What there is a FUTURE?

images-1.jpegWhen we read the opening passage of Ephesians we really find an apostle that has been empowered and inspired, one has to ask I wonder what he is taking for that? In the days of challenge we have to look at what it is that keeps people running. What is it that has resurrected this once murderer of the family of God? or certainly one that engineered the taking of the church? Through Paul’s writing we have a glimpse of who he is and what he sees along with his feelings and revelations. Guidelines of that which is gotten hold of him. I would say we would do well to consider and focus our attention on what Paul focused on.

A fundamental change has taken place in our thinking that enables us to get onto the same understanding as Paul. I remember as a young Christian when we were taught about the rapture, the decline of the testimony of God and the great darkness of this world. But today it is settled, this world all of it is God’s world. God created everything, everything that happens God is to be found, Father, Son and Spirit, God in everything creation, humanity.

You cannot read Paul’s outline on Ephesians 1 without realising that it is a plan, a plan from the eternal but it was set in place long before creation. It included “ a lamb slain before the foundation of the world” amongst other things. You could say this is the secret behind all things, it is that which governs the movement of world, a movement towards the culmination of God’s plan. In this plan God is fully involved and God has designated One to bring about this plan. The description of Acts 17:31, ” God has fixed a day in which God will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” clearly paints the picture that this One is the horizon of all things, the reference point, the culmination, the source and the beginning of all Gods’ aims. The word “…appointed…” in this passage is ‘horizio’ where we get our word for horizon from. This Christ has now fulfilled all the Father had in mind.

My appeal for every one of us is that we come out from the doldrums of self and come into to the great wide open spaces of the plan of God. Over the years we’ve all been challenged by an understanding of the gospel of God, moving us from a declining view of the church, to beginning to understand the Triumph of Christ. I believe that along with the triumph of Christ, the celebration of God is brought into clarity, many need this message of the plan of God. In motion, but not out of time, it is not late or early but is being the fulfilled and being fulfilled. Many are struggling with daily challenges, health issues and financial strain but the scripture is clear it has been finished, this plan of God is complete, we have the joy of bringing it to life today so that all of creation is impacted.

This day each one of us is being retrained through perseverance, a term that has been around for many years and one that was used much in the old Pentecostal setting where I came to Christ, that is, we are learning to travail. This means I fix the nature of the Father Son and Spirit, I set in my mind the call of God and become unwavering, as I persevere.

Christ, the Son has stepped forward and has worked out the eternal purpose. Paul is captured, his preface taken away, his words he feels are lacking, his life’s goal and ambition, the course has been set, to the point that he compares beatings, points of near dying as “light afflictions”, he is overwhelmed in awe of what has happened as he tries to outline in the first chapter of Ephesians. The work is finished and the plan on course it captured Paul, it should capture you and me, and maintain our advance and journey. This Ephesians 1 is Paul’s attempt to wake us up!

Prophets with a Passion

As we read through the scriptures especially the Old Testament we cannot but see that there were men and women such as Samuel and others like him who were before him and his successors were at the forefront of the purpose of God for their moment, they brought images.jpegto a nation the flaming message of God’s word. They spoke to kings, rulers, governors and decision-makers who in turn attempt to put pressure these men and women to change their tone or to change their message, in essence to change their words, their prophesying. But these men and women had settled something they were first and foremost servants of the most high, and despite all the pressures they remained so true to their first cause. Individuals who are there to turn their gathered nations or people groups hearts and intentions towards God, they spoke and brought to all that they could hear God.

We are surrounded today with political electioneering whether it be on a local level, on a national level or even an international level. Electioneering shows politicians of all shapes and sizes seeking to discover through opinion polls what the people want them to say on single issues. Unfortunately when this is discovered we find opinions changing, adjustments of emphasis and repositioning all to gain position in accordance to what they discovered, this shows little of a convictional lifestyle. It will not be so with prophets, or the purpose, for they know the heart of God, the will of the Father, Son and Spirit. They are not politicians but prophets.

They themselves are the vehicle, the message they carry moulds and informs their lives, their whole action of life is painted by the message they carry, it is the school of the spirit in their lives shaping and forming and moulding them to be prophets.

A prophet has to become secure in their inner self so they find themselves never measuring themselves by people’s response to their word. The fulfilling release they have is knowing that they had been the voice of God in their time. The response to the word is an issue between the people and their God, the prophet is the deliverer, what they know is the word of God, which is living to them.

O God raise in our midst passionate prophets that bring to each of us your living, uncomplicated but life-giving word.

Incl-US-ivity – “IN” or “OUT”


In my last blog ‘Your IN’ we began the conversation around INCLUSIVITY which has become a challenged word in some Christian circles, although society at larger are equally talking it, just look at the recent debate coming from the Oscars of 2016 etc.       I Continue in the conversation but listing several marks of Jesus kind of inclusivity…?       I wonder?

Do I have my own theology of inclusion?

Here are some key considerations the kind of Jesus inclusion we should show


…recognises, values, loves and celebrates the marginalised – was not Jesus from the edge of society sent to include those considered least – poor, weak, outcast, foreigners and prostitutes.

…recognises harm done in the name of God. – we cannot be followers of Christ and oppressive, you don’t have a future in being oppressed or oppressing others.  We must do all to continue in love and be love the scriptures exhort us, yet many feel rejected, people say that teaching has oppressed them, tradition imprisoned and excluded them.

….should with full intention to be creating life on the margin.  – our inclusive community deliberately makes a conscious and unapologetic decision to love and celebrate the Creator’s diversity welcoming all persons regardless of race, colour, ancestry, age, gender. Foundational Christian community outside the dominant culture seeing the Kingdom of God includes the margins of life. The Kingdom of God is to be inclusive, this the very nature of God. Edges will respond to people who are open and extravagant grace, where other people from the edge gather.  A place to be safe what about being this kind of community

….will not imitate the church structures, but will be Church – the people of God are the sole property of God not a denomination, a person, a stream or a group. Radical inclusivity is rooted in restoration reconciliation, creational restoration, Christ filling all in all.
A free people to use their freedom to love to model and demonstrate the inclusive love of Jesus Christ.

….requires a new way of seeing and a new way of being. –  celebrating one another in in Christian community – accepting, see each other as God sees us.

… is to be aware, information and understanding – creation of a Christian community among people marginalised means through education and training an understanding, developing a welcome and de-stigmatize its view of any group of people.

… will not hide, and works to undo shame and fear.
Jesus says don’t hide your ‘unacceptable’ realities so you can be accepted or embraced, In order for people on the edges to ‘be’ a community that is “naked” with their “edge-ness/marginality” in full view.

…sees fully diversity on the margin. – the margin is generally full with people who have been forced out. People on the margins are challenged to find the inter-connectedness.

… must be linked to preaching and teaching. – the Church requires preaching and teaching that defines and strengthens community by developing a biblical understanding of inclusivity.

… demands hospitality. – a hospitality where no one has to defend nor deny their place or their humanness.   Listen to how Henri Nouwen says it, “Hospitality…means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy.  Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.  It is not bringing men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by a dividing line.  It is not to lead our neighbour into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment. It is not a method of making our God and our way into the criteria of happiness, but the opening of an opportunity to others to find their God and their way.  Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adopt the life style of the host, but the gift of chance for the guest to find his/her own.”

…is sustained & celebrated when everyone in community is responsible & accountable. – images-1.jpegestablish a belonging that includes everyone in the life of the Church, I mean every one, so we truly produce a shared life, experience in and contribute to the welfare of the whole community.  A thought “freedom without responsibility and accountability is as detrimental as slavery”.  Freedom is not an end itself, let me expand freedom from something must flow into freedom to be something else or it is not truly freedom.

incl US ivity