Christine Caine shares that we are a part of history – so many historical moments where we see God weaving a tapestry of hope to this world. We have witnessed a moment that forces us to respond to a call for church unity.
Great to look back at the last 12 months of development in Alpha International. A global Alpha Initiative is planned with Bear Grylls heading up the campaign for 2016. Nicky Gumbel reminds us that Alpha is just a resource that helps us to talk with people about Jesus and introduce them to Him.
Encourages us to listen to listen to other people – for then we may see the inner beauty that would otherwise be missed.
Love: it is not a subject, it is a person. God is love. The conference theme is unity but we cannot have unity unless we have love. We need to stop theorising and begin practising. We are the ones that must make an effort to get along, it may not necessarily be easy but we must practice. Sometimes we live in a way were we have the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit does not have us. To be the impact that we need to be, we need to be more than churchgoers, we need to show Jesus in every part of our lives.
There can be no unity without love because love covers over all offences. Denominational labels are not always helpful because there is not one label who has everything right. Love perseveres. Love starts at home. As a person with a lot of pain and brokenness, it was the word of God that changed everything. Being a person of excellence is very important, as being a person of integrity and keeping the strife (opposite of unity) out of your life. (cf psalm 133). We need to be behind the scenes what we are in front of other people. Love needs to be real, as is unity – they are not events – they are lifestyles.
Matthew 22:36-39 – God cares about everything in your life and he loves you unconditionally. God is love – you cannot do any more or any less to receive his love….he is love. People want unconditional love and the only place to receive it, is from God. We love God because he first loved us. When we receive Gods love and love him back, we need to learn to love ourselves. If you do not love yourself, you are in for a rough ride because wherever you go, there you are! The best gift you can give to those you love, is a healthy you.
In 1 John 4:11-12 – if you want to see God, find love. Where love is, God abides. What would the world be like today if every Christian acted like one? There is nothing more important than us being people of love (cf ephesians 3:19). Love is not a feeling but a decision. (cf 1 cor 13) There are certain behaviours that do not look good on us as Christians. We may need to change.
When you have experienced something special, you can never be satisfied something lesser. Nothing good happens accidentally, it happens on purpose. cf Gal 6:10 – blessing the household of faith. We all have the ability to make peoples life better…that is love. Love helps needy people and it will be expensive, it will demand sacrifice. John 21:15-18 – feed my sheep, help somebody…..get the smell of sheep on you.
We need love & this will involve forgiveness, we need to have a lifestyle of forgiveness. Forgiveness may happen in degrees and will be more than just a duty and may demand we keep showing forgiveness, even if their behaviour does not alter. God works through people and as partners with God, he wants to use us to bring healing and salvation as we demonstrate Christ and point people to him.
Acts 10:38 – we need to go around doing good. Everywhere we go, there is someone who’s life we can make better, if we will only look. We need to walk in love….we will need to trust.
….and so it ends, see you at the HTB Leadership Conference 2017