Month: May 2020

A Christian Response to COVID-19 | With Stephanie from iamcrownedinvictory

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This is a really encouraging conversation with Stephanie Temple as we discuss God’s role in this pandemic.

Watch the discussion here 31 May 2020 5pm (CAT): A Christian Response to COVID-19

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Please support Stephanie’s YouTube channel – iamcrownedinvictory and her blog iamcrownedinvictory.

Heavenly Father, we trust that you are good and do good. Teach us to be your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus, who laid down His life for the sake of love. Glorify His name as you equip us with everything needed for doing your will. You are worthy of all our praise. You are the God who never fails to keep his promises. We thank you that in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we see your love, justice, mercy, provision and victory. You are the God who lifts up those who are weighed down. You are the God who provides for your children. Our desire is to praise you as long as we live. Inhabit our praises as we gather in this message. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath, 3 comments

A Personal Pentecost

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 Paul in Ephesus

19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Acts 19:1-2

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The Holy Spirit

When Paul came to Ephesus, he “found some disciples.” They clearly knew about Jesus and had been baptised in water. Yet something seemed amiss. Paul was concerned to learn that they had never even heard about the Holy Spirit. They hadn’t experienced the Spirit for themselves and didn’t know what they were missing!


Paul knew from his own life what a difference the power of the Holy Spirit had made. Paul knew that God’s Spirit changes lives in countless ways, with a revolutionary impact. So he laid hands on these Believers, and “the Holy Spirit came on them” (Acts 19: 5-7). Their lives would never be the same!

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Reminder

Years later, the Ephesian church needed to be reminded about their ongoing need to be filled with the Spirit. Even though they had been saved and empowered by the Spirit in the past, they needed to continue to be filled with His presence (Ephesians 5:18).


Many Christians today need a similar reminder. Some have been born again, but have not experienced their own personal Pentecost. They don’t realise all that the Spirit can accomplish. Others have forgotten about the ways the Spirit can help us.


Today, on this Pentecost Sunday, Believers throughout the world celebrate the day the Holy Spirit fell on the church in Acts 2. What a wonderful day for you to be renewed in your relationship with the Spirit of God.


Be filled anew

Seek to be filled anew with the Spirit. Seek to be more sensitive to His leading, that His fruit and gifts might operate through you. That He might empower you, in new ways.

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Prayer

Father, I seek anew to be filled with Your Spirit. May Your Spirit fall on me afresh. Change me by Your Spirit. Empower me. Guide me. Use me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Holy Trinity, 0 comments

Knowing and Believing

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Who am I?

This is not a one-time question for most of us. Throughout life we can find ourselves questioning – yet again – who am I, and what have I allowed to influence my life over the voice of God?

The living God has given us His Word and Spirit. And He has told us who we are in Christ. He alone has the final word on who we are; not a social media feed, not your latest success or failure, not mom, not our bosses, kids, past, our worst enemies, or even ourselves. As followers of Jesus, we know that God is our identity-maker and shaper. His Word is the very place we find our identity defined.

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If we want to truly live out the life God has purposed for us – righteous, holy, beautiful lives for His glory – we have to know what God says and believe it. Knowing is one thing, but what we believe about ourselves will determine the direction of our lives.

Knowing and believing. This is powerful and true. We can know all day long, but only once these truths take root in our heart to the point that we believe will our words, thoughts and actions begin to manifest and reflect the beauty of our identity, straight from Scripture and the heart of God!

From today’s Scriptures, write down a verse that really speaks to your heart regarding your true identity. Keep it somewhere you will see it often throughout your day. Ask God to enlighten the eyes of your heart to see, know, and believe!

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Scriptures

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:15-23

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Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3: 1-3

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Identity in Christ, 0 comments