Come to the Table

Steuart Payne

February 16, 2020 • Steuart Payne

Pastor Steu speaks of the banquet which God has laid at his table for us in the presence of our enemies (Ps 23v5). Although our physical well-being is very important to God, our spiritual well-being is even more important. If we are to be spiritually strong and mature we need to consume healthy spiritual food and drink. God has laid a banqueting table before us and it is full of incredible food and drink that will only do us good if we consume it! It will cause spiritual growth and maturity. On His table are His Word (our food) and His Spirit (our drink). When we consume the spiritual food that God has laid before us, we will be filled with the life of God which does way more for us than any natural food. God has made the first move. The banquet has been prepared and there is a seat for every living soul at the table. Yet God can’t force anyone to come to His table, or to make them eat and drink the feast that He has set before them. This is an individual choice we must make for ourselves. When we taste the feast that God has laid before us, we will never forget it! It’s like nothing that the world can offer. It’s time to take our seat at God’s table. It’s time to stop being distracted by the world or influenced by those who are away from the table themselves. We ARE worthy to take our seat - because of His great love for us. God wants to wash away all insecurity, all fear, all inadequacy from our lives and remind us that we are worthy because of His mercy and grace, not because of anything we’ve done or could do! When it comes to eating God’s feast there is no limit to His supply and everything on His table is good for us. The more we eat and drink at God’s table, the more we will be filled with the ETERNAL LIFE OF GOD and the greater impact our lives will have on others as we go out to bring others in. How much we consume is simply dependent on how hungry we are.

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Gods Unshakeable Kingdom

Andy Elmes • April 5, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy speaks of Gods Unshakeable Kingdom on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday leads into holy week, celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, triumphantly on a donkey as described in Matthew 21 (early verses). This had been foretold by the Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9). Crowds shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest!” This was truly an epic moment, eventually leading to Jesus’ arrest death burial and resurrection. As Jesus entered the city many people saw the king but missed His Kingdom. However, wherever a king is, so is the presence of his kingdom, the two are synonymous. Often we are good at acknowledging King Jesus, but we also need to acknowledge His kingdom. Jesus brought His kingdom to earth when he came and left it in the lives of his followers. Jesus refers to His Kingdom many times in scripture, eg Matthew 4:17 “Repent the kingdom of God is at hand”. Repent here means change your thinking. Jesus preached about his kingdom not his kingship. His life was the illustration of it and tells us anything we needed to know about His Kingdom. Many people missed the point that His kingdom was present as well as the King. This can apply to us as well, especially in present times. The good news is that Jesus didn’t take His kingdom back when he returned to heaven. One day he will return to earth, but his kingdom is here right now for us to experience. Acts 1:3 describes how Jesus spent forty days teaching about the ways of the kingdom. He clearly was not taking the kingdom back with him! Hebrews 12:26 announces that God’s kingdom is unshakeable. We are not to be shaken! Verse 27 means everything man made or not originated by God will be shaken - in order that the things which cannot be shaken will remain. Think on this! Verse 28 tells us to be grateful we are receiving the Kingdom of God which is unshakeable. Are we citizens of God or church attenders, a key question to ask ourselves. In shakeable times our lives are being shaken…but they need not be. We must live what we say we believe. When we became born again we came into this unshakeable kingdom. If we come under His Lordship, we recognise His rule and reign in our lives; we are in the unshakeable kingdom of God. This also means we have his care and protection (1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”). Colossians 1:13 states how our lives are taken out of the kingdom of darkness – we are now able to live in His providence. He is the Provider and protector. All we need to do to be within Gods Kingdom is to be born into it, be born again. Then we live as kingdom citizens. Present times have enabled us to re-evaluate our lives. Now let’s hand in our church membership as we knew it and begin living kingdom citizens, as Jesus did. Many of the ways of Gods Kingdom are out of alignment with the world view. Matthew 20:16 teaches that the first will be last and last will be first. This is almost upside down from what we have been accustomed to. Matthew 26 teaches that whoever wants to be great must be a servant of all. Proverbs 11:24 (TPT) teaches that “Generosity brings prosperity, but withholding from charity brings poverty”. Let us read from our bibles and make His kingdom our kingdom, all the way to understanding we have His authority on earth now today! Let us walk in faith, not fear.

Back to the original recipe for Church

Andy Elmes • March 29, 2020 • Andy Elmes

In the midst of the chaos we are witnessing something amazing is occurring – the church is being ‘reset’…..watching the church in the world, the church as we have known it is giving birth to the church as known in the Bible in Acts Chapter 2. Services and events are being replaced by being a community based people. We are discovering what the power of church is ….as it was meant to be originally…a community of people called out of darknes….in love with God and each other. What the devil meant for bad, God will work for good. The devil may have wanted to shut the church down through Covid-19, but he has in fact caused the birthing of the church with true identity. When we return to meeting together in our physical spaces, the church will be different in a positive way. We will appreciate our meetings much more, we will look forward to coming together much more maybe than we have done to date. The level of appreciation of everything will have changed, our attitudes to timeliness, other people etc., will be more greatly balanced. The church in Acts didn’t have any public meetings specifically, they didn’t have all the modern technology we have at our disposal for communication, they didn’t have buildings - they met in homes. However, they did have the power of God and Kingdom understanding. They were able to change the world and God used them to bring people into His Kingdom. As we are now, we do not meet in the buildings, the spaces we normally do but we are still the church of Jesus Christ, still the body of Christ. God will likewise use us to change the world. God is still God in the midst of what is going on right now. He knew it would happen as well! The recipe for the church in Acts 2 had some key ingredients; the same are available and applicable to us today. Firstly; make sure you are devoted yourselves to The Lord, not needing to be dependent on someone else to lead you. We must be a people of self-devotion. Secondly; be a people committed to living in His truth, surrounding ourselves with solid truth, not the opinions of others. Let us have the truth of God’s word only. This will grow our faith. Firmly know who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you. Let us dedicate ourselves not to flimsy teaching, but remain committed to good foundational teaching Thirdly; Fellowship …stay committed to staying connected. Where there is a will there is a way, thank the Lord for our technology now, helping us to stay connected. Let us be purposeful here, call people when Holy Spirit prompts you, and be responsive to this. Fourth; be a praying people in our closed rooms and also with families. Let us pray for friends and family, increasing the level of prayer and remaining committed to communion, not religiously but as the book of Acts defines it…..when believers gathered together in their homes with thankful hearts and took bread and wine together. We can all do this together or individually. The power of God is released to heal the sick and provide a protected layer on our households. God is not hindered in any way by what is happening now. A church will be born out of the church as it had become. If we stay as committed as the early church did we will see a new church born from this time.

Abide in the Lord

Andy Elmes • March 22, 2020 • Andy Elmes

As we are instructed by Government to be socially distanced from each other during this time of dealing with Covid-19, Pastor Andy provides a clear message about guarding our hearts and coming into deeper relationship with God. Now is the time not to be distant from God but to reach into him, feast on his presence keeping our lives based on The Word rather than being filled with fear from the evil one, media etc. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind".