Rev Dr Edgar Mayer – Living Grace Lutheran Church, Toowoomba – Date: 19 January 2014

For more sermons and other writings, please check the following homepage: www.livinggracetoowoomba.org

 

Real Love

 

Last year – when Heidi Baker was in Toowoomba – she told me about witch doctors and Satanists coming to their meetings in Mozambique (and other places) and this matched our own experience with mediums and witches. Then, Heidi told me: “The best way to deal with them is to love them because love confuses them. They do not understand love.”

What profound insight! At the best of times, people struggle with love – in this world, there is not enough around (so it seems) to keep us from being wounded (even in the church) – but those that deliberately pursue Satan, who in his character represents the very opposite of God, they move the furthest away from love because the closer you get to Satan, the darker the world becomes. (In the Bible,) Jesus warned some people: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out his [original: your father’s] desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44). You do not want to belong to the devil – either deliberately or unwittingly – because Satan, (as Jesus said) a murderer from the beginning, has no love for anyone. (There is) only hate – for God and especially for us who are made in the image of God. Satan deceives witches and modern pagans with power – magic and curses – but not love. (He shapes them in his image so that sin becomes normal for them: “… hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, … envy, drunkenness, orgies …”)

Consequently – after a while – having lived in the devil’s world for too long – love confuses them and surprises them but love is what they need also because – as people who are created in the image of God – there is healing and power in love. (Are we) agreed? Yes – but, on a practical level, what does this mean? Heidi said to love them. How is this done? (I am not going to drag this out.) My point is that more must happen than preaching the word and demonstrating God’s power (in healings, signs and wonders). With God, love cannot just be an intellectual concept – (even when it comes with powerful object lessons) – but must become real in word and deed – in loving relationships and community – in cups of coffee and child care and hugs of encouragement.

Talk is cheap. Just talking about love is not going to save anyone but the real thing – lived out in community (as love can only be expressed in relationships) – will not go unnoticed. Therefore, to say it as clearly as possible: We (together) are the message because unless we practice what we preach, we are phoneys. (The old-fashioned word is hypocrites.) We don’t want to speak about God’s love and then our life-style makes him a liar because the message does not seem to work in practice. If we want to preach the love of God (which is a glorious message), we – as a church family – together – have to be the message. It is by what we say and do that we preach the love of God. Jesus said (I give you two Bible verses):

 

Slide 1

 

John 13:34-35: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

 

John 17:20-23: My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

 

 Jesus commanded us to love one another and he prayed for us to do so because the message of love – the love of God – communicates through us – in how we are together.  Jesus said: “By this – your love for one another – everyone will know that you are my disciples. The world will know about God.”

This is probably the most important truth for us in 2014. What saves people? (It is) the message which we not only preach but also practice together – the love of God becoming real on earth.

Okay! This has immediate implications for us. In recent years – in our city – one church after another (including our own) has gone through turmoil and breakups and strife – we have hurt one another and keep hurting one another – but – especially when you are a long-term mature Christian – you cannot give up on love. You cannot give up on opening your heart again and risking new love. You cannot stop forgiving because God doesn’t. Sometimes, it may seem attractive to say to God: “You and I on an island would be wonderful.” However, Jesus said: “Love one another. You are the message of love together by which everyone will know God.” [In defence of people, church is not an easy community to be in because you will be challenged about sin and repentance and becoming holy – Colossians 3:5: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”]

As a church – over the last fourteen years – we have been on an incredible journey – pioneering and transitioning from a traditional church background to a greater freedom in worship and the experience of the Holy Spirit. (With a certain kind of boldness,) we allowed God to reconstruct our world – shouting against cancer – expecting signs and wonders in mission work – pitching a tent for Jesus in Queens Park and Oakey – and now we are carrying something which – I am sure – God wants to impart in other places (as he has already done). This week, my bookSurprised by the Holy Spiritfeatures for the first time in the Koorong catalogue and it contains the story of Living Grace (the last ten years). On Monday, I received a phone call from a man outside of Sydney who heard about us, was encouraged and committed himself to pray for us. Invitations are coming in to share in other places what God has done among us – help others to transition as we did.

I love this and I will not be the only one doing the work because many of you can also articulate what we have learnt (especially the children) and – crucially – hammering again Jesus’ words – any message from God is not just communicated by the preaching of one but the practice of the community. If anyone was to come to you with the claim of a greater revelation from God, let him show you the evidence in community life. God is about love. Has the love of God increased among the community which sent the preacher to you?

This is challenging and shows how important the battleground of community life is for our church and any church. Credibility is gained and lost on account of love. On a positive note, this makes everyone equally important in everything that we are doing. Some love to drive out demons; others love to bake morning tea. (Some love to do both.) Some love to speak to strangers; others love to care for aged members. There is a diversity of passions and giftings but the cleaning of the church building is as much frontline mission work as preaching in the Jesus Tent because together we are the message: “By this – the love among us – everyone will know that we are Jesus’ disciples. The world will know about God.”

There is more to learn from Jesus. He said – John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another …” How precisely did Jesus love us? In the opening verses of John, the book in the Bible, there is an amazing answer. We talked about Jesus wanting us to be and embody the message of love in community but he was the message first:

 

Slide 2

 

John 1:1-18: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made …

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth … From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another … No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

 

According to these words, Jesus not only spoke words but he was and is the Word – (he was and is absolutely true to his message) – and, as the Word, became flesh which refers to Jesus, the Son of God, coming down from heaven and living among us as someone of flesh and blood – a human embodiment of the Word – God’s message of love.

There is a powerful principal at work here. God does not expect anyone to believe without seeing anything. The first disciples were overcome by the evidence: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” And – by the way – seeing God’s glory is seeing God’s goodness:

 

Exodus 33:18-19: Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

 

How then did God’s glory manifest in Jesus? First of all, Jesus demonstrated glory – the goodness of God – in miracles (and notice how we are to do the same):

 

John 2:1-11: On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee … When the wine was gone … Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine …

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

 

Slide 3

 

John 14:8-14: Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works [miracles] themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works [miracles] I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 

John 9:1-5: As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him … While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

 

John 11:3-4: So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” / John 11:39-46: “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

 

John 20:30-31: Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

Changing water into wine at a wedding, healing miracles and raising the dead – all of these miraculous signs brought glory to God because there were expressions of his goodness toward us and helped people to put their faith in him (or hardened them in their opposition).

However – among so much glory action – something was not yet complete:

 

John 7:37-39: On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

 

John 12:16: At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

 

All the miracles encouraged faith and communicated love but Jesus himself was not yet glorified. Something was not yet accomplished. The glory – his own and the glorious design of his Father in heaven – would not climax before the cross of his death which did not look glorious at the time (with his broken body and blood running down his face) but was the highest expression of God’s character – his glorious love – his abounding love – his unmerited grace – for us (and notice again how sacrificial love also applies to us):

 

Slide 4

 

John 12:23-33: Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

 

Revelation 5:9: … You are worthy … because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.[1]

 

The word – Jesus – the Son of God – became flesh to show us the glory of God and nowhere else can we see it better than on the cross. What a privilege to preach that kind of God who even died for us – sinners – unworthy in so many ways. Yet, Jesus taught on the cross and its glory most pointedly when he established community. Loving one another in the church is built on the foundation of the cross – first the cross of Jesus and then our own – laying down our life for one another.

 

John 15:9-14: As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

 

In other words – to come back to the heart of what I am teaching today – Jesus died so that we would be the message. Loving us first, he gave us the new commandment to love one another as he did and it will work. We may think that we cannot give in and insist on taking control but there is power in laying everything down. There is glory – there is no greater love than – in laying everything down. Jesus died and then drew people to himself as the Father honoured him.

I have given you now a quick summary on the glory of God in the book of John. Jesus became flesh – (he became the message) – to show us the glory of the Father in miracles – signs and wonders – water changing into wine, multiplying food and walking on water – but then also the cross as the most glorious expression of his love which builds community. Do you agree with me? In the church – even our church – many a time – we struggle with these two aspects of God’s glory – miracles and sacrificial love.

We want to be the message but often people are in one of two camps. Either they pursue miracles and lack patience with those that are not as keen as they are or they pursue community and indulge people who don’t want to feel uncomfortable by anything strange happening in church. Yet, Jesus combines these two expressions of glory in his person and message – miracles and laying down our lives for one another.

You cannot pursue miracles without regard for the community – hide away in conferences and super-spiritual gatherings – because – according to the Bible – together we are the dwelling place (temple) of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). Together we are God’s house and the body of Christ. God is where love is and it is in the community. You can be drunk in the Spirit on your own but you cannot change a nation this way and God wants us to disciple nations as we show them a working model of what every nation needs: loving communities which have God in them. [And isn’t it wonderful to be patient with those that are just starting out to learn to keep in the step with the Spirit?]

On the other hand, you cannot keep people comfortable in the community at any cost. This would not be love either. Miracles demonstrate power and the power of God always (with good intentions) confronts us and our neighbours who then may have an opinion about us. Then, the working of miracles is often uncomfortable because it requires us to step out in faith and who is certain that walking on water is actually going to work? However, Jesus said to do them and the very core of our loving community is miraculous – a supernatural gift from God – (you cannot cut out the supernatural) – because Jesus prayed: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one” (John 17:20-23). It is grace by which we live and grace is supernatural because it is from God.

Therefore, both – miracles and the cross (the laying down of one’s life) represent the glory of God – both represent his amazing character of love – and when Jesus became flesh – when he became the message of God’s love in human form – he made sure that he expressed both – miracles and the cross – and we do the same.

Is this getting complicated? Back to the beginning and our main point which is quite simple but profound and practical: We are the message. Talk is cheap. Just talking about love is not going to save anyone but the real thing – lived out in community (as love can only be expressed in relationships) – will not go unnoticed. Jesus said (I give you two Bible verses):

 

John 13:34-35: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

 

John 17:20-23: My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

 

What saves people? (It is) the message which we not only preach but also practice together – the love of God becoming real on earth.

I close with another testimony. According to Heidi Baker, loving witch doctors and Satanists – those in the darkest place – is the best way to deal with them because love confuses them. They do not understand love and this is what happened to Graham Cooke (author and speaker with a strong prophetic gift) when he responded to curses with blessings – words of love:

 

Transcript from Video Testimony: I am in my office on a Thursday afternoon … everyone else is gone … and I never answer the phone (I don’t like telephones) … So I am in my office and I am doing the study of something and the phone rings and because everyone else is gone … so for some reason I pick the phone up. And there is a guy at the other end of the line who is calling me.

And he is a Satanist and he is calling me to curse me. And so he suddenly I hear this hissing sound like a snake and this guy introduces himself: I am a Satanist. I am part of this coven and I am going to curse … and all of this kind of stuff but the Lord has been talking to me about the overcoming nature of the Spirit and the Lord has been given me like in my own personal kind of walk / pushing out the boundary of my freedom and my victory / to tell me that I was coming into a season where I would be engaged in protracted warfare / that the enemy would come after me but that God would protect me / he would keep me and actually he was going to teach me about victory / about being in the Spirit but also that no weapon fashioned against me would prosper / the promise was that everything the enemy would set against me God would use it for my blessing but also too that as the enemy engages with me especially in human form – human agent – that God would give me an anointing actually to have an assignment to them / that I would be rescuing some of the enemy’s key players from the kingdom of darkness and seeing them translated into the kingdom of light.

This has been going with me for about six to eight months of revelation / God speaking to me / promises coming to me / even people coming with prophetic words saying that this does not make any sense to me but this is what I sense that God is opening up for you / all confirmation of my next stage in my walk with God. So this is the kind of backdrop to this situation.

So this is the first time that anything serious has happened but I am flowing in this kind of revelation. So the phone rings on Thursday afternoon. I pick it up. There’s a Satanist there. He introduces himself. He is part of a coven and starts to curse me on the phone. As I am hearing him curse me, this little cloud arises in the office and this really obnoxious smell in my office. So I sat there listening to this guy curse my ministry and everything / seeing this cloud smelling this smell and from within me I rose up with indignation: How dare you curse me on the phone / put smells and cloud into my office / Who do you think you are, buddy? / And everything that God has spoken to me began to well up into my spirit and came into my conscious mind. I had this incredible sense of the arms of God being around me and the sense of the presence of God and the protection of God and I knew that this is the moment that God has been preparing me for a while now. This is guy is cursing me and my ministry that I lose my anointing that I will be out of the ministry that I will be sick that I will die. All that kind of stuff. So he stops.

And so I said to him: “How long have you been a Satanist?” He said: “Over twenty years.” “But you are not a very good one, are you?” And I am saying this and I hear myself saying it. It’s not as if it was pre-meditated. It’s coming up out of my spirit. “So you are not a very good Satanist, are you?”

“What do you mean?” I said: “You could have done something better than that. I was expecting that if you curse me, you would do something like you know something significant, hey. I am disappointed but you need to know that the promise of God on my life is: Every curse of the enemy, God will turn into a blessing. So hey listen – do you want to take a deep breath and have another go because I am not afraid of you. I trust what God has said to me / that no weapon against me will prosper. He will take every curse against me and turn it into a blessing. I would like a bigger blessing in my life. So how about giving me a bigger curse than that?

So he took a deep breath and has another go which was great because the more he spoke the more peaceful I became and the more it was almost like laughter rising up in my spirit. He finishes and I said: “You need to understand this / that you actually called me because you believe you have a demonic assignment against my life but that’s not the real reason that you called me. You called me because I have a spiritual assignment for your life. So this is the word of the Lord to you: “I am coming to get you.” And I heard him curse and slam the phone down.

And as he slammed the phone down, the cloud and the smell disappeared (snips fingers). And I sit there and I spend some time praying for this guy. Over the next few months and so on and I take time out to pray for this guy that the hand of the Lord would be upon him and so on.

About 18 months later / I sat in my office on my own. The phone rings and for some reason I pick it up. It’s the same guy and he said to me. / In the intervening period, the anointing on my life had gone off the chart. It’s like God took me and propelled me into a totally different dimension. I was in a place in the Spirit that I could never imagine me getting to it. So I am enjoying all the fruits of this. / So the phone rings. I pick it up and it’s the same guy.

And I said: “Hi, my name is Graham.” And he starts laughing: “I was hoping I would get you.” And part of my goes: “I heard this voice before.” So I said: “Who’s calling?” “You may not remember me but I was the Satanist who called you 18 months ago.” And I started laughing: “You wouldn’t believe what God has done in my life.” And he starts laughing and I said: “The blessing on my life is incredible and I am so appreciative. I really bless the day that you phoned me and all that God did.” And he starts laughing and I said: “Hang on a minute. You said, ‘I was the Satanist.’ What’s that about?”

“You need to know. I have cursed lots of Christians and I have seen them almost shrivel up in front of me with fear and anything else. But I have never encountered anybody that spoke to me the way that you did. I hated that phone call.” And he said: “You know the last words you said haunted me for months. ‘I got a message for you from the Lord: I am going to get you’, and it haunted me. I could take no pleasure in a lot of things that we did in terms of our rituals and sacrifices and stuff like that and it began to trouble me. I couldn’t sleep. I lost weight. I fell ill on days. I knew something was changing. I no longer got any satisfaction or feelings of power out of what I was doing. And I was on a real power trip. Witchcraft is always about having power over others and I enjoyed my power.”

“Then, one day we were in our coven on the South Downs which is a range of hills in Southern England / we were in this wooded area bonfire and we just slit the neck of this cockerel. We were doing this blood ritual.” And he said: “Suddenly Jesus appeared and stood in the flames of the fire. And he stood there for the longest time and none of us could move our feet. It’s like my feet had taken root to the soil. And he looked to each one of us in turn and he stepped out of the flames. He never said a word the whole time but he came to each one of us and touched our mouth and when he touched my mouth every demon in me fled. And the whole coven – twenty-four of us – got saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit from that point on.” He said: “So I have been in safe houses for the past five six months or so because there are other covens pursuing me because I have changed sided but I just wanted you to know that God is with me and I am walking in the light.”

Isn’t this amazing (Graham Cooke laughs)? So a guy rings up and curses me and I not only get a brother but also twenty-three of his friends at the same time. How is that for the power of God? Don’t you love it?

 

What saves people? (It is) the message of love which we not only preach but also practice together. Like Graham Cooke, we bless those that curse us and – (full of peace and joy) – promise them Jesus. He will get to them. He will touch their lips with affection. They will become free. They will call us back and laugh on the phone. They will become our brothers – with their friends. Our attitude will shake them. Love is the message through us. Amen.

 

 

Appendix:

 

Heidi Baker testimony: … going to this village that has been notoriously difficult for us … chopped a few of our pastors … I was in my Land Rover and was dealing with a crisis … and suddenly everything started shaking around me. My Land Rover started shaking and it was just really bad – dangerous bad. Something beautiful happened that night. One of the most beautiful nights of my life – as a Mama … This guy – a son of mine – young man … I picked him up on the streets when he was maybe fourteen or fifteen (he didn’t know). And he’d never been to school … couldn’t read or write … and he didn’t understand who he was … “rascal son” … I would pour into him – love and everything – but this one did not understand who he was. I talked to him about his identity and what he would carry in God … and he would not really understand and still had an orphan spirit inside his heart.

This particular night, when I was in my Land Rover and some people were out there and suddenly people from another faith started throwing things and smashing the sound-system into the ground and beating our pastors and this group of men came towards me to beat me … and obviously this is not a problem except it’s better to live for the Gospel than to die … Yes, we are willing to die … but it is better to live because there is a lost broken world out there … better to live for the King than die …

So I watched this beautiful thing to take place. As these men came up toward me to beat me, this young man – Dilo – put himself like this. He stretched out his arm between me and those that were coming to beat me and he took the beating for me. He just took it. He took it for me and he screamed: “Mum, get into the truck.” And he is being beaten. And in my mind, I don’t have a grid for this. I don’t know how to get into the truck and leave me son there being beaten. But I had a truck full of other people and my husband at the time was still very sick. He did not know where he was and I had to get him into the truck … people beating and slamming. Dilo said: “Get in and drive.” I couldn’t believe it but I began to drive. I knew there was another truck.

I am just praying in the Spirit: “Lord, Lord, protect my children. Come in your glory and might.” What happened was so spectacular. Somehow, other brothers managed to get Dilo and two others that had been badly beaten into the truck and take them to the police station. Well, when we got there (I got there first), I remember their faces. They had been beaten badly and they were weeping. And they said: “What a privilege! What a privilege! What a privilege! What a privilege!” And they were just full of this presence of God. They were radiating. And I watched Dilo into a Spirit of adoption where he suddenly knew who he was. For the first time in his life, he knew who he was. “I am a son. God loves me and, because I am a son, I have the freedom to lay down my life for love.” “I am a son and I am loved.”

It was a beautiful thing. They arrested the men who wanted to murder our beautiful laid-down lovers. And of course, we did what we always do … The police get very ticked at us. We go into the police station. The three beaten up got the privilege to go and release those that beat them and speak about God’s grace, kindness, forgiveness and love.

So we sent the three guys. It happened on Thursday night and on Sunday they were at the police station, speaking to those men that had beaten them and speaking about the love of God, the love of Jesus, the passionate love of God. And they said to them: “We love you. We forgive you. We bless you. We honour you.” And those men from a people of another faith said: “We will never convert and meet this Jesus but because of the love and mercy you have shown us we will allow all of our children to come to your church.” And our church there is filled with children … filled with children. After years of struggling to get even six people in there, it is filled with worshipping children. Hallelujah! We should be happy. Amazing! Look at Romans 8:5 …

 



[1] See also John 17:1-5: After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 21:19: Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”