Which Christmas Will You Have This Year?

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Yesterday was a great day in Church. Every generation celebrating Jesus in the best ways. Plus we had we so much fun, loads of creativity on show, people using their gifts and talents to show off their love for God. And mince pies too. Does it get any better?

With the help of children and parents, we built a nativity yesterday at Xcel Church which wasn’t quite complete. NO JESUS. Too many have a Christmas full of the trimmings ~ the food, the drink, the presents, time with family and friends but it ends up being one with NO JESUS. Nothing wrong with all of those.

Christmas without Jesus is an empty or half-filled Christmas. Seemingly full of all the right things yet not truly satisfying.

God’s desire is that we have a Christmas where we KNOW JESUS. One where we put Jesus at the centre of all the celebrations.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. [Luke 2:6-7 NIV]

This Christmas receive more that just a gift from a friend, receive the greatest gift and KNOW JESUS.

He came to bring life and light to all the world. He came to seek and save that which was lost. He came to reconnect us to God. He cam to forgive us from all of our wrongdoing. He came to bring life in all its fullness.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full [John 10:10b NIV]

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life [John 3:16]

Spread the word this Christmas. Make sure to take a moment to KNOW JESUS and thank Him for coming from heaven to earth. Why not ask others if they would like to invite Jesus into their life this Christmas, to go from a place of NO JESUS to a life where they can begin to KNOW JESUS.

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If you want to KNOW JESUS this Christmas then why not prayer this simple prayer of salvation to invite Jesus into your life.

DEAR GOD, I AM PRAYING BECAUSE I KNOW I NEED A SAVIOUR. THIS CHRISTMAS I AM DECIDING TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, THAT HE DIED FOR MY SINS AND THEN ROSE AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY. I AM ASKING YOU GOD TO FORGIVE MY SINS AND I BELIEVE THROUGH JESUS, I AM FORGIVEN. AMEN.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved [Romans 10:13]

 

 

Break With Tradition

Excited about the message for this Sunday night at Xcel. 

Traditions can be both good and bad. Is there life in it? Or has it just become something we do because we always have? 

Maybe this Christmas it’s time to break with some old traditions and begin some new ones.

To help in this message we will be launching the #xceladventchallenge and I’m designating United @ 5 this week ‘Sticker Sunday’. 

Don’t stay away. Why not come along and find out what I mean, join in the fun and the journey. Let’s mess with Christmas this year and see what God might have us to do. 

7 Kingdom Thoughts

Been reflecting today on all we’ve been talking about in respect of the Kingdom of God, what it is but more importantly, how it should impact our lives. 

1. Living like a Kingdom person isn’t easy. 

2. Just because I’m a Kingdom person doesn’t mean I’m perfect. But I’m on that journey like all of us. Some stuff takes time. Israel came out of Egypt in a day but it took a generation to get Egypt out of Israel. 

3. If I’m letting people know that I am a Christian, and therefore by decision, a Kingdom person, I better do my best at not making a hash of it. 

4. Kingdom people wear the badge of grace with honour understanding that without the grace of God we are nothing. We are careful not to wear the badge of lifestyle, pity, bad behaviour, self-righteousness or anything else with the same kind of honour we should be giving to God. 

5. We are now writing our Kingdom story, one which is being added to all the Kingdom stories written by individuals before us, including Jesus. 

6. To be a Kingdom citizen is to make Jesus is King of my life, which means that I no longer am. 

7. Wondering what is stopping me from actually living like the Kingdom of God stuff is true, real and works? What if I lived like God is good, wants the best for me and is most definitely on my side?

Just my thoughts and I am certainly challenged by all that we are teaching and speaking about at the moment. One simple thing I have learned is this: the first and most important walk with God I need to give my attention to is my walk with God.

If you are part of Xcel Church, what have you been learning from this Kingdom series?

7 Great Reports from Church Today

Yesterday I encouraged you to do all you could to be in church today. I hope you made it to one of our locations or our United @ 5 service. It has been a great day. We miss you when you are not able to be with us. Let us know if you need prayer by messaging us prayer@xcelchurch.com

I am always humbled by how magnificent our God is and how He works in us and through us. And I love being in church too. Here are 7 quick observations from today…

Our team across all that we do are amazing. 

Loved hearing about the Quiz from this week and people meeting people for the first time. 

The presence of God. How desperate are you for some of that?

Watching people of all ages connecting with one another, encouraging each other and worshipping together. 

For messages that are not just about your Sunday but much more for your Monday. Today was all about connection and being the best Kingdom people we can be.

Helping people take their next step on the Growth Track. Next one starts in January.

Telling people that those they have done the Growth Track with actually live round the corner. ‘We’re neighbours’.

What was your highlight?

My Sunday Reflection

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Yesterday in talking about becoming our kingdom self to church I talked a little about faith. To be faithful to what God is calling us to do is be someone who is full of faith. The incredible thing is we don’t need to be full in the sense of a good meal full when it comes to faith, we just need faith the size of a mustard seed and then mountains can be moved.

To be faithful is to be putting our faith into action. Faith is the currency of the kingdom. Without we cannot please God. Faith honours God. Faith puts God first. Faith gives Him permission to be involved in our every situation.

Which begged the question – what are we believing for?

So we took a moment and wrote one thing done. 67 prayers of faith. On my office wall. Things that in reality only God can do. Every post-it note represents a person. Behind each prayer there is a story. They are a cry from the heart to see salvation come to friends and family. For restoration. For help. For guidance. For wisdom. To see the kingdom come on earth as it is heaven.

My commitment now is to pray. Not that my prayers are any more powerful than anyone elses prayers. I just have a little bit of faith to see God move. To see some turnaround. To see some breakthroughs. To see some people come to Jesus. For us to be ready to be the answers to some of these prayers. That we depend on God but get involved too.

I am asking God, what can we do to help one another. How can we as Xcel Church reach these who have been named with the Gospel? How can we resource and equip the church so they are ready, full of courage, full of the Holy Spirit?

When I read these I think I caught a glimpse of Gods heart and was reminded of the line from a song a few years back: ‘Break my heart for what breaks yoursBreak my heart for what breaks Yours, Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause’.

This Kingdom Life [2]

Every day is a kingdom day full of kingdom opportunities. The big question then is whether I am ready and willing to take them.

By entering the kingdom through surrender, I become a part of the kingdom story God has been writing since the moment of creation. I want to contribute something of value. This may not be the best way of putting it, what I mean is, I want my kingdom life to be just that, a life lived for the kingdom and to be a story worthy of being a part of the bigger kingdom story God is always writing.

I’ve just read that previous paragraph and I may be guilty of having made the kingdom about me, which it is not.

To enter the story is a privilege. To live within a kingdom that I was made for but didn’t know it. I was rescued into it. It’s almost exclusive but there is an open invite to join, you just have to come in through Jesus.

This kingdom life is where my loyalties now lay. As my life writes a story, the evidence will be there for all to see as to whether I kept those loyalties or not. God first, easy to say, harder to do. Yet this is where kingdom starts and ends for me. Jesus really is the answer to the question when it comes to this kingdom life.

This kingdom life is a journey. We don’t get it all worked out on day one. There is a battle between the old and the new. Even though we know the new is better we may still hold on to old habits, behaviours, thinking, attitudes and the like. But the decision has been made. It is the willingness to be a disciple from that moment which enables us to fully occupy the kingdom and experience all the benefits. Until the day when the future kingdom comes and everything is made perfect.

In the meantime I pray, ‘Lord help me to keep seeking You first, so my life may be a good story of how living in Your kingdom makes a difference. Amen’

Clap & Shout

“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭47:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This is no mild suggestion but more of an instruction. Something we should do because it is good to do. 

Clap your hands ~ everyone!!

To clap is to appreciate, to encourage, to celebrate, to honour. To clap hands to God is to therefore do all of those for Him. 

As our hearts are filled with gratitude for all the good and great things He has accomplished for us, we clap. 

Not a polite clap, instead an excited, energetic clap that demonstrates the full of our thankfulness. 

Shout to God ~ with loud songs!!

We just recorded a new live praise and worship album at Xcel Church. We sang our hearts out and yes, it was loud too. 

To shout is to exclaim, to make a point, to be overwhelmed in a moment of joy or a moment of anger & frustration. 

To shout to God is to make know His greatness so others will hear and my want to join in. It is to be unashamed of the good news of Jesus and what He means to us every day. 

So today lets take some time – let’s clap our hands and shout God. Spend time appreciating all God has done, is doing and will do IN you and THROUGH you. 

By the way ~ what’s your favourite song to clap and shout to God to?

To Pioneer…

Two alternative thoughts each day this week about pioneering from my message this Sunday. Just a different way to think. 


If we way this then maybe we make pioneering too exclusive. What have others never done that we could do? That may be the excuse we are looking for to not even bother trying. 

Yet one definition of pioneering is to be someone who takes the LED and therefore becomes an example. This means that we don’t have to find a brand new something that others haven’t done. 


Just do something YOU haven’t done before. 

For example, my church, Xcel are about to officially become 1 church in 4 locations, with Xcel Bangalore launching on Sunday 28th August.

We are not the first church to launch another location. Does that mean we are not pioneering? Of course not. We are the evidence of the second statement and pioneering by doing something we have never done before. 

What could you do that you have not done?