A Christmas Gift – a word from Rev Rex

Some of you may remember playing a game called, “pass the parcel”.  A large gift that was passed around the circle and when the music stoped the person who held it took off one of the layers of wrapping, they had to read the note that was revealed on the wrapping and do what it said, and in most cases, it was a little embarrassing, this proceeded until someone unwrapped the last part that revealed the prize.

Our Christmas celebrations can be a little like that. Many of us have dreams of what Christmas should be like however, is it just the wrappings that we are focusing on.  I wonder if anyone has wrapped a box in the finest wrapping but inside, the box was empty. That might be a joke we played on someone but maybe not a very nice joke if the person was expecting a real gift.  Nevertheless, what would be interesting is if a young man gave a very large gift to his girlfriend that had so much wrapping that when taken off revealed only a small box, and the small box enclosed an engagement ring. That I would like to see.

The beauty of Christmas as attractive as it is, is not in the wrapping. The glory of Christmas is not in the lights as illuminating as they maybe. The heart of Christmas is not in the feast as appealing as it is. Yes, we can enjoy these and many other aspects of Christmas but fail to experience the true depth of Christmas.  Even as Christians we can lose sight of the heart of Christmas because we are just playing around with the wrappings of Christmas.

Christmas is a beautiful gift, not the ones under the tree but the gift that was laid in the manger over two thousand years ago. It is the gift of life, the gift of hope, the gift of joy, the gift of Jesus coming into the world. It is life in its fullness, As Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV

As we consider Christmas this year, this gift of Emmanuel, God with us. It is the gift of life, eternal life, A life that is far beyond the idea of living for ever, for it is a quality of life that is, at its core about a relationship with the one who created us, who knows us better than we know ourselves, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent,”  * (John 17:3 NIV)

As I think about this, it is not a gift to be kept to ourselves, it is to be shared and lived out.  Jesus has profoundly touched our lives in so many ways, therefore how can we touch the lives of those around us this Christmas?  Maybe it can be in the giving of small gifts, or in spending time with somebody that would be blessed by our presence, or maybe it is the invite to our Christmas table, somebody who would be blessed by joining in with our celebrations. Is there someone who is alone and in need of company.

Maybe we need to take our eyes off the wrappings of Christmas and look around. It is often in the sharing that we gain insights beyond the wrappings of Christmas, to the heart of Christmas.

May this season of celebration be a special time for you as you share Jesus in more than words but in actions of simple acts of love.

Together may we be a blessing this Christmas.

Rev. Rex E Rigby
National Superintendent

Posted in A Word from Rev Rex

Townsville Wesleyan Beach Church

In September our church enjoyed a picnic at Pallarenda Beach with some games, food and fellowship. Two guys, Dez and Daniel were discussing, “Why don’t we have church down here at the beach some Sunday nights? This was the seed thought prompted two events (Oct and Nov) since then we have called it “Beach Church.”

The goal of Beach Church has been to reach people who are not comfortable with traditional church. These two events have been an opportunity for the local church to get a feel of what it is like and have confidence to invite their unchurched friends.

It has been an opportunity for people to have informal time in a more relaxed environment. We have included activities for the whole family, a BBQ together, a couple of songs and a short drama – everyone loves – which is linked to a brief talk outlining some aspect of introducing people to God.

Still some tweaking. Looking forward to strengthening this “bridge” and using it for taking the gospel in the coming year!

Pastor Stuart Hall
Townsville Wesleyan Methodist Church

Posted in Nth Qld District

A Season of Tongan Work in Tully, Nth Qld

A seven-month season of ministry has come to its close for now. The fruit has been encouraging. Over a hundred seasonal workers have returned to their Island home of Tonga, encouraged and having received pastoral ministry from Rev Rachael Tonga. She answered the call to move from dry Canberra to balmy Tully in North Queensland. Little did she know what was ahead. There were challenges of accommodation, transport and the wide range of needs of the Tongans living in a culture not their own. In addition, three funerals and two weddings of family members back home stretched Rachael’s resources in every sense.

Pastor Rachael has blessed our NQ District in giving us her final months of ministry and has now stepped into retirement as a full-time grandmother who is about to celebrate her 70th Birthday.

What of the future for these Tully Tongan workers? Perhaps God is speaking to one of you who are reading this. There is great opportunity to pastor and train up these seasonal workers to return as effective witnesses to reach their fellow Tongans for Christ. Is God calling you?

Rev Stuart Hall
District Superintendent NQ

Posted in Nth Qld District

Principles of Prayer

Recently, we viewed the War Room movie at our evening service at Banyule Wesleyan Methodist church. Miss Clara has a special little closet, which she dedicates to praying, and she calls it War Room. While watching, my mind wondered back to my house in search of a closet possibly to be cleared out for dedication as a spiritual prayer room! That was how captivated I was! The word of Jesus came to me: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Mather 6:6) However, the main theme of War Room is not so much about praying secretly in an enclosed area. Miss Clara had firmly encouraged a young wife and mother, Elizabeth, is to pray, pray, and then pray some more, preferably in seclusion for complete undistracted focus, in a battle against Satan, not against her husband. The film director of this American Christian drama, Alex Kendrick, says “we called it War Room because, like the military, we should seek God for the right strategy before going into combat. By combat, I mean daily issues we face in our culture.” The film initially received negative reviews but then it became a box office success and a sleeper hit, with CNN’s report: “some might call it a faith-based David versus the secular Goliaths in the entertainment industry.”

I was moved by the faith-based drama because of my own personal experience in my very first prayer. I had talked desperately to a God whom I did not know then. That prayer led me to my conversion. From then on, needless to say, prayer ranks the top in my list of spiritual disciplines. I thought I knew a fair bit about prayer and know the true meaning of this spiritual discipline … until I spent two months researching and reading more for the development of the new Kingsley Community subject, “Principles of Prayer.” This journey has enriched me to value my prayer life differently. There are so much more to learn from those people whose prayers have changed history and the world; from those committed people of God whose lives greatly honour His holiness; and to learn on the meaning of the effectiveness of biblical principles of prayer.

Kevin Brown and I have spent two months in May and June on the development of this subject. Our desire is that Kingsley Community students, as well as other pastors and leaders, will be encouraged to develop further as people of prayer. Still further, we pray that this subject will inspire a revival for His church.

The preparation for the subject has changed my prayer life. Please be praying with me that God would use this subject, now and in the future, to equip our leaders as men and women of powerful prayer.

Rev Susan Lee

susan-lee-27-4-16

If you would like to join any of the class dates as Profession Development- over web conference- please see the schedule below and call the College office on 03 9357 3699.

 

 

 

Mondays – 10 am to 4 pm: (In the Broadmeadows Training Centre or via web conference)

01 Aug   Seminar 1             An Introduction/Can prayer be taught and learnt? / Exploring with Tozer

29 Aug   Seminar 2             Prayer that changes History and the World / Exploring with Tozer

3 Oct      Seminar 3             The Effectiveness of Prayer / Exploring with Tozer

24 Oct   Seminar 4             The Biblical Principles of Prayer / Exploring with Tozer

21 Nov  Seminar 5             Spiritual Formation: Going deeper into prayer / Exploring with Tozer

Posted in WMCA

Celebrating a Milestone

Maise and Bill Greenlee celebrated Maise’s 90th birthday with their church family at Box Forest Wesleyan Methodist Church.
Bill and Maise have been long standing members of the church and have blessed that local fellowship with their Irish humour and godly walk. Over the years many Kingsley College students who attended Box Forest church were treated to Sunday lunch at Bill and Maise’s. Maise and Bill continue to be a great encouragement to all of their friends at the retirement home and their local church. They are also a role model for many of the teens at the church. In short, they set a great example of a godly marriage and faithful walk with Christ.
maise-90
Posted in Southern District

Celebrating 50th Wedding Anniversary

Dennis and Keren Carnell were founding members of Box Forest (originally College Church) Wesleyan Methodist Church, were married in that church building and have now celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with their church family.

Dennis and Keren have been a great blessing to their local church and to the wider Wesleyan Methodist church over many years. Keren and Dennis celebrated this milestone with friends and family on the Saturday and then their church on the Sunday. They have set a great example to their friends, workmates, neighbours and church of a good marriage and faithful serve to Jesus as their Savior. No doubt God will continue to make them a blessing to others in the years to come. dennis-and-keren-50th-wed-ann

Posted in Southern District

Southern District Conference Report 2016

This was my first time attending one of these conferences and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be boring? Would I know anyone? Will I enjoy it? How does it work?

My initial fears were allayed as I was welcomed with love and enthusiasm by smiling faces on Friday morning.

Through the banterous leadership of our National and District Superintendents we navigated the administration of running a Church/District. There was a healthy balance of unanimity and lively debate as delegates had a say and motions were passed.

On Friday night we had praise and a sermon and we were introduced, with spectacular singing and dancing, to the newly formed Wyndham Samoan Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Saturday morning brought the remainder of our business agenda, with voting on various positions interspersed with reports from some of our Pastors. The Pastors’ reports were a great insight into some of the work being done in the Churches across our District.

Saturday afternoon was a chance to break into smaller groups and learn a bit more about different issues and events relevant to the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Rev David Collins gave a missions update from the Solomon Islands whilst elsewhere Mr Rob Ward and Rev Lindsay Cameron led a discussion about the interface between church and politics. Rev Beryl Baker and Mr Fred Watts talked about ministry to the disadvantaged while Rev Kevin Brown ran a session on interpreting the Bible.

During this time, and despite being delayed by a humorous entrapment in the wheelchair lift, the younger kids went for a trip to the aquarium. Quite a few of the older ‘kids’ tagged along too!

Saturday night was an opportunity for various auxiliaries to gather and hold their own conventions, with one for youth, women, and men. The women worshiped together and heard testimonies from Amy and Taina. I was not privy to the men’s or youths gatherings but others tell me that Rev Lindsay Cameron shared something of the history of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Australia and the Pacific region.

On Sunday morning the Doveton congregation led us in a polyglot praise session and the Upper Room worship team led the worship during which we got to hear and sing some original songs!

The big event of Sunday was the Ordination of Rev Taina Vea and the official receiving into the denomination of Rev Len Calhoun. This was followed by communion.

After the service ended, the youth started jamming and conference drew to a close over the sound of praise and hearty lunchtime conversation.

It was my first conference, but after a weekend of fellowship and praise, conviction and learning, I know that it will certainly not be my last.

Cecelia Tyler

Posted in Southern District

A compassion that gives

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. * (1 John 3:17-18 NIV)

As giving is a part of compassion, so too is compassion a part of who we are as Christians. In our western culture we are taught to stand on our own two feet, it is entrenched in the philosophy of individualism. While its benefits are about being self-sufficient its weakness can be a resistance to being responsible for those around us.

This week on Q&A, Ms Grace Collier, a News Corp columnist, said

“governments did not owe workers any favours. Nobody has an entitlement to a job. Society doesn’t owe you a job. The Government can’t get you a job. The Government shouldn’t have to get you a job. There’s no such thing as Government money. There’s your money and my money.”

While the intent may be to encourage people to not be reliant on others, I have a problem with the idea that implies, you are on your own, or as she says, “there is your money and my money.” Her statement is a Capitalist statement, based on the philosophy of individualism.

At the other end of the extreme is Communism that might have said that there is not your money or my money it is our money. But I do note that this idea of communism is nowhere to be see today. And as someone once said, “the difference between communism and capitalism is that everyone know that communism does not work.”

But for Christians it not my money or your money or even our money it is God’s money. We are stewards as the story of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 reminds us, or as Peter challenges us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” * (1Peter 4:10 NIV)

Ms Grace Collier went on to say in response to being told there is not enough jobs out there. People can start their own businesses”, Now I guess that she would have like to qualify her statement, However I don’t know many people who are unemployed who have the ability or resources to start their own business.

Acts 20:26 give us the response we are to have to this issue, “to work hard, and to help the weak.” for not everyone has the ability to make it without a hand up or a hand along. And the truth is most of us if not all of us have had a hand up at some time in our life, maybe way back when we were children learning life skills that enable us to survive or succeed in this world today.

I come back to the words of Jesus, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” * (Matthew 25:35 NIV)

The word of God calls us to a compassion that gives.

Added to this I look around at those who led the way in the acts of compassion. I could start with Mother Teresa who cared for the poorest of the poor. I see the couple in Port Headland who in their spare time with their own resources are helping the local community of Indigenous Australians. I see Rev. Beryl Baker and the Boronia Congregation that ministers acts of compassion to the homeless and the disadvantaged people in the Melbourne CBD. I see the Nanango church that has what we could call a soup kitchen and foodbank and as does the Life Church in Maryborough. I see Ken & Leanne Baker involved with “Love makes a way” calling the government to deal with refugees with compassion. I could share endless stories of churches, of people across the country that are rolling up their sleeves in regards to acts of compassions. They inspire me.

The example of others calls us to a compassion that gives.

If this is not enough to move us, we need to remember our Heritage.

John Wesley said “gain all you can, save all you can give all you can.”

How are we doing living that out today? The early Methodists were living it out in the prisons, in the schools, on the streets, in the hospitals and in parliament changing the laws, as acts of compassion. They made a difference, through their actions, the broken were being restored. Just as Jesus walked the streets of Israel touching lives with compassion, Jesus was touching lives through the actions of the early Methodist, who is Jesus wanting to touch with the acts of compassion through us today.

Our heritage as Wesleyan Methodists calls us to a compassion that gives.

May we together hear the call of compassion to give of our time, of our resources and of our presence.

Rev Rex E Rigby

 

Posted in A Word from Rev Rex

The Anointed Life

A Message to North Queensland District Conference from Rev Stuart Hall District Superintendent, 26th September 2016

One of the things that came together for our DBA was the sense that we need to be about Making Disciples. Recently in Townsville church, we spent time in the TSM Personal Discipleship course seeking fulfil that mandate of Jesus to Make Disciples. We really need to go back to that first Easter morning.

Remember how the women went to the tomb on that first Sunday Easter morning and discovered that it was empty and were told, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen …” and then appeared to Mary who lingered at the garden tomb. Then John and Peter ran to the tomb, confirming it. Then Jesus appeared to two as they walked to Emmaus, then the eleven without Thomas, and a week later to all eleven. He appears to the disciples who have returned to do some fishing, and particularly to Peter at that morning breakfast to restore Peter, and finally he comes to that moment when he has to leave them. On a mountain somewhere in Galilee, Jesus utters these final words to them.

Matthew 28:18-20

All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go[-ing]
(and) make disciples of all nations,
Baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

And the church has been doing that ever since … to lesser or greater degrees.

Clearly, the church explodes numerically during the first Pentecost, as recorded in Acts, but it becomes complacent about going until persecution forces the church out of Jerusalem first by Jews, such as Saul who became Paul, and then after the generation of the Disciples who mostly died as martyrs, a succession of Roman persecutions, including the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. until the 3rd century.

The church gained a great deal of respectability under Roman Emperor Constantine; 7 church ecumenical councils guide the church until 800s, with the church continuing to expand into Africa, Europe and Asia. About 1050 A.D. the church split into East and West and a period known as the Dark ages followed, with crusades for about 200 years (1090 – 1290), yet God had his “7000” hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal.[1]

The Reformation era began with Luther in the 1500s in Germany, Calvin in France, Zwingli in Switzerland and Henry VIII’s challenge in England to papal authority, leading to much disruption, but a return to putting the Word of God back in the language and hands of the people.

The Wycliffe, Hus, Zinzenforf, Moravian heritage, returning to the Scriptures and the Great Commission, influenced Carey, considered “father of modern missions”[2] and the Wesley brothers, who after their “heart-warming” personal experience are used by God to transform England, which then overflows to America and the Methodist church is born.

Various denominations spring up, seeking to return the church to the Great Commission. The Baptist church emerges in 1845, the Pentecostal church begins in 1916, many other churches spring up during the 1900s, including the Wesleyan Methodist church of Australia, beginning in Glenroy, Victoria in 1946

But the reality of the last century is that the main-line churches of the West have been in decline. Once vibrant, their form tended to replace their function. At this point, a movement has lost its purpose, its way and its impact.

Where do we go from here?

There has a been a number of emerging groups. There was the rise of the “mega-Church”, which centralises the power, and to which the average church does not have the capacity to birth. More recently a movement called the “emerging church” which was a nebulous reaction against institutional formalism, but in the words of Alan Hirsch, one of its own proponents, it produced a club of trendy consumerists, but not disciples. A “missional” movement has followed, which is seeking to embed the church’s identity back into the mission of God, a formal missional “glory” of the early church restored to the church today.[3]

This is a good thing and it is pushing us back to examine our most primary and defining story of who the church is, that of the New Testament Church. But beware of all sorts of extremes, including the power-hungry New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), who have been seduced by the ancient yet subtle lust for power.

It is recognised that the greatest force to refine the church is persecution, when everything is on the line, and no-one takes up following Christ who isn’t also ready to die for their faith. That will sort out the sheep and the goats … and I believe that is why the Lord has allowed what is taking place in the spiritually declining West … it’s part of the natural cycle of things … spiritual vitality à affluence à materialism à spiritual decline à desperation à prayer à revival à spiritual vitality.

So we have come back to the focus of this conference, the Great Commission.

As Rick Warren said some years ago, A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment – to love the Lord with all … and love one’s neighbour as oneself … and the Great Commission will produce to a Great Church.

And he is right.

I love the Wesley’s focus on Love and Discipline – it’s Scriptural, it’s formative, it picks up these same vital ingredients to build a great church.

The TSM Personal Discipleship course fits right in here, as we consider “What kind of disciple do we want to produce?

At this conference, we want to keep that balance: not the formless emerging church reaction that produced very little, nor the formalism that deadened the church in the first place.

As I reflected on our theme, it occurred to me that we could so easily be led down a discipleship path of KNOW and DO, like following a formula, the very problem that has dogged the church over the years – form taking over the function of the church.

I was reading through the letter of 1 John, and found myself confronted by a simple word.

“Anointing”

We can be great followers of Jesus, but without anointing we will lack the power to transform. And I believe that it is a timely word for us as we who love the Word and seek to be students of the Word and disciplined in our obedience of it.

1 John 2:18-29

18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But their gong showed that none of them belonged to us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist, denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us – eternal life.

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.   27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you remain in him.

28 And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has be born of him.

In an age where John is writing several antichrists have arisen who have lead the people of God astray and get lost. The answer was the anointing. Let’s consider what the Scriptures mean by this.

The theme of knowing the truth links the anointing to a work of the Holy Spirit as we refer back to John’s Gospel. [14:26] But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

This anointing is a working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

If we dig back to the Old Testament we discover things about anointing that is really significant, which will link back to the John passages.

A few Scriptures:

When the children of Israel were setting up the tabernacle of worship, special anointing oil was prescribed.

Exodus 30:25 –27, 35,37

6kg liquid myrrh, 3kg of fragrant cinnamon, 6kg cassia, about 4 litres of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the Ark of the Covenant law, 27 the altar of burn offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so that they will be most holy and whatever touches them will be holy.

35 then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices – gum resin, onycha and galbanum and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred … 37 do not make any incense of this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord.

Beauty of Fragrance

The first thing that is spoken of here is that of fragrance. This was described as the work of a perfumer, which is designed to lift those who smell it into a whole new realm. The aroma brought something beautiful, attractive, pleasant, that made you want to linger in its presence. When someone is anointed, there is something attractive about that person that makes you want to spend more time with them. Here the attraction is a beautiful life that brings you into the very presence of God Himself. When you are with this person, something wonderful and almost mystical about the presence of Christ is with you.

Late in the year about 1979, I recall a visit by Rev Kingsley Ridgway the founder of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia to the Joyful News Wesleyan Methodist Church, in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, a place known for its low life. Rev Ridgway was a fairly senior man, His speech was a little slow, almost a monotone. His demeanour was plain and his presentation was simple …

… but as the words flowed out of his mouth, each word seemed bathed in the love of God. Each sentence dripped with the Father’s heart for his lost son, aching, longing, patiently waiting, and then suddenly bursting forth when the son arrived home from his long journey. Here the Father’s actions were full of restoring, healing power as the son discovered the greatest treasure of all, His Father’s heart, which had been there all the time.

And oh how the love of God touched the heart and moistened the eyes of that 19 year old young man. What I witnessed was the unction or anointing of the Holy Spirit in a life that was dedicated, given over, anointed by God himself.

The beauty of a fragrant life is power and God wants that for every one of his disciples.

Transforming the lives of others

There is an expression which stands out against most of the Old Testament teaching; “and whatever touches them (the burning altar with its utensils) which are most holy, WILL BE HOLY. [Ex 30:27]

When Jesus ministered in Israel, Pharisees ruled the people with their lists of regulations about clean and unclean. If someone touched an unclean thing, then they had to bathe and make an offering in order to be cleansed, which extended to their rituals of washing of hands. This meant that a section of the community was untouchable, those with leprosy and infection skin diseases. They were relegated to be outside normal society. You couldn’t touch them, because you would be unclean. So they lived in their seclusion, in their isolation and loneliness unable to be touched by the very God who wanted to touch them. We know that because the scripture tells us that when a leper came to Jesus, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you? The leper replied, “I want to be clean!” The Scripture says that Jesus reached with his healing power out and touched him! Something more than physical healing took place that day, as the untouchable became touchable again. That which was defiled was now cleansed. Jesus was not defiled by touching by touching the untouchable. The untouchable was cleansed by a touch of an anointed person. Those who are anointed are not defiled by touching untouchables. Instead there is something powerful and transforming because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life.

Sadly, the holiness movement lost sight of that at various stages, and rules about associations sometimes meant that those who needed the healing touch of God missed out, because we didn’t want to be see associating with the unclean. Was Jesus not accused of this very thing, hanging out with the wrong crowd? Don’t you know that this person is a sinner? How can you call yourself a prophet? Yet that is exactly where the prophet needs to be; where the people are hurting, where the people are defiled. Yes, there are dangers, but the anointing protects.

Jesus Christ wants us to touch the untouchable with His anointing. Yes, you and me, his hands and feet. He wants us to go. He wants us to touch. The anointing is an anointing of God to bring transformation.

  1. BELONGING / ADOPTION
    37 do not make any incense of this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord.

The anointing oil was something that was set aside. It was sacred, and for God’s use exclusively. It’s a clear picture of how God wants to take us as His own, for His exclusive and wonderful use.

This is not just a belonging like I own a car or a computer. I owned a Volkswagen Combi, used it and then got rid of it, replacing it with a Toyota Hiace. I had a Samsung Galaxy S4, and it got a bit worn out, so I replaced it.

God’s belonging is not like that!

The anointing oil was smeared over the surface of the object, not necessarily the entire thing, but symbolically it covered the whole thing. It transformed the whole thing into something sacred. The sacred oil also separated the item apart for God’s exclusive use. The possession BELONGED to God.

This is the picture of adoption, like Romans 8:15

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry “Abba, Father,” the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if children, then heirs.

A beautiful picture of Adoption the Lord has taught me through the welcome into our home of Ana Mae. This is not another “servant” or work unit in our home, but another child. We don’t threaten Ana Mae with, “well, if you can’t get this done, we’ll trade you in for another child!” We have entered into a relationship where we are a Father and Mother, and our house is a home, Ana Mae’s home, a place of permanent belonging, where she will ALWAYS have access. We are constantly speaking out this truth. “Ana Mae, you are our child and we love you and always will. You belong with us and our love for you will never stop. We belong together.”

To be anointed is to be owned by God, to dwell in a place of safety, connection and love. Through the anointing, the Holy Spirit speaks to us, telling us that we are His and He is ours. His love for us will never cease.

Assurance / Authority

Romans 8:14-15 speaks of Assurance, and it is this assurance that gives us another important gift that comes from his anointing – his Authority.

I can come and speak the words of God to someone and they have divine authority, not because I am God, but because these are His Words and as His representative, they have the authority of God Himself. I know that as one anointed, speaking His words, that I am saying what He wants them to hear through my mouth. These words have power in their lives because of the anointing. The child of God who rests in the authority of God, who has not only the assurance of their salvation but the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives through the words that they receive, day by day can face any situation that come against them, even those set up by Satan.

God’s authority allows doors to be opened to us, because we represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but the authority is only there under the anointing. As soon as we remove ourselves from under the anointing we do not have His authority. When we step into the pulpit, called by God to feed the flock, with His anointing, we will have his authority. If we do not have the anointing, we should stop filling the air with words that lack power. Walk in the anointing of God!

Truth
The John passage reminds us that the Holy Spirit will lead us into the truth.  Jesus said, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”[4] “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”[5]

As we submit to the Work of God in our lives, as we submit to the Word of God spoken to us, He will reveal truth to us – the truth about sin.

He is not playing games with us. Truth is revealed so that we might adjust our lives. This is wrong. This is less than what God wants for you. Set this aside. This will damage you. The Holy Spirit is faithful to speak to us and he will convict us of our sin.

The Holy Spirit is faithful to speak to us and convict us about the righteousness of God, because He is absolutely righteous. And then the Holy Spirit convicts concerning the fearful judgement of God that will come because of the first two – our sin and His righteousness. It is the pleading work of the Holy Spirit that is yearning for our return for our repentance.

It is the Holy Spirit that is yearning for the salvation of the lost that they might come to repentance.

Leading
A further flow-on from the anointing is what Romans 8:14 tells us. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

The anointing allows us to be lead, because the Holy Spirit will speak in that moment the things that need to be said. He will speak let you know when something needs to be done.

We began this year in Townsville with 21 days of prayer and fasting, which the Lord prompted me to do after telling me to listen to my wife one day. “Sit and listen to this. This is important.” So I sat and listened. That door opened the door to the 21 days, which opened the door to a monthly prayer meeting since Easter, open to all the churches of Townsville, coming together to seek the Lord and His anointing on the churches of Townsville for the sake of the gospel.

Where did that come from, but a leading of the Holy Spirit, on the part of many of God’s people.

It was also that sense of God’s leading that urged Pastor Zane Herrington to pick up the phone to call me, and for me to call our NS Rev Rex Rigby who put me in touch with the Tongan Wesleyan Community in SQ/NSW who were meeting over Easter and the same holy Spirit who spoke to Rev Rachael Tonga to put up her hand to go to Tully going against family advice, but in answer to God’s plan for the Tongan seasonal workers to be properly cared for by a Tongan pastor who knew their culture, heart language and who shared that anointing, so that they will take back that anointing to their own people of Tonga, where tradition has stolen some of the hearts of their people.

Isn’t it true that our District’s church plants have been the result, not of the work of man, but by the leading and anointing of the Spirit of God? Consider the Afrikaanse Christelike Kerk, where Pastor Neels and Marlene Prisloo were led by God to contact Rev Jake Gerber, also from South Africa, the led to their joining our District.

Isn’t it true that the leading of the Holy Spirit raised up Pastor Sanaila and Feasi Bolaqace to step into the ministry training stream and to call the Fijians together to reach other Fijians in Rockhampton and beyond?

This is the anointing that will build the church. This is the anointing that the disciple of Jesus Christ needs to be able to be used of God.

So I want us to see that it is the Anointed Life that has fragrance, beauty and attractiveness for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is the anointed life that has the power to touch the untouchables and bring transformation.

It is the anointed life that experiences the belonging of God through adoption so that we have an eternal family, and an assurance that we belong as the anointing cries out “Aba, Father!” into our hearts.

It is the anointed life that moves with authority to speak and to do what He calls us to do, even in places where the enemy roars like a lion, but we have peace, because He is with us.

It is the anointed life that is the Spirit-led life that tells us when it is God’s time, so that we do not need to be anxious about when things need to happen. No matter the mountains, the deadlines, the threatening situations. We don’t get pressed into offering the sacrifice like Saul, who should have waited for Samuel the prophet to act. God will show up. He will not foreclose on us.

You and I need the anointing of the Holy Spirit, if we are going to be effective as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Am I saying we don’t need discipline or training? Of course not. Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs no to be ashamed.[6] But if we lack the anointing, we have just created a mere institution.

Hindrances to the Anointing

The Scripture says in Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.

We grieve the Holy Spirit when we spoil relationships with bad talk, when we allow the flesh to speak into our lives instead of the Spirit. When we move independently of the anointing, under our own control and not the leading of the Holy Spirit. Instead of walking in the anointing, we substitute our own knowledge, our own wisdom, our own authority. We are pushing aside the Holy Spirit. We are resisting and usurping the Holy Spirit.

Do not quench the Spirit

In the context of praying, giving thanks, rejoicing, Paul says to the Thessalonians [1Thess 5:19] do not quench the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live holy lives. Obey the Word. Obey His promptings. Do not reject His work in your life, his corrections, his directions.

The anointed life is a powerful, soul-satisfying, other-giving, God-glorifying life … we cannot afford to limit God in any way.

Keep close account with God.

Listen for the still whispers of His love for us

Delight in His corrections.

Love and trust his leadings.

 He will make your life fruitful, joyful, powerful.

 [1] Rom 11:4

[2] http://www.crossroad.to/heaven/Excerpts/books/history/hand-of-God/moravian.htm

[3] Location 1608, The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch, Brazos Press 2006, 2016

[4] John 8:32

[5] John 14:6

[6] 2 Timothy 2:15

Posted in Nth Qld District

Nth Qld District Conference Report 2016

This September (26-29), Camp Kanga, Proserpine, hosted our 24th District Conference in North Queensland.

We are on our way to a healthy Provisional District with 188 Covenant Members and 10 churches, 3 Established churches, and a new Tongan Pioneer Fellowship (Tully), stretching from Cairns to Woorabinda (13hrs drive).

Rev Stuart Hall opened the conference with a focus on the anointing that is needed for every disciple to produce a healthy movement as we fulfil the Great Commission. Rev Gary McClintock followed this up with practical challenges from the life of Lot – “Where are you pitching your tent?” and Daniel – Discovering that God partners with true disciples to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!”

District Conference was a real family event this year, with 20 kids and the ministry of Rev Melissa George, our National Children’s Director investing creatively and biblically into their lives and blessing us on our final night with a dynamic worship song. Parents were grateful for morning and evening sessions, so that they could attend the conference sessions and evening rallies.

We were also blessed to have NS Rev Rex Rigby call us to align with the missional heart of God, by Crossing the Road culturally with the good news of Jesus Christ. Rev David Collins updated us on the latest developments at the Noro Training Centre in the Solomon Islands; Rev Kevin Brown brought information about how Kingsley can partner with local churches and Rev Gary McClintock explained the training opportunities with TSM.

The pastors’ forum opened the idea of breaking down goals into smaller measurable steps, discussed ways to engage those who have a called to keep moving in their calling and considered the use of interns and the importance of professional development.

Electives: Rev Melissa George challenged us to take our children’s ministries to a new level by building relationships with parents; Rev Gary McClintock promoted the goal of Christ-like transformation as the object of our small groups.

Doris handled our registration needs; Rev Bert provided transport for our guests, and Kerryn kept us smiling and on time. Chris Leong and Pastor Jazmine (plus team) helped us connect with God in worship each night.

Ministerial students were recognised for their completed studies, Pastor’s reports celebrated, District Officers elected and Pastors stationed to move us into an effective new year in the North. Overall the Conference was a very encouraging time of gathering together to share the challenges and exciting ways that God has been at work throughout the past year and to inspire us to be making disciples for His glory.

Stuart Hall

DS NQDWMC

Posted in Nth Qld District

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