Lead Well: Repentance & Forgiveness

Leading well in life can be a challenge, even at the best of times. We will enjoy great days, followed quickly by what I lovingly refer to us ‘other days’.  We can create success out of nothing, yet sabotage ourselves just as easily.

And the biggest of sabotages will not come from problems we cannot solve, or from people who refuse to work with us, and not even from missing out on the success we consider we deserve. The greatest of sabotage will come from ourselves and how we respond to the mistakes we make along the way.

Will we cover up? Will we keep living like the other stuff hasn’t really happened? Or will we face the truth of it?

These are pivotal moments. Back in my twenties when I was confronted about certain lifestyle choices I had a decision to make. Ignore it or do the right thing. I had lied, covered up, behaved badly and now it had finally caught me out.

What I did was the hardest thing I had ever done, yet at the same time, it was the best thing I have ever done. I had some really difficult conversations with people I loved and asked them to forgive me.

It was a journey of repentance and forgiveness which was excruciatingly painful but beautifully liberating, all at the same time. I had learned one of my best lessons and I acknowledge that without travelling this path, I may not be leading the life I now am.

Be ready to repent. Be ready to ask for forgiveness. These two might be our greatest defence, helping us to keep leading well in life and to fulfil our true potential for God.

Repentance breaks the hold of whatever it is that has a hold of you.

Repentance disarms those things which can sabotage your God-given potential.

Repentance brings the truth out in to the open where it can then be dealt with.

Repentance gives God permission to get involved and to turn things around.

Repentance leads to forgiveness which leads to an outpouring of grace which sets you up for the future.

Repentance reminds you how much God loves you and how much those closest to you love you as well.

Let today be a pivotal moment kind of day. Be willing to be confronted or to confront yourself. For what and where do you need to say sorry? Who do you need to ask for forgiveness? Take the first step on this journey and don’t allow them to control you anymore.

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Prayer & Fasting

12-days-of-prayer-and-fastingToday we began 12 days of prayer and fasting as a Xcel Church. Corporately we are believing for some breakthroughs, especially as we head towards our Influence Conference in less than 3 weeks.

Personally too, many of us are taking this step of sacrifice and being intentional in our prayer and times with God to see change. This is definitely true for me and my family. But mostly prayer is all about relationship, to spend time with God, knowing God personally, more intimately and passionately.

In Ephesians 1:17 Paul prays that we ‘would know God better’ and that’s a great place to start, with such a simple yet very powerful prayer. After all, everything else flows from the health of our relationship with God. Plus it stops us from just coming to God with a ‘wishlist’ of stuff we think we need. Instead we just spend time with Him because it’s a good thing to do.

What are you praying and fasting for? What are you believing in faith for?

7 Things Which Could Help You Keep Going

When it comes to seeing change happen or breakthrough come, it can feel like God either isn’t listening or He has maybe gone on holiday.

Often the tiredness of just existing and coping with everything going on around us is all we can manage but I want to encourage you today and remind us all of 7 things which we must keep doing, even though they may be a struggle…

Keep praying. This is not a boast but I make sure that I get at least a few minutes every morning to pray. Each day has a different focus too.

Keep coming to church. When it feels like the last thing you want to do then I want to suggest it may possibly be the first thing you need to be doing.

Keep in close proximity to God. God told Abraham to walk before him and I think that’s a great picture of how we need to be with God. Stay as close as possible. Give extra special attention to the health of your walk with God.

Keep ‘naysayers’ away from you. People love to let you know what they think. This is not about getting rid of people, but more about being careful about which voices you actually listen to.

Keep some scripture in front of you. We have had scriptures written up and stuck on the wall before, just so it is literally in front of us all the time. God told Joshua to keep in the word all the time so his way would be successful.

Keep being thankful. It’s too easy to look at what you don’t have and miss all the incredible things that you do have. It’s easy to become frustrated for seemingly unanswered prayers while not noticing all the great things He has done without our asking.

Keep guard of your heart and your mouth. As much the words of others don’t help, so do our own. Put a guard on your heart. Don’t let any rubbish in. Be careful to keep speaking faith-filled words.

Is there anything else that you would add to this list?

It is Finished

Final night of Influence 2016 and what a night. Thank you to Vicki Simpson for her ministry, her obedience to God and listening to His voice.

 

Vicki spoke a great little message about Jesus on the cross crying out ‘It is finished’. Here are my notes…

John 19:28-30

It is finished = completed, accomplished, a successful end to a season

What had actually finished?
He was declaring something as done which wasn’t done yet. He said it then breathed his last. He called it just before it was finished. 

What do we need to declare as finished?

  • Lack
  • Sickness
  • Reconciliation
  • Strife
  • Confusion
  • Fear
  • Unforgiveness
  • Spiritually stuck 
  • Living without God
  • Lukewarm Christianity

It takes faith to start something
It takes faith to declare a thing finished

To move on, you need to call it finished, over. 
And that’s what we did. We shouted at that ‘thing’ and called it finished. Now we wait in faith for the evidence of that. 

Then we enjoyed a special closer and gave into the future of Xcel Church in Bangalore.  


What has been your highlight of Influence 2016?

How to Get Unstuck?

Puzzled__Main

 

Ever felt like you are stuck in a certain cycle? It could be a behaviour, a way of thinking, a problem or just a bad habit. It may not be anything too serious, or it may be threatening to your life, maybe influencing your marriage or other key relationships in a negative way, it could even be impacting your work life too.

Whatever ‘it’ is, one thing is true ~ something needs to change! The challenge is you just don’t know what that change needs to be or how to make the change a reality.

This Sunday at the United @ Five service we will include a panel. If you have a question that relates to this topic then please drop us a line and if its appropriate, we will do our very best to answer it.

Leave your question as a comment or email info@xcelchurch.com and then be with us this Sunday for ‘UNITED @ FIVE’

Influence 2015.4

Loving Conference and the privilege of listening to our very own Lead Pastor John Greenow. Talking about the first 20 minutes…

The first 20 minutes of exercise have the most benefits within them

How many benefits are waiting for us in the first 20 minutes of our lives? There is always extra energy needed to get us from the inertia to movement. 

You will face challenges when you start something new. 

Mark 6:1-6
This was their greatest opportunity to receive the benefits of Jesus. Instead they went from wonder to being offended, missing out. 

Where are some of our 20 minutes?
In our praise & worship every Sunday – do we see the benefits of the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

It’s not just the praise & worship. It’s part of the struggle to get to the benefits. 

Same with giving. Same with praying. 

God is helping you in this season to finish off what you have already started. 

Jesus is the breaker that goes before us (Micah 2:13). You may feel a failure but the breaker has gone before you. Remember the One who goes with you & ahead of you. 

The key is to keep moving. The breaker creates a heavenly slip stream for us to follow Him through

Your Christian Journey

I set myself the challenge for 90 days – rising early to pray & seek God. Here are my thoughts as it heads towards day 90…

…90 days is a LONG time
…it’s TOUGH to keep the disciplines going
…believing for BREAKTHROUGH is exciting
…recognising the breakthrough when it COMES is not always easy
…prayer WORKS
…loving reading the Word at the moment – incredible how often it speaks to you the right word at the right time
…change is often a necessity to see breakthrough become a REALITY
…the walk is just that, a walk – NOT a sprint
…one breakthrough is NEVER enough – I’m learning that I should always be believing for something
…stretching your faith HURTS
…where I am at with God IMPACTS every aspect of my life
…holding onto my INTEGRITY is an essential element to gaining breakthrough
…KEEP tight with God
…enjoy the JOURNEY, otherwise what’s the point!

How is your journey going at the moment?
Seen any breakthroughs recently?

Change Your Habits, Change Your Life…[Day 59]

I always talk about this idea in the context of leadership. It’s not a new thought.

John Maxwell talks about how changing your beliefs change your behaviour which in turn can change your life. I knew this to be true but after 2 months of getting up earlier to pray and read the word I see it more clearly than ever. New disciplines create new horizons, a different way of seeing things and spending time with God can only be a good thing, right?

I reckon everyone is searching for some kind of breakthrough. Here’s what I’m learning…don’t just expect God to ‘do it’ for you. Sometimes change only comes through prayer and fasting. Sacrifice isn’t everything but ‘laying down your life’ for a moment and getting with God can often be the difference maker. Don’t squeeze Him in somewhere, rather set aside time, quality time for God. I think I’m of the opinion that if it was necessary for Jesus, then how much more is it necessary for me.

The Psalmist had it right, speaking often of ‘seeking God’, ‘staying blameless’, trusting in His ways’, rather than being too carefree. To seek, to stay blameless, to trust…this are active, we have to be determined at times to keep them.

Proverbs 21:21 ‘He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honour’

Keep your standing with God right! Don’t let the ‘stuff’ of life distract you too much from God. It’s easier to drift through each day and then wonder where they have gone, than live life with purpose and keep God at the centre of all you do. The default setting for humans never looks great – it usually involves laziness, being casual about stuff and reasonably selfish.

Maybe the time for change has arrived.
Maybe this time the change should be in spiritual things to bring about the change you want in other areas.

So…what changes are you making that demonstrates to God that you put Him first?
What breakthrough are you believing for? What victories have you seen so far?