Step One: Go Silently to The Cross

At The Cross:

the-crown-of-divine-grace1It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming! In that one short sentence Tony Campolo summarised the essential message of Easter. I heard it 34 years ago and through the years it has stuck with me. It’s one of those messages that explodes into revelation on so many levels.

Today is Friday, Good Friday in fact. All through the news feed and the television there have been images of churches stopping to memorialise the death of Jesus 2000 years ago. For some it is a ritual that they have practiced all their lives, or for new converts, mainly those into established institutional churches it is a new ritual. But, I do wonder, sometimes, what people are taking away from that ritual?

I grew up in a church where Good Friday, Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday were actually obligatory, confession on Good Friday, before the veneration of the cross, or at the very least on Holy Saturday, before the Vigil mass, the principle being that one should be in a place to receive Holy Communion and unconfessed sin was best being excised and absolution received. In this case obligatory meant that it was obligation to attend. Non-attendance was regarded as a sin which would send you to, at the very least, Purgatory.

I still believe that it is important to expel sin, through confession and the receipt of forgiveness. But, I no longer need to go confess my sins to another man; but through the Grace and the Mercy of God I can and must come boldly (not belligerently) before the throne of God to maintain the communication with God, my Father, as clearly and as intimately as I can.  (1John 1:9)new-covenant_Nails

The receipt of that forgiveness of sin is by faith; it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether I ‘feel’ forgiven, or not. If I relied on feelings then I would be absolutely useless to God living a life of false humility, or in dire fear of Hell.

I once lived like that, wracked by a sense of guilt and shame. I believed that nothing I did was any good. I was afraid that what other people said about me was true. I was useless; I wasn’t worthy of living; and on a number of occasions I took steps to end the screaming pain deep down on the inside of me through suicide; I just wanted the pain to stop.

I had been convinced that things that I had been involved in, things that I had done with others was sending me to Hell. That was how I reasoned continuing to do those things that had me feeling so bad about myself. “Hey, I’m already going to Hell! So, I may as well go all the way!”  I tried really hard to be the best I could be at going to hell. I put time and effort into it.

Each and every time that I did, deep down on the inside of me, I sensed the same yearning that had stopped me from taking the final step when I had tried to commit suicide. That yearning was and is that desire that draws me closer and closer to God. Draws me closer to my relationship with Jesus and is the work of the Holy Spirit deep down inside my spirit; the very core of who I am.

love-hearts-and-kisses-wallpaper-hdThis same desire for God, is also the desire that I have had, since I was a child, to serve him. To share my Love for the one who has helped me to see the potential in myself and eyes to be able to see that potential in others as well. It’s the knowledge that when I was at the place where I believed that I was truly unlovable, unworthy; where I was filled with loneliness. He took me to where I understand that I am Loved Unconditionally, made whole and given Rightstanding “In Him”; to a place where I know that I am loved and welcome; not an outcast; a place where I can serve.

It has taken time and the work is not complete. I still have to remind myself, through the scriptures, what Jesus has done for me. But, I’m confident in the fact that he is able to complete the job he has begun. At least I am able to have that confidence, now that I know where and how to look for what God has said about me, in His Word.

Sadly, there are many going through their life, in churches, who are living the way I used to live, without answers; without the knowledge they need. Hoping that the next ritual they attend, the next Crucifixion 1sacrament they receive, will provide them with the key to living free.

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming! Yes, it’s Good Friday. The day to remember the death of Jesus, on the cross at Calvary. The substitutionary work of Jesus Christ, fully human, fully divine, he who was spotless, sinless, blameless, truly innocent, gave his life, of his own free will, to bring to an end the need for human beings to perform ritual sacrifices to cover their human frailties, year after year. Once and for all, the final sacrifice.

Through this selfless act Jesus fulfilled the first part, yes, the first part of the process required to satisfy the law and the prophets. When he cried: “It is finished!” that was but the beginning. By no means was it the end.

To be continued

“A Church where Heaven and Earth Come Together!”

“A Church where the Supernatural is Natural!”

“Come Expecting to receive from Jesus!”

OA TShirt Back

After our brief hiatus last Sunday (the building was booked for an annual City of Perth celebration of Chinese New Year)

******Normal Service Resumes This Sunday******

Open Arms Fellowship will be meeting at the Northbridge Piazza Community Centre on the corner of Lake and James St.

Meetings start at 6pm on Sundays, Weekly and Everyone is welcome. (Doors open at 5.45pm.)

This is an exciting time and a great opportunity to reach out to the Perth community right in the heart of the city.

Piazza EntranceThe entrance to the community centre is behind the big screen; as indicated here by the red arrow.

There is an accessible path that is level from the Lake Street side of the piazza. The meeting room is upstairs and there is both a lift and stairs.

There will be a sign at the front door so you will know that you are at the right place.

Piazza MudmapThere is Free street parking on Sundays throughout Northbridge as well as the City of Perth carpark with its entrance off of Roe St whose James St entrance opens out onto the Piazza square.

One of the great things about this venue is its location to the Perth Railway station and Bus port, making it even easier for people to get access to the meetings.

Coffee shops and restaurants nearby provide a great opportunity for fellowship after or even before meetings.

Pass the word around! Let people know! Better yet, come along and join us for praise & worship, teaching, healing, prayer and Holy Communion weekly from 6pm.cropped-OPEN-ARMS-Big-Logo-Moving-Banner.jpg

For further information contact Pastor Graham on 0405 285 233

or by email: pastor@openarmsaustralia.org

Remember: It doesn’t matter if you’re Young or Old, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Trans Intersex or Straight. Everyone is WELCOME at OPEN ARMS!

ALERT! ALERT! Exciting News!!! WE’RE MOVING!!!

Open Arms Fellowship

Perth’s only Affirming and Welcoming Pentecostal Church is moving into the city!!!

happy people group have fun  run and jump  on beach beautiful sand  beach

As of Sunday February 7 Open Arms Fellowship will be meeting at the Northbridge Piazza Community Centre on the corner of Lake and James St.

Meetings start at 6pm on Sundays, Weekly and Everyone is welcome.

This is an exciting time and a great opportunity to reach out to the Perth community right in the heart of the city.

Piazza EntranceThe entrance to the community centre is behind the big screen; as indicated here by the red arrow.

There is an accessible path that is level from the Lake Street side of the piazza. The meeting room is upstairs and there is both a lift and stairs.

There will be a sign at the front door so you will know that you are at the right place.

Piazza MudmapThere is street parking throughout Northbridge as well as the City of Perth carpark with its entrance off of Roe St.

One of the great things about this venue is its location to the Perth Railway station and Bus port, making it even easier for people to get access to the meetings.

Coffee shops and restaurants nearby provide a great opportunity for fellowship after or even before meetings.

Pass the word around! Let people know! Better yet, come along and join us for worship, teaching, healing, prayer and Holy Communion weekly from 6pm.cropped-OPEN-ARMS-Big-Logo-Moving-Banner.jpg

 

For further information contact Pastor Graham on 0405 285 233

or by email: pastor@openarmsaustralia.org

Remember: It doesn’t matter if you’re Young or Old, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Trans Intersex or Straight. Everyone is WELCOME at OPEN ARMS!

Exciting Website Under Construction

This is a short note to let you know that we haven’t disappeared.

Open Arms Fellowship Website is undergoing some great changes that will make it more dynamic and smoother to interact with Pastor Graham and also to access resources.

However, while that is going on You need to be aware that there are a number of teaching messages that have been added to our downloads page over the past month or so on the subjects of Healing and also the New Series that we started this year on Your Authority in Christ.

To access those simply go to the link in our Downloads section and you can select from 2015 and 2016 to gain access to those.

All of our downloads are free of charge.

In coming weeks we will simply ask people to register to download and from then on, they will use that same login to download.

But, for now you can simply click on the link.

Make sure you return soon to see some of the changes and the growing number of resources available.

 

The Word ALWAYS Works. Plant it, Water it, Nurture it and it will produce a harvest in your life.

God is ALWAYS ready to pour out his blessings on those who will come to him.

Praise the Lord.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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2016 is a brand new opportunity. A fresh start.

This will be a year of Consolidation, Transformation and Growth as we build on the foundations and the strengths of the past.

Here at Open Arms we wish you and your families a very Happy and a very Prosperous New Year. May the Lord continue his work in us, to change us, more and more, into his image, in this world; as we grow up In Him, into the Unity of the Faith. As we grow up, as dear children seeking a deeper relationship with the one who gave his life to provide us all with his Grace.

I look forward to seeing just what God will do, this year, as we continue our weekly Healing meetings. We will be announcing a change to the time of our Sunday services mid January; so keep on the lookout for that announcement. This website will be undergoing a transformation in the near future and I hope you will return often to the blessings that the Lord provides.

But, for now, enjoy the start of this brand New Year and we’ll see you soon.

With much Love

Pastor Graham

Sunday Meetings

Open Arm Fellowship Healing 10x2a

 

The early church expected Signs, Wonders and Miracles follow the Preaching and Teaching of the Word of God.

So do we! Jesus said that we were to proclaim the Gospel and that he would back it up. (Mark 16:15-20)

AND

That he is NOT Holding the sins of Anyone in the world against them. (2Cor 5:19-20)

Faith can only grow when the Word of God is taught (Rom 10:17). The Four Gospels demonstrate that Jesus’ own practice was to Teach, Preach and then Heal (Matt 4:23 & 9:35).

In other words he taught until he perceived that the people had heard and developed sufficient Faith to be in a place to receive their healing.

At Open Arms we teach the Word of God and the truth about God’s willingness to Heal ALL who come to him, In Faith, believing that it is His Will that they be healed.

Come and get the truth about God’s ability to heal today, just as he did at the beginning of the life of the church. Healing did not peter out when Peter petered out.

“This same Jesus,…is the one who made this man to walk. It is not by us. But, it is By His Name and Faith in His Name that this man is able to walk, as you see before you.” (Acts Chapter 3)

Come and hear the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus the Christ, the Nazarene.

October 25: Christ the Healer Week 6: “Take The Next Step”

This week’s teaching on healing is entitled “Take the Next Step”. In this message we look at the fact that prayer and crying out to God is not sufficient to receive the healing, or any other thing we are wanting to receive from God.

Instead, it involves a need for us to DO something about taking and accepting the object of our prayer. It involves a declaration that God CAN meet the need and a realisation that he is able; much like the focus of Hebrews 11:6:

“But without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please him: for he that cometh to God MUST believe that he is, AND that he is a REWARDER of them that diligently seek him.”

Jesus question to the two blind men that followed him in Matthew 9:27-30 was very simple. Yet, it goes to the very heart of why so many people, particularly Christians either don’t receive their healing; fail to keep their healing and in so many cases fail to share healing with the people around them, because they have lost faith in healing.

Where is your Faith based? Upon what is your Faith founded? What are you Abiding in; Settling down into and Relying upon; where is your belief? If it is not on the firm foundation of the solid Rock of The Word of God you have built on shifting sands.

To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio    Take The Next Step

Video    Video will be uploaded ASAP. Please keep checking here for further details.

***************

While I was teaching this message the Lord directed me down a parallel side-track that has stuck with me since delivering that message.

So, for that reason, I take this opportunity to share with you what the Lord has put on my heart, at this time, because it is truly a word in season:

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Integrity

How reliable is your word?If you promise to do a thing, can you be counted upon to fulfil that promise? Are aware of the things that you say to people; do you say what you mean and mean what you say?

Or, by contrast:

Do you hold to the idea that promises are made to be broken? It’s not that important to arrive to meet a person at the time you’ve stated. You meant ‘roughly’.If you are running late for a meeting, or an appointment, do you call aheaholy-spirit-angel-of-presenced to let the person know you are delayed? Is it important to pay bills when they are due. Or, is it ok to be consistently late with payments?

The giving of your word, and the consequences of keeping, or breaking your word is the subject of much of scripture.

This is borne out particularly when you consider that the New and Old Testaments are themselves the written record of Spoken Covenant Agreements between God and Humanity. Joshua 1:8; Proverbs 6:2 and 4:20-22; Matthew 12:37; Romans 10:8-10 and James 3:8-14 are but a few examples of the multitude to choose from. But they demonstrate that this concern about what you say, or don’t say applies under both covenants.

Not so many years ago the phrase “My word is my bond” was not just a trite saying. It went to the very core of your reputation as a person. You were judged to be reliable, or not, as a person, by virtue of whether or not you were someone whose word could be relied upon. This was such an important and precious possession, that a person would ensure that if they had promised to do something the promise would be fulfilled, even if it cost them personally; the quality of your word was a measure of your personal integrity.

Many people today still maintain that personal position. It goes against every instinct for them personally to even allow the thought of breaking a promise to cross their mind. This person is regarded as reliable. You can rest assured that if they say they are going to do something, then it’s as sure as done. If it isn’t done, on time, then you now there is something seriously wrong with that person; you need to be concerned about them; it is so out of character.

So, what has all of this to do with the subject of Healing. Well, in truth, it is not limited solely to Healing. It applies to every single promise, contained in the scriptures, that God has made to his people, his children and to the world.

clear-sky-contact-God5-207x300There are some things that are impossible for God to do; one of those is to lie. He is unable to break his word; this is particularly significant when you consider John 1:1; he and his word are one and the same. For God to break his word would be for him to destroy himself. This also demonstrates a particular need to take care how we read and also how and what we preach God will do and won’t do; are we really speaking for God, or our religion; our pet theology?

Hebrews 10:23; 11:8 and Thessalonians 5:24 all bring home the point that the Living God, who has made promises to his children, is FAITHFUL to his word; what he has declared is reliable; it has INTEGRITY. This is why Romans 10:17 tells us that “Faith comes by a consistent and ongoing hearing of the promises contained in God’s word”; the solid rock, the firm foundation that can stand the tests and trials that come against it? Not only has he promised to keep sickness and disease away from our midst; he has also stated that by the stripes upon his back we WERE Healed.

Now we enter the picture. Are the words leaving our mouths words that agree with, or that contradict, what God has spoken to us in his word? Are we standing, in Faith ON the promises he has made? Or, are we knocked down by every arrow of doubt that enters our mind; do we see the winds and the storms of life and like the disciples running to Jesus to say “Don’t you care that we’re about to die?”

Faith cannot grow and develop unless it is tested; until pressure is placed upon it. But, much like Jesus, our response, when the enemy comes against us, no matter how strong that attack may appear to be, should be “It is Written!” It should be a declaration of what God himself, by the Holy Spirit, has inspired men to write as a defence and an attack against anything the enemy might bring against us.

Do you have faith in your own words? Are the words that come out of your own mouth reliable? Can you be trusted to fulfil any and all promises that you make? Can people rely on a thing you have said you will do to be done, even if it should cause personal hurt, or even loss?

It’s in things like this that we are called upon to judge ourselves. Please note that I did not say we were to condemn ourselves. We are to judge, repent and move on; keeping a watch on the words we speak; the promises we make.By doing this we build personalmountain_climbing1 integrity in our own words, so that when we speak and proclaim the promises of God, from our own lips, we are able to chase the doubt, that always comes, away with force and authority.

This Repentance is not a long drawn out process. It involves a change of heart and a decision to change; not simply a desire. It involves digging in your heals to stand by that change when everything seems/appears to be going the other way. This is where the SACRIFICE of praise is made and where the declaration of faith begins.

It is when we can rely on the words of our own mouth that our faith can and will have the greatest results for healing, or for receiving any of the promises of God in our lives. This is when Mark 11:23-25 will begin to visibly work in our lives. When we can believe that we really do believe what we say and have the patience to attain it; we will stand and having done all to stand, stand strong in the Lord and the power of his might, our loins girt about by TRUTH.

We are called to a life of Integrity, dependability. Predictability is not always a dirty word. It is a far better thing to be counted upon as reliable than to be considered unreliable; untrustworthy, inconsistent. Your walk of faith will be visible to those around you, but more importantly it will be visible to you; deep down on the inside of yourself you will know if what you declare is truth or deception.

May you always be able to count on your own words, particularly when you speak God’s words of faith. May your faith continue to grow and develop as you learn to speak God’s word and His promises over your life, with an ever growing confidence in your own words.