Hope

August 23, 2004

As I am writing this down, on paper first, I just thought I would paint the scene as I am in Tunisia on my honeymoon enjoying 40degree (111f) heat and a choice of multiple swimming pools and sun soaked beach havens….just thought I’d let you know haha.

“Why are you writing on your honeymoon?” I hear you say…maybe. Well, in thinking about it these are ideal conditions to seek God. My wife and I are joined in purpose, we have time to reflect on the past and what is ahead….and also no one speaks a word of English here so no one can distract me haha.

So this shall be the first of my honeymoon musings which I will post on the Blog and backdate accordingly. This one came while I i had the pool all to myself and i laid back and enjoyed the sun.

“Tell them there is hope” – that is what God said to me. He showed me Pontypridd as a place without hope, without purpose – a place cut off from knowing what could be and shall be. Imagine living like that – perpetual hopelessness…I can’t imagine it, but that is because I live in the glorious knowledge and reality of the hope of God.

That hope, and the hope that we must tell the people of Pontypridd, is that Jesus Christ is alive, exalted, glorified, ruling and reigning and that he wants to know us and bring us into an eternal relationship with him! That is hope! It isn’t a distant truth but it is in itself a reason to get up in the mornings!

If we have hope then we can see beyond the limits of our eyes. If we have hope then we can look past the immediate problems and look directly at the answer who will help us trhough all situations and emerge as overcomers. In hope we no longer need fear about our health, finances, emplyment, loved ones. Sure, we still call out to God and seek his face for these things….but we can pray from a foundation and an assurance that our relationship with Jesus is solid and that he hears our prayers and will answer them, making all things “beautiful in its time” Ecc 3:11

So let us tell the good news to those who need to hear it. I believe that we will not need fancy messages, cryptic anagrams and clever sermons but that the sentence ‘there is hope in Jesus Christ’ will be as powerful in peoples lives as if Jesus was standing there himself.

So let us spread hope. The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 1:

“25I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among all the peoples of this world the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”

Jesus is the hope of glory – and that is the word of God in its fulness! Let us therefore be bold in our proclaiming of the word, and let us not be shy in telling people that there really is hope for this life and their lives!

Dave


Still saying Woo Hoo!

August 17, 2004

We had such a wonderful day! Thank you to everyone who came to the ceremony and receptions! It was wondeful to see a pack out at the ANC! Posted by Hello

Woo Hoo!

August 17, 2004

It was an amazing day for both of us! Dave & Zoe Posted by Hello

Marriage – still a greater day to come

August 15, 2004

Dear all…

The Blog may be a little quiet for a week or two because I am getting married tomorrow!!!

Zoe and I will become husband and wife and we shall begin our wonderful life together. The Bible says in the book of Proverbs that ‘he who finds a wife, finds a good thing and receives favour from the Lord’ – well….I have found a very good thing and I am blessed to receive favour from our Lord Jesus Christ!

But in it all, in all the preperations, in all the decisons and making all we can ready…I’m reminded that there is still a greater day to come…still a greater marriage union to happen – the marriage of the Lamb!

That day when Jesus will return to this earth for the church in just the same way as a bridegroom comes for his bride – that will be the wedding of the ages! But before that day we have all to make ourselves ready. I am certain that if tomorrow I waited at the end of the aisle, turned to see Zoe and saw that she was wearing a binbag, had only done her make-up in the car, her hair was half done, was wearing trainers on her feet because she hadn’t got the right shoes in time….I’m certain that the thoughts running through my head will be: “is she totally serious about this,…about me….she doesn’t seem ready.”

That will not happen by the way – Zoe will look amazing (she always does!) as she has made herself ready. And so must we. We are called to be spotless, blameless, without blemish nor wrinkle but haveing made ourselves ready and beautiful for our groom, Jesus. It includes us all, it involves me and you – we all have to play our part to make ourselves ready.

I cannot wait for tommorow! It’s not just about a ceremony in Cardiff – when we are married all of the spiritual realms will acknowledge that the design of God for humans has come to pass and that covenant, representing the very father heart of God, has been expressed – God’s Kingdom rule in-acted on the earth as it is in heaven!

So bring on tommorow! Let the sun shine and let the celebrations commence. But moreso, come Lord Jesus, come again to this earth and find your Bride, the Church, ready and spotless for that greater day to come!

Dave


For the Lord God Almighty Reigns!

August 11, 2004

Vision of Glory!

Do you ever get a sense of excitement wash over you when you worship the Lord? I do. Sometimes they are slow burning and I can feel it growing as I worship the Lord. Sometimes, like this morning, it just rushes on me – like suddenly I am aware of the reality of what I am singing and praying, suddenly I am aware that Jesus is with me and I am humbled by his presence.

Such an occurrence happened this morning. In my car, listening to Michael W Smith’s Agnus Dei and that repeated phrase….”for the Lord God almighty Reigns!

What truth! He is ruling and reigning right now. “But I don’t see it, where?” I hear you say. To which I say – everywhere! It’s not about what our physical eyes see because if we were to trust our own natural ability then we would should surely panic at the state of the world. But what do we see with our spiritual eyes? That’s the key – in the spiritual we can see God ruling and reigning in every situation. If we see that first then when we open our natural eyes we see things differently. We see things as they are with God’s purpose in mind. We see the world as ours for the taking. We see that “in this world [we] will have trials and troubles, but fear not because [Jesus] has overcome the world!” (Jn 16:33)

Thomas Gray wrote in ‘The Bard’Visions of glory, spare my aching sight“. How true! A vision of Glory will spare our eyes, will take us away from seeing things the way the world sees. Why? Because to have a vision of glory is to have a vision of the resurrected Christ, a vision of Glory is to see Jesus in his ascendancy, a vision of glory is to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, perfector and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Do you eyes sting when you see yourself and your situation? Does your sight ache when you watch the evening news? Then I would suggest that you are seeing things in your own strength and understanding. See as Christ sees.

Talk to Jesus about what is around you. Commit to him any sadness that you see and the questions that are raised in your mind. Do all these and you will surely come into the knowledge that ‘the Lord God Almighty Reigns.’ Will all questions be answered? No, and mine are not for there are things I just don’t understand. But when I see as Christ sees and I commit everything to him by faithful prayer and petition, then the peace that passes all understanding guards my heart (Phil 4:4-8) and I know without doubt that my God reigns!

Dave


You have a great name…

August 6, 2004

What a great Name Jesus has!

It wasn’t an uncommon name for the time and to distinguish Jesus the Son of God from other people called Jesus, the Bible refers to Jesus of Nazareth (John 18:7) or Jesus son of Joseph (Jn 6:42) along with others. It’s also the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua (acknowledging I am no Hebrew to Greek scholar but I fairly certain that’s right.) which was and still is a widely used name….so why give the Son of God the same name as other people of the day?

I was thinking about the Name of Jesus this morning (hence this musing) and I find that when I stop and meditate on his name that my heart is stirred with me to worship. I don’t use it as a mantra or any kind of chant but I worship the Name of Jesus – I trust you know what I mean by that.

The name of Jesus was given to the Son of God because all names in scripture have a meaning that perhaps is lost to us in the 21st Century. Jesus means god is/is my Salvation’ (all depends on the dictionary but most will agree that this definition is correct) and that was what Jesus came to do – he came as the Saviour of the world, for me and you. He was given the name Jesus because that was who he was, and what he was sent to do. It was his identity (Saviour) and his mission statement (Saviour) all in one!

Isaiah 40:8 says that the “grass withers and the flowers fail but the Word of the Lord stands forever” Jesus is the Word, from the beginning – that’s what John 1 tells us. His Name will never pass away, he was, is and always will be the Saviour of the world, and the Saviour for me and you. In the film Gladiator (top, top, top Movie!) there is a great line. It comes from Juba (the African gladiator) talking to Maximus (gladiator and hero) as they talk about how Caesar can’t simply have Maximus executed as this would grant him martyrdom. He says: “You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you.”

The enemy couldn’t and can’t hold the testimony of Jesus down because his Name will endure forever. From the hope that a Saviour was coming, to Herod failing in his murderous intent, to temptation in the wilderness, to crowds turning on Him, to the betrayal, to the cross and the depths of hell and torment of which we will never endure……the devil could not kill Jesus and take away his name! The Name of Jesus is the Name above all Names!

That’s why it is the ultimate confession we can make – that if we confess with our mouths ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in our hearts that he is raised from the dead – we will be saved (Rom 10:9-10). Why? Because we identify that it is only the Name of Jesus, the Name of salvation, that can save us. We are baptised in the Name of Jesus (Acts 2:38), we are healed by the Name of Jesus (Acts 3:15-17), we can perform great miracles for God in the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:30), we preach the gospel message fearlessly in the Name of Jesus (Acts 9:27), demons are cast out in the Name of Jesus (Acts 16:18), we bow the knee at the Name of Jesus (Phili 2:10) we do everything in the Name of Jesus (Col 3:17), we are commanded to believe in the Name of Jesus (1 Jn 3:23)

As Christians we have the Name of Jesus like a hallmark running through us – let us keep alive the testimony of Jesus in our own lives, we too have a great name!

Take some time to think upon the Name of Jesus. It can be the sweetest word and song, it can be the most desperate of cries when I have nothing else to cling to – it has and will be both to me for all my life. The Name of Jesus. Meditate on the Name of Jesus….it points you to the man himself and he is the focus of our hearts and all eternity. There are many songs we know about Jesus but the song going through my head is the one below. Let us not become desensitised to the Name of Jesus Christ but let us raise it high as a banner that all peoples will be drawn to it!

Just the mention of your Name, causes me to bow before you. Tears flow as I adore you, at the mention of your Name – just the mention of your name.”

Dave


Expect the Expected

August 5, 2004

Last Nights Gathering…

Can I just say first and foremost that I had a great time last night in the presence of God with Godly people.Psalm 22:22 says “I will declare your name to my brothers, in the congregation I will praise you.” Last night it was wonderful to once again praise God together and for us all to worship together.

Knowing I was going to share some thoughts on thinking big and looking ahead, I was very blessed with the word of God that came prophetically. I thought I would summarise what God said to us that we would remember and act on it.

  • When we gather it is not just about Pontypridd but that we are a part of All Nations worshipping the Lord. We must think bigger, outside of these 4 walls and know that as we pray and worship, we have global and universal effect
  • God told us to pray with greater expectation than we have been. God will give us specific things to pray for and when we seek his face we must call on his name with an expectancy that God will act on our words.
  • We were encouraged that it was a word for everybody, not just for a few. That if we want Him to, God will arrest each of us with a desire and a compulsion to seek his face. We must re-order our days in light of God’s plan, we must look again at what we give priority to.
  • It is the “little foxes that spoil the vine” (Song of Solomon 2:15). It was the little foxes that couldn’t reach the fruit but would scurry away at the root with their claws. No one thought they could do much damage but little by little they killed the root of the vine. God will show us little things in our lives (not necessarily bad things) that he wants us to stop doing or stop being distracted by.
  • We must “expect the expected“. While we know we will do “even greater things” (John 14:12) we must also begin to expect to do what we have heard about, and what Christ did. Many times we believe we must expect the unexpected, [which is very true]- but first let us look to move in what Christ and the Apostles moved in because we know that the standard/ precedent is there that we can do these things by the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit.

So there we go. As well as that prophetic word that was an exhortation to begin to think about where we are at as a group and as individuals.

  • What are we ready for in Pontypridd?
  • Where do we see ourselves as individuals?
  • What will we give ourselves to?
  • That we would all be looking at ourselves and asking God is this where you want me and if so what do you want me to do?

Important questions with exciting answers! let us all be thinking bigger, praying with greater expectancy and seeking God for wisdom and guidance for the next phase!

Dave