HOW EXTREME IS GRACE?

The subject of grace is a hot topic in some parts of the church right now. I have observed friends who have received greater revelation of the grace of God in Christ which has given them a new sense of freedom, joy, and peace. I applaud such fruit. Amazing GraceThe grace of God which is ours through His Son Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross is meant to produce in us such results  .

What can we say about grace?

It is ‘amazing‘, as the hymn goes. It is meant to make us stand in awe and wonder at the goodness and kindness of God in dealing with our sins and sin-nature, once and for all.

It is ‘extreme‘. The Father welcoming back His prodigal sons and daughters and throwing a party for them, completely covering their shame and dirt with His own robe of righteousness sounds almost too ‘extreme’ to be true! Yet that is the grace that has been imparted to us through Jesus Christ. He came to bring us to this very Father as sons and daughters. Continue reading “HOW EXTREME IS GRACE?”

EGYPT’S CHRISTIANS’ PRAYER EXAMPLE

Emad Youssef

Emad Youssef

It was a truly awesome weekend in GVC as Emad and Ash shared with us their own remarkable testimonies, stories of what is happening in Egypt right now, and encouragements from the Word of God.

The Presence of God crammed the worship, which was poignant with prophetic urgency. But it was the (repeated) exhortation by the Spirit of God to pray which perhaps came across above all else.

egyptmap

Egypt Map

Emad encouraged us to continue to store up prayer with God. Ash shared his own story, that His godly Christian mother prayed daily for him for nine years when as a young man he was in a rebellious, drug-fuelled state, until He personally encountered Jesus Christ, who immediately turned His life around.

We heard that on 11/11/11 seventy thousand Egyptian Christians gathered together in Cairo to pray; to humble themselves and seek God for their nation’s condition and future. God heard the cries of His saints.

There is clearly a spiritual revival going on in this nation that is beloved by God. Accounts of miracles and healings continue. There is much in the Bible regarding Egypt. And several prophecies yet to be fulfilled. How good to know that our God is on the move outside of what normally appears in the media.

Let’s take this example of persistent prayer to heart, and continue to call on God for our own very needy nation, and the global purposes of God in our day. Jesus still calls for His church to be a “House of Prayer for all the nations”.

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Cairo Prayer

[several clips of the large Cairo prayer meeting on 11/11/11 are available on YouTube. Here is a link to one short clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPhTEYqinVQ ]

OPEN DOORS IN 2014

Often at the beginning of a New Year we have a clear mandate or direction from God as to the focus or prophetic significance of that year. We knew that 2013 was a ‘year of alignment’ and we have spent many occasions in prayer regarding this. There are some who interpret the current Hebrew year 5774 as meaning “the year of the Open Doors”.  Whilst I don’t feel strongly enough to declare it as THE year of open doors in Golden Valley Church, I do believe that within this next 12 months the Father is wanting to open up new ‘doors’ for us in many areas of life.

doorBiblically, and in within ancient cultures, the concept of doors, gates, and doorways are more significant than we generally regard them in a modern western society. Clearly doors into our homes or businesses are significant as both entry points and security factors. Continue reading “OPEN DOORS IN 2014”

GOOD FRIDAY

On Good Friday we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ who was crucified on behalf of humanity. Why us it ‘good’? The horrors of crucifixion cannot be called ‘good’. The murder of an innocent man by jealous religious leaders conspiring against Him can’t be called ‘good’. The rejection of One who healed the sick and blessed the poor can’t be described as ‘good’. The mourning of His family and friends can’t be called ‘good’.

Yet it is ‘Good Friday’. It is a memorial of the day when one sinless man – the Son of God, Jesus Christ – was put to death on behalf of the remainder of mankind who had no eternal hope because every one had sinned and missed the mark of God’s glory. God Himself, both just and loving, became a man and received the penalty of sin in Himself as He was crucified on the cross. Now, anyone – however far they have fallen in life – can call on Him because He has paid for their failures Himself, and receive forgiveness and eternal life. That is GOOD! This is the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ. He has loved us to the very end! Why not step into it for yourself this Easter?

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Our Good Friday Service is at 10:00am,

in the Firehouse Chapel, Newton Avenue, Coney Hill, Gloucester, GL4 4NS

MY ROAD TO LIFE

A few weeks ago Ian brought us a passage that seems relevent now:

MY ROAD TO LIFE

At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a referee waiting to blow the whistle…. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him.

But later on when I met Christ it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was on the back helping me pedal.

I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I went the ways I know. It was rather boring, and predictable… It was always the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds, it was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He said, ‘Keep Pedalling!” I worried and was anxious and asked, ‘Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer, and slowly I began to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life and entered in the adventure. And when I’d say, ‘I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey.

And when we were off again. He said, ‘Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” so I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ!

UNFAILING LOVE

Sunday 13th March

by Jean Packer

Come drink of unfailing love
Come feast on unfailing love
deep, deep love

He’s calling out to you
Come away with me
Beloved, the winter is past
Sorrow is past
Unfailing love

I’m so loved by you
Nothing can ever fade away
Thank you this morning
for such Incredible love!

I’m so loved by you
Loved with everlasting love
Nothing can ever separate
You embrace us with
Everlasting love

You have brought us to your banner
of unfailing love
Written over our lives
of mistakes, weaknesses, struggles and failures

I am so loved by You For Eternity
Nothing I can ever do can take
Your love away from me
You have loved us and
written over all our lives

Wes sang this beautiful poetic prophesy over the whole church during our worship time this morning. God’s love was tangible and there was a powerful sense of family, warmth and comfort as we rested in His arms. We were at home, together! Bex continued our worship time through encouraging us to give our praise and thanks to God. We have such richness in our worship and it was good to have Nathan joining in with his Bass guitar, and Julie with the ‘Bongo’ drums.

Wes began to teach the word from a prayer of realisation from Ephesians 3:14.
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind’ This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the law of the prophets.”

God wants us to sing of His love for us. He is calling us into position and love is the hook that we hang on. If we don’t have this hook – we fall. So much of church life is often law based and not love based. Past revivals and movements of the Holy Spirit gradually become structures and programmes. It’s all about love and we need to get the roots into us. 1 Corinthians is known as the love chapter. It shows us what love is, yet we cannot produce fruit in a vacuum. We must first produce love and the fruit will then grow naturally. In this generation, the heart of God is pushing outwards to the nations. We need to be firmly rooted and grounded in love.

Wes pointed out that there are three loves that we are commanded to have:
1/ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul
2/ Love your neighbor as you….
3/ Love yourself

This week, Wes focused on loving ourselves. He showed us that we cannot love God or others the way He loves us – until we love ourselves first. How do we do this? Love is often lacking in our society today. We have so much guilt and shame that we carry around with us. The devil sows lies into our hearts and shame causes us to hide because we believe that there is something intrinsically wrong with us. How do we become the people that God has made us to be?

Good News! The price has been paid! God has picked up the bill! Jesus gave His life on the cross for you and for me! God has clothed us with righteousness. If we don’t value ourselves, we won’t value the promises over our lives which are Yes! And Amen! We are worth it! If we don’t value ourselves we won’t ask and receive from God. Loving ourselves is agreeing with God what He says about us. Jesus said ‘Lay down your life’ (John 15:13) We can only give away what we have first received. We love because He first loved us. We limit God and others if we don’t love ourselves and position ourselves through Him.

Jesus lived His life out of the bosom of the Father. How does God love you? God created you in His own image and said that it was very good (Genesis 27 – 31). You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God knew you before you were born (Psalm 139). John 3:16 declares – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The good shepherd left 99 sheep to go and find one that was lost (Luke 15:3-7). Father stands at his drive every day waiting for his prodigal son to come home (Luke 15: 11 – 32). If you don’t love yourself the way God does. You will not bring His gifts in you to fruition.

Start resting in His love. The gospel is good news!

We were encouraged to ask the Holy Spirit to show each one of us our core beliefs about ourselves and to pray that God would practicalise His word in us. Ask Him to show us what memories we have, and where they are, to ask for His healing in our hearts.