-So We Killed Him

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“…so we killed him.”

All of a sudden I was undone and tears were flowing down my cheeks. Yes, I was responsible for his death. All of a sudden I could see that in a way I never understood it before.

I had begun the morning in my easy chair with a tall cup of strong coffee enjoying my latest sci-fi read when unexpectedly there was a reference to Jesus and how humanity had killed him because he didn’t meet our ‘religious expectations’-

“…so we killed him.”

Intellectually I knew it was true. After all, I passed my seminary exams in theology. But this was different and personal, the Holy Spirit had just knocked me down and I was on my knees. I was just as responsible for the death of Jesus as the ones who nailed him to the cross or the crowd who shouted- “Crucify him!” What a surprise and I couldn’t stop crying.

Fact is, everyone who has ever sinned is ultimately responsible for his death but I always self-righteously held special contempt for those religious leaders who planned it. But he did personally die for my sins and now I could no longer deny the implication. In a moment I could see my own part in his death.

But the story doesn’t end there does it! Jesus rose from the dead and everyone who believes on his name will also.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…John 11:25-26 -ESV

 

–Michael G. Davis, D.min.

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-Celebrating the Ministry of St. Patrick

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is a historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist with signs and wonders.

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

But who was this St. Patrick anyway? A man born into a Roman Christian family in Wales around 385 AD with the given name of Macwyn Succat. At age 16 he was taken from his home and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and became closer to God in the process. The ‘voice of God’ directed his escape and later commissioned him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He went to seminary and became a Priest in preparation and later a Bishop.

He is recognized by all major Christian churches–Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican since he ministered before the church was divided into all the different denominations we have today. So Protestants have just as great a claim on him as Catholics. And those of us who have Welsh blood running through our veins have as much right to claim St. Patrick as any Irishman.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead new Christian communities and villages. He also converted the sons of Kings and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

It is said that he was also a healer and that he prayed for hedges of spiritual protection surrounding Christian homes, churches, and whole villages. Legend has it that snakes were banished from the island in the process, though scientists today doubt there was ever any on the island. Nevertheless, Druid priests were forced leave and demons and evil principalities were cast out and challenged by St. Patrick.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of  church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but probably recorded a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.               *Top

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-The Send 2019: A New Jesus People Move?

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60,000 gathered in Orlando on Saturday for The Send 2019 -hoping to kick off a new ‘Jesus People’ move of God. From the Christian Post:

“The Send,” was a 10-hour event organized by Youth With A Mission, Christ for All Nations, and Lou Engle of Lou Engle Ministries. The Orlando, Florida event at Camping World Stadium featured several collaborators from various national ministries who hoped to motivate Christians to fulfill their God-given call.

According to Engle, the live-streamed event was inspired by a conversation in 2011 with YWAM members hoping missionaries would rise up following the death of Rev. Billy Graham.

As the day went on, The Send featured pastors and evangelists such Bill Johnson, Daniel Kolenda and Francis Chan, along with worship teams such as Hillsong Young & Free, Jesus Culture, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Bethel Music.

<Read the whole article>

Response: The organizers of this gathering are hoping that this kicks off a new move of God among young people in particular like the Jesus People Move of the last generation. Every move and revival is different but it is the dedication and life changing type of movement among the youth that we are looking for in this generation.

Actually we are hoping and looking for an even greater international revival- a Great Harvest which will be far beyond any previous move of God since the first century.

From The Send website:

“a call to action, a call to repentance and a call to service.”

The Send is a stadium gathering and national campaign to catalyze every believer into a lifestyle of Christ-like action.

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-Archbishop of Canterbury: Praying in Tongues and Praying for World Evangelism

 220px-Archbishop_of_Canterbury (Source of Image: Wikipedia)

Here’s an encouraging testimony from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Most American Charismatics and Pentecostals do not normally think of English Anglican Bishops as being daily participants in speaking in tongues or as willing recipients of words of knowledge and prophecy. From Christian Today:

He said: ‘In my own prayer life and as part of my daily discipline I pray in tongues every day – not as an occasional thing, but as part of daily prayer.’

He said he had been encouraged by words of knowledge and prophecy: ‘I expect to hear from God through other people with words of knowledge or prophecies – some of which I am unsure about, others I can sense there being something of the Spirit of God.’

Better yet, Archbishop Welby is supporting a special prayer initiative for World evangelism:

The archbishop was speaking in connection with the launch of Thy Kingdom Come, now in its fourth year, the prayer initiative that has united more than a million Christians from more than 65 different denominations and traditions in more than 114 countries to pray for evangelisation. It takes place between Ascension to Pentecost, May 30-June 9. …

He added: ‘It’s very unusual for something like Thy Kingdom Come to gather churches together on such a global basis. I don’t think it’s unique, I think it’s biblical. It started by looking at what the disciples did between the Ascension and Pentecost.  …

<Read the compete article>

Take a look at the website for the prayer initiative: Thy Kingdom Come

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-What Does a Genuine Move of God Look Like?

Preparing for the glory

          (Destiny Image Publishers, 2018)

What does a genuine move of God look like? It is allowing the Holy Spirit to do what he wants to do. It is seeking God and nothing else. It is doing what the Father is doing just like Jesus did.

In the context of a church and especially church services it might be somewhat chaotic or at least look that way to those visiting or on the outside looking in. Read the account about Pentecost in Acts 2. Folks on the street thought they were drunk.  A genuine move of God might even be uncomfortable for faithful believers and even strain some of our theology. At least past revivals have.

I recently read a book  by John and Carol Arnott about their experiences as leaders during the Toronto Outpouring or Blessing which is ongoing in many ways and in many places as far away as Africa. But the real focus of the book was on preparing for and sustaining the next move of God:

Preparing for the Glory: Getting Ready for the Next Wave of Holy Spirit Outpouring

Anyone interested in revival should take the time to read this book. It is full of great experiences and full of hope and insights into what God is doing now and what the next move might look like and how to prepare for it.

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