In our very first FIRESIDE chat, we’re sitting down with Graham Cooke to hear personal stories, prophetic insights, and glimpses of what the Lord has prepared for Brilliance23!
1. The nature of God is our starting place.
The loving-kindness of the Lord never changes. It’s new every morning. And I like the fact that every morning is a fresh start. Every morning, God comes to us afresh. What it means is if I made a mistake yesterday, He doesn’t carry it over into today. He starts fresh. You know, I can come to Him and say, “I really messed up yesterday.” And He’ll say, “Yeah, but this is today. Today’s a different day. So, Graham, let’s just carry on today. Thanks for your apology, I appreciate it. But this is who we are together today. Today, while it’s still called today, don’t harden your heart. Don’t get tough on yourself.” And I think that’s really lovely. He always puts His nature right in front of us. So my favorite statement about Him is [that] God is the kindest person I have ever known. And it’s really learning to enjoy that and just to walk with God in a very simple way. This is what God is like. This is who He’s making me into.[05:15]
2. It’s the process that makes us rich.
In the first few months of learning to walk with the Lord, I had great mentors. And I’d be thinking, “I can never be like them.” That’s such a normal thing! And the Lord says [to me], “That’s okay because I’m not calling you to be like [them]. I’m calling you to be like Me. And I’m going to help you with that.” And the start for me was Matthew 18:3 when Jesus put a child in front of His disciples and said, “Unless you are converted and become like children, you cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” And what the Lord was indicating is how the process begins and how I can learn to walk with Him. You know, we are born again, so we start as a babe in Christ. I have children and grand-children, and one of the things you do as a dad is tickle them, love them, play games with them […]. Anything to get a smile. Because if you can make them smile and happy, then they’re going to feel secure. And that’s really important to the Lord. How He talks to you. How He comes to you. […] The process is designed to make you rich in fellowship. Rich in love. Rich in trust.[15:31]
3. It’s the end of powerless Christianity.
God is training [us] for reigning. That’s what God is doing with us. And [we’re] looking around the city and seeing where the needs are and being more determined to meet the needs of the city than to meet the constant needs of the church that doesn’t grow up. Powerless churches are filled with babies and toddlers, and they’re always needing help and support […] because they haven’t been taught how to grow. So we’re always spending all our resources on our own congregations rather than the neighborhood around where we are […]. If you never move outside of your building and never get involved in the city, you really have to ask yourself the question: “Who are we? What are we doing here?” The thing about the early church is that the complaint was, “The people who turn the world upside down have come here also.” And the early church took that as a compliment. That’s exactly what we’re here to do. Turn the world upside down.[28:20]
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As always, thanks for listening!