Kingdom Life

When visiting your local Christian bookstore, you are confronted with shelves that are littered with books and sermons focussing on such a varied list of topics. From personal spiritual development to church planting and from theology to financial success. Many of the books are written by preachers who transcribed many of their sermons into a paperback format. While most have their place, we should take note of what the Lord Jesus preached, as well as his disciples.

Jesus preached the good news of the Kingdom of God, and that it was not only near but was ‘at hand’. In other words, Jesus was proclaiming that he had come to establish this Kingdom right then and there. Despite the expectations of the people of Israel at that time, Jesus was not creating a military or political state that would banish the Roman occupiers but instead he came to create a spiritual Kingdom in the hearts and minds of the people. This is the Church!

Paul declared that ‘..the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Rom 14:17. It is not physical but a spiritual Kingdom that continues to this day and is indeed an ‘everlasting Kingdom.’ Not unlike an earthly Kingdom, the Kingdom of God is ruled by the King – who determines the laws, principles and benefits of the Kingdom. Therefore as citizens of the God’s Kingdom, we are to adhere and adjust our lives to conform to the King’s ways and expectations aligning ourselves to his Word. We are in the world but we are not of the world because we are of the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is all-encompassing: We are born into the Kingdom (John 3:3-16), we are to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:33), the Kingdom of God is now (Mark 1:15), the Kingdom of God is within (Luke 17:21), the Kingdom of God brings healing (Luke 9:11), it is what we preach (Luke 16:16) and it is for little children (Luke 18:16).

This year, we invite you to live together in God’s Kingdom, following his Word, in fellowship with God’s Spirit and his people and Let us extend and establish this Kingdom in the lives of everyone we can reach.

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.

A New Year

27703_Happy_New_YearThere is perhaps no better way to begin the new year than being at General Conference with the rest of the Body of Christ in Australia. The ministry there was anointed and timely for the Church and we received much encouragement and direction. Plan to be at next year’s Conference in Melbourne.

Not only is the new year marked by this great event but it’s also a time to regather and re-orient our lives. Perhaps for some, the year ended in a whimper and it felt like we barely dragged our tired and weary souls over the finish line. This is our opportunity to dust ourselves off and start again with our goals, spiritual disciplines and our commitments. There are three things that is important for us to revisit as we start this new year; our Foundation, our Priorities and our Direction.

Our Foundation is comprised of the things that we hold to be of utmost importance in terms of our beliefs. The belief in One God and the plan of salvation through repentance, Baptism in Jesus name and being filled with the Holy Ghost as well as living a righteous and holy life. Not only that, but we must also come to terms with our theology of who God is in our lives and who we are in Christ. We must remind ourselves about what is most important in this life and that is, ultimately, to ensure that we walk with God and bring as many souls as we can to salvation.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” Eph 2:19-20

Our Priorities means putting in order what is most vital in our lives. Prioritising God with our time, energy, emotions and resources is a Biblical command.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt 6:33

Let us make prayer, Bible reading, Church attendance, giving and other disciplines, it’s due attention and priority.

right-directionOur Direction refers to our goals and vision. This is the ideal time to measure how you are travelling in the achievement of your goals both short and long term. If you were able to accomplish your goals from last year, it’s time to set new ones. Our vision should be firmly set in God’s vision for us and our Church. Goal setting should never be underestimated because if ‘we aim at nothing then we will hit it every time’ and we accomplish nothing for the Lord. God has called us to be wise and faithful stewards of the treasures of truth that He has imparted to us, let us not bury it but cast it out in order to bring an increase.

What is your vision for this year and what changes do you have to make to see it fulfilled and the things of God prioritised in your life? We have a strong foundation and it’s time we built the rest of the building.

May 2016 be filled with God’s peace and goodness in abundance for you.

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.

Miracles

I love this time of the year, though it can be stressful and costly, yet there is something about this season that to the Christian, should be about more than just food and festivities.

Nativity

While it is true that the exact dates for the Birth of Christ is a point of contention, nevertheless this amazing event is clearly detailed in the New Testament and it ought to be something that the Church considers deeply and indeed rejoices over. It is still one of the most remarkable and miraculous stories… of how an all-powerful Deity and Creator of the Universe, a Being who transcends this physical world, entered as a man and dwelt among sinful humanity.

The nativity of Jesus Christ is inexplicably miraculous with a young virgin Mary being impregnated by the Holy Spirit; conceiving and giving birth to the promised Messiah, the Immanuel (God with us). What is encouraging to us is that God still performs this same kind of miracle today, in that He enters our lives through the infilling of the Holy Spirit to anyone who desires to have Jesus Christ in their lives.

MiraclesThis is a true miracle in itself and the people of the Pentecostals of Sydney give attestation to this truth that a sinner, thief, liar, drug addict, alcoholic, idolater or atheist could be transformed to become a Spirit-filled, born again, baptised in Jesus name, child of God. In addition to the miracle of a life transformed, God still heals, delivers, provides, empowers, anoints and saves miraculously. He is a miracle working God and we can believe and expect for God to enter our lives miraculously in so many ways.

This month, as the year comes to a close, let the door of your heart be opened to Jesus Christ so that He may work a miracle in your life.

Matthew 1:23 – Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.

Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-pictures-4To say that Australian culture is constantly evolving is understated. Especially since Australia is a multicultural society with the influence of migrant peoples as well as the influence of popular cultures through various media from all over the world. One example that’s been evident over the last several years is the observance by many Aussie kids of ‘Trick-or-Treating’ during the American celebration of Halloween. This was not part of Australian culture in yesteryear but I myself have recently been subjected to door knocking children wearing fancy dress.

While I am not against adopting and borrowing certain customs from others (provided they don’t contradict Christianity), if I had to choose one in particular, I would opt for ‘Thanksgiving Day’. I think this special day would not only bring families and friends together but it serves a reminder of the timeless and Biblical principle of Gratefulness.

Gratitude, or Thankfulness, was so important that God instituted a ‘Thanksgiving Offering’ in the Old Testament which involved a sacrifice (Lev 7:12-15). The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to abound in Thanksgiving and that our prayers should be accompanied with it. He further reveals that we are not to be filled with worry but instead a better substitute is gratefulness.

Philippians 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Matthew Henry 6 croppedGet into the habit of whenever you feel discouraged about your situation and feel as though you are lacking, begin to think about the things that you do possess and thank God for it. When you do, it’s amazing how your perspective and even your feelings start to change. When Matthew Henry was robbed, he was quoted as saying these words; “I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”

That’s a great perspective and a winning outlook – while some may be able to find the negative in every situation and criticise somebody’s faults, the greater option is to find the good in everyone and everything and be thankful for it.

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.