We were reading together recently Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians discovering some wonderful truths—eavesdropping on the reading to those saints meeting in Thessalonica.

We noticed how the authors, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy wrote to encourage their hearers as they sat and listened to the letter being read to them.

They were listening to the words of Paul who was a witness to the risen Christ! Clearly his testimony was critical to their life in the Spirit.

That’s how all of the letters to these young assemblies were received in the New Testament start. They listened together rather than read. The letters were composed to be read out loud to a meeting of believers. Never in their wildest dreams did the authors expect you and I could read this correspondence and gain so much insight into how they saw the application of the gospel.

To receive the word of God we have to hear the word of God rather than just read it. “My sheep hear my voice” said Jesus.

“Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!”

Literally listening! Not just reading the print on the pages!

You have to be there. To be present.

Ekklesia (badly translated as ‘church’) means gathering or assembly. You cannot have a New Testament gathering unless actually gathered together. They came together and when they went back home they were no longer an assembly. They would eagerly look forward to the next time together, when they would assemble—to hear.

In the hearts of the authors, they saw in the Spirit the people to whom they were addressing when it would be read to them.

There is no way these believers could receive the word of God except they assembled. Right?

Each time together was unique.

No two meetings were exactly the time. Spontaneity. And as the Holy Spirit distributed his manifestations among them.

What is your gathering like? Is it a place where you HEAR His voice?

When we gather today, the living Jesus is with us to speak. But is He welcome? Does he have a voice in your meetings? Is He allowed to be Lord? Do we take seriously these living words?



A classic word from David Wilkerson

A growing number of ministers have been writing to me in recent months, telling of their concern for those in their flock who are simply giving up. Today, more and more Christians are at the breaking point. None of the talk about giving up has to do with the Lord. Few Christians would even dare entertain thoughts of quitting on their love for Jesus. Most despairing Christians think only of giving up on themselves. You hear it so often now, “I can’t go on anymore. I just can’t make it. It’s totally hopeless! Why try?”

I hear some ministers today who continually preach only a positive message. To hear them tell it, every Christian is receiving miracles- everybody is getting instant answers to prayer-everybody’s feeling good, living good, and the whole world is bright and rosy. I really wish all those good and healthy things for God’s people, but that’s not the way things are for a great number of very honest and sincere Christians. How sad to hear such shallow theology being pushed from pulpits today. It’s an insult to a lowly Jesus who became poor, who died a failure in the eyes of the world. It is this kind of materialistic preaching that has so ill-prepared an entire generation of Christians to endure any kind of pain. They have not learned to be content with such things as they have-to be abased and not always abounding. Serving God becomes a kind of Olympic race in which everyone must strive for gold medals.

No wonder our young people give up in defeat. They can’t live up to the image created by the religion of a happy-go-lucky, rich, successful, always positive-thinking Christian. Their world is not that idealistic. They look in a mirror reflecting a face covered with ugly pimples. They live with heartbreaks, hour-by-hour crises, and horrible family problems. They look into the uncertain future, frightened and worried.

Positive thinking won’t make their problems go away. Confessing that these problems don’t really exist doesn’t change a thing.

These “apostles of the positive” should not exclude the Gethsemane experiences of life. The cup of pain, the hour of isolation, and the night of confusion were all part of the Master’s lifestyle. Our great achievements, our successes, ought to take place at Gethsemane, not Fort Knox!…


Where Shall We Go?

Owning Success Might Be Your Downfall

anti-itch meditation

Jesus tells a parable about a farmer who got a bumper crop. He built bigger barns to store it so he could retire.

He felt good about his stuff, and good about his plans for the future with his stuff.

He took credit for his work. “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all MY fruits and MY goods.

It was his! And he was going to use it on himself. He truly felt it was his because he earned it.

Interestingly, the parable earlier showed why the guy had a bumper crop: “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully.”

His success was not attributed to his hard work, his great farming skills, his diligent weeding, nor his genetically modified seeds.

It was attributed to something beyond his control. The ground got the credit.

He thought he…

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Jesus is doing it still

Carl Musch is a friend of mine (connection through Oikos Australia) . He is working with indigenous people in the far North and he posted this wonderful picture and story on Facebook Sept 21 . . . . . .

Indigenous boy raised from death

This little boy was found dead at the bottom of a muddy waterhole in warm water when a bunch of children came down to swim. They dragged him out and took him to the clinic where the doctor tried to revive him but finally pronounced him dead. Then the children said “Can we pray for Jesus to heal him?”. They prayed and he coughed back to life with no effect from the ordeal except today a hunger to hear the Word of Jesus who brought him back to life…and who gives eternal life to all who call on His name.

Choose : Love or Hostility?

Aussie blogger Onesimus posted this yesterday and i commend this message to all


Recently I’ve been posting a lot of material from and about people who recognise the need to share the gospel with those from a Muslim background, a sharing in both word and deed.

I’ve felt the need to give prominence to that ministry direction because I’ve become increasingly aware that the complete opposite is happening – that too many professing Christians are responding to Muslims with hostility and fear. And it’s happening at a time when opportunities to reach out to those from Muslim backgrounds are increasing, and are becoming more and more critical.

Many of those Muslim background people are in an extremely vulnerable position. Many have witnessed the worst of what’s being done in the name of Islam, have lost everything because of it and are in desperate need of help.

Consider what response they’ve been getting from those who are able to help.

I’ve seen far too much hostility directed against them, even by recognised Bible teachers. I’ve drawn attention to some of that in previous posts.*
While individually we may not be in a position to personally interact with a person of Muslim background, we can ALL do something about the toxic atmosphere that makes the ministry of others more difficult.

I feel that the professing Christians are at a critical point in history, when we will face the choice between obedience to Jesus and His gospel, and the security of our comfortable lifestyles. If we choose the latter we’re likely to see our fears realised and we’ll lose the security we idolised and tried so hard to protect.
And even worse than losing that revered security, those misplaced priorities potentially put our relationship with God at risk.