Monday, 31 August 2015



What matters is not so much how long we pray, but that we do a definite transaction with God and actually get something. 

Smith Wigglesworth reportedly said once, "I can get more out of believing God for one minute than I can by shouting at Him all night".

So the important thing after praying is that you know you got something - because then you'll have it.

Years ago seven or so friends and I decided to go to the cliff at North Burleigh beach to have a prayer time together. While we worshipped the Lord that night, one of the guys prophesied that God was inviting us to ask whatever we will.

I said to my friends, "Let's discuss what we're going to ask - and Jesus said that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven- so let's ask something substantial".

No-one said anything, so I suggested, "Let's ask God to give us a real love for one another; and let's ask God to send new guys - let's tell God if He sends them we'll love them; and let's ask God that this will influence our whole church and characterise the church."

We each agreed. 

"You send 'em - we'll love them," we said to the Lord, while we looked out over the Pacific Ocean towards the city lights of Surfers Paradise.

From that night on a real love developed between each of us - and God kept sending new guys along. 

(Some of the stories of where the guys came from and how they came to be with us are amazing! They came; they were Overwhelmed with love and with the manifest Spirit of God; they got saved, became disciples - and some even become missionaries, evangelists, and pastors. And people started remarking about it.

"Why are there always so many young men getting saved at your church?" someone asked.

I just remember back to that night on North Burleigh hill when God invited us to ask - and we only asked once - but the answer is ongoing.

See sometimes after someone has prayed I ask them, "Well what did you get?" 

Or I ask, "Did you get it?" 

And they'll answer, "Oh I sure hope something happens".

No - it's better to be definite about what you desire, deliberate about asking, and decisive about receiving - because then you'll have it.

That beats just praying!

"...ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:7,8).

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Spirit-Filled Deacons

A pastor in the Philippines once pointed-out to me that in the early Church, even deacons - who served food - were required to be "full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3) - how much more ministers.

So that could include everyone appointed to any serving role in the church today - including musicians, youth leaders and sound-desk operators.

We must know they are full of the Holy Spirit - or else over time it could have a bigger impact on our church services - and on our kids - than we might wish for.

Those responsibilities needn't be given just as a way of showing love and acceptance to someone in the church - no matter whether they be son or daughter, and no matter how talented they may be.

In the Church, unlike at a concert, it is spirituality - aka God's grace - the Holy Spirit's gifts and manifestations in and through us - which give life to what we contribute. 

Otherwise it can have the subtle effect over time of dulling-down the level of spiritual manifestations in our services. And then we might wonder why, after two, three, five, seven, even ten or more years in that atmosphere, why some of our kids, who we wanted to develop, still might not have experienced being filled with the Holy Spirit - when all along it might have been we who contributed to creating a church-culture which inadvertently communicated that expressing the fullness of the Spirit isn't all that vital. 

Or worse, one or two of our kids just might not want to go to church any more at all. Remember, they haven't seen the power of God that has fuelled our commitment to church all these years like we were shown the power of God by our forbears - unless we show it to them. 

"...until I have SHEWED THY STRENGTH unto this generation, and thy POWER to every one that is to come" (Psalm 71:18).

And our forbears didn't show it to us in a back room!

Being full of the Holy Spirit needn't be portrayed as optional, nor regarded as something quirky or weird - instead we are creating a church culture where being full of the Spirit is the evident lifestyle even of those appointed to practical serving roles. 

Then our kids too will get full of the Spirit, and we'll see more people from our community and into the next generation saved by JESUS; for it's:

"Not by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).

This is the grace of God.

Monday, 17 August 2015

"I Can't Sleep"

"He giveth His beloved sleep". So if you can't sleep, there must be a reason.

Possible reasons:

1. God wants you awake for some reason
2. You're not sleepy
3. You didn't labour much during the day
4. You consumed too much caffeine
5. You drank too much coffee
6. You took too much sugar
7. You ate too much
8. You ate too much too late in the day
9. You're too hot
10. You're too cold

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Two-Party Preferred System?

I guess party polics developed in the parliamentary system out of necessity. But could there be a viable alternative to the two-party preferred system?

The present system divides duly elected members of Parliament against each other. But I guess it was developed out of practical need.

It turns some duly elected members into members of the opposition, rather than letting them simply legislate as elected. But I guess parties developed as a natural strategy on the floor of parliament.

Perhaps both major parties would do well to at least reiterate the underlying foundations on which they agree.

Because Law should teach. Legislators should publicly uphold teachings. Teach people right and wrong. Uphold goodness in the land.

Let the voice of righteousness go forth!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Ex Nihilo

When God made the earth in seven days, He didn't make certain things without also giving them the ability to be made in additional quantities, in future, by nature.

For example, when He made fruit trees, He gave them the ability to be reproduced in multiple quantities in future, by giving them seeds.

When He made animals, He gave them the ability to be made in multiple quantities in future, by biological reproduction.

And it's the same with geology. When He made stones, oceans, rivers and mountains He also set in place the ability for more of the same to be made in future, through various geological processes.

Same with stars. He made stars in one day - and He likely also made it possible for new stars to form.

Remember, God may have originally intended for the earth to remain for quite a long time, so it's no wonder He didn't only make things but also gave the ability for some of those things to be made in additional or multiplied numbers through nature as time went on.

He originally made everything in seven days - but the making of more of those things now through differing processes might require longer and differing amounts of time.

We can study the processes and learn the required amounts of time for each thing to be made, but that can't tell us when the original ones were made because the original ones weren't made through that process and didn't require that length of time - they were made through the Word of God, ex nihilo (out of nothing), in a day.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Gospel is Both Eschatological and Realised

I'm wondering whether Biblical eschatology might be a bit like how in a game of Rugby the last play is allowed to play-out even after the fulltime hooter has sounded.

It's like the fulltime hooter began to sound with the ministry of John the Baptist. (Daniel's 70-weeks prophecy was running its course. Jesus annouced that the time was fulfilled. Paul said Jesus was crucified in the end of the world. He described the first-century Church as, We upon upon whom the ends of the world have come. John said, It is the last hour.) The beginning of the proclamation of the Gospel was the sounding of the fulltime hooter. 

It's still being sounded. Or, it's like the last gameplay - which is the continued preaching of the same Gospel to all nations - is being allowed to play out after the fulltime hooter first began to sound.

Daniel's prophecy gave Israel a timeframe by which the fulltime hooter was to sound - but no-one knows how long this last play will be allowed to play out before play really stops. Only the Father knows. (
The fulltime hooter signalled the coming of the Messiah, His being cut off, and the destruction of the Temple and city becoming inevitable - and Daniel gave Israel a timeframe for those components.) Now the final play is still being played out. And when it finishes, there shall come the resurrection, and the Kingdom, there shall be new heavens and a new earth. 

The actual end comes "immediately after" the tribulations of Israel etc., in the sense that it's the last gameplay - not that it was meant to happen in the same calendar hour, day, season, year, decade, century or millennium - but in the sense that the current status of Israel, and of the nations, and the continued preaching of this Gospel of the kingdom, is the last gameplay before the end.

So that's different to classic post-millennialism which places us now well and truly AFTER the end of the world. And it's different to classic futurism which places us still BEFORE the end of the world. Instead, it sees that the end of all things was already at hand when John and Jesus first began to preach the Gospel, and acknowledges that intrinsically the entire Church age is the playing-out of that final game play. 

When the fulltime hooter sounds, it's like the winning team already starts the celebrations - you can see it on their faces - even though the final game play might still be playing out.

They already know they've won. But the awarding of the trophy and the fullest celebrations are yet to come, after this final game play finishes being played out. And no official time keeper can say how long that last play might take. The length of time is not really of the essence.

There will come a final end of the end of history. The end of the world. The resurrection. The visible coming of the Kingdom. It's just that what precedes it is also eschatological in some of its character, rather than being entirely post-eschatological in its character.

It's like history is still both in the throes of the end, and already in the experience of the new. But the time will come, and is virtually already upon us, when the end of the end shall happen and Jesus Christ will literally make all things new in every sense.

The days have the same status now that they had probably since the martyrdom of Stephen.