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This Sunday at Healingsprings fellowship: Critical Journey| Stages in the life of faith

One of the best analogy for life is that of a journey. A journey is a path to a destination. That destination can be described as our destiny…

Most of us find ourselves on this journey not knowing where we are going, or what the journey is all about in the first place. So we sheepishly go with the flow: days, months, years; and we are none the wiser. Seasons change, powers shift, news headlines trend, technology advances; we grow older, but none the wiser.

“The journey of a thousand mile begins with a single step”, says the great Chinese Philosopher, Tao Tzu. With this in mind I will be starting a seven week series entitled, The Critical Stages of life. The Critical Stages of life is the product of a beautiful piece of work by Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich; it is an attempt to articulate the key stages in the life of faith.

Jesus gave a very short and insightful analogy of life using an agricultural process. In this parable captured only in Mark’s version of Jesus’ story, we are offered private viewing of the mystery of human existence: the farmer, the seed, the soil, time, sprouting, growing, reproduction of seed, and finally the sickle by the farmer for the harvest.

Interestingly, the farmer and the harvester is an external agent. He is beyond human control, just as we are powerless over our birth and death.

So why not drop-by for a life-changing experience? This 90 mins might end up being a catalyst for some awesome things.

(6:00 – 7:30)pm

The Drama Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7D

There are free parking spaces directly in front of the school and on adjacent streets

Our Big Sunday Celebration can be best described as a community Christian festival. So in the spirit of thanksgiving, together we: sing, pray, give, celebrate life, discuss current affairs, present thoughts from Biblical themes, and encourage one another; like one big family!

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Spiritual Intelligence: The Door

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Good morning friends. The use of metaphors to describe oneself is a very powerful tool for self discovery. It is very simple and easy to implement in one-to-one or group settings. In its most simplistic application, it can be used as an icebreaker with a view to getting to know participants below their facade. At an in depth level, it can draw out participants’ intuitive self; and how it might affect their world view; this concept is widely known as Metaphor Coaching.

Jesus used a lot of metaphors in His preaching and teaching ministry. In these verses; He describes Himself as “the door”, His audience as the sheep, and the devil and his agents as thieves or hirelings. Doors lead us to passages, corridors, rooms, exits, entrances, stairs etc., in the same vain He opens their minds to endless possibilities by using this metaphor. He takes them on an extraordinary journey, explaining the various dynamics in the relationship between each subject, and finally he crystallises his presentation with a prophecy about His death and resurrection.

However, it was still far fetched for His disciples and followers, as the idea of His death as an atonement for sins, and His resurrection; were perhaps still contentious today as it was then. He said:

Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father

These words reminds me of David’s testimony to Saul as he tries to convince the young shepherd to reconsider his decision to fight against the vicious and more experienced giant by the name, Goliath. But in response, David said:

“Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

The level of his commitment to the sheep in his care was unquestionable. He puts his life in harm’s way to ensure that they are kept safe from predators, he provides shelter for them from the elements, and green pastures for their nourishment.

I close this thought with a passage captured by Matthew. I believe it highlights the difference between Jesus’ commitment to His fold, and that of David or any other leader in humankind’s history:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

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~ Sabali

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Spiritual Intelligence: Divine Connection

Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

Good morning friends. At the point of this insightfully spiritual lecture, Jesus was close to His death. A death He freely accepted in fulfilment with; prophecies, God’s will for His life, and God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. So, in the spirit of preparation, He was executing His exit strategy. A central part of this strategy was the delivery of key lectures in open forums where questions could be asked by His audience.

With that in mind, this lecture presents Him as the sent one. The one sent to be a model for humanity. The one sent to reflect God’s power and love on earth as the light of this world, the one sent to be the saviour of the world. At a time when heaven kissed earth, both realms were in harmony, and the church was conceived – glory hallelujah! He was sent to reconnect us with the father.

Let us pray:

Father, we bring our lives before you today. We realise that without your spirit, we are powerless.

We acknowledge that its your spirit that works in us, both to will and to do of your good pleasure. So we pray that your Holy Spirit will start a work in us today.

We need you Holy Spirit, our souls long for you as the deer pants for water. Amen.

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~ Sabali