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Resurrection living - Abundant life

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christianity and the Christian faith. The risen Christ is the reality of our faith and is a living hope. If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, then our faith is futile, and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:14-19). Jesus proved that He wasn’t a liar or a lunatic but showed that He is the Son of God by rising from the dead (John 2:19; Mark 9:31). Each member of the Godhead or Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in unity was involved in raising Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24; Galatians 1:1; John 2:18-19).


Jesus proved who He said He was by His resurrection, confirming His Identity as the Son of God and His atoning work on the cross. His resurrection was a literal, physical raising of the body of Jesus from the dead! A glorified body bearing the marks of the crucifixion that was flesh and bone yet could go through walls, appear and disappear, as well as eat (Luke 24:36-43)!


His resurrection validates His death and finished work on the cross, certifying that the righteousness He came to work out was completed (2 Corinthians 5:21). It ratifies and establishes God’s new covenant with Jesus. In his sermon on April 1889, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Charles Spurgeon explains what Apostle Paul is talking about in the verse (Philippians 3:10) is not so much of the power displayed in the resurrection as the power which comes out of it.


Let’s look at what it means to experience this life-giving power of His resurrection in our everyday lives. The resurrection power of God is His dunamis or explosive power.


Resurrection life brings the life of God to us when we receive Jesus as our Saviour (1 John 5:12). The Holy Spirit comes in when we are born again. We are changed, and we have the same life in us as He has, the Zoe life of God (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

The word life in Greek is Zoe. It is the God kind of life. His life continually keeps making life in our bodies and adds years to our life on earth (Romans 8:11). We have the eternal life of God in us (1 John 5:11-13).


We have the fullness of God Himself inside of us (Ephesians 3:19). Therefore we can overcome whatever the enemy throws against us. All authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Jesus (Matthew 28:18). He gives us His authority and dunamis power over the enemy and sends us with it (Luke 10:19). Authority and power are connected, but we must have a revelation of it. Our revelation is connected to our understanding of that dimension of power, and the level of power in our lives is connected to the position of authority given to us. We have the power to influence (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The church must be on the offensive and shouldn’t just respond to what the enemy is doing but command and shift the atmosphere (1 John 3:8)!


We receive and activate resurrection life by faith in the name of Jesus (Galatians 2:20). We believe, speak and act on what God has said and done to access all the benefits of the abundant life and to receive the full use of resurrection power in our life. The anointing destroys every yoke so that every part of the Blessing is released. We live healed through resurrection power (Romans 8:11). We live free through resurrection power (John 8:36). Resurrection power sets us free from the sin and shame of the past. It will also set us free from fear, worry, and anxiety. Fear will keep us from operating in the supernatural realm.


As believers, we have the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead residing in us! Don’t allow sin, disobedience, and living a selfish, worldly life to keep that resurrection life from flowing out of you. Decide daily to walk in the newness of life in Christ and the Zoe life of God through the power of His resurrection (Galatians 5:16-18).


Because of Resurrection Sunday, we can declare that Jesus is alive! We need not just tell people Jesus is alive but show them. We don’t just share the gospel, but the power of God through signs and wonders confirming the Word to show them Jesus is alive. The Spirit’s gifts reveal Jesus is alive and God’s love for people (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). We need to get out from the church’s four walls into the world around us and demonstrate that Jesus is alive and show them the gospel with power (1 Corinthians 4:20).


And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word through the accompanying signs. Amen. Mark 16:20


In the ministry of Jesus, He healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead, declaring that God’s kingdom was arriving (Luke 11:20). He also sent out His disciples to do the same (Luke 9:1-2). The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God. It is God’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32). He has given us His Holy Spirit that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God through Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:12). Jesus paid the price so, all we have to do is receive what has been freely given by God’s grace. The kingdom of God and the resurrection are connected! We are to bring the kingdom of God and the power of His resurrection wherever we go (Matthew 28:19-20). We do this through the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).


Let's walk in faith, pray bold prayers and let the evidence of resurrection life arise in us today.




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Resurrection people

Once they were a shattered people - the women who had stood at the foot of the cross and seen their loved one die.


Once they were a broken people - those disciples who had become lost souls running scared, betraying their Lord, losing their religion through fear.


But then they came to the tomb - and saw he was not there. 


Then they recalled what he had said about himself - that after his crucifixion, on the third day he would rise again. And then the truth of the resurrection hit them; that Jesus was alive, just as he had said he would be. In those moments of realisation the power of the resurrection changed them; hearts full of amazement, heads spinning with the greatest reality-check in human history, their lives began again.


Now they were a people - they had become Resurrection People. The first of many generations.


I believe we are a group of Resurrection People. For that is each one of us who have opened our hearts to the life-changing truth that Jesus, the crucified man, the resurrected Lord, loves us; that is each one of us who have opened our minds to the possibilities available to us in journeying through life with him.

Resurrection People get the point of Jesus. The point that because he has overcome the forces of evil in the world, Christ has put an end to death; the point that because he came back to life after taking all the world could throw at him, there is no death in Christ, only life - and that is our experience, those who embrace him and follow him.


Yes, Resurrection People are unstoppable!


Resurrection People stare death in the face and create life:


  • I’m thinking of those who have a terminal illness but who give their time and energy to counselling and supporting others who are ill themselves - by volunteering in hospices.


  • I’m thinking of those who have turned their losses into opportunities - those made redundant later in life who’ve picked themselves up, dusted themselves down, reassessed their potential and started a new kind of work altogether.


  • I’m thinking of those who give their lives as medical missionaries or as peacemakers, healers and reconcilers in deeply conflicted parts of the world.


Resurrection People get the point of Jesus. The point that there is no death in Christ, only life. I’m thinking of St Paul who famously wrote, ‘As all die in Adam, all will be made alive in Christ’. 


You and me, we are Resurrection People. These words may sometimes seem to us an idle tale, we may find it hard to believe them. But it is true


So go back to that tomb, look for that body, let the amazing truth dawn on you, and today, this week, this year and forever, embrace the life of Jesus, live the resurrection. 



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Is Good Friday really good?

Jesus said, “It is finished.” with that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. 

John 19:30


The Friday before Easter Sunday is called Good Friday. It is the day that calls for reflection and commemoration of Jesus’ willing sacrifice and suffering on the cross to bear the full impact of God’s wrath and remove the guilt of our sins from us (2 Corinthians 5:21).


Day of Remembrance

On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered, was crucified on a Roman cross and died as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). Easter Sunday, immediately following, is the celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead. This validated Jesus’ victory – His power over sin and death. It also pointed ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to Him by faith (Romans 6:5).


Good News | Bad News

Though the Friday of Jesus’ death was a dark and terrible day, we refer to it as Good Friday, because His death on that day paid our debt in full and allows us to enjoy freedom, forgiveness and peace with God. Jesus’ crucifixion allowed God to be just in dealing with the penalty of our sins and, by His grace, providing pardon for our salvation (Romans 3:21-26).


Good Friday is good because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the fullness and the joy of Easter. The goodness of Good Friday has meaning for us if we first recognize the bad news of our own sinfulness and condemnation. Jesus died in our place for the penalty of our sin, so that we might enjoy an eternal relationship with Him that is real and personal. Suddenly, that makes the Friday Jesus was crucified, a good one.”


Power of Paradox

Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Amazingly, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the deathblow in God’s good and loving plan to redeem the world from bondage.


From This Day Forward

So, ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus like a combined episode – the decisive turning point for all creation. The Apostle Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).

“For the joy set before him” Jesus endured the cross on Good Friday, knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation and hope for the future. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Good Friday is followed by Resurrection Sunday and is the triumphant announcement of Christ’s conquest over sin’s consequence—death—and the testimony of the gospel that gives life to all who believe in His name (Romans 10:9-10).


Good Friday was good. But Good Friday becomes better when weighed personally.


If you’d like to know the pardon, peace and purpose paid for on Good Friday, please let us know!



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Lessons from the Garden

Over the last year, our world has changed and there is an eerie, surreal feeling in the air. It’s everywhere and it seems inescapable. Just go for a drive around town and observe the empty streets and see the restaurants with chairs on top of their tables. Notice the people at the grocery stores with masks on their faces and the empty shelves.


Our way of life feels off and things seem uncertain. We all want to feel safe and when our safety is threatened, several things typically happen: We lose perspective, our true values are revealed, and our lack of faith is exposed. We are confronted with hard questions like; Will I lose my job? How will I pay the bills? Am I infected? Have I infected someone else? Will I lose someone I love? Even deeper, are questions about our faith: Is God really who he says he is? How could God let this happen? Can I really trust Him? Anxiety and fear reveal so much about our character. When we feel fear and anxiety creeping in we are presented with an incredible opportunity for growth.


It’s times like these when we must turn to God and to each other. Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, provides a beautiful and powerful model for how to confront our fears in a way that realigns us with God and His will for our lives. 


Mark 14:32-42 reads:

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”[a] 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”


*See also see Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, John 18:1-2


Lessons from the Garden show us to Share, Pray, Rise, Repeat,


Things to consider would be

  1. When faced with the most difficult time in his life, Jesus was not alone. He remained connected to God and others. Jesus didn't turn away when faced with trials, he turned towards and we can do the same. Jesus expressed his sorrow to Peter, James, and John. Mark tells us he became “greatly distressed and troubled” and that he asked his disciples to remain with him. He then expresses his sorrow and troubles to God. Jesus demonstrates to us that it is not only alright, but it is helpful to reach out. We are not meant to deal with life’s difficulties alone. I’ve found relief, comfort, and perspective by reaching out to the loved ones in my life and to God. When I let people in, I see that I’m not alone. Even in this period of social distancing, we must make efforts to remain socially and spiritually connected. 
  2. We also learn that dealing with fear is a process. Jesus reached out to his disciples and God multiple times. I find great comfort in reading that this was not a one and done deal. The distress Jesus experienced did not instantly go away. As he felt distressed, he returned to God three times and God comforted him. When we pray and when we reach out to others, our circumstances don’t magically change. That’s not necessarily the point. The point is to remain connected with God and with others. COVID-19 continues to spread and we are in a state of uncertainty. By returning to God and others, we are given the strength needed to continue forward. It’s to be expected that there will be moments when feelings of distress rise up in you. It did for Jesus. Each time this happens to me, I notice it and express it, just like Jesus did. After doing this, I’m able to rise up and continue on in a way that allows me to be present and open to what God is calling me to do.
  3. We see that when Jesus returns to his disciples, they have fallen asleep. He tells them, “Watch and pray so that you won’t fall into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the body is weak.” Try placing yourself in the disciple’s shoes. You’ve just heard Jesus express his deep trouble and distress. I’m sure they also felt distressed, anxious, confused, uncertain, and scared about what was happening. We all have our breaking point. The disciples turned towards sleep. Others turn toward things like food, drugs, video games, gossip, pornography, and alcohol. Jesus speaks to this. He says, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).” Jesus shows us the answer. He gives us permission to bring our burdens to him. He is big enough to handle it.
  4. Jesus says, “Rise, let us be gone, my betrayer is at hand.” Jesus is able to boldly move forward in both confidence and assurance. Jesus leaves the garden of Gethsemane fortified and grounded in truth. Although great suffering lies before him, he is able to embrace his calling and fulfil his purpose as he goes onto his death, burial, and resurrection. He knows who he is and what God has called him to. We can do the same by remaining firmly grounded in God’s promise.


I am learning from the model Jesus demonstrates at Gethsemane and I encourage you to do the same. As Christians, the presence of God is in us (1 Corinthians. 3:16) and with us (Joshua 1:9). Although COVID-19 surprised us, it did not surprise God.


We can lean on the truths found in Scripture and rest in the fact that we worship the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13). When you turn toward God, you are turning towards something sturdy, unshakeable, and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8).


When you turn towards others, you see that you are not alone and God provides others to help carry your burdens (Galatians 6:2). You can follow the example Jesus showed us by confronting your own personal fear and anxiety, remaining connected to God and others, and rising up with a renewed perspective fortified with hope and truth.



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The Cross makes a difference

Many times in the Scripture, Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man. And rightly so, for He was as human as we are. His incarnation, the addition of humanity, rather than the subtraction of deity as The Son of God, was necessary for Him to become for us a faithful priest; he understands our struggles, pains and fears. When life presents challenges, we can look to Jesus; how he has been through similar challenges. What God did in Jesus, he did the opposite in us. Jesus took on human nature so we could partake in divine nature. Like Jesus, we are carrying a divine nature within a human body. We are sons of men, who are now also sons of God.


God often affirmed Jesus’ divine status. There is the voice of God at his baptism and on the Mount of Transfiguration, “You are my beloved Son”. I believe this was partial because Jesus was going to face situations that would challenge his divine identity. So in the wilderness and on the cross, there is another voice, “If you are the Son of God then….” These words must have been echoed loud even within Jesus’ own heart. As fully human, he could not have been immune from the question. He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Surely, in his misery, He may have been tempted to ask, “If I am the Son of God…then, why?” But in His final moments, the divine nature took over “Today, you will be with me in Paradise”. “Father, into your hands, I commit my Spirit”.


Satan often visits whenever our experiences conflict with our position. At such times, he will try to question our identity as he did with Jesus in the wilderness and on the cross. How should we react in such times? First, remember, we are the Sons of God! Second, understand that even though we are the Sons of God, we will go through hard times. Third, wait for God. If He doesn’t come blazing with angels to save you, he knows why. If God has spoken and it appears it is not happening, stay calm, be still. When situations question God’s love for you, don’t give up. When men ask, “If you are the Son of God…” stay calm, be still “, know that He is God”.


I do not know what you are facing; 2020 and 2021 have been tough. You wonder what the future will bring. One thing I know “this son of man is the son of God”. You may be going through difficulties and the words “If I am the Son…” keep ringing, and it is getting to you. And you are thinking, “Why have you forsaken me?”. Remember this same Jesus who was taunted on the cross. When he won the battle on the cross, when he had committed his Spirit unto the Father, He “stripped all the spiritual oppressors in the universe of their fake authority, at the Cross and marched them exposed through the streets”.


Child of God, victory is on its way!

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Finding core purpose

We wonder, What am I to do with my life? What is my purpose here? Does God have a calling on my life?


God answers these questions through our natural gifts and abilities. He leads us to our purpose through the natural skills and unique talents He bestows upon us. God-given gifts are the skills a person easily performs without formal training. We derive great pleasure from doing what we are naturally good at doing.


If you aren't sure of your core purpose, just do what you are good at doing, and then watch God confirm you by blessing your endeavours. Don't spend your life trying to do what you are not gifted to do. Some will now I have tried to help my wife garden with little success. I wasn't good at it, and sometimes I even despised trying!


It was obvious that God wasn't calling me to grow vegetables. But what if no one enjoyed gardening? God keeps our world in balance by giving each one of us natural talent and pleasure in doing what needs to be done for the good of everyone around us.


We know we are operating in our gifts and calling when what we do ministers life to others. If what we do makes us miserable and fills us with a sense of dread, it's possible we are not in God's perfect will. God gives us peace and joy to let us know we are fulfilling His perfect plan.


I encourage you to look at what you enjoy, what you're good at, and what God is giving you the grace to do—and then let God be God in your life. He wants to flow through you in many different ways, but it may not be the same way He flows through others. Trust His ability in and through you, and don't be afraid to be unique.


Let's see every member ministry as the body of the church steps into fulfilling its destiny.

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Every breath you take

What would Christ say of these modern times? I can’t say for sure, but it might be something like “take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Consider what may be our “valley of the shadow of death” today. Is it the coronavirus unit in the hospital? Is it a hallway full of unmasked school children? Is it our own churches or our own homes?


Take courage, dear friends! Let us not forget that Christ has walked the ultimate valley of the shadow death for our sakes, harrowing hell in His own victorious death. The God-man who touched lepers and rubbed His own spit into another man’s eyes, who called forth the stinking dead man from his tomb and dipped bread into a shared cup with His betrayer hardly leaves us to fend for ourselves amid such sickness.


Our Purpose Is Life

Life is far from meaningless. God has decreed that we have a purpose; we do not merely exist until we die, drifting like a speck of dust in a light breeze.

The Word made flesh, Jesus Christ Himself, triumphed over death. He has traversed a broken world to die so that we might have life.

 

Sharing Life in a Broken World

And what is it that causes the brokenness of this world?

Our sins and our pride have wrought it all. We were given liberty, and we used it wrongly. Consequently: Christian friends, we have life! We have the Gospel, the “great good news”! In a world of coronavirus, we can be the beautiful feet that run to tell the Good News that Christ has come to destroy sin, sickness, and death!


Breath in the Time of Coronavirus

Surely not! Our churches and religious institutions are under the greatest scrutiny as we gradually reopen. We dare not step one toe out of line. Don’t breathe on us, surely! Put a mask on, stand six feet away! Don’t even think of breathing on us!

The point, I think, is not to be audacious, but to make us see that breath is life. Breathe on us, Spirit, to restore us as one! Breathe on us to restore us to life! “That in these grey and latter days”—that, at least, seems appropriate to the situation:

That in these grey and latter days There may be those whose life is praise,


Our breath, our singing, is under attack today. The fear of bringing sickness and death to unsuspecting—or very suspecting—neighbours, friends, and relatives is real. While I do not mean to diminish fear of the virus that has indeed destroyed lives, I proffer instead a perspective that breath is life. We may breathe in poisoned air, but Christ recalls us from our hall of death. He who once lost all breath, who suffocated upon a cross, restores to us our breath, our preaching of the Gospel, and our singing as a sign of life.


May our lives in these grey and latter days be a high doxology to the God who breathes on us in our poisoned air to grant us life eternal.

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Finding a place to serve another



The disciples argued about who should be in the most important place around the table, Jesus turned their thinking upside down, as he served his disciples at table, later on he washed their feet.


He the greatest King of Kings came to serve not to be served.


He modeled a Kingdom principle to serve without thinking about the rewards or benefits we are going to get, but to serve because of the privilege and opportunity we have to serve.


We have opportunities to serve others every time we serve food and drink at Virginia Lodge, to do this well and do this right we need to learn how to do it safely and well.


We have access to online training materials to get an NVQ level 1 in food safety, you can do this in your own time, and will gain an NVQ certificate.


If you want to go further and also gain certification in Food Allergies, then we can also provide access to this course.


The Church will invest in the cost of the course to enable you to get the qualification, if you are interested in doing the course please message Julie at the Church office admin@e-runnymede.co.uk


Let's find ways to serve.


Blessings




Dave and the Team



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What is a good source?

What is a good source? Who do you listen to?

A thought from the Pastors couch


In these times there are lots of stories going around, many rumours, some true many not. Let me encourage you not to be distracted, there is no better way to increase the likelihood of an accident, than to distract a driver when they are driving.


Where are you going today, what is your goal, what is your purpose?



John 10:10 says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, no better strategy to distract you than you grab your attention in the midst of you fulfilling your purpose, in you on the way to your destiny.


So lets be discerning in these times of fundamental change, lets press into purpose with faith in this season of doubt and questions, lets discern the times and seasons we are in.


The simplest test you can apply to any story that comes across your path is to look for the original source, not who it came from last but the original source.


I regularly get messages about dodgy people on facebook, not to accept them as friends, the first thing I do is go back into google and see whether trusted sources are saying this is a problem. Often it is an old story just going around again.


Let me encourage you to take peace, to know hope and to press in to purpose, and complete your race, end your journey, fulfill your destiny.


Enjoy your journey


Blessings




Dave

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A day in our life - the new abnormal

A day in our life - the new abnormal - A thought from the Pastors couch


I keep on hearing people talking about when we return to normal, we are 10 days into this, some of us are just getting used to the change, and now realise this is not a holiday, this is not novelty this is business as usual for the next few months.


So it time for us to stop holding our breath and start living "normally", working out ways to rest, to grow to develop, to do community, to engage with God etc.....


Let me encourage you to be deliberate with some of your choices, there are things that you cannot do today, so take control of the things that you can and make some choices.


I am so glad that scripture has insights to our days even in the midst of these challenging days, Isaiah 43:19 says "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."


God will make a way for you seek to engage with God in your Journey.


These are truly exciting times, in the way a Roller Coaster ride is exciting, lets pray and proceed, seeing God doing amazing things. Reach out, connect and share what you can.



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