Monday 30 January 2012

Rick Bundschuh

Glory to God!

Yesterday we had the privilege of having Rick Bundschuh and his wife, Lauren with us. Rick spoke to us about how God takes our failures, brokenness and weaknesses and uses them to shine His Light. He gave us many examples of people who experienced failure and tragedy but how God used each of those lives to glorify Himself. Rick also told us the amazing story of Bethany Hamilton who was attacked by a shark whilst surfing and lost her left arm. Bethany's story has been an inspiration to thousands around the world of how God gives our lives meaning and purpose and how He glorifies His name despite our weaknesses (see .1 Cor. 1:26-29; Rom. 8:28). Rick has written a book on Bethany's story, called Soul Surfer which has been filmed and was released in 2011 (click here for more info...). For more info on Rick and his ministry in Hawaii click here.

 On Saturday 25 Februay at 3pm (venue to be announced), KLF will be having a church get together where anyone who considers KLF to be his or her church or is interested in KLF can find out more about who we are, what we are here for, where we are going, what we are doing, what we are planning etc.

Quote of the week:

"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." 1 Cor. 1:26-29


Monday 23 January 2012

Building a Culture of Agape

Glory to God!

The Lord is speaking to us about Agape this year and how He wants us to grow in His love. A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of having Sharron Frood (picture above) visit KLF. As someone who has committed her life to sharing the Father's heart, she has given her life to caring for widows and orphans in South Africa. For more information on Sharron and The Gogo Trust in Port Elisabeth, South Africa, please click here and here. Sharron spoke to us about "What message do we live?" She described the very practical outworking of God's love in our lives and encouraged us to make God's love "look like something!" We were inspired and challenged to exercise our faith through love. James writes,

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

We praise God for people like Sharron who truly live out the Gospel and inspire us to do the same.

Yesterday the Lord spoke to us through Alexander Blair about "Being free to fail". Looking at various people in the Bible, we saw how God loves His people even when they fail. We were encouraged to realise that even though we fail sometimes we shouldn't consider ourselves a failure. God loves us and accepts us even when we fail because He doesn't consider us a failure. He sees His people as "more than conquerors" (Rom. 8:37) and strengthens them to do all things (Phil. 4:13).

It is KLF's desire to build a culture of Agape - a people who love, forgive and accept one another as they are. Creating, what John Burke calls, "a come as you are culture" (see Burke's book, "No perfect people allowed"), requires the church to recognise that we are all on a journey of growing in Christ. The church must be a gathering of people who accept the broken, the sinner, the religious, the weak and the strong! Accepting one another obviously does not mean that we agree with everything that is ungodly but unless we love, forgive and accept one another, we will not help one another know God and grow in Christ.

This Sunday, Rick Bundschuh will be visiting KLF. Here is a video clip of Rick, teaching on becoming an "Off ramp" church. For more info on Rick and his church, click here.

On Saturday 25 Februay at 3pm (venue to be announced), KLF will be having a church get together where anyone who considers KLF to be his or her church or is interested in KLF can find out more about who we are, what we are here for, where we are going, what we are doing, what we are planning etc.

Quote of the week:

"We are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37


Monday 9 January 2012

Word for 2012

Glory to God!

Yesterday's meeting was awesome. The Father met with us with His amazing love as we worshipped Him and spent time in His presence. 

The Lord spoke to us about what is on His heart for KLF this year. Looking at the ministry of Jesus that the Body of Christ is to continue, we noted the following from John chapter one:

  • Jesus was with the Father and continued to remain in the Father and the Father in Him. Similarly the Church must remain in Christ as He remains in the Church. John 1:1,2,14,18; 14:10; 17:21; John 15:4,5
  • Jesus left His place of glory and stepped into darkness. Similarly the Church must step into the darkness and not expect the Lost to find their way to the Church. John 1:5,14; Mt 5:14,15
  • Jesus came to reveal the Father so as to reconcile man to God. Similarly the Church is to reveal God to reconcile man to God. John 14:9; Eph. 3:10; 2 Cor. 5:18-20
  • To make the Father known is to reveal His love. The love of God is Agape - unconditional love that is full of grace and truth. 1 John 4:7-21; John 1:14,16,17

Jesus' purpose was to make the Father known so that the Lost would return to God Himself. The Pharisees' purpose was to make their religious culture known so that people would conform to their religious form. The Church must be careful not to try to pursuade man to adopt a Christian form or culture instead of pursuading man to be reconciled to the Father. The purpose of the Church is to reconcile the Lost to the Father's love (Agape). Salvation is union with God so that man can know God (see John 17:3).
God's Word to us for this season is from Ephesians 3:17-19. God wants KLF to be rooted and established in Agape and for us to grasp the extent of God's love so that we will be filled with love and overflow with love, revealing the Father's very nature. As we pursue the Agape road, we believe we will be light in the darkness and draw those who are separated from the love of God into fellowship and union with the Father's Agape love. Hallelujah!

Quote of the week:

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17 - 19


Monday 2 January 2012

Standing firm!

As we enter 2012, the Lord wants us to examine our lives to see whether our faith is genuine. Paul writes in 2 Cor. 13:5,

"Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves."

Last year the Lord showed us what it means to fear Him. He taught us that to fear God is to have faith in Him and that those who fear Him or have faith in Him, rely on Him, respond to Him and revere Him. God tests our faith for our benefit so that we can have confidence on the day Jesus returns (see 1 Peter 1:3-9). The testing of our faith will help us determine whether our faith is genuine. In other words, whether our faith is internal or just external. External faith has the appearance of a life that relies on, responds to and reveres God but will soon crumble if it is not the overflow of faith that comes from the heart - internal faith. Jesus addresses this problem in his sermon on the mount (Matthew 5 - 7). The Lord is more concerned with internal faith than with outward religion that is not the fruit of genuine faith. Paul makes the same distinction when he says,

"We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart." 2 Cor. 5:12

Here are some characteristics of genuine faith:

  1. Genuine faith pleases God. Heb. 11:6
  2. Genuine faith is more concerned with the heart than with outward appearance. 2 Cor. 5:12
  3. Genuine faith is more concerned with essence than with form. 1 Cor. 9:19-23
  4. Genuine faith is the same in secret as it is in public. Mt 6:1,3,4,6
  5. Genuine faith abides in Christ. John 15:4,5
  6. Genuine faith lives in response to God and not man. Gal. 1:10
  7. Genuine faith produces lasting fruit. John 15:16
  8. Genuine faith gives life to the Body of Christ. 1 Thess. 3:3-8

The Lord is really exposing every form of religion in our lives that does not correspond to our genuine relationship with God. Unless the Church is uncompromising in essence and flexible in form, she will not reach the lost. Religious form is a cultural barrier that prevents the lost from being reconciled to God! The Church must identify whether she is trying to convert the lost to Christian culture or to God (see here for more on this subject). It is time for the Church to be real and for genuine faith to be revealed as believers truly rely on God, respond to God and revere God every day of their lives and not just on Sundays. Let us examine ourselves and let us walk in genuine faith!