Sunday 13 May 2012

C3 Encounters 2012: God is manifested in who you are

Easy on the ears
Later this week for three full days our church will have a conference bringing together members from all around Europe to Amsterdam.
One thing I like about our movement is its international youthful and vibrant approach to things of Christianity that explores how people can get to live their best life.
Our conferences do not have the razzmatazz titles of a James Bond film or the thriller of a science-fiction flick with all the suspense of other-worldliness that sometimes presents from the usual Pentecostal fare, they are easy of the senses and approachable by all – the mother church in Australia held Presence just over a month ago and here in Amsterdam where our church was planted just about 12 years ago we will have Encounters 2012.
Last Sunday and this Sunday we have had sermons preached by the resident pastor Steven Warren and the C3 Europe Director Simon McIntyre encouraging us to make the best of Encounters have a life-changing encounter with God that could do wonders for who we are and where we are.
Of personalities and relationships
Pastor Simon McIntyre gave a talk on encounters based on II Samuel 22:26-27 (NLT)
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
    to those with integrity you show integrity.
27 To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
In context, as we believe in a God that never changes the reality is God meets people at the point that they relate to him.
The first example he gave was of King David who wrote Psalm 23 which begins with “The Lord is My Shepherd.” He could well relate because David before he became king was a shepherd boy, he knew what it took to herd sheep, to corral them and protect them danger as well as the apparent dumbness of sheep which presents itself in their getting lost, falling into ravines or being prey to predators.
In the same vein, he could see God as his shepherd, protecting him from danger and even being forgiving if he had done really foolish and dumb things.
Besides, David was also a warrior and there are many Psalms that talk of war, of enemies, of defeat, of despair, of courage, of victory and of praise. The characteristics and character of David in his personality allowed him to relate to God in the context of what he knew and who he was.
Relationships by reason of who you are
Then came Moses whose defence of the Jews before he was called to lead them on the Exodus from slavery in Egypt, he was driven by a sense of justice and that sometimes drove him to task rash decisions in the pursuit of justice. He always argued his case before God many times sometimes persuading God from His wrath against the people of Israel and at other times having his arguments defeated.
The then became the law-giver and most of what represents the pursuit of justice today derives from Mosaic Law and its application to society.
With Joshua who succeeded Moses, his role was to lead the children of Israel to take the Promised Land and as the head of the army he stood to challenge anyone who came within to the camp.
He was fearless when he saw a man stood over him with his sword drawn that he asked if he was friend or foe and as the man answered that he was the captain of the hosts of the Lord, Joshua immediately the man of superior rank as he fell to his face and worship as should be expected of army hierarchies – that was how he could relate.
Connecting with the best of you
Then Pastor Simon talked about the lives of Pastor Phil Pringle the leader of the C3 movement and himself signifying that Pastor Phil came from a hippie culture where what he knew was about experience and atmosphere and his ministry has always reflected experience, presence, encounter, deliverance, relationships and leadership.
Pastor Simon is a different personality, more methodical, quite introspective, processing thoughts and ideas before he made decisions. Though, he took his time to fall in line in obedience, he was at the time that he did fully persuaded of the reasons why he made the decisions he made and that is what has been reflected in his ministry.
The essence of the message shared today was clear, we do not need to imitate other are attempt to copy the personalities of others in wanting to relate to God.
We should be ourselves and in being ourselves in the knowledge of who we are and what we know we find that our encounters with God are fulfilling and worthwhile because our being is fully connected with who made us who we are – warts and all.
God is by your makeup
To take the Message version of the text of the sermon today, this is what it boils down to.
26-28 You stick by people who stick with you,
      you're straight with people who're straight with you,
   You're good to good people,
      you shrewdly work around the bad ones.
   You take the side of the down-and-out,
      but the stuck-up you take down a peg.
Whoever you are is what will become the conduit of your relationship with God, it good without saying that you want to express your best characteristics and virtues the more and make less of the uncomely parts of your personality that will represent God to you as hostile – not because He is hostile but because you have clogged up the conduit to God’s goodness with the wrong attitude, wickedness and lack of responsiveness to His great love.
The Encounters 2012 conference is on from Thursday the 17th of May through the 19th of May 2012, I am expectant and ready for a great experience, I will be a better person of me to get linked in with God’s purpose for me and this will be an encounter that will make a difference for me.
Join us, if you can – click on the link above for details to attend the whole conference or just to visit a day session.

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