The notes below are a brief summary of our monthly online gathering on Sunday 3rd December. In keeping with the pattern that the Lord has set out for us, we spent time in worship, affirming our ‘ASCENDED’ position in the heavenly realms. We spent considerable time in silent adoration and were reminded that our participation in what the Lord is doing is not dependent upon our understanding.
- “…from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (Jn 1.16). This verse was shared alongside a picture of an ascending ladder (with the reminder of Jacob’s dream). Each step is made possible by grace. Question: What does the Lord mean by “grace upon grace”?
- Ps 136 – every step of the journey of God’s people was imbued with grace. We too can review our life journey, giving thanks for every step filled with God’s grace.
- The question was posed, ‘what does grace sound like?’ – a challenge for us to escape from our natural sensory limitations to glimpse the Lord’s heavenly dimensions of grace. The wide variety of responses gives testimony to the multi-faceted nature of grace, which we all experience differently. To ‘hear’ the sound of grace we need to ascend, above all the noise and limitations of the world. The Lord wants to draw grace, in all its varied expressions, from within us.
- Grace enables us to see beyond our natural state, to see, hear, smell, taste and touch through the Spirit. We should aspire to live in the realms of grace.
- We spent some time, in stillness, receiving ‘grace upon grace’.
- An image of many oyster shells was shared. Some were open, some partially open and some closed. The Lord is wanting us to grow into our full potential for the display of His glory. It takes time!
- The letters to the seven churches (Rev 1-3) give an insight to the way in which the Lord wants to refine His Church. It is His work of Grace. If we were already perfect we wouldn’t need Grace to take us forward.
- Pearls start to form around an impurity. This is an image of the way in which God’s grace forms something precious from our imperfections.
Bodies and clothes
- The heart of the Body of Christ has some strong muscles and some weak. There is a need for a deeper oneness and alignment of our hearts with Jesus’ heart, in order for there to be a synchronised heart beat, which provides good circulation to all the body parts. Simply being present within a church congregation helps to strengthen the weaker muscles. We are to open the ‘gate of unity’ and close the ‘gate of disunity’. It is important to spend time in God’s presence as his ‘ascended body’.
- 1Cor 15.35-57 is worthy of meditation and prayerful enquiry of the Lord. “….Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable…. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality….. ” (vv. 49-50, 53).
- We put on ‘spiritual clothes’ in anticipation of what is to come. There are different ‘clothes’ for different seasons and roles.
- We are given “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” and “..he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness” (Is 61.3,10).