Archive for Jesus

No other NAME!

Posted in culture, Jesus Christ with tags , , , , on March 15, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

The average person is exposed to approximately 3,000 ads everyday through a variety of media. Everyday we are bombarded with slick advertising telling us what we lack and what we need to fulfill our lives and make life more comfortable in some way. Our culture promises success and satisfaction if we drive the right type of car and wear the right type of clothes. Because of this pressure in our culture we desire to be associated with those brands that make us feel like we belong and fit in with the culture around us.

Brands like BMW, Versace, Nike and names like Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela, Barak Obama and Madonna provoke certain images and feelings that brands like BIG W and Brendon Fevola just do not. Unfortunately as a society we place more value and trust in the brand names of this world than we do in the name that is above every other name – JESUS!

Jesus name is not a theory, a doctrine or a swear-word but it is a powerful person who rose from the dead, is the Son of God and is alive and active in the world today. The devil fears the name of Jesus because there is power in that name to heal the sick, raise the dead and save people from sin. 

Jesus Christ is the exclusive way to salvation (John 14:6). There are not may ways to salvation – Buddha can’t save you, Krishna can’t save you, Hugo Boss or Apple Mac can’t save you… Only Jesus can save you! John 10:10 tells us that death & destruction is associated with the name of the devil but only life and abundance is associated with the name of Jesus.

Who or what are you putting your trust in? How are you using the name of Jesus Christ in your life? How are you wearing the brand of Jesus Christ in the world?

Lead the Change!

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Missing out on something?

Posted in Intimacy with God, relationships, time management with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3383642994_a95935d317_tYesterday I carved out time in my schedule to invest into my relationship with God. I booked into a Prayer Retreat Centre for the day and prayed, fasted and read God’s Word. I haven’t had a full day like this for a while and I really connected with Jesus in a raw and powerful way. 

As I prayed and reflected on Scripture I thought about the things I had missed out on over the past couple of months because I hadn’t made time to just BE with Jesus. I meet with Jesus everyday and spend time with Him but there is nothing like focusing completely on Him for an entire day. As a result of this time with Jesus, He gave me future message themes and insights into decisions needed to be made that I never would have had if I hadn’t created space in my diary. 

What about you? What are you potentially missing out on that is available to you, if only you would stop and be still with Jesus for a day? My guess is there are several important things God wants to download to you right now in your life but if you don’t carve out time and invest into your relationship with Him, you will miss out on them. 

Do you ever get the feeling that something is missing in your life? Don’t ignore that feeling or thought but do something about it and create space for at least 1 day and meet with Jesus in prayer, Scripture reading and reflection and you will get the answers you are looking for.

Lead the Change!

Pick up your faith!

Posted in Spirituality, supernatural, Theology with tags , , , , on May 4, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

The story is told in Mark 9:14-28 about an unknown father who had a son with a demonic spirit inside of him that made him mute. This father tried to get Jesus disciples to cast the demon out but could not. This made the father understandably upset and annoyed at the disciples.

When Jesus returned from being transfigured on the mountain with Peter, James and John, he inquired what the commotion was about and the Father explained the situation only to have Jesus respond with “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am i to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 

When Jesus asked the father how long the boy had been suffering from this torment, the father answered and then said, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus responded with, “If you can! All things are possible for the one who believes.”  The father responded with, “I believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus delivered the boy from his demonic torment and explained to his disciples the primacy of prayer for the deliverance of some people afflicted with unusually strong demonic spirits.

Today, you may feel disappointed and disillusioned with the lack of results that you have seen in your own life circumstances. You may feel discouraged by the church’s lack of power in helping you and you be filled with bitterness at God’s apparent lack of interest in your painful and troubling situation.

I encourage you today to not lose heart but to pick up your faith. You, like the father in the story might even be questioning God’s capacity to intervene and transform the issue you are facing but just because you haven’t seen victory yet doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t.

Jesus is still the King of kings and Lord of lords, seated at the right hand of the Father and interceding on your behalf as your advocate and intermediary. His hand is not short to deliver you and bring about your salvation. All things are still possible and just because Jesus disciples may have failed to help you adequately doesn’t mean that Jesus is powerless as well. Don’t become bitter in heart towards God and the church but guard your heart and stay sweet.

Pick up your faith and remind yourself that you are not alone but God does love you and care about what you are facing. You can see your child be transformed in their behaviour through Christ. You can see reconciliation in your marriage through Christ. You can see great stewardship return to your finances through God’s Word. You can see that demonic oppression broken through Christ and you can be fruitful in the work of your hands through Christ. God is still able and he’s looking for your faith. Hold on!

Lead the Change! 

 

God has a Tattoo!

Posted in apologetics, Pop Culture, Spirituality, Theology, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 9, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

img_00331As some of you are aware I recently got the word ‘INSIGHT’ tattooed on my right forearm. 

I am writing this blog as ‘the final word on my tattoo’ from my perspective because i have had several people ask me various questions about the tattoo and unfortunately, while the majority of comments have been positive, some people have taken offense at a ‘senior pastor’ and a ‘Christ-follower’ sporting a tattoo…In the future I am just going to direct people to this blog if they want my full perspective on the issue.

It’s beyond me that some Christians would be overly concerned about a pastor getting a tattoo when there are far more important issues to be pre-occupied with. Preaching the gospel to people who are heading towards a Christ-less eternity is a far more important issue to be concerned about. 

People who would look at someone getting a tattoo as being ‘sinful’, unholy or irreverent are pre-supposing that God is against them. Some church culture’s in the past have polarised the tattoo wearing clan as being a bunch of demon-worshipping sinners but please show me one scripture that validates this perspective.

Most people go to Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves.” This verse is preceded with verses like v26 and 27 which forbid eating any meat with blood in it and cutting your hair. It’s just so funny that the very people who would criticise me for getting a tattoo eat meat with blood in it several times per week and cut their hair quite regularly…You can’t embrace one scripture and ignore another just because it suits your argument…that’s called proof-texting and leads to a false interpretation of Scripture.

People who hold to Leviticus 19:28 have obviously not done their exegetical homework and have proof-texted this verse outside of the context of the entire canon of scripture. Everything we read in the Old Testament must be read through the lens of the cross and what Jesus has done for us. Notice when Jesus came on the scene he broke many of the same laws that the old covenant stipulated must be followed…especially those laws man had made as commandments of God. Because of Jesus work on the cross we can now embrace Romans 7:6 which says, “But now we are released from the law having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.”

Under the new covenant no mention is made of tattoos, smoking (which I personally think is unhealthy for you but in no way is sinful, just dumb. Why? Because it causes cancer), certain music styles, watching movies, consuming alcohol (Yes, drunkenness is a sin but drinking in moderation isn’t) and body piercing.

Mark Driscoll in his book, “The radical reformission” says, “Another way to evaluate culture is by examining the universal & particular sins common in that culture. Universal sins are those offenses which the Bible condemns for all people in all cultures, including sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, theft, drunkenness, greed, slander and swindling (1 Cor 6:9-10). Particular sins are those offenses that are sinful for some people under some circumstances but not for all people under all circumstances. All Christians are commanded by God to avoid universal sins. But Christians are also commanded by God to avoid sins that are particular to them, without unfairly condemning or restricting the freedoms of fellow Christians who involve themselves differently in controversial cultural matters. (For example getting a tattoo. The bible doesn’t forbid it so you cannot). This is in part what Paul means throughout the New Testament when he speaks of weak and strong Christians. In truth, every Christian is both weak and strong. So, in some areas, we all need to restrict our freedoms because of our weaknesses, while we are able to use our Christian liberty in areas in which we are strong.”

Mark continues, “Christians will have differing personal convictions in matters of culture and we are to welcome those differences that are not sinful, because what pleases God is unity, not uniformity. Uniformity undermines mission and often is promoted by erroneous restrictive and permissive theologies. Restrictive Christians go too far and name everything a universal sin, forbidding some cultural activities that the bible does not (such as what I shared above). Conversely, permissive churches are prone to naming everything a particular sin and bless activities which the bible forbids, such as drug use, fornication, homosexuality and cohabitation before marriage. I’m not advocating either a permissive or a restrictive approach to debating cultural issues. Rather, I’m encouraging Christians on mission to engage with the local culture not merely for the purpose of entertainment but primarily for the purpose of education.”

Thought provoking words. The bible calls us to be in the world, not of it. Unfortunately, too many Christians are of the world, not in it. You can look the part of a Christian but actually be more demonic than what you even realize.

I was reading Isaiah the other day and came across this verse in Isa 49:16, “I have tattooed you on the palms of my hands”…mmm…interesting.  Does God have a tattoo? Well, no, not exactly…not that we know of. I am not going to proof-text this verse to suit my position but I think it’s interesting that God would use this wording to describe his love towards us and his commitment to never forget His people.

As a leader, I realise my actions are an example to others and I will be held accountable by God for how I’ve taught and led people. If younger people or older people go and get a tattoo because of my example, I can more than live with it because of all the theological perspectives I’ve outlined in this blog-post.

However, I wouldn’t want people to misunderstand my heart and tone in this blog and think that I am personally attacking anyone in particular. My heart isn’t to put down anyone who because of cultural background perceives tattoos to be off limits. I am simply attempting to express my theological perspective and thus my own views on the matter.

At the end of the day, I believe tattoos are a non-issue…biblically or spiritually. For further study on this topic from a biblical perspective check out 1 Corinthians 8 and Matthew 15:10-20 and please study it extensively and in context.

Feel free to comment on this blog but I will not be responding to anymore comments because I’m tired of talking about something so trivial and there are other more important things I feel compelled to blog on. I will simply refer people to this blog post for the final word on my tattoo.

Lead the Change!

Values Centered!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Culture is the most important social reality in the world and yet it can be difficult to make sense of it. Culture are the symbols, rituals and beliefs that distinguish one group from another and becomes the worldview through which people look at the world.

Every city has a unique culture and Melbourne is no exception. Although the experts tell us that we are disconnected from typical Aussie culture, we are also known as the cultural and sporting capital of Australia because of our cosmopolitan & artistic culture, our multi-culturalism with over 233 nationalities living here, our trams, cafes, restaurants, night life and huge suburban sprawl.

Nowhere is culture better seen than in church life. Churches can be one of the most culturally distinctive groups on the planet. Some churches wave flags…some churches tackle people who wave flags, some churches play organ music, other churches offer their organ as a burnt offering unto the Lord. Some churches fall down, other churches stand up, some churches have stained glass windows with bells and smells, other churches don’t have any symbolic imagery whatsoever to make it look like a church. Some churches sing hymnals and other churches write their own songs and read off massive screens…Every church has a culture and Cultural identity is more important to church life than most of the things we think are important.

All throughout the gospels Jesus proclaimed and practiced values that defined the culture of his way of life. Jesus values were counter-cultural. In Matthew 5 Jesus said, “You’ve heard it said, you shall not commit adultery but i say that anyone who looks at someone with lustful intent has already committed adultery with them in their heart.” Jesus’ values challenged the culture by promoting kingdom values which were sometimes contrary to society’s.

What made Jesus’ values so contagious is that he not only proclaimed his values but he practiced them as well. Somone once said, “The biggest cause of athiesm are Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips but deny him by their lifestyle.” The values we proclaim as a church need to be the values we practice as a church otherwise we’re working against ourselves and misrepresenting Christ to the world.

We need to come into agreement on the values that define our culture as Christians so that our culture compliments our vision. Here are some values that i believe is important for the wider church to embrace:

  • Build a Christ-centric culture
  • Create a leading-edge culture
  • Pursue a mission-motivated culture
  • Nurture a loving-community culture
  • Demonstrate a supernaturally-natural culture

Lead the Change!

Plug into your lifesource!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

The world we live in is full of distractions and multiple options. With so many messages and information bombarding us everyday, it’s easy to become off centre and lose our sense of what is truly lifegiving. We can often feel that we are simply existing but not alive.

Psalm 36:9 says, for with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. God is the source of all life. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. So many of us are searching for answers to life’s questions but we are looking in all the wrong places.

The bible also reminds us that out of our hearts flow the springs of life. Our lives are shaped by what comes out of our hearts in the form of thoughts and words. If God is the fountain of life and out of our heart flow the issues or springs of life then when we ask God to be at the centre of our heart, what flows or springs up will be true life.

Secondly, it’s only in God’s light that we are able to see light. Light in scripture speaks of revelation or wisdom. All of us seek knowledge to help us in some shape or form but it’s only in the light of God’s wisdom and insight do we find the light that we need to illuminate our hearts and life’s pathways. The bible says, Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Does your pathway need illumination? Has your life become mere existence rather than a purposeful journey? If so, plug into your lifesource. God is the centre of creation for in him and through him are all things.

Lead the Change!

How do you handle pressure?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 21, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

It doesn’t take much insight to figure out that many people are stressed out and over burdened by pressure. What does require insight is how you respond to the demands that pressure places upon you.

I have just recently come back to work from the Christmas break and slammed into a wall of pressure. Deadlines, projects, decisions, budgets, book writing, speaking enagements and people demands come at you from all angles and you feel like you are going to implode but you can’t because that wouldn’t be professional or helpful for yourself or anyone else…so what do you do?

You sit back in your chair, take a deep breathe,  sip on a pina colada and enter into your happy space…(i don’t know anyone who does this). My default response to pressureis to internalise and shut down (this is a common trait amongst males), and if that doesn’t work, outbursts of anger to try and control the situation comes next but I’ve learnt that this doesn’t help me, the situation or anyone else either.

So what do i do? To be honest with you, there are multiple things i do because there is not one answer to overcoming pressure but the first thing i do…is to be still…and know…that i am not the messiah…but Jesus is. I am not responsible for everything but i am responsible for some things. The thing to do under pressure is to redefine what those ‘some things’ are and focus yourself only on those priorities and either cut off or delegate everything else.

The next thing i do is  intentionally invest chunks of time on completing those top tasks and priorities before me. this requires me to minimise distraction so i can concentrate with all my energy on knocking off the priorities before me. Sometimes i will get away from the office or get up early when no-one else is awake and have space from the world around me. I can’t give out if i am not receiving for personally. You can only draw out of the well what you’ve put inside of it.

Remember, our tendency under pressure is to blame people around us but often it’s rarely anyone else’s fault that you are under pressure. It’s either the system you are working in or the paradigm you are operating under. The right pressure is good for you, the wrong pressure could kill you. How do you know the difference? Good question, I’m still on the journey to figure that out.

If the Son of God who defined history by himself accomplished all that he did in only 3 years of ministry, then surely we need to take a leaf out of his book and rediscover His rhythms of grace that enabled him to only ever do that which he saw his Father doing!

Lead the Change!