Walk With God: Repentance

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord [Acts 3:19]

A walk with God begins with repentance. In fact, it begins and then continues with repentance. It is the beginning of a journey of discovery, understanding what we have been forgiven. It is a continual process, keeping the connection between ourselves and God clear of any rubbish.

To repent is to be convicted.

Conviction leads to repentance, which leads to admittance, which leads to forgiveness, which leads to a new pathway to walk on.

To repent is to deal with stuff.

Turning away from an old life, which comes from confronting old habits, which can mean dealing with some of the awkward stuff, which empties life, making room from something new.

To repent is to be honest. 

Honesty that opens the way for God to enter our lives in a meaningful way, which leads to transformation, which leads to a life, full in the way God wants us to experience it.

The power of repentance should never be taken forgranted.

What do you think?

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?

A Call to Tarry in Prayer

This week we have focused some prayer into the life of Xcel Church and into the lives of those associated with it and beyond. We want to see God move.

God moves when people pray. One thing is guaranteed too, 100% of unasked prayers will go unanswered. The only person to blame for that in my own life is me. If I don’t ask, God cannot answer. So it begs the question ~ why don’t I pray more?

I want to. I want to see God move. I want to see things change. However, as I have said before about intentions, they are not enough. An intention to pray is not a prayer. I actually have to pray. I have to make time to get with God and ‘tarry’ a while with Him.

Jesus spoke to his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane and asked them ‘Could you not tarry in prayer for one hour? Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?’ That is a challenge to me. To make space for prayer. On my own and with others too.If I desire to see things change then I have to do something different, I have to move away from what might be good, get on my knees and pray and believe for what I know in God is better.

Prayer does not come naturally. It’s amazing what can seem interesting or how my time can be filled with nothing of any consequence, rather than spending an hour in prayer. I pray and ask God to help me to pray.

What are you asking God for? Where do you want to see God move? Are you taking the time to pray and to ask in faith in the name of Jesus? 

One last thought, something that has helped me. Write your prayers down. My mind wanders when I pray. I start to think about a hundred other things when I close my eyes to pray so about 3 years ago I started to journal my prayers and it has helped me so much to keep my focus, plus I can read back through them and see some incredible things that God has done in my life because I asked Him to.

And if you are part of Xcel Church, why not join us tomorrow night at the Xcel Centre from 7.30pm for one hour of prayer as we pray for our world, to see people come to Jesus and for His kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven.

An Important Question

This seems a little cheeky but that thing that bothers you, I hope you don’t mind but I have a question for you.

The job that frustrates you.

The marriage that seems lost.

The neighbour from hell.

The sickness that just won’t go.

The kids and their behaviour.

The financial decisions that are causing you so much stress.

The habit that has such a stronghold.

That tested friendship.

The miracle you so want to see.

Those people you would love too see become Christians.

The decision that needs to be made.

Have you prayed about it?

I’m sure you have, so ignore me. Yet I’m just curious, because if you are anything like me then sometimes we work really hard at trying to sort these things out for ourselves, we exert unending amounts of energy to resolve certain situations but we don’t spend the same levels of energy asking God.

Working hard is important. Praying is important too. Don’t stop doing either. But pray more.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. [Matthew 7:7-8]

Keep on Praying

Last week I said February would be a month of prayer. Maybe you decided to join me.

Here is my focus for the next 7 days:

8th: Phil & Allison Le Dune who are travelling in Burkina Faso
9th: Those who lead in government
10th: All of the amazing Connect Group leaders within Xcel Church and those who are part of Groups
11th: Kerina – not just because she is my wife but also because of her role at the Centre
12th: To see people reached with the good news of Jesus Christ
13th: Influence Conference – praying for our speakers Canon J John & Pastor Ray Bevan
14th: For those preaching the Word across the UK

Be anxious for nothing but in all things pray (Philippians 4:6)

Look For The Cloud

No rain for 3 years. That’s a long time. Maybe some people had begun to give up on God. Maybe some had begun to doubt that the situation would ever change.

Yet one person chose to pray. One person chose to believe. Elijah stood alone doing what others felt they could not do. Or felt it wasn’t even worth doing. Perhaps you can relate.

No healing for a long time.
No financial breakthrough.
No change in circumstances.
No sign of God for a what has seemed like forever.

Then take courage. Go to the secret place and pray. Keep on praying and believing. Then look to see if God is on the move. Look for the cloud the size of a mans fist. Then get up and start moving by faith, trusting God for the fullness of the answer.

Be on the look out for what God is doing not what He isn’t. Keep your eyes open for that small move of God and be encouraged.

Don’t Worry

These simple words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25 are powerful. He knew how worry would suck the life out of us. How it would choke us, cause us sleepless nights, get a hold of us and become difficult to let go of. He recognised it as a tactic of the enemy. A result of fear and doubt, a thinking on what could wrong and focusing on that too much.

The challenge is we get so used to worrying that we accept it. The way we feel about the things we worry about becomes normal. That does not make it right.

How should we handle worry?

Pray. Be anxious for NOTHING but in EVERYTHING pray [Philippians 4:6-7]

Immerse yourself in truth. Take captive every thought and bring it in line with the Word of God.

Let God do what you cannot do. We should pray, seek counsel and get organised but we must also let God be God. He is bigger than our worries. He can handle them.

Trust God. Don’t take it back when nothing seems to happen. Trust in the Lord. Don’t allow worry to steal your faith.

Put on the armour. Every day. Gird yourself with truth. Guard your heart. Lift up your shield of faith. Keep mindful of your salvation. Tell of all the good things Jesus has done for you.

Let’s stop worrying and start living. Let’s live the full life that Jesus spoke about. Let’s not give the devil a foothold any longer. Let’s trust God, no matter what.

He Sees Our Faith

The prayer meeting this morning was amazing. Loved that there were more of us there, plus many others praying in their own homes too. When the saints come together in faith, incredible things can happen.

Again, we prayed on behalf of those who may not have the strength, physically or emotionally, to pray for themselves. We stood in the gap, calling on God for miracles.

Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralysed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. WHEN HE SAW THEIR FAITH, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘ our sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” [Luke 5:18-24]

HE SAW THEIR FAITH.
HE SEES OUR FAITH.

That should act as a great encouragement to us. With so many people suffering in different ways, we are doing all that we can to bring each person to Jesus. He sees our efforts in believing that God can do what others say is impossible. He sees our determination to take hold of the Word and speak it over people’s lives. He sees our faith in Him for change, for miracles, for bodies to be made hold. He sees our hope in God when those who are ill may be losing theirs. We just need to keep praying, to keep believing and to not give up.

Why not join us 7-8AM every Thursday as we pray. It may not be possible for you to join us physically but wherever you are take a moment to remember those from the ‘household of faith’ who need a miracle. Let’s stand in agreement for change – for friends, family, colleagues, fellow Christians around the world.

#xcelthursdayprayer