’s running low on water, which it needs to work well.

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.

I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?Psalm 42:1-2 (NLT)

What things can you put in place to thirst for God?

In John 6 – Jesus talks about himself as bread of life, now he is talking about living water, not only is Jesus our life’s longing fulfilled, he is also the ongoing source of life’s energy and renewal.

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)John 7:37-39 (NLT)

John gives an explanation to what Jesus meant. John mentions the Spirit had not yet been given but if we continue reading the Bible we find that the Spirit was given in Acts 2 on the day of Pentectost.

Pentecost

Pentecost was a festival that was celebrated 50 days after the Passover. Significant for us, Pentecost was 50 days after Jesus was killed. Pentecost is the culmination of the Easter story. Death, Burial, resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost. Some even call Pentecost the birth of the church.

On the day of Pentecost[a] all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,[b] as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” 12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.

13 But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”

14 Then Peter stepped forward … Acts 2:1-13 (NLT)

Peter goes on to explain that this is prophecy from Joel, share the gospel and people ask what they must do to respond. Repent and be baptised. 3000 were added to the church.

The three promises from the Pentecost

1. Clothed with Power

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”Luke 24:49 (NIV)

This promise is consistent with the initial commissioning of the Twelve by Jesus (Luke 9:1–6). Having called the Twelve together, Jesus “gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases” (9:1). Through the exercise of this power the disciples became partners with Jesus in manifesting the kingdom of God—liberating captives from their bondage to the spirit world and restoring many others to health. The disciples, undoubtedly, would have understood this latter promise in the light of their earlier commissioning. They also would have associated this promise of power with that display of power that had characterized the ministry of Jesus (Luke 4:14).
Stronstad, Roger. The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts (Kindle Locations 1217-1222). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

2. Baptized with the Holy Spirit

For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”Acts 1:5 (NIV)

Luke parallels the Spirit baptism of the disciples with the inaugural anointing of Jesus by the Holy Spirit. In his book Literary Patterns, Theological Themes, and the Genre of Luke-Acts , Charles Talbert outlines Luke’s fourfold parallelism between the two episodes: (1) both Jesus and the disciples are praying, (2) the Spirit descends after their prayers, (3) there is a physical manifestation of the Spirit, and (4) the ministries of both Jesus and the disciples begin with a sermon that is thematic of what follows, appeals to the fulfillment of prophecy, and speaks of the rejection of Jesus. [87] This parallelism points to the functional equivalence between the two events. Therefore, since the gift of the Spirit to Jesus inaugurates and empowers his mission, then, whatever meaning Spirit baptism might have in other contexts, it has the same primary charismatic meaning for the mission of the disciples as the anointing by the Spirit had for the charismatic mission of Jesus.
Stronstad, Roger. The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts (Kindle Locations 1232-1240). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

3. Receive Power

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8 (NIV)

This promise also reveals the purpose of the gift of the Spirit: it is for witness. The particular content of this witness is to be the disciples’ attestation to the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:22), which, beginning with Peter’s Pentecost address, characterizes the preaching of Acts (2:22–36; 3:15; 4:10, 33; etc.). The gift of the Spirit is thus an equipping of the disciples for service.
Stronstad, Roger. The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts (Kindle Locations 1243-1246). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Conclusion: the Spirit Power is still available today. Ask to be filled.

Just Believe – Heart Remedy

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Heart Remedy

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.John 14:1 NIV

That word ‘ALSO’ is very important – also believe in Jesus

Belief in God gives us something secure – a remedy to our troubled hearts and a way to stop allowing our hearts to be troubled

We entrust ourselves – give our troubled hearts over to trust in Jesus

To maintain good physical health requires us to eat regular nourishing meals and to exercise. To maintain good mental health also requires routine.

Three good daily habits:

1. Put your heart in His hands

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”Psalm 32:8 NLT

We make conscious decisions to allow God to guide us.

We make conscious decisions to entrust our heart to him.

It is not about us.

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’Matther 22:37-29

Put your heart in his hands – entrust your heart, your, mind, will and emotions to him

Your ALL!

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Proverbs 4:23

Putting our heart in God’s hands, allowing him to guide us will help guard our hearts.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:21

If you value God enough you will put your heart in God’s hands.

Routine daily handing our hearts over to God means he can guard and guide them.

2. Feed Your Mind

What do you fill your mind with? What are you feeding it? Is it things that will draw you closer to God or push you away from God? Are you feeding your mind with things that will strengthen your belief or cause you to feel troubled?

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.Romans 21:2

God has the capacity to transform us and to change the way we think.

We have to choose to engage with God to transform us.

Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.Romans 4:17b

If God can create new things out of nothing he can transform our minds.

But we have to choose to fill our minds with his thoughts.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.Isaiah 55:8

We find out how he thinks from the Bible.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8

Focus our thoughts on good things.

FIX is intentional and has an almost sense of permanence.

Purposefully choose to fix our thoughts on positive things

3. Create ‘sacred space’

What consciously brings you into the presence of God? This is what we might call your sacred space.

Acknowledging who God is – worshipping him for who he is – brings us into his presence.

Taking ourselves aside and choosing to consciously enter into God’s presence by acknowledging who he is a healthy daily habit.

With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:

“He is good; his love to Israel endures for ever.”

And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far awayEzra 3:11-13

God doesn’t mind the mix of emotions in our worship of him.

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.Matthew 12:20

He accepts us as we are.

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.Psalm 51:17

He does not reject and broken or repentant heart. Even if we feel unworthy, we can still come into the presence of God. He welcomes us.

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of you presence, O Lord.Psalm 89:15

The word ‘acclaim’ is referring to the ability to praise God, whatever.

Festal shout is an archaic word relating to a celebration or festival.

‘Teruah’ means triumphant

Hebrew word ‘Teruah’ for ‘Triumphant’ has a homonym that means ‘brokenness’.

A sacred space is one in which the triumphant shout of praise is heard alongside a mix of emotions.

What is your sacred space? Time set aside daily.

Jesus invites us:

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.Revelation 3:20

This invitation could be to daily and regular meals together with Jesus – in a sense. Just as we regularly eat food that nourishes us throughout the day, so we can develop healthy habits in our day that will nourish our hearts and minds.

Good daily habits:

  1. Put your heart in His hands
  2. Feed your Mind
  3. Create ‘sacred space’

These habits will help to strengthen our belief in God and Jesus and protect our hearts so that they will not be so troubled. John 14:1

Just Believe – Rescue Plan

Got questions about life? Try Alpha This Sunday - Mission

Rescue Plan

We’re in a new exciting theme called Just Believe and if you had to summarise what it means to have a relationship with God or what we need to do in order to have a relationship with God, what would you say?

Jesus was asked the same question when a large crowd came looking for him. They were not really interested in Jesus; they were hoping to get more free food and Jesus said to them You spend all this energy and effort looking for perishable things. Rather work for food that endures to eternal life which the Son of Man will give you. And because they lived in such a legalistic society with all these rules and laws, they completely missed that Jesus was saying to them. So, they asked Him, what must we do to do the works God require? Then Jesus said:

The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.John 6:29 NIV

Simple isn’t it! Sometimes we can overcomplicate it.

The word believe actually means to entrust. To entrust yourself to Jesus.

Today we are going to look at what the outcome is when we believe or rather, entrust ourselves to him.

Body

God clearly says in scripture that

we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Romans 3:23 NIV

In fact, Ephesians 2:1 shows us that at some point, every one of us

were dead in your transgressions and sins … and by nature deserving of wrath.Ephesians 2:1;3b NIV

Not physically dead but spiritually dead, with no spiritual life in us and unable to please God. All we could look forward to was the wrath of God.

Unfortunately, there are still so many people that are spiritually dead in their transgressions and sins, and if that is you, then I have Good News!! With God there is always hope. He always has a plan.

In the book of John, John writes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 NIV

God loves this world, He loves you and his desire is that no one should perish and when we believe in Jesus, when we entrust our lives to him, he promises us eternal life!

This doesn’t mean endless time, but the very life of God experienced today. It’s not quantity of time, but quality of life, heaven on earth today!

Jesus said that

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10 NIV

Listen to this story of Shane Tylor who was spiritually dead and hated his life and what happened when he entrusted his life to Jesus.

Brilliant! Eternal life right now. Heaven on earth, today!

I want to ask you this question: Have you ever entrusted your life to Jesus? If you have then give God thanks for this free gift of life. If you haven’t yet, then do so right now! I would like to pray for you.

Father in heaven, thank you for this free gift of eternal life through Jesus your Son. Thank you for every person that entrusted their lives to you right now. I pray that you would keep them from the evil one and give them your Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know you more and to know the hope to which you have called them.

Amen


 
COPYRIGHT © 2021 FESTIVAL CHURCH | DESIGNED BY CHOOSE PURPLE LTD | Privacy Policy