THE CODE OVERVIEW
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
This value goes beyond Revive Church and into our day to day lives and those we encounter.
Within the church family this value promotes unity, Philippians 2 says about being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and mind, it goes on to say do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit. This is about championing each other, not about position or ambition, its about cheering each other on, championing and encouraging those on the journey with us.
In a wider sense, this value promotes mission. This scripture calls us as the church to look outside of ourselves at Revive to those who are not yet here. It talks about Christ sacrificing himself through death on a cross, and calls us to have that attitude. We are called to sacrifice self to meet the needs of those in the wider community, to demonstrate the love of Christ by the way we treat those who don’t yet know Him.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
This value actually pushes us to work hard – not at salvation or trying to be a good Christian but being the best we can be, Ephesians 2 says that salvation is a free gift – there is nothing we can DO to earn it – but it also then goes onto say that through that salvation that Jesus bought for us that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
So He’s prepared good works for us to do and if He’s prepared those Good works then we should work hard at them. It really helps us at church, in school, college and at work that If you aren’t just working for your boss, or the company or for the teacher…..you are working for the King.
If we can work for the King first and foremost seeking first His kingdom, this scripture gives an amazing promise of inheritance. We don’t serve for the blessing though we serve because we love Jesus and want to see His kingdom advanced on this earth.
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.
and then were going to use 2 Corinthians 8 to expand on this, however we have made the main verse 2 Cor 8:3-4.
We chose the Deuteronomy scripture because it was about the sabbath year, this was an old testament law, whereby every 7th year the land was left to rest, they had to trust God to produce the food that they needed, the poor could eat freely from that food and poor debtors payment (or their int payments, scholars can’t agree) were cancelled. They were told to do so without a grudging heart. This was a year that would hurt the rich, and take immense faith, but benefit the poor, it was definitely a command that meant giving until it hurt. We liked it because it was about a resetting, an equalizing of the l field so to speak, a kingdom value of equality and looking out for each other, however they didn’t observe it, in fact the first time you see a good example of this was in the acts church, when they sold their possessions and pooled their resources, making sure there were no poor among them! So our back up verse has become our main verse!
So lets break this down into give and hurts
GIVE– we are a people who have been given to so freely, so abundantly, so without condition through the sacrifice of Jesus, who gave of Himself to save us. And so giving should be a natural response to that. Giving of our time, our energy, our passion, our love, and also our finances which we’ll touch on later.
Giving generously is all about the condition of our hearts.
HURTS – now many of us will think what has the Macedonian people pleading to give got to do with giving until it hurts? These people gave beyond their ability, they gave out of their poverty actually. Here’s where it hurts, in the flesh, our human nature, our rational thinking, whether it’s of time effort, love, patience whatever when it’s giving abundantly as Jesus gave it should hurt out flesh. It’s mirroring Jesus who gave himself, it hurt him physically, and emotionally, his soul or his flesh.
The cheerful giving the pleading to give, that fact that Jesus gave willingly, that’s a spirit stance. It’s the Holy Spirit within us prompting us to not sign up to the ways of this world, but to His ways. So it’s a sacrificial giving, and it will feel uncomfortable when we do it from a human perspective, but there will also be a joy in our spirit as we give of ourselves to others and to His work.
This is a giving lifestyle, a giving mentality, but not at the expense of our wellbeing, or our physical needs, if we are giving extravagantly, but in line with God’s promptings, this will be something we can rejoice in, and that won’t ruin us.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
These 2 things the path of life and filling us with Joy are what made up this value with the all-important word at the beginning……CHOOSE.
Choices or decisions I believe are one of the most powerful things in the universe – God called it free will or we can think of it as a choice. When we choose to do something – we decide it in our heart and our heads there is pretty much no person on earth that can stop you from doing what you chose to do. There may be obstacles in the way but when you think of some of the people who have made the biggest impacts on the world, they made a choice whether it be for good or for bad.
By Choosing Joy & Adventure we are making a statement that no matter what we are going through no matter where the adventure or that patch of life leads us we are going to continue to choose Joy and continue to choose the adventure that a life following Jesus brings. No turning back no giving in no surrender. We choose it because we believe it and we believe because we have faith.
So why choose joy? Simply put, Biblical joy is choosing to respond to external circumstances with inner contentment and satisfaction, because we know that God will use whatever we are doing and experiencing to accomplish His work in and through our lives. Joy is not circumstantial like happiness, joy in the `Lord is that inner joy, that is rooted in Christ and not affected by circumstance
We hear in Galatians that Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life – So if you are living and walking your adventure with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding as He should be then we will produce Joy as a fruit of that……however sometimes when life isn’t easy – when we lose people we love or we are hurt, or feel discouraged then we have to CHOOSE to display that joy that comes from God. This isn’t a masking over of feelings or emotions this is a joy from DEEP within your spirit and soul that almost doesn’t make sense and that is why we often have to choose it.
You see in James 1:2 it says this – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4 NIV
Nowhere in the bible does it say we will live a trouble-free life – What it does say is that we can live a life of fulfilment and purpose and one of the best things that God gives us is JOY.
This scripture brings us nicely back to Adventure. Choose Adventure.
But adventure is more than just fending for yourself in hostile environments. We believe that the Christian life is an adventure. We are living for a God who has a mission that we are each called to be a part of and we get to discover and find out what that is – to find out the purpose of why we exist and to then play a part in His Kingdom.
The Christian life is often described as a journey- it requires movement and growth. To go on that journey requires faith – having Faith will be to some really easy but to others it may take some deciding.
On our path of life that Psalm 16 talks about it says that God ‘makes known to us the path
We have to be able to take a step of faith on this – being adventurous can often mean stepping outside of our comfort zone, it can mean risk and change, challenging ourselves to go further, to be bolder and to relish the adventure.
As a community of people, we believe joy and adventure will bind us together, it will make this journey more fun together, we can take risks together and often fail together, and that is part of the adventure too! Let’s choose, master the art of celebration and do this adventure that is our Christian journey together
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So what should we be praying about? This verse says in every situation – there is not some areas of our lives that are of no concern to God, bring everything to Him. In the Christian world, you may encounter a couple of types of people, the ones who pray about everything whilst not always actually moving to action, and the ones who just step out in faith and do without first bringing it to the war room.
We say pray about everything – then step out in action. We are in a battle, and God is our captain, prayer is about coming to Him and seeking Him for the battle strategy and then praying and acting in line with what we feel Him show us.
For most fights, it will be a scripture that He shows us and we can then use it in our fight in prayer. This scripture says prayer and petition, or other versions say supplication – there are 2 slight variations here, prayer – our day to day communication with God and petition, the asking God for something and not giving in, usually petition Is done on behalf of someone, or an injustice, or for someone’s freedom etc. right? It’s no different in prayer, there are relational conversation and time spent with God, and then there’s the fighting on our knees petitioning for a cause.
We are in a fight and from this scripture we see that some of this is a personal fight – the Philippians lived in a Garrisoned town, Roman soldiers would watch and guard the city. When it says in verse that the peace of God will guard your mind – this word guard was a military term meaning to surround and protect a garrison or city. God’s peace is like soldiers surrounding believers’ hearts and minds.
The first fight we have is a personal one, to remain in God’s peace, how do we do that, by praying instead of worrying
Spurgeon says this “Have no care, but much prayer. Prayer is the cure for care. If you are in trouble. Let your requests be made known, not to your neighbours, but “unto God.”
This is also why there is not an area of your life that shouldn’t be bought to God, as we are fighting for our faith, to remain strong in Him, to not fall to temptation, to fear or to any other unseen enemy.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
2 Cor 10: 4-5
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
So here we find that the fight is real and it is spiritual, and the weapons we have are not of this world, we find them in prayer, interestingly the way we use them is mainly in regards to arguments against God and thought life, the main personal battle is fought in the stronghold of the mind, that’s why we need to be fighting in prayer for His peace to guard us.
Then there is intercessory prayer the word intercessor, is defined as
a person who intervenes on behalf of another, especially by prayer
All of us should intercede when lead to do so. We are called to fight on behalf of others, on behalf of His church, on behalf of the advancement of God’s light and love in this world. This is warfare prayer, fighting for another – we need to get the strategy for the battle from the captain, so it is crucial that we listen before we speak, and get the right weapon (like we said usually a scripture) to fight. And fight until – never give in no surrender – tenacity, persistence, courage, these are the traits of a great warrior, let’s be tenacious.
So being warriors starts in prayer, but it can’t stay there – we win in prayer but there is then often a physical outworking of that.
We as Christians are called to fight for those who don’t have a voice, the poor and the needy, we must fight for those no one else does, God continually made provisions for the poor the needy, the orphans, the widowed the destitute, and we must fight injustice and for those suffering injustice
Isaiah 1 :17
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.[a] Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Now with the kids, we try and turn them to prayer in every difficulty we see them face, we teach them how to take authority through Jesus and how do deal with fear in prayer. We want to equip them to be warriors now, not just in the future.
So let’s be a church that fight
personally for every area of our lives to be guarded by God, for victory in the battlefield of our minds
let’s fight for others in intercessory prayer
Let’s not fight in our own strength but by getting the battle strategy from God our captain and then we can go to battle knowing we are on the winning side.
Let’s ensure our prayers move us to physical action, to speak up for those that have no voice, for the needy, orphaned, broken hearted ad down trodden, let resolve to fight injustice together.
We are warriors.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
This core value from The Code is extremely important in outworking all the other values in the code and trying to bring this “Code culture” into Revive.
The verse for this Value is Ephesians 4:15 & 16 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Our bible verse actually does not mention the word safe or safety in it once but the reason we felt God put this verse on our hearts is that a safe place nurtures, it supports, it protects, it builds people up in love and fosters growth.
Safety is found where people are empowered to grow, rather than viewed as project to fix, built up in love, rather than torn down, and supported by others, and able to speak the truth in love.
How does that happen well it happens by the whole body fitting together – each doing its own part; helping others grow. Its ensuring that those we are in community with are all growing together. You could think of it as a Greenhouse a place that fosters warmth and protection to allow growth – it’s a safe place that we can grow together. To empower others as we look beyond ourselves and see them grow and flourish. A place or an environment that people feel safe to share; safe to be vulnerable, safe to be supported and support others; safe to take a risk, safe to fail, safe speak up
It’s very important to note that this value doesn’t say IT is a safe place. It says WE are a safe place, because safety can only be built through relationship and community. We are big believers that authentic community with a group of people that are a safe place is THE best place to be supported practically in life but also to grow spiritually; it’s in that place that unity is fostered, and diversity championed. Its in that place that you can Get Free; that you will start to become more mature in your faith. It’s also the best place to make some of the best friends you will probably make in your life.
Safety is extremely important – We want to flood Revive Church with safety, safety cues – in every environment; every interaction to help people feel comfortable to share; to have conversations that matter but also to protect the innocent and vulnerable and fight for injustice.
We as the people that make up Revive Church are going to be a safe place, a sanctuary for the lost, the vulnerable and the hurting. The only reason we are that is because Jesus; the head of the church has fit us together.
So helping people find Jesus is of paramount importance but there are also other things that we can do individually and corporately to be a safe place. So let’s talk about 3 things.
SAFEGUARDING – Every single person has a responsibility for the safeguarding of people in our care as a church and charitable organisation. It’s the right thing to do and it’s also the lawful thing to do. We are all here to ensure everyone is safe and the vulnerable are looked out for.
Proverbs 31: 8-9.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
We’ve said it already but we just want to reinforce it – this requires everyone in the church to play their part and report any concerns they may have. This is about spotting genuine concerns about individuals (children and vulnerable adults) who are not in a position to make decisions for themselves and ensure that we play our part in protecting the safety of others; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Whilst most church safeguarding stops at protection level, here in Revive – We are warriors and that means we aren’t settling for protection. Ephesians 5:11 has clear instruction to
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of the darkness, but rather expose them.”
If we come across something, something that is potentially harmful be-it physical or spiritual it will be spotted quickly and will be removed permanently. There is no wriggle room at Revive. We have clear, specific, fair and safe processes in place and we not tolerate any forms of abuse.
This core value expects, of us all, ` to be ensuring the safety of others in our care.
CONVERSATIONS– The way we converse and communicate actually is the vehicle for the creation of safety. One sentence can make all the difference between someone feeling safe and unsafe in a situation. Is that really possible and the answer is absolutely Yes.
Proverbs 12:18 teaches, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Being wise is both something we can ask God for help with but also learning some conversational tools that will build safety into the way you talk and it can truly transform your relationships.
This is a big subject and something we are going to be training out at different levels, to help everyone to grab hold of some of these principles as we move forward.
Often that looks like starting with ourselves – what are we really trying to achieve from conversation what is our heart – we need to remind ourselves that we set our mind on things above; onto God and His Kingdom. If our motives are Christ centred, then our conversation is immediately different to being self-centred. Checking ourselves, our motives and our emotions enables to then focus on not only what we say but also how we say it.
There are proven studies on people who build safety well in conversation that we can learn from. The book based on these studies is called Crucial Conversations and we encourage you all to read it.
COMMUNITY – safeguarding and a conversation culture building on safety fosters true, authentic community where we can truly be the church of Jesus Christ – growing together; sharing together, laughing & crying; being there in the ups and downs because:
Eph 4 15 & 16 Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
We want to build an atmosphere and environment where you are safe to be vulnerable and feel heard. In Revive we call this our Kitchen Table – A place were family can be family.
Community is at the very core of God’s plan for His people – He consistently talks about His people – not His persons….and so it makes sense for these close knit communities to be the place where you can be safe to be the real you its from that place and with that common goal that we can grow closer to Jesus.
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’
Jesus has this amazing conversation with a Samaritan, immoral woman, and her life is transformed, everything about this interaction is wrong in Jewish culture at the time, but we know that Jesus is after the heart, and not a certain people group.
Worship is a condition of the heart, and this scripture is where Jesus brings this revelation for the first time, he does away with the old ways of worshipping at a specific place with specific sacrifices, because Jesus is going to be the ultimate sacrifice, for those that believe. That time has now come, if we believe and give our lives to God, we are reconnected to God the Father through Jesus’s sacrifice, and so our worship becomes not about a place, tradition or ritual, but a way of life and a condition of the heart.
We are created to worship, it is in our very nature, whether we are connected to God or not, we worship, we don’ not worship if we’re not connected to God, we simply often unknowingly worship something else sport, wealth, celebrity, position etc.
As Christians, we are called to worship in spirit and in truth,
Enduring word says this
i. To worship in spirit means you are concerned with spiritual realities, not so much with places or outward sacrifices, cleansing, and trappings.
ii. To worship in truth means you worship according to the whole counsel of God’s word, especially in light of the New Testament revelation. It also means that you come to God in truth, not in pretence or a mere display of spirituality.
Worship is a lifestyle, not a song we sing on a Sunday. Its is the offering up of our hearts to the one who is worthy! True worship is not about us or our agenda. It’s about the God of the universe who invites, but doesn’t force us, to ascribe to Him worth above all things. Which if you know His saving Grace is something that comes naturally.
Why is this a value in the code, because as a family, and as a church family we want our lifestyles to glorify God – our every day to worship Him!
True worship also helps us live out our best life, and if we’re living the life of an overcomer, that points others to the one who is our source.
True worship brings perspective – I am small, he is big, He is bigger than my problems, His glory is bigger than my issues. It reminds us we are part of something bigger than us, keeps us fearful of Him in a good way, not scared, but in awe and in turn less fearful of circumstances we face, because the one who made the world is with us, its stops us putting Him in a box, and limiting His power in our lives. It keeps our eyes fixed on Him in the midst of storms. it helps us live our best life, what a witness to those around.
Worship is the only antidote to our self-absorbed, narcissistic, petty, “follow me”, “tag me”, “like me” culture.
The spirit is the relationship side, coming into His presence, and truth is found in the bible – understanding who He is, what He has done for us, and what He says about us. All of this culminates when worshipping in spirit and in truth in a life lived out for God.
True worship is spiritual and truthful, and points to God the Father and the Son, through the revelation of the Spirit. True worship reveals who He is and how we can approach Him. It is experienced in moments of solitude and prayer as well as in the midst of a hectic day at work or school.
Music and the arts find their meaning in true worship. But so does everything else. True worship is what happens when we offer up the mundane to the Divine and acknowledge the very ground on which we stand is sacred. True worship involves choosing to sacrifice our interests, desires, resources, conversation, and yes our very lives for One whom we can’t see, touch, smell, or taste, but to whom we attribute our very humanity.
Practically, this is about checking ourselves in our day to day, am I honouring God in the way I talk to other’s, do business, treat my family, when no one is watching.
In our house it also about taking time to worship Him as a family, we do it off the cuff through the day and in this sense it is with music, Alexa in our kitchen is often asked to play a certain song to which we all bounce around and sing to exuberantly, because He is worthy to be praised, and we want Him in the centre of our day to day lives, we want an atmosphere of worship in our home, and music helps us facilitate that. The children also go to sleep listening to worship music, there is something to be said about surrounding yourselves with the sound of worship and the truth of His word in those songs, so that it sinks in and comes back out as worship to Him!
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.