Reigning with Christ

The door is open

The door is open

Today Elaine and I visited Hampton Court with our daughter and two of our grandchildren. Hampton Court was the royal palace on the banks of the Thames built by King Henry VIII almost 500 years ago, and enlarged at later dates by other monarchs. It was one of the most stunning buildings in Europe when it was constructed. And still is. Henry seemed to add rooms every time he married, and the fact he went through six wives may partially account for the extent of the building.

I found one thing about it particularly significant. Each wing, no matter which monarch built it, had a similar structure.

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am God. 

It’s a verse from Psalm 46 that’s on a thousand plaques. But we get its meaning totally wrong. Discovering the right meaning, though, leads us to great encouragement. 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

The power of faith

The power of faith

Sometimes you have to throw caution to the winds and just step out in faith. That was a topic of conversation the other day between a successful young church planter in Toronto and myself.

One of the enemy’s cleverest tricks is to keep our focus on what we can achieve by our own efforts.

I was taught a lot about faith as a young leader. The example of several men I personally knew who had taken extraordinary steps of faith in their walk with God took hold of me and challenged me to the core.

We can do a lot by our own efforts, but the kingdom will only really move ahead when we start doing what can only be accomplished by divine intervention.

The death of death

The death of death

We should always be ready for the unexpected when it happens.

We were sitting in church this morning at Firm Foundation in Centreville, Michigan waiting to ordain elders. Everything had been planned well in advance.

But just as we arrived the previous day, word came of a terrible accident in which the daughter of a couple in the church had been tragically killed. The couple showed up at church the next morning. Part way through the worship time, they came up to the front and simply fell down on their knees at the edge of the platform, casting themselves upon the grace and mercy of God.

Christmas according to Paul

Christmas according to Paul

The thing that makes the Christmas story so remarkable, as Reinhard Bonnke pointed out, is not simply that Jesus was born of a virgin, but that for the first and only time in history, someone made the decision to be born. In the eternal counsel of heaven, Jesus submitted to the request of the Father: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book’” (Heb. 10:7). Jesus agreed to leave his place of rulership and glory in heaven and enter this fallen world as a servant to rescue us from our sin. This is the Christmas story.