211. The Father’s Hug

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

FATHERLESSBehold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite their land with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6).

There is a curse, in the world, and the curse is fatherlessness: for some, not even knowing that they have a father. For others, that the father they do know does not match up to the fullness of God’s intention. God wants us to know Him as a real Father and wants us to feel loved and accepted as His real children. He is releasing His Spirit to turn the world back to Him, in an outpouring that embraces who we are as God’s children and releases that out to the world in an experiential and practical way, so that everyone can experience His love.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Abide in My love (John 15:9).

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).

This is Jesus’ call to us to live in His love, and it has to be practical. It has to work: as God loves us then we love each other.

My testimony

I want to share briefly from my testimony, from my journey in which I have come to know something deeper about the heart of God.

With my natural dad, I didn’t know love, affection, affirmation, approval, encouragement: really no fathering at all. Even while he was there physically, emotionally he wasn’t; and then he physically left too, leaving a big hole on the inside of me. Not knowing what a father should be, I just thought that was what fathers were like, because I didn’t know any better.

So when I became a Christian I didn’t have a relationship with God as Father. I knew Jesus, because Jesus died on the cross for me. And I know He was supposed to be my Lord. So I knew Him as Lord, but ‘Father’? – it didn’t even compute. It wasn’t that I struggled with it. I didn’t even know that God could be my Father: it was such an alien concept to me. When I was baptised in the Spirit it was like liquid love poured into me. It was an amazing experience. Yet although I felt called to something because I felt love, I still didn’t know where it was from.

The Father’s hug

My first real encounter of the love of God as Father was in a time of worship. It was like God came and put His arms around me and hugged me. I knew that was the Father’s hug. I just felt it in my spirit. Now that really challenged me: how could that be a father? And I suddenly started to realise more about fatherhood. I had a revelation of the truth that God was not like my earthly father. Now you might think that’s really simple but actually you don’t know it, until you know it.

And I had a revelation of that. God started to work that in me, but I needed ministry, I needed help,  because I could not break through into this whole area. So I had some ministry sessions, and God gave me a picture. It was a picture of a photograph, a real photograph that was in our kitchen when I was growing up. It was a photograph of me sat on my dad’s knee. It just hit me like a ton of bricks that this was a posed picture, a sham that never actually happened in reality. And it really, really got to me emotionally. In fact my whole relationship with my earthly father was a total sham.

Forgive and Release

Emotionally it was a really hard thing to do, and I had to really choose to do it as an act of will, but it caused me to choose to forgive him and release him from not being a real dad to me.

It was hard, because I didn’t want to do it: it suddenly hit me that he didn’t deserve it, that he had screwed me over for years – that’s literally how I felt. It really hit me hard. I didn’t let those emotions out right then, but I chose to forgive and release him, and God enabled me to go and see him and give him a hug. He did not know what to do, he stood there frozen as I gave him a hug and told him I loved him. He didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t have a problem with that because I knew the reason was that he’d never been loved by his own father. But when I chose to forgive him, it opened up a whole different relationship with God for me.

Now that was back in the early 1990’s. Then, just before we moved here in 1994, we had a series of meetings in the Castle Centre in the town. One evening I had come up and I was doing some teaching as a prelude to setting up the church. We had a time of worship and all the emotion I hadn’t been able to let out from this whole thing with my dad all of a sudden just spilled out like a torrent. I wailed and I wailed and I wailed on the floor, and all the emotions flooded out. I realised it had all been stored up inside me, and at the end of it I was glad it was gone. That was a powerful experience.

Encounter

Then about a year or so later, I had what I now know was my first encounter in heaven. Again, it was in a time of worship, and Mike Collins played this note on his saxophone, and it just took me into heaven. God took me on his knee, just like in that sham photograph with my earthly father, but this time gave me a real experience of what it was to be bounced on a father’s knee and played with. It restored something deeper again of the relationship I had missed with my father. God is a great God and wants to restore us.

A father-wound

But in spite of all this, years later when I was on a 40-day fast, going into heaven and seeing God and meeting with Him for 2 weeks, it was Jesus and the Holy Spirit I was meeting with, not the Father. Then Jesus came to me and said: “You need to meet with the Father”. I knew in my own heart I needed to meet with the Father, and yet I couldn’t. Then Jesus showed me a big scar that went right over my heart. I was looking down at this wound and He said, “you have a father-wound.”

And I started to argue: “I’ve forgiven my father. I’ve done everything I can.” He said again, “You have a father-wound.” He spoke to me in that encounter and told me He loved me over and over and over again. And each time He said loved me and I received it, that wound began to disappear bit by bit until it was completely gone. It took about 45 minutes in earthly time (I don’t know how long it took in heavenly time) but it just went on and on, because He just would not relent until that wound was gone. And it went.

Back to zero

Since then my whole intimacy with my heavenly Father has been restored. I hang out with Him in His garden, He hangs out with me in the garden of my own heart. Now that was just the wounds being healed. You see, I might have been minus 60 on a woundedness scale, and some people are a lot worse than that, if they have experienced real abuse from their earthly fathers and others. But although all my wounds were healed, that just brought me back to zero on the scale. I didn’t want to be zero. Zero is better than being minus 60, but I wanted to be on the plus side!

Intimacy

I still needed to be fathered. What was it to be fathered? I did not know because I had never been fathered. So then I had to learn, how does God father me? I had an encounter with Him one morning and I was talking to Him, but I felt something was missing: I didn’t feel intimate. And He spoke to me and asked me “Why do you feel that?”

I struggled to explain, “Because I don’t feel it felt intimate”. He said “Well, what is intimacy?” Now I was looking for the kind of experiences that other people had described. I was looking for intimacy to have all the ‘warm and fuzzies’, and to feel lovely (and actually, sometimes you do get that, which is great).

But God said “When is it you really feel alive? When do you really feel close to me?” So I thought about it. “When You are talking to me and You’re sharing Your heart with me and when You are revealing the Word to me”. He said “That’s me fathering you.” It totally freaked me out to think that I didn’t have to have a relationship like anybody else’s or experience what other people said intimacy was. I could just be me.

And for me, with my redemptive gift, God’s love language to me is sharing with me and just having quality time with Him, quality time in which we just get to hang out together. It doesn’t matter if I feel all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes I just spend an hour with Him and come out of that time with pages of notes, because He has talked to me about stuff. I know He loves me. That is for me what has brought me into a place of freedom. We all need to find the love languages of our Father: how does God love you? What is (or would be) intimacy with Him to you?

Lavished on us

Do you feel like you don’t belong? Do you feel you don’t fit anywhere? Do you still feel like an orphan? Do you feel that no one loves you? Do you still feel rejected? If you do feel any of those things (and others), God wants you to feel His love and acceptance today.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us... (1 John 3:1 NIV)

He wants to lavish His love on you today, so that you will know you’re His child. ‘Lavish’: He wants His love to just overflow, so that it almost seems wasteful, He’s giving us so much love. Another version says:

See what an incredible quality of love the Father has given, shown us, bestowed on us, that we should be given, and named and called and counted the children of God (1 John 3:1 AMP).

prodigal

We are called children of God, and that is who we really are. God’s desire for us is intimacy with Him. The story of the prodigal son is a story of reconciliation back to the Father, and He wants us to experience that reconciliation and restoration of relationship today; not as a slave, or a servant, but as a son, with the full rights of sonship.

I believe that just like the father in that story, God wants to meet you with a hug. If you need a hug from the Father today, come to Him. If maybe you have never embraced the Father in a personal way, take that step today. He wants to hug you, and tell you how much He loves you, as His child. And allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, to shed that love abroad in your heart, so that you feel accepted, valued and appreciated; so that you feel loved.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

SoundTrack (also from 1994)

We are the Fatherless – Brian Doerksen

Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott
on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

210. A Beloved Child

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back to the weak and elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? (Gal 4:8-9).

Relationship releases us and empowers us. Religion enslaves us. Are we serving God in order to have a relationship with Him? If we are, we will end up in religious bondage. Or do we serve because of our relationship? That will bring us into life.

Every one of us can come into a relationship with God. It is a free gift of grace. Sadly, though, if we listen to the lies of the enemy, we can be enslaved all over again by going back into religion, back into dead works, trying to please God – and trying to get a relationship with Him (when we already have one) – by what we do.

We serve God not so that we can have a relationship with Him but because we already have a relationship with Him in Christ. We serve from the security of our relationship with Him, so we are co-heirs with Him. We work with Him not for Him. If we are working for God then we will be looking to get something in return. But if we’re working with God, we’re working in partnership with Him and simply enjoying all the blessings that brings.

Who has labelled us?

Who has given us our identity? Who has labelled us? What labels have people put on us? Parents, siblings, friends? Authority figures, society? What has labelled us – and do we still believe the label? How do we label ourselves? Is it according to our past and what other people say? Or is it according to what God says about us?

If we label ourselves ‘sons’ then we will think, feel and act like sons. If we give ourselves some other label then we’ll think, feel and act the way we labelled ourselves instead. Who are we agreeing with? With God, or with what other people say?

Identity

Where do we get our identity from? From what we do? From our work? How do you introduce yourself? I’m a doctor, I’m a housewife, I’m a cleaner… If your identity is so tied up with what you do that you cannot separate it, then what you do has power over you.

Some of us will get our identity from relationships, with a father, mother or husband, wife, friend… Those relationships can define us. People join clubs – or even gangs – because they are looking for identity. They are looking to belong. Whereas, in God, we already belong.

Culture itself can provide our identity. I am British, and British people have a reputation for being stiff-upper-lipped. Is that who I am? We can adopt those traits and it can affect how we are, when we could be seeing and hearing what God says about us and getting our identity from Him.

Too often people base their identities on what they do, on anything from their jobs to their roles in relationships and their pursuits, and by doing so they significantly limit their lives. The truth is God intends for all people to find their identity in Christ. That is where we will find the truth of who we are and embrace it.

Abundance

Mark Driscoll says, “if you’re a Christian, your identity encompasses all the abundance of being a beloved child of God”. It encompasses the abundance, the overflow… everything it means to be a child of God. But our spirit has to grow and overrule the soul. It must overrule everything that has told us who we are, everything that has naturally defined us, so that our spirit decrees who we are, based on what God says. Then we can live in the truth of that identity and revelation of who we are and why we are here, and we can start living our lives fully in Christ.

Blessed

You are saved from punishment; you are reconciled to God; you are accepted as a child of God; you are adopted into His family. You are a saint not a sinner;  you’re blessed; you have a new spiritual identity as a son and an heir. Believe it. Start thinking that way, start meditating on that. Start embracing what God says about you!

By virtue of our adoption we have been given a new name, as a son not a slave, a new legal standing and status. Accepted; no longer alienated nor condemned. A new family relationship: God is our Father, no longer our Judge. A new image: the image of Christ. these are awesome things that God has done for us.

Destiny

Knowing your identity is absolutely key to knowing and fulfilling your destiny. Because if you don’t experientially know who you are (that means actually know it by experience, not just know about it), then how can you know what belongs to you and what you are called to do? See, if you were the son of the Queen of England but you were taken as a baby and put into another family, you would never know who you really were. And we have been robbed, we were taken into captivity, so (even though we have now been released) we have never known the fullness of who we really are.

But God is revealing to us in these days who we really are as His children; what sons really do in the kingdom of God; and what our inheritance really is in that kingdom.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott
on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

209. The Right to Become Children of God

Royal Coat of Arms of the United KingdomMike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

God the Father sent Jesus to ‘redeem those who were in bondage to sin’, to buy us back from slavery. He set us free, but it does not stop there – we are then adopted into His royal family, and become His heirs. In that family relationship we find acceptance, affection, affirmation, approval – and unlimited access to our Father, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit.

The right to become children of God

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

Everyone reading this has the right to become a child of God if they believe and accept Jesus. That is astonishing! Everything we have done in our past can be overcome because of Jesus’ death on the cross.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God (1 John 3:1)

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16).

That word ‘know’ means ‘experience’. If God is love, and God is in us, then love is in us, and we can experience it for ourselves. In fact we can live in it, every moment of every day.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children (Rom 8:14).

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God (Gal 4:7).

An inheritance for you

You have become a son of a Father who has an inheritance for you. Not only that, but He has released that inheritance to you so that you can experience the fullness of that relationship. That relationship of intimacy in sonship is something He has always wanted and planned for each of us:

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Eph 1:5).

Slaves and orphans struggle with the fear of trusting, and therefore live a life of independence. If we cannot trust anyone else, we will feel we are on their own. God does not want us to feel alone. If, because of that fear, we fail to fully grasp that we are sons, then there is no way we will act like sons either.

We may find it hard to trust because of past experience. We have all been hurt, all been damaged, all been let down by people. We may be afraid of being hurt, rejected, or disappointed.  We may suffer from fear of failure, or fear of losing control.

But losing control is the very thing we need to do. We need to surrender control to God, and trust Him to have our best interests at heart. We have to stop being independent, and learn to trust Him as our Father. When we do, we embrace everything He has for us, because he will cause our destiny to be outworked in our lives.

A loving, affectionate Father

You see, salvation does not make us slaves (servile followers of a tyrannical God). That is what religion presents, and it is the lie the devil uses to lead astray so many people who would otherwise escape his clutches and turn to God. No, this great salvation makes us sons (grateful children of a loving, affectionate Father). That is the difference between religion and relationship. Religion will always put us into bondage (the word ‘religion’ even comes from a Latin word meaning ‘bound up’), but relationship will bring us freedom.

To be liberated from slavery is wonderful. But then to be adopted as a son and made a co-heir of the Father’s entire estate is absolutely astounding! If we were to fully understand what it is to have access to the wealth of our Father (and I’m really not talking about money), it would totally transform our lives. Because of our adoption, the nature of our whole relationship with God has radically changed. We are set free from that religious perception of God as a hard taskmaster just looking for every opportunity to punish us, a God we have to somehow try to appease by doing our good works (only to find that nothing we can do is ever quite good enough).

There is no punishment in store for us as His children, just love and acceptance, forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Reserved in heaven for you

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

I hope we all understand by now that ‘reserved in heaven for you’ does not mean that you have to wait until you die to go and enjoy it. Jesus has opened up heaven for us and we are seated there with Him: everything there is for us to discover, and we can walk in that inheritance as sons right now. And God is looking to reveal more and more of what it means to be saved, what it means to be part of His family, what it means to have a relationship with Him.

In the past I have ministered to people who had been adopted, and naturally they can struggle. In spite of much love from the adoptive parents, they can still have a sense of not belonging, of not fitting in (and especially if they come from a different country, race or colour). But when we are adopted by God it is like we have found our eternal home, as if we have come back to how things should always have been. Because that is the reality of it.

Steal and kill and destroy

But (and it is a big ‘but’)…

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy… (John 10:10a AMP).

The enemy, the father of lies, wants to remind us of our past and our history in order to rob us of our present and our future. He wants to rob us of our adoptive inheritance and destroy our relationship with God. Yet Jesus said,

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10b AMP).

Who are we going to listen to? If we are smart, we will listen to Jesus and embrace the fullness of what the Father has destined and provided for us.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott
on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

208. Whose Slave Are You?

sMike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are on a quest, and in a battle, to lay hold of and possess all that God destined for us (and destined us to be). That quest and that battle will lead us into deeper intimacy with God.

Jesus is the firstborn Son, but the Father always desired a larger family.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rom 8:29).

It is my destiny and yours to be His son (this is not about male or female but about our relationship with our Father and our position as heir). Now, it is all very well knowing as a piece of factual information that we are sons, and even knowing in our head that God sees it that way, but the question we must ask ourselves is, do I feel, think, and act like His son? Am I experiencing that, and living it out? And if not why not? If I am not fully embracing everything God says about me and thinks about me, then I need to know what is preventing me so that I can overcome it, and enter in.

A heritage of slavery

We all started out as slaves. Mankind was in slavery because of what our ancestors, Adam and Eve, did in the Garden. Therefore we are all born into slavery, and we are all spiritual orphans, separated from God. Adam and Eve became spiritual orphans because they were ejected and expelled from the Garden, sold into slavery because they chose to follow the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than the pathway of the tree of life that God had designed for them. God wants us to turn away from following the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, to come back and embrace the tree of life. Even good things, if we do not get them from God, can still lead us into slavery.

So because of Adam and Eve’s sin, naturally speaking slavery is our heritage. It affects how we feel and think about ourselves and about God. Keep going that way and we end up with a wounded soul as a result of trying to meet our own needs in the only way we know how – from the world – and our spirit is separated from God and dead to Him. That is what is in our natural family line, and ‘sons of disobedience’ carry on the family tradition.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Eph 2:1-3).

People who do not know God as Father, and do not have a relationship with Him, will carry on in the pattern set up by Adam and Eve. All of us either have lived or do live like that. Yet He never intended any of us to be ‘children of wrath’, and that is why He has made a way for us to live differently.

Whose slave are you?

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Rom 6:16).

Adam and Eve chose to present themselves as slaves to sin, and the result was death, both physical and spiritual. But Jesus has given us a choice now: we can present ourselves to God.

So, whose slave are you? Who is your master?

One master brings life; the other brings death. We have a choice about who we serve, and it is a choice offered to every one of us. I choose to serve the perfect God of love rather than a fallen being who wants only to destroy me.

God so loved

This is how God made that choice possible for us:.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Take out ‘the world’ and substitute ‘me’. It is too easy to read the words ‘the world’ and think it means other people, everybody else, but not ourselves. No, it means ‘God so loved me’. It means that by believing in Jesus I can enter into life rather than continuing in death.

The Amplified version says that ‘God so dearly loved and prized…’ You are a prize, to God. He deeply desires intimacy and relationship with you. As a result of that, He was willing to give His Son so that you could become His child.

Paul puts it this way:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Eph 2:4-5).

And,

God sent him [Jesus] to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children (Gal 4:4).

It is by God’s grace and God’s power, through the victory of Jesus on the cross, that we can be saved from the path we were going down and be brought into this relationship with Him: from death to life, from slavery into freedom, from separation to intimacy.

We are royalty

God has paid the price, and bought us back so that he could adopt us as His own children, just like Jesus. Awesome! How would we feel if the Queen of England adopted us, gave us the run of the palace and access to all the people she has advising her and looking after her? If she said to us, ‘I want you to inherit all that I have’? How special would we feel? That is what the God who made the whole universe and keeps it all together has done for us!

We have been redeemed, bought back from slavery by Jesus, given a new home and a family. We are adopted as sons into the family of the King. We are royalty: princes and princesses, regardless of our history or background. What we have done, what has been done to us, none of that has any effect whatsoever on how God sees us. We look just like Jesus to Him, holy and perfect and righteous. God does not hold our past against us, unlike the devil who constantly accuses us and tries to cause us to remember our past. Since God chooses not to remember it, neither should we!

We have been born again into a new family with a new identity. We have a new heavenly home (which we can engage with now, not only when we die) and are ourselves a home of God. We have a new, heavenly citizenship, and a new (yet eternal) identity and purpose. We have come into sonship, into a relationship with our Father.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:18-20).

…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:5).

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:35-39).

So let’s fully embrace all that God has done for us in His love, so that nothing, nothing, nothing will ever remove us or separate us from the fullness of all that He has for us as His dearly loved children.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Soundtrack: Jake Hamilton – The Anthem

Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott
on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

207. Restored to Original Condition

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Isaiah_scroll

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favourable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes, 
The oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.
(Isaiah 61:1-3).

Every 50 years in the Jewish calendar there was to be a Year of Jubilee (or freedom), when everyone had their inheritance restored to them. That is the ‘favourable year of the Lord’ that we are called to proclaim. God wants all his people to have everything restored to them.

We will receive liberty in exchange for captivity, healing instead of brokenness, beauty for ashes, double honour for shame, the oil of joy instead of mourning. The time for mourning is over. It is time to know the fullness of joy in our salvation. God is looking to restore us to original condition: not the condition we were born in, but His original intention for us, all those wonderful plans He has had for us from eternity past.

He wants us to know our identity – who we really are. He wants us to know how He designed us, to know how we were made to be. And He wants us to grasp our destiny, our birthright, all that we are called to do.

Picture yourself

I encourage you to take some time out now.

Imagine that Father God is standing before You.
He is calling you to your destiny.
Picture yourself walking towards Him.

Come in repentance, with your head bowed, as a servant, because that is how we all come at first.

Now look up. See the Father waiting with His arms wide open, with love in His eyes for you.
Look into His eyes of love.

Run to Him.

Feel His loving embrace.

Just like in the story of the Prodigal Son,
Feel the ring of sonship He puts on your finger,
A seal, a signet ring you can use as His representative, with His authority.

Feel the clean robes He puts on you
All the dirt of the past has been completely removed
These are robes of righteousness
How clean and fresh they feel!

You have been declared righteous, made right with Him.

Enjoy the joy and celebration of His heart
Feel His acceptance and restoring love
Feel His affirmation.

Listen with your spirit

Just as God opened up the heavens to speak over Jesus, he has opened the heavens over you and is declaring this over you. I would urge you to listen with your spirit to what he is declaring. This is your Father speaking directly to your spirit, calling forth that eternal destiny He has placed within you.

I declare you are my beloved son and I am well pleased with you.

I call you My child
I am your Father
You are mine and I am yours.

I legitimise you as my child
I call forth your spiritual destiny.

I call your spirit to attention
Listen with your spirit to the words that I, your heavenly Father, have for you.

The Spirit of your Father gives witness to your spirit that you are My son
I bless your spirit with the spirit of sonship and the mindset of sonship
I bless you with a deep heart identity as My very own child, securely loved in My family
I bless you with the settled assurance that I have a future and a hope for you
And I have written all your days in My book with love
For your best interest and for My ultimate glory.

I bless you with the deep knowledge that I know what you need
And I have all the resources of the universe to meet that need.

Listen with your spirit to My words for you
My Spirit testifies to your spirit that you are My child
Feel your spirit pulsating with My life, My love, My acceptance.

I bless you with the ears to hear the testimony of the spirit of the Lord,
The spirit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel, power and fear of the Lord
To hear what they say about you.

I bless you with being tuned into Me
With eyes for seeing, ears for hearing, and a mind for understanding
I bless you with being led by the fullness of My Spirit of Truth
To see things as I see them in the heavenly realms.

I bless you with the deep knowledge that you are an heir with your brother Jesus
To all of My treasuries
I bless you with the confidence that you lack for nothing you need
Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and practically.

I bless you with the sure understanding that I want you to have My blessings and My glory
To possess your birthright
I bless you with the desire to press forward to see the glory that I am revealing.

I bless you with a heart that does not rebel or shrink back
From the opportunities I put before you daily
I bless you with a hunger for the manifestation of My glory day by day
In you and through your life.

I declare that you are no longer a slave, an orphan or a victim
I declare that you are mine and I am yours:
I am your inheritance and you are My inheritance.

I declare that I am your Father and you are My son
And I give you access to your heavenly home
I give you access to the river and tree of life in your heavenly home.

I call you to be a gateway of heaven on the earth
You are my child and I call you to be displayed as a mature son on the earth.

Soak

Let your spirit receive those words. Go over them again and again, day after day if you need to. Receive them as affirmation of who you are as a son of God, as a child of your heavenly Father, as one who has a destiny in Him. Allow your spirit to just soak in it. Soak in the words of God to you. He approves of you, blesses you.

He wants you to know your identity, and outwork it.

He wants you to know your destiny, and fulfil it.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Soundtrack: Beauty For Ashes – Chris McClarney

Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott
on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

206. God’s Eternal Purpose

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

multicoloured jewel

“The manifold wisdom of God is like a multi-faceted, multi-coloured gem.”

…for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:18).

Our destiny is to have access to heaven, where the Father is, and to have relationship with Him.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:19-22).

We are to be fellow-citizens with all those who have gone before us, that cloud of witnesses in heaven. Like them, we are citizens of heaven, but we are also ambassadors of heaven, representing heaven here on the earth.

Both corporately and individually we are a temple of God’s presence, with the Presence of God dwelling in and among us.

In this generation

…which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit (Eph 3:5).

God is revealing a heavenly blueprint to apostles and prophets in this generation so that a reflection of heaven can be established on the earth. That is what we at Freedom are called to do, it is why we are an apostolic resource centre: we are to bring that heavenly blueprint into people’s hearts and lives on earth.

…and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph 3:9-11).

Manifold wisdom

The manifold wisdom of God is like a multi-faceted, multi-coloured gem, which we will spend eternity looking into without ever beginning to grasp its fullness. But it is our role to represent that manifold wisdom in creation and bring the heavenly places, the atmosphere of the earth, back into order. We are to manifest God’s power, God’s wisdom, God’s glory in these realms: that has always been His intention, His ‘eternal purpose’.

He is giving us an opportunity in this generation to be involved in something which sums up all the ages, which brings everything to a conclusion and sees Jesus return.

Unity

I… implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:1-3).

We are called to demonstrate heaven on earth, to walk in a manner worthy of our destiny: one heart, one mind, one purpose. If relational, corporate unity was easy, Paul would not be making such a big deal of it. We rub each other up the wrong way, and we cause each other problems, but God is calling us to work it out with each other in relationship. And sometimes, as our friend Mike Bryant is fond of saying, we just have to get over ourselves.

Jesus described it as being gentle and humble in heart, just as He demonstrated (see Matt 11:28). True humility is accepting our identity, accepting our calling and our destiny, not being fearful, and working it all out in our daily lives for the benefit of the world around us.

Gift

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Eph 4:7).

Every one of us has been given grace: the divine ability to outwork who He called us to be. No-one is left out of that. Each person is able to do what Christ has called us to do. We are all individually called to play our part.

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:11-13).

Those ministries are there to equip us to fulfil our destinies (not to rule over or lord it over us). We need to grow and become who we are supposed to be as sons of God, and as we individually come to maturity, so the church will come to maturity. We are to be like Him,  conformed to His image, to the ‘measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ’.

Grow up

…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Eph 4:15-16).

Those joints are our relationships, our connections in the kingdom, in the Spirit. If one of us does not fulfil our destiny and our calling, then we are lacking something. It is like someone who is missing a body part: they can find ways of getting around their disability, sometimes in quite inspirational fashion, but it is not ideal. When we all do our bit, the body will function properly. And each church, each congregation or ekklesia, has a destiny of their own to fulfil, and a redemptive gift to work out.

…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth) (Eph 5:8-9).

Jesus was the light of the world; but now He is calling us to be the light of the world. There is a glorified, shining light within us which we can manifest (something which most of us have never realised but are beginning to reach for in these days). We cannot hide that light, it must shine out of us.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph 5:15-17).

We do not have time to waste. God wants us to use out time carefully to outwork His will.

God’s ultimate purpose

His ultimate purpose is…

…that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless (Eph 5:27).

When I look around (or in a mirror) there are a few spots, a few wrinkles! We are a work in progress, in a process which is ongoing. God still has work to do to get us the way He wants us, both individually and corporately.

He wants to bring us to a place of maturity where we know who we are, and who He created us to be.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC
Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott
on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

205. The Song of Our Destiny

music-307521_640Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

God is calling forth our spirit to maturity. He is calling forth each of us to our identity as sons. We have a destiny both now, in time, and in eternity. Our spiritual identity is eternal: it came from eternity, and it will go back to eternity. What we do here in the middle determines what our eternity will be like.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations (Jer 1:5).

God has always known us, and appointed each one of us to something in particular, to a destiny, to a purpose. He intends us to fulfil that calling.

How precious

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book (scroll) were all written the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
(Psa 136:16-17)

This is what we call our ‘scroll of destiny’. God has a vast amount of good thoughts about us, and wants us to know what they are. He wants us to know how He designed us, how He sees us, what He made us to be like. That book of our life was given when we were in eternity with God, and we come into this life with that scroll. It is like a commission for our lives, and it is important for us to know what is on it. It contains both purpose and provision.

We can access that scroll in the heavens, and we can access it in our hearts.

Eternal record

You started out in this physical life as an overcomer: the result of the one out of 300 million sperm that won the race to fertilise the ovum. When your spirit burst into that fertilised egg, it carried with it God’s record of who you were to be. You carry 23+23 chromosomes of the record of your parents’ history, but you also carry the record of your eternal destiny.

As that first cell begins to multiply, every cell of your body contains that record. We need to be transformed so that we no longer manifest the record of our physical genealogy but the record of the eternal destiny God has for us.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is (Prov 23:7a).

We need to think according to our destiny, not our history.

Frequency

Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” (Ps 40:7).

Again, this scripture confirms that we each have a scroll, a record of our eternal destiny. God’s intention for our life is written in our heart. Our destiny carries a frequency, a vibration, and each of us has a unique frequency which we vibrate at, our own song. It carries a colour and a fragrance; a formula with all we need to fulfil our destiny encoded within it.

There is a service available where you can get your DNA analysed and they will turn it into a song for you. Now the problem is, that DNA vibrates with the record of the chaos it was created in (sin and iniquity) whilst the scroll vibrates with the record of our eternal destiny. Are we going to listen to the genetic record of our past generations, or are we going to listen to the record of what God said and thought about us in eternity?

We get to choose which we resonate and come into harmony with, and that ultimately determines how we will live. When we start to listen and come into agreement with the heavenly eternal record, our lives begin to be transformed. After all, we were destined to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to be a joint heir with Him.

Proper alignment

…with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:10-11).

God has designed something for the fullness of time that is going to include the summing up of all things in Christ. He knows all about us, and He has chosen us to be part of His plan for the whole of creation. He has destined us to be part of that administration to outwork heaven on earth, to reconcile heaven and earth by bringing earth into proper alignment with heaven again.

A place for us

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places… (Eph 1:18-20).

God wants us to use the eyes of our heart, our imagination, to grasp what he has called us to. Christ is already seated in the heavenly places, and He has made a place there for us. He is:

…far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 1:21-23).

He has sent us to go in the authority that He has, in this age, both in heaven and on earth. Since Christ is the Head, and we are the body, whose feet are His feet? Ours. So He has given us the authority to bring everything back under His dominion and under our feet, and wants to fill us with the fullness of heaven, with the fullness of Himself, so that we can represent him on the earth.

…and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6).

That is our destiny. That is where we came from; that is where we will be going back to. In the meantime we are seated there with Him, and that is the position God always intended us to operate from.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  (Eph 2:10).

We can choose to walk our own way, or we can choose to walk God’s way. One way will lead to disaster, the other to blessing, to purpose, and to fulfilling our destiny.

Which way will we choose?

Related articles from Freedom ARC
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Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

					

204. A Journey Quest for Identity

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

identityWho am I?
How am I made?
What am I made for?

We all have an individual inheritance from God: destiny, birthright, calling, purpose – there are many names we give it. And God has created us all different, designed us to operate best in particular ways, which we need to discover and understand. We all have an identity, and that identity is as sons of God (including the ladies), but we all start out as spiritual babies who are on a journey quest to discover answers to these questions. This series of posts which we are starting today is all about that journey: a journey from the slavery of childhood and infancy to the maturity of sonship.

We must leave behind the slavery of a poverty mentality. Because we are born separated from God, we do not know who He is or who we are in Him; we do not know the wealth He has for us in that relationship, so we think like paupers. I am not really talking about money (though money certainly comes into it), but about knowing our royal identity. Someone who is of royal birth thinks very differently to someone who is not, and we have to learn to think like a child of the King of kings. Only when we think that way can we act that way, able to fulfil our calling and come into our destiny.

From slavery to sonship

We are in a training process, intended to produce that maturity in us. We start out as servants, then as we complete the training, go on to become bond-servants, stewards, friends, lords, kings and sons. Increasing levels of authority and power come with increasing levels of relationship and responsibility, as God entrusts more and more to us.

How much do we desire that? How willing are we to pursue that, to pursue Him? It will take diligence, faithfulness and perseverance. It does not come easily.

Opposition

As you would expect on a quest, there is opposition along the way; opposition to us knowing who we are and why we are here. When the children of Israel crossed into their Promised Land, they had to dispossess the nations who were there before them. There are things in our lives which need dispossessing too. There is a battle, but that battle to possess our inheritance will bring us into more intimacy with God. He has designed it so that we find Him in the difficult times, in the trials, where we learn His faithfulness; where we learn that He overcomes – and that through Him we too can overcome.

“Abba! Father!”

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything… But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son… so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Gal 4:1-5).

God has adopted us into His royal family. Spiritually we may have started out as poverty-stricken beggars, but when He adopts us, everything changes. That passage continues:

 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God (Gal 4:6-7).

Every one of us is an heir of the fullness of God’s kingdom as His sons; but if we think like slaves, we will not act like sons.

Predestined

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many sons; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (Rom 8:29-30).

We have a destiny already agreed, to become like Jesus. It was impossible for us to fulfil our call and destiny when we were living restricted by sin; but all things are possible for us now that we are forgiven, now that we are justified, made right with God. And glorified – that was the part we used to think would only happen after we die, but the revelation God is releasing in our day is that we can be glorified here and now. We can access the realms of glory and the realms of heaven in order to bring heaven to earth though our lives.

“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters”, says the Lord Almighty (2 Cor 6:18).

I get the impression from the way God phrases this that He is pretty serious about it. It is not open for discussion or negotiation. It is like that song we sing, ‘You Won’t Relent’: God will not relent, He will not let up, until we are His sons and daughters. We can no longer be content with living as slaves or orphans: we must pursue our sonship.

Every spiritual blessing

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Eph 1:3-4).

God has blessed us, just as He blessed Adam and Eve, with every spiritual authority to bring heaven to earth. We can access those spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ, to manifest them here on the earth. God always intended to choose us, from before the foundation of the world. He wants us as His children. That is His will, and he is not going back on it.

God is calling forth our spirit to maturity. He is calling each of us to our identity as sons.  Let us each begin to embrace the fullness of what it means to be a child of God.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC
Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.

Vision Destiny 2016

VisionDestiny2016 1k squareFree!

Seven messages by Mike Parsons delivered at Freedom Church in January and February 2016.
A review of 2015 and what to expect in 2016.

Digital download (mp3 and PDF) with links to streaming YouTube videos.

Click here to download – absolutely free!

203. Manifesto of Love

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

hearts-700141_1920It has always been God’s intention for this material universe to reflect His heavenly, spiritual, supernatural kingdom:

Pray, then, in this way… ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven’ (Matt 6: 9-10).

And we are citizens of that heavenly kingdom.

Exact representation

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:3).

Jesus is the exact representation of God and we are ambassadors of Jesus, conformed to His image. (see Rom 8:29)

  • He upholds by words of power
  • He sits on a of throne of authority
  • His identity is as a son
  • His throne has a sceptre of authority
  • He loves righteousness and hates lawlessness

Ambassadors have an honoured position, which carries responsibility. Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. Make no mistake, the world sees us as personal representatives of Jesus Christ in every situation. People will base their opinion of God on what they see in us.

Words and deeds

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart (Matt. 12:34).

Our speech should mark us out as different. If we listen to what is coming out of our mouth, day by day, week by week, we will see what fills our heart. We want our hearts to be filled with God, with His word, His truth and His life, so that when we speak, we speak words of truth and life. By what we say, people should be able to realise that we are followers of Christ. Our words should come with authority and resonate with righteousness.

Words can be extremely powerful: God created (and sustains) the whole universe with words. But speaking the words of God is not enough: our deeds and our words much match up, demonstrating the kingdom as Jesus did.

For our [preaching of the] glad tidings (the Gospel) came to you not only in word, but also in [its own inherent] power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty [on our part]. You know what kind of men we proved [ourselves] to be among you for your good (1 Thess 1:5 AMP).

This may involve more than just meeting people’s spiritual needs. Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry, and He did so supernaturally. We need to learn to supernaturally meet people’s physical needs as well.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father (John 14:12).

Demonstrate love

As ambassadors, we are representatives of another culture, another way of life. We must function as servants or stewards, faithfully representing our country (heaven), practising hospitality, courtesy and graciousness.

We will demonstrate love to one another, because God is love.

Since Jesus, our Lord and Teacher, washed his disciples’ feet, we also ought to wash one another’s feet.

We will be devoted to one another in brotherly love; giving preference to one another in honour; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practising hospitality. We will bless those who persecute us; bless and not curse.

We will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. We will be of the same mind toward one another; not haughty in mind, but associating with the lowly, and not wise in our own estimation. We will never pay back evil for evil to anyone, and will respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on us, we will be at peace with all men.

We will  pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one anotheraccepting one another just as Christ also accepted us, to the glory of Godso that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

We will not judge one another any more, and will not put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

We will put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one anotherbeing kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven uswith all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.

We will maintain the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose, doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regarding one another as more important than ourselvesWe will encourage one another and build up one anotherlive in peace with one another, and see that no one repays another with evil for evil, but that we always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near.

We will confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another so that we may be healed, because the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. As we walk in the Light, as God Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Above all, we will keep fervent in our love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins, being hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, we will employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

For we were called to freedom, and we will not turn our freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love we will serve one another, bearing one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfilling the law of Christ.

That is the manifesto of love right there. If we truly lived that way, the world could not help but take notice.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13: 34-35).

Let us be transformed from the inside out, and become faithful ambassadors of Christ, seeking to reconcile all men to God, embodying the message of Good News which we carry; bringing heaven to earth.

Other resources from Freedom ARC
Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources.

©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust,
a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290.
Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue,
Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.