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".
Prepare The Way Of The Lord
Micah Wood • March 15, 2020 • Micah Wood
Ps Micah speaks about preparing the way of The Lord. Isaiah 40:3-5 NKJV refers....The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord ; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” In verses 3 and 4 the way of the Lord is prepared; in verse 5 the result of this is that the glory of God is revealed to all flesh. We must 'prepare the way of the Lord' in our hearts. Not so that we can be a container of God's glory, but so that we can be a conduit of God's glory to this world. God's purpose isn't to have a remnant, but to work through the remnant in order to pour out His Spirit. So, God doesn't just want a handful of believers in Family Church to see His glory; He wants to pour His glory out through His church so that the City sees His glory! The condition of Heaven is the responsibility of God, but the condition of the Earth is the responsibility of man. He has delegated authority to His Church, to His sons and daughters on the Earth. Our responsibility is to walk in such a relationship with God where He can flow through our lives. God wants to bring down the high places (pride), the crooked places (the parts of our lives that the world has warped), and the rough places (personality quirks that cause us to grate with others). As we allow God to prepare the way in our lives in this way, He will be able to pour His Spirit though our lives. God is the One who was, and who is, and who is to come.....is He the God who came, who is with us now, or who is coming? Yes! He is all of those things....He has prepared the way and is preparing the way. We live in the days of God's Spirit having been given to those who believe. Greater days than when Jesus walked on Earth! The Holy Spirit is here to prepare the way for the King who is coming. But each one in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, afterwards those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him, ” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:23-28 NKJV). It is always the case that what God is doing in your life today is preparing the way for what God wants to do in and through your life tomorrow. Why does God need the way prepared? Certainly it is not for His sake, it's for humanity’s sake. He desires that all would come to repentance before He comes. So the preparation is not so that God can move as God can do what He likes! It’s so that people are able to receive the move of God: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5 NKJV). It is a great day for those who are ready and prepared for His coming.....but a dreadful day for those who are not prepared. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:5 NKJV). God's heart is for all people to be prepared for His coming by the outpouring of His Spirit upon all flesh. "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat"? (II Peter 3:11-12 NKJV).
Are you taking your seat at the feast
Andy Elmes • March 8, 2020 • Andy Elmes
Following last weeks message about the Season we are in, Pastor Andy speaks concerning whether we are actually taking our seat at the feast which God has prepared for us (Psalm 23:5). Despite what is going on in the world right now, God is still in charge of the seasons. He has called us into a season of Feasting. We need to be true to the season we are in. We need two things when we go to a banquet.....Etiquette and also Appetite. God has invited us all to the feast but He can't make us come and eat! (Luke 14:7-24). We must exercise humility, not sitting in a seat that isn't meant for us. Likewise, when we put on a feast, we invite people who wouldn't usually be invited (verses 12 through 14). In Luke 14:15-24, Invitations were sent out but those who were invited made excuses about why they couldn't come. The host of the feast became angry when those who were invited made excuses about why they couldn't come. He was angry that they were missing out. But the host still wanted people to take those seats that would otherwise be empty. So the broken and lame and those from undesirable places were invited instead. The difference between the response of the 'content' and the 'hungry' was hugely different. The response of the hungry delights the heart of God! We are in a season of FEASTING. It's a time of "plenty" - like Egypt that experienced seven years of plenty followed by seven years of drought. Here is the challenge....Will we take our seat at the feasting table (the things that God is doing right now); Or will we allow someone else to take it? The "feast" isn't primarily about the food or the people who are there - it's what the feast represents that is more important. Don't miss out on what God is doing right now! Matthew 5:6 (NKJV) tells us..."Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled."....It's the hungry who are blessed with God's feast. How hungry are we for God?
Knowing the Season You're In
Andy Elmes • March 1, 2020 • Andy Elmes
Ps Andy speaks about the season we are in. God is a God of seasons, He has created seasons yet He is not subject to seasons. In our natural world there are different seasons. We are in a season of feasting where are believing God for big things! Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 speaks of the many differing seasons of life. There are times when we do different things, have different roles and responsibilities, etc....also times when we go through different experiences - such as loss, lack, abundance, etc. There are times for different relationships - someone may walk with us in one season of life, but not the next season. As a church we are being brought into a number of new relationships with other churches and Christian leaders. This includes the Assemblies of God that we have recently joined. Seasons come and go...this is natural. The next season may be similar to what we have been experiencing; other seasons may be radically different. Crucially, we must ensure that we are always true to the season we are in. We need to be "singing the sound" of the season that we are in today - not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today! We need to be "dressed" for the season we are in. We do this in the natural (shorts in summer, coats in winter) and we need to do this also in the spiritual...We need to discern when the seasons are changing and be true to the season we are in. We need to know when to change our "unseen clothes" in order to be true to the spiritual season we are in. King David - after his son died he washed himself and put on fresh clothes. He was able to move into what God has "next" for him. His "next" involved his son Solomon who became the greatest King who ever lived! In all seasons we must sow, no matter how tough it becomes. In due season we will reap a harvest. Let's make sure we are ready to change our clothes and get dressed correctly for what God is doing. We must make sure we are talking, singing and dressing appropriately for the season we are in.
The Life God Sees for Us
Gina Elmes • February 23, 2020 • Gina Elmes
Ps Gina speaks of the life that God sees for us.....God is a lover of feasts and celebrations! He set out seven feasts each year for the Children of Israel. Everyone is invited to these feasts. In John Chapter 7 we see Jesus attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. All Jews had travelled to Jerusalem to take part in this seven day feast. This was Wall to wall excitement in Jerusalem, and a celebration of God's provision to His people while they were in the wilderness - manna and water. During this feast they would celebrate the future outpouring of God's ‘water’, the Holy Spirit.....Then on the most important day of the feast, the last day, Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds — “All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendour. (John 7:37-39 TPT). Ps Gina then spoke of the vision that Ezekiel had about the River of God flowing from the temple......the temple being the life of the Spirit-filled believer. This is what God wants for us - His LIFE flowing from our lives...(Ezekiel 47:1-12 NKJV). Ezekiel saw this prophetic vision whilst he was in exile in Babylon and his land (that this prophecy was about) was desolate. This shows us that even when things look lifeless and impossible, God has other plans! This was prophetic for the Jews at that time but it is also for us today as Spirit-filled believers, temples of the Holy Spirit. God wants His Spirit to flow from our lives. His living Water is to fill us and flow out of our lives. He doesn't want us to stay ankle deep, knee deep, or even waist deep. He wants us to swim in His Living Waters and for it to flow out from our lives in increasing measures.
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.
Manna Living - Spiritual Bread
Andy Elmes • February 9, 2020 • Andy Elmes
Ps Andy continues speaking about "Manna Life".....As Christians we need to learn to call on God before we hit a crisis, rather than seeing Him as a "last resort" when we find ourselves in a time of crisis. Sometimes we find ourselves in a season of "manna life" where we have no idea what "tomorrow" looks like and we simply have to trust God "today". Sometimes we don't know where our provision will come from tomorrow, but we experience God's daily provision and simply have to trust Him. The "manna life" that Israel had to learn was firstly to HUMBLE God's people, reminding them that they couldn't survive in their own ability, they had to rely on God. It also tested their hearts. It showed "where they were at" in their relationship with God and in their trust in God. The hunger that Israel experienced in the wilderness also taught them they could not live by bread ALONE. That true life and sustenance comes from God's Word! Jesus reminded the devil of the TRUTH. He quoted God's Word with complete faith and authority, knowing the power of God's Word v. the deception of the devil. Jesus was able to do this because He knew the Word. Not just as a book that He quoted but as the living word that was very real and alive in His heart. He said, "It is written…" However, in order to use God's Word as a weapon against the enemy (Sword of the Spirit) we need to know His Word. God wants to provide for us on a physical level but also on a spiritual level. ONLY God's Word can truly satisfy us......Are we approaching the table that God has laid before us with APPETITE?...How hungry for God are we really?
Andy Elmes • February 2, 2020 • Andy Elmes
"Give us today our daily bread."......Manna life is not a 'storing' way of life, it's a 'trusting' way of life. Trusting God for everything we need on a daily basis. God wants us to depend on Him for everything we need. We were saved when we put our faith in the grace of God. We LIVE by His grace and we are called to WALK in the grace of God on a daily basis. Everything we need spiritually has already been provided by God in Christ. Pastor Andy speaks about living in the provision God has laid before us, moving to a life of thanking rather than of hoping.
Jesus Can Handle Our Brokenness
Gina Elmes • January 26, 2020 • Gina Elmes
Pastor Gina describes how we all have elements of 'brokenness' in our lives, hurts, failures, fears, insecurities, etc. She speaks of how storms come & damage our lives. However, God has sent Jesus to fix broken things in our lives. God wants to repair us as we go. Not just once. He wants to bring strength and life to us. Ps Gina highlights scriptures showing how He wants to breathe life into our lives when they are dry, how God wants us to come into His 'harbour' so that He can repair us and make us whole. In vulnerability we can experience the fire of His Spirit & Word to burn away the chaff and bring wholeness in our lives. God wants to complete the good work that He began in each one of us.
Saints, Servants & Stewards Part 2
Steuart Payne • January 19, 2020 • Steuart Payne
Pastor Steu uses The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25, 14 - 30) to illustrate Part 2 of his series on Saints, Servants & Stewards. The challenge is for us not to be just servants but good stewards of that which God entrusts us with....treating responsibilities, tasks, items and so forth as if they were ours and thus maximising the gain obtainable for His Kingdom.
Andy Elmes • December 29, 2019 • Andy Elmes
David and Fiona Killough review their ministry whilst visiting the Portsmouth Congregation. Pastor Andy Elmes then speaks of Reviewing and Resetting our lives as the year end approaches. He speaks of lasting resolutions coming from having a correct perspective on life and situations.
The Brilliant Christmas Message for Everyone
Andy Elmes • December 22, 2019 • Andy Elmes
Pastor Andy speaks about the true purpose of Christmas, the birth of a special baby. God came down at Christmas, Jesus came to give us a second birth, God stepped down from the heaven he knew to experience the real life just as we do, with all its drama, problems, & issues. The arrival of Jesus was a lot more like our everyday lives than we realise. Jesus was not born in a palace, but a barn, he had everyday parents with everyday jobs. His future was that of a carpenter working under his Step Dad Joseph! All this was done not to judge us but to give us everlasting life, hope and a future.