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Salvation

Rev. Julie Shannon

The most important decision a human being can make is to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, to accept forgiveness of sin and enter into the free gift of eternal life in Heaven. After we are saved from eternal death – Each Christian must make a huge personal decision as to how they will live their life on this earth.

6 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

You can either choose to fully surrender your entire life (open up the door to freedom) over to God the Father and let Him decide what your divine destiny is going to be in this life, or you can choose to do things your own way and completely run your own life. Most Christians take the second option. They do not ask God what their jobs should be in this life. They do not ask God who they should be marrying in this life. They do not ask God what their real goals and aspirations should be in this life. They don’t even desire that God transform their thinking, belief systems or bad habits. In fact, the only time they really approach God is when they get in some kind of trouble and they then need some type of miracle from God to get them bailed out of a bad situation. Most people do not like to be told what to do, how to do it, or how to get to where they are going. They want the pride and challenge of trying to do everything on their own without any of God’s help or guidance. Especially in this country of Australia, where we like to be independent, do our own thing etc. Rebellion and selfishness is everywhere!

SELF a. Old Life : Habits harmful to self and others

b. Believing lies (wrong thinking) about God, others and self.

17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. “30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Eph 4:17-32)

The word of God (Bible) has everything we need as a Christian to leave our old ways behind, the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to be transformed into a new creation and Jesus Christ walks with us, giving us His peace as we please the Father in heaven. Jesus says – “You are my friends if you do what I command.” ( John 15:12-14 )

You may be saved, but do you call yourself a friend of God?

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27)

The Bible says that God will be rewarding each person for the work they have done for Him while living down here on this earth! And when God gives out His personal rewards in heaven, you can be confident that these rewards will end up being bigger and better than any rewards that you could possibly get here on earth. When we truly know the love of the father, the friendship of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit, we don’t want to do life our way, we want to chase after the things of God, the things that make us Holy, the things that please our saviour, best friend, healer, hope and future. When we don’t seek the reward, but seek the giver of the reward, we are on the right path. Rewards are guaranteed when relationship is important.

Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1 John 3:24)

There is one major revelation that all Christians really need to grab a hold of and that is this: This life is for just a very short period of time compared to the eternal time frame that is operating in heaven. Heaven is for eternity – our earthly life is not! The time we will spend in heaven, and then eventually the New Heaven and New Earth, will be for the rest of our eternal lives – forever and ever. This earthly life is not even a blink of an eye compared to the eternal time frame that is operating in heaven. So ask yourself, do you want to call all of your own shots and do what you want to do in this life – all for earthly wealth that will completely perish and pass away the second you die and cross over into heaven? Or do you want to go with God’s perfect will for your life, accomplish the missions and goals that He will want you to accomplish for Him in this life, and then receive your full and final just rewards that will last forever once you enter into heaven?

Everything about our God, His ways, and His personality are all of maximum intensity and passion. He is not wishy washy, He is not weak, or Luke warm. His love for all of us is maximum intensity. His goodness, mercy, compassion, and understanding are all at maximum intensity. If there is one revelation you will come away with after reading about God the Father in the Old Testament – is that He is God of maximum intensity! All of the emotions within God the Father are of maximum intensity. So if everything about God the Father is of maximum intensity, then it is only logical to conclude that any reward that you will be receiving from Him when you enter into heaven will be of “maximum intensity.” As a result, these rewards will completely surpass any rewards, blessings, or earthly wealth that you can get down here on this earth. There will be no comparison whatsoever! This is why it will really be “worth your while” to fully surrender your entire life over to God while you still have a chance. Let Him make the calls on what He wants to do with your life with the rest of the allotted time you still have left down here. It is never too late to completely turn your entire life over to God the Father and let Him do what He wants with it with whatever time you still have left. Go up through the open door – don’t sit on the fence, or keep one foot in the old life…..

SURRENDER – (death to self)

“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)

A. Fruit of the Spirit, Character change – new person

“22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Living in love – of God, others and self Being transformed into a Christlike person takes time, we can see the old life, but it begins to fade and as the fruit of the spirit takes over and we learn to truly love   ONLY THROUGH THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

“For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

“John answered them all by saying, I baptise you with water; but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not fit to unfasten. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)

“12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:12-17) 3

And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (1 John 2: 3-6)

FREEDOM

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. (1 John 4:16-21)

Suddenly!

Rev. Julie Shannon

Noah faithfully built an ark for close to a century and saw no signs or rain. Then one day – suddenly – it rained (see Genesis 6-8).

“All the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2)

Paul and Silas were imprisoned for casting out a spirit of divination while ministering in Greece.
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.  Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! (see Acts 16).

Often as we read the bible we see Jesus doing something and suddenly there was a miracle or a healing. Have you wondered why at times you don’t see the same suddenlies in your life? Our culture in particular almost expects instant gratification, which doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Bible history? God’s people always have a journey of some kind before great things happen. When Jesus performed the miracles we read about, have you considered how many years the people experiencing the miracles waited? The woman who touched his robe: was bleeding for 12 years! Her suddenly must have been amazing! How long were people blind, crippled, demon possessed? He even let his dear friends wait a few days before resurrecting Lazarus from the grave! WHY?

Many of us have prayed for a long time for things….. Many of us wonder if God hears, if he cares… Will He answer? But I can tell you from experience that He does answer according to HIS good timing and HIS good purposes. Before anything appears to be actually happening suddenly, in the natural, God is working beneath the scenes – getting ready, getting us ready – for Him to act supernaturally. He is working on our faith, and our character. Getting us ready to be able to handle the answers, to embrace the suddenly. Its’ so important to be able to trust that even if our circumstances are terrible, that God is good, and that if you belong to Jesus Christ He has your best interest in mind ALWAYS. God allows us to go the little things in life to give us a foundation of trusting Him.

I’m sure you have many stories of Gods provision, of Gods protection and stories of Gods peace in your life. These things are important for every Christian to learn about God, however there is so much more to learn, so much more the Holy Spirit wants to do in us. God wants to move us on from provision, protection and peace –  the three p’s!

Understanding what the Holy Spirit is up to in our daily lives really helps us to get through the tough stuff. It’s HOW we wait for answers that God is looking at, He looks at our heart condition rather than our physical circumstances. Our responses to life can determine when our answers (suddenly) may appear. Below are 3 Keys to developing the character that experiences more and more answers to prayer, and more and more suddenlies:
Joy (rather than fear) –GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME

Perseverance (Rather than Grumbling) – GOD IS FOR ME AND NOT AGAINST ME

Contentment (rather than comparing – jealousy) – All THINGS BEONG TO GOD

We find the value of these three characteristics in scripture:

2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:(2-4)

We read scripture and it makes sense, it is inspiring – even if it appears to be difficult, but DO WE PUT WHAT WE LEARN INTO PRACTICE?

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” (James 1:22-25)

Its important to also take heed of the warnings that we find in scripture:

“Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
    will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1) 35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mar 13:35-36)

God quietly works on us as individuals and in our church family, He allows character flaws to come to the surface and  givs us all opportunity to grow in these areas. In this current season He is asking us to just trust Him, He is about to shake you loose from yokes, chains and bondages, and He will certainly shake the heavens and the earth on your behalf, just as He did for Paul and Silas.

“24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24: 1-6)

Jesus is alive now as He was that day, He can and He will suddenly come through for you if you allow Him to through the Holy Spirit to mould your character to the point of being just like Him. When we are like Him we will see miracles, signs and much healing.

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