Recovering the Narrative of Scripture by Stephen Dempster

In recent years there has been a growing awareness of a theological and spiritual crisis in Western Culture not unlike that in ancient Judah.  The Bible has been lost as far as its essential message is concerned, or if it has been found, it has been cut up into a thousand pieces and thrown into the fire. An attempt at recovery has been called “theological interpretation,” and it has arisen because there has been the growing conviction among many Christian scholars and lay people alike that there is a famine for the Word of God throughout the land not unlike the time predicted in Amos’s day (Amos 8:11-14). In many churches, the Scripture has been Left Behind for Your Best Life Now among the many Purpose Driven books and popular Self-Help manuals. If by chance its words are read, they are often placed in the context of how to become a better person, or how to have a better marriage, or how to improve one’s potential, or how to live one’s dream, or how to understand the Bible as a cipher for future events. Frequently bits and pieces of the text are read and one never gets a sense of the entire picture so that the scripture is reduced to a daily series of “devotionals,” or a book of quaint quotations, a source for private inspiration or public motivation.

A recent news story told how Bible verses were engraved on the gun sights of rifles by an arms manufacturer to be used in Iraq and Afghanistan. This prompted one wit to ask the question, “Who would Jesus shoot?”  The church has become so imbedded into the culture that it has difficulty even understanding the Bible. On the other hand, in the more liberal wing of Christianity, the Bible suffers a different fate, being cut up into a thousand pieces and thrown into the fire to be reduced to ashes by the flames of historical criticism, deconstruction, or other ideological criticisms whether liberationist, feminist, post-colonial or whatever reading strategy has become the current fad. In both contexts, conservative and liberal, the Bible does not set the agenda; the church and the culture do. The Bible is simply a means to an end determined by the church working in lock step with the culture.

“A Light in a Dark Place”: A Tale of Two Kings and Theological Interpretation of the Old Testament by Stephen Dempster

The First Step

God has taken the first step and he loves us unconditionally.

Love is not earnt, not bought, not worked for, not sold or rewarded.

For love transcends gender, it transcends male and female, as both are needed, equally, to reflect the glory of God.

In Christ we are now united in Spirit, spirit to spirit.

So who am I really?

You are a son and daughter of God. You were planned and purposed before time and you were birthed into time to be the delight of his heart. You are the child he always wanted, the child he adores and loves. You were created in love, birthed in love and held in love.

You are His beloved.

And his love was declared for all eternity at the cross. The cross reaches across the chasm of eternity and takes the past and draws it into the present. For the cross is the promise of the rest of God , provided in the Garden of Eden, sealed in a covenant with David, promised in the declaration of Jonah, demonstrated in the compassion of Jesus, written in letters by the pen of Paul and portraited to John in a vision on the island of Patmos.

God who transcends creation, entered creation and died to reconcile creation.

In Christ you are now a New Creation.

Connected

God is saying, “I have come to be with you. I have come and entered into time and life to make you one with me. I have come to draw you as a lover pursues his bride. I have come to marry myself to you. I have come to be one with you. You are never alone, you are never empty for the Holy Spirit has been poured out on ALL flesh. You are always connected to me.”

Today know that you are not empty. That any feelings of emptiness are an illusion. God is reaching out to you and invites you into a deeper and more powerful union than you have ever experienced.

With each breath he is breathing his life into you. You are not empty you are connected.

Let God work in and through you and let his Holy Spirit rise up inside you and let him do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think according to the power that works within you.

Call Out Lazarus

Call out Lazarus

Call out those things which appeared to have died.

It is time to call out those dreams, ideas, words and expectations that have laid dormant or have died and bring them back to life.

Sing over the barrenness of the situation and see new life come back into the dream.

Let your words bring life. Let your words bring resurrection.

Let your words declare that the well is full.

Let God’s spirit alive in you bring new life into dead things.

Today do not settle for anything less than God’s best. Call out Lazarus from the tomb. Let your words bring new life. Sing over the barrenness of the situation.

Let your words bring life.

A Whole New Self

I will think of myself as I really am – the new man, created in Christ Jesus in righteousness and true holiness! I am the new man, complete, acceptable, full, a success, pure, and righteous!

When Christ came out of the grave, He rose as the firstborn of the new creation.

He brought us up with Him!

Thus we were re-created as part of the new creation in Him!

The old self didn’t rise with Christ, a whole new self did!

Old vs New

Old CovenantNew Covenant
I seek GodGod sought and found me . Luke 19:10
I pray to God for revivalI am the revival. John 6:58
I believe for blessingsI am blessed and I am the blessing of God. Ephesians 1:3
I need to earn God’s blessingsGod’s blessings have earned and saved me. Romans 2:4
I look for an Open heavenI am God’s open heaven. Mark 16:17-18.
I am looking for the move of GodI am the very move of God. Philippians 4:13
I need to obey to be blessedI am already blessed and empowered to obey. Titus 2:10-11
I need to be forgivenI am already forgiven. Colossians 3:13
I chase the anointingI have the anointing of Jesus. 1 John 2:27
I believe God for healingI have the healing and I am the healing. Isaiah 53:5
I cry out for the outpouring of the SpiritThe Spirit has been poured out. Acts 2:4
I wait for God to speak to me from HeavenGod has already spoken to us. Hebrews 1:2
I earn my healingChrist has already paid for my healing. 1 Peter 2:24
When I do something bad God is angryGod will never be angry with me again. Isaiah 54:9
I suffer because of generational cursesI have been redeemed from all curses. Galatians 3:14-15.
I am always seeking the favour of GodI have God’s favour and it does not leave me
I am seeking God’s presenceI am the temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19.
I am seeking and chasing God’s gloryI am the very glory of God. Colossians 1:27.
I am fighting for victoryI am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:35.
I boast on how I love GodI focus on how God loves me. 1 John 3:1
Gods thoughts are far above meI have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

A New Lense

Every promise of God is a new lense. The promise of God opens my eyes.

We live life with our eyes closed to the grace of God. We are prisoners to our own blindness. Blind to the beauty, majesty, and magnificence of God.

“The people in darkness have seen a great light.”

“I give sight to the blind, to open blind eyes.”

God’s promises are the healing to our blind eyes and gives us New Eyes to see God in a totally new way. Each promise brings sight and heals our blindness to the grace of God.

With each promise we see God from a totally new perspective.

Drenched

You have been drenched with the goodness of God and all His grace has drenched your heart.

The land of your life has been drenched into the presence of God.

You now live in the day of the harvest.

God is harvesting in you. His peace, joy, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, tenderness, healing, wholeness and self-control.

You are drenched in his righteousness, drenched in his power, drenched in his healing and drenched in his bountiful life.

You now live in the days finest harvest , the days of the finest wine, the days of the most beautiful roses.

Christ has overflowed his grace into you and you are drenched in his presence within you.

Today know that he has drenched you
into his life. Your heart is saturated with his power and life. Whatever comes your way, know that you are drenched in the provision of heaven. Heaven lives in your heart and you are drenched in its fullness.

The ‘New Season’ Mindset

The word on my mind over the last few weeks is that God is trying to break a “seasons” / ‘New’ mindset that has come over people and stifled Christians.

I cannot count the times when devoted Christians have declared that God is “doing a new thing!” That we are about to enter a “New day” or a “New season”! It is this mindset that takes our faith off all that Christ has already given to us and Christ’s finished work of the Cross. In addition to this, the metaphor of the seasons has become an excuse for moodiness, unbelief, depression, inactivity, and the like. It must end…

Instead of waiting and hoping for ‘God to sovereignly move’, we can access the exceedingly abundantly power that works within us. This power is far above all we could ask or think.

God is encouraging us to breathe in the Holy Spirit alive to and in us, instead of waiting for him to do something. God in Christ has already done it at the cross.

It is time to breathe him in and live in his power within us.

It is time to breathe him in and live in the finished work of Christ.