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First Principles

When people come into a church, this is what happens: they learn keys and principles. If you 'll do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - you'll
be blessed! I know what I need to do, but I'm stuck on #1, so couldn't remember the other four - I wasn't quick
enough, didn't get them down. So what happens is: if we don't watch, we move from grace - the undeserved flow of
God's life - and end up under the law.
Now how does this really show up? It shows up in how you relate to other people! It shows up in how, particularly,
you relate to the body of Christ. If you realise that all your life is in Him, in Christ, then you begi n to catch His heart,
and you realise He's in others as well. If I'm going to walk with Jesus, the anointed one, and let His life flow in me, I've
got to respect and honour and value those in His body who also carry the same anointing - I've got to learn how to
love people. I've got to learn how to value people. I've got to learn how to let His life flow through me; and the first
step is just repenting, turning from your dead works, so then you can get into a place of faith. Now I'll talk about faith
in the next session.
For most, faith means: also trying hard, trying hard to believe. What they're really saying is: I'm still stuck here in my
dead works, trying hard to be a better person, hoping God will do something. Unfortunately, He doesn't do it for me -
He does it for Ian, or someone else like that. Do you understand?
It's actually about a divine life flow, a divine life flow. Repentance from dead works has to be established as a way of
life. It is the first foundational keys to making it possible for yo u to engage the life of Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you're living out of duty, obligation, legalism; where you do things out of a
wrong motive, a wrong attitude, resentful, guilty, shame-based, fear-based, all that kind of stuff. Ask God to show you
where that is; and why don't you say: God, at the centre of that activity, it's all about me, and what I get out of it. Lord,
I open my heart to the cross, to change - it's the cross, and what Jesus did.
[Closing Prayer]
Father, we just thank you for the wonderful grace that is extended to us in Jesus Christ. How amazing is that grace -
that accepts us, that loves us, that redeems us. Oh Father, what a great heart of love. It is hard for us, who work so
hard, to comprehend how much you love us; but we see in the Prodigal Son who deserved nothing, but when he
came with a repentant heart to be reconnected with his father, he didn't have to do any great thing. You just reached
your arms around him, and loved him and welcomed him, celebrated him, we pt over him, dressed him in fine clothes,
restored him to sonship and authority - and he didn't deserve it.
Oh my, we don't deserve grace, but You're empowerment to live is what enables us to change. Father, right now in
these next few moments, speak into our hearts. Is there any area where we're walking in dead works - self-centred,
worried about what people think, looking after ourselves, covering up who we really are, concealing the reality of an
inner life that isn't going so well; desperately trying to look good, struggling with guilt and shame - all these things.
Lord, today show us, so we can repent and turn from them. Father, Father, thank you for your lo ve.
Is there any person here who's never made the first step of a changed life, which is to receive Jesus Christ? You can
feel the love of God just touching you, you can feel the spirit of God moving around your heart. God is reaching out to
you, to bring you back to Himself. You're a child without Father, and He wants to bring you back into His family. The
answer to that is found very simply, and Jesus said: “whoever received Him, whoever believed on Him, whoever
opened their life to make Him welcome, He gave the right and privilege to become a child of God.”
It's something happens in a moment - when you receive Christ, the Spirit of God enters your heart. I'd love you to
pray with me right now this simple prayer, a prayer to change your heart and change your life. I'd like you to follow me
this prayer...
Father in heaven, I come to you in Jesus' name. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the
cross for my sins. Today I turn away from sin and dead works, struggling to be good enough. I turn to you the living
God. Jesus, I receive you into my heart and life. I ask you to forgive me. I ask you to be my saviour. By faith today I
receive you as my saviour. I give my life to you, and I thank you for your spirit coming into my heart right now, making
me clean, making me different. Today Lord Jesus Christ I belong to You. Amen.
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