In the mirror of the Father’s love

Someone had a picture during morning prayers of a person looking at themselves in a cracked and broken mirror. The Father showed me that if I looked in the mirror of his love for me, I would see a truer and clearer image both of myself and my past. I asked him to show me myself and my journey through his love, and he did.

Sad and painful things in my childhood are no longer indicators of the Father’s distance or lack of care. In the mirror of His love I see angels on assignment, waging war and winning. I see His Spirit wrapped around my spirit. I also see choices being made by people governed by sin and brokenness, spurred on by a host of demons. Then I suddenly realise that I have always been surrounded by songs of deliverance and victory, songs sung by the angels and God himself; my spirit has grown up with this, it is part of my identity. I see the Father decreeing that nothing will ever transpire that stops my adoption into His family as a beloved daughter – this is His chosen inheritance from before the creation of the world. He permits nothing to thwart His purposes for my life (nothing that is, except my choice). I see that I owe my life to warrior angels on assignment, the Holy Spirit and a devoted Father who refuses to let go of his eternal purposes. And finally I realise that He has been faithful and He can be trusted.

Through the years, before I consciously knew of his existence, the Father has been watching over me. By his Spirit he has spoken to me and sung over me, his angels too have done the same; my physical senses couldn’t quite pick it, but my spirit knew. And since the day I chose him for myself I have become more and more aware of him in my life, until last week when he showed me more in the mirror of His love for me.

My response isn’t gratitude, or praise or even thanks.

My response is my love and a yearning for his voice and his face.

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Life After Brexit

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The local church is perfectly positioned and equipped to help bring peace and to defragment our communities after Brexit:

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His Full Reward

I have been thinking more specifically about Jesus’ inheritance. The bible speaks about the nations being his inheritance. It also speaks about the joy set before him and the reward he receives for his suffering and death on the cross in our place. At the end of his time on earth, after his resurrection, he announces that he now has all authority in heaven and on earth; he then commissions his disciples to go and make disciples of the nations. To be a disciple of Jesus is to know him and learn his ways so we can live according to his ways; this is a beautiful thing, it’s the restoration of things to the Creators design and according to Jesus commission, whole nations can experience this, not just individuals. And when they and we do, Jesus is receiving his inheritance.

When we experience as individuals, as communities and even nations, all that Jesus’ death and suffering made available for us….. that experience is Jesus’ reward. When you receive forgiveness, when your friend receives healing, when your sister finds that deep rest in God; when any part of our lives becomes actively redeemed by Jesus… this is his reward. He delights in our salvation, in our peace, in our wholeness, in our restoration to relationship with the Father; it makes his suffering worthwhile, it’s why he died, it is the joy that was set before him.

Jesus inheritance and the reward for his suffering and death is the salvation and shalom, body, soul and spirit of every individual and nation. We get to participate in making sure that he receives his full reward, by pressing in to all that he has made available to us AND by leading our friends, communities and society back to him. Amazing!

Prayer for the Nation.

Last night our church gathered for an evening of prayer. It was a lovely time, prayer stations where people could engage with different areas and concerns were scattered around the building. I was running the station focusing on praying for our nation, especially in light of the elections coming up this Thursday.
Following on from my post last week, prayer is the vital core of community transformation. All our action must be birthed, bathed and followed in prayer, because prayer is listening to and hearing the voice of God and he has directions to give us if we care to find out.
Last night we used the Caleb Prayer:
Oh High King of Heaven, have mercy on our land: revive your Church, send Holy Spirit for the sake of the children and may Your kingdom come to our nation in Jesus’ might name.
And we used the Lord’s prayer:
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed (honoured) be Your name.
Your Kingdom come and Your will be done here in this land as it is in Heaven.
Give us (our people) today our daily bread. Forgive us our sin as we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the Kingdom, all the Power and all the Glory –
Forever and Ever. AMEN!

Spending time in both these prayers can help us get in touch with the depths of God’s heart for our land.
We watched the following videos which I really encourage you to take a look at. This first one is a call out to the people of God to think practically about transforming our society and its culture. There are so many areas of our society that we aren’t fully invested in as a people of God, but that is exactly what is needed if we are to take part in seeing God’s kingdom come in the UK.

This second video helps us to see the amazing work that the church is doing to heal the wounds of brokenness in our nation. But it challenges us to take on the things, the systems that are currently in place and allowing that brokenness to persist.

When we pray with our whole selves we not only spend time conversing directly with Holy Spirit, but we also let those conversations flow out and impact our choices and actions. This week in the UK we have a chance and responsibility to vote. Across the globe today people live and die to have a voice in their nation’s policies. My colleague said last week, “Whenever there is an opportunity to vote, I take it, even if it’s just something at the local library! I always think, people fought hard and gave their lives so that I could vote; so to honour them, I will!”. We may feel that our vote wont make a difference, and I get that, but not voting simply reinforces the status quo, instead, let’s do the work to make sure our vote does count! Our responsibilities don’t end with voting, there is work to do next week to see God’s kingdom come and his mercy poured out across our land.