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1st February 2014
Check out what happens when we get possessed by the love of God!
Posted by Santino Hamberis
7th November 2013
Here is a video blog (a vlog!) from church leader Paul Mann about the recent prophecy brought to us by some of the guys from Jesus Culture when they were here with us last month.
Posted by Natalie Williams
25th September 2012
It sounds odd, but often in the Bible, prophecy isn't mainly about telling people what's going to happen next. It's often an appeal to the audience, whether they're part of God's people or not, to respond to God in a particular way – coupled with descriptions of what will happen if they do, and what will happen if they don't.
This comes through pretty clearly in the book of Jonah. God sends Jonah to preach to the Ninevites that their city will be overthrown in 40 days – but in the end, this is not what happens. Instead, because the people repent, God saves the city (prompting a good deal of grumbling from Jonah, as it turns out). The purpose of the prophecy was not to predict the future as such, but to bring about a response of trust in God. If the people hadn't repented, of course, they would have been judged as Jonah had said. But because they did, God spared them.
The clearest statement of this type of prophecy is in Jeremiah 18:7-10, where God says: "If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it." In other words, prophecy is not always a guarantee of the future. It's a promise that we will be blessed if we do one thing, but not if we do another.
This calls for a response in two ways. Firstly, let's not allow prophecies of blessing to lead us into complacency or laziness. And secondly, let's give thanks to the God who is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Even to Ninevites and rebels, like you and me.
Readings: Jonah and Jeremiah 18:7-10
Question: How are we responding to prophecies over ourselves and the church? Next prayer meetings: 12.30pm today and 7.30pm tomorrow (both at THC)
Posted by Andrew Wilson
15th April 2012
The apostle Paul cared for Timothy as a father cares for his son. Paul was eager that Timothy would continue in his faith, even when at times it might seem like a battleground. He urged Timothy to "fight the good fight" or, as the ESV translates it, "wage the good warfare" – not to sit passively and not to shipwreck his faith, but to actively stand strong, hold on and fight!
How should Timothy do this – and how do we? The apostle Paul sets out some instructions for us that help us; there are things to hold on to that will keep us on track.
Firstly, open and honest relationships with other Christians who are more mature: in the same way that Paul could speak into Timothy's life, we all need people to whom we open up and allow them to speak honestly to us.
Secondly, Paul encourages Timothy to hold onto prophetic words over him. These are words that God has spoken, that line up with the Bible and have been weighed and tested by mature believers, and therefore are a great source of strength and encouragement to Timothy.
Thirdly, faith and a good conscience are vital to fighting the good fight: holding onto the deep truths of the faith and keeping your heart pure, soft and open before God are crucial.
Finally, the most important thing as we wage war is to make Jesus central – we avoid shipwrecking our faith by keeping our eyes fixed on the one who is the Light of the World!
Verses: 1 Timothy 1:18-20
Food for thought:
Posted by Santino Hamberis