Archive for the relationships Category

John 17 – One in God!

Posted in church, relationships with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

In John 17:1-26 Jesus is praying the High Priestly Prayer and he is interceding for himself, his disciples and finally for believers who would be chosen by his sovereign grace 200 years later. Jesus’ farewell prayer at the close of the last supper gives an account of his ministry to the Father and there is so much theology packed into these 26 verses that it would take days and weeks to unpack it but let me give you 2 highlights:

  1. V10-12 Jesus’ prayer points to the perseverance of the saints and eternal security. Jesus prayer request was that we would be kept and keep in mind, the Son of God always gets his prayers answered by the Father. As a believer in Jesus, you can have assurance that your faith has a future because the Father would not give to his Son a gift (believers) that would not last.
  2. V20-26 Jesus calls upon the Father to make his church one even as Christ and the Father are one. V13-19 gives us the qualities that are a result of being united with the Father – Joy, Sanctification, Witness and God’s glory.

John 17 points us to the Trinitarian nature of God. Even though the Old Testament introduces us to the Trinitarian nature of God (Gen 1:26-27), the Jews of Jesus’ day were raised in strict monotheism = God was singular (Deut 6:4). Suddenly Jesus Christ arrives on the scene and at his baptism (Matt 3), the Father declares Jesus as his beloved Son and then the Holy Spirit dropped in on the party and remained upon Jesus. It took another 400 years of theological debate before the church formed an official doctrinal position on the trinitarian nature of God. Due to the theological debate and discussions of the Council of Nicaea (325AD) and the Council of Constantinople (381AD) the Nicene Creed was formed and is absolutely essential in helping us understand what the bible teaches about the trinity. A short summary of it in my own words is provided:

“The Christian doctrine of the Trinity affirms the revelation of the eternal Godhead, who has revealed himself as one God, existing in 3 persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who dwell in eternal community of interdependent and reciprocal love; distinguishable but inseparable in essence; co-eternal, co-existent and co-equal in nature, attributes, power and glory.”

Why is the Trinity relevant to being ONE in our relationships? What unites the Godhead is perfect intimacy. God experiences divine community within himself and the church is supposed to reflect that oneness in the way we relate to each other and represent God to the world.

Jesus, in perfect intimacy with the Father prays, “I ask for those who will believe in my name, that they may all be one, just as you Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:20-21).

When we are ONE, we point the world to the sent ONE of God = Jesus Christ!

Just as God raised up Israel to be a witness of his glory to the nations, so too has God raised the Church up to be a witness and representation of him throughout the earth. Being unified and authentic in our relationships isn’t about warm fuzzies and being nice to people alone but our unity is a chief sign that God is among us.

Tomorrow we will look at what being authentically ONE looks like practically.

Lead the Change!

Authentic Relationships!

Posted in apologetics, relationships with tags , , on August 15, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

How many times in your life could you say that you have felt a genuine sense of oneness and unity in your relationships?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the church, there are too many people who carry with them a negative report of broken relationships and wounded souls. Yet, the church is called to be the greatest apologetic of the gospel the world has ever seen.

Why is it the Church struggles to cultivate authentic relationships at times? Let me suggest 4 reasons among others:

  1. Reality of Spiritual Warfare – We have an enemy who hates the church and all it stands for.
  2. Our Sinful Nature – When our flesh can’t get what it wants it pollutes our relationships.
  3. Pressure to Perform – Salvation by works manifests as pharisaical moralism.
  4. Busyness of life in western culture – Busyness skims through life and produces shallow relationships.

Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17:1-26 has some incredible insight into the source of unity, the benefits of unity and why unity is important. We will unpack the insights in this passage over the next week.

Lead the Change!

Love People, Don’t Use Them!

Posted in community, relationships with tags , , , , on May 22, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

Too many people in this day and age use people for what they can get out of them for their own personal gain. I think God is horrified at the way we treat each other at times and he must feel incredible pity for us. Too many of us only relate to certain people based on what they can do for us rather than their inherent value as human beings.

People are precious and most important to God. Jesus didn’t die for success, wealth and power and yet we as a race sacrifice people on the altar of these goals all the time. Jesus lived and died for people – period! People are the greatest resource on planet earth. The environment is important but people are more important. You say, “Save the whales”. What about, “Save the people”.

You cannot take anything with you when you die but you can leave a legacy of lives changed by your influence and investment into people. I value people over task, even though I acknowledge the reality that we all have to complete tasks at times. Just don’t treat people as a task to endure but a treasure to enjoy.

Erwin McManus is one of the people on planet earth I admire because he appears to value what God values. Even through his writings and teachings, you can feel the love he has for people bleed through. What about you? When people meet you, do they sense “life” in you and “love” for people bleeding through you. I’ve never met Erwin but I can see it and sense it. I hope that we all want to be people that others want to be around because we really value people and see the importance of investing into them.

The Great Commandment is made up of 2 parts: Love God and secondly Love people. You can’t truly embrace the vertical, if you don’t embrace the horizontal. Some people who love God treat people as imposters on their own self-importance. We need to understand that God views our spirituality through the lens of our relationships and how we treat God’s greatest creative achievement – humanity.

Lead the Change@

Marriage will make or break your Ministry!

Posted in Family, Leadership, ministry, relationships with tags , on October 3, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3160120344_6037d571c0As I look back over the last 10 years of ministry, it’s clear that my most important ministry is my marriage. People have come and gone, opportunities have come and gone, money has come and gone, conferences, camps and church services have come and gone but the one constant ministry in my life has been my marriage.

Your marriage will make or break your ministry!

I believe this truth is the reason why the Apostle Paul so clearly emphasized to Timothy the importance of marriage and the home in the qualifications of a pastor. 1 Timothy 3:1&5 says, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer… he must be the husband of one wife… he must manage his own household well…” Paul understands that if a Christian leader doesn’t win at home, he doesn’t win at all. The greatest ministry you have is your marriage.

Your marriage will make or break your ministry!

Gender wars in marriage can dramatically affect your life and ministry. Never enter into full time ministry without counting the cost to every area of your life, especially your marriage (Lk 14:28). Here are 18 practical tips to making your marriage break free:

  1. Put Christ at the centre of your marriage
  2. Pray together regularly
  3. Clarify individual roles
  4. Make room for each others personality
  5. Plan, Plan and Plan some more
  6. Have a regular date night
  7. Get a PA
  8. Protect your Sabbath Day
  9. Schedule holidays annually
  10. Clarify your boundaries
  11. Sex is a ministry all by itself
  12. Help each other handle criticism
  13. Have the ‘authority’ discussion
  14. Always speak highly of each other in front of people
  15. Encourage your spouse
  16. Don’t let your marriage become another professional relationship
  17. Ask yourself, “What picture of God am I giving to my kids through my marriage?”
  18. Never say the “Divorce” word in marriage and never say the “Quit” word in ministry

Lead the Change!

Leave a legacy that lives on!

Posted in attitude, community, faith, relationships with tags , on September 13, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Recently, I heard of a faithful man of God from my Salvation Army days passing away after many years of faithful service and ministry. This man was instrumental in encouraging my mum and dad in their formative years of becoming Christians and then later on as they became pastors.

I can still remember the joy in this mans voice as he would encourage me to keep loving Jesus. I can still remember him recounting the stories of witnessing to people in the street in open air meetings. More recently I saw him sitting on a park bench at a retirement village, without his much loved spouse, and as he talked it was clear, he still had the same passion for Jesus as he had many years before. This man, ‘Dick Collett’ has left a legacy of faith in my life and family that lives on.

What legacy are you leaving in people’s lives? I’m not talking about money or possessions but a legacy of faith. What will people remember about you long after you are gone? Will people be able to point in your direction and say, “I am here because of that person’s influence” or “I am different because of the mark that person left on me.”

What mark will you leave on people’s lives? I hope that you are seeking to be the sort of person that others will look to and say the same things about you, as I am of my old friend. Leaving a legacy that lives on looks like:

  • Being intentional about how you live 
  • Building healthy relationships
  • Being authentic in character
  • Letting passion ooze from your soul
  • Seizing opportunities before you
  • Constant encouragement of others
  • Sowing seeds of faith into people’s lives
  • Standing courageously for your convictions
  • Following Jesus

Lead the Change!

Be Yourself!

Posted in attitude, Leadership, ministry, relationships with tags , on September 5, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet
IMG_0154

Hanging with Isaac & Kari in Seattle

Teenage Years

Growing up as a teenager i suffered from insecurity about my personal identity and as a result jumped from one pursuit to the other trying to find my self. The teenage years are known as the experimental years because we are gaining independence and trying new things out, testing whether or not we enjoy them or connect with them. For this reason the teenage years are fraught with all sorts of potential pot holes to fall into.

Personal Identity

One of the key issues in our lives is personal identity. It becomes more apparent in adolescence and continues on into our twenties. Dysfunction in this area of our lives can manifest in all sorts of ways affecting our relationships, jobs and finances. For me the last ten years of ministry has been about discovering more of who I am in Christ as much as it has been about ministering to people and making a difference in their lives for the cause of the Gospel.

John The Baptist

In John 3:25-30 there is a perfect picture of healthy identity in the life of John the Baptist. John’s disciples come to him and explain that the masses who had followed his ministry are now following Jesus ministry and John needs to do something about it. John responds with remarkable security and clarity about his identity, calling and purpose. John’s response gives us insights into the importance of being yourself, nothing more and nothing less.

Insight’s into Being Yourself from John 3:25-30

  1. Know the boundaries of your call (3:26a) – God’s calling has boundaries to it, don’t cross them.
  2. Be secure with someone else’s success (3:26b) – Insecurity manifests when somebody else succeeds.
  3. Security is found in God’s sovereignty (3:27) – You can rest in God’s sovereign plan for your life and ministry.
  4. Security comes from knowing who you are and what you’re called to do (3:28) – Know who you are in Christ and what his calling is for your life.
  5. Ultimate joy is found in fulfilling God’s call (3:29) – Joy isn’t found in success as the world knows it but in fulfilling your call.

Be yourself – nothing MORE and nothing LESS!

Lead the Change!

Dealing with Death!

Posted in Family, purpose, relationships with tags , , on August 30, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Dying is not a topic that you hear talked about much because it doesn’t make for great dinner conversation…and for good reason. However, all of us have to face it and deal with it. 

Just yesterday I visited my dying grandmother in palliative care. In a matter of a couple of weeks her liver has failed, she has lost considerable weight and she doesn’t even look like my gran…but her eyes still communicated love and tenderness to me like they always have.

I had the privilege of spending a little time with her as she approaches the last days of her life. I began to recall fond memories with her, thanking her for what she generously contributed into my life. My gran has left a legacy for our family of love, faith and strength. Even though she couldn’t talk with me, her eyes communicated for her. As I prayed with her and told her I loved her, her eyes began to well up with tears and you could tell she desperately wanted to say a few words to me…even though she couldn’t.

What  a privilege to spend the last moments with someone and pray for them as they get promoted to heaven to be with Jesus face to face forever! My gran loved Jesus and believed in Jesus and will be eternally rewarded by Jesus very soon. Her life wasn’t in vain, she fulfilled her purpose.

What about you? Are you making the most of every day? Are you living with a sense of urgency and an eternal perspective? How are you treating your family members? Do you know with certainty where you will go when you die? 

Death may not be a popular topic to talk about but it is an important issue that you need to process now. Don’t put off thinking about it because life travels faster than you think. Death has a way of putting things into perspective. Whatever you are going to do, do it now because life is short and eternity is a long time

As I think about my grandmother I close with the words of a song from Steven Curtis Chapman, “We can cry with hope and we can grieve with hope, because we know our goodbye is not the end. There’s a place where we’ll see your face again.”

Jesus said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Lead the Change!