320- Singers… How to Hit the High Notes

One of the constant desires of most singers is to be able to hit the high notes.

Hit the High Notes with Confidence!

Let’s face it, the high notes are what seem most impressive, and also as singers what makes us feel great.  High notes lift our spirits, and we often go up a key and find the worship atmosphere goes up a key also.

But sometimes we are not confident enough to hit the high notes with impunity. There is always an element of risk the higher you sing, so we thought a podcast revealing the secrets of exactly how you can hit the high notes as a singer was in order, and something that every singer, be they good, bad or average, would benefit from.

So this is an instructive podcast, where Darin and Erick will actually step you through how you can hit the high notes again and again with confidence.  We also talk about how you can change your voice over time, gently and safely raising the highest note you can pitch.  In fact, Darin can attest to molding his voice into a tenor doing exactly the things we talk about here!

So if you are a singer and you want to hit the high notes, don’t just tighten your belt or stamp on your foot hard to cause pain, learn the right techniques and start to get those notes you have always dreamed of getting in your worship leading!  Who knows, you might even break a few windows with your high pitched singing (and is that even possible???).  You certainly will inspire a few people if you can reach higher when you sing and if you can lift the worship at the same time.

Importantly, we will be teaching you how to hit the high notes without straining your voice, and this is incredibly important if you are to sing for any length of time. So we will teach you to sing and hit these notes, not screech and scream to try and attain the high notes!

If you have always wanted to hit the high notes without straining your voice or risking the dreaded “voice break”, then check out this free podcast now…

 

https://praiseandworshipleader.com/worship-leader-podcast/320-singers-how-to-hit-the-high-notes/

Me in the Mirror 3- From Refugee to Royalty

Do you see yourself as royalty? We’ve been looking in the mirror, and asking “what do you see, and do you like it?” We have talked about words spoken over you, and about your value in the eyes of the Lord. He looks at you tells you that you are precious, special and that He has a destiny for you, a wonderful, incredible and amazing destiny.

So today I want to talk more about your destiny and talk about who you really become when you come to Christ… Refugee or royalty?

When you come to Jesus, you are a hopeless sinner. The price for this sin is death, eternal death in hell, separated from God.

 

But when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, not only do you have life forevermore, but you have a new, transformed life right now. Not pie in the sky when you die by and by, but real power and life to the full starting now!

 

So in this message, I want to look at who we really are.  Are we refugees or are we royalty? When you look in that mirror, who are you? We need to understand the position we now have in Christ and start living up to it!

 

Let’s have a look at this passage…

 

1 Peter 2:9-12 (ESV Strong’s)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

 

You are an alien, an exile in this world and mark my words, people are watching you and your good deeds.

 

CRYING LIKE A REFUGEE

 

Today the UNHCR tells us that there are currently 22.5 million refugees in the world—the highest in history. In addition there are 40.3 million internally displaced people; and 2.8 million asylum-seekers.  In 2018 we are quite familiar with what refugees are, and this passage was written to refugees in the first century AD.

 

The mostly Jewish followers of Christ who first read this book were scattered throughout the Roman empire. They faced harassment from both the Roman government and local synagogue leaders. In fact, their entire society had turned against them, and they were suffering as persecuted refugees. Worse than being a Christian and interviewed on the ABC!

 

The passage calls them sojourners and exiles. The Greek words used here imply that they are foreigners, people without citizenship, power or protection. Completely despised, completely overlooked, completely taken advantage of, as are many refugees today. These people doubted their significance, doubted their worth and were without hope.

 

Last week we talked about feelings of worthlessness, and sometimes as believers we experience this feeling. We are strangers, we are aliens in a world that is against us and alienated us.

 

Philippians 3:20 (ESV Strong’s)

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Christians are refugees in a hostile, foreign land.  But listen to this…

 

Missionary Henry Morrison and his wife were returning to New York after years of service in Africa  As the ship neared the dock, Henry said to his wife, “Look at that crowd.  They haven’t forgotten about us”.  However, unknown to Henry, the ship also carried President Teddy Roosevelt, returning from a big game hunting trip in Africa.  Roosevelt stepped from the boat, with great fanfare, as people  were cheering, flags were waving,  bands were playing, and reporters waiting for his comment. Once the crowds dispersed, Henry and his wife slowly walked away unnoticed and alone.

 

“This isn’t much of a homecoming,” said old Henry, and the Lord spoke to him and said, “You’re not home yet!”

 

WHO ARE YOU REALLY?

 

Those early Christians needed encouragement as they struggled to stand strong in a world where most lacked citizenship, recognition, respect, or privileges. Today, as we strive to find our own places in society and in the church, we need to know who we are in Christ.  We need to look in that mirror and see not just that we are precious and valuable, not just that we have a future, we need to see who we actually are in Christ.

 

Peter in this passage raises our confidence about our God-given significance and capabilities. This passage shows us who we really are…

 

1.      A CHOSEN RACE

 

Peter tells these believers that they are not rejects from humanity, but that they are among God’s elect, God’s chosen race or generation, selected based on His foreknowledge and born again to a living hope as His children!

 

Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

 

So we are not a bunch of rejects, no matter what they say about us on Facebook or in the media. We are a chosen race, chosen before time began to be His people, His representatives, adopted into His family.

 

What a privilege, what an honour! I have said that destiny is a series of choices, and yes we must make a choice to accept Jesus, but hey, He knows in advance what we will choose, and before we even face that choice, Jesus chooses us!

 

John 15:16 (ESV Strong’s)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide,

 

We are not rejects, we are chosen by God as His children to bear fruit for Him that lasts!

 

2.      A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

 

God’s plan is to build a kingdom of priests, priests of royalty, and you are part of it…

 

1 Peter 2:5 (ESV Strong’s)

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

In the Old Testament, priests were set aside to offer sacrifices for the people. Now, however, we all have a priestly role when we come to Christ, and we can all offer not animals for sacrifice but our bodies as living sacrifices, fully available for His purposes!

 

Romans 12:1 (ESV Strong’s)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

 

We often talk about ministry as if it belongs only to professional church staff, like there is some magic in these hands.  Yet Scripture describes ministry as the calling and responsibility of every Christian… because we are a royal priesthood!

 

Recently I had someone leave this church because as the pastor I was not available enough for him. He had a problem, he wanted me to drop everything on my day off and minister to him to his level of satisfaction. Three other people contacted him, one of whom I had referred him to because they are an expert in the area in question, but this wasn’t good enough… he only wanted the pastor.

 

This is a traditional outdated model of who a pastor should be, but as your pastor, I love you, but I cannot reach that expectation. I still work in the secular world 4 days a week, I minister as pastor evenings, lunchtimes, before work and all weekend, and I still travel with an evangelist, record music, manage websites… oh, and somewhere in all that I also have a wife and family. I am richly blessed but time poor!

 

Ignite runs on teams. The Lord has blessed me with wonderful teams of people who minister beside me in pastoral care. So if you have a need, we have many, many godly, mature, wise people here to love and care for you. I cannot hope to meet every need of every one of you every time!

 

Nor should I, because we are all of us priests, all of us able to connect with God. We need to learn to minister to each other, love and care for each other, pray for each other, even sacrifice for each other, because we are a royal priesthood, and as we shall see, royalty rocks!

 

3.      A HOLY NATION

 

God not only calls us to be His children, He calls us to be holy!

 

1 Peter 1:15-16 (ESV Strong’s)

but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

 

What does this mean? It means that our lifestyles should reflect the character of God. We must tolerate people in love, but we must not tolerate their sin. God calls us to be a nation set apart for Him!

 

We saw this in the recent plebiscite. Our country got it wrong. We were told that if we love homosexuals we must give them what they want, but that’s not true. We can love them, care for them and honour them as people and still not agree with their demands! I love my children, but I do not agree with everything they do, and I don’t give them everything they demand!

 

The eyes of the world are on our actions. If we compromise God’s standards to keep the peace with a godless world, we look just like everyone else. No, we need to stand for what is right, and live lives that are billboards for Jesus. You and I are the only advertisements for Christ some people will ever see!

 

4.      A SPECIAL PEOPLE

 

In the KJV this phrase is “a peculiar people,” which actually means we are His possession, and therefore get special treatment. Don’t you love it when you are treated as special? Don’t you love it when people accept and honour you in a unique way? Peter is saying that this is how God sees us! We are precious, and special and we get special treatment and privileges others don’t have. In fact, we are royalty, because we live and serve God!

 

Isaiah 43:4 (ESV Strong’s)

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you,

I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

 

Ephesians 2:18-19 (ESV Strong’s)

For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

 

We are His kids, and get special access to God and His throne room. That’s what prayer is! At the age of 2, Kaileigh already has figured out that, no matter what her mum says, if she asks Pa for a lolly, she almost always gets one. She has special privileges like we do when it comes to our Heavenly Father!

 

Why do we get such a special relationship with God? I don’t know, because I surely am not worthy of it, yet He chooses to bless me and my family, to be close to me, to draw me nearer His heart.

 

THE JOURNEY FROM REFUGEE TO ROYALTY

 

Let me finish by taking you on a journey from rags to royalty… so that when you look in the mirror, you see yourself as who you really are. Not a downtrodden refugee, but as royalty… You start as a…

 

1.      SINNER

 

I know I’m a sinner, and I bet you know you are too! Our sin separates us from God, and our sin will send us to eternal separation from God forever in hell.

 

Revelation 20:12,15 (ESV Strong’s)

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 

We start life condemned to eternal death in hell, but Jesus paid that price for us, that if we accept Him as Lord we will not go to hell, but will be with Him in heaven.

 

Hell is real… so what is hell like? People say they won’t mind going to hell, because they can break open a pack of cards and have a few drinks with their mates… no they won’t! Hell is eternal separation from God and everything about God.

 

God is light, says the Bible, God is truth and joy and fellowship and worship, the greatest experience you could ever have, and it lasts for ever.

 

If you want to see what hell is really like, look at the cross! Hell is pain, torment, darkness and intense loneliness. No light in hell, no fellowship in hell.

 

If you haven’t accepted Jesus and His free gift of salvation, do it now, while you still can. Life is short, fragile and unpredictable, so turn and receive by grace His gift of eternal life.

 

2.      SLAVES

 

Today there are more than 35 million people living in slavery, including forced labour and prostitution. But there are billions of people unknowingly living in slavery every day, and you might be one of them. Are you a slave to sin? To your unbridled passions? To money? To someone else like an abusive partner? Fact is, you are going to be a slave to something!

 

You can be saved and be a Christian, yet still be a slave to sin in your life…

 

Romans 6:16-18 (ESV Strong’s)

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

 

So the choice is yours… stay a slave to sin, or step up and become a slave to righteousness, because you’re gonna have to serve somebody!

 

3.      SAINT

 

When you decide you’ve had enough of being a slave to sin, you can accept Christ and live like it and become a saint!

 

Coming to Christ is a fresh start.  Billy Graham said, “How many times in your life have you wished you could start all over again with a clean slate, with a new life? Resolve right now to allow God to wipe your slate clean by confessing your sins and letting Him give you a brand-new start.”

 

A saint is not some famous dead guy, and it’s not a St George football player.

 

Ephesians 2:19 (ESV Strong’s)

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

 

When you come to Christ, you become a saint, and instead of being a slave to sin, you become a servant of the living God…

 

4.      SERVANT

 

Mark 10:42-45 (ESV Strong’s)

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

I stand here as a servant of God, and I also serve you, as your pastor, however inadequately. I’m not higher or lower than you, because we are all saints, all priests and all servants. But here’s the cool thing…

 

5.      SON OR DAUGHTER (ROYALTY)

 

Jesus said,

 

John 15:15 (ESV Strong’s)

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

 

When you serve the Lord as a slave to righteousness, Jesus becomes a friend as well as a master. But He doesn’t stop there… the Bible says, you are adopted into His special family

 

Romans 8:14-15 (ESV Strong’s)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

 

You are a friend, but then you become royalty because you are adopted as His child, a son or a daughter of the King of Kings. That makes you a princess, or a prince. So, folks, you are royalty, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

 

Recently we saw a beautiful lady named Megan Markle become royalty. She is an actress, part African American and a divorcee, an unlikely mix for royalty. Yet she is now royalty, the Duchess of Sussex. How can this be?

 

This happened because someone chose her. She didn’t deserve it and she hasn’t worked for it. Megan Markel became royalty simply because Prince Harry chose her to fall in love with. She didn’t strive for royalty, she did not work for royalty.  She was chosen, a favoured person, and because royalty because the Prince chose her.

 

And Jesus chooses you! Not because you deserve it, and not because you’ve earned it. He just chose you to become royalty, that’s all. The problem is that we mentally understand this, but often don’t live like it!

 

LIVE LIKE ROYALTY

 

That’s my challenge to you… We ought to live like the royalty we are! Think about what that means.

 

A Prince or Princess always wants to represent the King well, not to pursue their own agenda. They answer to the King alone, not the opinions of those around them. Certain actions are beneath them. They always look composed, and they hold to certain standards of behaviour, speech and dress.

 

Royalty do not become entangled in the filth and dirt of this world, but they live a life of privilege, honour and power, respected not for what they do or achieve, but for who they are… because they are kids of the King!  Their agenda is to do the King’s business. They live a life of power and privilege, but with great authority comes great responsibility.

 

In the same way we may to be in the world, but not of it. We need to live a life of privilege and power in the Holy Spirit, a holy life that pleases the King and represents the King’s interests.

 

In West Texas during the Depression, Mr. Ira Yates was like many other ranchers and farmers. He had a lot of land, and a ton of debt. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay his loans, and he was in danger of losing his ranch. He had little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on a government subsidy.

 

Day after day, as he grazed his dwindling number of sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills.

 

Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.

 

At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large.

 

In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on government relief. A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.

 

So today is the day that you and I begin to live like royalty. We can be bold, we can be confident, we can act like we own the place, because our Dad does! As we serve and honour Him, we can ask whatever we want according to the will of the King and be confident that He hears us and cares for us.

 

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV Strong’s)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

You can confidently approach God’s Throne, knowing you have an insider’s relationship with the King.

 

It’s time to stop acting like commoners and become royalty, to step into our God given destinies as sons and daughters of the King! Megan Markle is no longer acting in Suits, Grace Kelly stopped making movies when she became a princess, because common careers are laud aside as we serve the Ling, and Him alone!

 

Today some of you, many of you, understand what I’ve been talking about in principle, but you are not living like royalty. Maybe you’re a slave to sin… royalty aren’t slaves! Maybe you are being kicked around by life… royalty do not get pushed around by the public. You have unfathomable spiritual riches, but perhaps you are living like a spiritual pauper. You are royalty, and need to live like it!

 

Today all of us, every single one of us who have accepted Christ, today we will be reminded that we are royalty, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen race… sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Princes, princesses, adopted into royal lineage… royalty!

 

When a King was inaugurated in ancient times, they were anointed with oil. This is a sign to the people, and to any enemies, that they were the King.

 

Today I’m going to do something crazy and, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that you join me in this craziness.  Today I want us all to be anointed today as Royalty, and from today we shall live as the princes and princesses we are, that we have been destined to be!

https://ignitechurch.org.au/me-in-the-mirror-3-from-refugee-to-royalty/

Me in the Mirror 3- From Refugee to Royalty

Do you see yourself as royalty? We’ve been looking in the mirror, and asking “what do you see, and do you like it?” We have talked about words spoken over you, and about your value in the eyes of the Lord. He looks at you tells you that you are precious, special and that He has a destiny for you, a wonderful, incredible and amazing destiny.

So today I want to talk more about your destiny and talk about who you really become when you come to Christ… Refugee or royalty?

When you come to Jesus, you are a hopeless sinner. The price for this sin is death, eternal death in hell, separated from God.

 

But when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, not only do you have life forevermore, but you have a new, transformed life right now. Not pie in the sky when you die by and by, but real power and life to the full starting now!

 

So in this message, I want to look at who we really are.  Are we refugees or are we royalty? When you look in that mirror, who are you? We need to understand the position we now have in Christ and start living up to it!

 

Let’s have a look at this passage…

 

1 Peter 2:9-12 (ESV Strong’s)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

 

You are an alien, an exile in this world and mark my words, people are watching you and your good deeds.

 

CRYING LIKE A REFUGEE

 

Today the UNHCR tells us that there are currently 22.5 million refugees in the world—the highest in history. In addition there are 40.3 million internally displaced people; and 2.8 million asylum-seekers.  In 2018 we are quite familiar with what refugees are, and this passage was written to refugees in the first century AD.

 

The mostly Jewish followers of Christ who first read this book were scattered throughout the Roman empire. They faced harassment from both the Roman government and local synagogue leaders. In fact, their entire society had turned against them, and they were suffering as persecuted refugees. Worse than being a Christian and interviewed on the ABC!

 

The passage calls them sojourners and exiles. The Greek words used here imply that they are foreigners, people without citizenship, power or protection. Completely despised, completely overlooked, completely taken advantage of, as are many refugees today. These people doubted their significance, doubted their worth and were without hope.

 

Last week we talked about feelings of worthlessness, and sometimes as believers we experience this feeling. We are strangers, we are aliens in a world that is against us and alienated us.

 

Philippians 3:20 (ESV Strong’s)

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Christians are refugees in a hostile, foreign land.  But listen to this…

 

Missionary Henry Morrison and his wife were returning to New York after years of service in Africa  As the ship neared the dock, Henry said to his wife, “Look at that crowd.  They haven’t forgotten about us”.  However, unknown to Henry, the ship also carried President Teddy Roosevelt, returning from a big game hunting trip in Africa.  Roosevelt stepped from the boat, with great fanfare, as people  were cheering, flags were waving,  bands were playing, and reporters waiting for his comment. Once the crowds dispersed, Henry and his wife slowly walked away unnoticed and alone.

 

“This isn’t much of a homecoming,” said old Henry, and the Lord spoke to him and said, “You’re not home yet!”

 

WHO ARE YOU REALLY?

 

Those early Christians needed encouragement as they struggled to stand strong in a world where most lacked citizenship, recognition, respect, or privileges. Today, as we strive to find our own places in society and in the church, we need to know who we are in Christ.  We need to look in that mirror and see not just that we are precious and valuable, not just that we have a future, we need to see who we actually are in Christ.

 

Peter in this passage raises our confidence about our God-given significance and capabilities. This passage shows us who we really are…

 

1.      A CHOSEN RACE

 

Peter tells these believers that they are not rejects from humanity, but that they are among God’s elect, God’s chosen race or generation, selected based on His foreknowledge and born again to a living hope as His children!

 

Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

 

So we are not a bunch of rejects, no matter what they say about us on Facebook or in the media. We are a chosen race, chosen before time began to be His people, His representatives, adopted into His family.

 

What a privilege, what an honour! I have said that destiny is a series of choices, and yes we must make a choice to accept Jesus, but hey, He knows in advance what we will choose, and before we even face that choice, Jesus chooses us!

 

John 15:16 (ESV Strong’s)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide,

 

We are not rejects, we are chosen by God as His children to bear fruit for Him that lasts!

 

2.      A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

 

God’s plan is to build a kingdom of priests, priests of royalty, and you are part of it…

 

1 Peter 2:5 (ESV Strong’s)

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

In the Old Testament, priests were set aside to offer sacrifices for the people. Now, however, we all have a priestly role when we come to Christ, and we can all offer not animals for sacrifice but our bodies as living sacrifices, fully available for His purposes!

 

Romans 12:1 (ESV Strong’s)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

 

We often talk about ministry as if it belongs only to professional church staff, like there is some magic in these hands.  Yet Scripture describes ministry as the calling and responsibility of every Christian… because we are a royal priesthood!

 

Recently I had someone leave this church because as the pastor I was not available enough for him. He had a problem, he wanted me to drop everything on my day off and minister to him to his level of satisfaction. Three other people contacted him, one of whom I had referred him to because they are an expert in the area in question, but this wasn’t good enough… he only wanted the pastor.

 

This is a traditional outdated model of who a pastor should be, but as your pastor, I love you, but I cannot reach that expectation. I still work in the secular world 4 days a week, I minister as pastor evenings, lunchtimes, before work and all weekend, and I still travel with an evangelist, record music, manage websites… oh, and somewhere in all that I also have a wife and family. I am richly blessed but time poor!

 

Ignite runs on teams. The Lord has blessed me with wonderful teams of people who minister beside me in pastoral care. So if you have a need, we have many, many godly, mature, wise people here to love and care for you. I cannot hope to meet every need of every one of you every time!

 

Nor should I, because we are all of us priests, all of us able to connect with God. We need to learn to minister to each other, love and care for each other, pray for each other, even sacrifice for each other, because we are a royal priesthood, and as we shall see, royalty rocks!

 

3.      A HOLY NATION

 

God not only calls us to be His children, He calls us to be holy!

 

1 Peter 1:15-16 (ESV Strong’s)

but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

 

What does this mean? It means that our lifestyles should reflect the character of God. We must tolerate people in love, but we must not tolerate their sin. God calls us to be a nation set apart for Him!

 

We saw this in the recent plebiscite. Our country got it wrong. We were told that if we love homosexuals we must give them what they want, but that’s not true. We can love them, care for them and honour them as people and still not agree with their demands! I love my children, but I do not agree with everything they do, and I don’t give them everything they demand!

 

The eyes of the world are on our actions. If we compromise God’s standards to keep the peace with a godless world, we look just like everyone else. No, we need to stand for what is right, and live lives that are billboards for Jesus. You and I are the only advertisements for Christ some people will ever see!

 

4.      A SPECIAL PEOPLE

 

In the KJV this phrase is “a peculiar people,” which actually means we are His possession, and therefore get special treatment. Don’t you love it when you are treated as special? Don’t you love it when people accept and honour you in a unique way? Peter is saying that this is how God sees us! We are precious, and special and we get special treatment and privileges others don’t have. In fact, we are royalty, because we live and serve God!

 

Isaiah 43:4 (ESV Strong’s)

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you,

I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

 

Ephesians 2:18-19 (ESV Strong’s)

For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

 

We are His kids, and get special access to God and His throne room. That’s what prayer is! At the age of 2, Kaileigh already has figured out that, no matter what her mum says, if she asks Pa for a lolly, she almost always gets one. She has special privileges like we do when it comes to our Heavenly Father!

 

Why do we get such a special relationship with God? I don’t know, because I surely am not worthy of it, yet He chooses to bless me and my family, to be close to me, to draw me nearer His heart.

 

THE JOURNEY FROM REFUGEE TO ROYALTY

 

Let me finish by taking you on a journey from rags to royalty… so that when you look in the mirror, you see yourself as who you really are. Not a downtrodden refugee, but as royalty… You start as a…

 

1.      SINNER

 

I know I’m a sinner, and I bet you know you are too! Our sin separates us from God, and our sin will send us to eternal separation from God forever in hell.

 

Revelation 20:12,15 (ESV Strong’s)

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 

We start life condemned to eternal death in hell, but Jesus paid that price for us, that if we accept Him as Lord we will not go to hell, but will be with Him in heaven.

 

Hell is real… so what is hell like? People say they won’t mind going to hell, because they can break open a pack of cards and have a few drinks with their mates… no they won’t! Hell is eternal separation from God and everything about God.

 

God is light, says the Bible, God is truth and joy and fellowship and worship, the greatest experience you could ever have, and it lasts for ever.

 

If you want to see what hell is really like, look at the cross! Hell is pain, torment, darkness and intense loneliness. No light in hell, no fellowship in hell.

 

If you haven’t accepted Jesus and His free gift of salvation, do it now, while you still can. Life is short, fragile and unpredictable, so turn and receive by grace His gift of eternal life.

 

2.      SLAVES

 

Today there are more than 35 million people living in slavery, including forced labour and prostitution. But there are billions of people unknowingly living in slavery every day, and you might be one of them. Are you a slave to sin? To your unbridled passions? To money? To someone else like an abusive partner? Fact is, you are going to be a slave to something!

 

You can be saved and be a Christian, yet still be a slave to sin in your life…

 

Romans 6:16-18 (ESV Strong’s)

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

 

So the choice is yours… stay a slave to sin, or step up and become a slave to righteousness, because you’re gonna have to serve somebody!

 

3.      SAINT

 

When you decide you’ve had enough of being a slave to sin, you can accept Christ and live like it and become a saint!

 

Coming to Christ is a fresh start.  Billy Graham said, “How many times in your life have you wished you could start all over again with a clean slate, with a new life? Resolve right now to allow God to wipe your slate clean by confessing your sins and letting Him give you a brand-new start.”

 

A saint is not some famous dead guy, and it’s not a St George football player.

 

Ephesians 2:19 (ESV Strong’s)

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

 

When you come to Christ, you become a saint, and instead of being a slave to sin, you become a servant of the living God…

 

4.      SERVANT

 

Mark 10:42-45 (ESV Strong’s)

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

I stand here as a servant of God, and I also serve you, as your pastor, however inadequately. I’m not higher or lower than you, because we are all saints, all priests and all servants. But here’s the cool thing…

 

5.      SON OR DAUGHTER (ROYALTY)

 

Jesus said,

 

John 15:15 (ESV Strong’s)

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

 

When you serve the Lord as a slave to righteousness, Jesus becomes a friend as well as a master. But He doesn’t stop there… the Bible says, you are adopted into His special family

 

Romans 8:14-15 (ESV Strong’s)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

 

You are a friend, but then you become royalty because you are adopted as His child, a son or a daughter of the King of Kings. That makes you a princess, or a prince. So, folks, you are royalty, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

 

Recently we saw a beautiful lady named Megan Markle become royalty. She is an actress, part African American and a divorcee, an unlikely mix for royalty. Yet she is now royalty, the Duchess of Sussex. How can this be?

 

This happened because someone chose her. She didn’t deserve it and she hasn’t worked for it. Megan Markel became royalty simply because Prince Harry chose her to fall in love with. She didn’t strive for royalty, she did not work for royalty.  She was chosen, a favoured person, and because royalty because the Prince chose her.

 

And Jesus chooses you! Not because you deserve it, and not because you’ve earned it. He just chose you to become royalty, that’s all. The problem is that we mentally understand this, but often don’t live like it!

 

LIVE LIKE ROYALTY

 

That’s my challenge to you… We ought to live like the royalty we are! Think about what that means.

 

A Prince or Princess always wants to represent the King well, not to pursue their own agenda. They answer to the King alone, not the opinions of those around them. Certain actions are beneath them. They always look composed, and they hold to certain standards of behaviour, speech and dress.

 

Royalty do not become entangled in the filth and dirt of this world, but they live a life of privilege, honour and power, respected not for what they do or achieve, but for who they are… because they are kids of the King!  Their agenda is to do the King’s business. They live a life of power and privilege, but with great authority comes great responsibility.

 

In the same way we may to be in the world, but not of it. We need to live a life of privilege and power in the Holy Spirit, a holy life that pleases the King and represents the King’s interests.

 

In West Texas during the Depression, Mr. Ira Yates was like many other ranchers and farmers. He had a lot of land, and a ton of debt. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay his loans, and he was in danger of losing his ranch. He had little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on a government subsidy.

 

Day after day, as he grazed his dwindling number of sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills.

 

Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.

 

At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large.

 

In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on government relief. A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.

 

So today is the day that you and I begin to live like royalty. We can be bold, we can be confident, we can act like we own the place, because our Dad does! As we serve and honour Him, we can ask whatever we want according to the will of the King and be confident that He hears us and cares for us.

 

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV Strong’s)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

You can confidently approach God’s Throne, knowing you have an insider’s relationship with the King.

 

It’s time to stop acting like commoners and become royalty, to step into our God given destinies as sons and daughters of the King! Megan Markle is no longer acting in Suits, Grace Kelly stopped making movies when she became a princess, because common careers are laud aside as we serve the Ling, and Him alone!

 

Today some of you, many of you, understand what I’ve been talking about in principle, but you are not living like royalty. Maybe you’re a slave to sin… royalty aren’t slaves! Maybe you are being kicked around by life… royalty do not get pushed around by the public. You have unfathomable spiritual riches, but perhaps you are living like a spiritual pauper. You are royalty, and need to live like it!

 

Today all of us, every single one of us who have accepted Christ, today we will be reminded that we are royalty, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen race… sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Princes, princesses, adopted into royal lineage… royalty!

 

When a King was inaugurated in ancient times, they were anointed with oil. This is a sign to the people, and to any enemies, that they were the King.

 

Today I’m going to do something crazy and, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that you join me in this craziness.  Today I want us all to be anointed today as Royalty, and from today we shall live as the princes and princesses we are, that we have been destined to be!

https://ignitechurch.org.au/me-in-the-mirror-3-from-refugee-to-royalty/

319- Godly Leadership in Worship

So you’re leading worship in church, and you want to display godly leadership in your worship. As a leader, you will face many pressures from those above and beneath you in the hierarchy, so the question becomes, “What does godly leadership actually look like?”

Godly Leadership is Powerful

This podcast examines what godly leadership actually is, and how we can as leaders become more godly in everything we do. The servant leadership that Christ talked about in Mark 10 comes to the fore, and we can take this humble yet powerful model into the way we lead our worship team.

The way we lead our team is going to either shine for Jesus, or become a way we attempt to control other people. I recommend the shining over the control, and we talk about how we try and exert influence over our team, while still maintaining the creative elements in our team members.  And make no mistake, you cannot control others and release them at the same time.

But here is the blessing.  As we inspire our team members and allow them to be creative and to reach their full potential in their gifting, we are not only showing godly leadership, we also earn a loyalty that will see them want to please us by doing what we want.  In essence, we can learn not to control them but to release and inspire them, and we tend to get things the way we want anyway.

Honestly, some worship leaders need a little mustache and a swastika armband, because within the realm of their worship portfolio they just want to be dictators.  Let that be none of us!

Listen to this podcast and learn how you can show godly leadership to your team and your church… leadership that inspires, challenges, trains, and releases others to become all that the Lord has destined them to be.

If you lead worship, don’t miss this exciting podcast…

https://praiseandworshipleader.com/worship-leader-podcast/319-godly-leadership-in-worship/

Me in the Mirror 2- See Your True Value

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you see your true value, see yourself as valuable, as special, as unique, as precious? In this second message on “Me in the Mirror“, I want to focus on seeing yourself as God sees you… valuable, special and precious!

According to the Mayo Clinic in 2010, if we take a human being and boil them down to their base elements, and sell them, they are worth around $4.50 on today’s market. But even evolutionists believe your true value is worth far more than that.

Everybody thinks your true value is worth more than $4.50, right? Why would ladies spend $50+ on shoes to put on 50c worth of feet? Guys, why would we spend $30 on a t-shirt to cover $1.20 worth of chest? We surely have greater value than our raw chemical makeup, but all over the world, in all walks of life, in all age groups, in all classes and no matter what you earn or achieve, people struggle with self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness! Even famous and rich movie stars look in the mirror and hate what they see, and stars like Robin Williams, Philip Seymore Hoffman and Heath Ledger take their own lives, despite their fame and fortune!

 

YOU ARE PRECIOUS!

 

Listen, you are not an accident, regardless of whether your parents think you were! In God’s eyes, there are no accidents and there are no surprises because He has perfect knowledge and power.

 

King David contemplating this one day said this to God…

 

Psalms 139:13-16 (ESV Strong’s)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

 

The Hebrew word for formed is qana, which does not just mean creating from nothing but it implies ownership, as an inventor would claim ownership of his invention. God created you, and claims you as His own!

 

God says He knew us and claimed us even as we were formed in the womb. Man says you are simply a collection of cells until you are born, then you become human. If wombs had windows, we wouldn’t have abortion!

 

We live in a world that does it’s best to devalue human beings. We live in a society that values the rights of minorities more than the rights of the vast majority. Most people say they see human beings as valuable, but they don’t act like it. People use and abuse each other every day, putting their own interests first. Men see women as conquests, women see men as someone to meet their needs. Salespeople see you as a sale. Even churches can see you as a seat filled, or money in the plate.

 

God says you are valuable and precious, every one of you. That’s why throughout history, Christians have started the first hospitals, school and orphanages. Every life is precious to God, and should be to us. Your true value is in who you are, not what someone else can get from you!

 

YOU DO NOT SEE YOUR TRUE VALUE AS GOD SEES IT

 

A professor in a college ethics class presented a problem to his students. He said, “A man has syphilis and his wife tuberculosis. They have had four children: one has died, the other three have what is considered to be a terminal illness. The mother is pregnant. What do you recommend?” After spirited discussion, the majority of the class voted that the mother should abort the child.

 

“Fine,” said the professor, “You’ve just killed Beethoven!” When we judge the worth of a life, we play God without His power and complete knowledge… God says every life is precious and valuable, and every person can fulfil a destiny, should they choose to.

 

Jeremiah 1:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

 

Before birth God has a plan for you, a destiny for you, a purpose for your life. You are not an accident, you are not an inconvenience,  are not just another consumer in the market. From a tiny cell, you develop into … 60 trillion cells, 100 thousand miles of nerve fibre, 60 thousand miles of vessels carrying blood around the body, 250 bones, to say nothing of joints, ligaments and muscles. Your true value cannot be measured!

 

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, but even more than this, God has a destiny for you! You were not just made by Him, you were woven together, you are His workmanship, His masterpiece, with a purpose and a destiny to fulfil.

 

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV Strong’s)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

Yet, when we look in the mirror, most of us do not see ourselves as valuable and precious. We see our faults, our wrinkles, our blemishes, our pain. Why is it that most people, even Christians, fail to see their value and never reach their full potential? How can you see your true value?

 

YOUR TRUE VALUE- INTRINSIC AND POTENTIAL

 

This $10 note is worth how much? $10, right? It is a piece of plastic, of little real value, but because the government backs this bit of plastic to be worth $10, it is. I cannot say I want $50 for this note, neither can I say it’s only worth 10c. The value in this note is not what it is made of, and it’s not what it or anyone else thinks about it, it is worth what its creator believes it is worth.

 

And so are you. You can only discover your true value in life when you place yourself under the loving care of the one who created you. You are worth what your creator says, not what anybody else’s says you are worth, that’s your true value!

 

Like a spring wound up, He sees potential energy stored in you that can be used for greatness. As a watch is created and wound up can run for days, so God sees incredible value in every one of us, and potential for greatness.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV Strong’s)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

These words were given by the prophet Jeremiah to a defeated and humiliated nation exiled in a hostile land. In the midst of pain and suffering, loss of material things, loss of loved ones and loss of hope, God loved His people and said He had a plan to prosper them and give them hope! The potential energy is still there, the hope is still alive.

 

Many come to Ignite because they have been hurt elsewhere, maybe away from God, away from church, out of fellowship, out of ideas and fresh out of hope. Many who come here have felt their dreams die, and feel useless and worthless. One of the gifts God has given me as a pastor is that when I meet you I see greatness. I seem to be able to see through the pain, through the circumstances and the exterior into the heart, and I see greatness in all of you! God’s plan, God’s destiny in your life is not dead, it is dormant, and my job is to stir it into life and have you see your true value! You are valuable and you have purpose!

 

DESTINY LOST

 

So when you look in the mirror, do you see greatness? Do you see destiny fulfilled, or destiny lost? Do you see the image of a failure, or the image of Christ?

 

The dictionary defines destiny as fate, “the development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.” God does not see destiny as fate… He sees destiny as a series of choices. Wrong choices cause you to lose your destiny. You fulfil your destiny by making not so much good choices, but God choices!

 

Romans 8:28-29 (ESV Strong’s)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,

 

Your destiny is to look like God’s Son. Your destiny is greatness in His Kingdom. And all things work for good in this, all things, even the rotten, stinking failures and abuses we suffer. How can this be?

 

When we look into the mirror, we often don’t see our worth, and we cannot see the potential God sees in us. When we look at circumstances, we don’t see God’s overall plan. We see a small portion, but He sees the whole. We see the present, He sees a glorious future in us.

 

Ships need to float, yet they are made of steel. If you throw a piece of steel in water it will sink. A shipyard is full of all kinds of steel, and if you throw any single piece in the water it will sink, because steel sinks! However, once it is assembled and joined the right way, a massive, incredibly heavy steel ship actually floats. When you see it as a whole, you see its destiny.

 

God sees your life as a life of destiny… That is your true value! You are not a mistake, you are not here by accident, you have a destiny in this place. It’s not to work hard, make money have a nice family, have a fun life then die, it is a life of serving Him and blessing others. God’s plan is to see you flourish into the image of His Son, and to serve where He has called you. But destiny can be fulfilled, or lost, depending on the choices you make!

 

Throughout the Bible men and women have fulfilled their God-given, God directed destiny. But many also tragically lost their destiny. Solomon started well, then his many wives turned his head away from God. Samson, Hezekiah, Uzziah, even Judas started following God, but lost their destiny.

 

Let me look at one of the saddest examples of destiny lost…

KING SAUL… BAD CHOICES = DESTINY LOST!

 

Saul was the first king of Israel, but came a time when he faced a fork in the road of his destiny. God had initially led Samuel right to him, and told him to anoint this young man. Saul was impressive to say the least! Tall, good looking with long wavy hair, he was like the Brad Pitt of his day, and everyone loved him. He should have been the greatest King of Israel!

 

1 Samuel 10:24 (ESV Strong’s)

And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

 

This man prophesied, this man fought battles, this man was anointed King and looked the part. So what went wrong for Saul? He faced a fork in the road…

 

Remember I said destiny is a series of choices? Well, Saul consistently chose disobedience…

 

1 Samuel 13:11-12 (ESV Strong’s)

Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.”

 

Saul stepped out of his destiny by usurping the role of priest, something he knew was wrong.  He feared that he was losing the people, and this fear caused him to do something offensive to God.  If you fear the reactions and opinions of people, then you can lose your destiny! Some here think they have lost their destiny because they listened to what people said about them.

 

Sometime later the Lord commanded Saul through Samuel to devote a town to destruction. Everything in this wicked and perverse town was to be destroyed, people, animals and things.

 

1 Samuel 15:12 (ESV Strong’s)

And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.”

 

One hint about where Saul’s heart was going was this… On the way to this assignment, Saul stopped off to erect a statue to himself. Pride, in ourselves and our achievements, can cause us to lose our destiny. When we are prideful, we start making disobedient, arrogant decisions, decisions on our own, serving our own ends, not God’s choices for us. Some here fear they have lost their destiny because they made dumb choices, and suffered the consequences.

 

He then failed the assignment… disobeying by choosing to spare the evil king and the best of the spoils…

 

1 Samuel 15:9 (ESV Strong’s)

But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.

 

A quick recap… Saul had a clear command from the Lord, but tempted by the goods, he chose deliberately to disobey the Lord, and spare the best things for himself. Suddenly Samuel arrives, so Saul recognises he is in trouble, but makes an attempt at deflecting his guilt…

 

1 Samuel 15:13-15 (ESV Strong’s)

And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.”

 

Nice save Saul! When caught red handed, he concocts a lame excuse, to deflect guilt and save face… yes, I did what the Lord asked, but I kept the best animals, not for me, but for you Lord, to sacrifice to you!  Sadly for Saul, both God and Samuel clearly see Saul’s heart for what it is… disobedient.

 

1 Samuel 15:19-21 (ESV Strong’s)

Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

 

Saul pretends to be saving the good for sacrifice, then blames the people. But Samuel says…

 

1 Samuel 15:22-23 (ESV Strong’s)

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

 

Saul, the great man of destiny, the first King of Israel, lost his destiny, lost his throne, lost his lineage and eventually lost his life because he was not obedient!

 

STEPS TO REGAINING YOUR DESTINY?

 

As I have said, God created you with a purpose and a destiny, and He has desires and plans for you from before you were even born. Let me remind you…

 

Psalms 139:16 (ESV Strong’s)

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

 

So if you have doubted your true value, that you are precious and valuable to Him, or if you’ve lost your destiny, let me show you the steps you can take to rediscover your value and destiny in God…

 

1.      RECOGNISE YOUR TRUE VALUE… THAT YOU ARE PRECIOUS

 

The Lord shows us in Scripture your true value, that we are special and precious to Him.

 

Matthew 10:29-31 (MSG)

“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

 

God says it again and again, you are precious. He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to redeem you, to buy you back from sin, to save you from an eternity in hell. However you slice it, you are a valuable person in the eyes of God.

 

2.      REMEMBER HE HAS A DESTINY FOR YOU

 

John 15:16 (ESV Strong’s)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

 

God promises He has a plan and destiny for you. And it’s a good one, one that bears fruit that lasts forever! You are so precious to Him, He’s not out to get you, hurt you, bring you down or destroy you.  Your true value is that to Him, you are precious and He has plans for you that are perfect!

 

3.      REPENT OF YOUR SIN

 

To begin to move towards your destiny, you have to start by repenting of your sin. Repentance doesn’t just mean being sorry for what your thought, said and done, it means turning 180 degrees around and changing your behaviour.

 

Acts 3:19-20 (ESV Strong’s)

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

 

Repenting is obedience, turning away from your sin and disobedience and turning towards God. Only then will you discover your true value

 

4.      REDISCOVER YOUR FIRST LOVE

 

Revelation 2:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.

 

Some of us here who’ve been Christians for a long time need to rediscover our first love. Remember that feeling you have when you first fall in love with someone… that’s what we often lack. We go on in Christ, we grow, we mature, we get older, we learn and understand but many times we lose the love, the excitement, the joy we once had. If that is you today, the solution is simple… losing your first love is sin, and you must repent!

 

Rediscovering your first love means remembering what it was like, and reestablishing that first love.

 

5.      REENGAGE WITH GOD

 

The Lord promises us in James,

 

James 4:8 (ESV Strong’s)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

 

However, many times we as Christian go through the religious motions, just as Saul did. We do some religious duty and think that God is pleased. He doesn’t want your sacrifice, He wants your obedience and your heart!

 

Isaiah 29:13 (ESV Strong’s)

And the Lord said:

“Because this people draw near with their mouth and honour me with their lips,

while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,

 

We can draw near with just our mouths. We can go to church, call ourselves a Christian, listen to SALT or obey a bunch of rules taught by men, but the heart of God is that we draw near in our spirits, which involves all of us reengaging with God.

 

Having quiet times, reading the Word, praying constantly, coming to church, these are all ways that help us reengage our spirits with the Lord. Why go through the motions of being a Christian when you can be full on for Jesus and change the world? David wrote…

 

Psalms 63:1 (ESV Strong’s)

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

 

Do you long for God like that? You should, because that is how you discover your destiny and your true value!

 

6.      RECOMMIT TO OBEDIENCE

 

Moving into your destiny starts with seeing your true value, as precious to the Lord, and someone of value. However it is not enough to sim,ply acknowledge that you are worthwhile.

 

I said before that destiny is a series of decisions, and these decisions involve you being obedient. When you sense God leading you, that you do not resist but rather obey and trust Him. That is how you move into the greatest destiny you could imagine.

 

Exodus 19:5 (ESV Strong’s)

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;

 

Ignite church is a safe place for you to start being obedient to the Lord. That’s why we have 201, so you can see opportunities to invest that precious life of yours in something powerful Thayer yields fruit for eternity.

 

7.      RESPOND TO HIM TODAY

 

Today the Lord has His arms outstretched to you, calling you to be devoted to Him, and to trust Him with your life and future. Today He is asking you to see beyond the reflection in the mirror and trust Him to lead you into your destiny.

 

Today He is promising you that whatever you think about yourself, however you see yourself, You are valuable and precious to Him. You are so precious He sacrifices His only Son for you, and He has beautiful, wonderful plans for you.

 

Remember that $10 note? We agreed that it is worth $10 only because our government says it is, and they created that note.

 

What if I chew it and spit it out? $10?  What if I stamp on it and walk all over it? $10. What if I cover it in dirt and grime? Still $10.

 

Today some of you have been chewed up and spat out by life, rejected and walked all over by others, or sullied your life with sin and disobedience. I don’t care what you’ve been through, I don’t care if you’ve been divorced or into drugs or caught in adultery. I don’t care if they say you have a low IQ, a low self-esteem or a low net worth. Today you see your true value.

 

Jesus sees your true value, Jesus sees you as worthwhile, precious and He has a destiny for you. You must decide to walk with Him, or without Him. You are valuable when you come to Jesus, so I’m going to ask you to do that right now… Start seeing your true value as He sees you, and start living like He wants you to…

https://ignitechurch.org.au/me-in-the-mirror-2-see-your-true-value/

Me in the Mirror 2- See Your True Value

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you see your true value, see yourself as valuable, as special, as unique, as precious? In this second message on “Me in the Mirror“, I want to focus on seeing yourself as God sees you… valuable, special and precious!

According to the Mayo Clinic in 2010, if we take a human being and boil them down to their base elements, and sell them, they are worth around $4.50 on today’s market. But even evolutionists believe your true value is worth far more than that.

Everybody thinks your true value is worth more than $4.50, right? Why would ladies spend $50+ on shoes to put on 50c worth of feet? Guys, why would we spend $30 on a t-shirt to cover $1.20 worth of chest? We surely have greater value than our raw chemical makeup, but all over the world, in all walks of life, in all age groups, in all classes and no matter what you earn or achieve, people struggle with self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness! Even famous and rich movie stars look in the mirror and hate what they see, and stars like Robin Williams, Philip Seymore Hoffman and Heath Ledger take their own lives, despite their fame and fortune!

 

YOU ARE PRECIOUS!

 

Listen, you are not an accident, regardless of whether your parents think you were! In God’s eyes, there are no accidents and there are no surprises because He has perfect knowledge and power.

 

King David contemplating this one day said this to God…

 

Psalms 139:13-16 (ESV Strong’s)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

 

The Hebrew word for formed is qana, which does not just mean creating from nothing but it implies ownership, as an inventor would claim ownership of his invention. God created you, and claims you as His own!

 

God says He knew us and claimed us even as we were formed in the womb. Man says you are simply a collection of cells until you are born, then you become human. If wombs had windows, we wouldn’t have abortion!

 

We live in a world that does it’s best to devalue human beings. We live in a society that values the rights of minorities more than the rights of the vast majority. Most people say they see human beings as valuable, but they don’t act like it. People use and abuse each other every day, putting their own interests first. Men see women as conquests, women see men as someone to meet their needs. Salespeople see you as a sale. Even churches can see you as a seat filled, or money in the plate.

 

God says you are valuable and precious, every one of you. That’s why throughout history, Christians have started the first hospitals, school and orphanages. Every life is precious to God, and should be to us. Your true value is in who you are, not what someone else can get from you!

 

YOU DO NOT SEE YOUR TRUE VALUE AS GOD SEES IT

 

A professor in a college ethics class presented a problem to his students. He said, “A man has syphilis and his wife tuberculosis. They have had four children: one has died, the other three have what is considered to be a terminal illness. The mother is pregnant. What do you recommend?” After spirited discussion, the majority of the class voted that the mother should abort the child.

 

“Fine,” said the professor, “You’ve just killed Beethoven!” When we judge the worth of a life, we play God without His power and complete knowledge… God says every life is precious and valuable, and every person can fulfil a destiny, should they choose to.

 

Jeremiah 1:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

 

Before birth God has a plan for you, a destiny for you, a purpose for your life. You are not an accident, you are not an inconvenience,  are not just another consumer in the market. From a tiny cell, you develop into … 60 trillion cells, 100 thousand miles of nerve fibre, 60 thousand miles of vessels carrying blood around the body, 250 bones, to say nothing of joints, ligaments and muscles. Your true value cannot be measured!

 

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, but even more than this, God has a destiny for you! You were not just made by Him, you were woven together, you are His workmanship, His masterpiece, with a purpose and a destiny to fulfil.

 

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV Strong’s)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

Yet, when we look in the mirror, most of us do not see ourselves as valuable and precious. We see our faults, our wrinkles, our blemishes, our pain. Why is it that most people, even Christians, fail to see their value and never reach their full potential? How can you see your true value?

 

YOUR TRUE VALUE- INTRINSIC AND POTENTIAL

 

This $10 note is worth how much? $10, right? It is a piece of plastic, of little real value, but because the government backs this bit of plastic to be worth $10, it is. I cannot say I want $50 for this note, neither can I say it’s only worth 10c. The value in this note is not what it is made of, and it’s not what it or anyone else thinks about it, it is worth what its creator believes it is worth.

 

And so are you. You can only discover your true value in life when you place yourself under the loving care of the one who created you. You are worth what your creator says, not what anybody else’s says you are worth, that’s your true value!

 

Like a spring wound up, He sees potential energy stored in you that can be used for greatness. As a watch is created and wound up can run for days, so God sees incredible value in every one of us, and potential for greatness.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV Strong’s)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

These words were given by the prophet Jeremiah to a defeated and humiliated nation exiled in a hostile land. In the midst of pain and suffering, loss of material things, loss of loved ones and loss of hope, God loved His people and said He had a plan to prosper them and give them hope! The potential energy is still there, the hope is still alive.

 

Many come to Ignite because they have been hurt elsewhere, maybe away from God, away from church, out of fellowship, out of ideas and fresh out of hope. Many who come here have felt their dreams die, and feel useless and worthless. One of the gifts God has given me as a pastor is that when I meet you I see greatness. I seem to be able to see through the pain, through the circumstances and the exterior into the heart, and I see greatness in all of you! God’s plan, God’s destiny in your life is not dead, it is dormant, and my job is to stir it into life and have you see your true value! You are valuable and you have purpose!

 

DESTINY LOST

 

So when you look in the mirror, do you see greatness? Do you see destiny fulfilled, or destiny lost? Do you see the image of a failure, or the image of Christ?

 

The dictionary defines destiny as fate, “the development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.” God does not see destiny as fate… He sees destiny as a series of choices. Wrong choices cause you to lose your destiny. You fulfil your destiny by making not so much good choices, but God choices!

 

Romans 8:28-29 (ESV Strong’s)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,

 

Your destiny is to look like God’s Son. Your destiny is greatness in His Kingdom. And all things work for good in this, all things, even the rotten, stinking failures and abuses we suffer. How can this be?

 

When we look into the mirror, we often don’t see our worth, and we cannot see the potential God sees in us. When we look at circumstances, we don’t see God’s overall plan. We see a small portion, but He sees the whole. We see the present, He sees a glorious future in us.

 

Ships need to float, yet they are made of steel. If you throw a piece of steel in water it will sink. A shipyard is full of all kinds of steel, and if you throw any single piece in the water it will sink, because steel sinks! However, once it is assembled and joined the right way, a massive, incredibly heavy steel ship actually floats. When you see it as a whole, you see its destiny.

 

God sees your life as a life of destiny… That is your true value! You are not a mistake, you are not here by accident, you have a destiny in this place. It’s not to work hard, make money have a nice family, have a fun life then die, it is a life of serving Him and blessing others. God’s plan is to see you flourish into the image of His Son, and to serve where He has called you. But destiny can be fulfilled, or lost, depending on the choices you make!

 

Throughout the Bible men and women have fulfilled their God-given, God directed destiny. But many also tragically lost their destiny. Solomon started well, then his many wives turned his head away from God. Samson, Hezekiah, Uzziah, even Judas started following God, but lost their destiny.

 

Let me look at one of the saddest examples of destiny lost…

KING SAUL… BAD CHOICES = DESTINY LOST!

 

Saul was the first king of Israel, but came a time when he faced a fork in the road of his destiny. God had initially led Samuel right to him, and told him to anoint this young man. Saul was impressive to say the least! Tall, good looking with long wavy hair, he was like the Brad Pitt of his day, and everyone loved him. He should have been the greatest King of Israel!

 

1 Samuel 10:24 (ESV Strong’s)

And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

 

This man prophesied, this man fought battles, this man was anointed King and looked the part. So what went wrong for Saul? He faced a fork in the road…

 

Remember I said destiny is a series of choices? Well, Saul consistently chose disobedience…

 

1 Samuel 13:11-12 (ESV Strong’s)

Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.”

 

Saul stepped out of his destiny by usurping the role of priest, something he knew was wrong.  He feared that he was losing the people, and this fear caused him to do something offensive to God.  If you fear the reactions and opinions of people, then you can lose your destiny! Some here think they have lost their destiny because they listened to what people said about them.

 

Sometime later the Lord commanded Saul through Samuel to devote a town to destruction. Everything in this wicked and perverse town was to be destroyed, people, animals and things.

 

1 Samuel 15:12 (ESV Strong’s)

And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.”

 

One hint about where Saul’s heart was going was this… On the way to this assignment, Saul stopped off to erect a statue to himself. Pride, in ourselves and our achievements, can cause us to lose our destiny. When we are prideful, we start making disobedient, arrogant decisions, decisions on our own, serving our own ends, not God’s choices for us. Some here fear they have lost their destiny because they made dumb choices, and suffered the consequences.

 

He then failed the assignment… disobeying by choosing to spare the evil king and the best of the spoils…

 

1 Samuel 15:9 (ESV Strong’s)

But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.

 

A quick recap… Saul had a clear command from the Lord, but tempted by the goods, he chose deliberately to disobey the Lord, and spare the best things for himself. Suddenly Samuel arrives, so Saul recognises he is in trouble, but makes an attempt at deflecting his guilt…

 

1 Samuel 15:13-15 (ESV Strong’s)

And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.”

 

Nice save Saul! When caught red handed, he concocts a lame excuse, to deflect guilt and save face… yes, I did what the Lord asked, but I kept the best animals, not for me, but for you Lord, to sacrifice to you!  Sadly for Saul, both God and Samuel clearly see Saul’s heart for what it is… disobedient.

 

1 Samuel 15:19-21 (ESV Strong’s)

Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

 

Saul pretends to be saving the good for sacrifice, then blames the people. But Samuel says…

 

1 Samuel 15:22-23 (ESV Strong’s)

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

 

Saul, the great man of destiny, the first King of Israel, lost his destiny, lost his throne, lost his lineage and eventually lost his life because he was not obedient!

 

STEPS TO REGAINING YOUR DESTINY?

 

As I have said, God created you with a purpose and a destiny, and He has desires and plans for you from before you were even born. Let me remind you…

 

Psalms 139:16 (ESV Strong’s)

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

 

So if you have doubted your true value, that you are precious and valuable to Him, or if you’ve lost your destiny, let me show you the steps you can take to rediscover your value and destiny in God…

 

1.      RECOGNISE YOUR TRUE VALUE… THAT YOU ARE PRECIOUS

 

The Lord shows us in Scripture your true value, that we are special and precious to Him.

 

Matthew 10:29-31 (MSG)

“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

 

God says it again and again, you are precious. He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to redeem you, to buy you back from sin, to save you from an eternity in hell. However you slice it, you are a valuable person in the eyes of God.

 

2.      REMEMBER HE HAS A DESTINY FOR YOU

 

John 15:16 (ESV Strong’s)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

 

God promises He has a plan and destiny for you. And it’s a good one, one that bears fruit that lasts forever! You are so precious to Him, He’s not out to get you, hurt you, bring you down or destroy you.  Your true value is that to Him, you are precious and He has plans for you that are perfect!

 

3.      REPENT OF YOUR SIN

 

To begin to move towards your destiny, you have to start by repenting of your sin. Repentance doesn’t just mean being sorry for what your thought, said and done, it means turning 180 degrees around and changing your behaviour.

 

Acts 3:19-20 (ESV Strong’s)

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

 

Repenting is obedience, turning away from your sin and disobedience and turning towards God. Only then will you discover your true value

 

4.      REDISCOVER YOUR FIRST LOVE

 

Revelation 2:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.

 

Some of us here who’ve been Christians for a long time need to rediscover our first love. Remember that feeling you have when you first fall in love with someone… that’s what we often lack. We go on in Christ, we grow, we mature, we get older, we learn and understand but many times we lose the love, the excitement, the joy we once had. If that is you today, the solution is simple… losing your first love is sin, and you must repent!

 

Rediscovering your first love means remembering what it was like, and reestablishing that first love.

 

5.      REENGAGE WITH GOD

 

The Lord promises us in James,

 

James 4:8 (ESV Strong’s)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

 

However, many times we as Christian go through the religious motions, just as Saul did. We do some religious duty and think that God is pleased. He doesn’t want your sacrifice, He wants your obedience and your heart!

 

Isaiah 29:13 (ESV Strong’s)

And the Lord said:

“Because this people draw near with their mouth and honour me with their lips,

while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,

 

We can draw near with just our mouths. We can go to church, call ourselves a Christian, listen to SALT or obey a bunch of rules taught by men, but the heart of God is that we draw near in our spirits, which involves all of us reengaging with God.

 

Having quiet times, reading the Word, praying constantly, coming to church, these are all ways that help us reengage our spirits with the Lord. Why go through the motions of being a Christian when you can be full on for Jesus and change the world? David wrote…

 

Psalms 63:1 (ESV Strong’s)

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

 

Do you long for God like that? You should, because that is how you discover your destiny and your true value!

 

6.      RECOMMIT TO OBEDIENCE

 

Moving into your destiny starts with seeing your true value, as precious to the Lord, and someone of value. However it is not enough to sim,ply acknowledge that you are worthwhile.

 

I said before that destiny is a series of decisions, and these decisions involve you being obedient. When you sense God leading you, that you do not resist but rather obey and trust Him. That is how you move into the greatest destiny you could imagine.

 

Exodus 19:5 (ESV Strong’s)

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;

 

Ignite church is a safe place for you to start being obedient to the Lord. That’s why we have 201, so you can see opportunities to invest that precious life of yours in something powerful Thayer yields fruit for eternity.

 

7.      RESPOND TO HIM TODAY

 

Today the Lord has His arms outstretched to you, calling you to be devoted to Him, and to trust Him with your life and future. Today He is asking you to see beyond the reflection in the mirror and trust Him to lead you into your destiny.

 

Today He is promising you that whatever you think about yourself, however you see yourself, You are valuable and precious to Him. You are so precious He sacrifices His only Son for you, and He has beautiful, wonderful plans for you.

 

Remember that $10 note? We agreed that it is worth $10 only because our government says it is, and they created that note.

 

What if I chew it and spit it out? $10?  What if I stamp on it and walk all over it? $10. What if I cover it in dirt and grime? Still $10.

 

Today some of you have been chewed up and spat out by life, rejected and walked all over by others, or sullied your life with sin and disobedience. I don’t care what you’ve been through, I don’t care if you’ve been divorced or into drugs or caught in adultery. I don’t care if they say you have a low IQ, a low self-esteem or a low net worth. Today you see your true value.

 

Jesus sees your true value, Jesus sees you as worthwhile, precious and He has a destiny for you. You must decide to walk with Him, or without Him. You are valuable when you come to Jesus, so I’m going to ask you to do that right now… Start seeing your true value as He sees you, and start living like He wants you to…

https://ignitechurch.org.au/me-in-the-mirror-2-see-your-true-value/

318- Leading the Perfect Worship Service

How would you like to lead the perfect worship service?

Can we Lead the Perfect Worship Service?

OK, it is likely that none of us can lead an absolutely perfect worship service, but I am confident that we can get close to or approach perfection in the way we lead our worship.

It starts with having your heart and the hearts of your worship team right with God.  But there are also some positive thing you can do to help make your worship service powerful and close to perfect.  And we recognise that worship might look different for different churches, but that does not mean that we should not aim for being perfect!

So if you are a worship leader, and if you want to increase your skills and start to lead a church service that affects the lives of those listening and singing, then this is a great podcast for you to tune into!  As a worship leader for many years, I can tell you that there is nothing quite like leading a service where the Holy Spirit takes off and draws people to the throne of God in an incredible and supernatural way.  It is one of the great thrills of serving the King, and if we can learn how to lead services like this, not only will we feel fulfilled but people will flock to be a part of it!

Leading worship is a journey for us, and discussions like this can lead us deeper into the Lord, and deeper into our skillset as a worship leader.  So guys, do not miss this podcast, even if you think (and you are right) that our feeble efforts could never produce the perfect article in our worship.  If we can become closer to perfection in our worship leading, it is definitely worth the journey!

Check it out now!

https://praiseandworshipleader.com/worship-leader-podcast/318-leading-the-perfect-worship-service/

Me in the Mirror 1- What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

When you look into the mirror, what Image in the Mirror do you see looking back at you? Is that person the real you, or do you somehow distort or even enhance that person? What I would like to do in this series is look at perception, at the way you see yourself and ask the big question…

Do I like what I see? Do I see myself in a true light? What or who am I reflecting, and what is the Image in the Mirror?

1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV Strong’s)

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

 

Ok, we cannot truly see what the Lord wants us to see in ourselves, and we will not know fully until we get to heaven, but we can by faith begin to see things in our lives the way God see, and begin to reflect Him in our lives, not our selfish, self centred, self glorifying selves!

 

So as I share this message, I want you to imagine you are holding a clock up to a mirror…

In other words, it’s time for reflection!

 

Image in the Mirror- WHAT YOU SEE ISN’T WHAT YOU GET

 

As a Behavioural Optometrist, I specialise in visual perception. The thing is, having 20/20 vision really means very little. Sure, you need to see, but just because you physically have the capacity to see something doesn’t mean you understand what you see.

 

Many things in life actually distort or affect what we perceive, especially when I comes to ourselves.

Lenses or glasses can shape your view of the world, but mirrors can likewise distort your view of yourself.

 

The devil does not want you to see yourself properly, he doesn’t want you to see yourself how God sees you. He also doesn’t want you to reflect the image of Jesus Christ, so he does his best to mess up how you see yourself, and who it is your life reflects! What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

The purpose of this series is to gain a true reflection of ourselves, undistorted by anything that is not of God!  Let’s let His Spirit guide us into truth. That’s why God’s Word says,

 

John 16:13 (ESV Strong’s)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak,

 

So what things distort our reflection in the mirror? What changes how we see ourselves?

 

1.      DISTORTED BY DIRT AND GRIME

 

If a mirror is dirty, you cannot clearly see the image in the surface. It does not mean that the mirror doesn’t work, but rather that the mirror is covered in a substance that is not reflective.

 

Going through your life, you can pick up dirt and grime, which we call sin. Sin separates you from God, covers up the true reflection of yourself, and covers any chance you have of reflecting Jesus to the world. If you constantly live in sin, the dirt and grime builds up until you cannot see God, you are not close to Him and you cannot be the person God wants you to be…

 

Isaiah 59:2 (ESV Strong’s)

but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,

and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

 

The Hebrew word for hidden is satar, which literally means covered or concealed. A layer of grime or sin conceals the true reflection, and if it is  thick enough or deep enough you cannot see anything!

 

1 John 1:5-7 (ESV Strong’s)

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

God is light, and if you are disobedient and wilfully sinning, or tolerate sin in your life, you are misting the mirror, and the light cannot reflect properly off the surface.

 

The Greek word for cleanses is katharizo, which means to purify, wash, to scrub clean.

 

1 John 1:9 (ESV Strong’s)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Harbouring sin in your life, even a hidden sin, tolerating it instead of confessing it covers over the true image you should be. If you are tolerating sin, it’s time to confess it, and allow the blood of Jesus to wash your life clean!

 

2.      DISTORTED BY THE PAST

 

If a mirror gets old, the inner surface of silver nitrate often breaks down, and gets scratchy, and this distorts the image on the front. This is not dirt on the outside, the inner layer is breaking down!

 

So many people including Christians allow their past to distort what they reflect in the present. It might have been words spoken to you, situations you have been through, your upbringing, your fears, your pain. But God says this…

 

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV-WS)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

 

The Lord is saying, “Stop dwelling on past failures! Don’t you get it… I’m doing a new thing!”it’s time to make the past past at last.

 

When the past quarrels with the present, there can be no future. We all need to learn from our past. But we must also stop living in the past, or letting past failures control us, and move on to God’s new assignments and goals. Spiritual renewal involves letting go of the past so that we can take hold of what is in the present and redirect our course toward a new life for the future.  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

If you had a difficult upbringing, a troubled relationship with your mum or dad, then today is the day you give that to the Lord and let Him carry that burden, not you. If you have something in your past you’re ashamed of, something you still feel guilty for, it’s is time to hand it over to Jesus, not carry the load yourself.

 

So if you have had a divorce or separation, if you’ve been abused or controlled, if you’ve done something you just hate yourself for doing, today is the day to hand it over to Jesus, and let it stop affecting how you see yourself.

 

3.      DISTORTED BY BEING SHATTERED

 

If you drop a hand mirror, any mirror, they don’t bounce too well. They shatter, and you allegedly get 7 years bad luck and a distorted, fractured image.

 

In the same way, hurt and pain that has affected your life, that has damaged or even shattered your life, destroys the image in your mirror. Pain affects how you see yourself, so whether it’s physical pain from sickness or disease, or emotional pain from someone betraying you or letting you down, pain affects how you see and value yourself, and how you reflect God.

 

It also affects people around you, because hurt people hurt people. You don’t mean to be like this, but that hurt inside you causes you to lash out and hurt the ones you love. What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

But the Bible says this…

 

Psalms 34:18 (ESV Strong’s)

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

 

Are you crushed today, are you shattered today? How long have you carried that pain deep inside you? God loves you, God can heal that pain and today, He is willing if you will trust Him. Don’t let bitterness ruin how you see yourself or how you reflect Christ.  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

Hebrews 12:15 (ESV Strong’s)

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled

 

If you have been hurt and you haven’t given it over to God, which involves forgiving other people, then it is like drinking poison hoping the other guys dies! Holding onto hurt shatters the image of God in you, and distorts how you see yourself. Today is the day to forgive and give your hurt to God.

 

Forgiving someone who hurt you dies not legitimise or condone what they did, it simply releases the hold they have on you, and set you free to see yourself as God sees you!

 

4.      DISTORTED BY SURROUNDING REFLECTIONS

 

The image in the mirror can be affected by external things surrounding the mirror, such as reflections, lights or other images.

 

In the same way your imagein the mirror of yourself can be affected, even destroyed but the opinions of others.

 

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me!” Is not true.

 

James 3:8-9 (ESV Strong’s)

but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

 

Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone else’s inability to see your worth. What Image in the Mirror Do You See, not them?

 

If you have had someone speaking negative words over your life, whether now or sometime in the past, you need to recognise that someone else’s opinion is just that. Opinions are like noses… everybody has one, and most of them smell!

 

Don’t let your Image in the Mirror of who you truly are be distorted or sometimes even destroyed by the word of others. Their words only have power if you let them, if you give them permission to affect your life.

 

Proverbs 15:4 (NIV-WS)

 

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

 

In the Message Bible it says this…

Proverbs 15:4 (MSG)

Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.

 

If someone has or is speaking negatives over your life, today is the day we break those curses and they fall to the ground dead, lifeless and powerless. Some of you will need prayer to break this power, but it can and indeed must be done for you to begin to see the image of yourself correctly.  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

Proverbs 26:2 (ESV Strong’s)

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,

a curse that is causeless does not alight.

 

5.      DISTORTED BY UNEVEN LAYERING

 

If a mirror has uneven layers of silver nitrate, thin spots appear and these are not as reflective. This can cause distortions or warping in the image. In the same way if our relationship with God is patchy, if we only connect with Him once a week at church, if we skip services or skip quiet times, we will not reflect the Lord the way we should, and this will affect even how we view ourselves.

 

James 4:8 (ESV Strong’s)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

 

God longs to be close to you, and all it takes is your saying yes, I want to spend time with you, Lord.  Spending time every day with the Lord, reading His Word and praying, causes layer upon layer to be painted on the glass, and this makes you more and more reflective, more and more like Jesus!  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

WHOSE IMAGE DO YOU REFLECT?

 

The thing is, mirrors do not create images, they reflect them. They can be distorted by sin, pain, your past, the words of others and stepping away from God. When you look in the mirror, do you see the real you? Do you see the person you are destined to be? Do you see Jesus reflected in your life.

 

Romans 8:29 (ESV Strong’s)

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

 

God has a plan for your life, and His plan is that you reflect His Son! As you read His Word , as you pray, as you surrender your life to His will, and His care, as you give Him your burdens, you will reflect Jesus, and your life will move into His destiny for you! What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

A mirror differs from a pane of glass in that it is painted by several layers of silver nitrate. But where does refined silver come from? It is not mined as pure silver, but dug out of the ground…

 

Psalms 66:10 (ESV Strong’s)

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.

 

Let me finish by taking you through the ancient process of refining silver, and in this is a great lesson for all of us who want to be true mirrors, seeing ourselves as a reflection of Christ…

 

As people, we want a great life, we want to be success, we want a great family, people who love us, we want health, wealth, wisdom and blessing. That’s what we want from God, isn’t it? It’s what we pray for, work for and believe for. But the fact is, many of us face tests, trials and hardship.

 

So instead of blaming God for not giving you what you ordered Him to bless you with, why not step back and see things from His point of view, His Holy perspective?

 

God tests every believer, both to reveal the character of his or her heart and to lead him or her into a deeper relationship with Himself. We tend to learn more in the valley than on the mountaintop.

 

Isaiah 48:10 (ESV Strong’s)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

 

God refines us with the trials, tests and hardships of life, because He wants us to be refined and pure. So what was the process of refining silver in Biblical times?

 

Stage I: The Breaking —The refiner breaks up the natural ore.

 

In biblical times, a refiner began by breaking up rough ore—hardened rock encased with common minerals such as tin, copper, and zinc. But sometimes, somewhere in that rock was precious metals like silver. He has to break the rock to expose the metals to heat.

 

Jeremiah 23:29 (ESV Strong’s)

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

 

Perhaps you feel broken today, maybe shattered by a family breakup or a business collapse. If you have been broken you are ready for the next step in refinement…

 

Stage II: The Crucible —The refiner places unrefined silver into a crucible.

 

The crucible is a special metal pot able to withstand extreme heat. The refiner then places the crucible into the furnace at the precise temperature which separates the metals.

 

Proverbs 17:3 (ESV Strong’s)

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.

 

Stage III: The Dross —The refiner places the crucible in the heated furnace to remove dross.

 

As the ore melts in the crucible under the watchful eye of the refiner, a layer of impurities called “dross” eventually bubbles to the top and forms on the surface.

 

Proverbs 25:4 (ESV Strong’s)

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;

 

For us individually, dross represents any sin mixed into our life—any wrong motive, wrong attitude, wrong action, and unforgiveness, unrepentance, or disobedience—anything that keeps us from being all that God wants us to be.

 

Stage IV: The Heat —The refiner raises the temperature again and again.

 

The refiner painstakingly skims off the dross or impurities. Then he then turns up the heat and places the crucible back into the furnace, skimming off more dross each time.  Ancient literature tells us he does this up to 7 times. He knows that only certain impurities are released at certain temperatures.

 

Psalms 12:6 (ESV Strong’s)

The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

 

This process continues and each time the silver is more and more refined. In your life you may find yourself facing trial after trial, pain after pain, and wonder why your testing seems endless. Yet each time a little more dross, a little more impurity is removed. Multiple trials are often necessary to clean out the dross.

 

So when does the refiner know that the process is complete?

 

Stage V: The Reflection —The refiner sees a clear image of himself.

 

The refiner knows the process is complete, and you need to get this, when he looks into the crucible as sees his reflection clearly. When He looks at you, What Image in the Mirror does He See?

 

Isaiah 48:10 (ESV Strong’s)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

 

When the refiner looks at your life, does He see His own image reflected back? When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you see the Master reflected in your image?

 

Today is the day we start refining your life. Today is the day we clean out those words spoken over you, the times you were told you’re useless and will amount to nothing. Today is the day we begin to  break their power, we forget the things past and we press on towards the future God has for you.

 

If you’ve had something in your past that you are ashamed of, or have had negative or hurtful words spoken over your life, even if they were said in jest, let’s start freeing you right now. Let’s stop this distortion of your image in the mirror, and let’s start reflecting Jesus.

 

Some years ago I was told by another pastor still on the Coast that I would never be a leader, never be a pastor and never have an impact for God. I knew immediately when said that he was wrong, so Fiona and I took that to the Lord, prayed it through and committed ourselves to follow Him into our destinies. I still meet this guy at pastor’s meetings. He doesn’t talk to me, and I don’t care… his words have no power over me! I don’t have to fight him, because God has vindicated me!

 

If words have been spoken over you in the past, distorting the image of the refiner in your life, stand up.

 

Proverbs 26:2 (ESV Strong’s)

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,

a curse that is causeless does not alight.

 

Also, if you have resented the tests that have allowed the Lord to refine your life, it is time to repent and rejoice in the character He is building as He makes you into the image of His Son. What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

https://ignitechurch.org.au/me-in-the-mirror-1-what-image-in-the-mirror-do-you-see/

Me in the Mirror 1- What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

When you look into the mirror, what Image in the Mirror do you see looking back at you? Is that person the real you, or do you somehow distort or even enhance that person? What I would like to do in this series is look at perception, at the way you see yourself and ask the big question…

Do I like what I see? Do I see myself in a true light? What or who am I reflecting, and what is the Image in the Mirror?

1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV Strong’s)

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

 

Ok, we cannot truly see what the Lord wants us to see in ourselves, and we will not know fully until we get to heaven, but we can by faith begin to see things in our lives the way God see, and begin to reflect Him in our lives, not our selfish, self centred, self glorifying selves!

 

So as I share this message, I want you to imagine you are holding a clock up to a mirror…

In other words, it’s time for reflection!

 

Image in the Mirror- WHAT YOU SEE ISN’T WHAT YOU GET

 

As a Behavioural Optometrist, I specialise in visual perception. The thing is, having 20/20 vision really means very little. Sure, you need to see, but just because you physically have the capacity to see something doesn’t mean you understand what you see.

 

Many things in life actually distort or affect what we perceive, especially when I comes to ourselves.

Lenses or glasses can shape your view of the world, but mirrors can likewise distort your view of yourself.

 

The devil does not want you to see yourself properly, he doesn’t want you to see yourself how God sees you. He also doesn’t want you to reflect the image of Jesus Christ, so he does his best to mess up how you see yourself, and who it is your life reflects! What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

The purpose of this series is to gain a true reflection of ourselves, undistorted by anything that is not of God!  Let’s let His Spirit guide us into truth. That’s why God’s Word says,

 

John 16:13 (ESV Strong’s)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak,

 

So what things distort our reflection in the mirror? What changes how we see ourselves?

 

1.      DISTORTED BY DIRT AND GRIME

 

If a mirror is dirty, you cannot clearly see the image in the surface. It does not mean that the mirror doesn’t work, but rather that the mirror is covered in a substance that is not reflective.

 

Going through your life, you can pick up dirt and grime, which we call sin. Sin separates you from God, covers up the true reflection of yourself, and covers any chance you have of reflecting Jesus to the world. If you constantly live in sin, the dirt and grime builds up until you cannot see God, you are not close to Him and you cannot be the person God wants you to be…

 

Isaiah 59:2 (ESV Strong’s)

but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,

and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

 

The Hebrew word for hidden is satar, which literally means covered or concealed. A layer of grime or sin conceals the true reflection, and if it is  thick enough or deep enough you cannot see anything!

 

1 John 1:5-7 (ESV Strong’s)

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

God is light, and if you are disobedient and wilfully sinning, or tolerate sin in your life, you are misting the mirror, and the light cannot reflect properly off the surface.

 

The Greek word for cleanses is katharizo, which means to purify, wash, to scrub clean.

 

1 John 1:9 (ESV Strong’s)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Harbouring sin in your life, even a hidden sin, tolerating it instead of confessing it covers over the true image you should be. If you are tolerating sin, it’s time to confess it, and allow the blood of Jesus to wash your life clean!

 

2.      DISTORTED BY THE PAST

 

If a mirror gets old, the inner surface of silver nitrate often breaks down, and gets scratchy, and this distorts the image on the front. This is not dirt on the outside, the inner layer is breaking down!

 

So many people including Christians allow their past to distort what they reflect in the present. It might have been words spoken to you, situations you have been through, your upbringing, your fears, your pain. But God says this…

 

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV-WS)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

 

The Lord is saying, “Stop dwelling on past failures! Don’t you get it… I’m doing a new thing!”it’s time to make the past past at last.

 

When the past quarrels with the present, there can be no future. We all need to learn from our past. But we must also stop living in the past, or letting past failures control us, and move on to God’s new assignments and goals. Spiritual renewal involves letting go of the past so that we can take hold of what is in the present and redirect our course toward a new life for the future.  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

If you had a difficult upbringing, a troubled relationship with your mum or dad, then today is the day you give that to the Lord and let Him carry that burden, not you. If you have something in your past you’re ashamed of, something you still feel guilty for, it’s is time to hand it over to Jesus, not carry the load yourself.

 

So if you have had a divorce or separation, if you’ve been abused or controlled, if you’ve done something you just hate yourself for doing, today is the day to hand it over to Jesus, and let it stop affecting how you see yourself.

 

3.      DISTORTED BY BEING SHATTERED

 

If you drop a hand mirror, any mirror, they don’t bounce too well. They shatter, and you allegedly get 7 years bad luck and a distorted, fractured image.

 

In the same way, hurt and pain that has affected your life, that has damaged or even shattered your life, destroys the image in your mirror. Pain affects how you see yourself, so whether it’s physical pain from sickness or disease, or emotional pain from someone betraying you or letting you down, pain affects how you see and value yourself, and how you reflect God.

 

It also affects people around you, because hurt people hurt people. You don’t mean to be like this, but that hurt inside you causes you to lash out and hurt the ones you love. What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

But the Bible says this…

 

Psalms 34:18 (ESV Strong’s)

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

 

Are you crushed today, are you shattered today? How long have you carried that pain deep inside you? God loves you, God can heal that pain and today, He is willing if you will trust Him. Don’t let bitterness ruin how you see yourself or how you reflect Christ.  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

Hebrews 12:15 (ESV Strong’s)

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled

 

If you have been hurt and you haven’t given it over to God, which involves forgiving other people, then it is like drinking poison hoping the other guys dies! Holding onto hurt shatters the image of God in you, and distorts how you see yourself. Today is the day to forgive and give your hurt to God.

 

Forgiving someone who hurt you dies not legitimise or condone what they did, it simply releases the hold they have on you, and set you free to see yourself as God sees you!

 

4.      DISTORTED BY SURROUNDING REFLECTIONS

 

The image in the mirror can be affected by external things surrounding the mirror, such as reflections, lights or other images.

 

In the same way your imagein the mirror of yourself can be affected, even destroyed but the opinions of others.

 

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me!” Is not true.

 

James 3:8-9 (ESV Strong’s)

but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

 

Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone else’s inability to see your worth. What Image in the Mirror Do You See, not them?

 

If you have had someone speaking negative words over your life, whether now or sometime in the past, you need to recognise that someone else’s opinion is just that. Opinions are like noses… everybody has one, and most of them smell!

 

Don’t let your Image in the Mirror of who you truly are be distorted or sometimes even destroyed by the word of others. Their words only have power if you let them, if you give them permission to affect your life.

 

Proverbs 15:4 (NIV-WS)

 

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

 

In the Message Bible it says this…

Proverbs 15:4 (MSG)

Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.

 

If someone has or is speaking negatives over your life, today is the day we break those curses and they fall to the ground dead, lifeless and powerless. Some of you will need prayer to break this power, but it can and indeed must be done for you to begin to see the image of yourself correctly.  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

Proverbs 26:2 (ESV Strong’s)

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,

a curse that is causeless does not alight.

 

5.      DISTORTED BY UNEVEN LAYERING

 

If a mirror has uneven layers of silver nitrate, thin spots appear and these are not as reflective. This can cause distortions or warping in the image. In the same way if our relationship with God is patchy, if we only connect with Him once a week at church, if we skip services or skip quiet times, we will not reflect the Lord the way we should, and this will affect even how we view ourselves.

 

James 4:8 (ESV Strong’s)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

 

God longs to be close to you, and all it takes is your saying yes, I want to spend time with you, Lord.  Spending time every day with the Lord, reading His Word and praying, causes layer upon layer to be painted on the glass, and this makes you more and more reflective, more and more like Jesus!  What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

WHOSE IMAGE DO YOU REFLECT?

 

The thing is, mirrors do not create images, they reflect them. They can be distorted by sin, pain, your past, the words of others and stepping away from God. When you look in the mirror, do you see the real you? Do you see the person you are destined to be? Do you see Jesus reflected in your life.

 

Romans 8:29 (ESV Strong’s)

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

 

God has a plan for your life, and His plan is that you reflect His Son! As you read His Word , as you pray, as you surrender your life to His will, and His care, as you give Him your burdens, you will reflect Jesus, and your life will move into His destiny for you! What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

 

A mirror differs from a pane of glass in that it is painted by several layers of silver nitrate. But where does refined silver come from? It is not mined as pure silver, but dug out of the ground…

 

Psalms 66:10 (ESV Strong’s)

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.

 

Let me finish by taking you through the ancient process of refining silver, and in this is a great lesson for all of us who want to be true mirrors, seeing ourselves as a reflection of Christ…

 

As people, we want a great life, we want to be success, we want a great family, people who love us, we want health, wealth, wisdom and blessing. That’s what we want from God, isn’t it? It’s what we pray for, work for and believe for. But the fact is, many of us face tests, trials and hardship.

 

So instead of blaming God for not giving you what you ordered Him to bless you with, why not step back and see things from His point of view, His Holy perspective?

 

God tests every believer, both to reveal the character of his or her heart and to lead him or her into a deeper relationship with Himself. We tend to learn more in the valley than on the mountaintop.

 

Isaiah 48:10 (ESV Strong’s)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

 

God refines us with the trials, tests and hardships of life, because He wants us to be refined and pure. So what was the process of refining silver in Biblical times?

 

Stage I: The Breaking —The refiner breaks up the natural ore.

 

In biblical times, a refiner began by breaking up rough ore—hardened rock encased with common minerals such as tin, copper, and zinc. But sometimes, somewhere in that rock was precious metals like silver. He has to break the rock to expose the metals to heat.

 

Jeremiah 23:29 (ESV Strong’s)

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

 

Perhaps you feel broken today, maybe shattered by a family breakup or a business collapse. If you have been broken you are ready for the next step in refinement…

 

Stage II: The Crucible —The refiner places unrefined silver into a crucible.

 

The crucible is a special metal pot able to withstand extreme heat. The refiner then places the crucible into the furnace at the precise temperature which separates the metals.

 

Proverbs 17:3 (ESV Strong’s)

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.

 

Stage III: The Dross —The refiner places the crucible in the heated furnace to remove dross.

 

As the ore melts in the crucible under the watchful eye of the refiner, a layer of impurities called “dross” eventually bubbles to the top and forms on the surface.

 

Proverbs 25:4 (ESV Strong’s)

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;

 

For us individually, dross represents any sin mixed into our life—any wrong motive, wrong attitude, wrong action, and unforgiveness, unrepentance, or disobedience—anything that keeps us from being all that God wants us to be.

 

Stage IV: The Heat —The refiner raises the temperature again and again.

 

The refiner painstakingly skims off the dross or impurities. Then he then turns up the heat and places the crucible back into the furnace, skimming off more dross each time.  Ancient literature tells us he does this up to 7 times. He knows that only certain impurities are released at certain temperatures.

 

Psalms 12:6 (ESV Strong’s)

The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

 

This process continues and each time the silver is more and more refined. In your life you may find yourself facing trial after trial, pain after pain, and wonder why your testing seems endless. Yet each time a little more dross, a little more impurity is removed. Multiple trials are often necessary to clean out the dross.

 

So when does the refiner know that the process is complete?

 

Stage V: The Reflection —The refiner sees a clear image of himself.

 

The refiner knows the process is complete, and you need to get this, when he looks into the crucible as sees his reflection clearly. When He looks at you, What Image in the Mirror does He See?

 

Isaiah 48:10 (ESV Strong’s)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

 

When the refiner looks at your life, does He see His own image reflected back? When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you see the Master reflected in your image?

 

Today is the day we start refining your life. Today is the day we clean out those words spoken over you, the times you were told you’re useless and will amount to nothing. Today is the day we begin to  break their power, we forget the things past and we press on towards the future God has for you.

 

If you’ve had something in your past that you are ashamed of, or have had negative or hurtful words spoken over your life, even if they were said in jest, let’s start freeing you right now. Let’s stop this distortion of your image in the mirror, and let’s start reflecting Jesus.

 

Some years ago I was told by another pastor still on the Coast that I would never be a leader, never be a pastor and never have an impact for God. I knew immediately when said that he was wrong, so Fiona and I took that to the Lord, prayed it through and committed ourselves to follow Him into our destinies. I still meet this guy at pastor’s meetings. He doesn’t talk to me, and I don’t care… his words have no power over me! I don’t have to fight him, because God has vindicated me!

 

If words have been spoken over you in the past, distorting the image of the refiner in your life, stand up.

 

Proverbs 26:2 (ESV Strong’s)

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,

a curse that is causeless does not alight.

 

Also, if you have resented the tests that have allowed the Lord to refine your life, it is time to repent and rejoice in the character He is building as He makes you into the image of His Son. What Image in the Mirror Do You See?

https://ignitechurch.org.au/me-in-the-mirror-1-what-image-in-the-mirror-do-you-see/

317- Are you Complaining or Praying in Your Worship Leading?

When you lead worship, are you complaining or praying when things go wrong?

Things do go wrong when worship leading, as you may know, but many times the success of the ministry depends on our attitude, doesn’t it?

Are you Complaining or Praying

I know, there is a huge tendency to complain when things go wrong, and this is just human nature. So when you face a challenge, are you complaining or praying?  I mean, when push comes to shove, are you complaining or praying your way through the issues?

Let’s face it, all of us are inclined to complain from time to time, even constantly, when things do not work out as we have planned.  But how many of us know that when things go wrong or at least differently to our original plans in our worship leading, it is very often God leading us in a different way.  Perhaps He is working on our character, or perhaps He is working on someone in the band.

If you complain from the outset, it reveals that our spirit is not actually submitting to the Holy Spirit.  We should have a great attitude like Job in adversity, but often we just complain and whine like the Israelites in the Exodus!

This podcast is about ceasing the complaints and starting the prayer because God can use more effectively if we are focussed not on our problems and setbacks but on our prayer life.  It is exciting because it is all about seeing the Lord in the midst of our apparent trouble, and about focussing on His will for our lives instead of complaining.  This podcast might allow all of us the opportunity to experience what Habakkuk did over three chapters, and go from questioning God to this…

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Check it out now…

https://praiseandworshipleader.com/worship-leader-podcast/317-are-you-complaining-or-praying-in-your-worship-leading/