Christ's Great Desire

 

for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
 

Encouragement from High Places!
 

Recently our Prime Minister stated he believed the church should be more evangelistic about her faith! These follow on from the Queen’s recent open proclamations of her faith. When those in authority are speaking like this how much more encouragement does the church need to reach to others with the amazing good news of Jesus something is changing. Many are sensing a shift is taking place across the UK with openness to Christ in many unexpected places. Some perhaps relying on old methods of reaching the lost might say we’d tried and people are not ready. We believe it’s time to follow the words of Jesus to cast our nets out again but in a different way, on the other side of the boat. (John 21:6)

  
 
His Heart becomes our Heart
 
In this time of outpouring and encounter it’s vital we catch the true heart of Christ for those who don’t know Him. He has paid for the sins of the world and yet so many have never really heard of what He’s done for them. His joy explodes more when just one turn to Him then the ninety nine that are ready in Christ.(Matt 18:13) His passion and emphasis is to get back what was lost. Lost not just in themselves but to a Father God, who longs to have a unique relationship with them.
 


 
Finding the Sons/Daughters of Peace
 

There have been numerous models of evangelism, many adopt a hit as many as you can approach, similar to a business sales model. However, by far the most people come to Christ through a friend. Jesus outlined this approach generally in Luke 10. Jesus talks about finding a ‘son of peace.’(Lk 10:6) The Holy Spirit is already working in the hearts of many completely outside the church. As we are sensitive we discover folk who are open, often in unexpected places. Our peace rests on them when we’re around. Often the love of God draws us in a significant way. Jesus then speaks about spending time, eating and drinking with them.(Lk10:7) Many need to know we really care about them as a person. In time opportunities come to minister as needs are shared, Jesus calls us to, ‘heal the sick there.’(Lk10:9) As people are touched by the Holy Spirit that then gives us a wonderful opening to tell them what Christ has done for the whole of them. Intellectual arguments in this post-modern world rarely win hearts. When people experience the love of God in healing and encounter there is nearly always a hungry to know more and receive the One who touched them.

 
 
 
May His Spirit lead us into Christ’s heart for the lost and enable us to reach many with the His amazing message of good news.
 

 

With our love & prayers

Pastors Phil & Caroline

 

 
 
  

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A Revolution of Life

 

Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 60:1-2 

 

 
Throughout history there have been uprisings and revolutions in various nations led by people of courage and often with hope for a change for the better.  Many of the tactics and beliefs however have been flawed.  As people in this nation have lived with years of what they think is Christianity, many have looked at other beliefs or ways as a kind of rising up to be free from “religious” repression. Christianity is so often misrepresented or misunderstood so that people are unaware of just how radical a revolutionary Jesus was. His attitudes and behaviour were revolutionary.  Jesus respected women, spent time with thieves, conmen, prostitutes and the disease-infected under-classes.  He was seen as a political agitator, a man hunted and hated by the authorities.  His revolution was one of life, love, and hope. It is a revolution we still need.
 

 
The compassion of Jesus

Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.  What does compassion mean here?  Compassion means “to be moved inwardly”; “to yearn with tender mercy, affection, pity, and empathy”.  It arises from the very depth of a person and is the deepest movement of emotions possible.  Compassion is sharing the feelings of others and being moved to help them in their trouble. So when Jesus saw the lost multitude, He yearned with tender mercy, affection, pity and empathy from the very depth of His affections.
 

 
Jesus Lifts People Up
 
A man fell into a ditch and various religious types of people went past and offered their advice.  Not one of them actually bothered to make the effort to reach down and lift him out of the ditch.  Then Jesus came along and without hesitation reached down and lifted him out.  Jesus’ compassion represents God’s desire to be reconciled to all people of all backgrounds. When God saw the depravity of the human race, all the selfishness, deceit, greed, wrong motives, behaviour, He could very easily have said “you’re all so disgusting, the way you all carry on” and could have given up on the human race but He didn’t. He was filled with a deep compassion for them and saw that they were lost, like sheep without a shepherd. He didn’t condone their current state or behaviour but said, ‘I’m going to do all I can to lead you out of this and make it possible for you to find real life.’
 

 
A Place to call home

It is possible to be in a crowd and be lonely.  The majority of people living in London were not actually born where they are living.  This means that many do not have family or close friends nearby. One of the most wonderful things about being a part of a church community is that no one needs to be lonely anymore.  We are called to be a family of believers, to “love as brothers”.  One of the great blessings of belonging to a church family is that we are able to find a place we can call home, where we are loved, accepted and celebrated.  Let’s continue to cherish and protect our home and enjoy all we have together but let’s always be ready to embrace anyone who comes into our home and remember what we felt like when we were new.
 

 
As we look around us, may we be filled with a compassion for those who are without the hope, life and love that we enjoy and arise to lead them to the One who longs to lift them up.
 



With our love & prayers

Pastors Phil & Caroline

 

 
 
  

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A New Year with a New Heart

 

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
 
 

Detoxed Heart

As we begin another new year it’s so important we get rid of the baggage from the old. Jesus is very clear on how important it is that we detox our hearts from unforgiveness, But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:26) The person that suffers the most when we don’t forgive is ourselves. It’s a toxic substance eroding the freedom of our salvation. Often when people truly release forgiveness from the core of their being, they say a fresh lightness enters their heart, they sense a new inner freedom. It’s as we release others that we release ourselves.
 
 
Heart filled with Heaven

It’s so easy for our hearts to become contaminated by the bombardment of negativity we face on a daily basis. Yes deep darkness does cover the earth. (Is 60:2) However focusing on darkness doesn’t result in us being filled with light! We are called to be a radical alternative shining into the darkness. Paul prays for the Ephesians in chapter 1:18 that the eyes of their heart will be enlightened (photizo). This is where we get the word photograph from. Paul was praying for the imagination of their hearts to receive a picture of the hope of their calling. So often we pray for things while our hearts imagination is full of exactly the opposite! It’s vital we hear and see what heaven has for each situation so we can truly pray with wholehearted faith.


 
Purity
 
Jesus tells us, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matt 6:22) Clearly Jesus is not talking about our natural eyes otherwise those with glasses would be at a disadvantage! It’s about filling our heart’s inner eye with His truth and light which causes our whole being to be full of His light. Proverbs tells us “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Pro4:20–2)
 

 
Meditate on the Good things

Paul tells us to, “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”(Phil 4:8)
The enemy loves to throw the very opposite at us. By choosing to mediate and focus on the good things the Father is doing in our lives and the lives of others we fill our lives with His truth & light, making us a radical Christ filled alternative to the darkness that surrounds us.
 
 
 
 
Let’s begin this year with a clean and light filled heart, shining into the darkness that surrounds us the glorious light of His heavenly Kingdom.
 



With our love & prayers

Pastors Phil & Caroline

 

 
 
  

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Leaving the Old & Embracing the New


See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
 

 

Interesting Days

From many perspectives 2014 is looking like a very significant year in God’s purposes. Scripture tells us among other things He,
will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.’ (Acts 2:19) There are due to be 4 blood red moons in 2014 & 2015. In the last century this only happened during the Jewish Passover twice between 1949 and 1950 just after the nation of Israel given the right to exist and in 1967 and 1968 at the time of Six-Day War which saw Israel survive against impossible odds and possess Jerusalem. In both periods they were very significant in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, with the late 1940’s seeing one of the greatest waves of healing revival to hit the western church, with hundreds healing revivalists released across the world. 1967 saw an unprecedented outpouring across all main historical denominations with thousands previously untouched groups and individuals filled with the Spirit. The big surge that occurred around 1948 occurred just after the deaths of Smith Wigglesworth, Amie Semple McPherson and Chares Price. Many wondered who would spearhead the work of God. In a short space of time hundreds of fiery young revivalists were anointed and rose up to take spread the gospel across the world. Leaders such as Oral Roberts, TL Osborn, Billy Graham, William Branham and many others were pivotal at this time. Of these leaders only Billy Graham survives. A number of prophetic voices believe when the last of these great generals goes home there will be another massive surge and outpouring of signs and wonders! Speculation or not there is a growing sense that the season of shifting, testing and preparation is beginning to come to an end, and a season of fresh outpouring is going to follow. As we prepare for the year ahead, we’ve found it helpful to allow the Spirit of God to take us through some of the stages the disciples went through before Pentecost.

 
 

Realise you cannot do anything & be who you’re called to be in your own strength.

Matthew 26:35 says all the disciples said they would not deny Jesus. Yet before the day was over they had all fled from the captured Jesus. Many are still overwhelmed by their own failure and disappointments, paralysed by the enemy’s condemnation and lies. It’s time to put the old year failings at the foot of the cross and receive in a fresh way His full forgiveness and walk into this New Year free from baggage looking only to Him for purpose and strength.
 
 
See yourself fully identified with Christ at the Cross & Resurrection
 
When He died, the old you died. (Rom 6:6) When He was raised, you were raised with Him (Eph2:6) His position has become your position, His history your history (2Corth 5:17,21) Become totally clear of your identity in Christ Jesus. Apart from Him you can do nothing but through Him you can do all things! (Phil 4:13) Knowing who you totally transforms your perspective on what God can do with your life!
 
 
Give Him every single part of your life
 
The Father is actively looking for those He can raise up and powerfully anoint to bring His kingdom to those all around them. (2Chron 16:9) Many play the church game limiting their commitment and consecration. There are others however who will truly give Him everything, laying their lives on His alter. (Rom 12:1) Only the Father really knows what is occurring in the secret place. However in due season, His reward will be known openly! (Matt 6:6) Those early disciples after a season of prayer and waiting, were fully ready for the big surge forward when on the day of Pentecost the Spirit of God suddenly broke in with awesome power. We’re living in exciting days of when significant moves of God could be close at hand. Let’s give ourselves fully over to Him and prepare our hearts for all He has planned for us.
 
 
 
Praying for all the Father has for us in 2014


Pastors Phil & Caroline

 

 
 
  

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The Saviour has been born


“ but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2:10–11




No Need to Fear

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” Luke 2:9  The shepherds were out on the hillside as usual watching over their sheep when suddenly an angel appeared and the glory of God shone around them. The angel must have been so awesome and it was probably the last thing they expected to happen on a seemingly normal evening. Fear is a common response when unexpected things happen. People are often afraid when they are confronted with things they are not familiar with and so many fears are not based on truth at all. Fear is a big factor in why many never walk through the doors of a church. Some are afraid of rejection and of people judging them. Some might have a wrong view of God and think He is angry and out to get them. Others are afraid of being caught up in religion and fear that the fun will be taken out of their lives.
 

The Best News Ever

The majority of news stories are bad news stories. With stories on violent crime, turmoil in certain nations and economic downturn.  Anyone constantly only listening to news of that kind could easily get filled with fear and stress. There is so much bad news every day and yet there is always good news that far outweighs the bad if you know where to look. Many overlook the birth of Jesus and see it as a nice story for children but without any real impact on their lives in modern society . Every Christmas we celebrate the best news that mankind has ever received, “a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”(Luke 2:11)
 

 
Good News for All
The birth of Jesus is “ good news that will bring great joy to all people” (Luke2:10). The Christmas story that many are familiar with from watching nativity plays is far more than a nice story from long ago with no impact on our lives today.  This good news will cause great joy for anyone who receives it. This little baby in a manger came to bring life, light, joy, freedom, hope, peace, fulfilment and many other wonderful things to all people. No one is left out of this good news everyone is included. This means that whoever you are and whatever you have done you are still able to receive this good news and it can impact your life. Imagine the joy that would fill homes, offices and cities at Christmas if people really understood what the birth of this little baby in Bethlehem really meant.
 
 
 
The Saviour has been Born
 
At university there was a man who used to stand on the corner with a big sandwich board on with large writing about being saved and things like that written on it. We used to walk past and think “what a weirdo, saved from what anyway”. Many overlook the good news about  the birth of a Saviour because they don’t think they need saving. Jesus saves us from so much! We are saved from man- made religion, from trying earn favour with God and most importantly from death and being disconnected from God. Jesus gives us life instead of death, hope instead of despair, truth instead of confusion. We are saved from ourselves and a life of living for things that are of no eternal significance.
This little baby in the manger is God’s gift to all people. The most wonderful Christmas gift you could ever receive.
Let’s enjoy the gift of our Saviour even more this year and share this good news with those around us as never before.
 

 
 
 
 
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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Church after the Heart of God


How lovely is your dwelling-place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:1-2

 
 

Zealous Worship

Jesus was enjoying lunch with friends in Bethany. "Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. ” (John 12:3-5)  He rebuked her harshly. There are many things that are unhealthy and even dangerous to be
zealous about. But there is one thing that is never wrong to be zealous and passionate about and that is worshipping Jesus. Our whole being thrives when we worship our creator as we were made for worship. We can be unashamedly hungry for God's presence
because it is in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts17:28) Thankfully being zealous for Jesus and His kingdom doesn’t mean we’re going to blow anyone up, use violence or force but if our hearts are being shaped by His Spirit of truth and love, it should only make us better people. Catching the loving, pure, wholesome heart of the Father God changes us for the better and
enables us to make a positive impact on our world.

 
 

Worship is never wasted time

"Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always be with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me." (Mark 14:4-7) It cost her, it was a sacrifice, it was purely an act of adoration and worship. That must have been a special moment for Jesus, He described it as beautiful. He looks at your open hearted worship and says “that’s beautiful”. The answer for bringing the Kingdom into our world isn’t better
programmes or the latest Christian phase. The answer first and foremost is getting more of God; more of God in our lives, more of God in our work place, more of God in our homes, more of God in our church services. It does cost in terms of time, energy and other ways but every choice we make to worship is honoured, beautiful to God and makes a difference.

 
 
Come as His child
There's a moving story a father tells of how he remembers hugging his daughter and her often imploring in a sweet little voice, “longer Daddy longer”. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14) Everyone, whether you are a big strong man or an accomplished woman, needs hugs from Father God regularly. This happens as we come and simply spend time in His presence with no agenda but to simply be with Him.
Children are also spoken of as representing simplicity and humility. We don't have to try to be cool, religious, or sophisticated with God. You are God’s child, just come to him with the simplicity and humility of a child.

 

 
God is passionate about people
 
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7) Love comes from God, draw near to God, spend time with God and you will catch His heart for people. As we press into Gods presence it will draw unbelievers to Him. As we honour the presence God we are easily able to flow with the Holy Spirit and see the supernatural released into situations. Seeing peace, healing, strength, miracles, words of knowledge released is a simple overflow of our worship.
 
 
May we all truly become a church after the heart of God.
 
  
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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Living Intentionally


‘Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are               behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…’   Philippians 3:12–13

 

 

Born with Destiny

Each of us has a unique destiny which the Father planned long before we were even born (Eph 2:10). Normally His call is manifested by a deep desire stirring within us as we allow the Holy Spirit to work, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.’ (Phil 2:13) How we respond and then develop our call is vital. From Jesus very first ‘come and follow Me…’ His call always requires a wholehearted response.
 
 

Not Passive

For those in revival/renewal streams there are areas we need to be careful about. At times rather than working and developing our call and gifting, we can just wait for the ‘revival’ ‘breakthrough’ or rapid promotion to occur. Whilst these can and do happen in our lives, they are nearly always linked to faithful service in the little things. Joseph faithfully managed both Potiphar’s house & the jail, before God entrusted him with a whole nation. We can also fall down by not strategically planning and working towards the dream God’s given us. The Father expects us to plan and put action to our purpose. If we’re called to a healing ministry it’s important we don’t just wait for an anointing to drop out of heaven. Pray and seek the heart of God for this, read scriptures and books on healing, get around and learn from people used in healing. Also begin to put action to your faith by praying for folk you meet and volunteering for Healing Place. 
 

 
Get Going
Paul had a powerful call to bring the gospel to the gentile world. He devoted his whole life to this and strongly pursuing His destiny to advance God’s kingdom throughout the known world. At times the Holy Spirit had to restrain him from going to certain places; ‘they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia… the Spirit did not permit them.’ (Acts 16:6–7) This demonstrates how passionate Paul was about fulfilling his purpose. At times he received specific guidance from the Holy Spirit, but in the meantime he threw himself into God’s general will for his life. A ship’s rudder can only steer when the ship is moving. The Father expects us to use and develop the talent He has given us. Don’t wait for some special day, start using and developing the gift He has given you.
 
 
Strategic Thinking
 
Sometimes because of our emphasis on waiting for God to break into our situation, we don’t make any plans and as a result don’t move towards the purpose God has given us. There are times when the Father unexpectedly accelerates our influence. However as Paul demonstrates we are called to grow and develop in our gift. ‘A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps’ (Prov 16:9) gives us a guide. We are called to plan but be open to the Lord breaking in to change our plans. Ask the Father to show you areas He wants to develop in the next year. It could be a ministry area, something practical like losing weight, or spiritual like learning to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. Look at practical things you could do to achieve this, in the next week, the next month, three months etc. Read in that area, find others already developed in this area, check out training courses. Set goals and make yourself accountable to a trusted friend.
The Father never intended us to drift through life. We are called to live intentionally, discovering and fulfilling the destiny we were created for.
 
 
 
Let’s make this season count in our lives by living in our God given purpose.
 
 
  
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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Communities of Transformation
 

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47)
 
 

Strangers who become Family

This freshly birthed church was unusual in that most of them had just gathered from across the Roman world and had just given their lives to Christ. Most of these new believers would have hardly have known each other, yet they gave themselves wholeheartedly to God, the apostles teaching and to each other. This level of faith and commitment attracted a powerful and clearly manifested blessing of God. These believers grew together rapidly developing in their identity in Christ and living out their new life. There is so much we can learn from this first church of the New Testament.
 

Real love and generosity

Whilst ‘sharing all things in common’ (Acts 2:44) was unique to the Jerusalem church and does not appear to be copied by other churches in the New Testament, it reflects the real love and honour with which they held each other. Church was never meant to be just a Sunday service, it’s a family of believers working out their salvation together in relationships that love and inspire each other to grow more and more Christ like. Our relationships are a direct reflection of our love for God. As we move into this new season in God together let’s ask the Holy Spirit, how can I specifically love others, how I can I be generous, how I can build others up, how I can promote unity in His body.
 
 
Big and Small
Many in the body of Christ only value the small group setting, others only value large corporate settings neglecting more intimate relationships. The Jerusalem church clearly valued both. Their large gatherings together in the temple courts enabled people to worship powerfully together and directly hear the apostles teach. They also broke down into small groups meeting in homes and ministering to and encouraging each other. We believe both are a vital part of church life. As we move ahead together we’d encourage everyone to be fully committed to our corporate times on Sunday and to growing in relationship in a Life Group or ministry group.
 
 
Signs and Wonders
 
Initially it was the apostles who moved in signs and wonders (Acts 2:43), however in this empowering church, it didn’t take long before others saw the same signs following them. Stephen became full of faith and, ‘did great wonders and signs among the people.’(Acts 6:8) Philip went to Samaria, ‘And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.’ (Acts 8:6) This was clearly a church that had developed a go for it mindset, equipping and releasing and encouraging each other to develop their ministry and calling.
 

Transforming a City and Region

The Jerusalem church always reached out and ministered the good news to those outside. They were never an introverted group, growing spiritually but ignoring the outside community. So significant was there influence that even their enemies said, ‘you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.’ The whole city felt the impact of their life and testimony. So powerful was the impact that people poured in from the surrounding cities receiving healing. (Acts 5:16) They went on to impact a whole region sharing the good news across a whole region this time through the ‘normal’ believers who had learnt to confidently minister and share their faith. (Acts 8:4) In all the tremendous input we’ve all had here at CCC, let’s always keep asking the Holy Spirit to lead us to minister to those who haven’t tasted any of the goodness of His Kingdom that we have so abundantly received.
 
 Let’s move ahead afresh in commitment to our loving Father but also in fresh commitment to each other.
 

  
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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Empowering Life Joints
 

And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 John. 4:21

 

Closest reflection of our love for Him

There is no room in the New Testament for ministry, spirituality or claimed love for God that does not have love for others at its heart. John puts it so simply, we cannot say we love God and not have a real love for our fellow believers and indeed our neighbour. If our love for others is growing cold, it’s a reflection that our love for God is not where it should be. Paul is equally clear, we can prophesy, have great knowledge, even give ourselves to martyrdom but if we don’t have love we are nothing. (1 Corth 13:2-3)
 
 

Jesus our example

Jesus did not have it easy with those closest to Him. While He spoke of going to the cross two of His closest leaders argued about who would be at His left and right side, another stole from the treasury and another doubted much of what He said. Eventually when the pressure grew they all deserted Him and the key leader publically denied Him three times. However His love never failed and following His resurrection He forgave and affirmed them, built them back up and filled them with Holy Spirit. This team that seemed to have failed so spectacularly, turned the whole known world upside down as they carried the message of His Kingdom to near and far. When Jesus gave them the New Commandment to love it was with the reminder of the way He loved them. Each one knew how they had been treated with such overwhelming grace and kindness by Jesus. All they were called to do was passed it on to others.
 
 
Friends that Empower
David must have wondered how on earth Samuel’s prophetic word that He would be king would ever come to pass. Saul who had showed Him such favour and even called him a son had turned violently against him and was now given to hunt him down and kill him. It’s at times like this that the faith filled encouragement of a Christian friend can be so pivotal in keeping us going. Whilst Saul hated David, God had a special encouragement from Saul’s son, Jonathan who risked his own life to seek out and find him. He not only came to bring natural support, he prophesied and confirmed David’s future, Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel..” (1 Sam 23:17) Who knows the affect those timely words had on David’s heart, keeping Him going in a season of great pressure. We can all be His vessels of life and encouragement to those God has put us among.
 
 
Joints that Release Life
 
No one is an island.  As members of His body together we have a great impact on those around us, often more than we realise. Abram was told when he answered his call he would come under great blessing. This blessing would eventually flow to every household on earth! (Gen 12) When we are flowing in what He’s called us to do we positively impact those we’re joined to in God. When we breakthrough it brings a positive impact to all we relate to. Sadly the opposite is also true. Jesus said to the Pharisee’s, You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” (Luke 11:52) When we’re not walking in the light we can actually hinder those around us. Our lives really do make a difference to those around us.
 
 
True Disciples

Love is the one way the world would really recognise the true disciples of Jesus, By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35) Every relationship that’s more than superficial will inevitability have tensions and times of testing. It’s in these times we can draw on His love which is so far greater than our own and really grow to be true disciples of our ever loving Lord Jesus.
 
May we all grow more and more in our love for others over this special summer season.
 
 
  
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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Enjoying Every day with Jesus

 

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 1 Cor. 2:4-5


 

Words of knowledge unlocking hearts

Every day is a precious gift from God. Each day the Father has prepared good works for us to walk in (Eph 2:10). We’re called to make each day count for His kingdom. The Father has no boring and dull days for us. In each one He has blessings, divine appointments, people who we’ll impact, His goodness to display to us and more. Whilst we are favoured by God because of His freely given abundant grace extended to us in Christ (Rom 5:17) we can position our hearts each day in His presence so we are sensitive and able to discern what the Holy Spirit is doing. Here’s some keys:
 
 

Spend time hearing & listening to His voice

‘Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.’ (Ps143:8) Daily life often has more than it’s fair share of negative voices, negative influences and pressures. Here David asks to hear His loving kindness at the start of the day asking then for wisdom to know the way for each day. We often try to just spend time in worship, being in His presence, stilling our hearts to hear His still small voice. Most of us wash or have a shower at the start of a day. God’s word is water, ‘that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word…’ (Eph 5:26) Spend time reading His Word, mediate on it, let it go deep into your heart bring, ‘For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.’ (Prov 4:22)
 
 
Give Him All your Concerns
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6–7) Our days can carry numerous challenges. We called not to allow anxiety to get on top of us by committing each one to Him in faith filled trusting prayer then allowing His peace to flood us and guard our hearts.
 
 
Dress Well
 
In Christ we have received wonderful spiritual clothing of His righteousness. See yourself as He sees you. A glorious son or daughter of His royal family. Refuse the old cloths of our past identity, But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds… put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him..’ (Col 3:8–10) Lay aside every piece of clothing of the old man, put on the new man and see yourself in Christ, blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
 
 
Let your mind dwell on His Goodness

Most of us have been brought up with a negative mindset. Science tells us that negative thoughts actually produce chemicals that have a damaging effect on our bodies. We’re called to mediate on good reports and on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy. (Phil 4:8) Learn to train your mind to focus to the goodness of God and ‘count your blessings one by one.’ Thinking biblically has impact of our lives and bodies.
 
Everyday is a gift from God, let’s live each one of them to the full.
 
  
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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Those who wait on the Lord

 

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;  They shall mount up with wings like eagles,  They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. 1 Cor. 2:4-5


 

Turning our affection
Our lives in a city are often filled with noise and so much busyness. There is so much to distract us from nurturing our spiritual life. When our outer lives get busy there is an even greater need to tend to our inner life. It’s so restful to simply turn your affection towards Jesus just before going to sleep. It is comforting, calming and spiritually refreshing. Everyone has different time pressures and potential distractions however it is possible and so vital to take time simply just to be with the Lord. Prayer is not simply about asking for things. Contemplative prayer, soaking and waiting on the Lord is vital for our wellbeing. It’s not so much about doing but about simply being with Him even if its just for a short while throughout the day. It’s about being in God’s presence and allowing Him to do whatever He needs to do. It’s about refocusing and refreshing. Giving God time to speak and minister to you in a significant and personal way. 

 

Self-sufficiency is a snub
Self-sufficiency is the greatest sin really. It’s saying you don’t need God. Any loving parent talks to their children, speaks words of wisdom, guidance, comfort, and love to them regularly. How much more would our Heavenly Father. Some of the most strengthening and peaceful times in our lives are when we sit with or cuddle up to a parent. How much more wonderful it is to be with our Perfect Heavenly Father. Not allowing our Father to just be with us is like saying I only want you for what you can give me. There is so much more of the Father to be discovered by simply focusing our attention on Him in stillness and quietness. Our tendency to self-sufficiency seems futile in the presence of the all sufficient One.
 

Our lives in God's hands
 
"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.” Job 38:4  Job wanted instant answers to why he was suffering such excruciating pain and loss. His friends tried to offer their opinions with slick predictable answers. In the process of waiting for God to speak Job discovered he wanted God’s presence even more than he wanted answers. Giving all our stress, fears and worries to the creator of the ends of the earth is the path to wellbeing and serenity so that we are not constantly swayed by every circumstance. Resting in the presence of our God who is not only omniscient but a loving Father far superior to any relief this world and any amount of money can buy. The creator of over 100,000 million galaxies has a perspective that is clear and pure.
 
God too great to fail

A correct consideration of the greatness of God won’t lead us to the conclusion that God is too great to care but that God is too great to fail. Amy Carmichael took up a call to singleness and to living in intense hardship in India. She rescued children from prostitution and ritual sacrifice faced against seemingly unbeatable odds and threats. She spoke out experience as she said, “It is great to be faced with the impossible, for nothing is impossible if one is meant to do it. Wisdom and strength will be given.”
 
May we all take time to wait on the Lord with great assurance that wisdom and strength and so much more will be given.
 

  
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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Supernatural God supernatural people

 

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:4-5

The church of the New Testament was supernaturally founded, supernaturally filled and supernaturally directed. The church only exists today because of supernatural works of God. The world is full of words, arguments, ideas and the wisdom of man. There is also a fascination with the occult and new age in our society as people are spiritually hungry. We are called to demonstrate the reality of the living God. If you want to sell a recipe book you don’t go up and say “Here read this recipe sounds good doesn’t it.” You give them a taste of the food and then you show them the recipe. We are to demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom and then say “that was a taste of the Kingdom of heaven right here.”
 

Words of knowledge unlocking hearts

A couple of years ago we had an unforgettable meeting with a lady on the high street. She wanted a destiny word and the very first thing we had for her was a picture of many tissues. She then burst into tears and wept tears dripping onto the table about a broken relationship. We shared other encouraging words and comforted her and lead her to the love of Jesus. To the Samaritan woman the first thing Jesus said was, “Will you give me a drink?” John 4:7 Not I’m the Messiah or you’re a sinful woman so repent. Jesus spoke to her about living water. V 13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, [14] but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” He saw into her heart, the deep thirst and ache that only Spirit of God could fill. He then astonished her with a word of knowledge about her five husbands. His approach was so effective that, v 39“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." God is able to reach anyone as we are led by the Spirit and share simple words of life.
 
 
Wow Look at what happened to me
“You are God’s instruments to do His work and to speak out for Him and to tell others of the night and day difference that He has made for you.” 1 Peter 2:9 Every one of us has stories and what is so brilliant about it is that it’s easy and quite fun to tell people your story. Most of us love talking about ourselves so it shouldn’t be hard! Also, most people are interested in hearing about other’s life experiences. Maybe that’s why there are articles and programmes on the inside story on celebrities, human interest stories, reality TV programmes and so on. We have a variety of encouraging stories of how being a Christian has positively impacted our lives. Yet so many of the great stories get lost and we forget them, missing great opportunities to share how great our God is with someone else. Also we can remember and share other’s testimonies and share them as well. We are all able to talk about our spiritual experiences, our relationship with God, something God has helped us get through, some healing/miracle, how we enjoy belonging to a group of people who care about us, our answered prayers, even if we aren’t experts in theology and apologetics. There are testimonies of people listening to other people share about their miracles and they then experience the same miracle. It’s as though the anointing for that miracle is in the air and the Holy Spirit is stirring up people to believe for the miracle for them too, and often it does.
 
Naturally supernatural
 
We have been experiencing a truly awesome move of God here at CCC.  So many are hungry for spiritual
reality but reject the jargon and style that many Christians use. We believe if we learn to minister to those outside the church in a relevant way that many will respond positively. Over the years we have seen many touched and changed through prophetic and healing-based outreaches. We really believe that in the coming days many more will find out how good our God really is as we allow the Holy Spirit to move through us to those outside. Ask the Father for Divine appointments or join one of our summer outreach teams and enjoy demonstrating the love of God to those in our community.
 

  
With our love and prayers

Pastors Phil and Caroline.

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