Friday, May 23, 2014


Where is God Taking You?

1 Thess 3: 11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Where are you going with your life? Is there any sense in which we can know God’s will for our lives? Sometimes we view God’s will as something that we hope God will just lower down to us one day so we will know where we are going.

I have learnt over the years that the Lord is concerned to take us to Heaven, by a route, holiness, and He Helps us with it.

Lets back into this short passage. My reversing and parking, you will be glad to hear, has much improved since I first visited the church here. I now no longer knock down walls. My car has a camera attached that allows me to back into car park spots safely.

This passage ends with Heaven

Isn’t it good to know that your destination is heaven. If you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Saviour and Lord, you have entered a journey where

the Divine Destination is heaven.

This verse reminds us of three important truths.

i. There is An Appointment You Can’t Avoid.

ii. There is An Assessment You Can’t Evade

iii. There is an Assurance You Can Anticipate

There is An Appointment You Can’t Avoid.

so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

You will stand before our God and Father in heaven at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The return of the Lord Jesus with all his saints is a wonderful recurring theme in the epistles to the Thessalonians.

1 Thess 4: 13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are • asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord.

After the return of the Lord Jesus you will immediately stand before the God.

There is An Assessment You Can’t Evade

Other passages remind us of this. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or bad.

1 Corinthians 3: 9 For we are God’s co-workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to God’s grace that was given to me, as a skilled master builder I have laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it, 11 because no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid—that is, Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire

Romans 14:  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
9 Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

There is an Assessment of your works as a believer that will occur after the second coming. There are rewards in heaven. How this works out I have no idea. This is not about heaven and hell. If we have believed in Jesus, Romans 8:1 says, Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, The Lord Jesus said John 5:24 I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

This assessment is about rewards for believers.. Matthew 25: 21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful • slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’

Luke 19:16  The first came forward and said, ‘Master, your mina has earned 10 more minas.’ 17 “ ‘Well done, good• slave!’ he told him. ‘Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, have authority over 10 towns.’ 18 “The second came and said, ‘Master, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 “So he said to him, ‘You will be over five towns.’

There Is An Assurance You Can Anticipate

so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Phil 1:6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The Lord intends to make you look good on that day.

The Divine Destiny of each believer is Heaven.

That’s where the Lord is taking you. But the route He is taking you is through Holiness.

12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness

The Divine Definition is Holiness

The Christian life produces the fruits of holy living. “Theology,” William Ames wrote in the opening words of his classic, The Marrow of Theology, “is the doctrine or teaching of living to God.[i]” God Himself exhorts His children, “You shall be holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Paul instructs the Thessalonians, “For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:7). And the author of Hebrews writes, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). The believer who does not cultivate holiness diligently will neither have much genuine assurance of his own salvation nor be obeying Peter’s call to seek it (2 Peter 1:10).

Our tendency is to think of Holiness as a negative thing. We think immediately of austere puritans sitting in monastic sterility keeping apart from the world lest they be defiled by it. The New Testament speaks of holiness in a much more positive way, as being the way of love. As we love God deeply, and know His love deeply, we extend that love to other believers and then to a lost and sinful world.

The severity of holiness is lost in the joyful fruit of the Spirit, which engages with others in love.

In both biblical languages holy means separated and set apart for God. For the Christian, to be set apart means, negatively, to be separate from sin, and positively, to be consecrated (i.e., dedicated) to God and conformed to Christ. There is no disparity between Old Testament and New Testament concepts of holiness, though there is a change in emphasis on what holiness involves. The Old Testament stresses ritual and moral holiness; the New Testament stresses inward and transforming holiness Lev. 19:2  “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. 1 Thess. 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture presents the essence of holiness primarily in relation to God. The focus of the sacred realm in Scripture is God Himself. God’s holiness is the very essence of His being (Isa. 57:15); [ii] it is the backdrop of all else the Bible declares about God. His justice is holy justice; His wisdom is holy wisdom; His power is holy power; His grace is holy grace. No other attribute of God is celebrated before the throne of heaven as is His holiness: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts” (Isa. 6:3). “Holy” is prefixed to God’s name more than any other attribute[iii].

Isaiah alone calls God the “Holy One” twenty-six times. God’s holiness, John Howe wrote, “may be said to be a transcendental attribute that, as it were, runs through the rest, and casts lustre upon them. It is an attribute of attributes ... and so it is the very lustre and glory of His other perfections.” [iv] God manifests something of His majestic holiness in His works (Ps. 145:17), in His law (Ps. 19:8–9), and especially at the cross of Christ (Matt. 27:46). Holiness is His permanent crown, His glory, His beauty. It is, says Jonathan Edwards, “more than a mere attribute of God—it is the sum of all His attributes, the outshining of all that God is.[v]” God’s holiness denotes two critical truths about Himself: First, it denotes the “separateness” of God from all His creation and His “apartness” from all that is unclean or evil. God’s holiness testifies of His purity, His moral perfection, His separateness from all outside of Him, His complete absence of sin (Job 34:10; Isa. 5:16; 40:18; Hab. 1:13)[vi].

Holiness, includes separation from sin, consecration to God, and conformity to Christ—make holiness comprehensive.

But the bottom line to these is love.

12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father…

Holiness of heart must be cultivated in every sphere of life: in privacy with God, in the confidentiality of our homes, in the competitiveness of our occupation, in the pleasures of social friendship, in relation with our unevangelized neighbors and the world’s hungry and unemployed, as well as in Sunday worship. Horatius Bonar writes: Holiness ... extends to every part of our persons, fills up our being, spreads over our life, influences everything we are, or do, or think, or speak, or plan, small or great, outward or inward, negative or positive, our loving, our hating, our sorrowing, our rejoicing, our recreations, our business, our friendships, our relationships, our silence, our speech, our reading, our writing, our going out and our coming in—our whole man in every movement of spirit, soul, and body[vii].

Thus, holiness is an inward thing that must fill our entire heart and an outward thing that must cover all of life. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23). “Holiness,” Thomas Boston maintained, “is a constellation of graces.” 14 In gratitude to God, a believer cultivates the fruits of holiness, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22–23)[viii].

Calvin “we learn in what the perfection of the Christian life consists — in love and pure holiness of heart, flowing from faith. He recommends love mutually cherished towards each other, and afterwards towards all, for as it is befitting that a commencement should be made with those that are of the household of faith, (Gal 6:10) so our love ought to go forth to the whole human race. Farther, as the nearer connection must be cherished, so we must not overlook those who are farther removed from us, so as to prevent them from holding their proper place.

He would have the Thessalonians abound in love and be filled with it, because in so far as we make progress in acquaintance with God, the love of the brethren must at the same time increase in us, until it take possession of our whole heart, the corrupt love of self being extirpated. He prays that the love of the Thessalonians may be perfected by God, intimating that its increase, no less than its commencement, was from God alone. The end of the law is love, says Paul, (1Ti 1:5) yet he himself declares that it is a work of God. When, therefore, God marks out our life, he does not look to what we can do, but requires from us what is above our strength, that we may learn to ask from him power to accomplish it. Your hearts blameless in holiness: The heart must be made holy first. The devil wants us to develop a holy exterior while neglecting the interior, like whitewashed tombs, full of death (Mat. 23:27).”

“The unceasing and steady aim of every Christian should be perfection — perfection in all things and in his submission to the will of God. No man can be a Christian who does not sincerely desire it, and who does not constantly aim at it. No man is a friend of God who can acquiesce in a state of sin and who is satisfied and contented that he is not as holy as God is holy. And any man who has no desire to be perfect and who does not make it his daily and constant aim to be perfect, may settle it down as demonstrably certain that he has no true religion.” — Barnes.

12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness

Love . That’s where the Lord is taking us in Holiness. Love to one another who are Christians, and love towards others in our world, even those who hate us.

The Lord Jesus said Matthew 5: 43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Perfection, Holiness is found in LOVE!

Phocus was a gardener who lived at Sinope, on the Black Sea, who used his crops to feed the poor and also aided persecuted Christians. During the persecutions of Diocletian he provided hospitality to the soldiers who were sent to execute him. The soldiers, not knowing that their host was their intended victim, agreed to his hospitality. Phocas also offered to help them find the person who they sought.

As the soldiers slept, Phocas dug his own grave and also prayed fervently. In the morning, when the soldiers awoke, Phocas revealed his identity. The soldiers hesitated and offered to report to their commander that their search had been fruitless. Phocas refused this offer and bared his neck. He was then decapitated and buried in the grave that he had dug for himself.

Could you love your enemies like that?

God is taking you to a destiny: HEAVEN
God is working to change you HOLINESS .. and that Holiness is LOVE!!!

God is our only Hope of getting there.

We need His HELP.


The Divine Design Is Help

We crave Love.

Marilyn Monroe, foster care one lady in a happy mood whilst putting makeup on, dabbed her with her rouge puffer. Marilyn Monroe said “for that moment I felt loved by her”

We crave Love. And our lives are not over filled with love.

And that love can be found eternally and powerfully in Jesus.

One of the beuties of this passage is it reminds us; may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.

Wesley reminds us that it is the overflowing abounding love of the Lord Jesus that flows into our hearts and out to others. It was Keith Green who wrote

I found it hard to believe Someone like you cared for me
You put this love in my heart I tried but could not refuse
You gave me no time to choose You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go When I'm depressed and I get down so low
And then I see you coming to me and it's alright

I want to tell you right now I'm not afraid to say how You put this love in my heart
There are sometimes when I doubt But you always find me out You put this love in my heart

'Cause when I see all that you've done for me It's hard to doubt, I just have to believe
'Cause you followed and proved it all of your life

Well I know The loneliness I had before Is gone now I'll never feel it anymore 'Cause your love has released me
From all that's in my past and I know I can believe you When you say I'll never be forsaken Your love is gonna last

There's so much more I should say If I could just find a way
You put this love in my heart
Is all this real or a dream I feel so good I could scream You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go When I'm depressed and I get down so low And then I see you coming to me and it's alright

You put this love in my heart You put this love in my heart You put this love in my heart

Wesley writes;

“A heart in every thought renewed, And full of Love divine,

Perfect and right and pure and good A copy, Lord of thine.

“Give me a new, a perfect heart, From doubt and fear and sorrow free,

The mind which was in Christ impart, And let my spirit cleave to thee.”

And every virtue we possess, And every conquest won, And every thought of holiness, Are His alone.

Are you growing in Holiness?

Are you prepared for Heaven?

Are you growing in Love?

Are you drawing upon the Lord’s help to be all He intends you should be?

We need love. We need to give out that love. Is your life full of love?

[i] The Marrow of Theology, trans. and ed. John D. Eusden (1629; Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1968), 77.

Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1978), 13–14.

[ii] Otto, R, The Idea of the Holy, trans. J. W. Harvey (London: Oxford University Press, 1946).

[iii] Charnock,S The Existence and Attributes of God (repr. Evansville, Indiana: Sovereign Grace, 1958), 449.

[iv] The Works of the Rev. John Howe (1848; repr. Ligonier, Pennsylvania: Soli Deo Gloria,1990), 2:59

[v] The Works of Jonathan Edwards (1834; repr. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 1:101; cf. R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House, 1985).

[vi] Finlayson,R.A., The Holiness of God (Glasgow: Pickering and Inglis, 1955), 4.

[vii][vii] Bonar, H, God’s Way of Holiness (repr. Pensacola, Florida: Mt. Zion Publications, 1994), 16.

[viii] Cf. George Bethune, The Fruit of the Spirit (1839; repr. Swengel, Pennsylvania: Reiner,1972); W. E. Sangster, The Pure in Heart: A Study of Christian Sanctity (London: EpworthPress, 1954); John W. Sanderson, The Fruit of the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972);

Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Holiness: Every Christian’s Calling (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1985).

Friday, May 09, 2014


Multiply Studies 19-24



Multiply: We will be doing a study on the book Multiply—you can download it for free here:

Invest & Invite

Host a Movie night!

Multiply #19 Understanding the New Testament

Jesus the Messiah Read Mark 1

What are some of the answers people in our culture give to Jesus’s question “Who do you say that I am?” Why are these answers inadequate?

Why is it important to understand that Jesus was fully human and fully God? How should this reality shape the way you think and speak about Him?

What does Mark 1 indicate that Jesus has power over?

Why is it important to recognize that Jesus was fulfilling the promises and prophecies made in the Old Testament?

Based on what you studied in the session on the kingdom of God in the Old Testament, why is Jesus’s proclamation of the kingdom of God important? Mark 1:15

How should the concept of the kingdom of God and the reality of Jesus as the King affect your daily life now?

Carefully read Ephesians 2:1–10 and Colossians 2:13–15.

What do these passages say about the significance of Jesus’s death and resurrection?

Read Acts 3:18–21. How did the early apostles present persuasively that Jesus is the Messiah? Why was this important? Is it important to present this today?








Multiply: We will be doing a study on the book Multiply—you can download it for free here:

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Host a Movie night!

Multiply #20 The Great Commission

Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18–20)

Read Luke 24 and Acts 1:1–11. As you read, place yourself in the scene and try to feel the significance of these events. How do the circumstances surrounding the Great Commission add significance to Jesus’s words?

We can get so caught up in our own personal relationships with God that we forget to think about the global implications of the Great Commission. Why is it important to see the mission of the church as a global calling? Revelation 7:9-17

Why do you think Jesus would give us the strategy of disciple making as the means for accomplishing our mission on earth?

Take a minute to consider the significance of baptism. Write down some thoughts below. If you have been baptized, include some reflections on your own experience with baptism.

What role should teaching play in our Christian lives and in the life of the church? And why?

Most likely, you already believe that God’s presence is with you as you seek to honor Him in this world. But take some time to meditate on that simple truth: “I am with you always.” How should this statement affect your daily life and the way you view your God-given mission?

Have you ever tried to follow Jesus apart from the power of the Holy Spirit? Why is this approach bound to end in frustration?

Given your specific setting, what would it look like to pursue the Great Commission through the power of the Spirit?









Multiply: We will be doing a study on the book Multiply—you can download it for free here:

Invest & Invite

Have friends over for dessert!

Multiply #21 The Spirit of God

Consider the significance of the promise of the Holy Spirit in Ezekiel 36:25–27. Explain why this promise is so important in the history of redemption.

How should seeing the Holy Spirit as a person and as God Himself change the way you relate to Him?

Read Acts 2 carefully. As you read, pay attention to two things: (1) references to Old Testament truths and promises and (2) references to the Holy Spirit. What references do you see in Peter’s sermon to some of the key concepts you studied in the Old Testament sessions?

What does this passage say about the Holy Spirit? How was the Holy Spirit working at this significant moment in redemption history? John 16:5-15

Read Romans 7 and 8. What does Paul’s comparison of these two ways of living say about the role of the Holy Spirit and our need for Him?

How have you seen the Spirit of God working in the life of your church?

How are you partnering with other members of the body of Christ to be used by the Spirit in fulfilling God’s mission on earth?








Multiply: We will be doing a study on the book Multiply—you can download it for free here:

Invest & Invite

Have friends over for dessert!

Multiply #22 The Early Church

Read Acts 2:42–47 slowly. After you read it, spend a few minutes meditating on what characterized this group of people. What stands out to you?

Why do you think the early church devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching? What implications does that have for the church today?

Why was fellowship so important for the early church? Why is it important for the church today?

In your own words, describe why the Lord’s Supper is significant.

Does communion carry this significance in your church? Why or why not?

Explain why prayer is essential to the life and mission of the church.

What would a devotion to prayer look like in the life of your church?

Read 1 Corinthians 12. How should Paul’s analogy of the church as a body affect the way we think about the church? In what ways are we more than individuals? Does the life of your church look anything like the body that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 12? How so? If not, why do you think this is?

What do you find most compelling about the way the book of Acts describes the life of the early church?

Does your church possess the compelling characteristics of being Generous, Holy, Fearless, and Multiplying? If so, briefly describe them and thank God for them. If not, why do you think these characteristics are lacking?

What do you think the Holy Spirit would want your church to do in an effort to fulfill the church’s mission in your unique setting?










Multiply: We will be doing a study on the book Multiply—you can download it for free here:

Invest & Invite

Have friends over for dessert!

Multiply #23 Good News for All Nations

How should God’s heart as revealed in the Old Testament and in Jesus’s ministry affect the way we think about and relate to those people who seem “unreachable”?

After He rose from the grave, Jesus announced to His disciples that the Holy Spirit would empower them so that they could be His witnesses “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The rest of the book of Acts explains how this played out, beginning with the growth of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 2) and ending with Paul’s proclamation of the gospel from prison in Rome (Acts 28).

Read Acts 15. How is the global aspect of God’s plan of redemption demonstrated in this passage?

Take a minute to meditate on Galatians 3:28–29. Why do you think Paul made such a big deal about the relationship between Jews and Gentiles?

What does it mean to be a “fisher of men”? Is there anything about your life that would identify you as a “fisher of men”? If so, what? If not, what can you do to grow in this area?

How would you describe your church’s attitude toward and participation in spreading the gospel to all nations? How might you encourage your church to work toward this end?

What is your own involvement with missions? Are you at all involved in going, sending, training, supplying, praying, etc.? What changes might you need to make to this area of your life? Would you consider going on a short term or long term mission?

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9–10)

Are we a multicultural church and what does that mean for us? Ephesians 2:11-22








Multiply: We will be doing a study on the book Multiply—you can download it for free here:

Invest & Invite

Have friends over for a meal! Show a DVD

Multiply #24 The End of the Story

Therefore [because of Jesus’s obedience and sacrifice] God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9–11)

Have you done much studying or thinking on how and when the world will end? If so, what has been your impression of the end times? If not, why do you think you haven’t approached this issue in the past?

Read Romans 8:18–25. How does this promise affect your view of the world?

Read Revelation 1. Based on this description of Jesus, how will Jesus in His second coming be different from in His first coming?

Read Revelation 21–22. As you read this beautiful description of the New Creation, don’t get caught up in trying to interpret every detail. Instead, try to picture and feel the beauty and peace of the scene that awaits us. What stands out to you most from reading this account?

Based on what you read in Revelation 21–22 and what you read and discussed in the session on creation, how will God’s new creation reflect the reality of God’s initial creation before the fall? How will it be better?

How should the promise of judgment at Jesus’s return affect the way we think about and interact with the non-Christians in our lives?

Is there anyone in your life whom you need to be more purposeful in reaching out to? If so, spend some time asking the Holy Spirit to give you confidence and wisdom in reaching out to this person with the gospel.

Read 2 Peter 3:8-14 How should the end of the story affect the way we live today? Be as specific to your own situation as possible.

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