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Lighthouse Church Durban

Lighthouse Church Durban

By Alan Keith Wagner
Sermon broadcasts from Lighthouse Church, Durban, South Africa
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Is this a good time? (When should "ministry" happen?)
Many of us think that there is "a right time and place" for ministry. But Jesus ministered when he was tired, under pressure, in stressful and painful situations, and even in his darkest hours. As his disciples, we should be ready to do the same. This makes sense when we know that God works for the good in all situations! So let's be ready to be used by God in both good times and tough times! Mark 6:30-37, Luke 8:41-48, Luke 22:47-51, Luke 23:39-43, Romans 8:28, 2 Timothy 4:2
September 24, 2022
Being Sufficient in Christ
Jesus is altogether sufficient: he saves, perfects, completes, provides and strengthens! When we have him, we have everything we need! The Bible teaches us to be "rooted and built up in Christ". We do this when we: - Surrender our whole life to Jesus - Meditate on scripture (the Bible) - Spend regular time in God's presence - Surround ourselves with wise people - Humble ourselves before God - Put Jesus' words into practice Acts 4:12, Hebrews 10:14, Colossians 2:9-10, Philippians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, Colossians 2:6-8, Psalm 1:1-4, John 11:28-30, 1 Corinthians 16:13, John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, John 15.5, Luke 6:47-49
September 17, 2022
God is Sovereign
Although we have freedom to make choices (even disobedient & foolish ones!), what God has ordained WILL happen. So we can always trust his promises, because no-one can stop him from doing what he has promised! Sometimes things seem to go very wrong & we may get despondent. But if God has promised to work for the good in our lives, we can be assured that he will do so! The life of Joseph is a fine example: God revealed a great future, but his journey to greatness was extremely hard! Jesus told his disciples to expect many troubles - but to take heart, because he will never be out of control! He WILL bring us through into our glorious destiny! Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:13-16, John 16:33, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Matthew 16:24-25, Hebrews 12:4-7, Revelation 7:9-12
September 10, 2022
A Perfect Life - Part 2
The Jewish Law, particularly the Ten Commandments, shows us what a holy, perfect life looks like. It also shows us how badly we need a saviour, because it reveals our inability to live this life! While holiness and perfection is not achievable through human efforts to obey the Law, it is achievable through Jesus! When we put our faith in him, he fills us with his Spirit and God himself works in us - to desire and to do what God requires! As we work with the Holy Spirit, he changes our minds for the good - and empowers us to do what we know is right! Galatians 3:25-26, Acts 17:28, Romans 8:5, 8-9, Philippians 2:12-13
September 03, 2022
A Perfect Life - Part 1
God has made mankind in his image and expects him to live a life that reflects this image. We could call that a holy life, or a perfect life. When God made a covenant with Israel, he gave them laws, including the Ten Commandments, to teach them what this holy or perfect life looks like. Jesus affirmed these laws, so they still apply to the Christian. But the laws themselves cannot produce holiness - they only define it. And, if left on our own, we break them! We need help! Which is why Jesus came! 1 Thessalonians 4:7, Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 5:17-19, Galatians 3:23-24, Romans 8:3, Hebrews 8:7-9
August 27, 2022
Advancing the Kingdom of God
Jesus taught his disciples to pray "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The Kingdom of God comes when the rule of God is established. And when God is ruling, things on earth start to operate as things in heaven do. The order of God is established! Salvation is about the forgiveness of sins, but it is also about a change in rule, a change in kingdom. We are rescued from the dark dominion of the devil and brought under the glorious rule of Jesus! The Kingdom of God advances as the rule of God advances. So as we pray "Your kingdom come", we must open every door to King Jesus so that he can rule! Matthew 4:17, 6:9-10 & 28:18-20, Acts 2:36, Colossians 1:13-14, Luke 6:46, Romans 12:1, Ephesians 3:10-11 & 4:15
August 20, 2022
Dealing with doubts in our faith
We can doubt God because of many reasons: difficult circumstances, incomplete revelation, worldly influences and unfulfilled expectations. We overcome doubt when we: pray persistently, have mercy on doubters, embrace the mysteries of God, believe God’s words and doubt our doubts! James 1:6, Matthew 11:2-6, 2 Peter 3:9, Luke 7:20-21, Luke 18:1-8, Jude 22, Deuteronomy 29:29, 1 Corinthians 15:3, Mark 9:24, 2 Timothy 2:13
August 13, 2022
Two Masters?
It is impossible to serve two masters, because when they lead in different directions, we can only follow one of them. Jesus highlighted a master called “Mammon”, or money. John highlighted three other masters: pleasure, possessions, and pride. The good news is that if we are truly serving Jesus as our master, we will be unable to serve those other masters! Instead of being mastered by money, pleasure, possessions or pride, we can walk in Jesus’ magnificent ways: Putting God’s Kingdom first. Laying down our lives like Jesus did. Being content and generous. And living in the humility that Jesus demonstrated so powerfully. Luke 16:13-15, 1 John 2:15-17, Matthew 6:33, 1 Timothy 6:6-10
August 06, 2022
Lessons from the Storm
The Covid-19 pandemic has been like a massive storm, causing destruction & disruption world-wide. Yet God has been wonderfully present and has taught us many lessons. If we learn the lessons, they will help us to navigate any future storms that may come our way: -Storms affect good people -Work with the wind when it changes (keep in step with the Spirit) -Don't be reckless or presumptuous -Adapt to the storm -Keep trusting Jesus! Acts 27, John 16:33, 1 Peter 4:12, Galatians 5:25, Ephesians 5:15-17, John 10:28, Jude 1:24-25
July 30, 2022
God desires a family
When a person puts their faith in Jesus, God adopts them into his family. And as we mature, we begin to show the family likeness - we begin to look like Jesus! We are a multi-national family, with brothers and sisters from every language, tribe and nation. When we understand this, we understand why Jesus commands us to go and make disciples of all nations. He has given us a world-wide ministry of reconciliation, telling people everywhere what God has done, so that they may be reconciled to him - and become part of his family! Ephesians 1:5,10,22-23, Matthew 28:18-19, Romans 8:29, John 17:2-6, Psalm 2:7-8, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
July 23, 2022
Love, Unity & Community
Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment: to love one another as he has loved us. He defined this love as laying down our lives for one another. The ultimate example of this love is his going to the cross for the sake of mankind. When we love like Jesus, we help others to see how Jesus loves them. This kind of love also enables us to live in united, loving community. Our love and unity is disrupted when we refuse to lay down our selfish desires, so we must learn to live surrendered lives. When we love like Jesus, people will see the love of Christ and the church will be healthy and effective. John 13:34-35, John 15:12-13, 1 John 3:16, John 17:20-23, Acts 2:42-47, James 4:1-3, Matthew 16:24
July 16, 2022
Overcoming our weaknesses
King David was a mighty warrior and king, yet his psalms reveal a vulnerable inner world of tears, fears and insecure moments. The apostle Paul was used powerfully by God, but he too cried out to God for deliverance. Job was a man of faith and godliness, yet he suffered greatly and lamented bitterly. The godly are not exempt from hardship and suffering! Our trials sometimes serve to keep us humble before God and man. Sometimes they serve as God's discipline. And they can last longer than we expect. In these times we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. At the right time, he will rescue us! And he will keep us from falling! Psalm 6, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Hebrews 12:7-11, Psalm 13:1-3, 2 Peter 3:8-9, Galatians 6:9,2 Chronicles 20:12, 2 Timothy 4:18, Jude 1:24-25, Romans 8:28
July 09, 2022
Is the Gospel foolishness?
The Gospel - the good news about Jesus - has been preached for thousands of years and has transformed millions of lives. We could therefore expect the message to be well established and well received - but this is not always the case. Some think it foolish. Some find it offensive. But many believe and discover the power of God at work, reconciling them to God and transforming their lives.  Some have tried to modify the Gospel to make it more appealing, but this can mis-represent Jesus and fail to produce true disciples of Jesus. The power of God is at work when the true message is faithfully proclaimed - so let's proclaim the Gospel accurately and completely!  1 Corinthians 1:18-25, John 3:16, Romans 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:1-6
July 02, 2022
Transformation for the Nations
God wants every nation to be transformed, as the people of the nation become disciples of Jesus. But although the salvation of the nations are his end goal, God starts by working with individuals. He starts with us. Transformation begins with the preaching of the good news about Jesus and continues as God, church leaders and each individual does their work. In the end, all nations will worship Jesus! Matthew 4:17, Colossians 1:21-22, Philippians 1:6, Galatians 4:19, Ephesians 4:11-12, Philippians 2:12-13, Genesis 12:1-3, Revelation 7:9-10
June 25, 2022
Jesus, "Friend of Sinners"
Jesus was called the "friend of sinners" - yet he preached an uncompromising message of turning from sin and living in authentic righteousness under God's rule. In isolation, his message may seem "unfriendly", but Jesus' actions and attitudes demonstrated such a deep love for those around him that his message was well-received. When asked why he happily spent time with those labelled as "sinners", his reply explained why he is a great friend: he comes to us as a doctor, not as a judge. He invites us to come to him - just as we are - so that he can heal and deliver us. He truly is the greatest friend we could ever have! Matthew 4:17, Matthew 5:20, Matthew 23:27-28, Luke 19:1-10, Luke 5:27-32, Romans 5:8, Colossians 1:13-14
June 18, 2022
Trusting Jesus in the Storms of our Lives
Following Jesus does not mean that we won't experience "storms" in our lives - but we can have peace in the midst of our storms because of Jesus: - The storms of life are under his control - He has set a perfect example of faith for us - He is with us in every storm Luke 8:22-25, John 16:33, Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 23:4, John 1:3, Psalm 107:23-29, 1 Peter 4:12
June 11, 2022
The Holy Spirit and the Church
The Holy Spirit empowers the church by giving gifts to each member. He gives different gifts to different people - and every gift is necessary. This means that the church needs YOU to do what the Holy Spirit has gifted YOU to do! If we all discover our gifts and we all play our part, the church will be healthy, effective and worthy of the title "The Body of Christ"! 1 Corinthians 12:7-28, Romans 12:4-8, Acts 2:46-47
June 04, 2022
The Holy Spirit and the Human
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, a process of transformation begins in our lives. The more we co-operate with him, the more we will experience the fruit of his work in our lives. If we resist him, or fail to keep in step with him, we will remain “spiritual babies”. If we yield our lives to him and learn to keep in step with him, our lives will be transformed - we will become more and more like Jesus! John 14:15-18, Galatians 5:19-23, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, Romans 7:21-25, 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Acts 7:51, Galatians 5:25
May 28, 2022
God with us
God has always intended to be with his people. Sin separated us, but Jesus came as "God with us"! While it is true that God is everywhere, he makes his presence known to us (his "manifest presence"). His presence with us makes us blessed people - so we should pursue and prioritise the presence of God! Matthew 1:23, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Genesis 39:1-5 & 20-22, Exodus 29:45-46, John 17:3, Psalms 51:9-11, Exodus 33:14-16
May 21, 2022
The Holy Spirit and the Mission
Jesus has ascended to heaven - but he is still on mission with us! As a human, Jesus came alongside the first disciples so that they could join him on his mission. Now, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us - and even fills us - so that we can all join Jesus on his mission! Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot fulfil our mission; we need him to - empower us - teach us - guide us - convince those we are discipling - point people to Jesus - glorify Jesus! Let's not try to do this alone! Let's embrace his wonderful work, in us and through us! John 14:15-18, Acts 1:4-8, John 16:7-8, Acts 2:37, John 14:26, John 16:13-14, Luke 11:11-13
May 14, 2022
Thirsting for Jesus
Just as our bodies thirst for water, so our souls thirst for God. We may try to satisfy this thirst independently of God, but this is like trying to store water in a leaky tank! We all experience "dry" or "desert" experiences. In those times we should seek the presence of God, both alone and in corporate worship. Jesus invites us to come to him and drink. When we do this, we are renewed - and are a blessing to those around us! Psalm 84, John 16:33, Philippians 3:10-11, Jeremiah 2:13, John 7:37-39, Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 8:28
May 07, 2022
Take a Step!
Jesus has given ALL of us a command: to make disciples of Jesus, people who will also obey his commands. This command can feel very intimidating - but actually, all we have to do is take a step - of faith and obedience - and then keep on taking the next step. These steps can seem too big for us because we feel unqualified - even disqualified. But Jesus delights in using the weak, foolish and despised - in his eyes we’re good for the job! Our first steps may not seem to amount to much - they are “small beginnings”. But as we faithfully persist, our small steps will have a big impact! And as we do this together, we encourage one another and see even more impact! Matthew 28:18-20, Zechariah 4:9-10, Luke 13:18-‬21, 1 Corinthians 15:58, Galatians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, Hebrews 10:23-25
April 30, 2022
Bearing the Image of God
Mankind was created in the image of God - so we should reflect his nature. Yet mankind in general does not reflect his glory. We tend to destroy rather than create. We tend to lack his kindness, compassion and holiness. Through Jesus, God has made a way for us to be restored into his image. As we believe in Jesus, focus on Jesus and follow his words and ways, we become more and more like him - more and more like God! And we become more and more able to help others to do the same! Mark 12 :13 - 17, Genesis 1:27, Nehemiah 9:6, Isaiah 63:7, Psalm 103:8, 1 Samuel 2:2, Genesis 1:24-28, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 1:16-17
April 23, 2022
THE Story
We all have stories to tell and many are well worth telling! But while many stories can inspire, only one can transform lives! This story is known as the "gospel", the proclamation of the good news about Jesus. Here's the story: - Jesus died for our sins - Jesus was buried - Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to many witnesses (over 500) - All this was foretold by the Jewish prophets This is a TRUE story, well witnessed and documented. But we still have to BELIEVE it - and RESPOND to it! 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, Romans 1:14-17, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
April 16, 2022
Getting Back to the Great Project
Jesus has called all of his people to a great project - his great commission to make disciples of all nations. But other people, other projects and other pressures can cause us to stop. These things will help us stay on track: - partnership - leadership - knowing the words of Jesus - clear communication Jesus calls us into close relationship, obedient faith, humble dependence, sober self-evaluation and single-minded commitment. Nehemiah 6:1-4, Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 5:13-14, Hebrews 11:10, Matthew 16:18b, 1 Peter 2:4-5, Matthew 5:3-12, James 4:8
April 10, 2022
Great Expectations!
The first century church had great expectations of what God would do - in them and through them. And they had an amazing impact on their city, region and the world. But many today have low expectations - and have little impact. Biblical expectations are that: - we will be transformed, more and more like Jesus - we will represent Jesus wherever we go - we will make disciples of Jesus wherever we are - the church will change the whole world! Matthew 5:48, Matthew 24:14, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Acts 2:42-47, Colossians 1:3-6, 1 Corinthians 1:11-13, 3:5-7, Acts 8:1, 11:19-21
April 02, 2022
Living a life of love
We are called to love EVERYONE around us, regardless of how they treat us. Love is very PRACTICAL, and is manifest through: - sincerity - loving people while hating evil - putting others first - persevering with difficult people and circumstances - praying for others - sharing with others - blessing instead of cursing - sharing both joy and pain - including the marginalised. Key text: Romans 12:9-16
March 26, 2022
Preparing for bad times
The Bible teaches us that life is seasonal, that there is a time for everything. So we can expect both "spring" times & "winter" times. And just as animals prepare for winter, we should prepare for our "winters". We can do this by: - Getting rooted & established in Christ's love - Building our faith in God - Building our character by doing what Jesus said - Preparing practically by living prudently Ecclesiastes 3:1, Proverbs 6:6-8, Proverbs 10:5, Ephesians 3:17-21, Romans 8:35-39, Romans 10:17, Luke 6:46-49, Matthew 25:1-12, Romans 8:37
March 19, 2022
God has shown us the most amazing grace by extending the most amazing forgiveness to us - a forgiveness that is perfect: complete and ongoing! We can live the rest of our days - into eternity - in this glorious forgiveness! And we can demonstrate this glorious forgiveness to those around us - by forgiving those who sin against us. Romans 1:29-32, Psalm 32:1-5, Psalm 103:8-12, 1 John 1:8-9, Romans 8:1, Matthew 18:21-35
March 12, 2022
Why ME?
We all face suffering of some kind. When we suffer, we may ask "Why me?" A biblical perspective helps: Sometimes we reap what we have sown - but sometimes our suffering is not our fault. The reason for it is sometimes beyond our view - and sometimes beyond our understanding. But we can trust God because we know that he is always good - and his plans are always good. Sometimes we may suffer because we are serving Jesus; we should count that a privilege. So rather than asking "Why me?", we should just trust God. He knows what he's doing! He has a plan - a GOOD plan! Galatians 6:7-8, Job 1:1-8, Luke 13:1-5, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:3-5, Job 38:2-4, 40:8, 42:2-3, James 1:17, Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20, 1 Corinthians 13:12, Philippians 1:29
March 05, 2022
Free - to "marry" another
As Christians, we experience an inner conflict: we want to do what is right, but something drives us to do what is wrong! It can feel like we are living with someone who keeps trying to convince us to do what we know is wrong! But although this conflict exists, Jesus has actually set us free from the sin that used to enslave us! So we can win this war! So: - Believe God when he says you have been set free! - Take those ungodly thoughts captive - you can defeat them! - "Yoke in with Jesus" - and find rest for your soul! Romans 7:21-25, Romans 7:1-4, Romans 6:18, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Matthew 11:29, 1 Samuel 25:36-41
February 26, 2022
Is this doing any good?
As we step out in faith to obey Jesus as witnesses and disciple makers, we will surely have expectations. When our expectations aren't met, we could conclude that "this doesn't work" or that "this is not for me". Yet the Bible assures us that our efforts will not be in vain! This is not to say that every word and deed will result in spectacular results! But if we will faithfully take the opportunities that God gives us, like a farmer who faithfully sows and waters, there will be a harvest! Let's not be put off by "mixed results" or by "small beginnings". If we are faithful, God will bring the harvest! Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Corinthians 15:58, Acts 9:29, 13:50, 16:22, Mark 4:3-8, Luke 15:10, Mark 4:30-32, Mark 4:26-29, Galatians 6:9-10
February 19, 2022
Moving Forward Together
The Bible likens life on earth to a race - with an eternal prize at the finish line. But sometimes our race is hard. We feel like giving up. We think "I've run far enough". At those times, we need to shift our focus from our painful past or present to the glorious future that Jesus has prepared for us. We need to remember that: - God himself is at work in us to enable us to finish our race! - Jesus has removed the guilt of our past and made us new! - Jesus invites us to work with him as our powerful partner who has overcome the world! Let's encourage one another - leaving the past behind and moving forward together! Philippians 3:13-14 & 2:13, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Hebrews 12:1-3, Matthew 11:28-30, John 16:33, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Psalm 68:19
February 12, 2022
The Super in your Natural
Jesus said that all who believe in him will do the works that he did. Yet many of us see ourselves as too ordinary and too natural to do the extraordinary or supernatural! Many of Jesus' life-changing activities took place in very ordinary contexts: walking, eating & even asking for help. God works supernaturally in our natural activities, making ordinary times extraordinary! We should therefore stop telling God that "I'm too ordinary" or that "this is not the time & place"! Instead, we should always be on the lookout for "ministry moments" in our ordinary days. If we will surrender our ordinary lives to Jesus, he will make them extraordinary! John 14:12, Matthew 9:9, Mark 1:29-34, John 4:5-39, John 5:16-17, Colossians 4:5-6, Romans 12:1
February 05, 2022
Counting our Blessings
The Bible teaches us to count our blessings. As we do this, we shift our focus from what we DON'T have to what we DO have. And as we learn "the secret of contentment", we feel gratitude instead of discontent. It is good to regularly remember our many blessings from God - spiritual, relational and material - and to seek ways to bless others instead of seeking further blessings. Start counting - and see how blessed you are! Luke 21:34, Philippians 4:12, Psalm 103:1-5, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Ephesians 1:3, Psalm 31:19
January 29, 2022
We who have put our faith in Jesus are called by God to be a part of Jesus' own people. This gives us a real sense of significance, security & purpose. God chose me! I belong to him! I'm part of his mission! it doesn't allow pride - God often chooses the weak & foolish! But we can be confident: not in ourselves but in God who will empower us! Our call has many aspects: - New ownership: we belong to Jesus. - Community: we belong to his family. - Relationship with Jesus. - Priesthood: representing God to people & people to God. - Leaving our darkness behind. - Enduring hardship, knowing that the glory ahead is far greater! 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, 26-29, Philippians 1:4-6, 2:13, Romans 1:6-7, 1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Peter 2:9, 20-21
January 22, 2022
Incarnational Living - God in me
If we are disciples of Jesus, we are commissioned to go and make disciples of others. The Lord empowers us to fulfil this commission by sending the Holy Spirit - to be with us and in us. Without this life of God at work in us, our best efforts will be unfruitful. With this life of God at work in us, even our most humble efforts will be fruitful; Jesus says we will bear much fruit! To be effective for Jesus, this spiritual life needs to flow into us - AND our of us. Jesus assures us that our Heavenly Father will give us the Holy Spirit if we ask - so let's ask! Matthew 28:18-20, John 14:15-18, John 15:4-5, John 7:37-39, Acts 1:4-8, Luke 11:11-13
January 15, 2022
When the Truth Hurts
The truth can be unpopular and painful - particularly when it reveals our wrong thinking and living! God has declared the truth in the Bible, but many struggle with it. Followers of Jesus are called to CONVINCE those who don't believe, REBUKE those who believe but don't obey and EXHORT those who've lost confidence. We do this in order to RESCUE the needy, DEFEND the truth and FULFIL our duty. To do so, we should be watchful, persist through hardship and do the work of an evangelist. 2 Timothy 4:1-5, 2 Tim.3:16, Luke 17:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 1:25, Isaiah 30:10, Matthew 24:5
January 08, 2022
The Highest Resolution
The start of a new year is a good time to re-think our goals and resolutions. What matters most? What will last? What proverbial ladders are truly worth climbing? Having reached the top of his ladder, the apostle Paul concluded that he had been climbing the wrong one - the personal relationship with God that Jesus offers us is actually the ultimate pursuit! Knowing Jesus is the ultimate goal, the greatest pursuit, the highest resolution of all! Philippians 3:7-11, Proverbs 14:23, Ephesians 4:28, John 14:9, Colossians 1:15, John 1:18, John 17:3, 20-24, Jeremiah 29:13 Free book link:
January 01, 2022
Incarnation - Part 2
The incarnation of Christ involved God the Word leaving heaven, becoming flesh and dwelling among us. The Father sent the Son - and the Son came into our world. And just as the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends us. He calls us to leave our set ways - and "life as we know it" - behind, so that we can be with other people who need Jesus. Jesus sends us into their world to be with them - so that as we are with them, they can see "God with us". To live as "sent people", we need to love people. We need to see them as Jesus does. We need to get ready to go when Jesus sends - and to listen for his sending! John 1:14, John 3:16-17, John 20:21, Philippians 2:5-7, Matthew 28:19-20, Romans 10:13-15, Luke 10:2, John 4:35, Ephesians 6:15
December 25, 2021
Incarnation - Part 1
A common Christmas picture is a very humble one: a baby in a manger. But when the apostle John described this moment, he wrote: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us"! This was a baby like no other! Jesus is like no other man - he is God made flesh! This is why Jesus can do what no other man could do: - he can deal completely with the sin that separates mankind from God - and he can understand completely how it feels to live life on earth as a human! What a saviour! What a king! Thomas was right to declare "My Lord and my God!" Luke 2:4-7, John 1:1-4 & 14, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:20-23, John 1:29, Hebrews 4:14-16, John 20:28
December 18, 2021
Jesus, the Light of the World
Jesus comes as the True Light into our darkness. We now have to make a choice: will we come into his wonderful light, or hide in the dark? When we choose the light of Christ, we are rescued from the dominion of darkness and we begin to live in his light. And as we “walk in his light”, we become light to the world around us - our good deeds shine as Jesus works in us and through us! Genesis 1:1-5, Isaiah 9:2, John 1:9, John 3:19-21, Colossians 1:12-14, Ephesians 5:8-10, John 8:12, Matthew 5:14-16, Philippians 2:12-16, Ephesians 2:10
December 11, 2021
Sons and Daughters of God
When we put our faith in Jesus, God gives us a brand new life. We are born again of his Spirit and become his sons and daughters. This new status can be hard to embrace. We may still see ourselves as the people we used to be - or as second class members of God's family. Hardships can hinder us too: we can feel rejected or cast out - until we realise that God disciplines us with hardship because we ARE his children! When our identity as God's sons and daughters settles in our hearts, our lives change significantly! We enjoy a greater sense of belonging, security, significance, purpose and responsibility. John 1:12-13, 2 Corinthians 6:18, Romans 9:25-26, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6-7, Hebrews 12:7-8, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 5:20
December 04, 2021
The Ministries of the Church
The church is called a "royal priesthood". As priests, we minister in three directions: UPWARD - to God - in worship, loving devotion, service and submission INWARD - to one another - in loving, supportive community OUTWARD - to the world around us - imploring people to be reconciled to God. As we live out our priesthood, we will be a blessing to God, to our faith community and to the world around us. 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10, 1 John 4:19, Matthew 22:37-38, James 4:8, Acts 2:42-47, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
November 27, 2021
Our Need for God & His Presence
We live in a society where few people expect to hear from God or know his presence - yet we can enjoy both! In fact, we NEED to experience both! The history of Israel shows the importance of the presence of God and of hearing from God - and followers of Jesus can enjoy these immense privileges! To do so, we should let go of our "idols" (those things we look to in place of God), seek a personal relationship with Jesus, read and obey his words in the Bible and praise him daily. 1 Samuel 4 - 7, Deuteronomy 28:25, 1 Samuel 2:34 & 3:11-14, Colossians 2:15, Galatians 3:29, Proverbs 3:5-6, Philippians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:18
November 20, 2021
Partners with Jesus
Jesus came to earth on a mission: "to seek and to save the lost". And he has passed this mission on to all who would follow him as his disciples - his mission is also our mission! He calls us to seek the lost - and to point them to him so that they may be saved. He calls us to teach them to follow him - and join us on his mission. If we are to do this, then we need to value people who are labelled "lost" and "sinner". We need to value them enough to go out of our way to reach out to them - and to be their friends even if some misunderstand and criticise. Luke 19:1-10, Luke 15:7, Luke 9:1-6, Luke 10:1-3, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 7:34
November 13, 2021
Pleasing Jesus - Passion
Jesus is pleased when our "spiritual temperature" is high - when we are passionate for him. Many things can "cool us down" and render us lukewarm - but Jesus tells us how to "raise our temperature": - Pursue true, eternal wealth - this makes Jesus our treasure! - Pursue true, God-given righteousness - this makes Jesus our glory! - And pursue true, spiritual vision - this makes Jesus our focus! These pursuits change our lives: instead of pursuing the wealth of the earth, the honour of people and the opinions of our society, we will find ourselves passionately pursuing Jesus! And we will please him! Ephesians 5:8-10, Revelation 3:14-22, 1 Samuel 16:7, Matthew 6:19-21, Revelation 19:7-8, Isaiah 61:10
November 06, 2021
Pleasing Jesus - Patient Endurance
Few of us want to be told to "endure patiently"! We want to see our enemies defeated - and our problems solved - preferably immediately! Enduring patiently feels like we are admitting defeat. Yet Jesus commanded the Philadelphian church to patiently endure their persecution. Later in Revelation we read that the persecuted church triumphed by the blood of Jesus and their testimony of him - even though persecution was fierce and some were martyred. Patient endurance is a different kind of victory - we may not defeat our human enemy - but we still triumph over our true enemy! Ephesians 5:8-10, Revelation 3:7-13, Matthew 28:18, Acts 4:12, Ephesians 6:11-12, Matthew 5:43-45, Revelation 12:10-11
October 30, 2021
Joy and Praise for our Salvation
As people redeemed by Jesus, we have many reasons to rejoice and to praise God! Yet circumstances and sins can rob us of our joy. It is therefore good to remind ourselves of what God has done for us through Jesus: - He has bought us with the blood of Jesus - we are that precious to him! - We have been rescued from empty & destructive ways! - We have been given a home in heaven! - We have been given purpose on earth! 1 Peter 1:3-5, Psalm 51:12, Matthew 26:41, Acts 20:28-32, 1 Peter 1:18-19, John 14:1-3, Ephesians 2:10
October 23, 2021
Pleasing Jesus - Spiritual Life
Jesus came to give us spiritual life. He is pleased when his life flows through us, making us alive, healthy and fruitful! But we can become "spiritually independent" - thinking that we have our own spirituality and forgetting that Jesus is the only source of spiritual life. Or we can become dependent on ministers and leaders, seeking to draw spiritual life from them instead of from Jesus. If this happens, we can become religious, but spiritually dead. We can look good to those around us, but the life of God is no longer flowing in us and through us! Let's resolve not to seek life from any source other than Jesus! He is the only vine - and we are all his branches! Eph 5:8-10, Rev 3:1-6, Matt 23:27-28, 2 Tim 3:1-5, John 15:5, Eph 4:11-13, 1 Cor 3:5-6
October 16, 2021
Pleasing Jesus - Becoming Mature
Jesus is pleased when we become mature. Our maturity is demonstrated by an increasing fruitfulness. Evidences of the maturity that pleases Jesus are: good deeds, love, faith, service and perseverance. So we will please Jesus when these things are becoming more and more evident in our lives. Let’s not be like fruitless, pointless branches on a vine; let’s rather be like fruitful branches that are pruned by God and become more and more fruitful! Ephesians 5:8-10, Revelation 2:18-29, John 15:1-2, Matthew 5:14-16, Matthew 7:15-16, Matthew 22:37-40, John 13:34-35, Luke 22:32, Luke 18:8, Matthew 20:25-28, 1 Peter 1:6-7
October 09, 2021
God's ways are not our ways!
God's ways are sometimes very different from ours! He uses our weakness to show his glory. He uses unlikely people to represent him. In his grace he gives to us what we could never buy. If we are to experience all the good things that he has planned for us, we will need to trust him - and obey him - when he moves in ways that we simply can't understand! Isaiah 55:9-11, 2 Kings 5:1-18, 1 Corinthians 1:27, 2 Corinthians 2:17, Hebrews 4:16, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 15:16, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 3:20
October 02, 2021
Pleasing Jesus - Faithfulness to Scripture
Jesus is pleased when we hear what he is saying to us - and put this into practice. Because false teachers misrepresent Jesus, we need to make sure that we know what Jesus really said. When we know what Jesus said, his words become a powerful weapon that will enable us to discern what is true (and leads to godly living) - and what is false (and leads to ungodly living). So let’s be readers of Jesus’ words as recorded in the Bible - and let’s also be doers of his words! If we do this, we will please Jesus - and we will stand firm in our times of testing! Ephesians 5:8-10, Revelation 2:12-16, Matthew 5:17-20, Luke 6:46-49, Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17, 2 Timothy 2:15 & 3:16-17 Link to the Understanding the Bible Series:
September 25, 2021
Called, Chosen and Faithful
At the end of the age, King Jesus will be accompanied by "his called, chosen and faithful followers." What a wonderful description of his disciples! We are a faithful people who do not shrink back, but keep moving forward as we follow Jesus into his eternal purposes! But while great crowds gathered around Jesus, many would later walk away - some because of his teaching and commands, some because of hardships and some because selfish desires undermined their loyalty. May we always be his faithful followers! Revelation 17:14, Matthew 19:2, John 6:66, Luke 6:12-13, John 6:26, Luke 21:34, 2 Timothy 2:4&15, Philippians 2:19-21, John 6:27
September 18, 2021
Pleasing Jesus - Faithfulness in Adversity
Faithfulness pleases Jesus - particularly, faithfulness in adversity. Faithfulness in adversity proves our faith to be genuine - so trials are actually opportunities to demonstrate a genuine faith in Jesus. This brings glory to Jesus! Jesus tells us to expect trouble - and to be faithful in our times of trouble. We can do this when we know that: - Jesus understands what it is like to endure our trials - and he knows how to help us. - Jesus has overcome the world - with its trials and temptations - and even death. - and this understanding, victorious Jesus is with us to help us through! Ephesians 5:8-10, Revelation 2:8-11, Hebrews 4:14-16, Job 1:9-11, 1 Peter 1:6-7, John 16:33, Psalm 23:4, Philippians 1:20
September 11, 2021
Pleasing Jesus - Love
Jesus wants us to LOVE - and he has taught us HOW to love: - Jesus wants us to LOVE GOD with everything we are - to be completely devoted to him in every way. - Jesus want us to LOVE THOSE AROUND US - by treating them as we would like to be treated. - And Jesus wants us to LOVE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST - like he loves us. This means making personal sacrifices for their good. This is love that pleases Jesus. Let's love him like this! Revelation 2:1-5, Matthew 22:35-40, Matthew 7:12, John 13:34-35, John 15:12-13, 1 John 3:16
September 04, 2021
He Receives Sinners...
Jesus said that he came to call sinners - not those who think they are righteous! You and I may THINK that we are righteous, but God says NO-ONE is! We all need to recognise our sinfulness - and come to Jesus for forgiveness and rescue. Having done this, we are then able to help others to receive the same grace and freedom from Jesus. The battle against sin may have been won, but sin still pursues us. The more we face this honestly with Jesus, the more we will experience the freedom he has won for us! Matthew 9:9-13, 1 Timothy 1:15, Micah 6:8, Matthew 22:1-14, Romans 3:10&23, Ephesians 2:10
August 28, 2021
Living by Faith
Life on earth can be extremely difficult and extremely painful at times. Our immortal souls can struggle with the mortality of our bodies. We need to look beyond the mortal to the immortal, past the temporary to the eternal. We need to live by faith not by sight. Living by faith faces our earthly problems in the perspective of our eternal life. These trials are temporary and our heavenly glories far outweigh them! Living by faith is living to please Jesus - because he promises us eternal rewards in heaven. Earthly treasures and pleasures are temporary; heavenly rewards will last forever! 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18, Revelation 21:3-5, 2 Corinthians 4:17, Matthew 6:19-20, Matthew 16:27
August 21, 2021
Seasons & Times
Life is seasonal. We go though different experiences at different times, some easy and some hard. Understanding the season helps us to respond appropriately. For example, in our dark days it is appropriate to lament and to seek God's mercy. Thankfully, God is not seasonal! He is always the same! His love is steadfast! His mercies are renewed daily! Let's not put our hope in our changing seasons, but in our unchanging God! Ecclesiastes 3:1, 1 Chronicles 12:32, Psalms 23:1,4, 1 Samuel 17:34-35, Lamentations 1:1 & 3:22-26, Psalms 147:3, 5, 6
August 14, 2021
Jesus is LORD
"Jesus is Lord" is the fundamental statement of faith for the Church. It means that we have a new king: Jesus, the Supreme Master, the King of Kings. This radically changes our lives: It changes our CONFIDENCE: Jesus holds our future! It changes our LIFESTYLE: Jesus is our master! And it changes our MESSAGE: Jesus is Lord - and he calls everyone to come under his rule! Matthew 3:1-3, 4:17 & 28:18, Acts 2:36, Romans 10:9, John 16:33, Luke 6:46, Mark 8:34-35, John 10:10, Philippians 2:9-11, Acts 17:30-31
August 07, 2021
Obedience is very important to God because it demonstrates our love for him. It does not come naturally, but supernaturally, as God works in us to both motivate us and empower us. Obedience is also an act of worship, regarded by God as better than the ancient sacrifices. Let the examples of Jesus and Abraham inspire and motivate you to live in obedience! John 14:23, Philippians 2:12-13, Genesis 22:1-18, 1 Peter 3:8-9, 1 Samuel 15:22-23
July 31, 2021
He restores my soul
The strongest of us can face situations that leave us feeling overwhelmed, afraid, alone and exhausted. But the Lord is our shepherd - and he restores our souls! Let's co-operate with him as he does what is necessary to restore, refresh and renew us: - Let's be wise with our physical health, especially if we are physically run down. - Let's make time and space to spend significant time in God's presence. - Let's pour out our hearts to him, knowing that he cares. - Let's be attentive, listening for what he has to say to us, however he chooses to speak. - And let's embrace his redirection, instruction and correction. These things will lead us back to wholeness and effectiveness - as he restores our soul! Psalm 23:1-3, 1 Kings 19
July 24, 2021
In dark and dangerous days, we would do well to follow the wisdom of Proverbs 3:5: - Trust in the Lord - there is no-one more trustworthy than him! - Trust him with all of your heart - don’t allow your (very real) circumstances to take your focus off Jesus and undermine your trust in him! - Don’t depend on your own understanding - it is way too incomplete! Rather depend on God whose understanding is perfect! Proverbs 3:5, Psalm 20:7, Matthew 19:26, John 10:28, Mark 9:24, Matthew 14:30-31, Proverbs 4:23, Isaiah 55:9-10
July 17, 2021
A Prophetic People
Prophetic people are not victims, living in reaction to events & trying to survive! We serve a God who knows everything & speaks to his people. (But if we're not looking where he's looking, he may not answer our questions!) Now is a time to listen for what Jesus is saying to us - with hearts & minds open to the new opportunities he brings. Let's hear, believe & live according to what he is saying! Jesus wants to REVIVE US, renewing our desire for him & his ways. If we will humble ourselves before him, he will revive and strengthen us. Jesus is also wanting to MOVE OUR HEARTS, so that we want to pursue his purposes, making disciples as he builds his church. Ezra 5:1,2,14, Psalm 85:6, Isaiah 57:15, Hosea 6:1-3, Ezra 1:1-3, Isaiah 6:8, Ezra 1:5
July 10, 2021
Hope Eternal
As followers of Jesus, we are a people of HOPE.  Our hope is both a PRESENT hope (because God rescues) and an ETERNAL hope (because God resurrects!)  So we can face our present and our future without fear, even if we face the most terrifying situations! The Lord is able to keep us standing - and he will lead us into the most glorious eternity with him! 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, Philippians 1:20-24, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Revelation 21:1-5, Psalms 46:1-3, Jude 1:24-25
July 03, 2021
Conquering our fears of the future
Fear and timidity can keep us from embracing our God-given destiny. But the Holy Spirit does not make us fearful or timid; he gives us power, love and soundness (discipline) of mind. - Power: He empowers us to cope with the challenges we will face. - Love: He gives us love that shifts our focus to God and others and drives out fear. - Sound mind: He gives us self-control, discipline and sound judgement. 2 Timothy 1:7, 2 Timothy 2:17-18, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, Matthew 6:34, Romans 8:15, 2 Peter 1:3, Matthew 10:19-20, Luke 12:11-12, Galatians 5:22-23, Romans 5:5, 1 John 4:18, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Romans 8:6, Isaiah 26:3, Ephesians 3:15-19
June 26, 2021
Breaking through our barriers
Jesus has called us all to make disciples - but many of us find it so hard! We need to break through barriers that stand between us and our glorious destiny: - We need a personal vision: to recognise the enormous impact that WE can have - even by making one disciple each year. - We need confidence in Jesus: that he is perfectly capable of using the least of us - in spite of our past failures and our present weaknesses. - We need to make a start: as we take practical steps in building friendships, discipling opportunities will result! Let's "step up and step out" - and see the amazing things that Jesus will do as we obey his great commission! Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, 1 Timothy 1:15-16, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
June 19, 2021
Healing for the wounded soul - Part 2
We can suffer from sickness (or lack of wholeness) of the spirit and soul as well as the body. Some causes of "soul sickness" are sin (ours or others), suffering and abuse. We can find healing when we: - ask God to reveal the true state of our soul - submit our soul to the Holy Spirit - submit our life the rule of Jesus - believe God's words - seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit - seek the counsel of trustworthy people John 3:6, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Galatians 5:16-26, Romans 8:6, Psalm 107:19-20, Isaiah 61:1, John 14:26, Proverbs 24:6, Psalm 139:23-24, Matthew 11:29
June 12, 2021
Healing for the wounded soul - Part 1
God is concerned about our whole being - spirit, soul and body - and our wholeness as humans involves all three. Sometimes our true need (or root problem) is hard to see - so we would be wise to submit spirit, soul and body to God. The condition of our spirit affects our soul and body as well. When we trust in the work of Jesus, our spirits are made "alive to God" - and this new life and relationship brings new life to our soul and body as well. As we "keep in step" with the Holy Spirit, we enjoy wonderful fruit in every part of our lives! 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 4:12, Acts 9:1-2, Matthew 9:1-2, John 3:6, Romans 8:16, Galatians 5:22-25, James 4:7, John 10:10
June 05, 2021
Not Coping!
The Bible teaches us that we may go through trials that are beyond our own ability to "cope" - but these trials produce the most amazing fruit: - we go from being self-reliant and self-confident to God-reliant and God-confident - we learn to partner with others in prayer, sharing both trials and victories together - we become a greater blessing to others, able to help them through their trials. Furthermore, we will outlive our trials - with a glory that far outweighs them! 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, John 16:33, Matthew 24:9, 1 Corinthians 10:13, John 9:1-3, 1 Peter 1:6-7, James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
May 29, 2021
Gifted by God
The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the church that enable us to do what Jesus wants us to do. He does this in each one of us - but he works in different ways in different people. These gifts are primarily for the common good: for the glory of Jesus, the advancement of his kingdom and the health of the Church. Our particular gifts do not make us more or less significant than others; we are all vital parts of the Body of Christ. You are invited to go on a journey of discovery, finding your gifts and setting them to work! Text: 1 Corinthians chapter 12
May 22, 2021
His Power for His Purpose
In order to be spiritually fruitful, we need two things: - a close relationship with Jesus (we looked at this last Sunday) and - the Holy Spirit at work in us. Jesus assured his disciples that God will give the Holy Spirit to his children when they ask him. The apostle Paul taught that we then need to "keep in step" with the Holy Spirit in order to enjoy the life of God working in us and through us. When we live in step with the Holy Spirit we will experience the power and love of God and live fruitful, effective lives. John 1:5, John 14:15-18, Acts 1:4-8, Acts 2:1-6 & 37-47, Luke 11:11-13, Acts 4:29-31, Galatians 5:19-25
May 15, 2021
Fruitfulness through the Vine
It is God's will for us that we live fruitful lives - and he has taught us how to do so. Firstly, we need to live in a consistently close relationship with Jesus. Just as a branch draws life from its vine and a tree draws life from its soil, we cannot be fruitful without the life of Jesus flowing into us. Secondly, we need to cooperate with God when he "prunes" us, taking good things away so that even better things can grow. Thirdly, we need to make every effort to grow into "spiritual maturity" so that we have the character required to do great things. John 15:1-5, Psalm 1:1-3, Philippians 3:8-9, Ephesians 1:16-17, John 5:39-40, John 15:16-17, Hebrews 12:5-7, 2 Timothy 2:20-21, John 12:24, 2 Peter 1:3-11
May 08, 2021
Knowing who you are
Who do we think we are that we can make disciples of Jesus? - We are not the master that others must follow - Jesus is. So we don't have to feel inadequate. - We are not the people we used to be - we are now new creations. So we don't have to feel disqualified by our past. - We are ambassadors of Jesus - we have been appointed by him to represent him. - And we are demonstrations of God's amazing grace and his transforming power! The more we know who we really are, the more confident we will be to make disciples of Jesus. He has called us to do this - and he has made us the right people to do this! 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 2 Corinthians 5:20, 1 Timothy 1:15-16, 2 Corinthians 3:18
May 01, 2021
Finishing the race strong
Starting a race can be easy; finishing well is more challenging! When we decide to follow Jesus, it is like starting a long race, a marathon. Our goal is to finish our race well, strong in our faith. The church has always been challenged by its opponents. As we are challenged and questioned, we need to seek God's answers - so we look to the Bible for his instructions. These instructions will help us to finish well. And those running with us will give us courage to "go the distance" - so let's not run this race alone! 2 Timothy 4 :1-7, 2 Timothy 2:2, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 10:23-25, Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:35-39
April 24, 2021
Ploughing our Fields
Jesus called himself “The Lord of the harvest”. His harvest field is the whole world - every place and every person matters to Jesus! So he needs workers everywhere. This includes the places where we go normally and places we would not have thought of. Let’s ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers - and let’s go to the places he sends us! Let’s plough our fields: starting where we are right now… being present in our communities… passing on what we have learned… and showing by example what it means to follow Jesus. If we will all do this, there will be an amazing harvest! So let’s do it! Luke 9:62-10:2, Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 3:4-5, Acts 2:46-47, 1 Peter 2:12, 2 Timothy 2:2, 1 Corinthians 11:1
April 17, 2021
Our Commitment to Christ
Jesus likened following him to operating an ox-drawn plough. Just as you can't look back once the plough is moving (that would be disastrous!), you can't look back once you have started to follow him. The decision to follow Jesus is a glorious one, but not one to be taken lightly. We need to "count the cost" first, understanding that the life of a disciple is not all glory! We must be ready to embrace things like hardship, criticism, rejection and persecution. We must expect some tough times as well as glorious times. But whatever the cost may be, Jesus promised that it will end in eternal glory - so let's not look back! Luke 9:57-62, Philippians 2:6-8, John 6:38, John 4:34, John 5:30, Luke 14:28-30, 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Luke 16:13, Romans 12:1, John 4:23-24, Revelation 3:15-17
April 10, 2021
Why Easter?
Easter remembers a series of events that were so amazing that the calendar was re-defined around them. The Son of God left heaven and came to earth as a man - Jesus. Jesus made God wonderfully known to all who would listen, but he was rejected and crucified. But death could not hold him and he rose from the dead! And this made a way for all who would believe in him to live a glorious, new, eternal life! A life free from both the condemnation of sin and the power of sin… a life reconciled to God who loves us so much that he did all of this! Let’s respond to this! Let’s live this new life! Let’s share this amazing news with others! Hebrews 10:11-17, Romans 6:3-8 , Romans 5:6-8, 1 John 3:16, John 3:16
April 03, 2021
Are we still relevant?
In a time when almost everything is being challenged - including the church and its message - we may wonder if we are still relevant. But Jesus' words ring true today, just as they did when he first spoke them: we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Now more than ever, our community - and society in general - needs people who will preserve what is true and good, add life to their struggling communities, help people to see what is really happening and drive out the darkness around them! Matthew 5:13-16, 1 John 1:7
March 27, 2021
Crossing Over Part 3 - from student to teacher
To fulfil Jesus’ commission to us, we need to cross another bridge: from student to teacher (that is, from disciple to disciple-maker). This may sound intimidating, but it is simpler and easier than we may think! We need to ask our Heavenly Father to fill us with the Holy Spirit - so that we have the spiritual power to perform this spiritual work. We also need to embrace the challenge to grow mature spiritually - so that we are able to teach others. Then we just need to start taking our first steps of disciple-making! Spending time with others, sharing what we have learned, and showing them how we are trying to live this out. Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:4-8, Luke 11:11-13, Hebrews 5:11-14, Matthew 28:16-17, 1 Corinthians 1:26-27, 2 Timothy 2:2, 1 Corinthians 11:1
March 20, 2021
Crossing Over Part 2 - from fan to follower
Jesus had many "fans", often drawing crowds who were excited by his miracles, love and grace. But he did not seek fans - fans walk away when you stop doing what they like! His call was "follow me", a call to discipleship - to faithful, selfless learning and obedience! And he still calls us like that today! Many have settled for "half a gospel", correctly believing that Jesus is Saviour, but incorrectly failing to obey him as Master. Ironically, when we leave our selfish ways behind and follow Jesus as our master, we find the abundant life that he promised and we seek! John 6:24-69, Luke 14:25-27, Ephesians 2:8-9, Luke 6:46-49
March 13, 2021
Crossing Over Part 1 - from death to life
When we put our faith in Jesus as our Saviour and Master, he does something truly astounding. He takes us across an impossible bridge - we cross over from death to life. Our souls that were dead are made alive, and we begin a new life with a new identity! Our old life is cancelled - we leave it behind us and we begin a new life… an eternal life as God’s children… a life of ever-increasing glory as we become more and more like Jesus! John 5:24, Ephesians 2:1-7, John 14:1-3, 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, 2 Corinthians 3:18
March 06, 2021
Our relationship with God
The work of the cross of Jesus is truly remarkable! It meets us in a place of guilt, condemnation and hiding from God. It takes us to a place forgiveness, reconciliation and an authentic personal relationship with God - that will continue into all eternity! Hebrews 9:11-12, Isaiah 29:13, Romans 3:23-24, Hebrews 4:14-16, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 1:8-9, Romans 8:1
February 27, 2021
Our nation is hurting
When our nation is hurting, the people need hope and help. Followers of Jesus are perfectly positioned to do this - to be beacons of hope and bringers of blessing! The world is waiting for the true sons and daughters of God to rise up - to demonstrate righteousness, peace and joy and to be a blessing to the hurting all around them. We have been empowered to live transformed lives that will do just that; let's do so! Romans 8:19, 21, Matthew 6:10, Romans 14:17, Genesis 12:3, Ephesians 2:10, James 1:18, 19-25,1 Peter 2:12
February 20, 2021
Things that do not change - Part 3: God's MISSION
God’s mission is to redeem mankind - to seek and to save the lost. This has been his mission since the fall of mankind and it will continue to be his mission until the end of this world. This mission is now being achieved through Christ’s followers. All who decide to follow Jesus are his disciples - and we are commanded to make more disciples, teaching them all that Jesus has commanded us. These commands include making more disciples. And so disciples will make disciples who will make disciples who will make disciples… loving and seeking sinners wherever Jesus leads us. Luke 19:1-10, Mark 1:15, Luke 5:31-32, John 3:16-17, Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 24:14
February 13, 2021
Things that do not change - Part 2: God's WORDS
Popular opinion and culture change constantly - so they are a shaky foundation to build our lives on. The rules keep changing and the goalposts keep moving! But God’s word never changes! If we will build our lives on God’s unchanging, powerful, life-giving words, they will keep us steady! And they will lead us into an eternity with God himself! Numbers 23:19, Psalms 119:89, Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 55:10-11, Matthew 5:17-18, Luke 6:46-49, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
February 06, 2021
Things that do not change - Part 1: GOD
In a world that is so uncertain and unstable, we may wonder if it is possible to have any sense of certainty and stability. It IS possible - if we take hold of things that do NOT change. GOD does not change. He is always absolutely trustworthy. He is always absolutely good. If we try to hold onto the things of this chaotic world, we will find stress and frustration. If we hold on to Jesus, we will find peace and fulfilment. Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, Numbers 23:19, John 3:16-18, John 7:37-39, James 1:17, Hebrews 12:7-11, John 16:33
January 30, 2021
Praising and Thanking God at all Times
Praise and thanksgiving are a vital part Christian life. We were made to praise God - and no-one is more worthy of praise! It is God's will that we consistently give him thanks and praise - even in difficult circumstances. And giving thanks and praise is good for us! It reminds us of God's greatness and goodness. It stirs gratitude for all God has already done. It shifts our focus from problems too big for us to the One who rules over them. It stirs faith to press on and hold on! 1 Peter 2:5, Hebrews 13:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20, Psalm 42:11, Psalm 47:7, Psalm 69:30, Psalm 96:4, Psalm 103:1-4, Psalm 113:3, Psalm 150:6
January 23, 2021
HELP - Part of God's Plan
HELP is what we all need - and this is part of God's plan! He does not want us to walk through life alone. He is our ever-present help - and our example of how we should help each other. Genesis 2:18, Psalm 33:20, Psalm 121:1-2, Deuteronomy 33:26-27, Psalm 46:1, John 8:28, 1 Corinthians 12:25, Proverbs 3:5&7, John 14:16, Isaiah 41:10
January 16, 2021
Finishing Strong
Life is more like a marathon than a sprint. It is possible to start really well, but then end badly. King Solomon started really well. He was the son of the great King David and devoted to God. God blessed him with great wisdom, favour and wealth and gave him the privilege of building the first temple. But Solomon began to compromise. He married women from other nations and embraced their gods. He ended badly. Ironically, Solomon wrote the proverb "catch the little foxes that can ruin the vineyard". His "little foxes" certainly ruined his - and we would be wise to learn from his tragic example. We would be wise to keep God's rule and righteousness as our priority and to keep on pressing on - because God has a glorious future for us! Colossians 3:1-14, 1 Kings 11:1-6, Song of Songs 2:15, Philippians 3:12-14, Matthew 6:33
January 09, 2021
Sowing with Tears, Reaping with Joy
2020 was a year of many tears - so Psalm 126 speaks powerfully to us as we face 2021. We have seen God's great mercy and grace in the past - and this gives us faith to ask for his blessing once again. As difficult as these days are, we choose to "sow with tears" - with the anticipation of "reaping with joy"! We "sow" into our relationship with Jesus and our relationships with others, and we "sow" ourselves and our resources into the Kingdom of God. Psalm 126, John 15:5, Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, John 16:33, Galatians 6:9-10
January 02, 2021
Christmas - ending the isolation
The covid-19 pandemic brought with it an epidemic of isolation that resulted in widespread anxiety and depression. But we were all born into a far more severe isolation - separation from God. Christmas celebrates God resolving this isolation: man was unable to live in God's presence, so God came and lived in man's presence! Jesus came to open the way for all of us to re-connect with God - and to become part of the family of God! The isolation is over! Genesis 2-3, Matthew 1:18-23, John 1:9-13, Revelation 21:3-4, Romans 8:35-39, Psalms 68:5-6
December 26, 2020
The Christmas Gift we can all enjoy!
At Christmas time, some are privileged to receive gifts - and others are not. But regardless of what we receive (or don't receive) from other people, we can ALL receive the greatest Christmas gift ever given - Jesus! God loves us all so much that he gave his son so that we may not spend eternity separated from him, but in his glorious presence! John 3:16, Ephesians 3:16-21
December 24, 2020
Knowing God
The desire to know God is embedded deep within every person - the creation instinctively seeks their Creator. As we behold the glory of creation, our spirits within us recognise that we have a glorious Creator! Yet some choose to live without seeking or worshipping God. Some choose to worship a variety of more visible - or more understandable - “gods”. Some seek to know how to GET things from God rather thank seeking to KNOW him. The good news is that God wants us to know him - and Jesus came to make God known to us. And as we grow in relationship with God, we will find ourselves enjoying many blessings from our Heavenly Father! Romans 1:16-23, Colossians 2:8, Mark 7:8, Matthew 22:36-38, 2 Peter 1:2-4, Hebrews 1:2-3, John 14:9
December 19, 2020
God's True and Greater Strength
When we decide to follow Jesus, we will soon be confronted with the harsh reality of our weakness. But we will also discover God's power, which is vastly greater than our weakness! When we depend on our own strength: - our own capabilities limit what we can achieve - we are tempted to glorify ourselves instead of God When we depend on God's power: - we experience (and learn to trust in) God’s all-sufficient grace and power - we remain humble - God is glorified We mature into the people God wants us to be - so that we can do the things that God wants us to do. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Acts 14:19, Peter 5:10-11
December 13, 2020
Persisting in Ministry
As we seek to do what Jesus did, we'll find that things don’t always turn out the way we'd hoped they would. We shouldn't let that discourage us or stop us. - Even the best seed won't thrive in bad soil. God’s word is perfect, but some don’t receive it well. Let’s not blame the seed, or the sower, for bad soil! But some seeds will be fruitful; this is why we keep sowing. Jesus may give us tasks that seem insignificant. Don't focus on the size of the seed; focus on the potential; small seeds can become trees! If we will faithfully and persistently sow and water, God will bring about growth. Let’s keep on trusting and obeying Jesus! John 14:12, 2 Timothy 2:20-24, Mark 4:3-8, Romans 1:16, Mark 4:30-32, Mark 4:26-29, 1 Corinthians 3:6, Galatians 6:9
December 06, 2020
Positioning yourself for ministry
Jesus promised that whoever believes in him will do the things that he did. So we must BELIEVE. Paul taught that we must cleanse ourselves from the things that make us unfit for Jesus' use. We must PREPARE. Having believed and prepared, we must now ACT - POSITIONING ourselves for ministry. We can do this by: - spending time with people - listening for God's promptings - obeying these promptings - faithfully serving in the places God puts us Let’s adjust our lifestyles so that we can be positioned for ministry! John 14:12, 2 Timothy 2:20-24, Mark 2:1-4, Acts 9:32-35, Acts 10:9-13, Acts 8:26-30, Acts 6:1-5, Acts 8:4-8 VIDEOCAST YouTube link
November 29, 2020
Contending for your faith
The apostle Paul described his journey of faith in Jesus as a fight, a race and a competition. Jude urged the church to "contend for the faith". Following Jesus will inevitably require us to fight some battles, such as: - refusing to compromise on Christ's values and ethos - enduring trials and persecution - challenging false teaching - maintaining a sound, peaceful and productive mindset But know this: when we finish the race we will enjoy eternal rewards! 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Jude 1:3, 1 Peter 3:15, Daniel 1:3-6, Job 2:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:11-12, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, 2 Timothy 4:7-9 YouTube link
November 22, 2020
Useful to the Master
Jesus said that if we believe in him, we will do the things that he did. As we trust in Jesus to do what he wants to do through us, we also need to cleanse ourselves of what is ungodly - so that we are suitable vessels for him to work through. We do this by fleeing from evil desires… by avoiding unhelpful arguments and controversies… by whole-heartedly pursuing righteousness, faith, love and peace… by being kind to others… and by learning Jesus’ words and ways. As we do these things, we will become suitable vessels for Jesus to minister through - useful to our Master. We will find ourselves doing and saying what Jesus did and said! John 14:12, 2 Timothy 2:20-24, James 4:1,7-8, 1 Timothy 1:3-4, 1 Timothy 4:1-3, 1 Timothy 6:4-5
November 15, 2020
Greater things than these
Jesus said that whoever believes in him will do the works that he did - and more. When we look at ourselves, this is hard to believe! But Jesus did not tell us to believe in ourselves, he told us to believe in HIM! WE can do nothing by ourselves, but HE can do anything that he wants to do - through us! This is possible because the Holy Spirit is now available to work in us and through us. Jesus is now continuing his work all over the world - wherever he has a willing, believing disciple! John 14:10-12, John 5:19, Colossians 1:29, Philippians 2:13, John 16:7, Ephesians 3:20-21, Mark 9:24
November 08, 2020
The Battles we Must Fight
In life we will face battles of many kinds. - Some battles are ours to fight - but we don't fight the way many around us do. God's people have a different enemy and different weapons! - Other battles are not ours to fight - we need to simply stand firm and trust God to win them for us! 2 Chronicles 20:12-17, Ephesians 6:10-20, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
November 01, 2020
The Reason for our Hope
As followers of Jesus, we are people of hope. We need to be ready to share the reasons for our hope with those who ask. We first need to prepare ourselves in two ways: having the right attitude (gentleness and respect) and the right lifestyle - living lives that match our faith. Then we can offer at least four great reasons for our hope: - God’s great mercy - Our transformed lives - The resurrection of Jesus - The endurance of the church. Let’s co-operate with God as he corrects our attitudes and transforms our lives. And let’s be ready to share our hope with all who ask us! 1 Peter 3:15-16, Romans 2:21-24, 1 Peter 1:3-6, John 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 3:18, John 11:25, Matthew 16:18, John 16:33
October 24, 2020
What can you see?
The COVID19 pandemic has surrounded us with many threats: the disease itself, plus the many practical (eg lockdown), economic (eg unemployment), emotional (eg depression) and social (eg isolation, polarisation) effects. It is not surprising that some of us feel "surrounded" and overwhelmed! The Bible teaches a different view. Even in the most overwhelming, life-threatening situation, God is present - and his invisible forces are far greater than the visible forces that are against us! If we look at the visible, we may be terrified, but if we look at God, we will find courage and peace! 2 Kings 6:15 -17, Exodus 14:6-14, 2 Chronicles 20:12, Romans 8:28-39
October 18, 2020
BEING the Church
Jesus promised that he would build his Church - and the very forces of hell would not overcome it. And history has shown that the Church prevails through both persecutions and pandemics. Lockdown has caused us to re-think our focus: instead of focusing on meetings ("going to church"), we would do better to focus on what Jesus had told us to do: to be his witnesses and to make disciples ("being the church"). The persecuted Church has wonderfully demonstrated that when we focus on these things, Jesus builds his Church! Matthew 16:18, Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19-20, Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 2:46-47, Acts 8:1-4
October 10, 2020
Prayer - Our Supernatural Life Line
The Jesus of the Gospels was the Son of God, but he was also a human. Crowds knew him as a miracle worker, but his disciples saw behind the scenes - he was a man of prayer. If we can learn to pray like Jesus, we will learn to live more like Jesus - and we will experience more of the supernatural power of God. Jesus taught some powerful lessons on prayer: Be authentic. Know that God hears his children and knows exactly what we need. Come confidently. Come worshipfully. Come reverently. Come submissively. Seek heaven's perspective and order. And ask for God's provision, grace and protection. John 5:19, John 15:5, Luke 5:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Matthew 6:5-15, Mark 10:13-16, Ephesians 6:12
October 03, 2020
How do you recover from devastating loss? King David and his followers lost everything at the hands of a raiding army - but God led them into full recovery! We can learn so much from David's walk of recovery: - he expressed his pain before God and his men - he found strength in God - he sought and followed God's guidance - he fought for his restoration - and won! We don't have to stay in our places of devastation; let's walk God's road to recovery! 1 Samuel 30, Romans 8:37, Ephesians 2:10, James 1:4
September 26, 2020
Future Ready
God has an amazing plan for the future - and each one of us has a specific and significant part to play in this plan! The future that God has planned is GOOD, and he wants to lead us into it. For us to be READY for all that he has in store, we need to work with him, as he trains us, refines us, matures us and proves us. This preparation can be challenging, but if we persevere through it, we will find ourselves "future ready" - ready for all that he has planned! Luke 1:17, 1 Samuel 9:20, 2 Peter 3:11-12, Hebrews 3:19, Jeremiah 29:11, 1:5, Psalm 16:5-6, Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 28:18-20, Exodus 5:22-6:2, James 1:2-4
September 19, 2020
When we can’t see what’s going on…
When we can't see how - or when - a difficult season is going to end, it is vital that we TRUST and OBEY Jesus! We have sound reasons to trust him: He has all authority everywhere. He has overcome the world with all its troubles. He came to give us life to the full. No-one can snatch us out of his hand! He is building his church and nothing can stop him! We have sound reasons to obey him: he is the Lord of all and Master of his disciples. We cannot say “Jesus is Lord” and then refuse to obey him! We may not see much, but Jesus sees all and knows exactly what he is doing! So let’s not shrink back and just wait for this season to end! Let’s trust Jesus and obey his commands - to be his witnesses and to make disciples! Let’s ask our Master to show us how he wants us to do this - right here and right now! Matthew 16:13-18, Ephesians 2:19-22, Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-19, John 16:33, John 10:10, 27-28, Mark 2:14, Luke 6:46
September 12, 2020
Jesus plus NOTHING (is all we need!)
The Gospel can sound "too good to be true". Instead of US needing to make our way to God, GOD has come to us in Jesus. Instead of US having to keep a set of rules to be declared righteous, GOD declares us righteous through our faith in Jesus. And instead of US trying to make peace with God, GOD reconciles us to himself when we believe in Jesus! Since the birth of the church, people have tried to add things to the Gospel. Their message is "We need Jesus PLUS ..." - we must also perform rituals, follow traditions, obey rules, gain knowledge, etc. But the Bible declares the death and resurrection of Jesus to be a complete work of redemption - we need Jesus plus NOTHING! So instead of engaging all manner of religious pursuits, let's rather pursue Jesus himself, growing in relationship with him and in obedience to him. HE is what we really need! Colossians 2:6-23
September 05, 2020
The Pursuit of Godliness
God calls us to live godly lives - not "religious" lives that LOOK godly, but lives that are powerfully full of God! If we want to live closer to God, experience more of his power and become more like him, we should: - Pursue God himself (in prayer & worship) - Pursue God's will (in Bible reading) - Put God's opinion above man's opinion and always obey God - Always "keep God in the equation" 1 Timothy 6:3-11, 1 Timothy 4:8, 2 Timothy 3:5, 1 Corinthians 10:2-7, 2 Timothy 2:16, Ephesians 2:1-2, 2 Peter 1:3, Philippians 2:13
August 29, 2020
Contending for one another
The pandemic has separated many of us physically and kept us from church gatherings. This can make us feel isolated from each other - and even from God. The Bible teaches us to contend for one another, fighting in prayer for each other. We are united in Christ, regardless of distances and circumstances! We may not be together in person... We may not even have met... Yet we are united in the Holy Spirit! So we contend for one another in prayer, united in covenant with Jesus. And we contend with confidence, because we know that Jesus has all authority! Colossians 2:1-5, 1 Samuel 18:1-4, 2 Peter 1:3-4, Matthew 28:18, 1 Corinthians 11: 24-25
August 22, 2020
Discovering our True Identity - Ambassadors for Christ
God has called us to live profoundly significant lives - as ambassadors for Christ. As ambassadors, we represent the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We are diplomats, with a message of reconciliation - the good news that all may be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus. We have this position and purpose everywhere and all the time - our impact is not restricted to buildings or meetings. And ultimately, we teach people how to live in harmony with God by following Jesus - we make disciples. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20, Philippians 3:17-20, Philippians 2:14-16, Colossians 4:5-6
August 15, 2020
Discovering our True Identity - Children of God
When we put our faith in Jesus and decided to follow him, God gave us a brand new identity: we became children of God. And as children of God, our lives are now remarkably different! We can live with a healthy sense of value because God himself has chosen us to be his! We can live with a healthy sense of security because we are safe in the hand of Almighty God! We can live free from our past and pursue a glorious new future! We can live as innocent people, free from the guilt of our past life! And we can live significant lives - lives full of God-given purpose! Romans 8:14-17, 1 Peter 2:9-10, John 10:28-29, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Colossians 2:13-14, Ephesians 2:10
August 08, 2020
Handling Hardships
In these difficult and sometimes confusing times, we can learn from the example of Joseph - a man who endured many severe hardships before he saw God's promises fulfilled. His hardships seemed contrary to God's promised blessings, yet Joseph stayed faithful to God, both as a slave and as a prisoner. And God used him in these dark times, so that he was a great blessing to those around him. God also blessed Joseph - with favour and promotion from his masters, and later with a wife and children. In the end, God's promises were fulfilled and God used Joseph to rescue both the nation of Egypt and his own nation, Israel. Joseph's inspiring story is recorded in Genesis 37, 39-47 VIDEOCAST YouTube link
August 01, 2020
Keeping Focus (stopping the worry)
If ever there was a time when we had good reasons to worry, it is now! Yet Jesus tells us NOT to worry - after all, it doesn't fix anything! And he tells us HOW to "stop the worry" by correcting our focus: - Don't deny your needs and problems. (God doesn't!) - But don't deny God's goodness, power and Fatherhood either! - DO engage heaven in prayer and in praise (this is "anti-worrying"!) - DO focus on Jesus and the work he has given you to do (and you will find that he takes care of the rest!) Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:4-7, James 1:5
July 25, 2020
So You've Decided... Now What?
The word "disciple" can be misunderstood, but if we look at what Jesus said about discipleship, we will learn what HE is looking for. According to Jesus' words, his disciples follow him as their master. They learn and obey his teachings. They have a close relationship with him. They live fruitful lives. They love each other. And they make more disciples. The result is the most magnificent life! We are led by the one who always knows what is best! We learn to live the way that we were designed to live! We get to know Jesus personally! Our lives become more and more glorious! We learn to live in true love! And we are able to help others to live this magnificent life! Matthew 16:24-25, John 8:31, John 15:5-8, John 13:34-35 & 15:12-13, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 11:1
July 18, 2020
The Decision that Changes Everything
Some decisions have little consequence, but others can be life-changing. There is a decision that will make every day different and transform our lives for the good: the decision to follow Jesus. This is much more than believing, this is a decision to surrender daily to his leadership - to live according to his words and his ways instead of ours. This can be difficult at times, but as we learn to do this, we find that our lives are being transformed - they become more and more the magnificent life that God designed! Luke 9:23-25, 2 Corinthians 3:18, John 10:10, Proverbs 16:25, Ecclesiastes 5:10
July 11, 2020
Growing Up
When we put our faith in Jesus, we are "spiritually re-born" into the family of God. In a very real sense, we start this new life as "spiritual babies" - but just as physical babies must grow into adults, spiritual babies must also grow into maturity. This challenging season is not a time for us to live as "spiritual babies", but a time to mature as "spiritual adults". Let's "dig our own wells", reading the Scriptures and engaging the Holy Spirit in prayer ourselves. Let's take responsibility for ourselves. Let's not seek to be helped as much as we seek to help others. Let's make this a rich season of growth! 1 Corinthians 13:11, Hebrews 5:12-14, Matthew 5:13-16
July 04, 2020
Spiritual Lock-Down
Our coronavirus/lock-down experience is not a season to merely survive; it is an opportunity to experience a deeper work of God. If we would seek his presence, his purposes and his Spirit in this time, we will come out of the season stronger and ready for our next! Let’s seek to see Jesus better, to know Jesus better and to serve Jesus more effectively! Acts 9:1-22, Job 42:5, Ephesians 1:17-21, Acts 20:24 VIDEOCAST:
June 27, 2020
Who is the minister here?
In many churches today, we find two groups of people: "ministers" and "members". But the New Testament teaches us that we are ALL "ministers"! We are PRIESTS, representing God to people and people to God. We are AMBASSADORS, representing Jesus and his Kingdom wherever we go. When each one of us does our part, the church will become strong - and the world will know the love of God through Jesus! 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9, Ephesians 4:11-16, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
June 20, 2020
Are you still alive?
The COVID-19 pandemic has put us in a crisis situation. In this situation, there are many challenges and dangers that we are very aware of. There are also dangers that we are possibly unaware of, in particular, the condition of our souls. Jesus spoke to a church whose members were surviving physically, but they were dying spiritually. He called them to urgent action, before what remained of their life expired. We need to hear the same warning: let's not become so preoccupied with our physical situation that we forget our spiritual condition! We don't want to survive this crisis physically alive, yet spiritually dead! Revelation 3:1-3, 1 Peter 5:8, Ecclesiastes 3:1, Judges 7:1-5
June 13, 2020
Anchored in Christ
When we put our faith in Jesus, God gives us an eternal hope that acts as an anchor for our souls. The storms of life may rage, but this anchor holds firm! When we hold on to what Jesus has done - such as forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, restoration, eternal life, the rule of God and his victory over evil - we can enjoy security in every storm of life. We hold onto our anchor by growing in our relationship with Jesus, growing in our obedience to Jesus, growing in wholeness and security as God's children and by maturing into disciple makers. Hebrews 6:19, Colossians 1:23, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 2:1, Revelation 14:6, Galatians 1:6-9, Luke 16:16, 1 Peter 1:10-12, Hebrews 1:1-2, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, John 17:3, Hebrews 2:10, 5:11-12
June 06, 2020
Why is the Holy Spirit so important?
Jesus has given his Church a global mission - to represent him and to make disciples world-wide. This is humanly impossible... but the Holy Spirit makes it possible as he empowers and transforms ordinary people like us! The Holy Spirit does amazing things like: - enabling us to enjoy a personal, day-to-day relationship with God, - teaching us and reminding us of Jesus ways, and - empowering us to be effective witnesses for Jesus. And the great news is that God delights to give this gift to all of his children! Matthew 28:19-20, Matthew 28:17, Acts 1:4-9, Acts 4:13-16, Acts 17:6, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, John 14:15-17, John 14:26, John 15:26, Luke 11:11-13
May 30, 2020
Jesus is STILL in Charge!
The COVID-19 pandemic has been dramatic and traumatic, and has led to widespread INSECURITY and CONFUSION. But JESUS IS STILL IN CHARGE! And because Jesus is always in charge, we can navigate these turbulent times with SECURITY and CLARITY. We can live with SECURITY because we know that Jesus is always in control. We can live with CLARITY because we know that Jesus' ways are always right. So we trust him - and obey him - and he will lead us through! Matthew 28:18, Mark 4:35-41, John 6:16-21, Mark 6:34-44, John 16:33, Luke 6:46-49
May 23, 2020
Hitting the Wall - and Pushing Through
Life is like a marathon. God has mapped a course for each of us to run, and it will not always be easy. We will need to persevere through difficult times, when we could grow weary and lose heart. It is important that we don't look to ourselves, to others, or to circumstances for hope, because they can fail us; we must look to God. It is OK to admit it when we are struggling. There is no shame in this and we should ask others to pray for us.  We also need to look ahead to the finish line - eternal glory awaits us that will make these trials seem insignificant by comparison!  And if we are disciplined spiritually, our “spiritual fitness” will make us stronger to push through our trials. Hebrews 12:1-3, 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, 2 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 2 Timothy 4:7-8
May 16, 2020
Our MISSION Really Matters!
Our mission from Jesus is to go to others and help them to leave their old life behind and begin an apprentice-relationship with Jesus… to begin living a new way of life that will result in them becoming more and more like him. We do this by showing them and teaching them how we are following Jesus. We do this anywhere and everywhere in the world - wherever Jesus leads us! This is our mission. Let’s do this!! Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 4:43, Luke 19:10, Mark 8:34, 1 Corinthians 11:1
May 09, 2020
Our Message REALLY Matters!
With all the fake news and faulty journalism about, we may wonder if we have heard the true message of Jesus! Here is the fact-checked message: The "Gospel" is the good news of Jesus. Although we have rebelled against God and become alienated from him, God still loves us. He promised to send a Saviour and King who would die for our sins and then rise from the dead. And Jesus is this promised Saviour and King! He now calls us to come under his rule... to enter into the glorious Kingdom of Heaven... to live a new life reconciled to him! Luke 1:1-4, Luke 4:43, Luke 9:2, Luke 19:38, John 18:36, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 15:1-6, Isaiah 53, John 3:16-17
May 02, 2020
Faith REALLY matters!
Many things all around us have changed - and are changing. Things that we thought we could put our trust in have failed us. Very real dangers are all around us. We need FAITH. We need a confident assurance that looks beyond what is visible. To have this confident assurance, we need a reliable basis for faith - and that reliable basis is Jesus. If we would put our trust in him, earnestly seeking him, we will find him - and we will find a peace like no other… a peace with God, who we can trust with everything - and for all eternity! Hebrews 11:1-2, Genesis 15:4-6, Hebrews 11:6, John 3:16-18
April 26, 2020
What REALLY matters?
When lockdown was imposed, we lost many things, some very important to us. As churches, we are unable to gather for meetings, so "church as we know it" in many ways has been  closed down. We have looked for new ways to do the things we usually do, but the crisis has also prompted a great question: "What REALLY matters?" Could God be correcting our focus: refocusing our faith on Christ alone, our message on Christ alone and our discipleship of Christ alone? Philippians 1:9-11, Romans 8:28, James 1:2-5, Acts 8:1-8
April 23, 2020
Jesus' Resurrection is a BIG deal!
The resurrection of Jesus is a really big deal!  It proves that Jesus IS who he said he is.  It proves that Jesus WILL DO what he said he will do.  So we can believe his promises.  We can trust him completely!  We can believe in him as our saviour!  Matthew 12:38-40, John 2:18-22, Mark 10:33-34, Matthew 27:62-66,  Matthew 28:1-7, John 11:25-26, John 14:1-6 Here are some links for those who wonder if the resurrection was not "fake news": Lee Strobel - 4 compelling reasons Historical evidence for the resurrection
April 23, 2020
Extreme Disease, Extreme Measures (Good Friday)
Hippocrates wrote: "For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure... are most suitable."  The human condition, called "sin" in the Bible, is a truly terrifying pandemic, far worse than COVID-19. Everyone is infected, and it always causes death - not to the body, but to the eternal soul.  Dead people cannot save themselves or anyone else, so the plight of humankind is truly desperate.  So God did the unthinkable: he came to earth as a perfect human, a fully alive human, one who could rescue us all. Good Friday remembers that Jesus came as our cure - our saviour - and it remembers his promise of eternal life to every soul who would believe in him! Genesis 3, Romans 1:18-32, John 11:25-26, Romans 5:18-19, John 5:24
April 23, 2020
Where is God in my Crisis?
A common question in times of crisis is "Where is God in all this?"  The Bible has encouraging news! God is present in power to help us! Crises do not mean that God has stopped loving us! And, although we may have no idea what God is doing, we can rest assured that he knows exactly what he is doing! I hope these truths encourage you today!
April 23, 2020
Taking Hold of the Good
Romans 8 verse 28 tells us that God works for the good of his people in ALL situations - even in the most difficult ones.  One could say that good things are hidden in bad situations.  This message is about taking hold of the good in the midst of a pandemic and lock-down.
April 23, 2020