History makers TV series 2 DVD set now available! 16 Episodes for AUD $10 + postage, All funds go to future Historymakers radio & TV series. Email firstname.lastname@example.org now!
History Makers TV series 2 features Third Day, Phil Edwards, Ian & Mandy Worby from Vision radio, Rach Kayrooz, Darren Wilson, Levi Mcgrath, Reto Rehab, Fiona Simpson MP, Dr Shaun Marler, Bob Griffin, David Boske, Daniel Jones, Adam Boccuzzi, Ian Watto Watson, Eddie Baggerman, John Lewis, Leonie Florea and more…
Historymakers TV series 1 is also available for AUD $10 + postage. It features 12 episodes with Politicians, Musicians, Authors, Pastors & more. Watch amazing stories from Bronwen Healy, Col Stringer, Bill Newman, Bec Laughton, Ian Watto Watson, Jason Kennedy, Janet Yeo, Jodie Guerrero, Barbra Herrington, Ben Hughes, Tosh Sturgess, and many more… And please pray for lives to be transformed! Suitable for home viewing, small groups, youth groups or church!
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I believe there are many people who are called to “Full-time ministry,” who haven’t yet taken the step of faith to fulfil their destiny. There is a stigma about being a Pastor that people think it’s only for the special chosen ones, or the ones with that “higher calling” that is so high that not many will ever reach that height.
Let me clear up some misconceptions first. I do believe every Christian is called to “Full-time ministry.” Wherever we are in life all Christians are called to minister to people. In our marriages, our homes, our workplace, in the sports arena, on holidays, etc. Wherever we are we should be ambassadors for Christ.
I believe everyone in churches should be serving & using their spiritual gifts to build up the church. It is wrong thinking to assume that the ones with ministry titles should be the ones doing ministry, while everyone else is a spectator. We are all called to participate & serve wherever we are planted.
However, I’ve felt the need to write this article because I believe there is a crisis in the Body of Christ. I believe many are called to leave their secular jobs and be trained and equipped to serve full-time working for a church or a parachurch ministry. But many people haven’t, or won’t step out in ministry because of fear, or they are following a shadow mission, or they just haven’t been asked…
I remember at the age of 17, chatting with my Youth Pastor. I told him I wanted to go to Bible College, and go straight into ministry after completion. He suggested that I should get a job in the secular marketplace for a season first. It was great advice! I did go to Bible College, but then I spent a number of years selling advertising at radio stations, building relationships with business people, learning the ropes of the way the corporate world worked. It was a great training ground! But then I felt a calling to lay it down & step into youth ministry. I was earning good money in my career! I remember the scripture that came to me, “Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. 39 Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.” Matthew 10:38-39. Think about the disciples and the price they had to pay. They had to give up their fishing businesses, their Tax-collecting business, regardless of their professions, eleven of the disciples immediately left behind everything to follow Jesus.
There is a price to pay. Financially, it doesn’t look like a smart decision in the world’s eyes. But do we truly trust in the Lord to provide our every need? The truth is, one day we will all stand before God and be judged for the works we have done on this earth. As Christians, we know we are saved by faith, not by works. But we are saved to do something. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Some are called to work in the secular marketplace and to shine a light in that arena. Colossians 3:22 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” But if you are called to quit your job & serve in Church ministry, then I challenge you to make your move! I have spoken to many people over the years, and I’ve thought, “That person would make a great pastor!” Sometimes I’ve challenged the person, sometimes I’ve kept it to myself. But I feel I need to speak out and throw out this challenge to anyone reading this.
Some people have this cookie-cutter view of a pastor. Thinking they have to fit into a certain mold. Some people look at mega church pastors and think they have to measure up to that image. Mega churches make up less that 1 percent of Christians around the world. God Bless them! They do a great work! But research shows that in smaller churches, more people use their spiritual gifts more, whereas many attendees at mega churches just attend, and don’t use their gifts. At Bible College I remember reading, “Church Planting for a greater harvest,” by C Peter Wagner. It outlined that church planting is the most effective way to evangelise & change the spiritual atmosphere of a community. We need more Church Planters & more churches & more pastors to reach the world for a great last days harvest!
Now the term “Pastor,” is the main title we use in evangelical churches. It’s a cultural thing, and people put all sorts of religious expectations on Pastors. The truth is, every person called to ministry has unique gifts & callings. We should never compare one pastor to another. Some are more gifted at teaching, or evangelism, or healing or the prophetic. After many years of Pastoring I Iearnt to be comfortable in my own skin, and be myself, and to function in my stronger gifts and to be content with who I’m called to be. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” We must avoid the trap of trying to be someone else!
I was inspired to hear that after Billy Graham preached in Australia in 1959, that the next few years, the Bible colleges were filled with people training for the ministry. I know many pastors who are in ministry now because of his ministry. I know a number of Pastors who were inspired to be in ministry because of Clark Taylor, Trevor Chandler, Phil Pringle, Brian Houston & others. Another friend of mine once told me he knows of 28 people who are now pastors because he had challenged them and raised them up in ministry. I remember Trevor Chandler once saying, “Leadership isn’t just what you achieve, but what you set in motion.” We need to raise up the next generation of leaders. I feel the need to focus my life on raising up more leaders, the same way that great leaders have believed in me & given me a chance.
At this stage in life I’m in, I want to keep doing the work of the ministry, but I also see the crucial importance of raising up other leaders. And not just young people! Some churches write people off if they are over a certain age. Now I do believe we need to raise up young leaders, but as C.S. Lewis said,
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Smith Wigglesworth was in his late 40’s when he launched into ministry. I think one of the beautiful things about the Body of Christ is that young & old, black or white, male or female, we are all called to work together in unity, shoulder to shoulder. 1 Corinthians 3:6-19 says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
I worked as a youth Pastor for 10 years, & was Bi-vocational. I always had a number of jobs on the side to bring in an income. Then when I was 30, Carol & I had been married a few years, I was working in Christian Radio Sales, earning good money! I felt the Lord call me to do “an evangelistic work in the city.” That was the call. It wasn’t any more details. Some people are waiting for a vision from heaven with a name, a place, a date & a cosy income with the exact amount of money needed to cover your bases! So Carol & I prayed together, and through a series of “God-incidences,” we joined New Hope Brisbane. It was 30 minutes drive from where we were living. We were very happy at Pine Rivers Vineyard church, Carol had been there for 15 years, and I’d been there for 3 years. We were both serving in ministry. I was Treasurer of the board, preaching occasionally, and Carol was helping run Alpha & Creche. When we told our Pastors that we felt called to New Hope, they gracefully blessed us. They even announced it at church and laid hands on us & prayed for us for our new step of faith. I’ve seen many people leave churches for the wrong reasons. We were very reluctant & hesitant to leave our church, but we received many confirmations and we made sure it was of God before we left. Little did we know what was to come…
After joining New Hope & adjusting to life with our newborn boy Joshy, we started to get more involved at New Hope. I was invited to preach on the first Sunday in January, I was given the text of the Parable of the sower. And I remember the Lord stirring my heart that we all need to sow the word of God like a seed. But then I got a revelation from the final verse in that parable, “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown,” Matthew 13:23. We are all called to produce a crop. I knew God had planted me in this church to produce a crop.
Soon after I was invited to a “Doing Church as a Team,” conference at New Hope Hawaii. It changed my life! I was so inspired by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, his teaching about doing daily devotions, about having a servant heart, and that the whole church is a team that works towards to souls being saved was so refreshing! On the first night of the conference, Pastor Phil McCallum, Founding Pastor of New Hope Brisbane, took me out for coffee. He shared with me that God was calling him back to Hawaii to work with Pastor Wayne, and he asked me to pray about becoming Senior Pastor of New Hope Brisbane. I was so shocked! It was a moment when my life flashed before my eyes, and I felt that everything in my life was preparation for this moment. I remember Phil said something like, “The local church is the hope of the world. There is nothing more important than to serve in the local church.”
I remember thinking that it was nice to be asked, but that it would never really work. I was too young, too inexperienced, not trained enough. I was a divorcee that was re-married. I was a Coffs Harbour boy, living in the big city, I was better off staying in radio & playing it safe. That it just what the devil wanted me to think! Play it safe! Don’t step out of your comfort zone, don’t rock the boat! What will your family say? What if everyone leaves the church? Who wants to listen to me preach, I haven’t got anything to say?
The truth is I was unqualified. I was too young. I wasn’t the prefect person for the job… But God. God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called! I remembered the verse from 1 Timothy 4:12-14, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” What a powerful verse. DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR GIFT! We will be held accountable one day for the gifts that have been given to us. Luke 12:48 says, “To Whom much is given much is required.”
I called Carol from Hawaii & told her I’d been offered the role. She said, “Come home! You’ve got conference fever! We’ve just had a baby, come back and help me change nappies!” She wasn’t really into the idea at first. But then she prayed about it. And we spoke to her mum when I was back. She wisely said, “You’d better know that God has called you. Without God’s calling you won’t succeed.” So we pressed in to God to seek him about our calling. Carol heard a sermon from Brian Houston that inspired her. He said, imagine being at a footy game and not barracking for either team. It would pretty boring! You gotta pick a team, & then be all in! The same with our Christian faith. We’ve got to be passionately, all in for Jesus! This really spoke to Carol & helped her make up her mind to follow this calling.
I remember hearing 2 songs that inspired me at the time. One was from Caedmons Call, it said, “I am thankful, that I’m incapable, of doing any good on my own.” This reminded me that it was only in God’s strength that I could live a life worthy of the calling.
And the other song was “Voice of Truth,” from Casting Crowns,
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”
There are many voices telling us we can’t do it. But God’s voice is the only one that matters.
I really want to honour my wife Carol. When we married, she knew I loved the Lord, but she didn’t know I’d become a Pastor. It was a massive change for her to become a Pastors wife, while raising little children. She made many sacrifices and had to put up with so much rubbish over the years. But we believe in “One-flesh” ministry. When one is called the other is also. And she has been a rock alongside me through thick & thin, in sickness & in health! She is now a very confident preacher, she’s run the children’s ministry for many years, she’s looked after the church administration team & she’s held the fort down while I’ve been away. She’s had her heart broken many times when people close to us have moved on. And she’s stood firm with the call of God on her life, no matter what storms have come our way.
Many people from her past were surprised when they found out she and her husband had become pastors. But just like me, I believe all the events of her life had prepared her for the role God has called her to. No-one knows the amount of hard work and the hours she’s poured into people’s lives over the years. She will be richly rewarded for the sacrifices she’s made. She’s only paid 2 days a week, but works about 8 days a week for the kingdom! Often I’m the one that get’s the pat on the back for doing what we do. But she is the unsung hero who I know will have so many jewels in her crown in heaven for her faithfulness.
This is what it comes down to: faithfulness. Will you be found faithful with what God has called you to do? Another song that has spurred me on is from David Ruis,
“The way of mercy
Takes me to the least
Down the road of suffering
To the wedding feast
For I know that You are faithful
As we walk these fields of white
To the weary and the hurting
Your Kingdom comes…”
Are you willing to die to your own agenda and plans & fully surrender yourself to the Lord? I often wonder if the model Jesus used should be the way we should do ministry in 2019. Find 12 men, and teach them everything you know, and commission them to ministry.
Some people mightn’t be sure of their calling. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Norman Vincent Peale said, ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ Just like the Aussie saying, “Have a go ya mug!” Step out in faith, if it’s God’s will it will bear fruit, if not, then I’m sure another door will open. What have you got to lose? If you do step out in ministry, then potentially, souls will be saved from a Christless eternity, marriages will be strengthened, lives will be transformed, the poor will be cared for, who knows what can be accomplished? If you don’t step out in ministry, you will keep getting the fruit you are seeing in your life.
I remember a preacher once saying whatever is your holy discontent is probably what your called to. If you can’t stand people going to hell, you’re an evangelist, if you can’t stand seeing people with no Bible knowledge, you’re called to the teaching ministry. Romans 12:6-8 says, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Find your gifting & calling and step out!
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” I used to be frustrated when I had to work for secular companies and do ministry on the side. I just wanted to preach and minister full-time. I know it was an important season for me, but then the Lord opened doors for me. Is the Lord opening doors for you? Will you be obedient and walk through them?
Serving in full-time in ministry doesn’t have to be in a church. In can be in a Parachurch organisation, in Christian Media, as a chaplain, as a missionary, at a Rehab, you could start a new ministry! They say that many of the jobs that will be available in the workforce in the future, haven’t even been invented yet! Think about how Social media, Uber, Air BnB many of these companies didn’t exist years ago, and now millions are employed worldwide. Don’t put ministry in a box. God may have something in store for you that you’ve never heard of before! So I encourage you to get trained, get equipped, be available. God isn’t looking for ability, he’s looking for availability.
I took one of our young guys from New Hope on an 8 day mission trip last year. We preached 14 times, and saw over 150 people come to Christ. Along the way, we prayed, we worshipped, we spoke about the things of God. I was able to speak into his life. I felt the Lord challenge me that I need to raise up many more people in ministry, and that this is a great model. He then got inspired & organised a trip back to India to his hometown to preach. He preached several times & saw about 150 people get saved! This is the way the kingdom works. Spiritual mothers & Fathers, raising up spiritual sons & daughters, and kicking them out of the nest! It’s the principle of multiplication!
I heard Francis Chan make the statement recently, “A disciple isn’t really a disciple until they are discipling someone else.” It’s the best way to grow in our faith! When we have to minister to other people, we have to feed ourselves so we have something to feed others!
Just like Paul would take Timothy on trips, and then Paul would send Timothy on trips. Just like Jesus had John, James & Peter and the 12, the 72, he would send them out. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” We are called to equip HIS people for works of service.
John Wesley said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth.” This is what’s burning in my heart. If you are reading this, and you want to get involved more in ministry, please let me know. I believe part of my calling is to help people move towards their calling. Like an air traffic controller, who directs which plane lands and refuels, and which plane needs to take off. I feel called to help people get ready for their ministry, and then make sure they’re fuelled up with God’s word and equipped to take off wherever God is calling them.
Historymakers TV series 1 is now available for purchase for AUD $30. This 3 DVD set will inspire & encourage all who watch! Perfect for home viewing, home groups, youth groups or churches! All proceeds go towards future broadcasts of Historymakers radio & TV, as we share the gospel through real life stories! Email email@example.com
Author and speaker Jodie Guerrero shares her inspiring story of overcoming chronic illness. She’s a young mother who struggled to provide for her family, her body ravaged with Lymphoma.
Wendy Francis has been involved with Samaritan’s Purse, running nationally televised Christmas Carols, raising three kids, supporting her husband in pastoral work, and now she’s working with the Australian Christian Lobby.
Ben Hughes is a Revivalist, Pastor and worship leader based on the Sunshine Coast. He shares his story of conversion with a powerful encounter with God, and how God has taken him all around Australia, NZ, Fiji, India and the USA with a message of the power of the Gospel.
Bronwen Healy started her own freedom journey out of drug addiction and prostitution in 1999 and after authoring her first book “Trophy of Grace”, in 2004 she decided to use her past to help change other peoples futures. She is the founder and CEO of the Hope Foundation, established in 2006. Bronwen is an author, speaker, encourager and pioneer.
Barbra Zaloumis dreamed of moving to Australia from Zimbabwe, and God answered her prayers. She shares of her recovery from domestic violence, raising 5 children and her career as a film producer & speaker.
Ian “Watto” Watson – author of “Every Bloke’s a Champion Even You”, “Champion Blokes Shed Their Shame” and “Shed Night” pioneer. Ian Watto Watson lives to encourage and help men and boys on their journey to becoming the real deal blokes God created them to be. He has had a lifetime of involvement with men through: AFL in Qld; time in the Army; his Truck Driver Training Business; and through establishing and running “Shed Nights” across Australia. He has a powerful, encouraging, inspirational message for men of all ages.
Australian Evangelist Tosh Sturgess is an international speaker who speaks and ministers globally in a host of settings. He’s seen many exciting healing miracles God has done through this ministry. He’s passionate about ministering to children, and has released a great Childrens ministry resource which is impacting the next generation.
Aaron is a singer/songwriter & speaker. He’s travelled all over the world singing and impacting the younger generation. Working with Christian band, Iron & Clay & with the Extreme Sports ministry JC Epidemic.
Andrew Fishtail Fisher
Andrew Fishtail Fisher Races around Australia in a V8 UTE with “Jesus – All about Life”, emblazoned all over his car. He shares some great stories of how he reaches out on the circuit! He even got a mention on “Top Gear” the World’s number one TV show!
Sue’s goal is to be known as an encourager. She speaks regularly about the personality types: Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic & Melancholy. She helps us all understand how God made us and how to communicate well. She also shares her story of coming to Christ.
Col Stringer is well known as Pastor Crocodile Dundee. He’s won a Swedish Gold Medal for a world record shark capture, had Sir Cliff Richard sing at his church and written over 30 books! Col is a real Aussie History maker!
Candice Long is an Australian singer-songwriter given a musical legacy from her parents who were both professional entertainers. She has toured North America performing everywhere from Vancouver, Canada to Nashville, Tennessee. Candice has been the recipient of Best female Vocalist in Queensland for The Entertainment Awards and has supported the likes of Diana Anaid and The Angels.
The lion-lunged, vocal powerhouse that is BEC LAUGHTON has evolved into something utterly remarkable, taking all her RnB influences and vocal inspirations and setting them against a backdrop of shimmering synths and killer pop hooks.
Aliki is a singer/songwriter, published author, pastor and public speaker. She has a very down to earth way of communicating that allows her to share the truth of God’s word in a loving and empowering manner. She shares about her years of ministry and some of the messages of grace and love that she has taken to prisons, recovery groups, women’s ministries and churches around Australia.
There’s more to Luke Holt than is heard on Gold Coast’s Juice1073 FM. Now, you can laugh your way to being inspired and challenged by inviting Luke to speak at your church, men’s group or conference. He is also performing standup comedy in various venues around Australia. He has an incredible story of weight loss & he wows us with his amazing cricket skills!
Rev. Dr. Bill Newman Ph.D is a distinguished Australian speaker. He regularly addresses audiences of thousands across Australia and around the world. He is a speaker who understands the needs of human hearts. He addresses the needs of the individual, the family and society. His ability to communicate is such that people of all ages and walks of life readily listen to and find hope in his message.
Mark Robinson MP
Mark was elected to the Queensland Parliament in 2009 after a career of 26 years mainly in the fields of education and charity management. Since entering parliament as the LNP Member for Cleveland, Mark has formerly served as the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees and as the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Apprenticeships and Trade Training. Prior to entering parliament, Mark has worked at an international level in the management of charitable programs working with orphans, children and youth in Asia, Europe and the USA.
It’s a tale of rags to riches for Steve Davies. “I’ve come a long way from the days when I was a knock-about bloke who was into everything heroin, alcohol,” he said. “When I was in my twenties it would have been inconceivable for my mum to think I would end up in parliament; it just wasn’t on the cards then. The one-time motorbike salesman and former CEO of the Bible Society said he couldn’t rule out a return to the political realm, after serving as a QLD state MP with the LNP.
A FORMER drug-addicted prostitute who is now a support worker is using the message of love to help others reclaim their lives. Leonie McCracken, 37, was doing her masters in health science at university when she started working in a brothel. “A lot of the reason I went into it was childhood sexual abuse,” she said. “I had post-traumatic stress from that and low self-esteem. I was a shame-based person. I didn’t think what I had done was wrong. I thought I was wrong.” She’s battled anorexia, depression and drug and alcohol abuse in her teens and into her early 20s. An abortion at age 27 was the final straw. “I rang a local brothel,” she said. “My grades plummeted at uni and I used more drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. It was soul destroying,” she said. Ms McCracken worked both legally and illegally over the four years she worked as a prostitute on Brisbane’s southside. She would often call on men in their homes or at local motels, which was both dangerous and illegal.
Eventually, after a number of stints in rehab and hospital “close to death’s door”, she found the Hope Foundation, a Mt Gravatt-based charity that helps women break free of addiction and prostitution. “As soon as I walked over the threshold at the Hope Foundation, I immediately felt loved,” she said. “At Hope, they valued me for what I was, not for what I could earn them.” Fast forward five years and Ms McCracken now works as a case manager at the organisation “loving women back to life”. “I would love women to know that they’re loved and valued and created with a purpose,” she said. “There’s always an alternative to prostitution. They are worth more than that.” The Hope Foundation is a national charity that helps women wanting a life change from addictions and/or the sex industry. Hope Haven, a small ‘home’ based in Mt Gravatt, offers a safe place for women to reflect, read and talk.
Pat is an aboriginal gospel singer with an amazing voice, amazing heart and she shares some amazing history about gospel music in Australia.
Jason is an actor, singer & performer who’s been in many performances including Xena warrior princess, he’s been Captain Feathersword in the Wiggles, Phantom of the Opera & many more. He shares his testimony of coming to Christ though Vision radio.
Teresa works with Cherish Life QLD, a non-denominational, non-party political association of people who are concerned about issues relating to a person’s right to life, especially in relation to abortion, infanticide, embryo experimentation and euthanasia.
Dave Schenk has previously worked with Easterfest, which was Australia’s largest Christian music festival, this interview was recorded in 2014, but it was so good we decided to keep it on the series!
Announcing the launch of Historymakers TV with Matt Prater! Monday nights 6pm & Tuesdays at 9:30am on 31 Digital, Brisbane. Historymakers TV features interviews with Politicians, Musicians, Authors, Pastors & more. Watch amazing stories from Mark McCrindle, Bec Laughton, Col Stringer, Bill Newman, Bec Laughton, Ian Watto Watson, Jason Kennedy, Janet Yeo, Jodie Guerrero, Barbra Herrington, Ben Hughes, Eddie Baggerman, John Lewis, Tosh Sturgess, Dave Schenk, and many more…
Here are some videos and links to some media coverage of Matt’s recently appearance on Q&A:
Rudd Launches Passionate Gay Marriage Defence
Pastor Matt discusses Kevin Rudd video
ABC news story, Matt Prater, Kevin Rudd and the Christian vote
Some other Interviews
Matt Prater’s interview with Kevin Rudd on History Makers back on the 9th January:
Ben Fordham’s interview with Matt Prater on 2GB:
Ian Skippen and Mary Collier’s interview with Matt on 4BC:
Slavery and the Bible. Noel Debien hosts a discussion on ABC with Matt Prater, Sandy Grant and Andrew McGowen:
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
Jesus could have led a political uprising, he had the numbers and the opportunity was there. Instead he came to bring the Kingdom of God, a spiritual kingdom.
One of the greatest criticisms of “religion” is that it has started wars and caused so much trouble. Jesus didn’t come for a physical overthrow; he came with an unseen kingdom. Whenever there was a miracle, it was the kingdom of light overcoming the kingdom of darkness.
The example of some Muslims trying to introduce Sharia law is an example of trying to overthrow a system with a religious system. Jesus had no such plan. His plan was to see people transformed by the Gospel, then that would bring God’s rule and reign in people’s lives.
What are the weapons of our kingdom? Prayer, servanthood, giving, love and the word of God. Not guns, or bombs, or cyber warfare, but spiritual weapons to defeat the kingdom of darkness.
Lord, give me insight into your kingdom. Help me fix my eyes on the things unseen, not on the things of this world. Give me kingdom eyes, kingdom hands and a kingdom heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Most Jews, including Peter, one of the disciples, thought that the Messiah would be a political ruler, and didn’t understand that Jesus would be a spiritual king.
In Mark 8, Peter and Jesus are talking. Peter had just said Jesus is the Messiah, a momentous revelation and proclamation. Then when Jesus talked about his death and resurrection, Peter rebuked Jesus, the one whom he had just called messiah!
It then says that Jesus rebuked Peter, but he spoke directly to Satan. In verse 33, we read:
…“Get behind me, Satan!” … “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Was Satan possessing Peter? Was it a deceptive demon, under Satan’s commands? Was the Evil Spirit oppressing Peter, not possessing Peter?
It may seem a bit harsh that Jesus rebuked him so bluntly. Jesus clearly didn’t have a fear of confrontation. And as the Rabbi, he had the authority and right in that culture to speak so bluntly.
For me, the application is twofold. To speak out boldly against anyone who is speaking out of line like Peter was. To walk in my authority and rebuke Satan whenever he speaks through someone.
I need to remember to be careful when I speak. To be careful not to open my mouth to change feet; not to have my mind merely on human concerns, but the concerns of God.
Lord, well done on the way you handled Peter! Give me the gift of discerning of Spirits, and the boldness to rebuke Satan where needed. Help me to always have in mind the concerns of God. I repent from my human concerns, for yours is the kingdom the power and the glory forever. Amen!
Who’d want to be a pastor? All he knows is he’s heard from God and he’s following the voice of the Lord. The congregation, however, want better food, better directions, better facilities, more in their budget, better car parking, better signage, more teaching on this subject, more ministries for their kids, more, more, more…
It was the same with the Israelites and Moses. There was amazing, supernatural provision of manna from heaven. They were privileged to receive these blessings, yet they were sick of it. They coveted what they had in the good old days of Egypt.
There is something in our fallen fleshly nature that makes us whinge and be ungrateful, just like the Israelites here.
God raised up 70 elders to share the burden, he put the Holy Spirit on them, they were anointed to lead. And here his young protégé, Joshua is worried about a couple of leaders who are prophesying. And Moses, as a true leader says in Numbers 11:29:
“Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”
What a great leader’s heart. Not wanting to control it all and lord it over people, but a releasing heart, a father’s heart.
God will lead us. God will provide. We must trust our leaders. Be grateful for what the Lord has given us. Don’t covet the old days of Egypt, don’t look for greener grass. Water the grass you have been given, sow where you are, and you will reap a harvest. You will bear fruit.
Thank you Lord for your Manna in my life! I am grateful. Forgive me for the times I had ever grumbled and wished things were better. We will follow you wherever you lead. You have always been faithful and you always will be! Praise you for the wonderful financial provision in the last couple of days, and for the provision to come! Amen!
Possible Hymn: My Hope is Built
When my son is playing with the DVD player and I walk in, he trembles. He knows he has been caught red handed. He knows he’ll get into trouble. And hopefully he won’t do it again. Definitely not when I am around!
Psalm 4:4-5 says:
Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the LORD.
There is a key here about sin. When you sin, you have to pay the consequences. God has already told us what sin is, and The Holy Spirit convicts us when we are tempted to sin. As this Psalm says when we are on our beds we are to search out hearts and be silent. Here David says to offer the sacrifices of the righteous. In the Old Testament that was the rule. In the New Testament we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. We trust in the Lord.
He says, “Tremble and do not sin.” This is good advice. To tremble does have negative connotations, but there is a time for everything. God is a God of Love, but we must also tremble before his awesome power and as we fear him, we do not sin.
Lord, thank you that in the midst of trouble, you are our firm foundation. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy may grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Amen.
Possible Song: Lord, I give you my heart
One quote from the movie, The Usual Suspects, is ‘the biggest lie the devil ever told was convincing people that he didn’t exist.’
Some people ARE convinced and don’t believe in a literal devil explaining that all of the verses about Satan are just about evil in general. But they are twisting scripture way too much! I’ve heard that there are 28 different names for Satan in scripture: the serpent, Lucifer, Devil, an adversary and a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.
In Isaiah 14:12-13, there is more description of Satan.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.
This verse gives an insight into Satan’s fall. He was the son of the morning, implying he was beautiful, like the rising sun. He was cut down. He weakened the nations and he’ll exalt his throne above the stars of God. Clearly, his weakness was Pride. A weapon well used in churches today. There have been many great men and women become full of themselves and fall.
Scripture clearly says ‘God opposes the proud, and gives grace to the humble.’ Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” It’s much better for God to humble you than for your own actions to cause you to fall…
2 Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways…”
We need to guard our hearts, and continually give praise and glory to God. We need to pray the dangerous prayer “Lord Humble me.” But only if you are ready for anything!
Lord, I give you my heart; I humble myself before you and ask you to mould my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
There is a TV show about a family who all get superpowers, and they are using them for good, to change the world! Interesting that the world loves to watch any entertainment about superpowers, when the Bible is full of people with super natural powers! As Christians, we are called to function in them the way the disciples did!
Jesus’ supernatural power healed the boy of his fever, and because of that miracle, the whole family believed!
I revert time and time again to using my own words and strategies to share the Gospel, and God still works and people get saved. But time and time again, witnessing is coupled with signs and wonder that confirm the preaching of the Word. It’s harder to do the Supernatural stuff, but we must step out on faith and be bold, and miracles will come!
Lord, Use me to do great exploits in your name, give me more boldness. Use me in this great harvest, Lord. I pray that those in our churches will see their families and friends saved. Let there be more miracles Lord! Amen.
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