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This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

 Over the last couple of weeks I laid some foundations from the book of Amos, looking at the origins of the writer, the historical context of his writing, and some of the challenges he was called to address in that era.
Moving forward we will be hosting Mike Chasterton (Tearfund). Mike has experience in working with churches to identify and address challenges within their community. He will be working from a theological stand point in helpings us channel our skills and resources towards some of the challenges in Bexley. 
In the words of Amos:

Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
– (Amos 5:22-24)

So, join us in our work towards social justice, starting with Bexley.

3-5pm
The English Room, Bexleyheath Academy

Bexley 
2016: Our Season of Plenty

(Gen. 41: 46-52)

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Spiritual Intelligence: False Comfort

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

~ Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

Good morning friends. Martin Niemöller rose to prominence as a strong critic of Adolf Hitler’s campaign. He was a Protestant pastor who used his office to speak against the ills of his time. As a result, he spent the last seven years of the Nazi rule incarcerated in a concentration camp. Unlike many who succumbed to the propaganda, bullying tactics, and peer pressure of his time, he chose to be a voice for the voiceless. He refused to remain at ease amidst the persecution, abuse, killing and harassment of Jews; like Moses, he chose to suffer with God’s people. He used the only weapon he knew best to inject sanity into an insane and godless regime.

Similar to Martin, Amos challenged the state of apathy and spiritual insensitivity demonstrated by the elites and ruling classes in his time;

Woe to you who are at ease in Zion,
And trust in Mount Samaria,
Notable persons in the chief nation,
To whom the house of Israel comes!

And friends today we are faced with the same challenges and opportunities. Do we sit back, relax, counting our blessings and naming them. Naming and claiming as we build our empires, or do we rise up and take our place in God’s kingdom, and live for His glory?

There are no middle grounds, no fence to sit on. The earlier we start, the better – time is running out!

I will bring this thought to a close with these words from Paul. I believe it strengthens my message, and epitomise our call, duty and responsibility;

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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~ Sabali

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Spiritual Intelligence: I Was Neither A Prophet, Nor The Son Of A Prophet

Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: ‘Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. For this is what Amos is saying:

‘“Jeroboam will die by the sword,
and Israel will surely go into exile,
away from their native land.”’
Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy any more at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.’

Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

Good morning friends. I submit to you this morning that these posts are not my words, but the words of God. Also, that this is not a hobby, but a burden of The Lord. Its God’s heart cry, its God’s heart beat for humanity. I say, Lord for how long? He says; “Son, just write and post”. So I’ve found strength in the words of prophet Isaiah;

The Lord God gives me
the right words
to encourage the weary.
Each morning he awakens me
eager to learn his teaching

When asked for last words in closing his interview with TV host Charlie Rose, Larry Page (Google), made the following statement;

“Most businesses fail because they miss the future”.

He cited his experience while working on the Android operating system, which at the time was only a pet project (well, so he thought), he said; “I felt guilty for wasting time”, … “That was stupid, it was the future”.

Back to our opening scripture, there would have been times when Amos thought, “this is stupid, what am I doing in Bethel?” Times when, like Peter he felt like going back to the familiar, going back to fishing… But, like Simeon and Anna; he saw the future, embraced it, aligned himself, and prophesied accordingly.

Fast forward centuries later, John The Baptist stepped on the scene, prepared the people and ushered in the future. Then, Jesus Christ preached, taught, manifested the power of His kingdom, and left us the Holy Spirit. So as David was anointed king years before he finally ascended on the throne, so also the kingdom of God is already here through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Friends, in His second coming, He comes to judge his enemies, bless His followers, and reign in glory! Hallelujah!!!

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~ Sabali

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