Tag Archives: Body of Christ

Prophetic Preaching…

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Anointed lips“You are the most excellent of  men  and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.”  Psalm 45:2

 “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.”  1 Corinthians 14:3

The Bible gives us a great number of examples of prophetic preaching. Preaching and sharing that brings life and change rather than the dead letter of the law.

The following are a few examples to hopefully wet your appetite for your own research. I’ve called in the “para’s” to give us a bit of Greek support!

Boldness  (parrhēsia  par-rhay-see’-ah  παῤῥησία)

There is total freedom and confidence as the living word rings out. Acts 2:29 shows the apostle frankly and freely interpreting Israel’s history while the Pharisees are amazed at the disciples fearless proclamation in Acts 4:13.

Exhortation (a word in season)   (parakaleō par-ak-al-eh’-o παρακαλέω)

This word is literally “called near” – and is often too close for comfort! It is similar to the word “to comfort” but in this sense it is not the comfort of the sick bed, but the comfort of seeing chains fall off as conviction of sin and judgment come, as the “sword-word” strikes with precision. See Acts 13:15 and Titus 2:15.

Healing-Broken-HeartConsolation (empathise)   (paramutheomai par-am-oo-theh’-om-ahee παραμυθέομαι)

There is an appeal to the emotions. Like the disciples on the Emmaus road our hearts may burn within us as we hear. There is an appeal to love and an ability to relate, not just in words and reason, but also in “feeling” and identification, with the audience. See 1 Thessalonians 2:11 and 1Corinthians 14:3.

After the para’s we need to move on.

Jeremiah 23:29 says,

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”

 A fire can burn a house down and a hammer can begin to demolish. There are times when, because of the extreme corruption, there is only the “demolition” solution, but, in the main it seems that the New Testament prophetic word was meant to literally “edify” and build up the house, the church, the body of Christ. Listen to Paul’s words in Acts 20:32:

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified”

Edify (Build up the house)  (epoikodomeō  ep-oy-kod-om-eh’-o ἐποικοδομέω)

roof-buildingTrue prophetic words and preaching are mostly edifying, bringing healthy growth to the body –  or to continue the building analogy here, they put a decent roof on the house.

The book of Acts begins with a powerful anointing to be “witnesses” to the end of the earth. Living testimony is always valid as are the living lives laid down daily in front of a watching world.

Bear Witness (charge) martureō  mar-too-reh’-o μαρτυρέω

“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,  encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

The daily “martyrdom” of a worthy life is our challenge, not just a quick ticket to heaven in a blaze of glory – although that too is not to be despised in extreme circumstances!

I’ll leave the last word to Jeremiah who was so troubled by the superficial words of the lying “pseudo” prophets of his time. He gives us the key to successful prophetic preaching in chapter 23:18.

“But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?”

 Are we standing in the council of the Lord?

Do I see and hear his word?

Who has listened and heard his word?

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Sin energy or Synergy?

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When I first heard the word “synergy” I wondered if it was talking about my special capacity to sin dynamically! The old man always seems to have reserves of energy to sin. However, on closer look at a dictionary, I found a more suitable definition. From the Greek sunergiā, cooperation, from sunergos, working together, synergy means:

“the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.”

Or the,

“cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.”

Synergy is when the result is greater than the sum of the parts. Synergy is created when things work in concert together to create an outcome that is in some way of more value than the total of what the individual inputs is.

There are many verses in the Bible that show how God’s covenant with Israel was meant to create the blessing of “synergy”. Leviticus 26:8 is one of many examples.

“Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.”

Simple mathematical multiplication means it needs 500 to chase 10000. Synergy gives us five times more power.

Do our projects seek simply to multiply the same, or are we discerning the opportunities of synergy with others? Are we only looking to “survive” as “five”, or are we looking to take the step of faith to become a “hundred”?

I believe that the Lord is asking us to lift up our eyes and seek out “synergetic” partnerships. It is only our fear, unbelief and “sin energy” that can stop us.

I’d like to give you three domains for synergy.

  • The synergy of nations.

God’s heart is “all nations to reach all nations.”  In 1 Chronicles 12:22&38, we see the model of many tribes coming together at Hebron, “fully determined to make David king over all Israel.” We need to recognise our own particular “Hebron” in this world’s global village. Standing shoulder to shoulder with different nationalities, and indigenous mission movements we can endeavour to make Jesus the true “King over all the earth.” Revelation 5:9 and 7:9 gives us a glimpse of the redemptive beauty of many tribes and cultures worshiping in glorious diversity in a “synergetic celebration of the nations.”

  • The synergy of generations

The Apostle’s Creed talks about the “communion of saints”. What are we in communion with? Surely not just a superstitious offering to the dead, but more a taking up of the living baton of a previous generation’s love for Jesus expressed through their prayers and dreams.

In the last days, God says,  I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”   Acts 2:17

 The dream of the “old men” must find an interface with the vision of the “young men” of a new generation.

An old man with a dream but without the next generation is doomed to frustration and sterility. The young man with vision but without the discipline of the “dream” of the past will be “rootless”, wrongly ambitious, superficial and lacking direction.

“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”       Malachi 4:5-6

 If you are a young man (or a young mission movement), be rooted in the living “dreams” of the fathers. If you are an “old man”, attempt to disciple a few young men with your dream.

  • The synergy of denominations.

We inherit our ecclesial history which is unfortunately filled with schisms and separations.  There are no superficial solutions to healing such deep wounds of division, but the Apostle Paul encourages us to “keep the unity” of Biblical fellowship. Even if we are used to playing our various instruments in different orchestras we can always come together to find another missionary harmony as the Body of Christ moves into corporate action. We read in Matthew 18: 19-20 :

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

The word “agree” is “symphoneo” in Greek which takes us back to the idea of the beautiful symphony of synergy. Let us make every effort to keep the unity, to express a powerful missional thrust by praying across our denominational divides.

We are all called to share the joy of Jesus together.

“It was not men’s grief, but their joy Christ visited, he worked his first miracle for men’s gladness…And indeed, was it to make wine abundant at poor weddings he had come down to earth?”  (Brothers Karamazov)

 True joy is found in sharing Christ together. Change our water into wine Lord!