Are your prayers big enough?

I am fascinated and awed by the prayer life of the Apostle Paul. One prayer that has grabbed my attention recently is his prayer in Ephesians that they would be filled with the fullness of God.

To our finite and limited imagination of thinking its illogical that we, mere human beings, could be filled with God’s fullness. And yet Paul tells the Ephesians that God is able to do immeasurably more than we think, or imagine he can do. What does being filled with God’s fullness mean? It probably means more than we are able to think it means. What does a church congregation look like, that is filled with the fullness of God?

Being filled with God’s fullness must be possible. If the Apostle Paul thought it was possible, and if he prayed for it to be so; then its not just a rhetorical request. Will you join me in prayer: That I. That you. That we. That our church congregations – will be filled with the fullness of God.

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I have a friend who asked me the following question. I know his story of heart ache and pain. And so his question comes out of his personal experience of being abused by a female perpetrator. My comment to him is underneath.

 Craig bennett i understand you are man of the cloth. Could you write an article on “evil women from bible”? And maybe another even more important on “unpardonable sins”?

Great question. I can write an article about bad women from the Bible. The Bible doesn’t hold back on the evilness of all humanity. It acknowledges it all.

The good news is that there are no unpardonable sins. Well nearly none. The only one is when a person refuses to accept Jesus and their own need for forgiveness.

While its true that some sins appear to be greater and more evil than others – and some peeps more evil then others – all of us have fallen short of God’s standards in thought, word, or deed.

More importantly the biblical response I see is if God grants mercy to all sinners, and helps all who are victims of sin, and that there is no social class, gender, or nationality distinction in our standing with God .. society should reflect this also, and help all victims and perps and not ignore any.

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Christian Conscience.

I once worked in a service station. A truck driver came in and bought some porn and a windscreen wiper blade. He started to whack the magazine with the wiper blade saying “I cannot wait to beat the girls in here.”

When he walked out, I put a sign on the magazine rack…Porn not for sale this shift, due to night managers Christian beliefs. Do not ask as refusal may offend!”

It did offend, and one time one guy asked two coppers who came in for coffee to force me to sell it.

Did I do the right thing or not? My conscience tells me I did. The boss told me he couldn’t sack me over it..but nor could he allow me to not sell it as it made him a lot of money. (He also said he was a Christian, but you have your christian life, home life and business life. ) I said that is easily fixed…I left.

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Lets Journey Together. Mutual edification.

I am convinced that our goal as Christians should be that fellowship is mutually edifying. That ministry is communal and not hierarchical. Paul writes to the church saying

Romans 1:11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

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Why do we call Jesus Lord.

John MacArthur is at it again. He has written another article on the Lordship of Jesus Christ, with us being his slaves and he our owner.

A friend asked me to have a read of his article and what I think of it. This is what I said.

I think he is addressing cheap grace. That we call Jesus Lord, but don’t live it out. For instance a very large hotel owner, where a State Baptist convention was held at his hotel; was given a gospel presentation and asked to receive Jesus.

He said, when you guys come to this convention every year, the porn rental on our tv system nearly doubles each time then what is accessed normally. You dare to preach to me; but don’t live it out yourself. OUCH!!

BUT, I prefer the language Scripture uses in Romans, Ephesians and elsewhere about us being adopted. The language where Jesus calls us friends, and when he says, who is my family, those who do my will are my brothers and sisters.

He doesn’t actually say what it means to follow Jesus. To some Jesus told to drop what they were doing and follow him…others like the man he freed from the demons, he told…you go back to your home and family, and tell them what the lord has done for you.

Personally I think the way we are called to follow Jesus is summed up in this passage.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

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We are made right, to live right.

The apostle Paul writes to a Ephesians church, which is at logger heads with each other, and not living as they should. He tells them that they are cleansed, and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.

He doesn’t tell them to pull their head in, get their lives right with God, and then, and only then they can come and sit with him in the heavenly realms.

Our position gives us the ability to start to live right…because we are totally made right.

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My little rant for the day.

One of the things that I have been taught in the past, and heard it again today – and I have to say it drives me absolutely nuts is the teaching that we need to go higher with God. Normally its to do with prayer, holiness and activity for God.
The Apostle Paul is writing to a divided Church in Ephesus. A church that is wracked with sin. With people treating each other in dismal ways. He never taught them “Guys, get your life right with God; and then you too will be seated with me in the heavenly realms going up higher and higher the more holier you get!”
NO, instead, to this sinful group of people who make up the Ephesians Church, he tells them…”You are already seated with Christ, beside God the Father.” Therefore, because of where you are seated, and because of your position…live accordingly.
My gosh, this kinda gnostic teaching nearly makes me want to swear. We cannot go any higher with God. We cannot go higher in the heavenly realms. Because, we are already there. We are in the throne room of heaven. We are seated beside Christ, who is sitting beside God the Father. Their aint any higher place for us to get to. Because when Jesus ascended, he took us with him.
Our power for right living, our power for prayer, our power for righteousness comes from knowing, accepting, and acknowledging the very position where we are now.

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