Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: All, Church, Discipleship, Fellowship, Forgiveness, Kingdom of Heaven, Vision | Tags: annointing, C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Church, Dean Rush, Disciple, Ephesians 4, family, forgiveness, Jesus Christ, Unity | No Comments »
Psalm 133:1-3 ESV
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
- Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
Unity is good and pleasant because unity is a great place to be. It is almost so rare in the world to find unity that when you do it is a big deal! As New Zealanders we are not great at this; we are a nation of individuals. But we need to find unity!
This is where God wants us to be. And it is also where you want to be. It sure beats the alternative; division. If you have this ability to upset everyone, no matter where you go; it’s time to change. If everywhere you go, you seem to be in opposition in the team; it is time to change. Everybody has been through an experience of division, whether it is in a family, a workplace, club or church and it’s not a fun experience.
Get a spirit of unity. How? People in unity find agreement.
Amos 3:3 NLT
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?
It doesn’t mean we have to agree about everything; but we have to focus on what we can agree on – rather than our differences
These three will do;
1. Jesus is Lord
2. The world needs God
3. We can do something about it
If we could fully unite on these ideas we could change the world. Don’t look for disagreement, don’t be a disagreeable personality. There is always someone in a group who focuses on the negative, just don’t be that guy. Negativity is not a compelling quality.
- It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes
Oil on the head speaks of; Calling, Favor and Authority. Oil was put on the head of those selected by God, e.g. God chose David to be King and Samuel poured oil on his head. Anointing is for those God has chosen, those God has favored and for those God has given authority. When God sees unity he places his annointing, his favor amd his authority on those people. We are a people and a place that need God’s anointing, favor and authority!
We can’t be the church without it. We can’t reach the city without it. So for God’s sake, let’s live in unity. If you are in unity with God’s people that Anointing, Favor and Authority will flow into your life.
There are huge benefits to coming together into unity. Let’s seek it and celebrate unity in the house
- It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
Mt Hermon is the highest point in Israel (2814 metres). It has snow-capped peaks. It was a place of worship and a place of refreshing. Unity is a high place. The high places were for worship and sacrifice.
Being in unity refreshes your life. Life is no fun when you are fighting all the time. A united church is where you can worship God and have a mountain top experience.
- For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
In the place of unity God commands his blessing. And we need the blessing of God. Without his blessing we are on our own. Too many people are struggling off on their own. They need the blessing of God and the blessing of God’s people. God’s blessing makes the difference.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Posted: August 10th, 2012 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Children, Church, Discipleship, Fellowship, Forgiveness, Kingdom of Heaven, Leadership, Marriage, Overcoming | Tags: C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Dean Rush, Discipleship, family, forgiveness, Loyalty, marriage, relationship | No Comments »
Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
A Cornell University study said people had an average of 229 Facebook friends but only 2 close friends and some in the study had none. We have all these so called ‘friends,’ but do you have anyone you could really turn to in a time of great need?
A friend to all is a friend to none. – Aristotle.
Too often this is what is happening for people; they are friends with everyone but are a quality friend to no one. Your friends should be those you could call in your day of trouble. Too many people have no one to call. They have unreliable friends.
The kingdom of God is about relationship. You can’t get in without a relationship and once we are in, God wants us to be connected and in the family.
There are four key relationships that we need to have in place to have a successful life;
1. Relationship with God
Deuteronomy 6: 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Number one and first priority of your life should be a relationship with God.
Deuteronomy 4:35 Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him.
Exodus 20: 3 You shall have no other gods before me.
Some people these days live for all other kinds of priorities. For many it is money first. For some it is family first. How can you put family or anything else before a relationship with God? How can you do your life well without being in right relationship with God?
Sometimes young couples can mess up their lives by making each other first priority (that is way too intense). No one can fulfill your needs except God himself.
Some parents make it all about the kids. They drop out of church and eventually God and then find their kids end up with no connection to God.
Marriage, family and life works best with God on the throne. Make God your first priority
2. Relationship with our Families
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
Work on a great marriage. Many people can’t get on with their partner and end up alone. Which would you rather?
Marriage is a gift from God – cherish it. Look after it, Invest into it, let it develop. Keep having fun together. Deal with problems. Don’t sweep them under the carpet, confront them and get them sorted.
Men – have a vision for your marriage. Girls want to know the relationship is going somewhere; if they feel there is a great future together they will follow with passion.
Don’t let your marriage get boring, do something exciting. It’s God’s gift – enjoy it
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Train your kids. Don’t be so PC and let them do whatever they want. Invest into them; they need to learn about your values and faith. Build a great relationship with them
My parents put a value for The kingdom of God into my life and when I rebelled as a young person I just couldn’t get away from this value – from the call of God.
Bring your whole family into the house of God – let them find God together.
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother” , “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Make sure you honor your parents no matter what they are like. You can honor their position in your life without having to honor their behaviour. Don’t be out of sorts with your parents, if you want life to go well with you, sort it out.
Families need a lot of forgiveness. Start now. You be the bigger person. We have access to the love of God, there is no excuse to have unforgiveness in your life.
Get a fresh vision for your family
3. Relationship with a Leader
Mark 6:34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith.
Paul was a leader that became like a father to Timothy – it helped him shift from a timid young leader to become the pastor of the world’s first mega churches in Ephesus. Everyone needs a leader in their life. Without it you will never reach your full potential.
Most people live their life without any kind of leadership. Many have life long issues with authority figures and then they miss out on the power of a mentor speaking into their life. A leader will make a great difference in your life.
Get around a leader and let them help lift you to another level
4. Relationship with close friends
You haven’t got time for a thousand friends
Ralph Waldo Emerson said more than 140 years ago that “friendship should be surrounded with ceremonies and respects, and not crushed into corners. Friendship requires more time than poor busy men can usually command.”
You need a few key friendships;
…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Everyone needs a friend like this. These are people you will journey through life with. You have to go deep with each other. Open up your lives.
Go through the good and the bad. Don’t get offended. Just keep going together – forgive, commit, turn up, go the extra mile.
These relationships take time – be willing to invest. They are what life is all about – God, family & some great friends
The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend. ~Aristotle
I am blessed to have some friends who are closer than brothers. God has been good to me. If you stick around and go deep, he will be good to you.
If you get these four areas of relationships sorted in your life, it will go well for you, you will be connected.
This is God’s pathway for Christian life
Posted: June 20th, 2012 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Church, Discipleship, Faith, Fellowship, Forgiveness, Overcoming | Tags: C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Dean Rush, forgiveness, Loyalty, overcoming disappointment | No Comments »
In the movie Gladiator, Maximus says these great lines to the Gladiators as they get ready to face their death in the arena;
Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance or survival if we work together
If we stay together we survive
Lock your shields – stay as one
This is good advice for those of us following Christ
If we stay together we survive
God wants his church to stay together
Acts 2: 44
“And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common.”
1. For the sake of our God who gave so much to purchase his church – Stay together
Hebrews 12: 2
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame.”
The joy set before him was seeing his church established and rising up to reach a lost world
He desires that we come together in his name
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place,
Our whole duty is contained in these words, “Love together.” – Latimer
That’s what real community looks like
Let’s join together to become a mighty community of faith
2. For the sake of this world – Stay together
“The world needs the church to survive and do it’s job
The church is the hope of the world.” – Bill Hybels
While this world can attack us and make fun of us, they actually need us to get it right and to have something to offer them for when something goes wrong in people’s lives.
Ephesians 3:10 declares that God’s intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.
The world desperately needs a functioning Christian community to bring a message of faith, hope and love – to show the world another way to live.
“Man is a being born to believe. And if no church comes forward with its title-deeds of truth to guide him, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.” – Benjamin Disraeli
3. For the sake of your own lives – Stay together
We need each other or we become religious, cynical, dry and crusty.
We cannot create a community of faith that will reach the world unless we commit to community and to each other
You say “well I’m here” – here is not enough – God doesn’t just want your attendance – he wants your heart.
To build a community that will change the world we need to buy in at a heart level
I invite you to be part of this community – it’s going to be costly, it’s not always going to be easy – but it has power to change your life and touch the world
God wants you to be part of it.
Ephesians 2: 19 – 22
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Posted: December 12th, 2011 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Forgiveness | Tags: C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Dean Rush, forgiveness, freedom, Inspiration, Jesus Christ, The power of forgiveness | No Comments »
1. Forgiveness allows you to receive God’s forgiveness
Matthew 6:14 – 15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Un-forgiveness will separate you from God
The unforgiving heart clings to the past, refusing to extend to others what our heavenly Father has extended to us
Too many Christians see salvation as a cover all for their lifestyle – and go on doing whatever they want
Christ has a prescribed a lifestyle for Christians and one of the cornerstones is forgiveness
Jesus says if you do not forgive then God will not forgive you
The kingdom life is one of forgiveness – it should be happening in our life daily
2. Forgiveness release the anger in your life
Why are there so many angry Christians? Because so many choose to live with un-forgiveness
In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold
For some people it’s been way too many nights of the sun going down on their anger
What are you so angry about – get a fresh revelation of what God has planned for you
If you practice forgiveness – you wont be an angry person
As you forgive – it releases all the anger in you
If you are holding un-forgiveness you will lose your peace and peace is God’s gift to us
We have forgotten that one of our distinctives is forgiveness
If you find yourself getting angry – you will probably find there is some un-forgiveness hanging around in your life – get rid of it!!
3. Forgiveness lightens the load
Forgiveness liberates the soul Nelson Mandela – Invictus
Un-forgiveness is a burden you were not created to carry
You see people carrying this heavy burden – it makes them sad and negative about life
You can feel that when you are with a person struggling with un-forgiveness
It is a bitter heavy atmosphere that they create, weighed down by the worries of life
You just need to release the burden
Why are you carrying around that junk? Will you forgive and be released?
4. Forgiveness sets you free
Galatians 5: 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Take your freedom in Jesus name
In Turkey in 2010 I had a powerful experience at Gallipoli
I Stood at the waters of Anzac cove –where so many men gave their lives to take the beach
On Chunack bair where kiwis took the hill against the odds at the cost of hundreds of lives
One of the details that really impacted me was the act of forgiveness shown by the Turkish leader Ataturk (who was the leader of the Turkish army in Gallipoli & went on to be the national leader)
There is a huge sign at Gallipoli of a quote by Ataturk
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.. You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now living in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well. Ataturk
That statement set Turkey on a course of forgiveness & reconciliation
They have respected the fallen by creating amazing memorials for each nation at Gallipoli
They could have held on to the offended – But forgiveness changes everything
We killed their people but they forgave us and have embraced us
This is the power of forgiveness
The ultimate act of forgiveness was Jesus Christ
Who willingly came to earth – to walk in our shoes – to feel our pain – to sacrifice his life to win our freedom – the power of forgiveness purchased our lives
We need to forgive – today lets forgive and be forgiven
Posted: December 11th, 2009 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: All, Forgiveness | Tags: C3 Church, Dean Rush, forgiveness, John 8love, Tiger Woods | 1 Comment »
An angry mob hauls a woman in before Jesus – they throw her on the dirt in front of him
They are self righteous, proud – this woman has sinned and they are going to make her pay
They demand that she be punished by the law of Moses
Stoning was the punishment of choice and they were gathered around the woman with stones in hand
Why is it that some of God’s people want to throw stones?
These were the teachers of the law & the Pharisees – they should have known God better than this – but they didn’t
John 8: 6 – 11 Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Just like the Pharisees we can be the ones carrying the stones
Maybe you are carrying a few stones – maybe people have done something wrong in your eyes – and you think they deserve to pay
Jesus said you without sin throw the first stone – who are we to be throwing stones at each other – we who have been forgiven such a great debt
The world loves to take people down – Tiger Woods has sinned and the media vultures are flocking
The world might be like this – but not us – we are meant to be the people who forgive
Jesus demonstrates his extravagant love and forgiveness by releasing this woman
He also demonstrates it by forgiving and releasing you and I
We need to drop the stones and forgive one another!