Convention Notes - Columbo, Sri Lanka - 2006

Psalms 85, there can’t be any restoration with out repentance and reconciliation. Confession leads to repentance which leads to reconciliation and restoration.  What the Lord takes pleasure in is…Psalms 147:10-11.

Psalms 85:10, Mercy and Truth have met together… This was fulfilled in the story of the prodigal son when he returned and was reconciled with his father.


I Samuel 2:19, Hannah would have an expectation of how much Samuel would have had grown. Likewise, God has expectations of how much we should have grown spiritually during the past year. Some other coats mentioned in the scripture… In Genesis 37, Joseph’s coat of many colours in mentioned. Wearing it he showed the special love the father had for him. Others were jealous and (verse 23) stripped him of his coat and dipped it in blood (verse 31). When dipped in blood the colours would change. In I Samuel 17, Saul’s coat of mail, this armour was given to David to wear. A great honour, but David felt uncomfortable in it, because it was not given to him by God. In Mark 6:9, it speaks about not putting on 2 coats. This is important in a spiritual sense not to have 2 coats or two appearances or two forms of righteousness. In John 19:23, Jesus’ coat was without seam. It was undividable without spoiling it. We just can’t take away from God’s word what we don’t accept.


What did you bring to the meeting? God’s presence and God’s Spirit are the best things to bring to the meeting. I Corinthians 2:11-12, where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty. The prodigal son thought of the liberty and the plenty there was in his father’s house. Psalms 107:9, we can have freedom from want when we bring a spirit of feeling of need. Regret doesn’t come first it comes last! But when regret does come, after making a mistake, there can be repentance. Psalms 51:17, the world despises broken things but God honours broken things. Humility leads to usefulness. Humility delivers us from the bondage of pride. The older brother (Luke 15:25…) put himself in bondage and let anger and wrath rule his life. He was also in bondage to jealousy and unforgiveness.


Hymn 343

Ecclesiastes 9:10, be doers not hearers only, never let your courage falter when you do the right. Right is might. Never let your heart grow weary should the way seem long. David encouraged himself in the Lord. Never let your eyes look backward like Lot’s wife. When we are in the place of discouragement, the lack is in us. Those that helped in the building of the wall in Nehemiah’s day never let their courage falter in spite of all the attempts of the enemy.


Hymn 257

Matthew 18:1-5, there is a mining museum in South Africa and at the entrance is a statue of a lady with her hand out and a sign says, "If you can pass under this hand you can go in free," meaning children could go in free. Unless we can pass beneath the Lord’s hand we can’t enter the Kingdom of heaven. Do we really want to be like a little child? Having the spirit of a little child is the answer anywhere where there is strife. Solomon in the beginning said, “I am but a little child…” but as time went on, he lost that spirit of a little child. Wisdom even is no substitute for the spirit of a little child. I Samuel 15:17, Saul also lost the spirit of a little child that he started with.


The value of a diamond increases as its size decreases with the cutting and polishing. Our spiritual value in the father’s eyes increases as self decreases.


A little child forgets wrongs and the past and learns easily. A little child takes correction. We can see how much of the spirit of a little child we have by our reaction when we are corrected by some one younger than ourself. A little child finds security through correction. Corrected children develop more stability in their characters.


The spirit of a little child likes to come closer to the father, they have a deeper, closer relationship with the father. A little child doesn’t take offence. The spirit of a little child brings unity and repentance and gives direction, (Isaiah 11:6). How to get the spirit of a little child? Submit / yield to God.


Humility makes us approachable to those younger than us and dependable to those older than ourselves. A humble person takes the lowest place and feels they belong there. A little humility will save a lot of humiliation. Humility and obedience can not be separated. Life is one long lesson in humility. The left hand is a picture of humility for right handed people. It doesn’t try to take over the work of the Right hand but is always ready to assist. It waits, ready to be used.


I Peter 5:6-7, we have come here but have we really put ourselves under the mighty hand of God? Genesis 16, Hagar fled to the wilderness. She returned and submitted. The only other option was to die in the wilderness.


John 21, Jesus wants to show himself again and again. We must see him to be able to follow him. Jesus spoke to Peter in detail. Perhaps questioned his love 3 times because he had denied Him 3 times. They learnt that without Jesus, they could do nothing. Jesus showed Himself as their provider and feeder. Maybe they went fishing in the first place because they wondered where provision for their needs would come from. In this experience, a deeper work was done that was ever done before.


Psalms 103:1, 8-11, there are 3 things dominant in the writings of the Psalms.  1) The feeling of need, 2) a feeling of trust in God, and 3) expression of praise or thanksgiving. Praise is a shallow empty thing if God has not done a spiritual work in our hearts. In Matthew 2, Herod said he wanted to worship Jesus but it was empty words. The wise men found Jesus and fell down and worshiped Jesus. They worshiped then gave gifts, that’s the right order. Gold was like divine worship – a divine or spiritual response from our heart to God’s love. Frankincense was like prayer also an important part of worship. Myrrh was like a living sacrifice.


Psalms 116:12, the sacrifice of thanksgiving… Sacrifice to give thanks when we’re in the valley and sacrifice to give thanks when we’re on a mountain top, because then we want to, by nature, take praise to self.  The last 5 Psalms begin and end with the words, “Praise ye the LORD.”


Difficulties are made easy with willingness.


Joel 2:12-13, through repentance, we can receive cleansing and can lay hold on all that is in the Kingdom of Heaven. Repentance brings a change of direction. Repentance is saying sorry with our heart. Repentance is turning with all our heart. Sin is the result of a thought or a tendency with in us that has become strong enough to express itself. II Corinthians 7:9, repentance is like all the old leaves falling off and the sap flows again and the new leaves come in a tree after winter.


Psalms 40 is like David’s testimony. In the last verse, he says, "I am poor and needy." David was never a beggar but a great King and a fighter, but before God, he felt poor and needy. When we are in a pit, often we only hear our own voice, the echo. There is a difference between established and being stuck.


A fall sometime comes because of not holding fast. Love and trust can be restored again after a fall. We’ll be influenced by the Spirit of God if we keep close to God. Peter followed Jesus a far off and that allowed him to be found in different / bad company and he denied Jesus.


In Exodus 1 and 2, we read of some people who had the courage to put God’s will ahead of man’s laws. The midwives – put God’s will first. It meant more to them than the word of Pharaoh, and God built them houses, or as another translation puts it, God established their families. Then another law was brought in to throw baby boys into the river. Amram and Jochebed put their child in a place of safety. Later, he was drawn out and named Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter. Daniel proved it was possible to serve God in Babylon and Esther proved it was possible in Persia. In the Acts, Peter and John put the preaching of God’s word first above the commands of man. When we put God first, we will never loose.


Deuteronomy 11:10-14, God’s people face hills and valleys because we are following Jesus. Some of the mountaintop-like experiences in Jesus’ life were His Baptism, Peter’s confession, and the time of transfiguration. The deepest valley experience Jesus knew was perhaps the cross. Shame, regret, and guilt are like valley experiences for men. Joseph’s life was a series of hills and valleys. Through it all, he maintained the Love of God in his heart. Genesis 37:3, Joseph basked in his father’s love. He wore the coat of many colours and by it he showed to all, “my father loves me.” His brothers hated him for it. There’s a place next to our father that is kept for us and no enemy can speak against us when we are there.  Joseph, while in the pit, cried, yet never cursed his brethren. In a pit, vision is bad, only 4 walls, but we can always look up. God hadn’t forgotten him. Psalms 33: 12,13,18, being in Potipher’s house was like a hill experience. God was with Joseph. Temptation is like waves. Then Potipher’s wife was like a Tsunami. Joseph ran but left his garment but saved his testimony. It lead to him being put in prison, like a valley experience, but he kept a tender heart amongst hard-hearted men. Later, Joseph even in a high place wept several times. He kept his heart tender.


Ezekiel 37 speaks of a valley of dry bones. We could find ourself in such a place, but there is hope of a resurrection if we come and listen and obey. Lot chose to live in a valley. In the valley of Elah (I Samuel 17:2) David found the smooth stones that brought victory as he went on his knees.


Psalms 133, John 17:21-23, our relationship with our brethren is closely connected with our relationship with God. We’re nothing more to God than what we are to our brothers and sisters. Genesis 4:9, the first two brothers had a problem. The fault was not Abel’s. We all have the responsibility in life to be our brother’s keeper. Lot was Abraham’s nephew but for the sake of peace and unity, Abraham let Lot choose first. It doesn’t help to win an argument and lose a brother and it doesn’t help to win a better business deal and lose a brother. Brothers are more precious. Abraham went and risked his life and rescued his brother, and Abraham interceded for his brother. In Genesis 37:16, Joseph asked where his brethren were. Later when his brethren came before him in Egypt, he could have said, “I don’t want to be identified with these rogues!” But he said, “I am Joseph your brother.” Moses who saw the Hebrews fighting said, “Ye are brethren, why do ye wrong one to another?” In the Parable of the good Samaritan, he helped one who was not his brother. Compassion is feeling my brother’s pain in my heart. In Luke 18 in the story of the Publican and the Pharisee who went up to pray…we learn if we feel we are better than anybody then we don’t have the right relationship with our brother.


The older brother in the story of the prodigal (Luke 15) wasn’t his brother’s keeper and didn’t have the right relationship with his father either. Matthew 5:23 reminds us of the importance of a right relationship with our brother preceding sacrifice.


The latter verses in Matthew 25 shows the spirit of unity is demonstrated by showing concern for those outside our circle of interest or our comfort zone. There is unity of the members in the body. We need each other very much. Love as brethren. I Peter 3:8, I tried to see myself, and I could not find me, I tried to see my God, and my God I could not see, I tried to see my brother and I found all three. Unity makes us different to every people on earth. Charity shining through integrity, shows the world we are his family.


Large ships often have several anchors. An anchor is used (1) in a storm to hold the ship safe till the storm passes, (2) if there is engine trouble (internal problem) till it’s fixed, (3) sometimes put down at night to stop drifting. I Samuel 7:12, Ebenezer – hitherto has the Lord helped us. God’s help to this day is like an anchor to us. It anchors our faith and trust in God. Hebrews 6:19, hope is like an anchor to our soul. Sometimes the influence of faithful brothers and sisters can be an anchor to us. God’s promises are like an anchor to us. Our relationship with God is an anchor to us. God’s will is our anchor ground as mentioned in hymn 263.


James 3:13 …meekness of wisdom… another translation puts it as wisdom born of meekness. Verse 17, when we read of the wisdom from above it is like having an X-ray. Are these qualities in me? When experiences cross our way instead of asking, “Why?” ask, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me in this experience?” Wisdom is better than weapons of war. I Samuel 25:14, this young man appreciated all David’s care. He was wise and approached Abigail and brought the testimony of David and his man. This young man acted like a bridge in a trouble spot. Abigail had wisdom born of meekness. Because of her wisdom born of meekness, David’s men all laid down their weapons. We don’t need to worry about the enemy, they are in the Lord’s hand, too.


Mark 10:47, Bartimaeus cried out and stepped out. He stepped out of complacency, and he stepped out of pride and he stepped away from his beggar’s garment and he walked with Christ.


Samuel kept the Lord’s word in his heart. It didn’t go in one ear and out the other and fall to the ground.


Hymn 218

Psalms 60:4, display the banner means unfold the banner. We have three persistent enemies:  the world, flesh, and devil. These want to raise their flag and be in control and lower the flag of the kingdom of God.  The colours on the devil’s flag are deception and treachery. The colours on the world’s flag are material things, luxuries, position, showing off, and temptations. Some of the colours of the flag of self are selfish ambitions, pride, covetousness, and jealousy. The colours on the flag of the kingdom of God are wisdom, kindness, tenderness, forbearance, and love. In order to keep the flag up, we need to feed the love of God. In the battle when the soldiers see the flag ahead, they are inspired to march forward. When we surrender to the enemy, there will only be shame, sorrow, and suffering. Don’t roll up the flag and hide it. Be faithful unto death. We may not be as capable as many but we can be as faithful as any others. The weakness in men is lacking in prayer. (I Timothy 2:8)


Deuteronomy 32:4, Malachi 2:6, Galatians 6:7, there is only truth in a seed. A seed can not lie. In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira lied. If their sin had not been dealt with and time had gone on, then they would not have joy. There would have been like a lock on their hearts and they would have been trying to lead a double life. Deceit leads to bondage. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.


Ahab had a habit of practicing deceit. Ahab wove a web of deceit and got caught in it. In 1 Kings 22:30, Ahab put on a disguise. Jehoshaphat was saved because he went out as he was. God has a lie detector – the spirit of truth.


I Thessalonians 5:21, holdfast to that which is good. Thing to holdfast to…to sound doctrine, to the profession of your faith. Hold fast till the end. Hold fast till Jesus comes and let no man take thy crown. Jacob held fast to Esau’s heel when he was born. The Esau nature always looks at things from a natural viewpoint. Esau was asking for a blessing but he had revenge in his heart. Jacob saw a vision and he got a promise and he held fast to that promise. 20 years later, Jacob made the stone pillow cum pillar, an altar. Jacob held on to the angel when he wrestled and wouldn’t let go till he got a blessing. Lastly Jacob held on to / leaned on, his staff (like faith) and worshipped and blessed.

The devil’s masterpiece is to see a bitter old man and a sour old woman.


II Samuel 24:18-25, Malachi 1:13-14, these offered inferior sacrifices to God. One of the reasons we come to convention is to receive course correction. No point coming to convention if we don’t apply what we hear. It must grieve the heart of God when God sees people trying to cheat him and manipulate him.


Eve’s sin was not one of ignorance. She could quote the word of God, but the devil told her to doubt the word of God, don’t take it too seriously. False religion takes from God’s word what suits them. We don’t belong to a pick and choose religion. God’s people obey that which applies to them. In the book of Exodus, the people had to partake of the whole lamb. When Jesus fed the multitude, many cast away the fragments. Many accept the nail prints of Jesus but are not interested in the foot prints. The people of God and the way of God are inseparable. Salvation comes in accepting the way of God in it’s entirety. It’s human to want to get as much from God as we can in return for as little as possible. Obedience is better than sacrifice. It’s easier to give a sacrifice than to be a sacrifice.


Mark 8:18, what do we see of the spiritual things of the Kingdom of God? At a deaf and blind school concert, the deaf children sang with the blind, but sang in sign language. The deaf children were all focusing on their teacher who sat in the front row of the audience and signed, that way they were all able to stay together. In life, there could be many things we could focus on but what we focus on will be expressed in our lives. Judas focused on money and that lead him to selling Jesus. The rich young ruler focused of his possessions and that is what he turned to instead of following Jesus. When Peter didn’t focus of Jesus, he ended up denying him. Saul was blind for 3 days and Ananias was sent that he might receive his sight. He got a revelation of truth and kept focused on that.


I Peter 3:15, what is the reason for you serving God? Is it the fear of a lost eternity? We serve God because that brings us true satisfaction, joy, and peace. The Gospel begins and ends with love in heaven. It is a love story. We serve God because through the Gospel, His love laid hold on us. Love is a strong force. It has the greatest pull on our life. If we don’t love what we believe in, when the test comes we’ll follow what we love.


Deuteronomy 15:16-17. a Hebrew servant’s marked ear showed that he was willing to serve for ever, but it also showed that he had a loving master.


If you want your children to serve God, you’ll have to show them you love what you are doing. It’s sad when children are rebellious but it’s tragic when children are confused by what they see in their parents.


I John 3:1, God gave His Son in love and not measuring the sacrifice. Love brings joy. JOY is Jesus first, Others next, and Yourself last.


Hebrews 12:3, there’s nothing that helps us more in a struggle than to consider Jesus. Considering Jesus changes our attitude. There’s no better advice than to consider Jesus. Strength, joy, and willingness come with the sight. What am I doing in comparison with Jesus? He left heaven!  Psalms 68:19, the place of prayer is a very precious privilege / benefit. Love, mercy, correction, forgiveness are all benefits we enjoy because of Jesus. Isaiah 40:28, II Corinthians 4:7-10, if we consider Jesus, we’ll realize we must die to self. If we consider Jesus, we’ll never grow weary and faint in our mind.


Ephesians 5:2, for there to be a sweet smelling savour, the sacrifice must be pure. Jesus' life was pure therefore his sacrifice was pure. Jesus lived His sacrifice before he offered it. Jesus lived a perfect example before all, doing the will of the Father. Jesus walked in love for the whole world to see. Am I giving a pure or a blemished sacrifice? Offer our lives in love; that is acceptable to God. Jesus’ sacrifice was an offered sacrifice. When Jesus bowed to the will of the Father, it was like an offered sacrifice. In the garden He said, “Whom seek ye?” It was like offering Himself.


The lily is a symbol of purity. Water lilies grow in murky water yet retain their purity. The garden of Gethsemane was like a valley experience in the life of Jesus but yet He retained His purity in that experience. On the cross, Jesus retained His purity when He prayed, “Father, forgive them…” Later a company of priests believed. Hebrews 12:1-2, Jesus, while on the cross, kept His mind on pure thoughts, the joy that was set before Him. The pure in heart will see God. Hebrews 10:22 speaks of pure water, like the word of God.


II Corinthians 5:14-20, religion is a distortion of truth. The purpose of meeting together before the emblems is for reconciliation. The creature being reconciled with the creator through Christ. Truth is simple, clear, and definite. Like the commandment given to Adam. The first sin in the world was the sin of unbelief, followed by the sin of disobedience. To the religious world, the way of God is a riddle. They write books and create libraries about it, because they know not the truth. Truth is hidden from the wise and prudent. Knowledge puffs up, love edifies. We must do our homework if we want to grow in grace and understanding of the way of God.


Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 18:6, the spirit and attitude we have after being offended could be to us like a millstone about our neck. Righteousness is right standing with God.


Hebrews 10:5-9, every sacrifice is an offering but not every offering is a sacrifice. For example, in the story of the widow’s mite, the rich men cast in of their abundance. It was an offering but not a sacrifice. The poor widow cast in all her living. Maybe her entire wage for that day. It was a sacrifice.


Psalms 50:5, the covenant was made with a sacrifice. The covenant of life eternal was signed in the blood of Christ. We counter sign with our all.


Romans 5:10, reconciliation comes before salvation. We are saved and kept by His grace.


Sometimes we may run out of things to say, but we’ll never run out of things to do. We can’t do it if we don’t have the Father’s help. Philippians 4:13, it doesn’t take money, power, education, or ability to ask for God’s help, just humility. God’s power is available 24 hours a day. In I Samuel 7, we can read of people who got God’s help because they cried unto the Lord. It’s sad when we lose our song, but it’s tragic when we lose our cry.


We shouldn’t ask, “Why does God ask so much of me when life is so short?” but we should ask, “Why does God ask so little of me when eternity is so long?”


Parents are proud of their children when they see they are maturing. If a child grows without maturing, there’s trouble ahead for the parents. God wants to see us mature, not getting upset over small, petty things and not being so demanding, but learning to share. Small children have to be coaxed to eat, sleep, and bathe. But later with maturity, they do it themselves. If an adult doesn’t do those things themselves, they must be either sick or dying. If we are mature, then we don’t have to be old to read, meditate, and pray. People who don’t read, meditate, or pray, must be either immature or dying or sick.


God has given us a rule to use to keep our building square and upright with. Matthew 7:12 is God’s golden rule. It’s a good rule to keep firmly fixed in our mind. We don’t need education to use this rule. James 1:19, our reaction is really what we are. It’s a measure of the depth of God’s work in our life. Sometimes the problem’s not what we say but the tone we say it.


Matthew 24:44, it’s good to be ready. The five foolish virgins were just getting ready. How to be ready… do always the things that please the Heavenly Father.


John 13:34-35, Jesus wept over the city that killed Him and on the cross, He prayed for them. There is no barrier between friends that God can not remove.


False prophets were not known by a name but by their fruits.


The grace of God is like grease is to a machine. Without grease it slows down, heats up, and begins to squeal. Likewise the same will happen to us without the grace of God in our life and relationships with others. We should ask ourself, “What is in my life that irritates another?” Human nature wants to bring others down. Divine nature is willing to sacrifice and strengthen others and uplift others. No Pride – No problem.


Proverbs 30:19, oOne aspect of the life of Christ is like an eagle. Jesus said, “All power in Heaven and on earth are given to me.” Jesus is our elder Brother, powerful and strong. The eagle’s eye is very keen. The eagle knows how to use the unseen power of God to rise higher and see better and thus get more to feed on. When we rise higher above the things of earth we can see better and get more to feed our soul on. The way of a ship in the midst of the sea… a ship travels on the sea but leaves no tracks or marks. Jesus is our captain and He knows the way, we need not fear if we trust Him.


The Lord sends storms sometimes to wake us up, and storms bring us closer to God. If there are no storms on the land the crops will fail.


Zecheriah 4:6 and 10, another translation for small things says feeble things. A pilot of a ship guides it in and out of the harbour. It’s not by might or power it goes in and out but guided by a pilot. We have the spirit of God as our pilot.


When Jacob saw the vision of the ladder, he didn’t see himself on the ladder yet.


Isaiah 30:21, this voice came from behind. A complete turn still needed to take place. After a complete turn takes place the voice will be ahead. A complete turn means repentance.


God can complete His work only when we allow Him to begin it.


John 14:16,17,26; 15:26, 16:7-8, one of the main works of the Holy Spirit is to comfort. From birth, we are comfort seekers. But have we really found this true comfort that comes from the Spirit of God? Some try to find comfort in religion, philosophy, and other things, but only true comfort comes through the Spirit of truth being in us.


We should take Vitamin B2 every day. Bend and Blend. Trees that don’t bend in a storm are the ones that break. John 13, Jesus as Lord and Master bent and washed the disciples feet. Do a lot of bending to keep in good standing, like Ruth.