THESE ARE OUR LIFE VALUES, AS WELL AS OUR OPERATING PRINCIPLES...

1 - ONE CHURCH...

It was never the LORD’S intent that there be several different denominations and movements and religious groups, or religious peerage. When He spoke to Peter after Peter had told Him that He was indeed the Son of God, He said to Peter, “Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (NLT) Jesus spoke of ONE church, not several churches.  There should only ever be ONE Body of Christ, not several Bodies of Christ. To this end, the Paul Project will be working with several churches, working together side by side, focusing on common projects. 

2 - RELATING TO THE POOR AND NEEDY...

How each of us relates to the broken and to each other, putting aside all possible “religious” differences, and working side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder, black and white, yellow and brown, Presbyterian and Anglican, Baptist and Methodist, getting GOD’S  work done, because at the end of the day – isn’t that what we are supposed to be about? Getting GOD’S work done? Just as John the Baptist was here making a straight path for the LORD for when He came the First time, so we are to prepare the way for Him when He returns. The problem is of course, that when He returns THIS time, He’s not going to be a helpless little baby…

3 - MEMORY EFFECT...

A dynamic that was brought home to us was that for the people who give their lives to the LORD Jesus Christ at one of our lunches, but don’t find immediate change in their lives, if they walk past an open field where a tent may have stood several months earlier, and the tent is of course no longer there – the memory of what happened there begins to fade and in so doing so does the hope of salvation. But if the lunch takes place inside a permanent building, as in the different churches that it does, and the person walks by a few months later and of course the building is still there, somehow hope remains alive because where the salvation prayer was said, is still there…

4 - SPIRITUALITY...

At the lunches we do, there is always the spiritual dynamic of the Holy Spirit saving people from the Gates of Hell. This is what the epiphany in my flat with the angel was all about – but even without an epiphany, without having the honour of being allowed to be in the presence of an angel, is this not every Christians’ sworn duty?

This will be for a Pastoral team to pray into, sense and feel God at work. It will not surprise me one little iota if there is not an angel present, or several, at these lunches, perhaps even the golden haired angel I watched writing the names on the certificates. It is my fervent prayer that at least one angel manifests and allows some of us to see him, or them.

5 - OBEDIENCE...

Feeding and clothing people that need our help. This is purely scriptural, as found in Mathew 25:35-40.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

6 - LEVEL OF CARING...

Exactly HOW we care for the broken. Do we offer them the same as we’d offer our own wealthy friends and family, as we would with Jesus Christ? If we knew that Jesus was coming to dinner would we go out and get all of the best of everything (which would show us up to be hypocrites because we would be creating a false image of ourselves) or would we serve Him the same as we would eat ourselves? And in regard to our guests, do we look down on them, saying “Oh, they’re poor and destitute and desperate and won’t know the difference”? Remember, what we serve to these folks, is what we would serve to Jesus. Also, for in the same way we judge others, we will be judged, and with the measure we use, it will be measured to us. (Matthew 7:2)

7 - BREAKING HEARTS

The washing of the guests feet symbolically starts the process of breaking down the walls and often impenetrable barriers that life has caused us to erect around ourselves. In a spiritual dynamic, this process starts to break us and prepare us for accepting Christ into our lives. If we can keep the washing of the feet to the men washing woman’s feet and women washing men’s feet I feel that there will be more than one hardened heart broken and prepared for Christ on this day. Similarly, there are Christians that have hearts that are hardened towards their fellow men because of a hurt in a church or perhaps at the hand of a fellow Christian in ‘business’, but they either refuse to accept it (in denial) or don’t yet realise that they have this condition.

This is the ideal situation for them to find out because there is something deep down inside us that we have to go against, that we have to die to, in order for us to get down on our knees and bathe a total strangers feet… Especially the feet of someone possibly of a different race… and once that hard outer armour, or crust, has been broken, the next step towards the one/s who hurt them is forgiveness…  

8 - WIDENING PERCEPTIONS...

Altering the guests’ perceptions of God and Christians in general by reaching out to these dear people in a tangible outpouring of God’s love!

Letting the people of Port Elizabeth see that the church – that all of us, believers – is actively doing MORE than just being pew-warmers and people who glibly say, “I’ll pray for you brother!” Or “Where your Faith Sister?” Let the people see that we get up and get OUT THERE and take the message of love and forgiveness to the people, that they might do the same for people that they know.

May there be much deep sobbing of true repentance and tears and laughter of joy as lives are turned around by the Holy Spirit.

9 - HUMILITY...

It will take great humility for each member of the team of foot washers to get down on their knees and wash a total strangers dirty and stinking feet, and to do it with love. Jesus at least knew His disciples – He had spent three years of their lives with them. These dear ones will, for the most part, be total strangers to us. In my heart I feel that this will be even MORE powerful than washing the feet of someone we know. Could this perhaps be the level of love displayed when Jesus said “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father”? (John 14:12)

10 - FAITH...

SO MANY TIMES we say our faith is being tested. Whether that is true or not I cannot say, I am not a theologian. What I can say is that it has been at times when my faith has been lacking that I have experienced the most problems in life.

Generally speaking, I can sympathise completely with God’s late General, D.L. Moody when he said, “Of all the men I have had trouble with in my life, I have had more trouble with D.L. Moody than with anyone else”.

This is so true of myself.

What I have found however is that if I have that mustard seed of faith that Jesus talks about, and NOT lose it too, generally it will grow. Right now as you read this, I live my entire LIFE by FAITH.

So here’s the dynamic.

Get on your knees and pray to the LORD. Ask Him what you should do to help someone via the Matthew Lunch. He will give you something to do. More than likely you will battle to believe it, and so a huge amount of UNbelief will become apparent in your life. I talk from years and years of experience.

Eventually your heart will settle on something, be it something to wear or something to eat. We have quite a lot of clothing already and we need food for the to give the guests in the follow-up programme after the Matthew Lunch. So if you would, bring something small to the church and leave it with Norma there. Give it with a dedicated heart, a wanting to give attitude, and then forget about it.

Just sit back and watch what the LORD does for you by way of return. BUT – be sure to give the glory for what DOES happen in your life TO God – and don’t take the glory yourself.

I guarantee you’ll want to do this again and again and again…

“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”  ― Charles H. Spurgeon

11 - VALUE - (Our Most Important Value)

When the R200 note appeared in front of me, [read about it here] apart from filling me with absolute AWE and WONDER at God’s stunning ability to do things, it also made me curious. Why a R200 note? Why not a R50? Or a R100 note? Not that I was not grateful you understand – I was just curious.

But God, Daddy, Abba, had plans for me that I was unaware of.

Several years later, in 2012, HE spoke tome again and told me to do the Matthew Lunch for 200 people. There were several different dynamics that came into play as you are reading about now, but try as I might, my lightning fast brain could not, or would not, see the link between the R200 note and the 200 people. I knew there was one, but I just couldn’t see it.

When I went to speak to Pastor Ronnie Johnson he said he could explain the link to me. “Value” he said. “Just as each rand of the R200 note has individual value, so does each and every person walking God’s Green Earth.”

At that precise moment I knew I’d stepped into something WAY bigger than myself, WAY bigger than any group of people could handle with out JESUS being right at the centre of it all.

So one of the dynamics that will be encountered in working on a Matthew Lunch is how to value people – to see each and every person as a person of value, no matter what their circumstances…

12 - HARMONY...

THE TWELFTH dynamic is maybe the most important of all. Harmony. The Bible speaks LOUDLY about harmony and unity between brothers and sisters in Christ. Click HERE for a downloadable list of Bible verses referring to harmony and unity and you’ll easily see what we mean. Read John 17 for Jesus’ final prayer before He left earth for a more permanent address in heaven, seated at the right hand of His (and our) Father…
When Jesus spoke to Peter, asking him and the others who they thought He was and Peter replied that He was the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16) Jesus went on to say, in verse 18, that “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

The reference to ‘this rock’ is a reference to the rock solid statement of Peters that Jesus IS the Son of the Living God and in return Jesus would build His Church – His SINGULAR CHURCH – without denomination and division of ANY kind, ONE CHURCH worshiping ONE GOD, on it.

And that’s all The Paul Project are setting out to do. To help bring the harmony and unity spoken of in the Bible to a reality – a real and tangible outpouring of the Word of God.

Get involved – it’s going to get EXCITING!!!

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