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February 2023

"Don't Stone the Prophet –
Rather, Celebrate the Return of the King!"

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’!” - Matthew 23:37-39 (CSB)
Hi Friend’s
We often hear the saying, “Remember, when you point the finger, you have three pointing back at you”. Every time I hear those words or similar, I firmly believe that the listener or receiver of the advice, counsel, or feedback that they have been given, has disrespected and not acknowledged the positive change that the insight can bring. Therefore, wisdom is not established because of the recipient’s contemptuous words. Further, quite often these negative and generally damaged individuals will even draw upon the Scripture, “Take the plank out of your own eye”, referring to Matthew 7:5 and Luke 6:42.
The reason that I bring such action, word, and thought to mind is that I believe that we have a crisis within the body of Christ where we reject the wise counsel of God for a “feel good” message that leaves its listeners in a place of contentment whereby there is no conviction, challenge, or change called for –
Jesus said, “Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you” - John 16:7-15 (CSB)
Clearly, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth pertaining to the kingdom of God and His righteousness. God's truth can hurt because it challenges the status quo, “flesh”, ways of the world, and ultimately, the demonic kingdom. But this is the very purpose for the Holy Spirit – TO CONVICT US, EVEN TO THE POINT OF OFFENCE, SO THAT WE ARE POSSIBLY DRAWN TO BECOME LIKE JESUS CHRIST, A LIVING EXAMPLE OF THE FATHER. It is the person that draws close to God then that is His child (Jeremiah 29:12-14; James 4:8), not the individual that pretends to be!
This is why the words of Jesus in the above opening verse from Matthew 23 are so imperative to us in this age. Jesus’ cry to Jerusalem and the people of Israel as He entered it some 2,000 years ago is a cry unto all of us today. As I read the words of my Saviour, I can see Him crying out to you and to me to be obedient and compliant to His will as our Creator. His cry is one of mercy and love, and He is inviting those who love Him to yield.
Finally, there are many who don’t yield to the Lord today within the church. So, in the words of Jesus, they are desolate people who are open to the whims of the flesh and Devil. It is essential though for those who are truly in love with the Lord, which is displayed through obedience to Him, that we share the good news of our King Jesus, that He wants to return and bless those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness (Matthew 5:6) –
Be Blessed in Christ
Tim Banfield
Senior Minister
Destiny Alive Church - Illawarra

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