The Circle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4S1e4rSphQ
Pastor Jim Garlick email@example.com
I hope this will lift your faith and vision into the great Circle of Love we have been bought into through Christ our redeemer.
A circle that finds its beginning and completion in God, from God to God.
In creation all that was in the heart of God came into being, but in Christ all things return to the Father as declared in Ephesians 1:10; that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him.
As Paul again wrote:"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
And again gives a glimpse in Ephesians into which he calls "unsearchable riches of Christ".
God instigated an eternal purpose and is working all things after the counsel of His own will, where one day "every knee shall bow" and the "kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of God and of his Christ".
The consummation of all things in Christ; in the "new heavens and the new earth wherein dwells righteousness".
So God -who created all things in Christ and will consummate all things in Christ- also He works in our lives by putting us in circumstances from which he can rouse us into prayer, or deliver us from situations and needs by supplying, as needs created by God are signposts to his supply.
God works in us by the faith He's given to raise us by His life to greater works, and He is constantly lifting us to believe in Him against all doubts.
This is one of the toughest jobs the Holy Spirit has, because most of us are by nature negative and unbelieving, but God by His grace breaks through these with His divine positives to believe. God does this by lifting us into the realm of His view of things.
1st Corinthians 2, things revealed by the Holy Spirit, "the deep things of God".
The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray from the lofty heights of being seated together with Christ in Heavenly places, from a place of victory won for us through the Blood, rather than from defeat and fear. He teaches us to live under the "open heaven", the "new and living way", to be bold in our entering into all He has purchased for us, bold to come before the throne of grace, bold to believe for the impossible, bold to enforce the kingdom of God in this world.
God is by the Holy Spirit always assuring us in our hearts to have confidence in His promises, by which we are made partakers of his divine nature, lifted into a lifestyle of a divine partnership with a living Saviour, where Jesus has been lifted off the pages of history into the now, for we must know him beyond a Historical Jesus, to a risen Jesus.
God who foreknew the fall of Adam planned before ever the world was made to intercede into humanity to deliver it from darkness by sending Jesus, and Hebrews says "He ever lives to make intercession". It was God's believing that delivered us, God's appearing in human flesh to reconcile all that he made In Christ back to himself through Christ.
This is our message:
This is God's great Circle of Love, that He who began with Jesus -our Alpha and Omega, the first and the last-, will wrap it all up in Him.
All enemies Paul says here "will be put under his feet," (to vs. 28). This is more than our salvation, it's the vastness of God's love: "the length, the depth, the width, the height". Paul described it as beyond knowing except by revelation.
It's God in action, God believing, God acting by faith, to bring about something beyond man's capabilities to obtain: Eternity!
In Ezekiel 22:30 we read about God looking for a man to stand in the "gap".
Jesus was that man.
All this was done by God, and down through history we read how God did this and that "by the hand" of David, or Moses or Abraham etc; down to modern history through a Wesley, a Moody, a William Booth, a Luther or Knox, an Oral Roberts a Billy Graham, any great man or woman of God, then down to the millions of "unknown Christians", ordinary everyday believers like you and me. Too many to mention, through whom God has worked to supply a vision, an impetus, a divine itch to change the way things are. All this came from God. He was the one "working both to will and to do"; it was His alone.
The Martyrs died because of Him, the deliverances came to millions by Him, into every nation tribe and tongue, God has worked.
The commands are His, the power is His, the faith to do is His, the born again spirit of you and me was made alive to house omnipotence was His, our birthing was all His, "for by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God".
God came into our lives to express Himself by us into every situation, who are the living letters of the New Covenant, the fragrance of Christ. We can see that in 2nd Cor 3:3 and on.
From Genesis to Revelation, all is centred on the Son, the Lord, our Lord Jesus.
John saw this Jesus and wrote:
And again, thousands of angels worshipped with a loud voice:
Praise the Lord he fills our emptiness with His fullness, "Be filled with all the fullness of God" Paul told the Ephesians, and also us.
We who are made in the image and likeness of God, created to be a vessel, a container of Christ, His strength for our weakness, His peace for our worries, His light for our darkness, His faith for unbelief, its all ours to receive, "for we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us".
Vessels of honour fit for the master's use, that's who we are, we may look the same but like those vessels at the wedding at Cana we were changed on the inside to contain the "New Wine" the best of God, the resurrected life of Christ, the "exceeding greatness towards us who believe" that's who we are, that what we have!
So then how do we live with all of this, in our families, our homes, our businesses, we cannot live a fairy tale, with our "head in the sand" hoping it will all go away, no we have to face things daily, sometimes more than once, we have health problems, financial difficulties, strife is all around us, disease and famine, bush fires tragedy on a huge scale, right down to just paying the bills.
We see extremes of extreme wealth to adverse poverty, and it's in us to run from one and flee to the other, but life's problems are not solved that way.
We need to learn to become "see througher's" to God and not "look atter's".
Learn to see things as God sees them. We would not know victory if there wasn't a war to be won, we do not know what is right, unless we can compare it with the wrong, we only know light by its contrast to darkness, we can only say "yes" to something if there is an opposite "no".
Our decisions are choices, everything exists with an opposite, male and female, negative and positive, good and bad, major and minor, Jesus and Lucifer, angels and demons, heaven and hell. The tree of life, or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "Adam", you choose!
Negatives then are signposts to positives, opposites teach us how to live, lessons for us to learn by, not to be stumbling stones but stepping stones to the higher life, the higher ways and higher thoughts, peace is best appreciated after a storm, we become stronger through adversities, the difficulties give us experiences of faith, they enlarge us.
Peter in his letter says "not to think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you" he earlier said; Ch. 1:7 "that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (see vs's 8-9) This is how the negatives work for us a greater positive, how that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord Jesus, good or evil, situations and circumstances are as we handle them, how we let them affect us.
Jesus promised "I will never leave you and I will never forsake you" . In all circumstances He is there, up or down, in or out, easy or hard, death is wallowed up by his life. Feelings are not always true; they often lie to us and keep us from believing right.
God who is all in all, began this great circle of love where all things that were created in Him through Christ will also find their culmination in Christ, also promised us in Philippians 1:6: "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
Jesus Christ deliberately embraced the evil of the Cross, the separation of the Father, the death and the grave; he drank its cup with all its fury, and destroyed the power of it all by his resurrection. His submission brought about our deliverance, he destroyed the destroyer and turned evil into good, he turned the worst negatives of hell into the divine positives of heaven.
He was our pioneer, He made the way for all of us so that we as Hebrews 5:14 says; "the mature have learned by reason of use to have the senses exercised to discern both good and evil" and are not fussed by them because we have learned to look through to God and not look at, so that in a strange way difficulties become friends instead of enemies.
"Count it all joy, when you fall into various trials" James said, Ch. 1:2-4 Like Joseph who lived this circle, the dreamer who pitted, potted and putted" at the end to his brothers "as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for Good" and Jacob and all he went through what is his testimony?
The man Jacob the schemer, broken by God and transformed to a prince, Israel -a man who in the end saw the face of God and from that time on walked with a limp.
King David in Psalm 37:23-25: "I have never seen the righteous forsaken" Hallelujah!
This is the Christian life, more than conquerors, overcomer's, victorious life!
From the fallen first Adam comes the last Adam, the redeemer, who embraced all the negatives of the fall, and fully atone for it with his death, conquered it and then out of the wreckage of a fallen humanity birth a new race of sons to occupy the highest position in the universe, to become joint heirs with Him, brothers as it were.
For He is not ashamed to call us that, to share with him, who is made higher than the heavens, better than the angels, seated with Him experientially now and in the future eternally at his right hand, the fullness of Him that fills all in all, is now our fullness.
His faith has become ours, His destiny ours, we have become His offspring filled with His life to live as a Christian believer, not overcome by the negatives of this evil world but through faith see God has everything is His hand.
Arise you who claim to believe in Christ, arise from your defeat, your despondencies, arise for your self efforts to engender faith, arise from you small concepts about God, arise from playing Christian, arise to Him, arise to Jesus, arise to him who abides faithful, arise to his fullness, you vessels fit for his use, qualified, accepted, delivered! Awake you that sleep and God will give you light!
Arise! To the Alpha and Omega the King of kings and Lord of lords!
"I know that my redeemer lives!"
Pastor Jim Garlick
RiverCity Christian Church
The Circle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4S1e4rSphQ