Sunday, 30 October 2011

Kensington Temple - final part of a great weekend

Worship began with a tremendous sense of gratitude for God's love and mercy.
Colin Dyer sharing the word...... and this is a mix of his word and where God lead me in the process.....

Focus on grace...... grace that activates service.
Begining a week of enabling God's people to be energised for service - refreshed, renewed - equipped for service.

Looking at the ministry of encouragement..... vital to the life of the Christian amd the health of the church.
Anyone who has the Holy Spirit has the ability to encourage.....

Heb. 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Etymology - 'in courage'
the act of supporting and helping' it serves to incite,increase confidence, motivate, give courage.
You can say something that enables or encourages someone to DO something
Inspire, invigorate, animate,strengthen, to rouse, stir, rekindle, console, awaken, stimulate
Someone with the ministry of encouragement can embed these things in the life of another....
The devil has an interest in keeping Christians discouraged......

The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement,
yet so few people get the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential

'correction does much but encouragement does more'

We often think that we are being clever when we critiscise - but anyone can see the obvious and knock it.
Criticism is not a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Those who inspire us to great things spend more time encouraging us than criticizing us. And they encourage us all the more during times we are failing.

A minute of encouragement during a time of failure is worth an hour of praise at a time of success.

We do need to learn how to encourage ourselves in the Lord. David was encouraged in the Lord at low times andHe stirred himself through prayer and words which we read in the Psalms.

God's grace is the greatest encourager. In the Kingdom we can NEVER fail beyond recovery. The blood of Christ will always cleanse us as we return to Him.

How much conviction of sin does a Christian need - none!
How much conviction of sin does a non Christian need - plenty!

The ministry of the Holy Spirit changes in our lives when we are brought from death to life.
After becoming a Christian there is no further condemnation......but He does start to convince us of righteousness.
Once a Christian the Spirit moves from conviction to transformation.
Moving us from awareness of our need of forgiveness to a desire to be more like the One who forgives - Jesus.....

Some people do seem to spend a lot of time alone, discouraging themselves, convinced that they are far too busy to join with the family to receive encouragement.

How do / can we encourage others?

John 15:1-17

The Vine and the Branches
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glo ry, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples . “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete . My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command . I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

Firstly, disciples are promised grace (v3),unconditional love- you are already clean, you are accepted, you are in because of me.
However, there is a statement of truth that if you are not a fruitful Christian then you have excluded yourself from being used in the Kingdom. However the encouraging point is that this is not what is in God's heart for us - He has enabled and 'destined'us to be fruit bearers.

It is often difficult for us to really know God's presence when we are going through hard times, and it can require someone else to encourage us and confirm the truth of the promise that He will NEVER forsake us,

The implication of being joined to Christ in the way Jn 15 describes, means that we have God given supernatural ability to bear fruit. - He has the best in mind for us and has given us the capacity in Christ to achieve the best.

We are given the Spirit inspired capacity to be joyful in all circumstances..... with joy we will draw water from the well of salvation. We are given the Spirit inspired capacity NOT to worry.....because we are enabled to trust God.

Finally, the discipline of God.... the painful experiences we undergo can have positive purpose and fruitful outcomes....

When part of the vine is lying on the ground, dry, dusty and not bearing fruit.....it is gently lifted to the place where it can receive nourishment and start producing fruit again.

Pruning is fruitful! but it can be painful for a season. Taking out the good so the best can grow. The good is the enemy of the best. God has the best for us and equips us to achieve it.