risenlife, Author at Risen Life Church

Lost but Found

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1 Samuel 9 – 10 (NIV)

The anointing of Saul is an incredible story and well worth a 5 minute read when you have a moment.  We often look back on King Saul’s life reflecting on the latter years of his reign and the enmity he had with David. But at the inception of Saul’s calling he was quite a humble man.  The story starts with Saul’s father Kish, a Benjamite and man of good standing, having lost his donkey’s.  Not an everyday occurrence for us in our western society; but what is lost here is all part of God’s plan.

Saul took one of his father’s servants and they commenced on a search covering the territories of Ephraim, Shaalim and Benjamin and finally reaching a place called Zuph, where Saul declared “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

At this point the intervening power of God is introduced with the servant suggesting that a local prophet might be able to help.  Well you can read the whole story for yourself but needless to say that prophet was Samuel and God had told him the day before that He would send him a man from the land of Benjamin and that Samuel should anoint him King over Israel.

So on reflection, what might be crazy circumstances for us in chasing lost donkey’s might just be God’s master plan for our lives.  What’s lost in ours eyes is never lost in His and what may be difficult and turbulent roads for us may just be the very journey which leads us to our perfect destiny. You may have travelled far, journeyed long and about to turn back and declare this to be all pointless.  But maybe this is a good point to just say “Hey God what do you say?” and just see what happens.

This story ends with the donkeys found safe and sound and young Saul anointed as King over Israel!

Pastor Alec Dobney

Amazing Grace

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Galatians 2v20 (NIV)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

There should be two amazing moments in our encounter with Jesus, the day we get saved and the day we fully comprehend the wonder of His grace. When John Newton penned those iconic words back in 1779 and realised that such a wretched man as him could be saved he experienced the tremendous life changing power of grace. Once saved however many Christians go on to struggle day after day as if grace, whilst sufficient to save us, is unable to preserve us in that place of victory and righteousness. We have a bad day and immediately feel condemned and unrighteous and far from God. Or our struggle may be with sin that overshadows our faith so we lose heart because, however hard we try, we never seem to overcome.
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It’s a done deal!

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Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. v13

Recently I was reflecting on this well known and often quoted verse. So often we can turn to God for our needs to be met but the Bible is clear that God has already given me everything I need for life and for godliness. When we go to God to get our needs met, we are actually going to God in fear of these not being met! Instead we need to go to God in faith, thanking him that our needs have already been met and expectant of what we will achieve in this new situation. Christ who strengthens me (or as some translations read, Christ ‘which’ strengthens me) reflects the anointing of Christ, which God placed at my disposable before time began, to be activated by my faith in the name of Jesus. When I enquire of God to ensure that I am in his will, and I obey and follow his direction in faith, I activate the anointing of Christ within me and I am equipped and empowered to do and to be all that God requires me to be to fulfil his purpose. I have all I need to fulfil everything I will ever be faced with in the will of God because God designed me to carry out his plans before time began. Wow! How awesome is that!

Pastor Jan Mace

 

Stating the obvious

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You don’t have to scroll down your Facebook news feed too far before coming across one of those little faith filled boxes of encouragement with a few words of wisdom or a positive thought. I liked one I read yesterday which simply read:

You know when it’s cold when you go outside and it’s cold!

Blindingly obvious, but made me think that sometimes we need to experience the obvious before it becomes a reality in our lives. I love it when Jesus just simply quotes the obvious without leaving room for questions or debate. Mark 16 v 17 is a great example. “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (NIV). Jesus simply says they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well. Whilst other verses of scripture might offer us opportunity for a deeper theological discourse on healing, simple acceptance of the obvious is sometimes all that’s required to see the reality of healing in our lives.

You know when people are healed when you lay hands on people and they are healed!