A MAGAZINE PUBLISHED BY CARMEL: MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH ARTICLE BY PASTOR GERRI DI SOMMA
Your One Priceless Life ARTICLE BY MICHELLE DI SOMMA
Dare to Live
ARTICLE BY RALPH DI SOMMA
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DARING 3/6/10 09:10:14
equipped for life
MONDAY 14 JUNE 9AM
I took a year out and studied at cbc: which is now helping me with the challenges of university life. Jonathan, 19
FOR WHATEVER STAGE YOUR LIFE’S AT No matter what stage you are at in your in life Carmel: Bible College gives you the flexibility to study God’s Word on your terms. With our day, night, satellite, modules and correspondence courses all available, there has never been a better time to get equipped for life. Why not come and visit us on Open Day? Everyone is welcome, no booking necessary!
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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.
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SERVICES SAT 19.00HRS 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
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.
ALL TEACHINGS IN THIS EDITION ARE ABRIDGED. FULL VERSIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO ORDER ON CD OR DVD.
‘HE SENT THEM TO PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND TO HEAL THE SICK.’ LUKE 9:2
The challenges we face today stimulate courage and faith. The Christian believer has opportunities to glorify God through a life of faith. As you will see in this issue of 24-7, repeatedly we are told that the just shall live by faith. This is our lifestyle. This is at the very core of who we are. This is what makes us ‘priceless’.
You will read how, because of our relationship with Jesus and His priceless provision of our salvation, there is a direct connection by the Holy Spirit that makes us God’s priceless gift to the world. And from the women’s conference comes a message that speaks of the precious and unique life given to women that adorns them with significance. And significance is the key issue in the challenge ‘dare to live’. This is not a day in which to be defensive in the face of the tide of secularism, paganism and atheism which has so gripped society. This is a day in which to be prepared, to stand and, at God’s Word, to move forward with the good news of Jesus Christ, our Lord. We trust you will be blessed, encouraged, motivated and prosper in the things of God.
GERRI AND MICHELLE DI SOMMA
TEACHING The Just Shall Live by Faith By Pastor Gerri Di Somma
Carmel Bible College Open Day 9.00am
Promise of Purity Seminars 9.00am
Exceptional Women’s Breakfast 8.30am
TEACHING Your One Priceless Life By Pastor Michelle Di Somma
Carmel Bible College Graduation 7.00pm
Trevor Sampson at Carmel 7.00pm
TEACHING Dare to Live By Ralph Di Somma
TEACHING The Priceless Gift By Pastor Gerri Di Somma
THE GRADUATE Carmel: Bible College
Carmel Youth Camp
Carmel Bible College Orientation Week
Joe McCroskey at Carmel 9.00am; 11.00am
Exceptional Women’s Breakfast 8.30am
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Exceptional 2010 C:VIEW WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
MICHELLE DI SOMMA
For many women, clouded over by the concerns of life, the priceless value of who they are to God often lies unrealised. What they see is something less, something tarnished, inadequate, scarred and not worth esteeming highly as God does. He sees through the human clutter, to the person He created. He reaches out to touch her again with His Word, and fill her with His Spirit, so the beauty of His beloved outshines all else. The Exceptional Women’s Conference was addressed by Arianna Walker, Lyndie McCauley and Michelle Di Somma, who, together, brought teaching and inspiration which expressed God’s heart for the women of today. Wholeness of the whole person being the basis of God’s provision, the glory of the individual can find fuller expression. As Christ is formed within, His worth is transferred to that person’s account. The purpose for which they were made becomes a tangible reality, casting aside obstacles to achieving all of God’s desire for their life. The priceless nature of who they are in Christ blossoms as they flourish where God has placed them.
The response of many at the Conference showed that God was at work. His presence, and the joy of being together as significant women in God’s world, added substance to what was already an exceptional Conference. Being challenged to live life with passion, purpose and power, the Conference closed with a stirring message calling the ladies to reckon with who they are in Christ, affirm their heavenly citizenship, unshackle themselves from the world and take up the yoke of Christ. You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20.
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C:VIEW YOUTH CONFERENCE
With the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, the needed transformation is not only possible, but powerful in its effect.
Being different for the sake of it is not what the Youth Ministry at Carmel aims at. Under the leadership of Ralph and Joanna Di Somma, the importance of knowing God through a relationship with Him comes at the forefront of their thinking. This was expressed throughout this year’s Transformer Conference in its content, variety and interaction between those who attended.
The needed transformation leads to that end; first a transformation in their life with God, then in their relationship to others and on to a transformation in their life in the church. With the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, the needed transformation is not only possible, but powerful in its effect. One person summed up the Conference by saying: there were no strobe lights and smoke machines, but the still small voice of God spoke loudly, bringing inspiration, instruction and direction to everyone.
They heard how their increased wellbeing, spiritually and physically, as they grow in their relationship with God, can have a vital impact on the lives of others and that being a disciple of Christ calls for a disciplined life. Four Youth Leaders gave their testimonies, and their practical experience of the Christian life gave encouragement, insight and understanding in an age when young Christians are facing challenges which forcefully cut across their faith walk. With a well-known movie as a dramatic illustration, Ralph Di Somma brought the Conference to its climax by talking about personal transformation and that the importance of the individual becomes more apparent when they come together as God’s people and function as a body.
SATURDAY NIGHT CHURCH 7.00PM – 8.30PM ALL AGES WELCOME WWW SAINTREVOLUTION .COM
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C:VIEW MEN’S CONFERENCE
GERRI DI SOMMA
MIGHTY MEN’S CONFERENCE
FINISHING STRONG The man who runs a race is well prepared, supremely fit, fully focused and single minded: he aims to win. (1 Corinthians 9:24.) The challenge of church and the purposes of God calls for those men who will run the race God has given them where He has placed them. Today is the day for men of God to rise up and get fully to grips with their calling and responsibilities at home, work and church, to change radically the world where they are. Speakers Gerri Di Somma, Gordon Simmonds, Jim Schmitt and Larry Elliott stirred the Conference with messages that laid a foundation for a life that will finish strong. More than that, the practical nature of each
message left everyone with a clear view of what they needed to know and do to be well-prepared, spiritually fit and have the necessary focus to be and do all that God requires of them. The day was unusually hot on the Saturday and the time spent around the barbecues sharing lunch together was particularly valuable as friendships were renewed and fellowship added an important personal element to the Conference. Sport, as a metaphor, played its part in some of the teaching, and in the latter part of the afternoon, most of the men gathered together in Carmel:’s Coffee Bean lounge to watch a football final projected on a large screen. The sense of brotherhood and excitement in the business of God’s kingdom, found its own metaphor in the interplay between those who, as one, focused on the final.
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ENJOY THE CONFERENCE WHEREVER YOU GO! Take advantage of all the latest teachings from our recent conferences to see how you can be empowered to live! If there is anything our bookshop can supply and isn’t on our website, don’t hesitate to give us a call or an email. The staff at Carmel: Bookshop look forward to hearing from you.
With our recently launched website (www.carmelbookshop.org) you can view all of our latest stock, from recent releases, gifts, to, of course, our huge selection of our best seller – the Bible! If you have any queries about ordering please call our offices on 0117 977 5533. EXCEPTIONAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE PRICELESS INDVIDUAL MESSAGES DVD INDIVIDUAL MESSAGES CD COMPLETE DVD SET DISCOUNTED PRICE COMPLETE CD SET DISCOUNTED PRICE
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YOUTH CONFERENCE THE TRANSFORMER INDVIDUAL MESSAGES DVD INDIVIDUAL MESSAGES CD COMPLETE DVD SET DISCOUNTED PRICE COMPLETE CD SET DISCOUNTED PRICE
£4.00 £3.00 £10.00 £8.00
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TEACHING BY PASTOR GERRI DI SOMMA
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY
At times we do not see the manifestation of what we have vision for: we have the sense of it, but not the substance. Yet delay must not lead us to deviate from the direction of God. We must stand firmly on His Word, which He watches over to perform. By faith we must continue to confess the certainty of our hope and the reality of what we do not yet see. Four times in the Bible we are told that the just shall live by faith, and when the Bible repeats something so exactly, its emphasis declares its significance for our lives. Faith comes out of a relationship with the one with whom faith begins and ends, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faithâ€Ś Hebrews 12:2. 1. Faith Positions Us For The Vision (Habakkuk 2:1-4) Submission to the will of God is a prerequisite to living the Christian life. The one who lives by faith humbles himself under the hand and instruction of God so that the vision can be manifested at the appointed time. The impossible then becomes possible.
His vision for this church in this place, a vision to be pursued on the basis of faith in Him. The fulfilment of the vision may be delayed, but we can be confident that it will become a fully manifest reality. As time goes on we see it progressively becoming a reality, so we stand firm on what we know to be true. It is the certainty of faith that inspires us to press on to the greater manifestation of the vision. You never become slack or distracted, but stay focused on Godâ€™s Word. You walk humbly before God. You cleanse your heart constantly. You rejoice always, anxious for nothing. You celebrate the greatness of God with thanksgiving, praise and worship.
But pride is a great stumbling block. The assertion of our own agendas - our belief that we can make things happen by our cleverly constructed programmes and methods - is a deceit which can only end in downfall and division. God resists the proud but gives grace, his instruction and ability, to the humble. (James 4:6.) His correction comes before direction. He always leads us in the paths of righteousness to the fulfilment of vision, individual and corporate, a vision which expresses His redemption plan for humanity.
So we see that faith positions us for the vision. Once positioned, God brings revelation and understanding, ability and direction.
God is faithful to His Word. We have the assurance that He will perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12 AV.) I am where I am today because of the revelation of God. Obeying His Word brought me, with my family, to the UK and where we are now in Bristol. God revealed
There is no chill-out time for the believer. Faith always steps up and steps on. The Christian life is relational and progresses where God leads. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes
2. Faith Is Progressive and Grows (Romans 1:16-17) It is important to understand that faith is progressive. Faith first positions us, then takes us on, from faith to faith. In other words, faith can be measured in our lives.
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Every crisis is an opportunity, if you donâ€™t see it as a problem. It is an opportunity to apply your faith. It is an opportunity to prove God as faithful in your life, for you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. HEBREWS 10:36
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TEACHING BY PASTOR GERRI DI SOMMA
before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:4. The Lord leads to peace and prosperity, still waters and green pastures. He progressively restores my soul as He leads me along the paths of right relationship with God and other people. The working out of vision is also progressive. The Lord is ready to perform His Word. He only waits for us to see it, as He said to Jeremiah: “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.” Jeremiah 1:12. Then we respond by positioning ourselves to do what He says and step onward. The outcome is measurable because we are moving forward both in terms of faith and vision. There may be pruning along the way so that the fruit is better in itself. For that we must be thankful, no matter the extent of it. But pruning is essential to fruit-bearing. The good news of God’s righteousness produces a harvest for eternity. You need to understand that with God there is always progression. A fruitful Christian life is progressive. You need to measure your life; you need to sit down and reckon with where you are. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 2 Corinthians 13:5. In terms of where God has placed you and what He requires of you, is there evidence of His progressive, forward-moving work in your life as Christ is formed in you?
You need to understand that with God there is always progression. A fruitful Christian life is progressive. You need to measure your life; you need to sit down and reckon with where you are.
3. Faith brings us to the place of provision (Galatians 3:8-14) Everything we receive is to be by the hearing of faith. Here lies a fundamental challenge, one that Paul put to the Galatians who had begun to rely on their ability: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:2-3. The provision of man’s religion leads to death It is the Spirit within who resources us to do everything that God has called us to do. Our ongoing relationship with the Spirit works by the hearing of faith. When we rationalise the work of the Spirit into a compendium of religious methods or rules, we no longer have a relationship with Him, but live as if the Spirit is ‘it’, a commodity to be called up at our command. Often personal passion takes the place of God’s compassion. God’s vision is devalued into our ambition, and we use scripture to justify ourselves. Living by man’s standards of morality and good works cannot put us in a right relationship with God. The rules and performance of religion give God no pleasure. Man has made a religion of works so as to avoid the discipline of God’s Word. So man’s works are dead works. Our provision comes through God’s greatest blessing But the blessing of God comes by faith: And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. Galatians 3:8-9. The blessing of God comes through Christ Jesus so that we may receive God’s greatest provision for our lives, the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote to the Galatians: that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14. It is through our relationship with God that the Spirit comes and progressively changes us into the likeness of Christ and gives us the ability to do the works of God. (Galatians 4:19.) As we are led by
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God preserves and prospers us so that we can live in His perfect presence for eternity
the Spirit, He guides us into all truth - who is Jesus Himself. (John 16:13; 14:6) In this way Christ is formed in us. Therefore, that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11. God’s provision is as great as God Himself How great is that provision? We get some idea when we see the Bible describes Him as the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:2. Could any person want more in their life on which to build and be successful? The Bible leaves us in no doubt when in Proverbs 3:13-18 wisdom is personified. Read it with the word ‘her’ replaced by ‘the Holy Spirit’ and you have a tangible description of the greatness of God’s provision of the abundant life which Jesus came to give us. (John 10:10.) 4. Faith protects and prospers us (Hebrews 10:35-39) Just because we don’t see things when and how we expect them after we’ve prayed and believed, we must not deviate from what God has said. Instead we need to strongly affirm the Word on which we stand. Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. Hebrews 10:35. God will perform His Word. He is continually processing things on our behalf. This is not the time to draw back, but to continue facing the challenges of life head on, by faith. Every crisis is an opportunity, if you don’t see it as a problem. It is an opportunity to apply your faith. It is an opportunity to prove God as faithful in your life, for you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the
promise. Hebrews 10:36. And the great promise from God is ultimately that of eternal life. But in this life there are also many things which God does so that we may prosper in all things and be in health, just as our souls prosper. (3 John 2.) When we clearly see the eternal purpose of man’s redemption, our sight is correctly aligned so that the way we live now works together with God towards that end and the redemption of mankind. That’s the life of faith, and as we live it, God prospers us in many ways, such as: 1. 2. 3. 4.
He gives us protection. Psalm 91 tells us about that. He surrounds us with His favour. (Psalm 5:12.) He shares Himself with us to equip us for life. (Proverbs 3:13.) Because of this we can live in His peace, and be at peace. (Isaiah 26:3.)
His prosperity touches every area of our lives. He has a benefits system which meets all our need. As the Psalmist says: Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5. God preserves and prospers us so that we can live in His perfect presence for eternity. While on the journey we must be clear that God will perform His Word. So stand firm upon it. By faith, step forward in the authority and ability of the Holy Spirit, for all will be revealed at the appointed time. God’s work is finished. (John 19:30.) Our part in it is what our lives are all about.
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TEACHING BY PASTOR MICHELLE DI SOMMA
PRICELESS God has given every single person one priceless life to live. This is a not a rehearsal, this is it! The word ‘priceless’ means: invaluable, irreplaceable, precious and rare. That is what you are: invaluable, irreplaceable, precious and rare. God will not make another you: you’re irreplaceable. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20.
by their education, their privileges or their talents, because their accomplishments always exceed their abilities. They are driven by passion.
This scripture shows us that our body and our spirit are not ours to do with as we please. Our body and our spirit belong to God because we were bought with a price which He paid. The word ‘price’ in the Greek text can mean ‘honour’ or ‘esteem’, a measure related to the price that was paid. In the first place Jesus honoured the Father by becoming the one who died for the redemption of mankind. Yet, more remarkably, even though mankind despised and did not esteem Him (Isaiah 53:3), He esteemed and honoured us as worthy of dying for. This tells is without a doubt that our lives have great value to God.
So ask yourself: ‘What is driving me?’ Do you have a passion for the things of God? Or is your passion for your finances? Or your children? Or other relationships? Or other things?
Our lives are in His hands, but our lives are also in front of us to live day by day. We have this one opportunity to live life. It’s our choice how we live: we can either choose to live a messed-up life or we can choose to live a life that is lived with passion, purpose and with power. A LIFE LIVED WITH PASSION Jesus lived with passion. Jesus lived with passion for God and for man. We too must live with this passion. Determination and willpower will only take you so far, but passion is unstoppable. Great people have great passion, a force that consumes their lives and directs their energy. They are not always the strongest or the brightest of their peers, but they consistently outperform them. Their greatness cannot be explained
Our passion should first be for God; He should be first place in our lives. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:18. Let’s become passionate about the things of God, and lay aside any other passion that we’re currently living for that diminishes our first love for Christ and His Body. A LIFE LIVED WITH PURPOSE Jesus lived with purpose, and we need to do the same. Choose to live for purpose, on purpose! And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. Notice that we are called to ‘His purpose’. God calls you to a purpose. That purpose is the intended desire that God has for you. It is His good pleasure which sets the direction of that purpose, not our preference. Many Christians wander around in life wondering what their purpose is, saying ‘What’s my purpose?’ ‘Why am I here?’ ‘What am I supposed to do?’ ‘What do You want me to do Lord?’
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WHAT GOD IS LOOKING FOR IN OUR LIVES IS A STATE OF CONSTANT READINESS THAT THWARTS THE THIEF’S ATTEMPT TO STEAL FROM US
If this is what you’re saying, start where you are, among that part of Christ’s Body where God has placed you, and serve Him there. God will develop your purpose where He has placed you as you obey Him. Find something that you can do which will make a positive and constructive contribution to the place where you worship God; speak to your leaders and serve His Body. You can decide to make a difference in the church you attend. You can make sure that the house of God is amazing, because you are an invaluable, irreplaceable and a rare part of it. Your purposeful presence can make a world of difference. When you begin operating in your purpose, stay in your purpose. When you are in your purpose you are most powerful and you are driven by that which God has placed inside of you. That zeal and passion will undergird your purpose. Let’s live for purpose and let’s live on purpose! A LIFE LIVED WITH POWER
There is ability to carry out the purpose for which we have been called when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Jesus said to His disciples: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8. When you are filled with the Spirit and being led by the Spirit the enemy cannot touch you. When the fruit of the Spirit flows through your life, no legitimate accusation can be brought against you…Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23. Live life to the full and on purpose in the power of the Spirit. Live life in the authority you have as a child of God. It is when we keep pulling away from our power source that our lives become constantly difficult. So stay plugged into the Holy Spirit. He keeps you on fire. He keeps you going. He empowers your life. He gives you the ability to do life. He gives you the ability to fulfil the purposes and plans of God. Stay plugged in! Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10.
Jesus lived with power. Jesus lived plugged into the Holy Spirit. A child of God is led by the Spirit: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14.
It’s not your power: it’s the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Here are some key ways you can remain plugged in:
The Holy Spirit is our source of power and ability. He lives inside of us, but so often we remain unplugged. We need to plug ourselves into the Holy Spirit.
• • •
When we are born again He not only comes upon us, but He comes to live in us. There is authority attached to becoming born again: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:12.
Choices have to be made to put first things first. Christ is your life and you only reign in life through Him. (Romans 5:17; Colossians 3:4.) You are precious to Him; He must be precious to you. Live the life He’s given you with passion, purpose and power.
Draw on the presence of God. Pray in the Spirit. Keep developing your relationship with Him.
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TEACHING BY RALPH DI SOMMA
The reality is that today there are children who are abused, marriages that are shattered, hearts that are broken, and people who are dying without Christ. What are we doing about it? Martin Luther King Junior said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are we doing for others?” When Pastor Gerri came to the UK, God gave him a mission statement for Carmel: He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:2 We are at a crossroads, and if we want to achieve God’s vision for Bristol and beyond, we have a choice to make. The choice is between comfort and significance. It’s either one or the other. God is not calling us to be comfortably significant and He is not calling us to be significantly comfortable. He is asking us to choose: comfort or significance? If we stay the same, everything stays the same, but if we want to be everything that God’s called us to be, we need to change. Reaching our City will be uncomfortable, but it will result in significant change in people’s lives. Living for others is never an easy option, but it gives our lives significance. For example, in a marriage, when you lay down your life to love your spouse, it gives your own life significance because you’re living for something bigger than yourself. As a church we are called to live for something bigger than ourselves – God is daring us to live for Him. Let’s stop doing church and start being the church. Our mission from Luke 9:2 is not just about street preaching, and praying for people who have a cold. The mission goes deeper: it’s about caring for the people we are reaching. If we are to succeed in our mission, we need to assess how we are currently doing with the mission we are on. We need to take stock and see if we understand God’s mission and whether we are doing what’s necessary. In the original Greek Luke 9:2 reads: He commissioned them to be proclaiming the kingdom of the God and to be healing the ones being infirm.
Looking at this Scripture in more detail, let’s see how it relates to us: 1. Sharing God’s love by sharing His mission ‘He sent them’ in Greek is ‘He commissioned them’. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Go and live the life I live’. The disciples experienced everything that Jesus experienced. They saw what it’s like to preach, to be rejected, to see lives redeemed, and they saw healing brought into people’s lives. They saw theory turned into reality. That’s why God gave Carmel its mission statement: because it’s one thing to preach and do nothing about it, and it’s another thing to live it. Living the message is what gives it significance and power. Just like the disciples, we have the opportunity to experience everything that Jesus did. God loves everyone, and He is on a rescue mission to see His love change as many lives as possible. If our own lives are to be significant, we need to be participators in His mission. We are co-missionaries with God. He enables and allows us to participate in His rescue mission. Whether we participate in big ways or small ways, they are all significant because we are partnering with God. God has a mission for us. If we want to live a life of significance, we need to sacrifice our individual comfort and be willing to join God on His mission. Are you willing to go? 2. Caring for Others ‘Preaching the kingdom of God’ in Greek is ‘to be proclaiming the kingdom of God’. ‘Proclaim’ means: to announce officially and publicly, to declare, to make plain. When we preach the kingdom
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of God, we need to make it plain, in a way that is easy to understand and easy to follow. Preaching the kingdom of God means to correctly represent Christ. We need to be very careful to represent Christ in an accurate way to the world. Our responsibility is to represent Christ to the world by the way we live as well as what we say. Our lives speak volumes and if our lifestyles are ‘preaching’ an accurate Jesus, then the world will want to embrace Him. We should operate with great care when we present the Gospel. It’s not about being ‘seeker sensitive’, but it’s about being sensitive to seekers. Recognise that we’re all on a journey and so are the other people you are reaching for Christ. To be involved in God’s mission we need to be preaching the kingdom of God. Care for His mission should drive us to care for His people. That’s the starting point of how we share His message: with care. If everything we do is only for the believers, then what we do becomes insignificant. God has sent us on a mission to share His love with people that don’t know Him, to tell people that God’s life is something they can experience here, not just sometime in the future if they belong to Him. When we share in His mission, our lives have significance.
means: susceptible to, or marked by a preoccupation with unwholesome matters. When God says ‘heal the sick’, it’s not just coughs and broken legs, but it’s people who have a preoccupation with unwholesome matters, people who are busy building their lives on shifting sand and not on the solid rock of Christ. When we realise that healing the sick includes encouraging people, showing people there’s a better way to live, assisting people, and walking with people through difficult periods in their lives, then it opens up a whole new sphere of what we can do for God. Jesus wants us to be in the business of healing people, not just curing illnesses. We are to be a soothing ointment to people. We begin the healing process by: Not judging the sick. We’re not called to judge others; we’re called to judge ourselves. Don’t judge the sick; take them to the Healer, Jesus. Being patient with people. Realise that God is on a process in people’s lives. We need to have faith in God to trust His process, and not lose our patience. Being honest. Be honest with yourself and with others.
‘To heal the sick’ in Greek is ‘to be healing the ones being infirm’.
God has given us our mission statement in Luke 9:2, and through this, God is saying to His church, ‘I need you to work with me’. God needs you to share His love by sharing His mission. God needs you to care for His people by caring about His mission. God needs you to be prepared to serve others, to be a healing ointment in other people’s lives.
When we think of sickness, we instantly think about someone who has a particular illness, but there’s so much more to what ‘sick’ means. Sickness also
When we put all this together, God is saying, ‘I dare you to live for me’. It’s your choice. We’re confronted with comfort or significance. Which will you choose?
Are you correctly representing Christ? 3. Prepared to Heal
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TEACHING BY PASTOR GERRI DI SOMMA
As Jesus is God’s priceless gift to you, so you, with Christ in you, are a priceless gift to the world
A gift is something given to another, paid for by the giver and given freely. A priceless gift is beyond monetary or any other value, and is of immeasurable value to the one receiving it. Such a gift is perfect because it is priceless. On the human level, to me my children’s early drawings are priceless because of their effort and love. The value of the drawings to me is derived from the children themselves, not some material assessment of the quality of the drawings. On the other hand, the most expensive gift is devalued if I receive it with ingratitude, or try to recompense the giver. Similar principles apply in the spiritual realm. Let us look at God’s gift to us to see how priceless it is and how perfect it is in its purpose for the unbeliever, ourselves and the world. SALVATION IS GOD’S GIFT TO THE UNBELIEVER While we were sinners, God’s love and kindness embraced us and drew us towards Himself through Jesus’ death on the cross, to give us a new life in Him: by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8. There was absolutely nothing we could do to earn or deserve God’s priceless gift of salvation. We had to receive it by grace through faith.
The simple fact is that we were dead in our trespasses and sins. We were like everyone else. Our disobedience towards God gave the devil opportunity to command our lives. We were driven by strong desires to seek our own satisfaction. We had no future but the coming judgement and hell. (Ephesians 2:1-3.) We were not fit for the purpose for which God made us and our end, inevitably, was to be the rubbish dump of hell. But by grace we were saved through faith. The mere suggestion that we can do things for God to repay Him for His gift makes it of no value to us. But too often we try. It may not be calculated as a repayment, but what we do shows we still cannot receive it freely and therefore we devalue it as by works we attempt to justify ourselves. This is foolishness and a deception. Challenge yourself with Paul’s question to the Galatians: O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you…? Having begun in the Spirit are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:1-3.
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Through Christ’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life … for … the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 5:18; 6:23. The gospel is about God’s free gift of salvation to all men. As we preach it, let’s live it by the Spirit and not the flesh so that unbelievers have every opportunity to receive God’s gift. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD’S GIFT TO THE BELIEVER God’s gift of the Holy Spirit is freely given to all believers who ask Him. “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? … If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:11-13. Even within the frame of our humanity, we understand that a father desires to give good things to his children. We would be astonished if he did not. How much more so when we consider the heavenly Father and His children. God’s gift does not come from the careless extravagance of a doting parent. The pricelessness of the gift means it is with purpose and necessary for His children. But we still must ask for the Holy Spirit even though we have already been born of the Spirit. We don’t need to improve ourselves before asking for the Holy Spirit, as if our self-righteousness gives weight to our request. Without the Holy Spirit there is no improvement. We need Him to help and empower us to fulfill God’s plan and purpose for our lives. God said: I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Ezekiel 36:27. God gave the priceless gift of the Holy Spirit to God’s people, the church. We are individually born of the Spirit and individually need to be empowered by the Spirit, but the greater purpose lies with the church. We, the body of Christ, need to do the works of God in the power of the Spirit and in the process become the spotless bride prepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb. He wants a glorious church, holy and without blemish, something that is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:25-27.) So vital is the work of the Holy Spirit that we are instructed not to grieve Him. We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption.
Even within the frame of our humanity, we understand that a father desires to give good things to his children. Therefore there must be no bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, malice and evil speaking. Instead, we must be kind towards one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave us. (Ephesians 4:30-32.) THE BELIEVER IS GOD’S GIFT TO THE WORLD What makes you priceless as God’s gift to the world? Whatever anyone may think of you in the flesh, you are priceless to the one who is without hope of eternal life. You are God’s gift to them as the one who carries the message of hope and salvation. Because of the message you carry, that person could start a new life, forgiven and free of sin, with the promise of eternal life spent with God. You hold the key to them becoming a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17.) The baggage of their past could be lifted from them. The hurt, pain and uncertainty of life could end with a word from you. Are you not, then, God’s precious gift to the world? As Jesus is God’s priceless gift to you, so you, with Christ in you, are a priceless gift to the world as you obey the great commission to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. Today God loves the world through you and me. (John 3:16.) We are His ambassadors to a dying world as we share His message of reconciliation. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. Through God’s priceless gift of salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are a priceless gift to the world.
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DON’T MISS OUT ON CBC: OPEN DAY MONDAY 14TH JUNE, 9.00AM
When the children of Israel were delivered from captivity and their enemy brought down, they rejoiced. But they soon complained about the conditions their salvation had led them to. They even contemplated returning to their previous slavery because they lacked the knowledge of God, His purposes for their lives and how to live that life. And added to that, there were enemies trying to stop their progress towards the Promised Land. They soon had to face up to issues of leadership and authority (Exodus 17:9-13; 18:13-26) and learn their responsibilities as God’s people in His world. The Christian Community Today
Life skills for Living Life to the Full
We find that a similar scenario exists in the Christian community today. Many are relatively passive and, as a result, vulnerable to both their own temptations and the devil’s deception. Others, though more active, are often misdirected through lack of knowledge and even good leadership. Many know a lot, but are not particularly effective as believers, not having correctly applied their knowledge. As a result, many lives become shipwrecked, silenced and no longer fit for the purpose for which they have been made. (Hosea 4:6.)
It is this life ‘with God’ and lived ‘through Christ’ which is the normal Christian life, and this life is based on the Word of God and empowered by the Spirit of God. Every believer needs biblical life skills to fulfil the mandate of their calling, and to exercise their God-given gifts according to that mandate.
As believers, it may seem that we have an impossible task when we face up to the great commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39. Also, no believer is without responsibilities in God’s church: For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. Romans 12:4-6. However, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible; and therefore the believer can say with confidence, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Matthew 19:6; Philippians 4:13.
On the 10th July, a large number of students will graduate from Carmel: Bible College (CBC), having received intensive training in the biblical life skills with which to live life effectively as believers. Each graduate will have been renewed (Ephesians 4:23) and experienced core changes in their life, so that, by faith, they can live the life God has called them to. The Graduate Each of us believers, one day, will be a graduate when we finish the race set before us by God and go to be with the Lord. The life given us by God will have served as our college. The level of our final degree will depend on how well we lived that life ‘with God’ and ‘through Christ’. Some will have opened up and accelerated their opportunities through going to a Bible College, such as CBC. However, all will have been given opportunities by God to become all that He destined them to be. Why don’t you contact CBC? It could be God’s opportunity for you.
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ADVERTISING: YOUTH CAMP
This summer we head to the scenic backdrop of Ross-On-Wye for our annual youth camp! Our aim is to create a place where you can discover more about God and answer the question ‘How does God want me to do life?” If you’re aged 11-30 and want to experience God’s presence in a dramatic way, then this year’s youth camp is for you! Cost is £120.00 per person and includes all your meals, activities and accommodation (i.e. tent!) For more information or to register, visit our website: www.saintrevolution.com
ralph & joanna youth pastors
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JOIN US FOR OUR SEVENTH AGODTHING CONFERENCE THIS OCTOBER
‘...blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.’ GEN 22:17
HOSTED BY GERRI AND MICHELLE DI SOMMA
SPECIAL GUESTS MARK AND TRINA HANKINS
WEDNESDAY 27TH – SUNDAY 31ST OCTOBER 2010 REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.AGODTHING.CO.UK
Mr A Sample Sample Place Sample Town Sample City Sampleshire SA1 4MP
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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
If undelivered please return to carmel: ministries international 817a bath road brislington bristol bs4 5nl
THE WORD OF GOD ON AUDIO CD EVERY MONTH