SEIZE THE DAY ALSO FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE: >>C:VIEW CARMEL: BIBLE COLLEGE GRADUATION AND FUTURE PLANS >>DIVINE ALIGNMENT BY TOM INGLIS >>ABIDING BY MICHELLE DI SOMMA >>JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT BY GERRI DI SOMMA AND MUCH MORE...
SERVICES Sat 19.30HRS Sun 09.00HRS SuN 11.00HRS CONTACT CARMEL:CENTRE 817a Bath Road, Brislington, Bristol BS4 5NL T: (0117) 977 5533 F: (0117) 977 5678 W: www.carmelcentre.org ‘He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.’ Luke 9:2 EXECUTIVE EditorS: GERRI AND Michelle Di Somma, PRODUCED BY: WWW.CRE8ION.CO.UK Printers: Yeomans Press Bible quotations are from the New King James Version unless stated otherwise. Full
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T INGLIS TEACHING
PRAYER WORKS 6-8
M DI SOMMA TEACHING 9
G DI SOMMA TEACHING
ST REVOLUTION YOUTH CAMP
All teachings in this edition are abridged. versions are available to order on CD or DVD.
UP & COMING EVENTS
We are pleased as always to welcome you to our latest edition of twenty-four-seven. These past few weeks have seen significant growth in all areas of the ministry. The cbc: graduation was amazing and the guest speaker was Pastor Tom Inglis, who also brought God’s Word during the morning services the following Sunday. As ever, his message was a word in season as he shared concerning Divine Alignment, and his insights were particularly challenging for us as we move further along in the purposes of God as a church. We are now outgrowing our current building and urgently need to relocate to larger premises, or keep the one we have for cbc: and carmel: christian school and look for a suitable auditorium for the steady increase of people coming to join us for our worship services. One or the other must then make room for larger offices and other facilities connected with the Ministry here at Carmel. Though this presents major challenges, we are increasingly blessed as more and more church partners come together for prayer and commit themselves to pray for at least an hour every morning before anything else. We sense the Spirit of God moving mightily among us and we believe we are on the edge of a major intervention by God on behalf of His people. We are excited.
Carmel: Bible College Registration
9.30am to 3.30pm
Tues 15 - Fri 18 Carmel: Bible College Orientation
9.15am to 12.30pm
Sat 19 - Sun 20 Weekend with Dennis Tinerino Sat 7.30pm sun 11.00am Special Sunday evening meeting at 6.30pm OCTOBER Sun 4 - New Course: ‘Equipped for Marriage’ Sun 22 Nov 6.30pm each Sunday for 8 weeks For those who are married and those who hope to be married Sun 18
Visiting Speaker: Joe McCroskey
Joe McCroskey at CBC:
9.30am to 12.30pm
Mon 26 - Tues 27 CBC: Equip – all welcome 9.30am to 12.30pm Tues 27 Rhema Alumni Gathering with Mark Hankins
Wed 28 - ‘A God Thing’ Conference – The Way Sun 1 Nov register online www.carmelcentre.org NOVEMBER Fri 6 Fireworks night at Carmel: with buns and burgers
DECEMBER Fri 18 - Sun 20
Christmas Day service
9.00am to 10.00am
Gerri and Michelle Di Somma
A partner is a sharer, an associate, one who engages with another in business, one who plays on the same side as another.
Should you wish to donate by Gift Aid please contact the church office. South Africa Anchor Ministries International First National Bank, Cresta Branch Sort Code: Account No: 25-49-05 51440080590
carmel: ministries international is a registered charity (Charity No. 1094052) with Luke 9:2 as its mission statement. All finances sown go into the work of establishing God’s Kingdom through evangelism and preparing labourers for the harvest.
IBAN: GB67 BOFS 8011 0006 0851 91
Partnership in sharing – The whole ministry of sharing is to give oneself in the areas of love, time, talents and finances.
Partnership in caring – We are instructed to watch over and take care of the partners in our charge (Acts 20:28).
Partnership in prayer – We believe it is vital for every partner to develop a strong personal prayer life, and to pray for the leadership for godly wisdom and direction from the Lord.
United Kingdom Bank of Scotland Carmel Christian Centre Sort Code: Account No: 80-11-00 06085191
APPROX. 4 MILES TO BRISTOL CITY CENTRE
Partnership is important – It releases power to get the job done. We can accomplish the Great Commission together in unity.
BRISLINGTON PARK & RIDE
from Bath Follow A4 towards Bristol, bypassing Keynsham, to the Park-andRide (on your left) on the outskirts of Bristol, just before traffic lights. At these lights proceed straight (in outside lane) for approx. 150 yards (McDonald’s on your right). HSBC Bank follows on your right. Immediately before the Bank, take the driveway along its right, between the buildings. carmel:centre is behind HSBC. from M4 J19 Proceed towards Bristol along M32 to J3. Leave M32 at J3 heading left onto dual carriageway, following signs for A4 and Bath. Approach next roundabout in left lane and continue to follow signs for A4 Bath, to traffic lights. Proceed straight on and over a high level bridge, descending to another roundabout. Proceed straight on, in right hand lane, to next roundabout. Leave this roundabout to the right with Sainsbury’s on your left. Keep in left hand lane and go straight on at next two sets of lights which come a short distance apart.
catch up on the latest happenings at carmel: by visiting our website www.carmelcentre.org or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org
is the new name of the Women’s Ministry here at Carmel: Its mission is expressed as, ‘Putting the Wow back into Womanhood’, which is designed to enable women to know where they fit into the life of the church and to apply their gifts effectively. From its small beginnings when God first spoke to Pastor Michelle Di Somma about it, this work among women has grown significantly. With a new logo and a clear strategy for working out the vision of Exceptional Women, opportunities have been created for more and more women to use their creative and God-given gifts for the growth of the ministry here at carmel:, and to be exceptional women at home and elsewhere.
At its most fundamental level, Exceptional Women aims to encourage women to build a strong relationship with God, be dependent on His Word and get on their knees in prayer for themselves, their family and their neighbours. It is also an important part of the Ministry that women come to appreciate God’s exceptional purposes for their lives so that they can focus on fulfilling their potential and reach the destiny which God has planned for them. Whether meeting for breakfast, ministry, mentor groups, conferences or wonderful times of worship, everything is geared first to honour God and then to encourage women in their own personal development, and provide support and discipleship for every aspect of their lives. As Proverbs 31:30 says: A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
MIGHTY MEN THE GATHERING ‘09
A large number of men from Carmel gathered to camp near the banks of the River Wye to share life and fellowship together from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 July. Whether it was around the barbeque at meal times or gathering wood for bonfires or sitting on the grass chatting or playing football in the field, it was a time for developing relationships and enjoying that camaraderie which is uniquely a man-thing. More than that, we had the pleasure of hosting men from a church in Wales led by Pastor Robbie Howells, who also became the main worship leader over the weekend. It was a ‘gathering’ in the true sense of men coming together for purpose, and, despite the diversity of backgrounds and experience, there was a unity and closeness derived from being focussed on God together.
THE WORD OF GOD ON AUDIO CD EVERY MONTH
Under the title ‘Becoming Godly Men’, Pastor Gerri led sessions in which he set out the characteristics of godly men. Though delivered with humour, the word he brought was inspired and encouraging, and at many points cut through and exposed areas which were less than what God wanted. The theme was developed as the men gathered in groups to discuss different aspects of godly character and came together later to share their insights. ‘The Gathering’ was a short, relaxed and edifying few days in which worship and Word brought us together in God’s presence, whose presence was no less experienced when having fun, food or whatever else men were doing over the weekend. Motivated and nourished we returned to Carmel more equipped to take up our responsibilities at home, in our work, and particularly as those who lead within the carmel: community.
God’s Word is the Sword of the Spirit and ‘A Word in Season’ is God’s vehicle for proclaiming the power of the gospel to the nations. ‘A Word in Season’ monthly message on CD is available for you today. Contact the ‘A Word in Season’ office at carmel:centre. You can also view our catalogue online at www.carmelcentre.org/awordinseason 3
CARMEL: BIBLE COLLEGE
GRADUATION CLASS OF 2008-2009
The graduating class of 2008-2009 slow-marched into the auditorium to the song ‘Our God Reigns’, with all flags flying, representing the many nationalities present. This opening act of celebration set the scene for another graduation ceremony, a joyous climax of achievement and an act of praise to God for sustaining and providing for each student as they diligently applied themselves to their study throughout the year. Rev. Gerri Di Somma, who started the College in 1996, who is the Principal and senior lecturer, and who heads up carmel: ministries international, gave his opening address, a message of welcome, encouragement, inspiration and prophetic insight. Pastor Tom Inglis, who is based in Australia, was the guest speaker, a man of faith, courage and prophetic vision whose Psalmody training course on Worship is now used world-wide, as well as at cbc:. Pastor Tom’s message was titled, ‘When we arise, we arouse God’. He cut through the perception of what some see today as a diminishing, ineffective and mediocre church worldwide and proclaimed the coming of a generation of believers who will, in his terms, “rock the world,” through arising in a way that arouses God. His principle text was Isaiah 60:1-2 which commands, Arise, shine; for your light has come, and states how, in response, the glory of the Lord arises over us. He declared that each student, by studying at cbc:, had arisen and he expounded from Scripture what they could expect as God’s response to their arising. “Before Jesus returns, there will be a generation that will arise so as to arouse God to release His glory so much so that there will be nothing of Himself He will not release,” Pastor Tom concluded.
There followed the presentation of Diplomas and Awards which aroused much handclapping and calls of encouragement like only students can when celebrating the achievements of their colleagues. For some, College had come to an end, for others another year awaited them; and for cbc: itself the end of another academic year meant a continuation of growth and development. “Now we are on the Government’s Sponsors Register allowing us to take foreign students under the Government’s new rules,” said the Dean, Rev. Sean Leask, “we must get our course work accredited. This is no mean task, but we are confident that we will achieve it, and are already working on what has to be done for that accreditation. It will be hugely beneficial for us as we seek to expand into other churches here in the UK and in other nations.” Pointing out how carmel: bible college is seen as a resource centre, not just for those who worship at carmel: centre, but for the wider Christian community, Rev. Sean said: “Already we have people coming from other churches in the UK and it is interesting to observe how their involvement at their local church has a positive influence in that community. They stand with the leaders helping them in their work. This last academic year, we had the greatest number of people representing other churches in the UK we have had so far.”
“Pastor Tom’s message was titled, ‘When we arise, we arouse God.’ He cut through the perception of what some see today as a diminishing... CHURCH.”
However, he expressed a real concern that as the number of applications increases what also becomes increasingly apparent is the large number who don’t finally make it to the College for one reason or another. For instance, despite a large number of applications from overseas, only fifteen percent actually made it to the College, getting a visa being the primary difficulty. Inside the UK it may be a problem with finance, arrangements with their employer or personal difficulties that arise. “We always encourage students to go back to their local church or country to take what they have to their church and encourage others by working out what they have learned,” said Rev. Sean. “But that influence alone in no way meets the demand coming from those who want to study at cbc:.” What can be done? The concept of being a resource centre is important. The vision goes beyond just equipping people at carmel: centre, which is a resource rich church of which the College is one of the major resources. Though the College courses have an academic element, what they do for the student in terms of Christian character and lifestyle, learning to live by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit exceed pure academics. What is knowledge if it’s not applied? It is but a sounding brass or clanging cymbal.
coming here, but through ways we will be able to take the courses to prospective students wherever they are. A correspondence course has already been set up, but this doesn’t have the benefit of the immediacy of being in a class with a lecturer in real time. What I am seeing is something I am calling, for the time being, Satellite Bible Schools in the sense of Bible Schools revolving round the hub here at cbc:.” As Rev. Sean pointed out, the technology already exists to do it. Lectures could be streamed to any given point in real time and interaction with the lecturer could also take place in real time. By linking with churches wherever they are who would supervise the students and resources at their end, it would be the nearest thing to Bible College at carmel: it could be without their physical presence at the College itself. “We’re already planning initial links and courses with churches in the UK and other countries,” Rev. Sean said. “We are proceeding carefully, one step at a time. And having said that,” he said enthusiastically, “we also have other ideas for reaching the large number of prospective students who want to come here to carmel: bible college.”
“Here technology has come to our assistance,” said Rev. Sean. “Without going into the technical details, we can see a time, not too far in the distance, of considerable expansion and growth, not just by increasing the numbers
“Before Jesus returns, there will be a generation that will arise so as to arouse God to release His glory so much so that there will be nothing of Himself He will not release...” 5
TEACHING “if you pray for healing, but think you’re sick, the conflict means God can’t answer you. We must renew our minds, our thinking, to be in line with the Word of God.”
ALIGNMENT BY TOM INGLIS
Worship is the only thing that God in controldo of all things Godiscannot for Himself. So when youtodo for God what God From beginning end the Bible shows us that God is cannot do for Himself, God control of all things. However, because things andwill people are of alignment with God,you we often don’t see it do and to doout for you what cannot succeed at what God has called us to do, we have to be in for yourself. alignment with Him.
In Hebrews 1:3 we read that God upholds all things by the word of His power. This means that every atom and molecule that exists, both inside your body and outside your body is under the control of Almighty God. Jesus told His disciples: “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:23 This means you can speak to your body and command it to be healed so that the atoms in your body get back into line, in the order God has made it. He sent His word and healed them… Psalm 107:20. Even your thoughts are important to God. God can do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20. However, if you pray for healing, but think you’re sick, the conflict means God can’t answer you. We must renew our minds, our thinking, to be in line with the Word of God. God has been where you are going God has already established a plan and purpose for your life (Ephesians 2:10), and in that sense He has already been where you are going when you align yourself with Him. When led by the Spirit, “…He will guide you into all truth… and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13. 6
Once, while on a ministry trip, God said to me: “The first person who comes into your church in a wheelchair will be raised up.” And it happened that when back in Australia one of the first people I met at our church was a nine-year-old boy in a wheelchair. After the meeting we prayed for him, but nothing happened. However, the next morning while on his own, he heard an audible voice: “Adam, rise from that chair.” Weak at first, he stood and walked. Amazingly, when his mother came home she found him kicking a ball in the garden. Hallelujah! What God does is that He goes to the end of something and then comes back to the beginning and He allows you to walk it through with Him so you can find out what He’s already done. Be encouraged, He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6. Israel: delivered, but not aligned God had divine alignment for Israel. He wanted to get them to the Promised Land and Jerusalem. Though He delivered them from Egypt, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, because they were not ready for the journey. They weren’t ready to face the enemy en route, (Exodus 13:17-18) and murmured and complained rather than give thanks, worship and serve the Lord, all of which would have kept them in line with Him to get them to their destiny. Simeon: in the right place at the right time What we read about Simeon in Luke 2:25-32 gives a good example of what it means to be in divine alignment. Simeon was in the right place, in Jerusalem to see the fulfilment of what God had spoken to him. His geography was right.
TEACHING He was a worshipper in the place of worship, the temple, where the Holy Spirit was upon him. He was prophetic because he prepared for what God had shown him about his future. He was patient, waiting for the consolation of Israel, the Christ; something he couldn’t hurry but could only wait for in the presence of God. His life was fulfilled when he took Jesus in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation….” Church: the place of divine alignment >>01 Being in the right place You’ve got to be in the right church. Joining and leaving a church as you feel like puts you out of line with God. No church is perfect, but it’s where you are perfected and things in your life come to fruition. God plants us where we will flourish. Psalm 1:1-3. You need to be in the right church, right now, so God can align something for you that He has ordained before the beginning of time. >>02 Being worshippers A born again person, being a new creation and created for God’s glory, is created to worship Him first and foremost. As a ‘new creation’, it means (from the Hebrew for ‘creation’) you are capable of being transformed in God’s hands to become whatsoever He has designed you to be. If you are a worshipper, death will not come to you until you have fulfilled your destiny. The devil has nothing he can do to you. You weren’t created just to exist. Push in to God through worship and be led and shown the way by the Spirit. John 4:23: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” God will be no closer to you than where you put Him in your priorities. Your level of intimacy with Him is determined by you. The closer you get to Him, the more you see where you’re going. Worship is the only thing that God cannot do for Himself. So when you do for God what God cannot do for Himself, God will do for you what you cannot do for yourself. >>03 Being a prophetic people “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13. Imagine how in control your life would be because God showed you
something in the future. The whole thing about praise and worship is that it’s not just about singing songs and being cool. It is about loving God to find out your destiny. Reaching your destiny might be delayed until you learn what it is to praise and worship Him. Prophecy comes so that you will go and find out, in the presence of God, how this thing is going to work out. Ask God to show you your future and then prepare for it. If you believe, He will start to align things according to your faith; people, places, work, events, all to establish His kingdom through you - if you believe. It is your faith in God that will keep you alive. >>04 Being a patient people Simeon realised there was no way he was going to die until he had seen what was promised. He was a worshipper in the right place at the right time. He waited patiently for the Lord. If God has deposited something inside you it means you are not supposed to die until you have seen that thing come to pass. But if you do not press into the things of God you will never know what’s coming. You’ll just ‘exist’ until your dying day instead of being one through whom God reveals Himself. Wait on the Lord, and keep His way; and He shall exalt you to inherit the land…. Psalm 37:34. >>05 Being a fulfilled people When people are truly worshipping God things happen in the spiritual realm. Just because of God’s presence, just because of God’s power being released in the spiritual realm, you will start attracting people to your place of worship simply because you’ve worshipped. In the spiritual realm things just happen because you’ve put God first. Be abandoned to Him in worship and believe God will do incredible things. We are going to see miraculous things happen all the time. Our churches will be full of people coming to be healed. People will run to the presence of the Most High God – because He’s a good God, because He’s a glorious God, because He’s a powerful God, He’s a delivering God, He’s a great God, He’s a gracious God, He’s a loving God. People will run to church to find this God that we serve. This is the kingdom of God on earth released through you and me. When you worship, when you do that very thing you were created to do, then God will do everything for you. This is where the church is going. You’ll start to see them bring the sick and dead and they will get healed because we serve a living God who raises the dead. Do you think that was a one off with Lazarus? That was nothing compared to what is going to happen in the end times. That is God’s kingdom released on the earth, through you and me who simply believe He is everything He says He is. 7
Our God is a God of Divine alignment When you worship God there is a fulfilment. God seeks your worship so He can show you things so you can live. You will see where God has been before you, so you can walk with Him to that place. In the presence of God there is revelation, not ritual. God is lining things up for us because Heâ€™s such a great God.
Ask God to help you get your geography right so you can be in the right church at the right time. Make sure you have got your priorities right; intimacy with God in worship, prayer and His Word must take first place in your life. Deal with any anxieties or fears you have because fear attracts the enemy and demonic activity. And be prepared to move quickly into something new in God, into something God has prepared for you. In these days God is aligning the church in supernatural way. Everything in the world is crazy, but God is aligning His church for something spectacular, pouring out His Spirit on all flesh, and the church is going to be glorious. And you are a part of that church, a church which will be the true and only manifestation of Christ on earth.
When you worship God there is a fulfilment. God seeks your worship so He can show you things so you can live. You will see where God has been before you, so you can walk with Him to that place.
5th - 7th March Womans Conference 2010
More information contact us INFO@CARMELCENTRE.ORG
RESPONSE Psalm 118:5 I called on the lord In distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
College Students receive God’s provision to meet their financial needs Many students at carmel: bible college over the years have witnessed how God has met their needs for finances to cover the College course. That has no less been the case in the last academic year. As students prayed and trusted God according to His Word, they saw Him answer their prayers and meet their need. Following prayer, Philo Mocham received a cheque which covered her entire College fees. Mariette Moseley’s need was met by receiving two weeks work at the London Motor Show which completely paid for her College fees. Patrick Chokwenda’s fees were met over a period of time and on several occasions following a time of prayer. Claire Baptiste’s need arose when her job came to an end in December 2008. She prayed with other students that for the next six months she wouldn’t have to work so she could concentrate on her studies, and a few weeks later someone came forward with her full support for the next six months. After praying according to Philippians 4:19, Donna Blackman saw her needs met in a number of ways, including anonymous donations, a back-dated pay rise at work, a cheque from a friend she hadn’t seen for years and a Council Tax refund. As a result, she graduated with all her fees met.
All over the world the Spirit MOVES Peter Nyanzi, a carmel: bible college student, rang his wife back in Africa one day to find that she was very unwell and in a lot of pain. She had a scan and they discovered
her appendix was very dirty and full of stones and other things. “I went to prayer,” said Peter, “and as I was praying God gave me a vision. In front of me was a water tap and when I turned it on dirty things came out of it. I asked God, “What is this I’m seeing?” God told me He was cleaning her and healing her. So I called her and told her not to go to hospital, but she went to the hospital the next day to get it checked out, and they didn’t find anything wrong with her. Her appendix had been cleaned by God and now she’s okay and praising God.” Before returning to their country of Nigeria for a short break, Ike and Catherine Achu asked for prayer for protection. Having arrived, they planned to head east by bus, but something happened which caused a delay and they missed their bus. This meant they had to spend the next night in another bus going east. “I was so distressed in the bus,” said Catherine, “but God spoke to me to say that it would be okay, nothing bad would happen to us.” “When we got going,” said Ike, “we discovered the bus we should have taken had been involved in and accident because of flooding. This had caused about fifty fatalities. We then recognised it was the delay that had saved our lives and it was God protecting us.”
Young people experience God’s HEALING For about a year, Matthew Lewis had needed glasses for his eyesight. “At Youth Camp some of the guys prayed for the healing of my eyes based on the scripture in Isaiah 53 that by His stripes we are healed,” Matthew said, “and immediately after praying I realised I didn’t need glasses any more.”
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7. When meditating on these words and asking God to teach me more about what it is to ‘abide’, I saw that there is a key here, a promise linked with abiding. Clearly, Jesus is the vine into which we must be grafted and abide. To be grafted into anyone or anything else would be to produce something quite different to what God intends. To explain it further, I am going to use the word ‘abide’ as an acronym
removed because they take nourishment from where it is needed. Satan brings many distractions and deviations before us which take our minds off what we should be doing in order to prevent us from abiding in the vine. What distracts your focus on God and His Word? What are those things which turn you away from God rather than towards Him?
A – Abide in the Word
A natural vine can also produce too many leaves, and they need to be removed because the shade will prevent sunlight from ripening the fruit. The leaves can be likened to all the unnecessary things which we allow to clutter our lives, such as feeling hurt, being offended, unforgiveness, wrong perceptions, judgments and criticisms. The Father, as vinedresser, is persistently working in us to remove these so that we can mature and bring forth much fruit. “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit.” John 15:8.
More than anything else, we must abide and be fixed on the Word of God. If we abide in God’s Word we will bare good fruit in our thought lives, attitudes, commitments, motives, behaviour patterns and in our relationships. On the other hand, we can choose to abide in our problems, hurts, our past and negative circumstances and produce bad fruit. You can become so obsessed with what you are going through that without realising it you end up abiding there and literally remain trapped in your circumstances. Your relationships will suffer also.
Jesus said: “…without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. Statistically, only around 4-per-cent of believers commit to pray and study God’s Word to be intimate with God. Believers are being pulled in all sorts of directions other than towards God. Our relationship with God is of primary importance and there must be a major commitment to that relationship.
B – Beware of Satan’s devices
This is the key to ‘abiding’. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom. Colossians 3:16. Note the word ‘let’. God will not force us to abide. It takes effort and readjustment of our lives. We must choose to make this investment and let the Word of God dwell in us.
The enemy will do whatever he can to detach you from the vine. 2 Corinthians 2:11 warns against giving Satan opportunity to take advantage of us. We are not to be ignorant of his devices. A natural vine can bear too many shoots for there to be good fruit, and these have to be
I – Invest your life in Christ
I want to encourage you to abide in the Word of God so that your relationship with Jesus Christ the vine will make you fruitful. John 15:4 says “…the branch cannot bear fruit in itself, unless it abides in the vine...” We cannot produce good, godly thought lives, behaviour patterns, relationships and mature, fulfilled lives outside of abiding in Jesus.
TEACHING “Our relationship with God is of primary importance and there must be a major commitment to that relationship. This is the key to ‘abiding’.”
D – Determine to stay attached The issues that cause us to detach are summarised well in 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father, but is of the world.” We get caught up with wanting and striving for things that are not of God. Our desires and self-determination easily consume us instead of pursuing what God has called us to. We end up pleading with God to save us from the mess we’re in instead of living a life which glorifies Him.
motives, behaviour patterns and relationships. It means as we go on more of Christ is formed in us. Galatians 4:19.
E – Enjoy the pruning process
When God begins to remove things in our lives we can start to feel insecure and empty. But, it boils down to an issue of whether we trust God enough to place our lives in His hands. The Bible says that we are to produce fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundred-fold. Mark 4:8. In the natural, every time a branch is pruned well there will be an increase in the number of buds in the next season, and so the multiplication continues. Let God be your vinedresser. Be bold and say: “Cut it off Lord. Challenge me with Your Word. Show me where I need to change, because if I don’t my life won’t be fruitful and glorify You.”
This is not a negative experience. It is essential. Jesus said: “…every branch that bears fruit He (the Father) prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” For there to be good fruit and much fruit, the One who prunes is our best friend. It is an expression of His love and care. Yes, it may seem hard at first, but the result is worth it… more fruit. We must see it from the Father’s perspective. Let Him deal with the issues in your life and be patient. It takes time for the very best to be formed in us. Pruning is cleansing. The Father loves us so much that He will not allow anything unfruitful affect our thought lives, our attitudes, commitments,
As I said at the beginning, there is a promise linked with abiding: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7. Our prayers go amiss if God’s Word is not in us, because they then reflect our self-centred desires and self-determination. It is prayer centred on God’s Word and will which is always answered. We do not avail ourselves of God’s miraculous power without abiding in Him. Let the Father cleanse you and then you can look forward to a life of much fruit.
It becomes a matter of importance and daily determination to stay abiding in the vine so the life of Christ can flow through us to produce much fruit so we become a pleasing fragrance to God. You are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit of God dwells in you. 1 Corinthians 3:16. Being attached to Him, He can reveal in us who He is and what He can do. We must look after this temple because it is there, through us, that God meets with the people around us.
It becomes a matter of importance and daily determination to stay abiding in the vine so the life of Christ can flow through us to produce much fruit so we become a pleasing fragrance to God.
JESUS AND THE
HOLY SPIRIT For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17. We have much to learn from the life of Jesus so that we can represent Him properly here on earth. Life for Jesus began with His love for the Father and from that everything else flowed. He had an amazing relationship with the Holy Spirit on whom He was totally dependent. As we shall see, Jesus comes to us in the person of the Holy Spirit so we too can have an amazing relationship with Him. Jesus said to His disciples, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17. >>01 Jesus was born of and by the Spirit We find in Luke 1:26-38 that Mary was troubled by what the angel said because what he said (v.28) would normally be to a woman with children. No wonder she asked how it could be possible. The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (v.35). When Mary received the Word of God she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Our new birth happened in a similar way to our Lord’s birth because the Holy Spirit came upon us and we became a new creation. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6. Our spirit-man has been recreated. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed 12
away; behold all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17. Through believing God’s Word we become new creatures and can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13. God’s grace, God’s ability, God’s Holy Spirit is sufficient for us. >>02 Jesus grew in wisdom with the help of the Spirit Luke 2:40, 52: And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him… And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. Grace is God’s ability, the Holy Spirit, and was the key to His whole development. The Holy Spirit enabled Him to do the Father’s will no matter what happened and He had to walk by faith in God’s ability. To be in favour with God we need the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to His disciples, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26. The Holy Spirit knows the mind and heart of God, and He dwells in us helping us mature, increase in wisdom and have favour with God. Listen to the Holy Spirit; He’s connected to the Father and the Son, and God speaks to you by the Holy Spirit. >>03 Jesus was baptised into His calling by the Spirit Following His water baptism, Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and the Father confirmed that Jesus was the One whom
“there is no temptation so great that He cannot help us overcome.” He had sent. Luke 3:22: And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are my beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Though John’s baptism was one of repentance and Jesus didn’t need to repent, He was baptised because the Holy Spirit only comes through repentance, and He set the example for us. That’s why we are to preach repentance and remission of sins… to all nations. Luke 24:47. To preach grace without repentance is not the Gospel. God’s Spirit comes as the result of repentance, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38. >>04 Jesus was led by the Spirit The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness and thereafter continually led Him so He could fulfill His calling. Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Luke 4:1. After He was tempted by the devil, we read: then Jesus returned in the power of the Holy Spirit to Galilee… Luke 4:14. We must understand that with the Holy Spirit in us there is no temptation so great that He cannot help us overcome. We only succumb to temptation when we are not relying on the Holy Spirit, when our desires conceive and give birth to sin (James 1:15). With the Spirit of God leading us we have nothing to fear. It is the key characteristic of a child of God that he or she is led by the Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14. >>05 Jesus received power when submitted to the Spirit In Acts 10:38 we read: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed
by the devil, for God was with Him. God the Holy Spirit was with Him. And Jesus was preparing His disciples to be similarly empowered to do the works of God, when He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me… to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8. The word ‘witness’ in the Greek is the word we get ‘martyr’ from, and a martyr is someone who dies for what he believes; and we must die. And this is key: we are to die to self; we are to be willing to sacrifice self for the cause of Christ. In this way we bring ourselves into absolute submission to God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. >>06 Jesus was raised from the dead by the Spirit The fact of Christ’s resurrection means we will have a resurrected body when He returns. But, more than that: If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11. Thus, as believers, sickness should not be our portion because the Spirit gives our mortal bodies life. We can also be those through whom come many signs and wonders. Jesus was raised from the dead so we can start living the resurrecte life now. We must understand and know the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places… Ephesians 1:19-20. From before the foundation of the world God created us for good works, His works. Ephesians 2:10. And to do this we must continually be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. With God the Holy Spirit with and in us, all things are possible. We have everything that pertains to life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3. 13
YOU CAN CHANGE
INVADING THE WYE 26 - 31 JULY 2009
A quiet rural setting alongside the River Wye, fields on a farm looking across to the Forest of Dean near Ross-on-Wye, a setting displaying the rugged and pastoral beauty of the English countryside became the place for an encounter with God for a large number of young people at the annual ‘St. Revolution’ Youth Camp, ‘Invading the Wye?’ July 26 to 31 was a week for those who were serious about God and discovering what it truly means to follow Christ. Led by Youth Pastors Ralph and Joanna Di Somma, the Camp was a challenging, fun-filled, learning experience for all who were there, including the leaders. Under Ralph and Joanna’s leadership it could never be, and certainly wasn’t, a boring, religious, meeting-centred ritual. Far from it: the fun and fellowship among so many young people became the basis upon which God moved and drew them into His presence. Though on many days the rain tried to stop play and mud made activities impractical, the fact that the people there were drawn closer together inside the marquee, far from producing tensions due to lack of space and activity, promoted creativity and musical experiment which on one occasion stirred the young people into a lengthy time of worship. As the Holy Spirit moved among them, at least two people saw the manifest presence of God’s glory in the form of a thin cloud moving between and over the worshipping crowd, like gentle waves, and, as one put it, it was like the smoke you get when cooking bacon and eggs.
Plenty of food was prepared and delivered in an ex-army canteen and as the weather improved outside activities got going. Seminars designed to promote life skills, team building and activities designed to develop character and build lasting friendships brought fun and excitement to the Camp. With plenty of unorganised time, young people were able to sit and chat, play their own games, catch up on some shut-eye time or tidy their tents. Portable showers and toilets were at hand to help them keep their bodies clean and a generator made sure they had light as the day darkened into the night. The challenge to the Youth by the leadership is quite clear: ‘If you want to break the cycle of the mundane and rebel against the status quo, we challenge you to change your world. Are you going to stand up and be counted? First it must start with you.’ Ralph and Joanna’s ‘no holds barred’ approach to youth leadership and the urgency, necessity and pre-eminent need to experience the presence of God energised the whole Camp. Young people from other
“If you want to know if God is real... come and see what He does and how He demonstrates His power.” churches who joined them seemed unused to such a focus, but during the week found themselves stirred to embrace what God was doing among them.
because of where their lives had come from and where they were going, found healing and wholeness in worship as well as when ministered to.
Not only did God move among them during the meetings, both organised and impromptu, but when they met in small groups many had an encounter with God. One group leader said: “I was reminded of what Jesus said to John the Baptist’s disciples when they checked to see if He was really the Christ. He told them to look at the things He was doing: the blind see, the lame walk, and so on. Things were like that as people were being healed and set free.” He threw down a challenge to those who doubt God: “If you want to know if God is real, come to Youth Camp and see what He does and how He demonstrates His power.”
On the last day an inflatable baptismal pool was set up alongside the River Wye. On previous years baptisms had taken place in the river, but because of the rain the flow of the river was far too strong. With a mix of tap water from a hose and muddy water brought in buckets from the river, the pool was filled, and all at the Camp descended to the riverside to celebrate with those being baptised. Many had let it be known earlier in the week as they had met with God that they wanted to be baptised, but many more, as they watched, were convicted of the necessity of being baptised and in the clothes they were wearing stepped into the cold, murky water to declare their commitment to Christ and surrender their lives to Him.
The eyes of two young people were healed and they removed their glasses determined never to put them on again. Legs were straightened, eyes which were blurred and sore became fresh and clear. One who was grieving having just heard of her grandmother’s death, found peace and comfort as she was ministered to and was herself one of those who saw the glory cloud. Others who were hurting
“I believe that these young people are going to go on with God,” said one of the leaders. “The seed of faith has been sown in their hearts and it is going to grow so that they become like a plant that bears much fruit, and increases. There has been a deep work of God here.”
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