Podcasts category

It’s Not What You Know – Ps Kerrin Wallis

[29/03/2020]

Episode Notes

Perhaps you have heard the saying, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters…’

I couldn’t agree more when it comes to living the life of faith as a Christian.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

1. Great High Priest… who ascended to Heaven!

It is times like this when we need to truly believe in the greatness of our God.

It doesn’t say we have a:

  • Limited high priest
  • Average high priest
  • Subject to global sickness high priest
  • Ruled by economic pressures high priest.

It can be easy at times like this to limit God to what we see going on around us, but it is exactly times like this when we need our focus to be on God’s greatness!

I was speaking with a friend of mine this week and his comment was:

  • “I can’t believe how small people think God is… as if this has caught Him by surprise or He is not sure what He will do…”

Our God is great!

  • He stretched out the heavens
  • Put in place the boundaries of the roaring Ocean
  • I love looking at snow covered mountains and the vastness of it and thinking God made this!
  • Our God speaks and His words supersede this earth and its physical laws
  • He can speak to a storm and it will be still
  • He rose from the dead and conquered death, sin, sickness and brokenness.

The first reminder we find in this passage is a statement on God’s Greatness.

Not only is He great, but it’s also where He lives.

Hebrews 4:14 (NIV)

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God.

He lives way above us!

We live in this dust filled, broken world, but His kingdom is eternal, all powerful, ruled through empires, ages, centuries.

  • Wars haven’t stopped it
  • Plagues haven’t halted it
  • Global crises never ended it
  • Times of prosperity and famine.

God’s kingdom never stopped!

  • His rule never ended
  • He sits above all of this and His eternal plan continues to roll out.

I think if anything, the constant need to remind ourselves of Eternity and what really matters, is at hand.

  • God’s Word, His Kingdom, His plans and purposes, His promises, His power – He is great and lives far above!

Refuse to let what we see and hear, the uncertainty, the fear of the world, define our God!

We must choose to dwell with Him Above.

  • Yes, we need our feet in the dust, but our prayer time, worship, holding onto God’s word and promise is about getting our spirit up where God lives and seeing His eternal perspective.

2. Hold firmly our faith!

Hebrews 4 doesn’t say hold on to:

  • Your fear
  • The media doomsday predictions
  • Your prepping skills
  • Your masks and gloves
  • Your toilet paper – that could be gross
  • Don’t hold onto some YouTube prophecy or random self-proclaimed prophet
  • Don’t hold onto your news articles.

Hold on to your faith!

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen!
  • Isn’t that important right now!

Can I also just give you a tip to holding onto your faith… be careful what you look for.

I know two camps right now living in the same time and facing the same situation.

  • One looks at doom, gloom, fear, bad news, bad reports, panic
  • The other looks at the opportunity for kindness, God’s goodness and provision, that God will use this to build His kingdom, God’s promises.

Pick the right camp Church!

Hold onto God!

  • Keep a firm grip on faith in times like this and refuse to let fear grip your life…
  • we talked on his last week so if you missed it, go back and listen to fear vs faith – it will encourage our spirit!

But I love this next bit… v15

3. He has been tempted in every way…He understands!

In life it is easy for us to feel like:

  • No-one understands
  • Our case is different
  • No one really knows.

While we live in what is shaping up to be some really challenging days, Jesus has felt all the things we will feel in the midst of it!

Jesus has felt the things we have felt in our past or current no matter what caused it.

  • Fear
  • Sickness
  • Pain
  • Uncertainty
  • Loss
  • Betrayal
  • Isolation
  • Hurt.

Yet, in the middle of it all, He chose not to sin – allowing these to overcome Him… turn Him away from God or obeying Him!

Even if we just look at the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was about to face the crucifixion, He felt it – so much so that the stress caused his body to sweat drops of blood!

  • Yet He chose to obey God
  • Chose to trust God
  • Didn’t abandon His faith in God
  • Didn’t abandon the call of God.

Whatever we feel today and for whatever reason, Jesus understands… more than that – He has been there!

  • Jesus has faced it all
  • He understands.

His peace isn’t token or shallow, but from a place of having walked through the valley of the shadow of all these things.

His promises of peace are sure, certain and incredible.

  • He has faced what we are facing. He has brought help, strength, comfort, even joy in all those things we face – even today.

That is what I love about Jesus!

  • He isn’t some distant deity
  • He isn’t the cosmic clock maker who made this world and is now watching on passively, disconnected to our suffering.

He instead personally came, walked in our shoes!

  • He suffered all we have.

Every emotion, feeling, struggle, battle – He has faced them as a human being like us.

  • He knows, understands, can empathise.

That is the God we pray to!

4. Let us approach God’s throne of grace!

One of the things with our current situation is that Christians/believers who may have slipped into:

  • Just doing Church without engaging with God personally
  • Perhaps that were just ticking boxes of Christianity
  • Caught in crowd following

Now EVERY believer must be taking personal responsibility to connect with God.

In our own homes we need to take responsibility for reading the word, leading our kids in God’s ways, worship, prayer.

  • Let us approach God’s throne.

Not let the pastor.

Not let your husband or wife.

Not let a podcast.

Not let your friend–but let us!

Can I encourage you at this time to personally reach out to God and engage with Him? You lead your family and kids in prayer, scripture, faith.

It says, let us approach God’s Throne!

It’s easy to approach:

  • The headlines
  • Social media
  • Anxiety
  • ‘Self-proclaimed’ prophets or doomsday naysayers
  • Self-reliance
  • Self-pity
  • Just plain ignoring reality
  • Or escapism with the many forms of our entertainment.

I have had a couple of these try to force their way into my life this week, but I choose to go to God!

  • Go to His throne room
  • Pray to the Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper.

Take some time to get alone with God and hear His voice, through prayer, the word, His presence.

  • Put on some worship and sit, allow the Holy Spirit and God’s presence to bring peace and courage to your heart and spirit!
  • Pray as a family, read God’s word, let worship fill your home!

This is the time, and while we can’t gather in the physical, let’s gather as we can online, but then personally seek God at this time.

  • It uses the word confidence to describe how we should approach God’s throne and His presence.

Be confident God wants to engage with you, your family, your home, bless you, bless your finances, bless your relationships, reveal His promises.

5. Receive God’s Grace and Mercy in time of need!

We have some very real challenges right now in front of us and I know people personally that have already been hugely affected by it in the many ways this is impacting our nation.

Whether however it was this current situation or another thing in the future, we all need the grace and mercy of God.

It’s not about our own strength, discipline, focus and ability to just keep going.

We all need the grace of God:

  • To get through a challenge
  • To face tough times
  • To stand strong and lead our families and others
  • To keep believing when I can’t see it
  • To trust God in the midst of the storm
  • To put us together when life seems to break us
  • To make us strong when we are weak
  • To forgive us when we fail
  • To pick us up when we fall.

I am so glad the Scripture says come to His throne where we will receive grace and mercy in time of need.

Because, if not today it will be another day.

  • We all have times of need.
  • God is right there with us in whatever time of need we find ourselves.

I would say today we are surrounded by need, by people experiencing all kinds of challenges, fears, loss’s, realities of their life being impacted in a way we didn’t expect.

  • Can I encourage you? Jesus understands and if you will go to Him you will find the grace and mercy you need at this time.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters.

Be a person who knows Jesus and His eternal life!

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Discuss the statement – it is exactly times like this when we need our focus to be on God’s greatness!
  2. How hard is it to refuse to let what we see and hear, the uncertainty, the fear of the world in these challenging times, define our God?
  3. We all need the Grace and Mercy of God in these times. How hard is it for you to completely rely on Him when the world is in such turmoil?

It’s Not What You Know – Ps Kerrin Wallis2020-04-01T14:28:29+10:00

Faith vs Fear – Ps Kerrin Wallis

Episode Notes

Isaiah 41:10 – seems like a great place to start today with all that is going on in our world.

“10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (NLT)

You don’t have to look far this week to see people being affected by, living in, giving into, being held captive to fear!

  • Social Media – is full of fear.
  • The regular media is doing its best to fill people with fear.
  • Going to Woolworths this week was an eye opener to just how fear has gripped people’s lives in this current situation.

The great news for us as believers in Jesus is that we don’t have to live that way!

2 Tim 1:7 (NKJV)

“7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Fear is not God’s plan for our lives and in fact it directly opposes God’s intent for our lives which is that we should live with and by Faith! Fear and faith are in direct opposition to one another!

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

At a time when the world and those around us are filled with, affected by, and living in fear, this is exactly the time for believers in Jesus to demonstrate a life of faith and trust in God.

With instability all around us and people confused, wondering and unsure, we can show stability and have confidence in our rock, our strong refuge, in Jesus Christ!

There are so many differences between Fear and Faith, but this morning let me give you a few that I feel at this time are important to note.

1. Fear wants you to panic – Faith uses wisdom!

Again, you don’t have to look far right now to see people allowing fear to cause them to panic!

But panic never leads to good decisions. Panic causes people to make terrible decisions and leads to selfishness.

If we let fear rule in our lives it will lead to panic and bad decisions.

  • People will get into bad relationships because they are panicking that they will be left on the shelf.
  • I have seen people make terrible relationship decisions because they are afraid of being left on the shelf, no-one will love me, I need a relationship now!
  • People cause huge financial problems when they act in fear of not having, or missing out, or panic of what others think.
  • People leave jobs and run away from challenges because they allow fear and panic into their lives.

But if we embrace faith it causes us to use wisdom!

2 Tim 1:7 (NKJV)

“7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

(NLT)

7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

A sound mind! A mind that considers things, weighs them, has insight, gets good counsel, applies self-discipline – these are the things that lead to wise decision making!

Faith allows us to remove fear and so consider and weigh things against:

  • The Word and Promises of God.
  • The power of God who supplies ALL our needs, heals, rescues, is our strength
  • The proven history of Gods faithfulness.
  • All of these things then, mean we can live boldly, confidently and securely in God.

“Fear not, for I am with you, says the Lord…”

David talks about it in Psalm 23:1-6 (NIV)

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name.

4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.

You honour me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

When we find ourselves in a darkest valley, even a valley of the shadow of death, if we allow fear to set in and panic:

  • Panic will cause you to run away from God in hysteria and freak out, but then you have just run from the very thing that will protect and comfort you!
  • It is only faith in God, that keeps us close to the God who is the one offering protection and comfort.

If you find yourself in a valley or facing one, don’t run away in panic from the God who will keep and protect you. Stay close to Him!

Even at this time, don’t abandon your prayer, worship, giving, fellowship, but keep it up, keep close to God and His people and we can live lives of faith and wisdom regardless of what is going on around us.

2. Fear wants you to be ruled – Faith wants you to rule!

Fear never stays in one area of our life, but its plan is to take over, to rule, to dominate your life!

We give it an inch and allow fear of what people say about us into our lives,

  • Then before you know it, we are also afraid of what people aren’t saying about us!
  • Even worse if anyone says anything – we think it is about us!
  • Now even good things that people say we start looking for negativity in them and before you know it, allowing that one fear into our lives it now moves in and dominates our thinking!

But faith wants the opposite – faith wants us to rule in life!

Fear wants to hold you to the mercy of circumstances, opinions, negativity, surroundings, sometimes even totally imagined yet hasn’t even happened yet!

Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Jesus says in Matthew 10:28-31 (NLT)

28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

God’s plan is that we live not ruled by fear, but that we should rule it!

The only way however to rule fear is with faith!

It takes faith to:

  • Look at an impossible situation and say I will trust God anyway.
  • Faith to face sickness, but trust God is in control.
  • Faith to be surrounded by challenge, but worship God anyway.
  • Faith to face financial challenges but continue to be generous
  • Faith to keep going another day, when you feel like you cannot.
  • Faith to refuse to give into negativity and doubt regardless of what we see.
  • Faith to trust God with our marriage when it seems too difficult.

All those things want to rule you, dominate your thoughts, take your courage, rob you of God’s blessing but God’s plan is that through faith you can rule over it!

It’s not that faith refuses to acknowledge reality, or circumstances, it just chooses not to be ruled by them!

And faith isn’t just about ruling fear, it’s about living a victorious life.

  • It’s about seeing the goodness of God, living with His blessing, believing for the impossible!

God is not some survival expert He is a generous, benevolent, faithful, powerful God who has plans for your life beyond what you can imagine!

Fear wants to rule you, but faith wants you to rule in life!

3. Fear wants you to be selfish – Faith wants you to be selfless!

If you take a look around you, you can see how when fear grips people. They panic, allow fear to rule them and it turns them into selfish people!

  • Again, the fact that perfectly healthy and capable people went and needlessly stockpiled with no thought to others, or particularly the vulnerable, that reveals to me unthinkable selfishness!

But that’s what fear does!

Wouldn’t you think that in a time of possible lack, people would do the opposite and choose less for themselves so that those in need, and the vulnerable could be cared for and looked after?

I think it’s a sad indictment on some of the prevailing selfish attitudes of people when our Prime Minister has to tell people to stop being so selfish and consider laws about it, rather than having people so rally around one another that we have more than enough!

But to me it’s simple, if you are ruled by fear, it wants you to be selfish and dominated by your own needs and possible lack – it drives people to horrible selfishness.

Faith, however, in a God who provides and a trust in the principles of generosity in God’s word, means we as believers can be:

  • Generous
  • Give to others first
  • Put others first
  • Sacrifice for others.

Know that God is our provider, not a supermarket chain, circumstance or this world!

1 John 4:16-18 (NIV)

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Particularly at a time like this, let’s be the Church of Jesus with love and not fear!

Let’s go out of our way to make sure:

People are cared for.

People are looked out for.

We find those who are isolated or vulnerable and do what we can.

Let’s be the first to give up for others.

I honestly believe that we are in a unique set of circumstances that allow us a unique opportunity to show God’s love and power in amazing ways!

If we can choose not to fear, but to rise and live with faith in Jesus I believe we can reach many with God’s love and power in just such a time as this.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Discuss the statement that says fear and faith are in direct opposition to one another!
  2. Share examples of your experiences of seeing this in operation.
  3. Discuss how we as believers in Jesus can demonstrate a life of faith and trust in God.
  4. How will your lives change as a result of what is happening in our country today?

Faith vs Fear – Ps Kerrin Wallis2020-04-02T18:01:27+10:00

Backward Momentum – Ps Richard Kobakian

Episode Notes

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Backward Momentum – Ps Richard Kobakian2020-04-03T07:35:47+10:00

The Lion And The Lamb – Ps Richard Kobakian

Episode Notes

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The Lion And The Lamb – Ps Richard Kobakian2020-04-03T07:35:38+10:00

Dave’s Summer Grill – Ps Dave Doolan

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Dave’s Summer Grill – Ps Dave Doolan2020-04-03T07:36:30+10:00

Where Is The Joy In This? – Nathan Hulls

How Do We Get Through The Journey?

Episode Notes

2019 was a cracker of a year!

We started the year with a new adventure of launching a new business.

We felt like God had a new season for us as a family, with our ministry, as well as practically setting up a business locally which would allow me to be home more, travel less and build a foundation for our income that didn’t rely on me speaking.

We launched into the year full of faith, full of anticipation for the new season ahead.

We even had a sense that God was calling us into a new season.

Specifically, we felt God had spoken to us about a new season of influence, authority and prosperity.

We were excited…

We were full of anticipation.

If you know me and we have a conversation you’ll know before long that I’m a dreamer. I love to think big, see the possibilities, take steps of faith.

But what we had envisioned was a new season of influence – being a positive influence and having a greater impact in the lives of people in our community and our city.

What we had envisioned was a new season of authority – being in positions of leadership being able to create change.

What we had envisioned was a new season of prosperity – creating wealth, being blessed to be a blessing.

But it soon looked more like a season of stress, anxiety and plain old hard work!

  • Working 70-80 hours a week.
  • Starting at 8am – finishing at 9pm.
  • Not seeing my family.
  • Some mornings being in such a negative space in my mental health that I wasn’t able to get out of bed.
  • Being overcome by fear and anxiety in a way that I had never experienced in my life.

The promise for us was a season of influence, authority and prosperity, yet the reality I was experiencing was one of stress, anxiety and battle.

I don’t know if you’ve been there – when the promise you’ve received from God looks nothing like the reality you’re currently experiencing.

A number of years ago I bought a chair from IKEA, but I didn’t follow the instructions properly and it didn’t function as it should.

The title of my message this morning is based on a passage of scripture I had vowed I would never preach from, because I didn’t like it, let alone understand it.

It’s one of those scriptures that I think most Christians wish wasn’t in the Bible, so let’s turn to the Bible and see where we’re headed.

James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 (THE MESSAGE)

2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

The title of my message today is “Where’s the joy in this?!”

The overarching theme of the message is how important it is to have the right perspective and focus in times of struggle.

Even the message title can be taken in multiple ways.

Some people will read that title and you find some validation in the way that you’re currently feeling about a trial or a struggle you’re facing – as if it’s saying “There’s no joy in this!”?

The alternative way to read the title is one of curiosity as if to say: “Where can I find joy in this?”

As we went through the year the challenges of:

  • finance and cash flow
  • long hours
  • stretching beyond my comfort zone
  • managing staff and members
  • the uncertainty of whether the business would be successful
  • pressures on marriage and family due to the long hours and lack of quality time
  • having to deal with people who weren’t always in a great mental state themselves
  • anxiety, stress, fear

These challenges were evident and sometimes overwhelming, but in order to get through the year, it became clear that I had to take control of my focus and my perspective on what I was experiencing.

Circumstance plus Perspective equals Reality.

How we see our circumstances, our perspective on them, will determine our reality and in turn our ability to influence them or get through them.

It’s easy to look at where you want to be, where you believe God has called you to be, the promises you are believing for and see your current reality and get disheartened, overwhelmed and give up.

I could choose to see the challenges I was facing as negative issues which were getting on top of me, I could see them as problems or as we read in

James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

“Consider it a sheer gift” “Count it all joy!”

Our perspective and our focus – how we see what we are looking at will determine how well we are positioned to be able to engage with and essentially overcome those challenges.

The perfect example we have is Jesus.

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)

“2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.

The promise was you and I – relationship, salvation, eternity.

The reality for Jesus was death on a cross, shame, humiliation.

The journey to the promise rarely looks like the promise itself.

And how we see the challenges we face along the journey will determine how well we are positioned to be able to engage with them and overcome them – to step into the promise and see all that God has for us become our reality.

So with the theme of the title I want us to look at five questions to ask yourself when you face trials and challenges.

When you find yourself in a wilderness season which looks nothing like the promise.

Because the path to the promise often looks like the backside of a desert and as we see with the Children of Israel, because of their perspective and their focus, what should have been an eleven day journey became a 40 year journey and they never encountered the promise.

Why five questions?

The questions you ask yourself on a day to day basis dictate your focus.

And the quality of the questions you ask yourself, will determine the quality of the answers.

A low-quality question would be “Why does my life suck so much?” or “Why does bad stuff always happen to me?”

The reality is, your brain will always find an answer – the brain does not like unanswered questions, and there are always answers to those questions.

We all make poor choices, we all do dumb things, and if the question is not a resourceful one, you will not get a resourceful answer.

There are five questions to ask yourself to gain a healthy perspective plus focus to move through the challenges you face.

1. Where’s the joy in this?

RESET YOUR FOCUS

No matter how bad life is, there are always things we have which will bring us joy – things to be grateful for.

What do you have? (life, air, clothes, a home, food, family and gratitude).

There were twin boys, one was an optimist and the other pessimist. Their only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist.

Just to see what would happen, on the twins’ birthday their father loaded the pessimist’s room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist’s room he loaded with horse manure.

That night the father passed by the pessimist’s room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. “Why are you crying?” the father asked. “Because my friends will be jealous, I’ll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I’ll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken.” answered the pessimist twin.

Passing the optimist twin’s room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. “What are you so happy about?” he asked. To which his optimist twin replied, “With a pile of manure this high there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

Perspective will determine how we approach our circumstances and see our reality. Beyond basic gratitude, start to look for ways to reframe the circumstances you’re facing.

  • Problems or Opportunities
  • What muscles are you developing? New skills? New abilities?
  • What are you learning?
  • How far have you come?

James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

“knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

The joy is in knowing that the struggle you’re in right now will grow you, your patience, your stamina, your perseverance, your strength, your skills and that building of your character is in essence for you to become complete.

2. Where is God in this?

RECALIBRATE AND FIND STABILITY

Mark 4:37-39 (NKJV)

Jesus was asleep in the boat during the storm.

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

The disciples were afraid, thinking that they were going to die – their focus was on the storm, on the waves and the water coming into the boat. Jesus was in the boat sleeping, he wasn’t concerned.

It’s important for us to recalibrate – to see where God is. Have we moved away from God? Is He there with us, but because we’re focussing on the challenges we face, we are unaware of His presence?

But we also need to ask God – “where are You in this?”, to regain a sense of stability and security.

3. What does God say about this?

DISCERN TRUTH

He knows what the end result will be.

Are our fears founded on truth? Or are we partnering with lies from the enemy?

Along the journey of starting this new business we had a number of scenarios where we needed to come up with money we didn’t have – each time both Kate and I felt God spoke and said specifically that “the money will come in”.

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT)

 20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

God’s promises are like a cheque which requires two signatures.

God has already signed, but it requires our agreement, our “Amen” for us to partner with those promises.

Other promises which I have held firm to, to re-align my perspective are:

  • God as Jehovah Jirah “Our provider”.
  • God as the God of Breakthrough.
  • God as Creator of everything.
  • “God did not lead me here to leave me here”.

4. Did God lead me here?

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

Is it God or is it me?

Being honest about whether I am facing this challenge due to following God’s leading, or due to my own poor choices.

I hate the cliché which says “everything happens for a reason”.

It’s true to an extent, but it’s not Biblical from the perspective that God doesn’t make everything that happens happen.

Sometimes the things that happen are due to our own poor choices – so we need to identify them and ask am I facing this challenge because God led me to this place, or because I made a dumb decision?

5. Have I been here before?

MAKE NECESSARY CHANGES

Einstein is quoted as saying “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over but expect a different result”.

If I can see any recurring patterns what do I need to change?

Are there specific areas I need to develop and grow in?

What we do on a daily basis becomes a habit and our habits create our reality.

Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Let us lay aside every weight – things that are not helping us and sin – things which are not God’s best for us, which cause us to fall short of God’s design for our lives.

God has a plan for all of us! The form doesn’t always look like we expect.

Provision looks like poverty.

Promises don’t look like the challenge.

Learn to love the struggle.

Allow God to shape you and learn to walk through the challenges.

Have you found yourself in a wilderness, but hearing this you realise that it’s because you’re far from God – either you’ve made decisions to go your own way, or you’ve never known what it is to be in relationship with God?

Our team would love to connect with you, give you a Bible and pray for you

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Have you expected a season of prosperity and influence, but life has been nothing like what you expected?
  2. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
  3. How has the five questions that Nathan spoke about influenced you?

Where Is The Joy In This? – Nathan Hulls2020-04-03T07:36:37+10:00

Pain Killers – Ps Dave Doolan

Episode Notes

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Pain Killers – Ps Dave Doolan2020-04-03T07:36:45+10:00

The Holy Spirit Pt 2 – Ps Bruce Claridge

Understanding, Encountering and Being Empowered by the Holy Spirit - Encountering

Episode Notes

Throughout our lives, certain significant events change us forever.

Some can be great celebratory events; others can be tragic events, but whatever form they take they change us; we are never the same

After Jesus’ crucifixion resurrection and subsequent Ascension into Heaven, a certain supernatural experience changed a bunch of spiritual cowards into world changers.

The experience changed a person like Peter, from someone who wouldn’t confess to knowing Jesus, to a dynamic world-changing preacher and leader.

Acts 2:37 (NIV)

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

It changed disillusioned and defeated disciples into firebrands for God.

This supernatural experience happened on a special feast day in the Jewish calendar, the feast of Pentecost, when many Jews from all over the world gathered in Jerusalem for this celebration of their faith.

It happened when, though feeling confused and even defeated, Jesus’ disciples were obedient to his final instruction to wait in Jerusalem together.

This same experience transformed a nation called Wales some 1900 years later and at around the same time birthed a Pentecostal movement of Churches in Azusa Street, Los Angeles, California that now covers the globe.

This experience then and now involves a person, an equal part of the Trinity with the Father and the Son and He is here right now because we gather in the Name of Jesus.

This is the person of the Holy Spirit, who we learned about last week.

He is our teacher, our guide, our comforter and our counsellor.

He convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgement to come, but we also learned from Paul in his letter to the Church in Rome that was formed when some of these Jews returned from Pentecost celebrations in Jerusalem, that if we choose to suppress the truth  that He convicts us of, He will not impose himself on us, but leave us to the consequences of our choices while all the time loving us dearly and still providing the way to a victorious life.

Romans 1:18-25 (NIV) – Suppressed Truth.

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

He is of course The Holy Spirit who also empowers us today as he did the first disciples.

How though, did these “spiritual cowards” become world changers who were all prepared to die for their faith? Men upon whose shoulders the Church was to be built.

What experience transformed them?

To answer this let’s read:

John 20:19-23 (NIV)

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

 Luke 24:46-53 (NIV)

46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 2: 1-4 (NIV)

2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

These disillusioned, fear-filled disciples huddled together, probably totally confused, now have a ghost like figure appear and tell them “Peace guys, It’s me, Jesus”!

We often read scripture as if the characters are larger than life, power men and women, but they are just human beings like us facing a life of trauma, disillusion, fear of persecution and now, a ghost!!!

A Double Whammy…. no wonder Jesus’ first words are “Peace be with you”.

He even repeats his entry for an unbelieving “Doubting Thomas” a week later in the same house, the same locked doors and doesn’t rebuke Thomas at all for his doubts. That’s good news for any of us who doubt at times!

John 20:26-28 (NIV)

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus breathed resurrection life into His disciples.

John 20:22 (NIV)

22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Their hearts were transformed, they were born again and filled with the Holy Spirit.

But Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem for a further experience of this Holy Spirit which he called “Dunamis power”, as the Holy Spirit this time comes upon them.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

These were his last words to them before he was taken up to heaven

Acts 1:9 (NIV)

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Two experiences: an infilling of this Holy Spirit and now the promise of this same Spirit coming upon them. They were born again and then empowered by the Holy Spirit to change the world.

What happened next?

The now empowered Peter preaches and 3000+ were saved.

Miracles happen!

Acts 2:43 (NIV)

43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.

Acts 3:1-10 (NIV)

3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Acts 5:12 (NIV)

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.

What does this mean for us today?

It means Church gatherings should never be boring! It should be a sense of awe!

It means we should come together with a high level of expectation! What’s going to happen today. Faith!

It means the Church should be making good headlines daily! Good News about life in Jesus!

It means our priority should be encountering God, not just wanting a good message and a good bunch of likeminded people to do life with. This is always the danger of being in a loving, comfortable Church. We lose our sense of awe and expectation. Our reason to be, our purpose!

As these truths started to penetrate my structured, scientific mind in the early days of understanding these realities, in the late 70’s things started to happen!

I saw transformed lives, friends becoming hungry for God! Cynics became faith filled believers. Inexplicable things started to happen when you prayed for people – some fell over in the power of the Holy Spirit!!!  Conservative family and friends began to speak in tongues and miracles happened. A woman was healed of a tumour.

History tells of Revivals that resulted in regions and even nations being transformed. For example, during the Welsh revival of 1904 pubs closed down. Magistrates had no cases to hear so they wore white gloves to the bench as a sign of this. People wouldn’t leave Church services. Donkeys in the mines of Wales had to be “retrained” after the handlers no longer swore at them, and a sports loving nation turned from attending Rugby Games to attending Revival meetings! The fire of the Holy Spirit went around the world.

Is this for now?……..

Acts 2:38-39 (NIV)

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

It seems so from reading the Bible!

Can I receive this gift today?    Definitely – you are called, I am called.

Are miracles and healings available today? Mark’s Gospel seems to indicate this.

Mark 16:15-18 (NIV)

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

What do I need to do? Come in Faith! Be open to God and trust Him to be true to His Word.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Have you experienced a supernatural experience? Share with the group if you can.
  2. Do you come to Church with a high level of expectation each Sunday, expecting the Holy Spirit to move?
  3. Is your priority encountering God every time?
  4. Are you open to God and trust Him to be true to His Word?

The Holy Spirit Pt 2 – Ps Bruce Claridge2020-04-03T07:36:53+10:00

God’s Promise Is A Promise – Jake Blabey [23/02/2020 PM]

Episode Notes

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God’s Promise Is A Promise – Jake Blabey [23/02/2020 PM]2020-02-25T09:43:09+10:00

The Holy Spirit Pt 1 – Ps Bruce Claridge [23/02/2020 AM]

Understanding, Encountering and Being Empowered by the Holy Spirit - Understanding

Episode Notes

On Vision Sunday Pastor Kerrin brought a great message on encountering God and not just casually brushing past Him as you would a person amongst a crowd.

It made me think about how I treat God at times as I rush even to do Christian duties.

I wonder have I missed powerful encounters with God because of even Christian busyness?

This analogy has stuck with me and was an excellent encouragement and lead in as we fasted and prayed as a Church.

In talking of the power of prayer and fasting, Jentzen Franklin says “Physical Obedience releases supernatural favour”.

He points out that acts like the raising of hands, fasting, walking forward for prayer and tangible acts of generosity and kindness release something in the Heavenlies. An example is God’s promises concerning tithing in Malachi 3:10 (NIV). There is something released when we do something.

The Holy Spirit is always ready to meet with us, but are we willing to let Him, to slow down and experience all that He has for us?

As a young man the Holy Spirit both intrigued and confused me. My Methodist upbringing had given me an understanding of the Father and then, from Godly teachers, I learned to love Jesus, but the Holy Spirit was confusing to me!

Salvation as a teenager probably introduced me to the Holy Spirit without me really knowing it was Him who kept convicting me and Him also who eventually got through to me that I didn’t have to “get saved” every time an altar call was given.

As I look back the Holy Spirit was at work in my life, but I didn’t know it.

Over these next 2 weeks I believe God wants to bring us greater understanding of the person of the Holy Spirit, to a greater personal encounter with the Holy Spirit leading us to a greater empowerment by the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

The Christian life is “not in Word only but in demonstration and power”.

To start let’s answer some questions often posed about The Holy Spirit.

1. Who is the Holy Spirit?

Luke 11:11-13 (NIV) – He is a gift freely given from the Father

John 15:5-15 (NIV) – He is the Counsellor, the Spirit of Truth

John 14:25-27 (NIV) – He teaches us and reminds us of all that Jesus has said.

He demonstrates His presence in the lives of believers through the gifts of the Holy Spirit

He was there at Creation. Genesis 1 (NIV). He is here now.

He is the third person of the Trinity, He is a person, co-existent, co-eternal with the Father and the Son. He is God. He is present here because we gather in the name of Jesus.

2. What does He do?

He gives us the power to be His witnesses through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit Acts 1:8 and 2:37-39 (NIV)

He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. John 16: 8-11 (NIV)

If He is doing this all over the world and here right now why then aren’t more people saved?

Why aren’t Christians more urgent about judgment to come and rescuing others from that judgment?

If we believe Jesus is coming again why don’t we declare it more?

Romans 1 explains this “it’s called suppression of the truth” Romans 1: 18-25 (NIV)

An explanation of suppressing truth:

“It’s a lot like when we play hide and seek with a little child, we know they are hiding in their world, but really, come on, sitting in full view in the middle of the room covered by a blanket with eyes shut to add effect does not constitute a good hiding place where no sighted adult will ever find you – yet knowing where they obviously are, we suppress this truth and diligently look in many different hiding place options when all we have to do is stop suppressing the truth and we will find what we are looking for. Wouldn’t it save a lot of time by saying to the child – stupid hiding place, found you, game over?

In the same way Christians justify sin despite having knowledge of and access to the Word, in the centre of their world and therefore access to the truth, they search in other places when what they are looking for is right in front of them, as obvious as a child hiding in the middle of a room, or a Bible right in front of them!

Yet, so often we would rather play the game called life and waste years in foolish searches than let God’s truth direct us.

We live in a society that more and more and in many different ways “suppresses truth by their wickedness” Romans 1: 18 (NIV)

Consider current irrational thinking concerning gender. The Truth says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he made him; male and female he created them” Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

Suppressed truth introduces other options because it leads to irrational thinking.

Suppressed truth has us looking in the wrong places, when the Holy Spirit is trying to guide us.

Suppressed truth prevents the Truth from being discovered.

Suppressed truth does not allow us to experience and encounter the Person and Power of the Holy Spirit.

What suppresses the truth in our lives?

It can be many things from self-focused religion to worldly options to truth, carnal thoughts and actions, unforgiveness, selfishness, unhealthy relationships and so many other different “hiding places’’ when the truth is waiting for us in the centre of our lives. His name is Jesus. He offers all that only truth can offer. Martin Luther’s reformation was because the truth was suppressed!

3. How do I encounter Him?

Seek Him, from His Word. Our Journey in late ‘70’s, a journey that came from searching His Word for truth, the Holy Spirit revealed truth to us as we searched the scriptures even when confusion from extreme teachings came along the way, but we eventually found our way to a Godly Pentecostal Church. It was a Church that opened the way for us to encounter the person and power of the Holy Spirit, because “God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV).

We encounter Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit when we open up our hearts to Him and earnestly seek Him with all our heart, when we are prepared to no longer suppress truth by our chosen method and surrender our lives, in all their sin filled ways, to Him and His Word. The Holy Spirit will speak into our lives.

The Holy Spirit is here right now. What truth of God’s Word are you suppressing, what promise? Push in and pursue it. Nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37 (NIV)

We all do it at times, but in this atmosphere of faith it’s an opportunity to identify it and deal with it.

Maybe through the pain of deep hurt, the truth of forgiveness is being suppressed.

Maybe through difficult relationship times, the truth of God’s unconditional love to you has been suppressed.

Maybe during financial hardship, the truth of God as your provider has been suppressed by fear of lack.

Today, identify what aspect of God’s character, God’s love, His promises to you have been suppressed and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you again to Truth, to be your comforter and your empowerer, to face whatever comes your way.

Let the Holy Spirit do His Work and introduce you to Jesus today!

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Discuss what you think Jentzen Franklin meant when he said “physical obedience releases supernatural favour”?
  2. Are you ready to receive greater empowerment by the Holy Spirit in your daily lives?
  3. What do you think suppresses Truth in our lives?

The Holy Spirit Pt 1 – Ps Bruce Claridge [23/02/2020 AM]2020-02-25T09:43:03+10:00

Behind The Scenes – Ps Dave Doolan [16/02/2020 PM]

Episode Notes

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Behind The Scenes – Ps Dave Doolan [16/02/2020 PM]2020-02-18T11:02:45+10:00

Here I Am Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [16/02/2020 AM]

Episode Notes

Exodus 3:1-12 (NKJV)

3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

I was brought back to this passage recently and felt stirred to go through this passage and see what God wants to say to us.

We preached last week on:

1) Moses was in desolate place – yet God had not finished.

  • In fact it was in this desolate place that God calls to and speaks to Moses.

2) God got Moses attention and Moses gave two important responses:

  • He turned aside to see what God wanted.
  • His response to God’s call or voice was – here I am. He surrendered.

3) The place where Moses stood was Holy Ground!

  • It was Holy not because of the ground, dirt or rocks, but because of God’s presence.
  • Our desolate place, challenge, struggle, or where we are right now, these can become Holy Ground if we bring God’s presence to it.
  • Don’t look for new ground, you are on Holy Ground, you are on it!

Today I would like to give some final thoughts to the passage that I believe will speak to people.

Exodus 3:7-11 (NKJV)

4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

We find here the first instance of this description introducing God:

  • “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob”
  • In Genesis 50 they are listed in regards to an oath or promise of God, but not a reference point for Him.

We may have heard these names before, perhaps we are familiar with them, but this is significant in God meeting with Moses.

What I love about this is that God meets Moses right where he is at.

  • Moses would have understood this name.
  • He would have known the reference point and it was a way God met Moses right where he was at.

God does not introduce Himself or show Himself in some way to confuse Moses.

  • We see this right through the Gospels with Jesus. He constantly met people where they were at.

You might be here this morning and not yet know God, but let me tell you, God is not asking you to jump through a bunch of hoops or get to a certain knowledge level, or attain some level of living – He wants to meet you personally, right where you are at!

He will reveal Himself in a way you can understand.

  • Jesus met the disciples down by the water at their workplace.
  • Jesus met Nicodemus at night because Nicodemus was afraid to be seen with Him in the day.
  • Jesus meets a very messed up woman at a well in a place other Jews avoided at a time of day that was most uncomfortable – it is where she was at.
  • He met a man possessed by demons in the tombs.
  • He met a lady caught in adultery, naked in the dust and guilty and set her free.
  • He met a man Zacchaeus – hated by his own people as a traitor and leech, by stopping under the tree he had climbed and called him by name.

God will meet you right where you are at, if you will just turn to Him and say here I am!

The one thing God does ask for is a response!

Acts 2:37-38 (NKJV)

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Here Peter has just preached the first sermon of the early church and people have God revealed to them.

  • They respond with ‘What do we do?’ – Here we are.
  • Repent and be baptised.
  • Surrender to God.

This surrender never changes and while ever we have that repentant, surrendered heart and response of here we are, God will meet us right there!

But God doesn’t want to stop at a first meeting.

What is incredible is that when Moses takes the faith steps asked of him and responds to God, then God reveals even more of Himself, in line with how Moses needs to see God work in his situation.

Exodus 5:22 – 6:1-3 (NKJV)

22 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.”

6 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” 2 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them.

Moses went out and did what God asked, but it didn’t turn out like he thought or like God said, so with frustration and disappointment he goes back to God and says: “What the???”

God then goes on to reveal Himself in new ways to Moses to give him the faith and courage to keep following His call and purpose.

Exodus 6:2-3 (NKJV)

2 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord (Jehovah) I was not known to them.

Even if you have known God for many years, I believe God has a new faith challenge for you this year and it will require you to press into God and pursue Him in:

  • New ways.
  • New connection and intimacy.
  • New levels of faith and passion.
  • You will need to rediscover God and His new revelations for the faith steps ahead.

That is why there is no such thing as standing still as a believer!

We are either tapping into fresh understanding of God, or choosing to drift away from Him.

Let’s keep reading.

Exodus 3:7-11 (NKJV)

7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

God says, I have seen all the problems and heard the prayers – I will answer by sending you!

“But God… You said You will answer!”

  • “I know, my answer is you go!”

How many times have we prayed for God to do something and He says; “Great, off you go then…”

  • “But God I thought You would answer, what will You do.”
  • “But what’s the Church going to do about it God”
  • “You are the Church, now let’s make it happen…”
  • God will do miracles when we are the answer and step out in faith, not comfortable on our couch.

Perhaps too often we are praying for someone else to go when God says – “You go!”

Have we considered that we or you might be the answer to someone’s prayers!

  • Our willingness to go, to respond, to give, to pray, to share – could be the answer to someone crying out to God.
  • I believe as a church one of the parts of our destiny is to go and plant churches
  • To bring the gospel, hope, power and love of God to towns without it.

Then we go to Moses next question, “Who am I God?” The perfect Candidate!

If we follow the story, Moses came up with reasons why:

  • He couldn’t go.
  • He shouldn’t go.
  • I am sure there were people further qualified.

But God in His incredible ‘Higher ways than ours’ chose Moses and he made a difference I would think he could never have imagined.

I can just imagine God today saying:

  • I have heard Bendigo’s prayers.
  • I have heard your families’ prayers.
  • I have heard the communities’ prayers.
  • I have heard the prayers of a town with no life-giving church.
  • I have heard the prayers of the lost and broken and I will send you!

It sounds really familiar to a couple of other passages in the New Testament.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Where is God sending you for 2020?

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Discuss how God reveals Himself in ways we can understand.
  2. Do you believe that God will meet you right where you are at, if you will just turn to Him and say here I am?
  3. Do you believe God has a new faith challenge for you this year? Are you prepared to press into God and pursue Him to meet these challenges?

Here I Am Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [16/02/2020 AM]2020-02-18T11:06:38+10:00

Here I Am Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [09/02/2020 AM]

Look Again

Episode Notes

Exodus 3:1-12 (NKJV)

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

I was brought back to this passage this week and felt stirred to go through this passage and see what God wants to say to us.

The first thing I noted was in the opening verses.

Exodus 3:1-12 (NKJV)

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush.

  • Moses had been raised as royalty in Egypt and at 40 he kills an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. He intends to help but people misunderstand and accuse him and he has to flee Egypt and run. Huge sense of failure!
  • Then at 80ish finds himself in the backside of the desert in a place called Mt Horeb – which is from a word meaning ‘desolate’
  • But what a place to find yourself! Failed in the backside of a desolate place at 80!
  • Now he is simply going through the motions and looking after some sheep!

Surely many of us can relate to feeling:

  • Like we have missed our go
  • Messed up too bad
  • Got burned and that is that
  • Am just stuck in a rut
  • Life feels desolate or without purpose.

Yet it is in that place that God meets with Moses!

I want to do a series of what God does at Mt Horeb – the desolate places of our life and why God chose those mountains to be referred to as ‘The mountain of God’.

I want to encourage you today, that you might feel those things, but God still has a plan and there is still a reason to believe for a new day! Regardless of the mistakes you have made. But God steps in!

Exodus 3:3-4 (NKJV)

3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

I have heard people preach on the fact that given particular plants and the heat out there they can burst into flame etc. and it was only the fact it wasn’t consumed that grabbed his attention.

  • But, there isn’t solid evidence scripturally, it doesn’t define the plant and so it would simply be speculation and Jewish tradition seems to more consistently say it was a thorn bush
  • So who cares!

I don’t think there is any need to worry because the key is: God got Moses’ attention and knew how to do it. And then two things happened!

  • Moses was willing to turn aside to it
  • Moses said “Here I am God”.

In his ordinary life and circumstances Moses could recognise something was up and:

  • He turned aside.
  • But he turned and said ‘Here I am God’.

How many times do we know something is up, but we never take time to turn aside?

  • There is a stirring in our heart about something.
  • We are unsatisfied with life – but we don’t pause to turn and ask why.
  • There is something going on with our marriage or kids, but we are too busy to turn.
  • There is something going on with God’s Kingdom, but we are too busy to turn, but instead say, “I will get serious with God next year” or “when I have more time”.
  • Maybe it’s a problem we encounter or challenging situation and we turn away from it rather than we turn aside to it.
  • Something we see that stirs our heart or passion yet we tell ourselves life is too full or we are too busy to turn aside.

I think God sometimes is trying to get our attention but we never stop to turn aside!

But even more powerful is Moses’ response, ‘Here I am’.

  • Are we available for God?
  • Are we open to what He wants to use us for?

I think one of the great purposes of prayer and fasting is to say:

  • God, here I am.
  • To lay our lives before God and humbly take the posture of a servant before our King. Ask what it is You want.
  • To choose His plans and prioritise His direction.

Proverbs 5:5-6 (NIV) puts it like this:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Sometime we expect God to make our:

  • Disobedient ways straight
  • Selfish ways straight
  • Comfortable ways straight
  • Our casual ways straight.

God will make our way straight when it is submitted to Him… not self!

Moses doesn’t respond:

  • God here is my schedule, how will you fit?
  • God here is my plan, can you work within that?
  • God this is my leisure plan, my time, my own space – will this be convenient?
  • How long will it take?? Are we there yet??

But Moses says ‘Here I am’!

Our response should be:

  • I am not perfect
  • I am not probably ready
  • I do not have all my ducks lined up
  • I am not sure how this all goes,

But here I am!

From scripture we see God certainly isn’t looking for perfect, or got it all together – look at the characters He uses!

  • But He is looking for available! – Here I am!

Exodus 3:5-6 (NKJV)

5 Then He (GOD) said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

Moses thought he was just standing around a burning bush.

  • He had his marshmallows out
  • He was thinking of mixing some damper
  • It was dusty
  • It was likely hot
  • It didn’t look Holy.

But God saw it as Holy Ground, not because of the ground, the dirt and rocks but because of His presence in it!

Our messed up situation, our daily grind, our something is up that is stirring, our challenging circumstance is Holy Ground when we bring God to it!

Too many people are looking for God somewhere else when He says, “I am right here right now, this is Holy – where you are!”

The story of Jacob in Genesis 28 where he is:

  • fleeing his brother who wants to kill him,
  • he has a rock for a pillow,
  • he has stolen something that wasn’t his,
  • he is leaving everything he knew,

Talk about ‘Desolate Place…’!

But then he has a God encounter … then we read v16:

Genesis 28:16-17 (NIV)

16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

God is here now, this is Holy Ground. Let’s seek God for where He is in our situation right now. Look for God in everything and every place.

  • Let’s not write it off but look for God in it
  • Turn rocks and dirt of challenge into Holy ground
  • Let’s be available. He is hovering over us now!

Suggestions for discussion

  1. God has a plan and there is still a reason to believe for a new day! Regardless of the mistakes you have made, can you believe in God’s plan for your life?
  2. Can God get your attention? If so, how easy is it to turn towards Him?
  3. God will make our way straight when it is submitted to Him. Can you believe in Him?

Here I Am Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [09/02/2020 AM]2020-02-10T11:51:56+10:00

Expansion Birthed Out Of Encounter – Ps Kerrin Wallis [02/02/2020 AM]

Episode Notes

When you are working your way through a crowd or at a busy restaurant and you need to get past someone, but it is a bit of a squeeze:

  • We push past a little bit and say ‘Excuse me’ and then there might be a bit of a rub against the chair or something, a little contact somewhere, but it’s not really a big deal
  • Contact happens then we both excuse the contact and get on with whatever we are doing.

Let’s compare that with someone grabbing you with intent (contact with purpose):

  • Perhaps grabbing your shoulder with bad intent or reaching out to hold you back from oncoming traffic or something
  • Grabbing your wife and planting a kiss on her lips!!
  • But the contact requires response!
  • It is intended to engage and exchange communication.

At the beginning of 2020 we wanted to give some Vision for what we are heading into this year, what we are believing God for and taking steps of faith forward as a Church.

  • As I prepared my heart and this message (with Tegan’s help) we felt that the key to everything we do, is ensuring we ‘grab a hold of God this year’ and be deliberate in not just bumping past Him with an ‘Excuse me God’
  • Be intentional on Expansion birthed out of Encounter.

We don’t want to just repeat last year! Last year was great, we broke ground and saw miracles, but God has new things!

If we continue to Encounter God, He will lead us and guide us to Expansion.

Let’s engage with God. This requires a response from us and God. It will bring breakthrough and we can forge a new season of God’s plan for us and our city.

Luke 1:5-22 (NIV)

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years (very polite man).” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” 21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

After this encounter – we see Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth give birth to John the Baptist! This is a huge change and all of a sudden Zechariah is now going to be the father of one of the greatest men in history! A forerunner of Jesus Christ! A man who would be preached about for the rest of days of this earth! Zechariah had an encounter with God and his world and influence expanded!

There are some things here that are so significant and pertinent to us as a Church for this year and further.

I want to continue this theme and idea a little for our anointing service tonight where we want to:

  • Pray for every person. Anoint them with oil – which is symbolic but powerful in being set apart for God’s purposes in 2020
  • Believe with every person for miracles and breakthrough
  • Commit together to not just be around God but engage with His power and purpose together.

We see here a man who has an encounter with God in the midst of a bunch of circumstances that we would do well to understand.

Firstly Zechariah was an old man with no kids. He was married, but he and his wife had been unable to have children. Yet despite this he was still faithful in his service to God! There is a temptation to allow disappointment or things we don’t understand, to pull us back from serving God and drawing near Him.

Everyone who has been in Church at some point has reason to: be disappointed, get disillusioned, be hurt, etc. I personally have had all of those things. But what I love about Zechariah is that he refused to give up, refused to stop serving, refused to stop praying, worshiping and trusting God. He refused to let those negative things win!

I have no doubt that the reason Zechariah has a God encounter is because he continues, despite things he wishes were different or doesn’t understand, to press into God and serve Him.

He was an old man, yet hadn’t ‘hung up the boots’ for the young ones, but continued to be a part of what God was doing.

There will be people here today and you might have things that haven’t worked out like you thought. This is disappointing and you don’t understand, but choose to serve God with intent this year!

Of even greater significance, is the fact that Zechariah had both a revelation from God and also received a promise from God while he was in a particular place.

There were possibly hundreds of people around the temple that day and they were all praying to the same God, part of the same celebration, yet one man had a revelation and received an incredible promise that expanded His world! Why?

To understand the point of this, it is first important to understand that within the Temple the Jews worshiped in at this time there was:

  • An outer court – where anyone could enter
  • An inner court – where only priests who had done certain things could enter
  • Inside the inner court was the Holy of Holies – where God’s tangible presence was – the Ark of the Covenant.

There was an outer court – where anyone could go into.

  • Anyone can come to God! We don’t need to have jumped through hoops and have cleaned up – we come to Him as we are!

In that outer area were two other symbolic things:

  • A Brass Altar – for a sacrifice
  • A Brass Laver (Bowl) – for washing.

These two things required no prior preparation or work and you could even be in the outer court without having used these two things.

It is easy to be around Church and God, come and go as you feel or please and add Him to our list of parts of our life.

It’s easy to be around God, enjoy His people and add Him to the social scene of our lives. No real commitment or change required.

People are free to come to God, but there is a difference between being around God and truly engaging God and receiving encounter and expansion in God.

Zechariah had been in the outer court, but now he came inside the inner court and he stood at something called the Altar of Incense.

The Altar of Incense was the only of all the parts of the temple that was described by God in function before directions and dimensions.

  • That is because it is about worship and God’s presence before any method, style or answer

The place where God approached man to deal with his sin (the outer court), is many times larger than the place where man approaches God to give Him honour and worship (the much smaller inner court).

  • It is much easier to get people to receive from God, than to give to God
    • Many people respond to the Gift of Salvation and then have no desire to go on in God to a life of worship, sacrifice and praise
    • They stay around God in the outer court, but never truly encounter Him
  • In the outer court everything was done for the individual, but before he could come to the inner court, he had to be involved in his own cleansing, sacrifice and preparation
    • Spiritual laziness is another factor which limits the number of those entering into a Christianity which leads to expansion through encounter of the Lord. Not just around Go, but encountering Him.

As a Church, we want people to discover moving beyond just knowing about God and being around God (a sort of ‘Excuse Me’ Christianity) or bumping into God.

  • I want God’s presence, but ‘Excuse me God I am too busy to pray… Got too much going on…’
  • I want God to be with me but, ‘Excuse me God I will just pop in and out of Church without really engaging in His presence.’
  • I want your blessing God but ‘Excuse me if I just bump past this tithing or sacrificial giving thing.’
  • I want to have God’s peace but, ‘Excuse me God while I just slip past your instruction on renewing your mind and not being transformed into the pattern of this world.’
  • ‘Excuse me God while I just do my thing and you and the radicals do your thing.’
  • ‘Excuse me God while I sit this uncomfortable challenge out and just tick the God box for a while.’
  • ‘Excuse me God while I attend your Church, but not really commit or participate .’

As your Senior Pastors, those entrusted by God to encourage, motivate and challenge you, we want more for you.

  • Our desire is that you encounter God in His fullness. We want your life and influence to expand because you were with Jesus Christ.

We dream of people:

  • Being set free by the power of God
  • Changing this city with the Gospel
  • Winning people lost in sin to eternal life in Jesus
  • Doing things together that will make our city see Jesus
  • People stepping into God’s purpose for their lives
  • People actualising the promises and plan of God for their lives
  • The Word of God being an anchor and rock for people.

People who are not just milling around the outer court around God, but powerfully experiencing God in every part of our lives!

And even more, on Vision Sunday we want to say, C’mon, let’s all go in together and encounter God in 2020 and see what He can do with our hearts when they are truly surrendered and committed to Him! – Expansion!

So what’s our Vision for 2020? We believe the focus for 2020 is that through Encounter we as a people and a Church will expand.

When we encounter God, He will lead, guide, challenge and give us promises to hold to, but if we obey then He will expand our world together.

One of our first focuses for 2020 is:

OUR NEW FACILITY!

It should come as no surprise that this is a focus for 2020.

If we wanted just to be around God, with no need to work so hard, pray, believe God, sacrificially give, because we can just be content in this building, “It’s ok.”

  • But it’s not our best, there is no faith in that, no miracle needed, no worship
  • We are seeing a miracle unfold and everyone still has a part to play!

Our facility should be finished mid September – probably by Christmas, but we are doing it not just to build a building.

This is a battle ground for expansion in 2020!

  • This is not just something that we are doing because we calculated the sums and it should work
  • This is a God move
  • A God opportunity
  • A day of stepping into God’s expansion for our Church
  • This is about a new and greater footprint for Jesus Christ in our city and regional Australia.

This current facility that we are using was birthed out of encounter and this new facility is a God move for our Church. The Faith Steps, the Favour, the Miracles, this is our battle ground for expansion birthed out of encounter with God!

To us it is so much more than a building it is about reaching more people! While ever there is a lost or broken person in Bendigo, we must remain committed to, and motivated by, God’s great commission.

Raising Champions – Building for the future – Unlocking Generosity – Reflecting God to our community.

  • Our facilities say something about God to every person before they ever come to a service, hear a worship song or listen to a message!
  • We believe that as the Church we ought to reflect God’s Glory and Brilliance to not just our own people, but those yet to find Jesus!

We are still believing and need miracles of finance, to not just build it, but to fit it out ready to serve us and the Bendigo community.

If you have made a pledge, can I please ask you continue with that and to give in faith!

  • If you haven’t yet been a part of this miracle we would ask that you go to God about your part to play
  • We have had incredible generosity and giving
  • For some their sacrifice was several hundred dollars – others have given 5K, 10K or 50K
  • But we have heard so many miraculous testimonies of what that giving has unlocked and we as a Church are stepping into an exciting and amazing miracle for our city.

To us this is a total Encounter and Expansion opportunity!

  • Right from the start we have always said – Go, encounter God and ask Him what your faith step is and simply be obedient to that!

IMPACT RECOVERY!

Impact Recovery is a therapeutic community rehabilitation program that we run as a Church helping people find life and freedom from addiction!

We have had an incredible miracle with our Impact Recovery Rehab.

  • Toni West (the CEO) stepped out in faith and with a wonderful partnership with Teen Challenge has seen us be able to move our program right into the centre of town into Temperance Hall on View Street, Bendigo!
  • We now are in a building with historical spiritual significance and are right in the heart of our city!
  • This has been something that would have been totally impossible, but God provided way more than just a facility. We have an incredible opportunity now to reach our city in new ways.

We see not only Impact Recovery operating out of Temperance Hall, but also

  • Chaplaincy
  • Youth outreaches
  • Community services all reaching our city from the new footprint right in the middle of Bendigo.

Please be praying for continued favour with this.

NEXT STEPS!

One of the challenges we’ve faced as we’ve grown is helping new people connect to our Church, find a place they fit, to serve, find friends and how to grow in their faith etc.

  • You could say this is encapsulated by the idea of discipleship – go make disciples, not converts.

We have worked incredibly hard and sought God to put together Next Steps which works on the understanding there is always a Next Step for us as believers.

  • The idea that we are static as a believer is false. We are either drawing nearer to God or further from Him, but never standing still.

So we want to encourage people to take their next step in their faith journey.

  • It could be forming Godly friendships in a Connect Group
  • It could be serving and finding a team to participate in
  • It could be learning more about God’s word – through study or a course
  • It could be helping teach others about the things of God or praying with people
  • There are so many Next Steps, but everyone has one and we want every believer to keep taking faith steps and not settle and begin drifting from God
  • Expansion through encounter.

As a part of this is Growth Steps which help people understand:

  • Who we are as a Church
  • Our Church culture, vision and our values
  • How we work and how to find a fit.

This will be a huge part of unifying and getting all our Church in alignment.

  • So from here for anyone who wants to serve will be required to do Growth Steps, so no matter what Church family they have or haven’t come from, they can know how this one works!

I would encourage everyone to do this.

  • Even if you have been here for years – our Church is not what it was and we are increasingly headed into a clear and certain vision and culture
  • So if you wish to be part of this then I would say find out who we are as a Church, and then it will help you engage and be part of the Church family.

So as a Church, I felt so impressed in my spirit to preach the message and also in regards to where we are going with Vision and I felt the two were disconnected.

  • However as I prayed I began to see that they are together because as a Church we are not happy to just be around God and doing a few churchy things
  • The ‘Excuse me God’ style of church.

We have been pressing into God, we have been praying, entering into fasting because these are not just ‘projects’, these are what we believe God is leading us into.

It will take continued pressing into God for miracles, breakthrough and His power to be upon us to do what is bigger than us.

Church our prayer is that together we encounter God and together we expand into all God has called us to do and be!

  • We can’t do it with religious activity or obligation, but with people passionately having an encounter with God, having revelation and taking steps of faith together
  • We can’t bring revival to our City, State and Nation with an ‘Excuse Me God’ Church culture – but with a culture that draws near to God, into His Holy place and has revelation from Him.

One of the amazing parts of when Jesus died on the Cross was that the veil in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom so that everyone could enter it and no longer just the priests.

  • It meant God’s tangible presence could be accessed by anyone
  • We didn’t need to go through a person anymore – Jesus made the way for us!

But let me point out that it didn’t make it accessible from the outer court. A person would still need to go to the inner court in order to access this special place in God’s presence – the place of the tangible presence of God.

Great understanding there!

We come to God as we are, with no requirements or hoops, just simply come to Him because He loves you.

But then there is an opportunity not just to come to be around God, but to then meet Him in the Holy Place.

  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Worship
  • Time with God

It is here we find a whole new level of a dynamic and powerful relationship with Jesus Christ!

This is why we are so committed to prayer and fasting.

  • Truly pursuing God
  • Not just bumping into Him at Church on Sunday and ‘excuse me God’ for the rest of the week.

Prayer and fasting is not about being hungry – it’s about setting other worldly things aside and reaching to engage with and encounter God.

  • So we take two weeks early in the year as a Church to do this and set up our year surrendered to God.

What can you put aside or give up over the next two weeks to give something more into your relationship with God?

  • Read your Bible instead of social media
  • Spend your coffee time reading God’s word rather than the paper
  • Take time praying instead of watching TV
  • Fast meals on the weekends and give extra time to hearing from God
  • There are so many ways to be involved.

Tonight is about coming to encounter! It is choosing to say “God set me apart for your service in 2020”.

Altar of Incense

FUNCTION

This is the only item in the Tabernacle whose function is described before dimensions. This shows the desire of God, the urgent longing of God’s heart for His people to come into this ministry of worship unto Him. Too many have concentrated on analysing and examining and specifying this aspect without ever getting involved in worship in Spirit and in Truth.

SIZE

There is significance in a comparison of the size of the Brazen Altar and the Golden Altar. The place where God approached man to deal with his sin (the Brazen Altar), is many times larger than the place where man approaches God to give Him honour and worship (the Golden Altar).

  • It is much easier to get people to receive from God rather than to give to God. Many people respond to the Gift of Salvation and then have no desire to go on in God to a life of worship and praise
  • There was no obligation to be clean in coming to the Brazen Altar. It was “come just as you are” – this is true of Salvation. However, before the priest could approach the Altar of Incense, he had to be cleansed. This is one reason why the place of worship is smaller than the place of redemption. Many are called, but few are chosen, Matthew 20:16.  The straight and narrow way gets straighter with every mile, Isaiah 40:15
  • At the Brazen Altar everything was done for the candidate, but before he could come to the Golden Altar he had to be involved in his own cleansing and preparation. Spiritual laziness is another factor which limits the number of those entering into the ministry of the Lord.

THE HORNS

Horns speak of power and authority, 1 Samuel 2:110, 2 Sam. 22:3.  This speaks of the power in Christ’s intercessory ministry on our behalf, Hebrews 7:25.  Because of His present ministry He is able to save the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.  There is also tremendous power and authority vested in the Church to intercede with God on behalf of sinful man, Job. 16:23-24.

The place of worship is the place of God’s favour.

The number of horns is not mentioned.  We may assume that like the Brazen Altar there were four, Revelation 9:13 indicates that this was so.  However the reason for this omission in the Exodus reference is to show that there is no limit to the power of prayer and praise.  Jesus said nothing shall be impossible unto you, Matthew 17:20.  No need is ever beyond answer.

Exodus 30:2 in both the Septuagint version and the Living Bible clearly show that the horns are actually part of the wooden framework of this Altar, they were not separate pieces added on.

The power in prayer and praise given to the Church cannot be divorced from the very person of Christ.  Any attempt to cultivate an interest in any of the power aspects of Jesus ministry, such as healing or miracles, without maintaining a close relationship with Him, will result in a cutting off of that power.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Discuss how you can ‘grab a hold of God this year’
  2. Zechariah refused to give up, refused to stop serving, refused to stop praying, worshiping and trusting God. Are you able to do the same?
  3. Kerrin and Tegan want us to powerfully experience God in every part of our lives. How can you make sure this will happen?

Expansion Birthed Out Of Encounter – Ps Kerrin Wallis [02/02/2020 AM]2020-02-04T16:36:33+10:00

Who Do You Think You Are? – Ps Kerrin Wallis [26/01/2020 AM]

Episode Notes

John 8:48-53 (NIV)

48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honour my Father and you dishonour me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

What a great question!

  • Others will ask this of us, but sometimes we even ask it of ourselves
  • Who are we?
  • It seems that plenty of people ask this and have a whole bunch of different ways of trying to find the answer.

However it’s an important question that if we don’t answer, we will end up on some silly quest, looking in all the wrong places because we have never done the digging to settle the question in our hearts.

But equally,

  • Others
  • Life
  • Trying challenges and difficult times
  • The devil
  • This world
  • The culture we live in
  • Popular opinion
  • Religious people will ask this question and we need to be able to answer it.

So what does Jesus respond?

John 8:54 (NIV)

54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

1. It’s not about us!

Firstly, for a Christian the answer is not about them.

If I make my identity about:

  • My physical appearance
  • My achievements
  • My past wins or failures
  • My past full stop.

All of a sudden our identity is not really very sure or stable!

  • If it’s based on my physical appearance or attributes and skills, what if something happens? Then my identity is shaken or up for grabs
  • If it’s our past wins and successes then what if I fail tomorrow? I am now really unstable
  • If it’s our past, well that can be good or bad but not secure, because soon our tomorrow will be our past and we can’t predict that.

We learn from Jesus that who we are wasn’t answered by a list of any of these things. That is how people get held back by confusing their past mistakes or wins etc., for who they are!

  • I may have made a mistake, but that does not make me a failure!
  • I may have some great achievements in the past, but that does not mean I am a good person!

Gal 2:20 (NLT)

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

If it’s about me, then one of two things will happen!

  • I will become proud – because look what I have, what I’ve done and therefore what I am etc
  • I will become insecure – because look what I don’t have, what I haven’t done, therefore I am unworthy.

Jesus came to remind us that all we are and have, come from God. Any of these things are not really any measurement of self, or worth or purpose! Without God I am nothing!

Christianity, in dealing with identity, says it’s not found in our natural body, circumstances, past, achievements, failings, etc. It’s not where we turn.

So where is it found then?

John 8:54 (NIV)

54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

God speaks to our identity.

2. God defines our identity!

This is probably not the first time we have broached this subject here, but neither will it be the last, because continually we need to be reminded not to look in the natural, but define ourselves as God defines us!

The very first point to notice is exactly what Jesus says, “God is the one who glorifies me!’

NOT:

  • ‘God is the one who pushes me down’
  • ‘God is the one who crushes me, depresses me, keeps me low and humble, wants me to stare at my failings.

God is in the business of raising people up! Glorifying people!

This is so important and it’s why we need to learn our identity isn’t about ourselves.

Because God wants to glorify us, lift us up  and if we think our identity is about us and not Him, then His glorifying us will make us proud!

1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honour. Approach life like God is the one who will lift us up.

Provided we don’t make the mistake of thinking our identity is about us, then we can keep a humble heart before God, but He will raise us up before people!

Isaiah 45:13 (NIV)

13 I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the Lord Almighty.”

Psalm 3:3 (NIV)

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

If we want to know who we are, then we had better know that God firstly wants to:

  • Glorify you
  • Honour you
  • Lift you up
  • Raise you up.

Our job is to call out the greatness of others.

You might be surprised to hear that, but if Galatians 2:20 is correct, then God can and will do that because:

It’s not about us. It’s about Jesus in us!

Gal 2:20 (NLT)

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Who we are is about who God is in us!

Let’s look at what Jesus says about us.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Jesus teaches that He wants our lives to be on display, to shine, to give light to others, so that people would see us and our lives and glorify God!

This means our identity as Christians must be found in who Jesus is!

  • Not what the world says
  • Not what my appearance, skill set, or bank account says
  • Not even what my self esteem and self assessment says
  • Not what other people say.

It’s about what God says!

Hebrews 10:32-39 (NIV) puts it like this:

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

(Things in life working against us to try and bring us down, cause us to doubt God, His plan, His goodness, His power)

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

This year there will be all sorts of things that try to challenge you and ask – who do you think you are?

  • Life will do it with circumstances
  • The devil will do it with trials and tribulations
  • Your mind will do it
  • Our own insecurities or pride will try to rise up and ask it
  • Other people offended at Jesus in you will try.

But my hope today is that you can learn, like Jesus taught, that it’s not about you, but it’s about Him and what He says about you!

This is one of the reasons we do prayer and fasting in February each year as a Church. It is so powerful.

  • To start the year surrendered and humble ourselves before God, committing our year ahead to Him!
  • And in doing so we set ourselves and our year ahead up for the power, blessing, favour, the lifting and the glorifying of God in our lives!
  • Surrender something to God, put Him first.

But it’s also why we encourage every believer to:

  • Read the Bible – learn what God says about your identity
  • Be involved in prayer and fasting and set your mind on God. Make a commitment to Him
  • Join a Connect Group and surround yourself with others who will encourage you and build you up
  • Serve God in your community and make sure you live with His purpose and calling as your highest priority
  • Believe God for more not less
  • Have a personal experience of God
  • Let Him shape who you are.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Discuss who you think you are?
  2. How easy is for people to get held back by confusing their past mistakes or wins etc., for who they are!
  3. Discuss why we need to remind ourselves that all we are and have, comes from God!
  4. What does it mean when it says our identity as Christians must be found in who Jesus is?

Who Do You Think You Are? – Ps Kerrin Wallis [26/01/2020 AM]2020-01-28T13:09:42+10:00

Walk Worthy Of Your Calling – Jake Blabey [19/01/2020 AM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Walk Worthy Of Your Calling – Jake Blabey [19/01/2020 AM]2020-01-21T07:32:07+10:00

The Right Question – Ps Kerrin Wallis [12/01/2020 AM]

Episode Notes

John 4:27-41 (NIV)

27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

But no-one asked Jesus about the women, just the food.

  • What do you want?
  • Why are you talking to this woman?

Instead:

  • Want sesame seed bun or Turkish bread?

There are two parallel stories going on here!

  1. One is of Jesus going via a town other Jews refused to speak to a woman who he shouldn’t speak to and bringing revival and eternal change to a group of people.
  2. The other is of the disciples, who love God and are following Jesus. They head into town to get some bread and arrive in the midst of the purposes of God. They don’t see what is happening and other than it seems strange don’t ask about it – then they are concerned about dinner oblivious to the revival Jesus is bringing – the eternal purpose going on.

While they are buttering the rolls a woman of terrible reputation and with a lot of mess is bringing revival.

So what happens when we don’t ask the questions of God???

We just get on with business, life and the urgent and miss the eternal and bigger purpose!

Sadly so many Christians are living simply like the world around us except they go to Church on Sundays and try to misbehave too much!

That is not Christianity!

Christianity was radical, Holy Spirit filled, eternally focused.

  • It was about taking the love of God to a world first and foremost!
  • People gave their lives for the gospel, the word of God!
  • People gave their finance!
  • The gospel changed their whole world, life and beliefs!

Acts 2:42-47

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

This was not a Sunday gig that fitted my social life and worked around my job!

People devoted their lives to:

  • The Word of God – apostles teaching – growing in their faith.
  • To fellowship – church, building Christian friends into their life – giving their time to include and disciple people not in their world.

The reason there is v47 –

Acts 2:47

47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Is only because there is v41-46

Acts 2:42-47

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

It is too easy not to ask God:

  • “Why am I at this workplace?”
  • “Who should I reach?”
  • “What have you called me to do?”
  • “What eternal purpose have you given me this finance and ability to make finance to give into?”
  • “Who can I reach out to?”

And instead say:

  • What are you doing for dinner this Friday night?
  • Whose place will we have the same friends over for a BBQ?
  • What is on Netflix?
  • What new Toy do I want?
  • Where is the next camping trip?

Jesus considered the disciples question totally out of line with His eternal purpose and so talked not about food, the here and now, comfort and our little circle of buddies, but He talks of the harvest!

John 4:31-38 (NIV)

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”

Now the thing about this is that the disciples are not bad people, they are literally Jesus disciples! They Love God! They want to please Him. They honestly believe – but their focus gets out of whack.

Have you ever looked through binoculars? You adjust them and depending on what we adjust them to, is what you see clearly.

  • It is easy to have them adjusted wrong and you don’t see the object you are looking for clearly.
  • But when you get the focus right – you get the right picture.

We find that right here –

  • This isn’t about being bad people. It’s about asking if we have the right focus.
  • I would hate to spend my precious time on this planet focused on the wrong picture.

People often ask us how come you left all your family and the place you grew up?

  • Simple– because God’s call, plan, Church and the winning of souls is far more important!

Now, that by no means says that we don’t have to fight to keep asking the right questions and stop our desire from getting distracted. It’s an everyday choice!

But Church this year – at the start – let’s begin it. Let’s set it up and frame our goals and focus for it right – with the right questions and focus.

Let’s refuse to ‘do church’ and give God what’s convenient – let’s live our lives actually for God and His purposes!

Church, if our top priority is not God’s Harvest then we are not asking Him the right questions.  We need to ask:

  • What souls keep me up at night because I am desperate to see them saved?
  • God what significant sacrifice to serve God should I make?
  • What can I do to represent Jesus more in my workplace?
  • Who or what do I need to pray and fast about – serious prayer?
  • How much could I give if I really took my giving seriously and with eternal perspective?
  • How hungry am I for souls to be reached in my city?
  • God would you like us to plant a church?
  • God what ministry could I be involved in to really bring God’s presence into people’s lives?
  • God have what have you called me to and what is my next step?

2 Corinthians 12:15 (NKJV)

15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls;

Are we devoted to Jesus Christ and to the Christian life?

If we consider:

  • prayer
  • the Word of God
  • reaching the lost
  • serving the body of Christ and the Church
  • our finances
  • our relationships
  • our time and focus

Are we devoted to the things of God or inconvenienced by them?

The Right Question – Ps Kerrin Wallis [12/01/2020 AM]2020-01-18T15:39:47+10:00

Dig Deep – Ps Dave Doolan [05/01/2020 AM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Dig Deep – Ps Dave Doolan [05/01/2020 AM]2020-01-06T06:55:14+10:00

A New Song – Ps Kerrin Wallis [29/12/2019 AM]

What song will you be singing in 2020?

Episode Notes

Today we find ourselves on the edge of another new year.

Come Tuesday and we are at New Year’s Eve and so I think it’s a good time to think about that.

As we do I would like to put something on your radar, ‘What song will you sing in 2020?’

David in the Psalms, 6 times uses a phrase; “I will sing a new song…”

So many people in life get stuck in the same old song or songs and miss out on the new that God has for them.

We all know people with:

  • The same old gripe
  • The same old problem
  • The same old issue of drama
  • The same old complaints
  • The same old negativity

I think it’s no coincidence that God in His Word instructs us multiple times to sing a new song because He knows that otherwise we will just sing the old one.

So today I want to look at each of these times in the Psalms it tells us to sing a new song! Come on and join me.

1. A joyful song

Psalm 33:1-3 (NIV)

1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him.

2 Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

God’s Word says – let us sing a new song and it should be joyful!

  • “It’s fitting for the upright to praise Him…”
  • In other words, it fits Godly people to have a joyful song

In our song to God, our prayers, words, thoughts, conversations – let it be filled with Joy!

Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)

“This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The joy of the Lord is our strength. Make your song joyful.

Don’t allow it to be:

  • Melancholy
  • Complaining
  • Life is tough
  • Everything is too hard
  • What a mistake I made

Sing a joyful song – find things to thank God about and choose to sing it!

2. You choose it

Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.

I love what David says here – “God put a new song in my mouth….”

Well that is challenging for me because it makes me ask – ‘Who or what am I allowing to put a song in my mouth?’

We allow it – We sing it – We focus on it – We remember it – We talk about it!

So then if we want the right song, we must let God be the one who instructs our song and His instruction is joyful!

If someone doesn’t have a joyful song then it’s a song, it’s just not God’s one.

Now I am not saying we haven’t all sung sad songs or faced issues in 2019, but will we keep that old song in our mouth or allow God to put his new song of joy in our mouths for 2020?

I like the personal challenge of ‘who am I letting put a song in my mouth?’

  • Let’s refuse to let last year put a song in our mouth other than joy
  • Let’s refuse to let a negative circumstance put a bad song in our mouth
  • Let’s refuse to let some hurt put the song in our mouth
  • Let’s refuse to let a disappointment put the song in our mouth
  • Let’s refuse to let a failure or mistake put a song in our mouth

Again, it’s not denying things happened, it’s simply denying their power to rule us!

Who or what are we allowing to put a song in our mouth? We choose it!

3. It’s for everyone

Psalm 96:1-4 (NIV)

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples.

4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

It doesn’t say sing a new song:

  • Those with a perfect life
  • Those who are feeling it
  • Those who had a good last year
  • The rich, the poor, the middle-class
  • The ones who haven’t made a mistake

It is simply God’s wish that everyone sings a new song.

I like it because we always want to excuse ourselves with: “Yes but if you knew what I had done or faced or felt.”

But God anticipates it and says: “all the earth”

Just in case you thought this was just for the positive people – it’s not, it’s for God’s people! It is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Maybe you’re here today and wouldn’t or couldn’t describe yourself as one of God’s people, but God is simply waiting for you to respond to His love!

  • He desires more than anything for us to be His people and to come to Him.
  • Just like the Prodigal Son we come knowing we don’t deserve God’s love, but God reaches out with love and forgiveness for us.

4. Sing because of God’s marvellous works

Psalm 98:1 (NIV)

1 Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvellous things;

We can sing for any reason, but the Bible says to sing because of God’s marvellous works!

  • Not dwell on His confusing works
  • Not look at the miracle that hasn’t happened
  • Not think about our mistakes
  • Focus on what we don’t understand

I have found most people don’t reject the Bible for what they don’t understand, but rather not wanting to live out what they do understand!

Look and find some of God’s marvellous works that He has done and praise Him for it!

Write some down if you have to:

  • We woke up this morning – that’s a win!
  • We live in a free country – huge
  • We will have food for lunch today – some people won’t
  • There is gorgeous blue sky – wow praise God
  • There is eternity to live for
  • God created me and loves me

Decide that the part of 2019 you will bring into 2020 are the marvellous works of God!

  • Leave the other parts back in 2019!

5. Sing a new song focused on God

Psalm 144:9

I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,

Choose to have an eternal focus and perspective in 2020.

  • Let the song of our life and that we carry be one focused on God not self.

The more I do life the more I see the ugliness of self focus. However equally the more I see the joy and freedom of serving others and focusing on God brings!

Sing a song to God. Not just to a god but to MY GOD!

Make it personal to have God in your life.

God does not desire to be a:

  • Theory we hold to
  • Idea we like
  • Magical being we say is ‘out there somewhere’.

The Bible and its theme and message, is that God is looking for a personal engagement with people!

  • He created us, knows the hair on our heads
  • He has good plans for our lives
  • He has never left us or abandoned us
  • If you don’t yet know God, I would implore you to choose to get to know Him today!
  • If you are a believer, please, in 2020 choose to engage with God personally, with His Word, with Prayer –
  • Why not join us for prayer and fasting in February

6. Sing a new song surrounded with God’s People

Psalm 149:1 (NIV)

1 Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of his faithful people.

If you want to have the right song in 2020, surround yourself with others that are singing it!

I can’t wait to do our series on the Church, because being active in and connected to God’s people, His Church is essential, not peripheral, to the Christian life according to the Bible.

There will undoubtedly be days that we don’t feel like singing a joyful song and that is exactly the time to be in Church with God’s people.

  • It’s never the time to stay away!
  • Find yourself with others that can lift you up and help carry the burden
  • Get involved in a Connect Group
  • Make Friends
  • Put effort into planting yourself and plugging in.

Psalm 92:12-15 (NIV)

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

There is a corporate blessing that comes when we worship, serve and pray together. God’s command on the new song is to do it in the assembly together!

The key here is that the promises come after being planted in the house of the Lord!

Connect we have an exciting year ahead, let’s hit it singing a new song ready for:

  • New Seasons
  • New Blessing
  • New Anointing
  • New Challenges
  • New Miracles
  • New Presence of God for 2020

 A NEW SONG!!!!

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. What will be your song in 2020?
  2. Can you find some of God’s marvellous works that He has done and praise Him for it!
  3. What do you think about the statement – if someone doesn’t have a joyful song then it’s a song, it’s just not God’s one?

A New Song – Ps Kerrin Wallis [29/12/2019 AM]2019-12-30T16:44:21+10:00

Not Santa And Thank Goodness – Ps Kerrin Wallis [22/12/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

Matt 1:18-23 (NIV)

18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfil the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Let’s now compare that Bible passage of Christmas with our human idea or concept of Christmas.

  • I will read the words of a song focused more on a guy called Santa and a celebration that people have called Xmas to keep the above (Jesus) guy out of it
  • Human idea and Human focused.

Santa Claus is coming to town – written by John Coots and Haven Gillespie, but made famous by Mariah Carey.

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why Santa Claus is comin’ to town. Santa Claus is comin’ to town. Santa Claus is comin’ to town.

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice, he’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.

He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

So you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is comin’ to town. Santa Claus is comin’ to town. Santa Claus is comin’ to town.

I am so glad Jesus is the basis for my Christmas and not Santa and Xmas without Christ.

  • I am so glad because I think Jesus and Santa are very different and I am glad for it
  • I want Jesus in my world and life.

Let me tell you why.

  • Rather than trying to be good enough and hide our faults, Jesus came knowing them and with a desire to save us from them!

In the Bible Passage I see two amazing parts to the Christian Christmas message of Jesus in two of the phrases:

  • “For He will save His people from their sins”
  • “…and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’”
  • I think in a way when we feel God is going to ‘fine us and throw the book at us’, or like Santa – you better watch out, we have misunderstood Him
  • He is waiting to come and save us, not fine us.

Christmas happened so that we could be saved from our sins.

  • The reason the Angels sang ‘Glory to God in the Highest, Peace and Goodwill toward mankind’ was not because of a future public holiday, but the freedom from our sin.

This is perhaps one of the confronting parts of the Christian message, but it doesn’t have to be.

No one wants to own up to something if it means they will be:

  • Shamed
  • Mistreated
  • Punished
  • Unfairly judged
  • Held hostage to it.

These are common responses from people, or humans at times when someone is found to have done wrong.

Therefore when the Bible declares us ‘all sinners’ we would like to:

  • Deny it
  • Fight it
  • Say we are not that bad
  • Ignore it.

Pretty much we do anything to avoid the: shaming, mistreatment, unfair judgment, punishment and being held ransom to it.

  • We don’t want a fine
  • And we don’t want God to make a list and check it twice on us.

But that is why Christmas should bring rejoicing because the message of Christmas is that Jesus came, not to do any of those human responses, but to save us from it.

To refuse to admit our struggle with sin is just plain crazy!

  • It’s there for everyone to see!
  • We should all, with an honest and reasonable self reflection, see our propensity toward self at the cost of others
  • We should be able to see it when we look back at some of the failures we all carry.

It’s not hard to see we are far from perfect, but God didn’t come to point it out, but to save us from it.

To give us a new way of living no longer under the bondage of self and the things within that bring:

  • Destruction
  • Fear
  • Sorrow
  • Brokenness
  • Hurt.

And so much more!

The Christmas is a message that Jesus came to bring:

  • Peace
  • Life
  • Healing
  • Strength
  • Hope
  • Love.

When we understand this then it doesn’t have to be hard. So to admit my need for Him is not hard, nor is it so terrifying to admit my need for Him when I know why He has come.

Then His name also is such a reason to rejoice at Christmas.

  • ‘God with us’!

Isn’t that one of the things we value most, someone willing to ‘be there for us, or with us’?

Don’t we say that you can tell who your real friends are by looking at who’s right there with you in the bad times?

Well, Christmas came about because God chose to be ‘right there with us’.

He even came to ultimately take the rap or punishment for our sin and mistakes.

It’s one level of love to forgive someone for their wrongs, it’s another to forgive them and then take the rap for it!

The message of Christmas isn’t of a gift that we need a new upgrade of, or for the following year or a few public holidays.

The gift at the first Christmas was of a God who would never leave us or forsake us – God with us!

On our best days and on our worst days, God is right there!

He has walked this earth just like us, among us, as one of us. He is not distant, but rather He bridged the divide we could never bridge and felt the best and worst of the human experience.

Christmas tells of a God who did not want to be distant and gave beyond measure to be with us.

Whoever we are today and whatever journey we have walked, it has not been alone even if we did not realise – God was there!

  1. He saw our tears
  2. He knew our pain
  3. He was waiting, willing, ready to forgive our failures, sins and mistakes
  4. He was longing for us to let Him be with us in the midst of whatever we have faced.

We see the different responses to God’s willingness to be with us in the many and varied characters in the Christmas story.

  • Mary – willing to obey God and it says that after the birth of Jesus she treasured these things in her heart
  • Joseph – shocked, surprised and in disbelief at first, but after a dream from God, we see another open hearted to God being with him
  • The Shepherds – rejoiced at the understanding of God with them
    • Not being very well esteemed in the eyes of the community, lowly even, the shepherds seemed delighted God would include them in being close
  • The wise men from the East responded with reverence and honour that God would choose to be with us
  • Herod was filled with fear and anger the God would be with us and considered it interference and in the way of his own power and plans.

In one breath, mankind has searched ways to get ‘the gods’ to listen to them, engage with them, search them out and bless them. Yet Christmas tells us God chose to reach down to us and longs to be with us.

But seemingly the opposite is also true, mankind has tried with great persistence to push God away and out of their world and life so they could be their own god and rule to self.

  • But again Christmas shows us God’s purpose in coming to be with us was not to judge, but save – yet people still seem intent on pushing Him away

What will our response be to a God who is with us?

The first Christmas was brought about by a loving God who wished to save us and be with us. Will we accept this precious gift with rejoicing, and receive the peace and goodwill it brings to our lives?

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Christmas happened so that we could be saved from our sins. Discuss how this has affected you
  2. Discuss why it is so terrifying to admit our need for Jesus even though you know why He has come
  3. One of the things we value the most is someone willing to ‘be there for us, or with us’. Do you feel this way?

 

Not Santa And Thank Goodness – Ps Kerrin Wallis [22/12/2019 AM]2019-12-23T14:06:24+10:00

The Conundrum Of Christmas – Ps Kerrin Wallis [15/12/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

Luke 1:26-30 (NIV)

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God.

It amazes me how suspicious and fearful some people get when you talk about: The Church.

What is it about the Gospel, the story of Christmas that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to pay the price for our sins and that calls us to love even our enemies, that people think is so?

  • Dangerous – communism certainly thought so.
  • Scary – people don’t want it taught in schools.
  • Horrible – that it should be kept private and personal at all costs.

Why do we as Christians sometimes get scared and respond with fear when?

  • God arrests our attention?
  • God calls us to something?
  • God challenges us to believe Him for something?
  • Why are we afraid to let Him into our lives and surrender to Him?

We are okay to go to the synagogue like Mary every week to meet with God.

We believe in Him like she clearly did, but when there is that personal God wanting our attention, a tap on the shoulder, or the call to another level of trusting God, why is there such a tendency to shy away in fear?

Luke 1:30 (NIV)

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God.”

Maybe one reason we have fear is because we don’t have a conviction we have found favour with God and that He is good.

So many people think:

  • God is out to beat them up in life for their mistakes.
  • God is about making us grovel and ruining our lives.
  • God is a big kill joy in the sky who wants to take our fun away.
  • God wants to make life hard and difficult.

But the opposite is true!

Yes, Mary would have challenges from here, so would you and I, but the scripture is clear that Jesus came to bring life to people and joy to the world.

John 10:10 (NLT)

10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

John 10:10 (NIV) –

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The Angels announced joy to the world when Jesus was born, not woe is the world.

We need to build convictions of the goodness, kindness, mercy and blessing that God has for us! You are favoured of God!

God wants to bless you. You can know that His intention is good.

Luke 1-30-34 (NIV)

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

I wonder if perhaps another reason we respond in fear is because we don’t understand how God’s goodness can apply to us. We don’t think it is for us. We are expecting an email from God for a 1 in a million chance to be chosen.

Can God really:

  • Forgive my mess?
  • Use me with all my faults?
  • Keep His promises or will He let me down like everyone else has?
  • Bless me and why would He?
  • Provide for me – I just can’t see how?
  • Bring healing – it seems too painful?
  • Can God really do that?

Mary was looking and thinking this cannot be, I can’t understand it, why me? She was already loved and favoured by God.

Can I encourage you that God can, will and wants to use you! He often does so despite us, not because of us.

We think ‘we don’t deserve this’.

  • God knows we don’t. He doesn’t do it because we deserve it, but because He is great enough to do it anyway.

Christmas is the perfect example. He didn’t give His Son Jesus because we deserved it, but because God is:

  • Great enough.
  • Loving enough.
  • Kind enough.
  • Powerful enough.
  • Merciful enough.

I will say it again, God will do things despite us (our failings, shortcomings, lack of ability, imperfections) not because of us and how good we are!

The reasons we say He can’t, just makes Him all the greater when He does what we and others think impossible or crazy.

I say – Welcome to Christmas! He does miracles all year round!

Luke 1-35-38 (NIV)

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

This excites me so much because the power of the Holy Spirit steps in!

  • The impossible becomes possible with the Person of the Holy Spirit!

Why would God pick to have His Son born of a virgin – something that people will say – What! No way! That’s crazy! Why would God do that?

Because He can!

  • That’s what God does best!
  • Whenever the Holy Spirit is involved miracles, power and the impossible becomes possible.

This Christmas don’t miss the two greatest gifts ever to hit humanity:

  • The person of Jesus
  • The person of the Holy Spirit

If our Christianity is not exciting and challenging and has us wondering ‘How can God do that?’ perhaps we haven’t had a recent or fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit!

Christianity should be powerful, exciting and impossible.

  • Get hungry for the Holy Spirit in your life!
  • He ought to be present and powerful in our lives!

Like Mary – we may not feel qualified or we may even feel scared, but allow the Holy Spirit to overshadow us, to move in our lives and to break into the power of God for our lives.

Luke 1:39-45 (NIV)

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!”

Who in our lives when we get around them we find there is an excitement about the things of God?

Who sees us walk in the door and say – God has been speaking to me about you!

Who in our world has something in them that leaps for joy and excitement when God births things in us of our calling, our destiny, serving God, the bigger picture, outside the box and eternity?

If we don’t have those friends and chances – we should ask why and do something about it.

Luke 1:46-56 (NIV)

46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” 56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The first Christmas is filled with praise to God.

  • Elizabeth praises God.
  • Her unborn child praises God.
  • Mary praises God.
  • The Angels praise God.
  • The Shepherds praise God.
  • The Wise men praise God.

Mary started out worried, scared and afraid, but by the end of an encounter with God and an encounter with a wonderful, faith filled friend Elizabeth – she was praising God! You won’t have the song if you don’t have the friend!

The Conundrum of it is that because of God’s plan she is:

  • A pregnant unmarried woman in a culture that would condemn that.
  • She will face the grief of her son being crucified.
  • She will experience life and pain – yet there is praise on her lips!

In the midst of real life, pain and challenges that are likely behind us and yet to come, do we understand the powerful reality of Jesus Christ this Christmas in such a way that we sing a song to God like Mary. We need to understand the truth of Christmas.

Luke 1:6-51 (NIV)

“My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm.

I just so love this, the praise of God that is found in surrender!

This Christmas, let who God really is, the true message of Christmas, begin to form convictions in you and bring understanding that leads to praise!

If we don’t look at the truth of Christmas and it brings praise, somewhere, someone, something has deceived us, tricked us into a misconception of God.

It’s ok to start out a little afraid, a little unsure and a little like this doesn’t make sense, but I pray you don’t stay there! Move to a place where our response is ‘May your word to me be fulfilled’.

Allow who Jesus really is into your life!

  • We do this through surrender.
  • Mary was a little scared, unsure and couldn’t quite understand, but her response was:

Luke 2:38 (NIV)

I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Why do you think that as Christians we sometimes get scared and respond with fear when God calls us to do something?
  2. So many people have wrong thinking about God. Discuss how we can change this.
  3. Discuss why people think that God’s goodness doesn’t apply to them.
  4. Do you have faith-filled friends that you can share with?

The Conundrum Of Christmas – Ps Kerrin Wallis [15/12/2019 AM]2019-12-17T14:43:00+10:00

Connect Ministry College Graduates [08/12/2019 PM]

Jess, Nick and Natty

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Connect Ministry College Graduates [08/12/2019 PM]2019-12-14T17:26:22+10:00

What Really Matters – Ps Bruce Claridge [08/12/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

Luke 12:29-31 (NIV)

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

The WHY

The words “What Really Matters” have been imprinted on my heart for the last couple of weeks as I prayed about this message and watched some of the things going on in our world.

As you get older one of the things you have to work out and then put your time into is “What Really Matters”. Today is the day of salvation.

South African Preacher Reinhard Bonnke passed away yesterday. He was always saying he wanted to plunder hell to populate Heaven. He has been instrumental in over 77 million people coming to the Lord in his lifetime.

Christian champions like Margaret Court know” What Really Matters” and it’s not coming into line with worldly thinking ….it is however, staying true to what really matters in God’s Word.

Andrew Thorburn, former NAB CEO- As a Believer in a corporate world he told us what really mattered to him as he takes a “Gap Year” from the corporate world to spend time with his family.

I felt challenged by these words myself but confident that I had my priorities straight until I read this true story.

Isn’t it a pain that just when you think you are doing ok and then someone “ups the ante”?

A preacher named John Harper changed all that.

John was on the ill- fated Titanic as it made its maiden and only voyage in 1912.

John Harper was on board with his 6-year-old daughter, Nina. When the ship was sinking, he got his daughter to a lifeboat. After farewelling her he proceeded to make his way back up the deck crying out “Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats”.

Soon the ship started to break in half and many, including John Harper, jumped into the icy waters below. That night 1528 people went into the frigid waters. John was seen frantically swimming to people in the water, leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal.

One young man clinging to debris, refused the offer of salvation so John threw him his life jacket saying “Here then you need this more than I do……” and then he swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back and led that young man to Christ.

Of the 1528 people that went into that water that night only 6 were rescued by lifeboats, this young man was one of them.

Four years later at a Titanic survivor meeting this young man with tears in his eyes recounted how John Harper had led him to Christ. He told how Harper tried to swim back and help others but was lost to the frigid sea. In Canada at a separate meeting a similar story was told by another survivor. John’s last words were “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” While others were trying to buy their way into lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own live, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved.

John Harper knew what really mattered and lived his life accordingly.

As believers we need to ask, “Does my life really reflect, “What Really Matters?”

What really matters focuses us on what’s next, not what was!

When your “picture perfect” life meets the mess of reality it provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate what really matters and to grow through the experience.

Personally, for us as a family, the last ten years have not been a “bed of roses” in a garden of tranquillity…… From unexpected divorce in our family to cancer to massive ministry challenges and the resultant subsequent changes, to new opportunities demanding grace, humility and new paradigms, this mess called reality has been happening – your story too may also be messy.

Through this, “What Really Matters” is that you know that YOU really matter to God and He has a powerful call on your life and a purpose that, though dressed up in different clothes, is still God’s purpose for you.

Romans 8:28 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Doors open and fresh ministry and other opportunities come when you keep serving in your call, keep turning up, keep crying out to God, keep believing you are called by God for a great purpose which He ordained for you before the beginning of time. (Don’t get sucked into worldly mediocrity).

Psalms 139:16 (NIV)

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

God can take you from victory through seeming defeat to even greater victories and connections. The deepest level of worship is praising God.

Prioritising what really matters opens doors even in the dark!!

Hebrews 10: 35-36 (NIV)

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised”

New seasons come with greater potential than you ever dreamed of. It’s walking with God by simply putting one foot after another. It’s not super spiritual expressions giving the false idea that it is easy, or you are ok? Authenticity is always needed. Just turn up and serve.

That’s how we got here at this exciting time in the life of Connect Church.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia – Thanks to connections here through Lippy initially.

From this connection to:

  • India- Doors keep opening, others get involved- Macorna FNC, New Australian Consul General in Kolkata is a Spirit Filled Believer who is now going to one of our friends Church in Kolkata and prepared to open new doors of ministry opportunity. You need to take one step after another because what really matters is God’s call on your life
  • Bendigo Bank Pastoral Care Role – This is a miracle of God’s Favour, God’s favour follows you when you keep on going, keep on pursuing God’s call.

Even when feelings say otherwise, even when logic cries out this is not the best path keep on putting one foot after another.

Keep on doing what really matters!

Heaven, and giving people the opportunity to get there, really mattered to John Harper. He kept on doing what really mattered even as hypothermia sapped away his life.

For Paul, on the Damascus road, a life changing encounter with God really mattered.

It matters to us too.

Re-Presenting Jesus to a lost, dying and blinded world really matters.

What are some things given great worldly importance by many, that don’t really matter?

  • Your image on Facebook or Instagram doesn’t really matter. Your reflection of HIS image does though!
  • Criticisms from friends and family of you being a Christian don’t really matter…. how you represent Jesus to them does though. – Dylan’s testimony on our train trip home, representing Jesus to his (underworld) friends.
  • Going to Church doesn’t matter, but being the Church really matters and this includes being regularly gathered with your local Church family and serving others together. Make a difference in others lives.
  • What you have been hurt by doesn’t really matter, but how you respond to those hurts definitely really matters.
  • Whether you have hit the ground under the power of the Holy Spirit or not doesn’t really matter. What does matter is what happens when you get up off the floor!
  • The amount of time you spend doing devotions doesn’t really matter. What really matters is how much you allow the “Sword of the Spirit” (to “divide your soul and spirit” to such an extent that it is seen by others.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

How loud you blow the shofar (a ram’s horn) or how well you wave the worship banners doesn’t really matter. What really matters is what you do after the banners stop waving and the shofar is not heard.

How do we know what really matters?

1. Stay tuned into God’s Heart. – Lean into God.

Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

This means a powerful prayer life flowing from Word Directed Living. (WDL, like WWJD)

What really matters most is, not just knowing the Logos of God’s Word, but responding to the Rhema that is specific to you.

Specific Rhema action not just general Logos knowledge which Pastor Kerrin spoke about last week.

2. Stay Kingdom Purposed and Heaven focused.

Philippians 3: 12-14 (NIV)

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

What really matters is how my life displays Kingdom Power and helps to populate heaven. e.g. John Harper.

Kingdom Attraction – Jesus attracted all sorts of people, we can too.

Kingdom Authenticity – being real even when you don’t sound religious.

Kingdom Authority – You have the authority given in the book of Acts; it hasn’t changed!! You can pray for the sick and you can operate Gifts of the Spirit. God may give you a Word in season.

3. Maintain a humble, willing servant heart.

1 Peter 4:9-10 (NIV)

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Whatever season you find yourself in, serve, serve and keep on serving. e.g. Head of Sports Chaplaincy NZ packing up the chairs and Andrew Thorburn speaking in a Collins St. Baptist Church Sunday School Room to 25 Sports Chaplaincy Australia Leaders when he could command thousands of dollars on the corporate circuit.

As Christians we are wrong if we say “I don’t want any of this, I have done my time”. You will know when you have finished serving in some capacity when you are greeted at Heaven’s gates with the “Well done greeting”.

Situations and physical capacities may change, but the gifts God has placed in and on your life don’t change. Just keep activating them.

These gifts don’t age with you, they may manifest themselves differently in each season, but they are still your personalised motivational gifts as outlined in Romans 12 (NIV).

4. Stick close to others who know what really matters.

You become like those you hang with. You think like those you predominantly give your ear and time to. You live like the community that you can become aligned with.

This should involve being part of a dynamic, committed faith filled, well led local Church who together enjoy the journey they are on together.

We are called to be the Church not just to come to the Church.

If you are not serving your church and your community outside of your paid employment, you need a good dose of generosity, humility and compassion. But, if you stick close to God and get Kingdom focused, you will have those traits. God will open new doors.

So, what really matters to you?

First find out what matters to God, then that’s what really matters to you.

Agape, self-sacrificing love really matters to God.

Truth matters to God- it also matters that truth is wrapped in the envelope of Grace e.g. Jesus

Genuine compassion matters to God.

Integrity and authenticity matter to God. In Dylan’s words “A congruent Life”.

Generosity matters to God.

Relationships matter to God- so Biblically fight to keep them intact.

Heaven is the ultimate thing that matters to God. His relationship with you throughout eternity, matters to God.

It mattered so much that He sent Jesus on the first Christmas, born of a Virgin in a little town called Bethlehem. Populating Heaven above all else, just like John Harper’s example, should also be what matters most to us because it matters to God.

It is what matters most right now.

Do you know that you will for certain, find yourself in that place that matters most to God?

Bruce had a prophetic Word for Kerrin and Tegan.

3 key words

You are both Called, Prepared and Resourced by God (CPR).

Called to create new paradigms of Christian expression and break old restrictions.

Prepared through your victories and your pains to face any adversity or opposition that confronts you.

Resourced to confidently take Big Audacious Faith Steps (BAFS)

BAFS that will come as you operate at a new level in the Gift of Faith.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Do you know that you really matter to God and He has a powerful call and purpose on your life?
  2. How much were you impacted by the testimony of both Reinhard Bonnke and John Harper?
  3. Discuss what it means to stay tuned to God’s Heart.
  4. How important is it stick close to others who know what matters?

What Really Matters – Ps Bruce Claridge [08/12/2019 AM]2019-12-09T21:01:23+10:00

Think Bigger – Ps Dave Doolan [01/12/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Think Bigger – Ps Dave Doolan [01/12/2019 PM]2019-12-05T09:47:33+10:00

The Good Book Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [01/12/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

The Bible is often referred to as ‘The Good Book’ and people seem to hold a myriad of:

  • Views on it and its authority.
  • Have so many ways of interpreting it.
  • Think it’s important but never seriously invest into knowing what it says.
  • Would like to pick and choose what they like out of it.
  • Have favourite bits, but ignore other sections.

In fact there is nothing in our faith that has been so attacked as the Bible the Word of God because the devil knows that without it Christianity ceases to exist.

Although many have relegated it to a ‘good book’ it is actually a ‘God Book’ that as Christians if it is not taken seriously we either have:

  • An immature faith.
  • A partial faith.
  • Or a faith that is not really Christian, but just a mixture.

John 1:1-4 and 14 (NIV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word of God is actually the prism or filter through which we know God!

Without God’s Word we all have a bunch of personal preferences and ideas, but there is no ultimate truth.

  • Jesus is the Word of God with skin on.
  • His life reflected what it looks like to live God’s Word here on earth.
  • Therefore HE is our ultimate example because He is God’s Word.
  • We cannot love and follow Jesus and not take the WORD of God seriously.

The previous two weeks we have considered the importance and place of the scriptures in our lives and also its practical roles in our life as believers.

This week I want to begin to unpack a little on how we read it.

Over the years I have discovered that people often know that they should read the Bible, but just don’t really know how to read it or where to start. So let’s see how we can approach this incredible and powerful book the Bible.

There are two ways of receiving God’s Word. They are connected to one another but different.

Firstly

John 1:1-4 and14 (NIV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

  • The Greek term here is Logos, and means the written Word of God that we believe is inspired by Him.
  • This is whenever you open up the Bible and read – it is God’s written word, promises and instruction for us.

Secondly

Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

  • This time the Greek word is Rhema and refers to ‘an utterance, or communication, usually on a specific topic or matter’ – a revelation direct from God to us.

That is why it is possible for someone to know a lot about the Bible and even read it religiously, but never really personally know God or engage with Him because it isn’t just His written Word but having that personalised to you.

Kerrin bought Tegan a Garmin watch which was supposed to track all her physical activity. They read the general instructions and knew all about the watch, but until they contacted the company help desk, they didn’t know how to get the watch working.

Similarly with the Word of God, we might be reading it and generally applying it, but sometimes we need God to highlight something and give a personal touch to something we need to do, or believe or accept.

That takes it from being a general Word of God:

  • “Love your neighbour”

To being a specific to you and me Word from God:

  • “Love Bill your neighbour, forgive him for throwing his rubbish over your fence. He needs it now”

This becomes important for us as we endeavour to understand the Bible and make it powerful and relevant to, and in, our lives. It moves from being a text book to a living book.

2 Peter 3:16 (TPT)

“…speaking of these things in all of his letters (the Scriptures). Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.”

The message translation says:

16 He consistently speaks of these things in all of his letters, even though he writes some concepts that are overwhelming to our understanding, which the unlearned and unstable love to twist to their spiritual ruin, as they do to other Scriptures.

So this is the key, because there are some things we read in the Bible that are hard or challenging to understand.  They don’t always make sense and this will help us to do it right rather than get ‘things twisted’, misunderstand or draw a wrong conclusion about .

Let me put something on the table here because God is very specific here, the wording is careful and important.

It says that ‘unstable’ people will twist and distort the Bible to their own hurt or destruction.

What is it that makes something unstable – lack of balance!

  • A three legged stool with a leg missing is unstable – no balance.
  • A person who loses their balance while walking or standing is unstable.
  • When something is stacked up and you have too much weight on one side it becomes unstable.

Likewise, if we want to get the whole truth from the Bible we need to be balanced in it.

Sadly too many believers get off on weird tangents and focuses because they lack balance therefore they fall into the very category that the Bible says will twist things to their own hurt.

  • I see it sadly all too often.
  • Lack of balance with Spiritual gifts and want to run off with the fairies.
  • Out of balance with end times and become consumed with a side issue.
  • Out of balance with mercy and grace – no truth.
  • Out of balance with law and truth – no grace in their world.
  • Out of balance with ideas on Jesus just wanting to befriend everyone and not upset anyone.
  • Out of balance with angels, demons and manifestations.
  • Out of balance with pursuing feelings and no conviction or word.
  • Out of balance not acknowledging our feelings and brokenness.

All these things can be good – but when they are out of balance, it ends up twisting things and can draw incorrect conclusions.

  • If we correctly understand the Word of God and are balanced in it – we can avoid all that.

But there are some challenging concepts in the Bible and things that need to be considered and wrestled out etc and part of doing that is:

  1. Knowing there are two types of Word of God.
  2. Secondly we need to know one will never contradict the other and this is where people miss it. They get out of balance with the Word of God.

The Logos – the written Word of God is complete and unchanging and the ultimate test for anything that comes into our lives. The Word of God is the measuring stick and our compass.

  • What others say can be tested against it.
  • What our culture or public opinion says can be measured against it.
  • What we understand to be good and right.
  • Our response in a situation.
  • Our own ideas and ‘revelation’.
  • Even our experiences are weighed against God’s eternal Word, rather than our finite limited knowledge.
    • It is often said “If we could totally figure God out, He wouldn’t be a very big God”.

The Rhema – God’s personal revelations to us. He personally invites us to know Him.

  • God will never give us a Rhema Word (personal revelation) that contradicts His Logos word of God.
    • We might have funny ideas.
    • Too much pizza can mess with our thoughts.
    • An insecurity filter.
    • A brokenness.

These may make us interpret something one way, but our measuring stick is always, what does God’s written Word say about this?

So now we begin to see that reading and understanding the written, everyday, logos Word of God is essential for anyone who want personal revelation of God.

  • In fact my observation has been that the more time a person spends in truly understanding the Logos Word of God, the more Rhema Word of God they receive. One is dependent on the other.

The more we read the Bible, the greater the opportunity for God to speak to us about our lives from it.

As believers we need both of these levels of the ‘Word of God’ in our lives.

If all we do is study God and have no revelation from Him – we know about Him but miss the most important thing and that is a relationship with Him.

We can get information about God, but we need the Rhema Word of God in our lives.

Here is what Jesus said about this:

John 5:39-40 (NLT)

39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.

However we also need personal revelation from the Scriptures because that is how faith comes (without which we cannot please God – Hebrews 11:6).

Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Matthew 22:29 (NIV)

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

The Scriptures Logos and the Scriptures Rhema should both be active and operating in the life of a mature believer.

In 2020 Kerrin wants to take some classes on reading the Bible and studying the scriptures because it’s so important in our lives.

But this is where Kerrin wanted to be practical for a couple of moments.

When we read the Bible we should:

Read it regularly!

Luke 4:4 (NKJV)

But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’

If we only hear and read God’s Word when we come to Church, then we are incredibly limited in our access to God’s Word for our lives.

  • It is not the Biblical pattern God outlines.
  • We will become spiritually weak and starved. We will go out looking for other things.

Read it sequentially

  • Not Genesis to Revelation – you need to start a book and finish a book.
  • Gospels – about Jesus.
  • Proverbs and Wisdom books.
  • Psalms – personal engagement with God.
  • New Testament letters – Paul communicating life truths given Jesus and what it means for us.

The key is to not just jump around and read favourite passages and never get something in context. Work your way through each book.

Out of context equals out of line and out of balance. Don’t take things out of balance.

Ask some questions:

  • What is it talking about? This puts it into context. Chew it over and think about it.
  • What does this say about God? Bible based theology on God. It is telling you what God is like.
  • What does it say I should do or believe? Then take it to heart.
    • Forgive and love.
    • Is there a promise for me?

Read God’s Word as a Book of promises, not rules!

Most people who resist reading it do so because they don’t want to:

  • Know where they are failing.
  • Read about another task to do.
  • Feel like they don’t measure up.

Sadly these are all things that the Bible is not about – that is a religious attitude that has been passed to many.

We need to ask what the Word of God is saying to me personally.

This is where we create space for God to speak and for us to listen – the Rhema words of God come here. Ask for revelation from Him.

If we are simply reading the Bible to tick off a job we should be doing, we are missing the point. We don’t stop to listen.

Yes, we should be doing it, but the idea of the exercise is not literal reading. It’s listening to what God is saying. It’s about hearing from God and engaging with Heaven.

When we put God’s Word in the hands of religion, it becomes a big stick, but in the hands of a Spirit filled believer it becomes a torch.

A torch that illuminates:

  • God’s Promises.
  • Steps of Faith.
  • Life changes that are needed.
  • Powerful revelation about Jesus Christ.
  • Shows what is righteous. The Word of God is a bright light that leads the way to life.
  • Eternity and this life in light of that.

Journal what God is saying and doing. It will transform your life.

Final thought

The Word brought Life into the world in John 1 and it will bring Life into your world!

Without it the darkness will continue to cover our lives and the power and life of His Word will be unseen.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Discuss the difference between the Rhema Word of God and the Logos Word of God.
  2. What takes the Bible from being general to specific?
  3. Discuss the statement – the more we read the Bible, the greater the opportunity for God to speak to us about our lives from it.
  4. Will you determine to attend classes to study the Bible in 2020?

The Good Book Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [01/12/2019 AM]2019-12-02T16:14:37+10:00

Where Did That Come From? – Ps Kerrin Wallis [24/11/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Acts 4:13-17 (NIV)

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

What a great record to have that these guys were turning their world upside down and people could not understand why, but they did know one thing.

They had been with Jesus.

We have to remember these guys were surrounded by:

  • Religious view
  • Different types of religion
  • Learned and intelligent people
  • Pressures of persecution.

And yet they were noted for their courage and the power of God.

I think they are great things to be known for.

But I also love the other fact that the Bible points out – which is they were ordinary and unschooled.

  • Not supermen
  • Not the ultra gifted
  • Not the perfect mix of genes
  • Not the smartest and given the most opportunity
  • Not that they are the most disciplined like Mr Super Gym.

Tonight if I can encourage you with anything it is that the call of God is not limited because of who we are not or what we don’t have!

In fact the Bible says in:

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NIV)

7 …. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

We are not disqualified because of weakness, but made perfect in weakness.

  • Our things that we think disqualify us, make us a perfect candidate for God to use us, because people will look and say ‘where did that come from’
  • Isn’t this untrained and ordinary – yet extraordinary?

Whatever you do, stop waiting to be perfect before you feel God could use you, because that day will never come.

  • We serve God in the midst of and despite our weakness and that is what makes it so incredible that God will use us!

I love this about Jesus!

  • Look at His disciples – rough and ready – didn’t pass the religious enough test to make the cut in their society. So God said perfect!
  • The Samaritan woman at the well – Jesus could have used anyone to reach that village – but he waits for a messed up, broken woman with 5 husbands, who is rejected by her own peers – to be the agent of revival!
    • Jesus literally altered His journey to use her!!!
  • What about the village in Luke 8:27?
    • 27 As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs outside the town.
    • Perfect candidate for representing Jesus.
  • What about Sons of Zebedee – Sons of thunder – Crazy tempers?
    • These are the two brothers known for picking a fight.
    • At least they are passionate, these guys will do!!!

What I love is that most of these are not remembered for their weaknesses, but their courage!

  • Jesus covers our weakness and fills us with courage!

How crazy that here in Acts 4 Peter is being known for his courage – but only a few chapters ago he was too afraid to admit to a little servant girl he was a follower of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit fills us with boldness and courage.

  • So instead of being remembered for our weakness – God fills that gap and makes us known for courage!

What an amazing God we serve!

But I want to leave you with an extra thought tonight.

Because this is not the first time we see a comment like this in scripture!

  • In fact I am not surprised when we read Acts 4:13, because they got this from somewhere.

If we turn back time to a little before Jesus had sent the Holy Spirit and launched the Church, we hear something similar being said.

John 7:15 (NIV)

15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

Revelation!

Wow! This was what was said about Jesus:

People could not understand because here was a man who carried, authority, power, did miracles, knew God so well – yet was untrained.

Yep but He was full of the Holy Spirit!

  • We saw when he was baptised that the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove.

Not surprising then that these men we first read about – had both encountered Jesus and been filled with the Holy Spirit!

My observation from Scripture is that when people have truly been with Jesus it is not long until the Holy Spirit empowers their life and people are amazed at what ordinary people seem to do!

Suggestions for discussion

  1. What do you think it means when the call of God is not limited because of who we are not or what we don’t have!
  2. How hard is it for you to stop waiting to be perfect before you feel God could use you?
  3. Do you think you will you be remembered for your weaknesses or your courage?

Where Did That Come From? – Ps Kerrin Wallis [24/11/2019 PM]2019-12-15T07:21:06+10:00

Not A Chance – Ps Kerrin Wallis [24/11/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

After our baptism this morning, Kerrin read another story of a man who was baptised, but this one happened in the Bible in the book of Acts.

Acts 8:26-40 (NLT)

26 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”

30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. 32 The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 33 He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” 35 So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. 36 As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” 38 He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing.

What Kerrin loves about this story is that there is not a chance this was by accident – God intended to show Himself to someone who needed Him.

In fact God was so intent that He sent someone to tell the message personally.

The first thing we notice in the story is that God sets up this man to discover who God is.

Acts 8:26-28 (NLT)

26 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”

This guy had gone to worship. The problem was that it was just a religious experience for him and God wants so much more for us than that.

He was going to worship a God and sit through a religious activity, but did not really know who God was or certainly didn’t personally know God.

So many people are the same with God:

  • They know ‘all about Him’
  • Have opinions on Him and what He should be like
  • Have been around Him
  • Even on occasions gone to ‘watch Him in a service or two’. It is not the same as meeting God.

But God’s Plan is that we know him personally!

However you came here this morning, Christianity is not something we watch, attend or speculate about.

It is a relationship with God where we understand we need Him and His forgiveness and so come to know Him as our Lord and Saviour.

In the midst of life which would have been complicated for this man as a eunuch:

  • He was probably castrated before puberty usually not by choice
  • His health would have suffered from less testosterone in his developing years which would have affected his health and his bones
  • He was rich and probably admired for his wealth, power and status, but judged as being less than a man by many
  • In a patriarchal and family society, he could not have a family or kids – he didn’t really fit anywhere
  • And likely this was all forced upon him and would have caused him to live in a state of personal turmoil.

Maybe this was what made the passage he read stand out to him so much.

Acts 8:32-33 (NLT)

32 The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 33 He was humiliated and received no justice.

Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”

It was not by chance that he stumbled on this passage. It was what God intended for him to read.

Maybe today we can identify with some of this and like this man we are confused by life, God and reality.

  • Perhaps it has all left us looking in empty spaces
  • Substance abuse
  • Other’s acceptance
  • Maybe even religion.

But maybe he was wondering ‘Is there something more?’ Maybe he was confused by life’s reality.

Well the good news is that Philip was able to point to a man called Jesus who takes all that we know about God, and sometimes what we think we know about God, and flips it on its head!

  • Jesus is a radical character
  • Jesus loved when others hated
  • He forgave when others judged
  • He demanded surrender and relationship, rather than mindless ritual of religion
  • He attracted sinners, prostitutes, the outcasts and offended the religious and self righteous
  • He claimed we all fall far short of God’s intention and best and all require forgiveness and mercy from God
  • Instead of simply condemning us He came to save and rescue us
  • Instead of an earthly kingdom He came to claim an eternal kingdom
  • He doesn’t fit the boxes that we want to put Him in.

Jesus was a man like no other, because He was a man who faced all that we face, yet He was God and chose to give up all the glory of Heaven to come and walk among us. To experience all the things we experience and to show God is not distant and unconcerned with humanity, but loving and longing for us to return to the God who created us and loves us.

There was not a chance that Philip would have met this man, but God intended to show Himself to someone in need.

It is not a chance that today we have heard the stories of the changed lives of those who have been baptised and heard of God’s incredible love for us.

It is instead God’s divine plan.

God set us up to show and explain His love for us in the midst of whatever our world looks like.

And the bit I love is that after hearing about who Jesus really was and having the Gospel explained – it led him to rejoice! Peace and joy come into your life when you know Him.

The person of Jesus, who He is, His love for mankind and willingness to give His own life for our sin, means the only appropriate response is joy and rejoicing!

  • People who meet religion are tight, bound, restricted, rule focused, often talking about what they cannot do and must do
  • People that meet simply this world soon wonder if this is all there is and sadly we see much brokenness and hurt in the pursuit of making sense of it all.

But people who meet Jesus can rejoice and be glad!

  • Glad that God loves them
  • Glad He forgives us our mistakes
  • Glad He gives us a future and hope not only in this life, but for eternity. It doesn’t depend on circumstances
  • Glad that they live free from the sin and death that so plagues this world.

I am so glad Philip was willing to go out of his way to walk alongside a stranger.

  • All of us are called to walk alongside of somebody. When we do, we are to point them to Jesus so that He can change their lives and lead them to eternity
  • We do not go to work by accident, God said ‘walk next to these people’ and our role is to make sure they see Jesus
  • We are not in our family by accident
  • We should be intentional about finding the stranger and person seeking God, so that we can show them the love of their Saviour they just haven’t met yet.

It is a privilege to lead people to meet Jesus. They are waiting for someone to tell them about Jesus.

Have you met Jesus today? Are you willing to meet with Him today?

Have you realised that today He is calling you home to Himself because He loves you?

It is not by chance that you are here today. Today is the day to meet with Jesus.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. How often have you known that there is not a chance things happened by accident, but know without a doubt that God intended to show Himself to someone who needed Him?
  2. What do you think the eunuch had gone through in his life? How did that affect him?
  3. Discuss the difference between people who meet religion and people who meet Jesus.

Not A Chance – Ps Kerrin Wallis [24/11/2019 AM]2019-11-26T08:10:16+10:00

Days For Dreamers – Ps Steve Penny [17/11/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

These are the last days of time. Steve sees a leading in to God doing something great.

You want God to do something. You need to get serious in gathering people.

This is an incredible day for dreamers.

Psalm 126:1-3

When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. And we said; The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad.

There were two captivities – the Egyptian captivity – the people were bound in sin.

Then the Babylonian/Syria captivity – the Church was captive to the world culture.

God got them to go back to Jerusalem to make it great again.

They said it was just like we dreamt it would be.

Arise, shine for the light has come

This is the day to get a God-dream that changes your life.

Positive, happy people will bring you into the blessing.

Steve grew up as a Pastor’s son. He grew up wanting to by like his Dad who pioneered churches. Steve’s dream was coming to fruition. In 1974, Steve would practice preaching every Saturday afternoon in an empty church that held 200 people. His dream was growing.

In 1981 he pioneered his first church in Logan, Qld. They were very needy people there but there were 200 people.

Someone built a Church for 700 and Steve went to Garden City with 2000 people. His dream kept growing.

He preached to 10,000 people in Phoenix, Arizona. Just like in his dream, it was just the beginning.

Catch the God dream and you will be amazed where it will take you.

Steve was asked to preach for Hillsong Church. They broadcast simultaneously to 40 campuses about 50,000 across Sydney every Sunday. Now they broadcast on Hillsong TV around the world to millions of people.

Steve is just a little kid from Adelaide, one of 6 siblings and the second eldest who got the scrap.

He challenged us to get our God-dream because you will never know where it will take you in life

Joel 2:28

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions. And also on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my spirit in those days.”

Dreams and visions will be the evidence of the last days outpoured and we need to grab a hold of them. These are important days for you to grab a hold of your dreams and visions.

1. Know your God dream

God knows your plans. There will be a generation of God-dreamers.

Jeremiah 29:11

“I know the plans I have for you says the Lord; plans for good and not for evil; to give you a great hope (great dream) for the future.”

God knows the plans He has for you, don’t you know He wants to tell you what they are and show them to you?

There will be a generation of dreamers that will change their world for good and for God.

It is NOT a bucket list. Without a God dream, we will fill our lie with bucket list things. One of the saddest things about being a Pastor is to watch people chase their bucket list dreams.

Find His dream for your life. Your God dream is your calling.

Steve always wanted to serve God. He was called to preach and nothing else really matters. You can miss the mark if you only have bucket list dreams.

We need to be aware of three distractions:

  • Pleasure experiences
  • Possessions and
  • Position or Power.

Find out why you are on Planet Earth. You are created on purpose, for a purpose.

2. Live your God dream

Find your God dream and find it early in life. Know your calling. Don’t chase your dream, because it puts it in the future. Live your dream today,

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith – is the substance of things hoped for – the evidence of things not yet seen.

On the day of Pentecost Peter didn’t really know what was going on, but He said this is that. That is going to save the world. He was prophesying to people of all nations that this is going to come to pass.

Serve the Lord with gladness and live your dream now.

Some of you are on the brink of a life change tonight.

Live today as though you are in the midst of your God dream.

3. Believe for increase

Isaiah 9:7

Of the increase of his government and peace – there will be no end. Dreams reveal the ever increasing plan of God.

In 2003 Steve’s world was turned around when his son Andrew died of cancer at the age of 27. Steve called on God and God said if you will sow Andrew to my purposes, then I will give you a great harvest. But if you see this as a loss, you will mourn it for the rest of your life. Marion and Steve made a choice when they buried Andrew to sow him into God’s purposes.

Song of Solomon 4:4

Your neck is like the tower of David – a strong armoury upon which hang 1000 shields, all of them shields of mighty men.

God said He would give Steve sons and daughters around the world that hang their life on their influence.

Steve was very ill with a chest infection and after discovered that he had blood cancer. During his period in hospital and afterwards God spoke to him

Believe that God could still increase your dream. Your dream doesn’t stop because you get sick. The dream can change, but your dream is still alive if you will believe in God to bring it to pass. Understand the next phase of the dream.

Travel less – influence more. So he created 1000 shields ministry.

This is that – this weakness is the promise of strength.

Never despise the day of small beginnings. Dare to say this is that.

Believe God that the years ahead for you in these unbelievable days of dreaming – this is that. Something is about to break out on Planet Earth and you can be a part of it if you will only focus.

Get the call of life clear in your life. Place of obscurity learn to say – this is that. God’s hand is on my life.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Do you know your God-dream for your life?
  2. Do you understand your calling?
  3. Do you know how to live your dream?

Days For Dreamers – Ps Steve Penny [17/11/2019 PM]2019-11-18T18:19:17+10:00

Things Of The Last Days Of Time – Ps Steve Penny [17/11/2019 AM]

The God gathering has begun

Episode Notes

  • Before preaching his message, Steve Penny spoke about Kerrin and Tegan being like Joseph in Egypt where he was appointed by God. The hand of God’s favour was on Joseph.
  • Steve said that there is a seed of Revival in this Church.
  • As Connect Church goes, so goes the City. The River of God is here and the streams of the River will go out all over the City. The streets will make glad the City.
  • City council and the leaders of this City will help the Church. He said there will be some incredible times together.
  • The spark of revival will spring forth. It will be evident to all that God’s favour is on the Church. There will be pain and tears, but good times are coming.
  • There will be triumph and victory and many will rejoice with you in the good things of God.
  • People outside of this city will come to see the favour of God being poured out on this Church.

Genesis 49:10 (KJV)

 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

This passage is talking about when Jesus comes back. 

Ephesians 1:10 (NKJV)

10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 

  • Don’t be alarmed at the gathering of nations in the Middle East. God is doing the gathering.
  • These are momentous times. Get switched on in the power of the Holy Spirit and watch the God of Heaven bring about His plan for Planet Earth.
  • God is taking over the harvest. He is getting the harvest and bringing them to us.
  • We need to be a gathering Church. Open the doors to gather the harvest that God is bringing to us in these last days.
  • There will be a generation that are gatherable. The time is right for this amazing God Gathering here on Earth.

Steve is a Baby Boomer generation. We saw man walk on the moon, television, mobile phone.

The Alpha generation, those born after 2010.

A generation that is bombarded with new things, but we don’t know what they are yet. Artificial intelligence, they will grow with new things.

The Alpha and Omega generation will see the return of Jesus. A generation is 40 years.

The kids are turning back to the values of their grandparents. They are learning to knit and want picnics on the grass. They are more traditional. They want values that are real.

They are the terminal generation. They have the capacity to destroy the earth.

They are the suicide generation. They will accept anything but they are unable to handle the speed of change and all the stuff bombarding them. Mental health issues will be a disease.

They can’t handle the ease of choice.

There used to be only two genders, but today that is no longer the case. There are over 100 genders for this generation to choose from.

Death is an easy way out.

The Millennials were digital natives. They are born with an iphone in their hands.

They will become digital captives. They will sell their soul to the digital era.

The phones know everything, but this generation don’t care as long as they can take a selfie. This generation will love the mark.

They are gatherable. In Hong Kong, they will put up a gathering on their mobile phones and a million people turn up. God will use all of that to gather them to Himself.

In these days, there is a polarising effect taking place. 

Isaiah 60:1 (NKJV)

 Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen (increasing) upon you.

  • Let the glory of God arise on us and be a presence of God Church.
  • He is gathering people all over the world.
  • There will be gross darkness (a demonic darkness from hell) and militant wickedness, but there is the Glorious Power of God.
  • There is a gathering of both in these days.

Micah 4:6-8 (NKJV)

“In that day,” says the Lord, “I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast and those whom I have afflicted; I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation; so the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever. And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, even the former (first) dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”

We are seeing the fulfilment of this passage of scripture.

God promises that in that day:

  • I will assemble the lame – people like the US singer Kanye West. He has just released an album titled Jesus is King. He had 2000 people give their hearts to the Lord after one of his concerts – but he still has a limp, they are dysfunctional, but are still acceptable. We all have a limp. We need to learn to walk in the way of righteousness. We need to welcome the lame. He ain’t heavy he’s my brother!
  • I will gather the outcast – gather them in and accept them into the Church. There is no one here who hasn’t suffered rejection and felt second rate.
  • I will remake the afflicted – we are to be full of makeover artists – encourage them in the promises of God. God will make them over.
  • I will reign over my people – people under the rule and reign of Jesus who understand they live according to the Word of God. Be subject to the Will of God.
  • I will restore the first dominion – bring them back to the days of Adam and Eve where God blessed them.

FIRST DOMINION is to be:

Fruitful, Multiply, Fill the Earth, Subdue, Have Dominion

Suggestions for discussion

  1. What does it mean to be a God-gathering Church?
  2. Do you think that Connect Church is becoming a God-gathering Church?
  3. Discuss Micah 4:6-8 and do you think we are seeing the fulfilment of this passage?

Things Of The Last Days Of Time – Ps Steve Penny [17/11/2019 AM]2019-11-18T17:30:21+10:00

Who We Are Pt 2 – Ps Dave Doolan [10/11/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Why do we do things this way? When we know the why we can create.

Generosity.

1 John 3:16 (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It’s not about how much we have but the spirit behind what we give.
Our God has gone above and beyond and we give out of response to what God has done.

Proverbs 11:24 (NIV)

One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

Generosity is seeing the value in people.
Be generous with time.
Be generous with resource and finance.

Jake Blabey – Leadership

No matter who we are, or where we are, we can be leaders.

Leaders lead people where people haven’t been before.

If we are going to lead people from one place to another, we have to be different.

We can’t lead anyone if we are exactly the same as them.

Matthew 5:13-20  (NIV) – salt of the earth

12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Fulfilment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

We are called to change the flavour.
To be different we have to allow God to change us.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

When something isn’t ordinary or it’s new, people notice.
It’s a choice. We have to choose to be an example, to be different, to be a leader.

Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

We are all called to be leaders.

Who We Are Pt 2 – Ps Dave Doolan [10/11/2019 PM]2019-11-15T11:19:13+10:00

The Good Book Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [10/11/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

The Bible is often referred to as ‘The Good Book’ and people seem to hold a myriad of:

  • Views on it and its authority.
  • Have so many ways of interpreting it.
  • Feel it is irrelevant and God only cares about us knowing Him and feeling Him.
  • Think it’s important but never seriously invest into knowing what it says.
  • Would like to pick and choose what they like out of it.
  • Have favourite bits, but ignore other sections.

In fact there is nothing in our faith that has been so attacked as the Bible (the Word of God) because the devil knows that without it Christianity ceases to exist.

Although many have relegated it to a ‘good book’ it is actually a ‘God Book’ that as Christians, if it is not taken seriously, we either have:

  • An immature faith.
  • A partial faith.
  • Or a faith that is not Christian.

John 1:1-4, 14 (NIV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word of God is actually the prism or filter through which we know God!

Without God’s Word we all have a bunch of personal preferences and ideas, but there is no ultimate truth.

  • Jesus is the Word of God with skin on.
  • His life reflects what it looks like to live out God’s Word here on earth.
  • Therefore He is our ultimate example because He is God’s Word.
  • We cannot love and follow Jesus and not follow the Word of God.

If you are new to church or Christianity, it might be a surprise that we are so connected to, dependant on and committed to the Bible, Scriptures and the Word of God

All of these are interchangeable and refer to what we believe is God’s Written Word to mankind.

We will look later in our series on what this means, but today will focus on what is its role in our lives?

We are all busy and we all have multiple demands on our life, so why make space and time for God’s Word? What is its role? How does it impact our lives?

2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

I think the New Living Translation puts it best:

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

We find here some more clear explanation of the Word of God and its role in our lives.

It teaches us! We don’t teach it, it teaches us.

We looked last week at the fact that God’s Word is about His Kingdom, not our kingdom.

The Word of God teaches us about:

  • God’s ways.
  • God’s promises.
  • The way God intends us and our lives to be.

God’s Word is like that at times because it doesn’t seem normal or natural – but that’s ok because it’s not!

Kerrin used the illustration of teaching children to use a knife and fork. It is not natural we have to learn to do it. Once you are taught, it becomes natural.

The same can be said of boxing, it is not natural to hold your fists up to defend yourself, but the more you do it, the more natural it is.

God’s ways are not our ways. They are – Higher, Pure, Unselfish and Eternal.

The Word of God helps teach us His ways rather than leaving us in our own ways.

To clarify this further let’s go to the first time we see Jesus use the word ‘teaching or doctrine’ depending on your version. It teaches us more about how it works in our lives.

Matt 15:8-9 (NIV)

“‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”  This is a quote from Isaiah 29.

We begin to unpack here a concept that God’s word teaches us things but not ‘merely human rules, ideas or things’.

The Word of God is divine and supernatural. If it wasn’t then Christianity would not be an answer to this world but merely another of the many current belief or behaviour systems. God’s Word is supernatural and God inspired. It teaches us God’s ways.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

It is not a natural book, a text book, a fictional story speaking of simply good human ideas!

Colossians 2:20-23 (NIV)

20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use (pointless), are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

In other words – they don’t change the heart! You can change the actions, but not the heart.

If we go on to the next verse it gives us an alternative to natural human ideas and concepts.

Colossians 3:1 (NIV)

3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

So God’s Word is useful and important for teaching us the supernatural truths of God that are what we are truly seeking.

It gives us the ability to learn the ways of God that go against natural human ways but will ultimately allow us to discover the amazing life and freedom in Jesus Christ.

We ought to create space in our world for god’s word because it teaches us God’s ways to live that goes against or differs from the world’s natural ways.

Reproof – what is wrong with our lives?

This makes a lot of sense and is so important.

If you have ever had a problem, but no answer for what is wrong, it is devastating.

Sometimes you know something is wrong but just not what is wrong.

The Bible helps us know not just that something is wrong – but what is wrong!

Firstly it teaches us God’s higher ways and His promises. But secondly it explains why we are not living in these things at times!

God’s Word speaks of:

  • Blessed finances.
  • Good relationships.
  • Living without shame.
  • Living free of fear.
  • Experiencing God’s goodness.
  • Being loved by God.

But then when these things are not happening we need to know what is actually going wrong here! Often there is a problem with forgiveness. Kerrin spoke about a book by Carolyn Leith – Unforgiveness.

So God’s Word is fundamental in our lives because:

  1. It teaches us what life should look like.
  2. Then when we consider and see something not lining up, it shows us where we have gone wrong so we can fix it.

Psalm 119:36-37 (NIV)

36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

If we look at Jesus teachings, the Sermon on the Mount is a description of a loving Heavenly Father and His ways that will allow us to follow His plans for our lives.

The scriptures are filled with teaching we can consider and they help us to define the areas of our life that need change.

When we find ourselves wrestling with:

  • Why do I feel this way?
  • What is wrong with things that I think like that?
  • Where is this dysfunction coming from?
  • How is it that this keeps happening in my life?
  • What is with this issue that I keep having?
  • Why is it that I feel no purpose, life or joy?

This is where we need to stop and consult God’s Word for ‘What is really wrong?’

The Word of God will provide a path and the answer to all your questions. The World doesn’t have the answers, but God’s Word does.

Psalm 139:1-4 (NIV)

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

He did it all first!

If we are not regularly reading God’s Word, and allowing it to search us, it is very hard to work out and find those answers we so desperately need and are looking for.  It’s not a ‘must do’, it’s a ‘why wouldn’t you?’

Jesus is real and He is here today!

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Do you find it easy to make space and time for God’s Word? Why do you think this is not easy to do?
  2. What makes God’s Word Divine and Supernatural?
  3. How do we discover the amazing life and freedom in Jesus Christ?
  4. Do you seek God’s Word when things go wrong in your life? Do you regularly read God’s Word?

The Good Book Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [10/11/2019 AM]2019-11-12T15:21:11+10:00

Who We Are – Ps Dave Doolan [03/11/2019 PM]

Christ centred, service and fun

Episode Notes

  • When we are somewhere else, in another culture, the things that are normal for them are strange to us. In our own culture, we don’t recognise the customs that others aren’t used to because we are so accustomed to them – they are second nature for us eg tipping. Sometimes we don’t realise what culture is until we are the outsider.
  • What is our culture?
  • We should be intentional about how we live and the things we prioritise because we are called to make a difference.

Numbers 14:24 (NIV)

24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

  • There should be something noticeable about the way we act.
  • What makes us at Connect Church different?
  • We are Christ-centred.

John 14:6 (NIV)

 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.

  • We’re not just about good ideas. We are about following who Jesus is because He is the only way, the only truth and the only life.
  • He is the one who set us free.
  • The core of who we are stems from who Jesus is and following His example.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

  • People follow our example as we follow His example.
  • Everything we do comes back to Him.
  • We are passionate about the Word of God and about people, because Jesus was.
  • We believe that faith is public and we want to bring other people on the journey. The best version of us comes out in community. We do it through services, Connect Groups, ministries.
  • We are about prayer, because Jesus was.
  • A culture of service.

Matthew 20:28 (NIV)

28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  • We are about serving people, putting others first because Jesus did.
  • We believe we will be more blessed putting others ahead of ourselves. Serving on a team with a heart to serve God’s house.
  • Serving in our community.
  • It makes a statement because it is the opposite of the world’s thinking.
  • It is the opposite of doing whatever it takes to get ahead.
  • When we do it people will take notice.
  • Be involved in your world.
  • Find practical needs and meet them.
  • Even in the places people think the church has no place, doors can be opened because we have chosen to serve and follow Jesus example rather than pushing our own agenda.
  • It is a lifestyle, not just a Sunday thing.
  • A culture of fun, God isn’t boring.
  • We make Him boring. We make things so serious.
  • The gospel is serious and we should take it seriously.
  • But we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.
  • God has come to give us life and life to the full.

I don’t know if this is the one, but do you think it will be okay?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

  • People live high stress lives. We should be joyous and happy and not super intense.
  • We choose joy. We choose life. We choose to look on the bright side. We are the people who help lighten people’s mood.
  • Life can be tough. We need to have a sense of fun.
  • For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross.
  • We can do the same. There is more ahead even when times are tough.
  • Remember:
  • We get to choose to follow God, to serve Him and to have fun.
  • We don’t have to. We get to. There is a sense of freedom.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Is there something noticeable about the way we act? Discuss how we can make sure there is.
  2. The core of who we are stems from who Jesus is and following His example. Do you think we are doing this right?
  3. Are involved in your world? Do you find practical needs and meet them?

Who We Are – Ps Dave Doolan [03/11/2019 PM]2019-11-05T07:46:01+10:00

The Good Book Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [03/11/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

Often referred to as ‘The Good Book’, people seem to hold of myriad of views on it and its authority. They have so many ways of interpreting it. They feel it is irrelevant and God only cares about us knowing Him and feeling Him.

People think it’s important but never seriously invest into knowing what it says. They would like to pick and choose what they like out of it. They have favourite bits, but ignore other sections.

In fact there is nothing in our Christian faith that has been attacked so much as the BIBLE, the WORD of GOD, because the devil knows that without it Christianity ceases to exist.

It is not just a good book, but the God Book.

John 1:1-5, 14 (NIV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word of God is actually the prism or filter through which we know God!

Without God’s Word we all have a bunch of personal preferences and ideas, but there is no ULTIMATE truth.

  • Jesus is the Word of God with skin on.
  • His life reflects what it looks like to live God’s Word here on earth.
  • Therefore JESUS is our ultimate example of God’s Word.

We find this exact Greek Phrase for WORD (logos) in one of Jesus’ teachings that gives some further instruction on HOW we approach and deal with THE WORD OF GOD in our lives.

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 (NIV)

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

The key to this is what it gives as a definition of the WORD of God. It is the message about the Kingdom!

If we want to know what the Bible is, it is not a:

  • Self help book.
  • New Idea magazine.
  • Opinion piece in the newspaper.
  • Policy document.

It is God’s communication about HIS kingdom that WE become a part of and it is NOT OUR kingdom that HE becomes a part of. It is HIS Kingdom that we become a part of!

There is a point of confusion brought about by the selfishness of western modern culture (including the many movements that claim to be trying to free us from the western tyranny of progress – which is still selfish and self focused at the core of their message) and the result is people that think God and HIS WORD should:

  • Join MY life and exist to make ME happy and successful.
  • Be subject to the culture around me that is prevalent.
  • Fit our plans, wants and desires.
  • Be chopped up and take the bits they like and reject what they don’t. It’s like Spotify Bible reading.
  • We ADD Him to OUR WORLDVIEW.

But as a Christian GOD AND HIS WORD instead DEFINES our:

  • Belief system
  • Value system

The Word of God rules these things, rather than becomes subject to them.

We must understand this, and approach God’s Word right or we will draw the wrong conclusions about the WORD and from the WORD. We can’t just pick and choose what we want.

The result is we have a form of faith, but not a Biblical Christian faith! People have a faith, just not faith in God. They have a form of godliness.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)

3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

So the WORD of GOD is to be recognised in terms of:

  • God’s commands and instructions (not suggestions). Ten commandments, not just ten suggestions.
  • It is centred on HIS KINGDOM, not our little human view and kingdom.
  • It is an eternal book with an eternal message.

We will probably dig a little deeper on some of this later in the series.

1. God’s Word must be understood

Matthew 13:18-19 (NIV)

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.

We cannot change the meaning of the Words of the Bible. They are easily misinterpreted.

As Christians there is a level of understanding that God’s Word will lead to:

  • Eternal salvation.
  • Freedom and Life.
  • God’s plan for our lives.
  • God’s Blessing and favour.

But if we never take the time to understand it, then sadly people can miss any or all of those things.

Psalm 119:15-16 (NIV)

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

The WORD of God must be thought about, considered and understood, because it is a path to life and if we misunderstand the SIGNS or INSTRUCTIONS – the destination will not be what we think!

People are confused about why they live in captivity, brokenness, unfulfilled and in sin away from God, stuck, never maturing and many other things because they do not UNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD.

This is as good a reason as any to begin to read it and consider it.  Take the time to understand what God says. Dwell in God’s Word. Rediscover a passion for God’s Word. Be inspired to get into the Word of God.

God’s Word must be active in our life!

Matthew 13:20-21 (NIV)

20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

This is the exact picture we get here that there is an acceptance of Christianity because it seems

  • Makes me feel good.
  • Is cool.
  • My spouse is into it (or the girl/ guy I like).
  • I want to change my life.

All of which are good, HOWEVER if there is not a growth into understanding from GOD’S WORD:

  • Who He is.
  • His ways.
  • His expectations.
  • The life of a Christian.
  • Eternal perspective.
  • True Christian WORLDVIEW.
  • The Bible needs to be central to what you believe.

Then at some point the heat will get turned up and the person will throw in their faith.

I see this when life gets difficult or we face loss, hurt, grief and challenge that people start questioning God and turning back to the world for comfort.

It’s okay to get upset with God, but you have to know who is in charge.

Yes we have questions, but that is where when we put our roots down – OUR CONVICTIONS – they hold us through the heat!

The other NOTEWORTHY UNDERSTANDING HERE IS the WORD of GOD will lead you into trouble with this world! If you follow the Scriptures it will bring heat into your life.

If our values, worldview, purpose, focus and perspectives are not different to those that surround us without Christ, we should be asking why?

Too often in today’s culture we feel, think and are told that we need to bend our beliefs to validate everybody else’s.

  • We are told tolerance means not that I disagree but I will still love you, but that I must believe what you believe.
  • That I must not just put up with your decision, but agree with it.
  • I have never before heard so much political and social rhetoric that people insist if we DO NOT BELIEVE IT WE ARE HATERS.
  • We do not have to agree with everything. It is not Biblical.

Let me say this clearly, the WORD of GOD WILL BRING conflict with this world and yet Jesus never teaches us to bend to it.

We are to love the world – but we are also called OUT OF IT.

John 15:18-19 (NIV)

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. You belong to Jesus, not the world.

The good news for us is this:

  • If the world were so good and kind – it wouldn’t be filled with the mess, brokenness, pain, evil and greed – CLEARLY IT DOESN’T HAVE THE ANSWERS, but the BIBLE does!
  • So don’t be afraid to stand up to it. Don’t let the world make you feel bad.

3. God’s Word must be protected!

Matthew 13:22 (NIV)

22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

This is simply making sure that the protection of GOD’S WORD is a priority in our life and we do that by keeping things that would choke it in check.

  • Does that thought bring me closer to God or make me doubt Him?
  • Does that relationship feed my faith in God and His Word or Choke it?
  • Does that passion in my life draw me into God’s Word or replace it?
  • We need to protect the Word of God in our lives.

In fact it’s quite clear in what chokes God’s WORD.

Cares of this life:

  • Earthly focus rather than an eternal one.
  • If we are not living for Eternity we have misunderstood this book and the result will be a choking of GOD’S WORD in our lives.

Deceitfulness of Riches:

  • The idea that this world can satisfy – it never will.
  • Only life in Christ Jesus can truly bring life and freedom.
  • The world constantly fails us.

4. God’s Word Brings GREAT REWARD!

God’s intent within His WORD is not for some ridiculous power trip or to want to control people, but HIS HEART TO BLESS HIS PEOPLE!

Matthew 13:23 (NIV)

23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

It is impossible to actually read and understand the Bible and NOT COME FACE TO FACE with GOD’S INTENT TO BLESS HIS PEOPLE!

We want to do this series because of the great BLESSING that life, eternal values, sense of purpose and closeness to God that it brings. Begin today to embrace a new hunger for God’s Word and it will transform your life and faith! It is essential to everything that we believe in this life.

Let’s go back to our opening passage:

John 1:1-4, 14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…4 In him (THE WORD) was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Don’t read it as a set of rules – but a promise book!

It brought LIFE into the world – John 1 and can bring LIFE into our world!

Without it the darkness will continue to cover our lives and the power and life of His Word will be unseen.

Become a reader and a follower of God’s Word. It is the only way to be safe.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. How often have you heard people reason that God should exist to make them happy?
  2. It is so important to take the time to understand God’s Word. Discuss why this is.
  3. Why must God’s Word be active in our lives?
  4. Why do you think that people turn back to the world when trouble comes into their lives?

The Good Book Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [03/11/2019 AM]2019-11-04T19:15:39+10:00

Dangerous People – Ps Dave Doolan [27/10/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Dangerous People – Ps Dave Doolan [27/10/2019 PM]2019-10-31T17:20:08+10:00

I Hate Change Pt 4 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [27/10/2019 AM]

Recognising God in transition

Episode Notes

Looking at Transition it would seem that sometimes it’s a bit hard to pick up what is happening or what God is doing. If we don’t recognise God in a transition we may miss one that God intends to bring something incredible or powerful into our lives.

I think this is what Jesus meant when he said in Matthew 16:3.

Matthew 16:1-3 (NIV)

“…You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times”

How do we recognise GOD and TRANSITION? Because in the Bible it would seem even the heroes of the Bible found this a challenge – and they were not strangers to God’s voice or workings?

  • John the Baptist, who transitioned from being the voice pronouncing Jesus, to Jesus being the voice and even personally going from bring free to sitting in prison now unsure of things because he had expected, fire, action, winnowing forks and yet Jesus is walking around blessing, healing, restoring. He sends a messenger many miles on foot to ask Jesus – are you the one?
  • Paul the apostle, who wrote half the New Testament, originally resisted what God was doing and was fighting God’s new transition without knowing it and with sincere intention.
  • Peter – the Apostle, who personally walked with Jesus, yet missed what God was transitioning and told Jesus He couldn’t go to the cross. Jesus had to say ‘Get behind me Satan’. He missed God in the transition
  • Joshua, who knew God in the past but failed to recognise Him in the now!
  • The people of Israel left Egypt but could never transition in their hearts, so they died in the wilderness rather than in the land of promise. They were free externally but lived as slaves in a free land.

They were so ingrained with seeing God through their prism of victim and slavery that they couldn’t recognise Him as Captain of the Lord’s Army.

We can read about Joshua and Paul’s accounts of meeting God in Transition.

Joshua 5:13-15 (NLT)

13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”

14 “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.

Acts 9:1-9 (NLT)

9 Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.

In both of these instances, notice they both had to ask in the midst of transition, they had to ask who is this?

Have you ever been going through a transition and wondered, ‘Is this God or the devil???”

Sometimes, like Joshua, it seems unclear in Transition:

  • Is this of God or in opposition to God?
  • Is this for me or against me?

In this regard both these guys are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Joshua, you would think, already knows God’s voice!

  • He was up on Mt Sinai with Moses when God literally and physically descended on it.
  • When Moses would meet with God face to face in the tent of meeting, Joshua was right outside and he would linger at the tent in God’s presence even after Moses left.
  • The whole of chapters 1-4 in Joshua 5, God is speaking to Joshua personal encouragement and words about his future.

But yet, IN THE TRANSITION, Joshua did not recognise GOD!

Paul, you would think, would know God’s voice because he hadn’t heard it before – so surely he would recognise it!

  • He was not like Joshua – golden child – he was the black sheep of God’s family – he killed Christians! He was resisting the transition.
  • Then the voice of God comes – BOOMS from the SKY and knocks him off his horse and he says – ‘Who is this…?’
  • We all think that if God sent a voice from heaven we would all KNOW GOD IS SPEAKING – but maybe not.

So whether we have been one of God’s right hand men, or we have fought Him for the last decade, transition can come and we may not recognise God in the midst of it until we speak to HIM ABOUT IT.

BOTH OF THEM talk with God and discover it was HIM!

If you are struggling with what is going on in the transitions of life, not knowing if this is God or isn’t it, then take it to God and go TALK about it with Him. Spend time in His presence.

I have found in my life when I look back at transitions:

  • I have struggled with how God was moving, but I maybe wasn’t listening, so much as telling Him:
  • What it should look like.
  • Why this isn’t a good plan.
  • Why it’s not fair.
  • How He needs to fix this.
  • My earthly and short sighted perspectives on it all.

The scriptures direct us to prayer and it is for good reason, because God knows what we don’t! Prayer and communication with God is ESSENTIAL to the Christian life! Without it, we will miss Him in the midst of transition.

But we also see in both Joshua and Paul’s stories that HUMILITY is the key in recognising God in transition.

  • Joshua – Take off your sandals it’s Holy Ground – fell to his face.
  • Paul – blinded and had to be led away, then someone had to come and pray for him, while Paul sat in blind obedience.

It is easy to MISS GOD in transition or resist it because we are too proud to humble ourselves before HIM:

  • I don’t deserve this.
    • I am too good.
    • I am too bad (false humility and insecurity).
  • Look what I have done, now you want me to do this?
  • Do you know who I am in this place or this field?
  • Like the Pharisees and Saducees had God ‘ALL FIGURED OUT’.
    • This isn’t what God looks like, or a move of God looks like.
    • I have HIM all figured out and this isn’t what it has been in the past.
    • Are we sure about that??? The Pharisees missed GOD because it wasn’t what they expected or what they knew before.
  • I shouldn’t have to do this.
    • Perhaps we think God’s next step or chapter is beneath us.
    • I am sure Joseph thought that as he was carried away a slave through the desert.
  • Why Me I am not good enough or don’t deserve it.
    • Be humble enough to know it’s not us, or how good we are, that does this, but GOD AND HOW GOOD HE IS! Be willing and obedient to Him.

I know plenty of people including myself where TRANSITION required:

  • Serving someone who was younger or less experienced than them.
  • Didn’t fit what the image we wanted or expected.
  • It wasn’t what we thought life should look like.
  • Didn’t seem fair.
  • Stepping into a different role or position that seemed less important or ‘wasn’t their gifting.
  • Being willing to do something we felt unequipped or unworthy to do. It takes humility to realise that it’s not about you.

BUT GOD USES ALL THESE THINGS TO BRING US CLOSER TO HIM, rather THAN THE THING WE HOLD ONTO BECAUSE OF PRIDE.

Sometimes God uses TRANSITION to prise something out of our life and lead us more to depending on HIM.

It takes HUMILITY to recognise God in Transition.

It takes a: New perspective to recognise God in transition.

Acts 9:17-19 (NLT)

17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.

Sometimes in Transition it requires us to see things with a new or different perspective to how we used to see, in order to recognise God in the midst of transition.

Kerrin showed an old optical illusion of two women’s faces – same ink but different picture depending on how you look at it.

Joshua, prior to his TRANSITION and God encounter, was organising his army to battle Jericho which would have led to the deaths of many of his people through siege warfare and attacking the greatest defensive walls of their time.

  • But God gave him a different perspective of attacking with simply marching around the walls and shouting praise! A new perspective changed the whole outlook.

What is going on in our lives that we need to go back to God and ask for a new perspective on?

Perhaps we are missing God in it because we have:

  • Applied a filter of old hurts. Remove the filter.
  • A perspective through insecurity and fear. Use your eyes of faith.
  • A view of negativity, cynicism or doubt.
  • A worldly, earthly perspective instead of AN ETERNAL ONE.
  • A secular or cultural perspective instead of a KINGDOM ONE.

Maybe we need to go back and talk with God, then ask for a new perspective!  THEN WE WILL SEE HIM IN THE PICTURE and not those other things.

Transition requires OBEDIENCE to see GOD.

In both of the instances, Joshua and Paul obeyed GOD’S direction and instructions.

Sometimes TRANSITIONS:

  • Are hard.
  • Require faith to step out.
  • Demand we grow up and mature.
  • Take us out of our comfort zone.
  • Challenge our securities.

BUT in the midst of it all OBEDIENCE to GOD IS KEY!

Joshua and Paul obeyed God and then SAW HIM in THE RESULTS.

Sometimes people refuse to TRANSITION because it requires obedience and they CANNOT SEE GOD IN IT because HE AND HIS PLAN ARE FOUND OFTEN IN OBEDIENCE, not BEFORE IT. It takes faith in God.

John 14:15 (NIV)

“If you love me, keep my commands.”

Obedience to what God tells us to do is not optional, according to scripture.  It is God’s command. He cares about what He says.

  • This is not just His written Word, but His Words to us full stop!
  • If God speaks to us about something and we refuse to do it, that’s disobedience!

This is why the CHRISTIAN LIFE cannot be lived without SURRENDER!

  • Obedience to God will open up HIM and HIS PURPOSE in the midst of the most challenging or exciting TRANSITIONS.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO THAT GOD HAS BEEN ASKING US?

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever been going through a transition and wondered, ‘Is this God or the devil???”
  2. In the midst of your transition can you recognise God in it?
  3. Discuss why you feel that prayer and communication with God is essential to the Christian life!
  4. Do you find that you are holding on to things because of pride when you know God wantsw to take you through a transition in your life? Discuss how you can work through this.

I Hate Change Pt 4 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [27/10/2019 AM]2019-10-31T17:21:30+10:00

Youth Take Over [20/10/2019 PM]

Love yourself, love others, love God

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Youth Take Over [20/10/2019 PM]2019-10-23T11:03:55+10:00

I Hate Change Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [20/10/2019 AM]

Transition

Episode Notes

In our series ‘I hate change’ we are talking about the fact that often times we struggle with TRANSITION in our lives.

Bruce and Kerrin have preached for the last two weeks on the voices of change and would encourage you to go back and listen to them on our podcast if you have missed them. They lay a foundation for, and give context to, the series.

We see Transition is an inevitable part of life no matter where you look:

  • The scriptures – including Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
  • Nature – both human and elsewhere.
  • History – global, personal, ancient or modern.
  • Personal experience.
  • Life in its natural stages.

WE:

  • Transition stages of life – kid – adult – single – married – kids – no kids – grand kids.
  • Transition of work – from one field to another – or from full time to part time – working to retired.
  • Transition from to new normals because of tragedy or events that impact and change our lives.
  • Transition from a worldly focused life to an eternal spiritual focused life.

Jesus teaches that transition and seasons WILL HAPPEN and that we should not resist it, but UNDERSTAND IT and INTERPRET IT.

Matthew 16:1-3 (NIV)

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

Whether we think we like change and transition or not – IT WILL HAPPEN! Not only that, but God uses transition for His purposes.

  • If TRANSITIONS are certain, then the solution is not:
    • avoiding them,
    • denying them,
    • wishing they were different.
  • But instead dealing with them in line with the Word of God and His best for our lives.

I want to talk today about the requirements of transition –

  • As we discussed last week sometimes transition happens to us without our want or expectation.
  • Sometimes it is a natural change.
  • Sometimes it is a required change.
  • Sometimes we have the option to transition or stay where we are.

But whatever way it happens – I want us to understand that we CAN and SHOULD “Choose to transition in order to grow”.

  • Even challenging transitions in the life of faith SHOULD LEAD TO GROWTH!

I want to speak from the story of a Bible character called Joseph who has a life with a lot of transitions, some hard, tragic and unfair ones but also some great ones, including a transition from a slave, into a powerful influence in the world for God.

  • He was a spoilt, favourite son in a wealthy family who became a slave by being sold by his own brothers into slavery.
  • Worked into a place of trusted employment only to have his character unjustly defamed and thrown into prison – because of his good character, not because of the lack of it.
  • Then transitioned into a place of responsibility in the prison.
  • Then transitioned into being 2nd in charge of the most powerful nation on earth at the time – Egypt.
  • He transitioned from being betrayed and out of relationship with family to restored relationship with family. He brought them together with forgiveness and wholeness.

A LOT OF TRANSITION THERE – We can learn some important lessons from it.

The first is FAITH we talked about this last week so I won’t say much.

  • Joseph finding himself betrayed by his brothers and thrown unjustly in a pit was the beginning of Him finding Gods plan for his life.
  • Imagine if he had dug himself out, escaped and headed back to be pampered by dad.
  • It would have been NICE – but he may have just died of famine years later instead of being in a position to save not only his life, but MANY others.

Sometimes the pit we are in is not a pit, but a transition to a new level of God’s call and purpose for our lives!

  • Transition sometimes looks like a pit, but with faith we can turn it into a launch pad for our future.

Psalm 84:5-7 (NLT)

5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

7 They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.

Even if you are not in a pit – we ought to be LOOKING TO TRANSITION FOR STRENGTH and GROWTH!

Phil 3:14 (NKJV)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 15:24 (NLT)

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind.

Transition should ultimately:

  • Increase our influence for God.
  • Step UP into NEW levels of responsibility -not less!
  • The culture of this world says look after you and get rid of responsibility – Gods Kingdom says ‘Be willing to embrace MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OTHERS SAKE!”
  • A transition that is a step UP.
  • Believe God for BETTER, BIGGER, MORE IMPORTANT and EXCITING things.

Joseph in Genesis 40 – has just told two of Pharaoh’s employees their dreams and they came to pass, but after talking with them HE SAYS:

Genesis 40:14-15 (NLT)

14 And please remember me and do me a favour when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. 15 For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.”

He says:

  • GET ME OUT OF HERE! GOD HAS MORE FOR ME!
  • GO TO THE TOP – GO TO PHAROAH!

Joseph was LOOKING FOR MORE!

“I believe hard wired within God’s creation of us is a desire to grow, stretch, increase, rise, BUT only SIN, INSECURITY, DESIRE for COMFORT or BROKENNESS, hinder this.”

We see this principle in the natural order of family:

  • We are born a kid.
  • Grow and mature.
  • Take on the responsibility to contribute – age 12 for Jewish culture, their rights and responsibilities.
  • We then marry and take on responsibility for a spouse.
  • We have kids and ADD to our number of people we are responsible for.
  • Then as grandparents this GROWS exponentially.

Jesus as our ultimate example shows us this even from a young man we ought to be TRANSITIONING from growth into MORE.

Luke 2:52 (NIV)

52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

As Jesus transitioned in life He GREW!

David went from: Rejected son – shepherd boy – soldier – on the run – leading 400 rough nuts in a cave – ruling the kingdom.

There is an UPWARD PROGRESSION and we ought to be LOOKING FOR IT in life.

What is next for your life?

  • Is there a new level of job we could reach for?
  • Is there a greater connection with our spouse, kids and family we need to reach for?
  • Is there a new level of generosity and influence we should be hungry for?
  • Is there a desire to grow more in God and increase our spiritual life?
  • Is there a ministry or faith step God has been speaking to us about that we have not yet stepped into?
  • Have we just been living same/same for years and are on the treadmill of life – God has more for us than that!

But Transitioning for Growth will require something. It’s natural, but it requires deliberate intent and actions.

Genesis 41:9-14 (NIV)

9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”

Pharaoh got notified and called for Joseph – then we have verse 14!

“14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.”

I believe this is both a profound verse and prophetic for people today and for our Church!

In order to get before Pharaoh, Joseph had to SHAVE and CHANGE HIS CLOTHES! The old prison garb would not do!

Some of us could TRANSITION, but we like the old CLOTHES we wear more.

What is it about old clothes in the natural we love?

THEY ARE COMFORTABLE – WE KNOW THEM – THERE ARE MEMORIES ATTACHED.

These are all classic reasons why people refuse to Transition for growth!

  • We could be better leaders but we like our old attitudes.
  • We could step up in business and finance but we like our old backyard ways of doing things.
  • We could be a better father or mother but we like our old habits.
  • We could serve God at a new level but we like our: easy going poor time management or past issues or insecurities.
  • We could make that application or go for that job but we never stop wearing our insecurity or comfort.
  • We could influence our friends and lift them higher in God but we like the old clothes of not challenging, comfort and being ‘one of the boys’, or the IN CROWD.
  • We could rise to a new level of giving but we like our security more or our pleasure more.

As I was thinking and praying about this it seems that there are two categories here:

BOTH are CHALLENGING, but for different reasons and ONE FAR MORE DIFFICULT than THE OTHER.

He got changed got rid of old clothes and put new ones on – EXTERNAL.

He shavedLiterally -TRIMMED a part of himself – PERSONAL.

Most people feel challenged about the new clothes ideas – because we all recognise those things and they are often not comfortable but don’t hurt!

BUT SHAVING?? This is personal!

Most of us are ok with:

  • We should get more of God’s Word in us.
  • Let’s overcome our insecurities.
  • We understand we should prioritise our family a bit more.

But when it is a shave and someone says:

  • That kind of language is not going to let you get promoted.
  • We tend to think “Who are you to tell me what I can and can’t say?
  • I remember being given some words that my pastor said “stop saying these words – that kind of talk will limit your ministry”’
  • I realised he was only trying to help me transition.
  • The way we speak TO and ABOUT our wife/husband/ kids is not OK! You don’t honour them.
  • Speaking like that is gossip and sinful.
    • I am just sharing my opinion and telling the TRUTH – NO YOU’RE NOT!
    • It’s just uncontrolled bad attitude or tongue and cynicism!
  • You need to be nicer to people, hold your tongue a bit, and think about what you say and how it will make people feel.
  • I am just a bit blunt. I say what I think – yes but that doesn’t mean people like it, or you.

This is where the excuse “that’s just how I am” no longer works.

It is ok to be abrupt, insensitive and cynical in the prison – it works there.

BUT if we want to TRANSITION to GOD’S PLAN and WHAT’S BEST FOR US – A CHANGE of CLOTHES and SHAVE is needed.

CHURCH this is important for us AS A CHURCH!

Everyone wants to be influential and change the city and bring revival, but as a Church we might need to change our clothes and have a shave!

  • I have found TRANSITION in Churches is usually greeted with a desire for the results of souls, momentum, growth, influence and making a difference – but often people resist because they don’t like the cost of it – THE CHANGE and SHAVE.

There are things we have done and ways we have done them that were okay for our limited size in the past, but GOD HAS MORE FOR US!

  • We might need to change things and make it less ‘organic’ so to speak – systems, processes, etc. It might have been okay for 200 people in 1990, but not NOW and 1000 people! Revival takes a change of clothes and a shave.
  • We might need to change some styles to actually reach people, not repel people!
  • Not everyone will know everyone!
  • We cannot do every ministry or follow every idea everyone has, but we have to focus on a few things to be effective!
  • We ask teams to get involved and do things like Working with Children checks, compliance, wear a shirt or get here a bit earlier.
  • Not everyone weighs in on every decision anymore – we have leaders who lead and make decisions.
  • SMALL CHURCH THINKING is just the old clothes and the need for a shave (some personal change) that will keep a church from growing or stepping into significance.
  • But it’s comfortable and easy!
  • IT’S JUST NOT KINGDOM!

God wanted Joseph to change the nation, but he needed a change of clothes and a shave first.

During communion, Mat Rimmer made a comment that Jesus knelt down in the Garden of Gethsamane before He went to the cross. The cross was a transition and a bent knee before God was required.

Luke 22:42 (NKJV)

He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.

Surrender to God!

Surrender your will – then the Angel will come and minister to you and make something beautiful of your life!

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Do you find it easy to accept transition in your life?
  2. Can you understand it and interpret it?
  3. Choose transition in order to grow! Discuss whether you agree with this or not.
  4. Do you desire to grow more in God and increase your spiritual life? How will you do this?

I Hate Change Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [20/10/2019 AM]2019-10-23T11:04:44+10:00

Tag Team – Ps Dave Doolan [13/10/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Tag Team – Ps Dave Doolan [13/10/2019 PM]2019-10-20T09:54:29+10:00

I Hate Change Pt 2 – Ps Bruce Claridge [13/10/2019 AM]

The voices of transition

Episode Notes

Introduction

Even after Pastor Kerrin’s confession of not noticing changes in Tegan’s hairstyle, I was ready for any change in Jan’s hair, BUT I missed it in true male style!

I should have been more alert because change in its many different forms for us has seen some radical hair changes for both Jan and I – a couple unplanned and unwanted!

Let’s recap on last week’s sermon. For a start let’s read:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Last week we looked at:

  1. The Voice of Faith: This is better said as the voice of faith in God’s Faithfulness.Steadfast when the change you are going through brings darkness and confusion. Believing God’s promises when all this change has brought is pain, confusion and disruption to your usual normal.Hebrews 11:13-16 (NIV) tells us that sometimes this faithfulness takes us to answers beyond our earthly journey that we will only understand in Heaven.Only when we listen to the voice of faith do we stretch our faith muscle.

    During change, the voice of faith can have us stepping into areas we would never have previously considered. Opening new doors that then lift others into new realms of ministry.

    e.g The India AFL and Mominpore Story (Ang and Maddie representing Impact in January 2020), SCA Role and opportunities for gifts to be released in people like Geoff Scown and Erik Werps, and then Bendigo Bank opening the door to Christian Pastoral Care as God’s representatives.

  1. The Voice of Foundations: I loved this aspect of Kerrin’s message as it took me back to my early foundations of Faith, my healthy fear of God that probably saved me from some dumb peer influenced decisions. A way of doing life instilled into me by a mum and a strong Methodist Church family. Sunday Church a non- contested part of life. You can imagine the challenge to my foundations when Sunday sport became a reality!!The Deeper the foundations the less the building moves in a storm of change.People in my Youth and young adult years, the Saints who are all now enjoying their heavenly rewards are people involved in helping build foundations in my life.
  1. The Voice of Friends: Proverbs 27:5-6 (NIV).Every Thursday morning I have from 4-10 wise voices advising me on ministry and life issues…..the voice of wisdom in a multitude of counsellors….some of the wisdom in less important subjects is debateable but in the real life issues its essential, the key is transparency, authenticity and genuine agape love.The Voice of Friends in a time of change is essential BUT choose carefully!!

Today I want to add 3 more voices to listen to in a time of Change.

1. The Voice Of Servanthood

 Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Psalm 139: 13-16 (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

You have been created to serve. In our current culture it is tempting to think that we were created to find a Church or a podcast that feeds us with spiritual food by the way of messages and programs to help us grow as a person, a better person rather than a “deader” person. Yet we are called to die to self not to feed self with prominence.

Actually the role of the local Church is to equip you for ministry (Ephesians 4) and to help you represent Christ to a lost and dying world by displaying the nature of Christ as outlined in the Kenosis, the following passage:

Philippians 2: 5-8 (NIV)

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

1 Peter 4: 8-10 (NIV)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Peter, as an aged experienced Apostle, had seen many changes in his life and ministry but his instructions to a Church, about to suffer massive change due to persecution, was to focus on loving and serving one another!

Note, he doesn’t simply speak encouraging motivational messages of hope, he says keep serving, keep loving, keep going.

Paul in Galatians 2:20 says “It’s no longer I who live but Christ……” serving without fuss displays the Christ in us.

Personally through the dramatic changes in ministry that we have experienced over the past 10 years serving in each new season opened the door to the next thing that “God prepared in advance for us to do”.

2. The Voice of Purpose

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 Luke 10:1-9 (NIV)

 10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

When change comes, often with relentless disruption and severe pain, the voice of purpose, my ”reason for being” must always be heard clearly.

In every season and through every change in life our purpose to glorify God in all we do never changes.

The WESTMINISTER Confession says in answer to the question:

“What is the Chief end of Man?

A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

From this flows the outworking of the answer for us to live as Kingdom of God Ambassadors, to see His Kingdom grow, to see people freed from the Kingdom they were born into and enter, by faith in Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God.

The Voice of Purpose asks the questions:

Are your responses to change glorifying God?

Does what you are doing cause Kingdom Growth?

If you have a gift such as leadership are you outworking it in the new context change has taken you into? (The voice of service sets you up to hear the voice of purpose).

Are you living for Christ in such a way that people in your new setting are more likely to be saved by observing you?

Your purpose never changes even if your circumstances do.

The voice of purpose keeps you on track to fruitfully adapt to your change.

3. The Voice of Eternity

Colossians 3: 1-4 (NIV)

3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

This is the loudest voice of all.

This is the “calling you home” voice of Heaven.

This is the voice of the Ultimate prize.

The “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant” voice of Jesus.

The voice of the place where, as a believer, you will experience the greatest change for the longest time – all of Eternity.

The Apostle Paul continually heard the voice of Heaven as he fulfilled his purpose and served his people.

He said to the Philippian Christians

Philipians 1:21-24 (NIV)

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

We are still here and not in heaven for the sake of others.

If being here didn’t have a great God ordained purpose for you then HEAVEN would be your home NOW.

This is also the voice of Reunion – Reunion with loved ones who have gone before us.

Meeting those heroes of faith that we have heard about who finished their earthly assignment before us.

The prayer warriors and those who no one knows about but who quietly stretched their faith muscle faithfully during their earthly assignment.

BUT ABOVE ALL THAT, SEEING JESUS!

Quote Page 20 from the Book “A Place Called Heaven”

This voice of Heaven had a powerful impact on the salvation of our Youth Pastor, Jake Blabey. The voice of Heaven turned Jake from being a believer into one who wants to influence people for Christ in Eternity.

So in conclusion we can see that change is certain!

So far, we have 6 voices to listen to:

The Voice of Faith, rather than the voice of doubt.

The Voice of Foundations, rather than the voice of current morality.

The Voice of Friends, rather than the voice of the world.

The Voice of Servanthood, rather than the voice of selfishness.

The Voice of Purpose, rather than the voice of entertainment.

The loudest and most important motivator through tough times of change:

The Voice of Heaven.

Do you know the reality of this voice, the certainty of your eternal home?

The Holy Spirit is speaking to you right now and telling you that He loves you so you can have that certainty of salvation.

I Hate Change Pt 2 – Ps Bruce Claridge [13/10/2019 AM]2019-10-21T06:06:31+10:00

Treat Yourself – Ps Dave Doolan [06/10/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

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Treat Yourself – Ps Dave Doolan [06/10/2019 PM]2019-10-07T21:32:55+10:00

I Hate Change Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [06/10/2019 AM]

The voices of transition

Episode Notes

We don’t love or hate change because it is entirely dependent on what the change is.

The word ‘Change’ can sound inconsequential or vague – but perhaps what I would like to teach on for a couple of weeks could better be understood by transition!

Because ‘change’ sounds trivial and ‘I changed my hair colour…’ WOW big life decisions!

People tend to understand TRANSITION because it is a more deliberate and serious part of life movement or flow.

  • Transition stages of life – kid – adult – single – married – kids – no kids – grand kids.
  • Transition in your working life – from one field to another – or from full time to part time – working to retired.
  • Transition from one stage of life to another or one level of responsibility to another level.
  • As believers – not knowing God to knowing Him.

Matthew 16:1-3 (NIV)

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times!

We know the weather, but miss the important things of life.

This speaks to Jesus’ instruction that we ought to be aware of transition and change – not resist it, but understand it.

  • There is a voice and purpose of God in it if we listen and look.
  • There is a bigger picture if we are willing to consider it.
  • There are others involved if we will consider them.
  • What does this transition mean for me and my purpose?

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

This passage sums up life and transition.

Whether we think we like change and transition or not – let me just give everyone here the heads up – IT WILL HAPPEN!

  • Some will be good, some will be bad!
  • Some change will happen quickly and unexpected, some slow and frustrating!
  • Some change will be from your own decisions and actions, some from, or because of others decisions or actions.
  • Some will be embraced by peers, some hated by peers.
  • Some will make life easier and some will make life harder.

The only guarantee we have is that life will have change. We can either learn to transition well, or fail to transition and become one of those people who fail to transition and refuse to move on.

Kerrin knew it was time to move on from Youth Leadership when he realised that the youth didn’t know his style of music. They wanted a very different style.

We will all face transitions of a variety of different reasons and in a huge variety of ways, so we should probably consider what the Bible says about how we face them.

If they are certain, then the solution is not avoiding them, denying them, or wishing they were different, but dealing with them in line with the Word of God and His best for our lives is the right way to transition.

Decide to transition well!

I want to talk about the voices we listen to in TRANSITION.

The first thing we need to do is make a decision that we will approach transition with Faith! 

1. The voice of FAITH in transition!

Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NIV)

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

 (NLT)  –  Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.

Is there any possible blessing to ourselves or others, ANY possible way FAITH is attached to our transition if we look BACK and WISH it was like then or we were back there?

It is too easy to look back and wish rather than look forward and decide!

  • But there is not future for the person who constantly wishes or looks back.
  • It takes no creativity or faith, there is no skill in the game or discipline required to look back and wish!

All of us will face transition and the Biblical way to face it is with the eyes of FAITH!

Believing God for the best!

  • Asking God – what can I do to bless in this transition?
  • God – what is YOUR PURPOSE in this?
  • Where to from here, this isn’t what I expected but how do I bring You into this God?
  • Go back and re read the scriptures looking for NEW PROMISES of God to believe for that to relate to OUR NOW! Don’t look back on old promises that you highlighted in you previous Bible, buy a new Bible and find new promises.
  • If my horizon has changed or my surroundings, what could I dream given this new setting?

If this is what the NEW looks like God, then what can I ADD to it.

  • So many people pull back on progress because they are looking back rather than finding what they could carry and picking it up and going with it!

New Transition can initially be challenging or sad, and this, in no way, is trying to minimise that, but give a faith way to approach it.

  • We could find ourselves with an illness or injury that affects our life.
  • We could be forced out of a job, industry or profession we loved.
  • We could face a trauma or time of sadness.
  • We may have to change some friendships because of what God is calling us to.
  • It could be our family now looks different from what we wanted or had thought due to death, divorce, broken relationships, abuse changes the game. We are not 20 anymore. Don’t fail to make the transition. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s not dependent on our age. It’s the transition we need to be a part of.

Perhaps it is a positive transition.

  • A new season that requires more discipline – but carries more influence.
  • A new job with much greater responsibility.
  • A new family member, kids or getting married.
  • A new sense of calling or commitment to God.
  • A move to a new place.

But in whatever case – FAITH must be the lens we CHOOSE to look through.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.

(NIV) – 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful;

This however is a choice to listen to the voice of faith, because other voices will say:

  • Be sorry for yourself.
  • You will never get over this or through this.
  • This is too hard for you.
  • Who do you think you are?
  • How will this work?
  • What if you fail?

But God’s Word says:

Romans 8:28 (NLT)

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Choose in transition to listen to the voice of faith! Refuse to listen to other voices.

2. Face it with Foundations

John the Baptist is one of the heroes of the Bible!

  • He commits to a strict way of living to separate himself for God’s purposes.
  • He prepares the way for Jesus.
  • He actually sends a couple of his disciples to be Jesus first disciples.
  • He gives his life as a martyr.
  • Jesus says of John – that no one greater will ever be born among women.

John 1:19-26 (NIV)

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” 24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

John didn’t have any of these stupid reactions because HE HAD FOUNDATIONS, CONVICTIONS! He knew

  • Who HE wasn’t.
  • Who He was.
  • Who Jesus was.
  • What He was called to do.

Know who God says you are!

One of the reasons people struggle with transition is they don’t have the foundations of their life and faith constructed well and given a storm – the foundations start to shake!

  • IS God good?
  • Is God real?
  • Can he turn ALL things for good or just some?
  • Am I called or does this transition make me wonder if I am called?

From personal experience EVEN IF WE DO HAVE GOOD FOUNDATIONS, they will get a shaking and some messing with those foundations, BUT THAT IS OK. It’s alright for the foundations to be shaken!

It’s in transition that these things WILL BE TESTED – that is normal and we ALL face this… BUT that is why we need to have strong foundations so when the shaking happens we can still stand strong. Come back to God’s Word adn His promises. See things from an eternal perspective.

Build convictions and foundations about:

  • Who God is.
  • Our commitment to Him and His purposes for your life.
  • The Bible as the Word of God. Know the Truth and be set free.
  • His promises for our lives.
  • Our commitment to family, marriage.
  • Our belief for blessing, joy, life, God’s best.
  • Our character and how we will live.

Because none of these need to change just because we face transition or a new season! They might be challenged and shaken up, but that’s okay.

We need foundations NOW for TOMORROW and we WILL NEED THEM!

Even John the Baptist, in prison (a Roman one) with little hope, sent messengers to Jesus to say, ‘Just checking you are the one…’

  • Jesus response was to go tell him what you see – and John was AOK with that little nod
  • His foundations were good enough to hold up

Transition will happen so we must be prepared, and the key is to lay foundations today – so when tomorrow comes and there is a new season, a change, transition, or something we didn’t expect or see, we can have a surety and confidence in God. We can face it with FAITH when we have GOOD FOUNDATIONS.

3. Face it with FRIENDS – the voice of good friends.

Their words will keep you on the right track.

Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV)

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

(NLT) 6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

Transitions are a KEY TIME for GOOD and RIGHT FRIENDS to be voices in our lives.

LIFE ADVICE:

  • Be careful who you gather around you when you are facing transition. We are often vulnerable in transition, a little unstable or unsure when we are working through things, perhaps frustrated.

It is too easy to surround ourselves with the voices we know will tell us what we want to hear. Those who do this are people who do not transition well. They can’t be trusted to have proven, stable, godly voices of good reputation. They seek whoever agrees with them or sees things their way.

This is where we need GODLY FRIENDS that will love us, listen, encourage but also love us enough to tell us what we don’t want to hear:

  • Deal with your attitude!
  • Get over it!
  • That’s not healthy or a right perspective!

These are the wounds a friend will give! Invest in good friendships!

  • It is like a surgeon who makes a wound to fix an unhealthy body part – the wound brings healing and correction.

Do we have these friends?

  • This is why I harp on about Connect Groups – Good relationships!
  • Who is a reliable, trustworthy, Godly voice in our life and when was the last time we went out of our way to engage it?
  • INVEST in it NOW so when TRANSITION comes and our personal compass is struggling – they can help provide a TRUE NORTH.

Proverbs 12:26 (NIV)

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Are you in a transition stage of your life? If so, how will you deal with it?
  2. Can you believe God for the best in this transition?
  3. Will you decide to transition well?
  4. Have you made good Godly friends who will help you transition well?

I Hate Change Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [06/10/2019 AM]2019-10-08T15:36:39+10:00

A Timeless Classic: Praise – Ps Dave Doolan [29/09/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

  • Dave was driving through Ringwood when he saw Christmas lights on a house. He was excited because he loves Christmas, but he found out that the people had left them up since last Christmas.
  • There is something wrong about Christmas lights in September! It lessens the impact of Christmas.
  • Dave loves a good celebration, but it is not quite the same when it is out of season.
  • Hot Cross buns outside of Easter loses something.
  • Things don’t age well over time. Clearing out the cupboard brings up letting go issues.
  • Paisley shirts and skinny ties not quite the same, but some things are not timeless.
  • Some things are more relevant in one particular season. Home Alone 2!
  • Praise – not just for one season – it is a timeless classic we should always embrace. Pray that God will show us how important praise is to God.

Psalm 110:1-5 (TPT)

Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord! Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere!
As you serve him, be glad and worship him. Sing your way into his presence with joy!
And realize what this really means—we have the privilege of worshiping the Lord our God.
For he is our Creator and we belong to him. We are the people of his pleasure.You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise. Come right into his presence with thanksgiving. Come bring your thank offering to him and affectionately bless his beautiful name!
For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you. He is so loving that it will amaze you—
so kind that it will astound you! And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all. Everyone knows our God can be trusted, for he keeps his promises to every generation!

  • When it comes to praise it doesn’t matter where we are, we can know our God is worthy of praise.
  • It’s not about us. You always have a reason. Lift up and declare who God is. He is always the same. He is always in a good mood and worthy of our praise. Remind yourself of who God is. We have a God who is with us and for us.
  • Praise Him always. Praise is a decision. Dave is not a morning person, but he makes a decision to praise because God is worthy. It’s who He is.

Psalm 34:1-8 (NLT)

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

  • Praise at all times – constantly speak His Praise. Praise Him for who God is.
  • What you focus on gets larger. When we focus on God He will enlarge things in our world because we focus on Him.
  • Our focus can shift when we achieve other things. Trouble is our pride gets large. We think it is because of how good we are. We shift focus and change our perspective.
  • When things go wrong, we shift our focus onto our problems, weaknesses and fear. We magnify our problems, fears and doubts. How can I get through this? Our perspective shifts onto ourselves.
  • Always make a decision to praise God.
  • We focus on what is important – God. Choose to praise because of what God did.
  • In good health, sickness and breakthrough, praise Him because He is good. We have the victory. No matter the season, praise God because God is worthy. Choose to praise because He is always the same. Praise is for every season. God doesn’t change.

Timeless reasons to praise:

1. It is a heart attitude going above what is expected

Matthew 5:16 (Message)

Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

  • Live generous lives, give of your time and service, praise above and beyond.
  • Jesus gave us above and beyond. On the cross He gave all. Live generous lives.
  • Focus will be on God.

2. Thankfulness and gratitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (Message)

16 Let joy be your continual feast. 17 Make your life a prayer. 18 And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.

  • Give praise where it belongs, stops greed. Be thankful for what you have. Give thanks in all things because of who God is and what He has already done. He is still worthy of praise.
  • Enter His courts with thanksgiving. Make a decision to always have a heart and attitude of praise and thankfulness.

3. Joy

 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (Message)

16 Let joy be your continual feast.

  • Let joy be your constant.
  • Don’t live your lives by – if it feels good do it.
  • People pursue happiness – it’s a feeling that doesn’t always last.
  • But God promises joy. The world can’t take it away. It can exist in the midst of problems and trials. God says you can still have joy. Joy will follow. Choose joy. Choose what God promises us. Receive joy.
  • God wants to highlight the joy of praise.
  • Continually choose it. Choose to live your lives in praise.
  • Praise is a privilege.
  • We can mistake praise like it is a style.
  • Styles are not timeless. They come and go depending on the season.
  • Song styles will change.
  • Make the decision to choose to praise
  • We have the privilege of worshipping the Lord our God.
  • It’s not about your enjoyment. It’s about how praise brings God pleasure. It is about Him.
  • Give Him what He deserves.
  • The only things we can do for God is praise.
  • Offer up your heart.
  • In a time of victory, thank Him for who Ho is.
  • Without Him we wouldn’t be here.
  • It’s His breath in our lungs.
  • We exist for His pleasure and His Glory
  • He is God and we are not. He knows best – we don’t.
  • God is worthy of praise. He is on the throne.
  • He deserves it! Choose to praise Him and give thanks for who He is.
  • Thank Him for saving you, for your place in eternity. Thank Him that He loves you.
  • Come in a spirit of thankfulness and praise.
  • God wants to know you. He wants to come close to you.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. When it comes to praise it doesn’t matter where we are, we can know our God is worthy of praise. Discuss why you think this is so important.
  2. How hard is it to make a decision to praise God when you are going through difficult times?
  3. Do you live generous lives and give of your time and service?
  4. How difficult is it to make a decision to always have a heart and attitude of praise and thankfulness?

A Timeless Classic: Praise – Ps Dave Doolan [29/09/2019 AM]2019-09-30T15:24:35+10:00

The Accommodation Issue – Ps Kerrin Wallis [22/09/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

The Accommodation Issue – Ps Kerrin Wallis [22/09/2019 PM]2019-09-24T17:20:07+10:00

What We Long For – Ps Kerrin Wallis [22/09/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

To all who have longed for His (God’s) appearing!  Look forward to His appearing – THIS IS AN ETERNAL REWARD!

  • In the time this was written a CROWN represented the height of POWER, AUTHORITY, RICHES and REWARD!
  • The people who wore the crown ruled the world.
  • Kingdoms went to war over crowns and the right to wear them.

Kerrin said that he didn’t want us to miss firstly this morning that Paul is promising a GREAT and VALUABLE REWARD!

  • Too often we are so focused on this life and the here and now that we forget we will spend many times more of our life in the eternal realm than this earthly one!

We should be diligent to make sure we pursue reward and what God lists as of eternal value far more than the pursuit of earthly treasure or pleasures.

My question today (for myself as much as anyone) is:

  • “Do we live our lives longing for God to appear in it and through it?”

Sadly there is a temptation in western/modern Christianity to want the opposite!

  • God stay out of my way, don’t intrude on my wishes, desires, attitudes, I want to skip want I want thank you -Spotify Christianity –
  • But when there is a problem – We want God to appear to sort it out but THEN we say – thanks God, I have it from here…
  • We think (through our social conditioning) that belief in God (religion) is a personal box and that God should stay in that box… unless of course we need Him for something…

That is not the kind of Christianity described in the Bible.

  • God is loving, kind, patient, forgiving, merciful and gracious, BUT HE WILL ALSO NOT BE MOCKED!
  • He is all powerful, mighty, King of kings, ruler of heaven and earth and if we think that He is okay with US wanting to HIDE Him. He will not accept that, nor will He exist within our boxes and limiting Him in our lives. He will not take second place.

Mark 8:38 (NIV)

If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

When we long for someone or something to appear:

  • We are expecting it!

Do we expect God to appear in our lives?

We look forward to things we are expecting… We are not looking forward to things we are not expecting… Sounds like a Dr Seuss Book!

When you are at a restaurant and you have ordered your meal, you are expecting it to come well before others who came to the restaurant much later than you.

Perhaps at times we are not eager looking for God in situations because we just don’t expect Him to be there…

  • It’s just work – We don’t expect God to be there.
  • It’s just another week – We don’t expect God to show up.
  • It’s just ME – We don’t expect God to show up in OUR LIFE.

The Bible shows that God shows up in UNEXPECTED PLACES and SITUATIONS but because PEOPLE EXPECTED HIM TO.

God wants to appear in your workplace and your life. Expect Him to appear.

Kerrin preached last week on the WONDER of God and the fact that God shows up every day in our bathroom mirror, the miracle of creation, purpose and God’s love for us – but we don’t expect it so we see nothing but the imperfections, We don’t see the WONDER of God.

In our prayer life or reading the Bible and our personal relationship with God, do we EXPECT HIM to be there?

How many of us are desperate for a word from God – but have passed over the many thoughts HE HAS SENT – because we weren’t expecting God in our day to day, normal thinking life!

Why not:

  • EXPECT God to give you a THOUGHT or IDEA.
  • EXPECT God to open a door to share His love.
  • EXPECT God to bring one of His promises to pass.
  • EXPECT God to present a situation at work where HE can be seen.
  • EXPECT God to be present in our home and family.

When we long for something – we EXPECT it and it makes us look for it.

Where in our lives are we EXPECTING GOD to:

  • Do something.
  • Say something.
  • Make a way.
  • Show up.
  • Be visible in our lives.
  • We are looking for it!

Do we approach our life LOOKING for ways that God can and will appear?

When we LONG FOR something, we expect it, but that leads to us looking for it.

Sadly some people spend all their life looking for reasons where God hasn’t appeared rather than where He has!

Mark 1:37 (NIV)

“and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

What a surprise they found Jesus, because they were looking for Him!

Are we looking for HIM?Or are we looking for:

  • Others praise.
  • Blessing – rather than God (keep your eyes and heart on Jesus and he will put blessing in your hands).
  • For this world and life.
  • Are all our hopes, plans and purpose that we look for linked to our income, our house, here and now, our career or are they linked to HIM?

IN our lives do we LOOK FOR HIM!

  • Look for Him in the good times, but also look for Him in the bad.
    • It is easy to miss God in the tough times because we keep looking at the tough times instead of looking for God in the midst of it.
  • When our life is just powering on, ARE WE LOOKING FOR GOD IN IT?
  • Looking for
    • WHAT HE IS SAYING?
    • WHAT HE IS DOING?
    • WHERE IS HIS PURPOSE?

Psalm 18:30 (NLT)

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

He is a shield for those who LOOK for Him.

Kerrin’s experience in life has taught him that people find what they are looking for.

  • When we are looking for a particular thing – it’s amazing how many suddenly appear because we are looking for it.

Church can Kerrin encourage you, that if you LOOK FOR GOD – HE is everywhere! There are constantly opportunities to:

  • Show Him to the world.
  • Praise Him for His goodness.
  • See Him working in our situations.

IF WE LOOK FOR HIM we will find Him!

  • We desire it!

The reason we long for it, is that there is desire for it to appear!

Watch a person falling ‘in love’ especially early days and they check their phone every 30 seconds for their girlfriend or boyfriend text.

  • They just want more than almost anything for that message alert to go off.
  • Talk to someone who is purchasing a new car or house they have worked incredibly hard for, saved for and now they are to have it soon. They have the desire and eagerness for it to appear.
  • It’s what they are totally focused on.

Do we DESIRE God to appear in our world?

  • If I consider my attitude to God showing up at my work – Do I desire it?
  • In my family, to my kids is it a desire that God appears?
  • Am I more worried about their sporting career or schooling than their eternal relationship with Jesus?
  • In my own life do I desire God or is He an inconvenience to ‘real life’.
    • Sadly so many miss the incredible relationship God has to offer because to them He is an inconvenience to their time, work, business, sport, pleasure.
  • With my friends am I desiring for God to show up, or dreading that He be brought up?

Have you ever had an interaction where you felt like you were an inconvenience to someone in a group of people – you just want to get out of there as fast as possible!

  • How do we think God feels when He is treated like that… when we treat His church, His people are an inconvenience-
  • Do we honestly think we will carry His presence and He will APPEAR very often?

Kerrin is constantly surprised at people who live like God is an inconvenience not a priority, then expect Him to appear when trouble comes. It doesn’t even make sense.

We need to DESIRE and long for a relationship with God – there needs to be a hunger for Him.

Matt 5:6 (NIV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

The Bible talks a lot about our hunger for God, our desire for Him, keeping our first love for Him.

Do we LONG for God to APPEAR in our life?

Kerrin is convinced that the church will not truly impact our community because we have better programs or slicker services.

It will grow when the people in it LONG for God to APPEAR:

  • In our work places.
  • In our sporting clubs.
  • In our prayer lives.
  • In our homes and kids lives.
  • IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE!

PRAYER:

Kerrin said to every person today that Paul says there will be a crown of eternal reward for those that are LONGING for GOD’S appearance.

If we do not have a longing for God’s appearance then perhaps we need to spend some time talking with God, asking for Him to give us a fresh love for and hunger for God in our lives.

Make a decision for God to be a part of your life.

He needs to be in every part of our lives.

He is real, living and powerful.

Believe for God to appear in your life. Make Him number one in your life.

He has made a way for you.

He is saying come back to Him.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Are you focussing on what Paul is promising – a GREAT and VALUABLE REWARD!
  2. How do you think we should do this?
  3. Are you expecting God to appear in your life?
  4. Do we DESIRE God to appear in our world?

What We Long For – Ps Kerrin Wallis [22/09/2019 AM]2019-09-23T07:23:13+10:00

Getting The Mixture Right – Ps Kerrin Wallis [15/09/2019 PM]

Unity, Purity, Wonder

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Getting The Mixture Right – Ps Kerrin Wallis [15/09/2019 PM]2019-09-17T18:44:56+10:00

Unity, Purity, Wonder Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [15/09/2019 AM]

Wonder

Episode Notes

Today is a special day in the life of our Church and each year we will put aside a day like today to celebrate!

We will celebrate what God has done for us and then take a new faith step in Miracle Giving, looking forward to what God will do in the year to come!

Jeff Hulls prayed for our Church to be open to the move of the Holy Spirit. The past members of the Church had a vision for the expansion of the Hall. Jeff shared a vision God had given him of lots of people ploughing the fields, with lots of people following them sowing the seed and lots more people reaping the harvest.

This year Kerrin wanted to preach for a few moments on the wonder of God!

We have been looking at UNITY, PURITY, WONDER which was a word Kerrin felt God gave us at the start of this year.

Today he thought this is of particular importance as we give together believing for God’s Miracles to flow through us.

  • As we give in UNITY – together!
    • Not about one or a few giving, but about everyone playing their part.
    • The incredible miracle of what God has done so far was because many people were unified and gave together for what we believe God was saying. They were unified of heart and joined hands together.
    • They worked with many ploughs to make things happen.
  • As we give with PURITY – purity of heart and motive!
    • We don’t give to twist God’s arm, score browning points or to get back.
    • We give generously according to what God has spoken to us and we do so because it is all His anyway.
    • Our giving is simply us coming to God with pure hearts and sowing into His kingdom for His purposes. Responding in obedience to God as stewards of what He has given us.

Then God will do His Wonders!

We do our part and watch with faith as God does His!

We are celebrating today because we saw all of these things last year! People UNIFIED in giving – all doing their part – it wasn’t equal giving, but equal sacrifice We did so simply with a PURITY of heart to say God we will be obedient to you and we saw the WONDERS of God as a result. We can believe for the WONDERS in our lives.

GOD HAS DONE WONDERS THIS YEAR – and Kerrin honestly believes our unified faith and giving was a huge part of releasing that!

What a day to celebrate! Praise God Church and thank you for listening to Him and responding/giving in faith!

Today as we give together I want to stir faith and encourage every person to believe for the WONDER of God in their lives!

God is a God of wonder!

This word literally means:

Wonders = bring extraordinary (1), deal marvellously (1), difficult (5), extraordinary degree (1), fulfil a special (3), made his wonderful (1), made marvellous (1), makes a difficult (1), makes a special (1), marvellous (1), marvellously (1), miracles (5), monstrous things (1), seemed hard (1), show your power (1), things…difficult (1), things…wonderful (1), too difficult (2), wonderful (4), wonderful acts (1), wonderful deeds (3), wonderful things (2), wonderful works (2), wonders (20), wondrous deeds (3), wondrous works (3), wondrously (2), wondrously marvellous (1).

What a wonderful description of the God we serve.

We don’t need to be very insightful to see that our God is A GOD OF WONDER!

  • If we have ever seen a mountain range and the giant peaks of earth that rise into the horizon – our Wondrous God made them!
  • If we have ever seen the beauty of the snow and the billions of snowflakes – with not one of them alike! We serve a God who is filled with WONDERS!
  • Perhaps you have stood by the Ocean and seen it roar with power or sit calmly like a beautiful sea of glass!

What about colour!

  • If God were a God of: just enough, getting by, practical means He would have made the world black and white and different shades of grey!
  • Yet it is filled with the most vibrant and extravagant of colours.
  • The brilliance of colour fills our world at every turn.

Isn’t it incredible that even in the act of a child being born, it’s not a form we fill out or some basic agreement?

  • It is the loving and beautiful act of intimacy and the wonder of two people becoming one together that creates another little being!

WONDER fills our world and lives every day and so much so that we drive past it, look at it in the mirror, engage with it and yet sometimes fail to recognise GOD IS THE GOD OF WONDER WHO CREATED IT AND ALLOWS IT ALL!

Then we have the wonders of victory, of breakthrough, of blessing, of restoration, of miracles, of provision, of healing, of advancing God’s eternal kingdom, the wonders that we can dare to believe God for!

The wonders where: life, others, circumstance, reality, what we see says it can’t happen – BUT GOD SAYS it CAN! God brings life, hope and joy.

Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

My question today is:

  • What are we believing God for that is wondrous?
  • What are we looking to?
  • What are we praying?
  • What are we stretching for, reaching toward?

That the WONDER of God could be seen in and through our lives!

Joshua 3:5 (NLT)

5 Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”

I want to talk briefly about the WONDERS we are believing for this year!

Yes, we are believing to see incredible miracles and giving, to allow us to build an amazing facility – which will be a wonder!

But the wonder of that is totally outshone and overpowered by the TRUE WONDERS that we are believing for!

We are reaching for so much more than that!

  • That is why we will do a Miracle Offering and giving EVERY YEAR because our belief for the Wonders of God are so much bigger than a facility or building! More things to believe for.

We are believing for the Wonder of: REACHING MORE PEOPLE!

To me one of the most incredible wonders of God is that He would choose in the mess, brokenness, darkness, filth, destruction of this world, to send HIS SON ONLY JESUS into it to rescue us at the cost of His own life – humanity! The greatest wonder of all.

To me one of the most wondrous things is that:

  • God’s love overcomes hate.
  • The goodness of God leads to repentance.
  • Jesus offers forgiveness to any person who comes to Him with a repentant heart.
  • God has made a way so that all of us can come to Him.
  • IT is the GOSPEL – that is the most wondrous news in the history of the planet!

Romans 1:16 (NLT)

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Each year we will give in UNITY and PURITY believing for the wonder of REACHING MORE PEOPLE!

Matt 28:19 (NLT)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We so glad for all that God has done and the many that come here and find this place home, but let’s never forget the other 100,000 people that are yet to discover:

  • God loves them.
  • His plan for their life.
  • The freedom and hope found in Jesus Christ.
  • That there is another way!

 Let us promise you that the facility we are building is not built for our comfort but for our mission to REACH MORE PEOPLE!

 Imagine the wonder of our unity and purity:

  • Reaching another child with God’s love.
  • Touching another family and changing their eternal destiny.
  • Bringing hope to a broken and lost person and changing their lives.
  • Reaching the marginalised, the hurting.
  • Reaching those that just don’t know!

 What a privilege that WE GET THE OPPORTUNITY to be part of God reaching into every part of our city! The WONDER of REACHING another lost person with God’s love!

We can sow the fields and reap the harvest. The Wonder of Raising Champions!

People who have power and the passion to reach souls for Jesus.

One of the saddest, most disappointing or possibly disgraceful verses in the Bible is:

Joshua 5:4 (NIV)

4 Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt—all the men of military age (men trained in battle)—died in the wilderness on the way after leaving Egypt.

What happened here is that God rescued the people of Israel out of slavery and the bondage of Egypt, however despite His miracle powers in their lives and situations, despite His promises and a promised land prepared for them and because of their lack of faith and courage, they died as men of war, not in battle or possessing for their generation, but instead:

  • Faithless and wandering around in the wilderness.
  • Refusing to fight for their kids futures.
  • And instead living out of selfishness and comfort, they died and left what they should have fought for their kids to have instead!

This Church will never live out of comfort and selfishness, but instead we will live with the wonder of raising champions!

We will demonstrate what it is to:

  • Fight for God’s Kingdom.
  • Possess new territory.
  • Take ground.
  • Build buildings.
  • Buy land.
  • Plant churches in places where there is none at present.
  • Release ministries.
  • Raise leaders of influence.
  • Send missionaries.

All of these things mean WE MUST TODAY lead the way! We must demonstrate what it means to breakthrough, to possess, to build and expand God’s Kingdom! We set the bars for our kids to fight bigger battles.

I want our church and generation to be able to say, “Even when we are old and grey, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, Your mighty acts to all who are to come…”

Psalm 71:18 (NIV)

The great news is, we just have to be obedient to Him in our unity and purity and HE DOES THE WONDER! Be faithful to the things of God and raise champions.

The Wonder of Building for the Future!

Daniel 4:3 (NIV)

3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.

 Proverbs 13:2 (NIV)

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

 There is a WONDER of GOD where His blessing flows from one generation to the next!

  • The WONDER of kids today growing up in a: fresh, filled with the Holy Spirit, pumping church and seeing kids and youth ministries of hundreds, a church filled with people, amazing facilities – that then is their normal!
  • Imagine what REVIVAL would look like to them!

 What are we doing today for our children’s children?

  • What heritage do we leave behind?
  • The next generations, will they be able to do more than we ever dreamed because we left them an inheritance, possessed things and took ground? They can possess even greater things.

Even what we do build in our generations – LET’S BUILD FOR THE ONES TO COME!

  • It’s not just about the need today, but leaving something for tomorrow.
  • The Wonder of Unlocking Generosity!

One of the greatest keys to unlock the plan of God for our lives is generosity! Teach a nation what generosity can do in their lives

Generosity is not a one off gift it is a lifestyle of generous acts!

Proverbs 22:9 (NKJV)

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.

This is about so much more than an act – it is a way of seeing life!

  • If we have a red eye – everything you see will be red.
  • If we have a blurry eye – then everything you see is blurry.

If we have a GENEROUS EYE – then everything we see is an opportunity to be generous!

  • Every conversation – generous with praise, encouragement, honour.
  • Every situation of lack – an opportunity to bless and be generous.
  • Every relationship – generous with love, patience, kindness, forgiveness.
  • Every day – generous in our approach to people and life!

THIS IS TRULY A WONDER!

  • In a world that teaches the opposite,
    • Look out for no.1.
    • Hang onto what you have.
    • Take care of SELF above all else. Take and not give.
    • The world’s message is to live in fear of not having, loosing or missing out!

God teaches that when we learn to live with His kingdom principle of generosity – instead of missing out – we gain so much more!

Miracle Giving is part of giving people an opportunity to unlock generosity in their lives!

We have literally had people come and thank us for the Miracle Offering and the opportunity to give and to sow into something bigger.

  • Testimonies of God providing, doing miracles, break through, blessing have poured in.
  • People have personally said – “We discovered we can never out give God!” 

We want to see people’s whole futures changed as they learn what it is to live a life of generosity and Miracle giving. The Wonder of Reflecting God to the Community!

Our community ought to look at the Church of Jesus Christ, not just the facilities, but all we do and BE AMAZED!

Do we reflect the WONDER of God to our community?

So much of God and His Church is in the unseen realm that when it comes to what is seen, LET’S HAVE IT SHOW PEOPLE THE WONDER OF GOD!

  • Our facilities say something about God to every person before they ever enter a service, hear a worship song or listen to a sermon!
  • The externals preach a loud message.

Already with what we have given and our plans to build Kerrin has had people say that ‘they had no idea a church could do that’!

  • Others describe it as amazing or so exciting!
  • We reflect the WONDER of God and it will open up people’s hearts.

But so much bigger than just a building, in every way where we have the opportunity, let’s do everything we can to demonstrate, display and SHOW GOD’S WONDER to our community, how gracious and kind we are!

We are called to show the Glory of God.

Isaiah 60:1-3 (NKJV)

60 Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.

3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. What are you believing God for that is wondrous?
  2. This Church will never live out of comfort and selfishness, but instead we will live with the wonder of raising champions! How will this affect you and what will you do to help this to happen?
  3. Do you have a GENEROUS EYE and see opportunities to be generous!
  4. Do you reflect the WONDER of God to your community?

Unity, Purity, Wonder Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [15/09/2019 AM]2019-09-16T07:31:38+10:00

Sunday Roast – Ps Dave Doolan [08/09/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Sunday Roast – Ps Dave Doolan [08/09/2019 PM]2019-09-10T17:09:41+10:00

Unity, Purity, Wonder Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [08/09/2019 AM]

Purity

Episode Notes

This was a Word Kerrin felt God gave him for our Church back in our prayer and fasting in February. This has been something we have been looking at and working on as a leadership, teams, focus etc.

He felt God speak to us about the fact that when we embrace:

  • Unity together as a Church and people,
  • Purity in our hearts, lives and spirits,

THEN we can believe God for the WONDER of MIRACLE POWER in and through our Church and people’s lives.

Psalm 133 – where we dwell together in unity, God commands a blessing

Joshua 3:5 (NLT) – Purify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among us.

GOD does the WONDER, but we prepare with UNITY and PURITY.

As we come to our Miracle Offering on Sep 15th, Kerrin wanted to share what he feels is a powerful and prophetic message for our Church, which is far bigger than an offering, but part of God’s call on us together and something that will unlock the power of God corporately and in our own lives.

Kerrin talked last week about Unity and the need for it:

  • Personally and corporately.
  • The incredible power of it – nothing will be impossible.
  • What it takes, what the Bible instructs as our requirement to make every effort.

Today Kerrin spoke about the second part of this which comes from

Joshua 3:5 (NLT)

5 Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”

This is our part to play!

Sometimes we want God to do everything, but His Word gives us instruction that unlocks God’s ability to work in our situation.

We see this firstly in the wording – ‘Purify YOURSELVES’, an onus on us to live in PURITY.

PURIFY – comes from sanctify – “to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean/purified. This is important because we know in our own efforts we constantly fail and fall short of Gods best.

The initial problem with Kerrin’s message this morning is that he is talking about PURITY and then saying ‘it is OUR PART to play’ and everyone hangs their head in defeat. It’s like asking a class who did their homework last night.

That is why it’s vital to note that the meaning is:

  • “to be pronounced or observed as clean!”

When it says to Sanctify ourselves, it isn’t:

  • Tidy up our act’
  • Get your stuff together man’
  • A big stick of ‘I am not good enough’’
  • We are all in the same boat.
  • None of us is perfect. We have mess to work through.

Kerrin read a famous Psalm that helps frame the correct understanding of ‘purify ourselves’.

But before he read this Kerrin said that we need to understand the context in which this was written.

  • This Psalm was written after King David had gone out, committed adultery, taken another man’s wife and acted with absolute dishonour.
  • It was after he was publicly rebuked for it and had it made known in front of everyone.
  • We might think he will be filled with shame, guilt, self hatred and feel rejected by God.

Psalm 51 (NLT)

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.

(Are you getting the idea that David knows he is not perfect?)

7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

This is the understanding that it is God who purifies us when we come to Him with a humble and repentant heart… HE MAKES US CLEAN AGAIN!

Kerrin said that the understanding of ‘sanctify ourselves’ first and foremost means coming to Jesus with a repentant heart and knowing that HE is the only way we will ever be purified, not by our own efforts!

Psalm 51 is David coming to God saying, ‘God help me.’ then trusting in His forgiveness and knowing HE then SEES us as PURIFIED!

Kerrin has been doing a few trips up into the snow this winter.

As you get further into the snow season and drive up through the mountains you can see where there was once beautiful white snow but it is dirtied by cars driving through it, mud splashing up on it and exhaust fumes leaving a black sooty colour.

You only need another good clean dump of snow and it’s all WHITE AGAIN.

Maybe our lives look a little like we have some ‘stuff’ that has muddied up our life.

  • Allow Jesus to come and make it ALL WHITE AGAIN!
  • Let’s PURIFY ourselves so we can once again open to the WONDER of God in our lives. Come with a repentant heart.

It’s not about our own efforts, but our turning to and having good relationship with Jesus!

  • PURITY COMES FROM FAITH IN JESUS.

We need to surrender to Jesus.

Another challenge is the fact sometimes people hear ‘purity’ and think in our head ‘perfect’.

Jesus never asks for perfect, just for surrender!

  • Our relationships may be broken.
  • Our finances may be not good.
  • Our past might be terrible, or could be amazing.
  • Our life might be filled with mess, or pretty sorted.
  • Our feelings might be all over the place, or right on track.

But it’s not about having our lives perfect – but being surrendered to God!

  • God never asks for perfection – but He does ask for surrender!
  • Our PURITY is not found in perfection – but surrender to God!

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Sounds in line with last week.

  • How GOOD and PLEASANT it is when God’s people live together in unity.
  • When we surrender our lives, UNITY and PURITY go hand in hand.

 Because we can say it’s not about me – woohoo – I can live however!

  • But it is about OUR SURRENDER!
  • Living Sacrifice – means I live wholly SURRENDERED to GOD.

Is our life surrendered to God, or do we just lend our life to Him occasionally?

  • I like being a Christian, but I don’t tell anyone.
  • I like coming to Church – when it suits me.
  • I like coming on Sundays, but don’t make time to spend in prayer and reading God’s Word through the week
  • I want God’s blessing, but I am not willing to forgive that person.
  • This Jesus thing is good while it serves me, but I am not serving someone else.
  • I like the vibe of church, but this tithing thing/ Miracle Giving is too much.
  • I will receive Jesus sacrifice, but don’t ask me to worship passionately about it.
  • I will receive Jesus sacrifice for me, but don’t ask me to sacrifice for HIM.

Church if we want to see the WONDER of God it requires a Church of LIVING SACRIFICES.

  • People who make space for God.
  • Daily surrender to His plans, purposes, people, ways.
  • Daily choose His ways over our feelings or circumstances.
  • Daily are obedient to the Holy Spirit

This is why it is so linked to UNITY and PURITY!

  • We can never have TRUE, POWERFUL UNITY until we are willing to surrender daily to God and put His people, plans and purpose before our own!
  • But when we do – IT IS POWERFUL! When we purify ourselves and surrender.

Psalm 119:9 (NIV)

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?

By living according to your word.

Here we see that PURITY is not achieved through perfection,

  • but trusting in Jesus’ forgiveness and who He sees us as.
  • by choosing to live by God’s Word and understand how God sees you.

God SEES us as PURIFIED, then we BECOME PURE by refusing to allow this world to dominate our:

  • Thoughts,
  • Feelings
  • Lifestyle
  • Passions
  • Purpose etc.

We need to input God’s Word into our hearts and minds and His Word purifys us into WHO WE ARE!

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) puts it like this:

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

When we approach PURITY with surrender to Jesus and an attitude of a living sacrifice. When we offer/approach our:

  • Attitudes with surrender
  • Daily choices with surrender
  • Finances and giving with surrender
  • Our purpose and pursuits in life to surrender
  • Our ways to His ways
  • MY WILL for HIS WILL
  • My personal wants for HIM and HIS PEOPLE
  • Purity in love and relationship together as HIS people.

Jesus shows us a purified heart with His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.  

  • “Not my will but yours be done.”
  • His commitment to God’s Word was far more important than anything He would face as a result.

With allowing God’s Word to continue to PURIFY who we are regularly and not allowing this world to shape us but allowing God’s Word to change us.

  • PURITY COMES FROM GOD’S WORD
  • WE can have CONFIDENCE and APPROACH GOD BODLY and believe for the WONDERS of GOD in our lives!

Joshua 7:13 we see this word again and it is in a situation where a person has refused to be pure and purified. God will not allow the victory until it is dealt with! This is a powerful lesson in the Wonder of God requiring the commitment of PURITY from His people.

  • PURITY IS FOUND IN THE BATTLE!

Joel 3:9-21 (NLT)

9 Say to the nations far and wide: “Get ready for war! (KJV – Prepare war = sanctify/purify for war) Call out your best warriors. Let all your fighting men advance for the attack. 10 Hammer your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Train even your weaklings to be warriors. (NKJV-Let the weak say I am strong) 11 Come quickly, all you nations everywhere. Gather together in the valley.” And now, O Lord, call out your warriors!

We need to PURIFY ourselves for war to win people of Bendigo. It is a call to war for the Church. Go to war for our city.

The passage goes on to describe the WONDERS of GOD.

“…14 Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the Lord will soon arrive.”  17 “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God,     live in Zion, my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be holy forever, and foreign armies will never conquer her again. 18 In that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk. Water will fill the streambeds of Judah, and a fountain will burst forth from the Lord’s Temple, watering the arid valley of acacias.

  • NEW WINE flowing into dry and arid places.
  • Fountains bursting from the Lord’s Temple.

Purity is linked to our ability to fight the fight of faith and possess. In fact God’s pattern is that He will fight for us if we will live purified lives and live surrendered to Him and be obedient to His Word. He fights on our behalf.

Here is a final link with all this and Psalm 51.

2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

David was supposed to be at war, but instead he chose the safety of his home.

It would seem that our Purity comes under threat when we stay away from the battle we are supposed to be in!

The reason God says  ‘Purify for War’ is because we are in a battle and if we forget that, it is easy to lose that hunger for purity and begin to focus on self and earthly pursuits/pleasures rather than focus on God.

Sadly too many believers live more for this life and themselves, than they do for eternal life and serving Jesus in this one. They are confused at the lack of the wonder of God in their life, but God brings Wonder and Victory in response to unity and purity.

As a Church, let’s never be the person who stays back from the Battle God has called us to!

  • Let’s Commit to UNITY and PURITY!
  • Pursuing relationship with Jesus and realising that it is in Him we are made pure.
  • Let’s live surrendered to God and His Word.
  • Let’s choose to join the battle with God and fight the good fight.

Some of us have been up on the rooftop instead of being at war.

We are consumed with self.

Step up and fight with God for His Kingdom. Don’t live for yourselves.

Don’t walk away from His plans and purpose.

Purify for war.

Get off the roof and join the army of God.

Pursue the Kingdom of God.

Get hungry for purity.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss PURITY and the saying ‘it is OUR PART to play’. Do you agree with this?
  2. God purifies us when we come to Him with a humble and repentant heart. HE MAKES US CLEAN AGAIN! What do you think this means to you?
  3. Purity is linked to our ability to fight the fight of faith and possess what God has for us. Are you fighting the fight of faith?
  4. Let’s never be the person who stays back from the Battle God has called us to! How do you think we can do this?

Unity, Purity, Wonder Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [08/09/2019 AM]2019-09-10T17:10:31+10:00

Unity, Purity, Wonder Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [01/09/2019 AM]

Unity

Episode Notes

As we come to our Miracle Offering on September 15th, Kerrin wanted to share what he felt is a powerful and prophetic message for our church, which is far bigger than an offering, but part of God’s call on us together and something that will unlock a power of God in our own lives.

These will be a focus for many years to come!

Psalm 133:1-3 (NIV)

1 How good and pleasant it is (I have to hear this!) when God’s people live (dwell – NKJV) together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows (commands) his blessing, even life forevermore.

  • Kerrin will never preach that life is easy. It just isn’t unless you’re a Disney Character and your existence is within the Princess castle.
  • The Bible here talks about a life that is GOOD and PLEASANT! We need that. Life is not easy.
  • Remember the old SPECIAL K ad – I’ll have what she’s having.
  • Have you ever looked at certain people and thought they have a pleasantness about them? Have you thought there is goodness in their life that they just seem to live in and you want some of it?

The KEY today to pleasantness and goodness is UNITY!

Unity brings into focus the JOY of the LORD which is our strength!

  • Unity acts like an OIL to life and causes things that could grind, to move smoothly and pleasantly.
  • Ever had a car or mechanical device without the lubrication and it grinds and crunches instead. When you get the right oil there is smooth motion and operation.
  • THAT’S WHAT UNITY DOES!

When we think of ‘Unity’ sometimes we have this false idea that it means: ‘Everyone is doing the same thing’ BUT that is not unity.

1. UNITY is EVERYONE or EVERYTHING – GOING THE SAME WAY!

  • Think of it like a football team! – Essendon vs Eagles on Thursday
  • Players have a position – they are not all rucks. That would be dud.
  • They have different positions, strengths, styles, places on the field, roles etc.
  • The goal is the same – they are all going the same way. Not doing the same thing, but going the same way. Champion people who are on the team.
  • WE NEED UNITY PERSONALLY.
  • One of the first things we need in our lives is to have unity of our life.
  • The book of James is brilliant on this.

James 1:6-8 (NKJV)

6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

This is talking about unity of prayer and faith! Without the unity – we become unstable!

But this is in every area of life and the whole book of James is really talking about getting our lives in UNITY right across the board. Unity keeps us stable.

It talks about UNITY in every area of our life:

  • Prayers being in unity with our faith.
  • Listening being in unity with our doing.
  • Our Faith being in unity with our deeds.
  • Our tongue being in unity with our calling, God’s word and self control.
  • Our desires being in unity with Gods desires.
  • Our patience being in unity with the seasons of life.

Have you ever been in a heated discussion with your husband or wife and your brain says – ‘Don’t say that….’ And yet your mouth ‘SAYS IT!’

Maybe been about to attempt something and your body says ‘Don’t do that’ and your ego says – ‘Go on, prove you can do it’

Yep, we usually regret both of those un-unified decisions for days.

We have all seen a person who says one thing and acts another! It looks like something is not right because they are not unified. You can see their unstability.

We e often have these divided areas of our life and wonder why there isn’t the oil of pleasantness and goodness operating.

  • Do our words line up with our beliefs?
  • Too many people say God loves them but don’t actually believe it.
  • They say I am a new person in Christ – but see themselves as dirty and broken. This shows a lack of internal unity.
  • Does our Mon-Fri life line up with our Sunday life?
  • Do we talk about eternity being important, but live for this world and life all week?
  • Do we want God, but chase money?
  • Do we desire great relationships but refuse to sacrifice for them or sow into them?
  • Do we want a great marriage but our words to our spouse tear it down?
  • Do we tell our kids God is important – but then miss His house/ church when it is not convenient or it’s a nice day for the outdoors?
  • We believe relationship with God is important – but does our time reflect that?
  • Do our disciplines line up with our goals?
  • Do our actions line up with our calling and purpose?
  • Do our commitments line up with our destiny?

 Too many people say ‘one day when…’ No!

Live it NOW or you will never get to when.

We must take action to get unity in our:

  • Lives
  • Thoughts
  • Commitments
  • Disciplines
  • Attitudes
  • Actions

ALL THESE MUST BE UNIFIED AND CENTRED ON JESUS CHRIST and THE WORD OF GOD!

If we don’t, then the years roll on and we wonder why we never find the good and pleasant flow of God’s best for our lives.

What areas of our lives need to re-align with God’s purpose and Word so we can live in UNITY going on in our lives?

Like the book of James says, unless we get our whole life pointed the same way we become unstable.

2. WE NEED UNITY CORPORATELY

This is where again the principal of UNITY is so powerful!

Where people understand corporate unity, and churches have everyone unified, there GOD commands a blessing when the people are in unity together!

The Psalm talks of the anointing oil flowing.

  • Churches where there is unity of heart, culture, vision – there is a powerful anointing!
  • Sense of God, an excitement, miracles.

That is literally why someone can come into a church and leave without any experience of God, life, presence of God and say its ‘unfriendly’.

  • Really they just haven’t tapped into the anointing present because they have refused to bring their spirit or life into unity with what God is doing there.
  • They can even like things, but if there isn’t a commitment of unity there will be emptiness to their connection with Gods people.

As we read the scriptures, whenever God’s people were unified it opened the doors for God’s hand to move in a generation.

  • After Egypt when God allowed the faithless generation to pass in the wilderness, then they had a unified people of faith and they possessed the promised land.
  • When Jonathon was able to bring breakthrough to the Israelites and the army joined in and those who previously had been afraid were unified, they defeated an unbeatable host of Philistines.
  • When the twelve tribes were all unified under David and Solomon they were the most prosperous years of Israel’s history – since their division, they have never again achieved such greatness.

Even in the negative we see the power in the story of the Tower of Babel.

 Genesis 11:5-6 (NIV)

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

Imagine what is possible if the Church can work together in unity.

Kerrin wants to encourage every person here that if we can get together with heart, mind, spirit and work together in UNITY, then:

  • God will command – BLESSING.
  • Nothing will be impossible.
  • There will be a goodness and pleasantness to all we do.
  • It will release a powerful anointing of God.
  • We will be ABLE to STAND UP AS THE CHURCH WE SHOULD BE and reflect JESUS to the WORLD like never before.

With our Miracle Offering Coming – THE POWER OF UNITY and MIRACLE GIVING TOGETHER IS INCREDIBLE!

The understanding for us as a Church is the power of our unity in our giving at this time.

In 2018/19, we were blown away by what we could do together!

  • We paid out our debt after many years.
  • We put together plans and got those through council.
  • We had the money in the account allowing us to get our loan for the future. 

INCREDIBLY – it was literally what we were able to do when we all worked together in giving and sacrifice, that meant we could step into our future and:

  • Reach More People.
  • Raise Champions – the generation of leaders.
  • Build for the future.
  • Unlock Generosity in people’s lives.
  • Reflect God to our community.

BENDIGO and BEYOND needs the church to stand up unified into ALL GOD HAS like never before! Let’s do something magnificent together!

3. WE NEED UNITY AS A COMMITMENT

If Unity were easy:

  • Every Marriage would be bliss.
  • Every church filled to overflowing.
  • Every person – healthy and propelled into their destiny.
  • Every political party would be unbelievably successful and deliver even more than they ever promise.

But obviously not ALL of those things seem to be happening 100% of the time, so why is that? Unity requires effort and commitment!

Eph 4:1-4 (NIV)

4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit.

MAKE EVERY EFFORT to get these unified:

  • In our lives – it takes effort!
  • In our marriages – make every effort!
  • In our workplaces!
  • With our Kids!
  • Here at CHURCH!
  • In our Connect Groups!

Too many people:

  • Make every excuse.
  • Make every accusation.
  • Make every issue so big.
  • Make every assumption in the negative.
  • Make every problem their focus.
  • Make everyone aware of THEIR POSITION and OPINION.

THE BIBLE SAYS TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO KEEP THE UNITY!

In Psalm 133 it says to remain (dwell) in unitedness (together in unity) on a journey.

“Together in unity” is one Hebrew word and literally means – all together,           unitedness.

Unity requires some serious effort and:

  • Refusing to envy or boast.
  • Does not allow being proud (in the wrong way), self seeking or easily angered.
  • Forgives – keeps no record of wrongs.
  • Rejoices in truth.
  • Always protects, trusts, hopes for the best in people and perseveres.

This sounds a bit like 1 Corinthians 13.

Let me explain the other option, without UNITY life is not good or pleasant – it seems easy BUT it’s:

  • Isolated and lonely – often struggle for deep, lasting relationship.
  • People have constant change (can’t agree in a one place enough to get the good, pleasant or blessing)
  • Unfruitful – notice that it seems some people can never get ahead and can’t get over the mountains.
  • Ungracious – usually why they cannot get along.
  • Religiosity – more interested in their opinions and rules than people finding freedom in Jesus.
  • Spectating – always watching others and commenting, but can never be a part of something because they cannot get unified to do so.
  • Our Miracle Offering is coming up – we can be spectators or part of what God is doing together here at Connect Church.
  • Hard – nothing is smooth or seamless – it’s always a struggle and fight. No oil of unity flowing in your life.

When we are able to get past:

  • Small thinking.
  • Negativity and Cynicism.
  • Fear and Insecurity.

We can get the OIL of UNITY and it make a difference in the pleasantness and goodness of life.

BUT IT TAKES EFFORT!  MAKE EVERY EFFORT!

Refuse to allow ‘STUFF’ to get in the way of UNITY – because the cost is too high. Learn to trust and deal with problems.

4. WE NEED UNITY ON THE JOURNEY!

Psalm 133 is one of a group of Psalms that were written as part of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem (road trip) for the three great feasts of God’s People!

These start at Psalm 120 and go to Psalm 134. It’s all about the journey!

David penned them as part of the journey, which is fascinating, because his call to unity isn’t just to ‘sit around and enjoy one another’s company’!!! It is literally God people moving together to a destination to worship and serve God!

WOW! That is powerful!

God wants us joined together in unity, not so we can sit around and sing KUMBYAH. But so we can press together into the UPWARD call of JESUS CHRIST!

He has a destination for us!

  • THERE IS A REASON and DIVINE PURPOSE for us to journey together in UNITY!
  • There are things for us to be unified around, to possess and unite around and to work toward!

Jesus put it like this:

Matt 16:18 (NIV)

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Matt 28:18-20 (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That is why we will do a Miracle Offering every year! Because we will continue to work together for the reason of ADVANCING GOD’S KINGDOM TOGETHER!

  • There will always be something to stretch to, work together for and journey toward! Plunder Hell and populate Heaven.
  • Church is not just ‘a Christian community’.
  • It’s those that Jesus has set free, joining together to share that hope with as many people as possible! To help people become part of God’s family.

Let’s make a decision to:

  • Pray together.
  • Work together.
  • Praise and declare God’s goodness together.
  • Reach out to win the lost together.
  • Give together.

LET’S MAKE EVERY EFFORT – to be unified in heart, spirit and vision!

Genesis 11:5-6 (NIV)

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

September 15th will be Celebration Sunday.

If we can get united, we will be unstoppable in the Kingdom of God!

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss the difference between everyone doing the same thing and everyone going the same way.
  2. Do you agree with the statement – without the unity we become unstable? What does this mean to you?
  3. How do you get God’s best for your lives?
  4. Can you imagine what is possible if we can work together in unity?

Unity, Purity, Wonder Pt 1 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [01/09/2019 AM]2019-09-02T17:08:13+10:00

Crazy Claims – Ps Dave Doolan [25/08/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Crazy Claims – Ps Dave Doolan [25/08/2019 PM]2019-08-27T07:25:58+10:00

The Lost Art Of Wrestling – Ps Bruce Claridge [25/08/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

Genesis 32:24-30 (NIV)

24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

Ephesians 6: 12 (NIV)

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

  • Wrestling is a sweaty, strange, claustrophobic sport. Wrestling programs are pretty popular in some US Colleges, but haven’t taken off here.
  • From the biblical account of Jacob’s wrestle with God it seems like it is a Kingdom essential when coming to grips with God’s hold on your life and his desire to bless you. Wrestling that brings you closer to God will have you moving into a new season in your life.
  • Jacob said I will not let you go until you bless me.
  • One of the current challenges of the Church is some influential generational leaders coming to a crisis of faith. They doubt not only the perplexing issues of our faith, but the very foundations.
  • Much of this confusion of truth has come about because they not only refuse to wrestle with the controversial, but they don’t have the tools or equipment to wrestle their way through the challenges which all of us face at some time.
  • Jacob had to wrestle with God to own his own faith, to personally hold onto God. Often, people refuse to wrestle through their faith.

In a previous chapter Jacob says:

Genesis 31:42 (NIV)

“If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed’.

There is a common thread throughout these passages: God is the God of Abraham. God is the God of Isaac. But, it does not say that God is the God of Israel (Jacob) until after Jacob wrestled with God. 

You see, until Jacob had a divine wrestling match with God, until he had a very personal struggle with God, his faith was not cemented. It was not his own. Yes, he knew of his father Isaac’s faith. He had most definitely heard the stories of his grandfather Abraham’s faith. But, he was only living his faith vicariously through their faith, ministry, Pastor, service, programs that he was in; it had not been solidified in his life.

In the end, Jacob does what we all must do. He confronts his failures, his weaknesses, his sins, all the things that are hurting him, and faces God. Jacob wrestled with God all night. It was an exhausting struggle that left him crippled. It was only after he came to grips with God and ceased his struggling, realizing that he could not go on in his own struggle without Him, that he received God’s blessing.

Genesis 32:29 (NIV)

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

Bruce encouraged us to know that, like Jacob, you can hang onto God and not let go.

What we learn from this remarkable incident in the life of Jacob is that our lives are never meant to be easy, abundant yes, victorious yes, joy filled yes but easy no. This is especially true when we take it upon ourselves to wrestle with God and His will for our lives. We also learn that as Christians, despite our trials and tribulations, our strivings in this life are never devoid of God’s presence, and His blessing inevitably follows the struggle, which can sometimes be messy and chaotic. You can’t wrestle unless you are in close contact. Real growth experiences always involve struggle and pain. 

Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

  • As Bruce looks around our Church family he sees a bunch of “great wrestlers”. He knows some of your “wrestling stories”, but of course not all. Cancer, depression, anxiety, financial troubles, but you are still here. We have to keep on wrestling.
  • Bruce knows however that your walk with God, like his, has been tested and it hasn’t been all “beer and skittles”.
  • ‘Beer and Skittles’ is a great term, unknown to Bruce’s Bible College student’s generation.
  • The proverb is from around 1855 which states that “This Life is not all Beer and Skittles”. The statement was made originally popular by Charles Dickens in 1837 in his book “Pickwick Papers” and it denotes a person drinking beer and playing the game of Skittles in a British Pub after a very long and hard day’s work.
  • The reason the enemy often has it easy when attacking the Church is that many believers who have never wrestled with God are easy targets. Many are devoid of deep conviction and drift from one Christian experience to another aimlessly consuming all they can on the way.
  • They blame the devil, others, even fate and circumstances, ignoring the fact that God is in control even when bad things happen. You need to wrestle through with God to find the blessing. Hang in there.

Pastor Steve Penny calls it the “Silence of The Lambs” or the “Dumah effect”.

Isaiah 21:11 (NIV)

11 A prophecy against Dumah: Someone calls to me from Seir,  “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?”

  • Dumah is a son of Ishmael- part Faith and part Flesh. His name means deadly silence.
  • A Hebrew proverb was made using Dumah and two of his brothers.

It was: “Hear Much-Say Little-Bear Much”

Steve says sadly today the Church has adopted the wisdom of Dumah.

  1. See and Hear Much – modern technology with its instant news fake or real has produced a generation of world smart fools! We have worldly knowledge, but are lacking in Kingdom wisdom. Facebook instead of His Book.
  2. Say Little to Upset Others – the three great words of the contemporary Church are kindness-tolerance-patience. They sound so nice, but are producing a generation of conviction-less insipid Christians. Preference over conviction.
  3. Bear Much – to remain silent and allow sin to dominate our world is to allow death to reign in our cities. “Sin is our lot in life”, “what can I do”, is our cry.

This is the “Dumah Effect”.

  • This is the problem of the silence of God’s lambs – His Church – us!
  • The Dumah effect causes blame shifting, expecting others to act, operating out of our flesh and not our spirit – the “she’ll be right mate” cop out.
  • We need to wrestle through these circumstances. The key is holding on to God.
  • Blame is part of our natural DNA, not our spiritual DNA
  • But conversely, wrestling has us holding onto God.
  • Excellence honours God and inspires other people.
  • In the wrestling we are humbled to the point of total reliance on God, limping rather than freely running. He can then trust us with HIS strength and HIS blessing.
    Failure is when we give in to all the stuff that goes on in our lives and temptations by loosening our grip on God. We are no longer relying on ourselves.
  • Success is when we cling to Him with all our strength and perseverance until He commands His blessing on us as Jacob found. Keep on wrestling.

James 1: 2-4 (NIV)

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.

  • Sometimes when we want God’s comfort, He sends it in unexpected and even unwanted packages.
  • What is the “unwanted package” that we are wrestling with?
  • Whatever it is, keep on Wrestling. Keep hanging on.
  • When God calls us to wrestle with Him, there’s always more going on than we first understand and God always uses it to transform us for good.
  • We look through the keyhole (we can only see through the keyhole) into the room where the action is taking place and see only a part of the story while God sees the whole thing -the whole room, house, city, country and planet from His heavenly perspective and purpose which is unrestricted by time.
  • The Big Picture is always good. There is a much bigger picture that we can’t see!

Romans 8:28 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

  • So KEEP WRESTLING! Do not let go until God blesses you.

The 3 dimensions of this tenacious wrestling.

1. Wrestling in the Heavens

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

  • When we wrestle in prayer stay with Him, don’t give up. Do not let Him go until He blesses you. He loves to bless that tenacious faith and transform you in the process.
  • Some things Jan and Bruce are wrestling for in prayer through petitions, declarations, praise, thanksgiving and repetition are in their 10th year of the wrestle…..but w are not letting go…The blessing is on the way. God said In the morning I will bless you. Do warfare until there is a breakthrough.

2. Wrestling in Relationships

  • Wrestling to maintain unity- Local Church, New Levels, New Devils…. New ways to irritate one another, to upset unintentionally, to be frustrated……new facilities, new challenges, a new stake in the ground all demand greater wrestling to maintain strong relationships.
  • Wrestling to maintain friendships and wrestling against our own selfish personal agendas to make new ones. Talk to people, not about them. Matthew 18 (NIV) 

3. Wrestling when contradictions seem to plague your faith

Hebrews 11 (NIV) – the heroes of faith.

Deut. 29:29 (NIV) 

29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

 God promises He will bless us. Keep on wrestling.

  • Wrestle your way forward when confusion creeps in, serve when no one appreciates it, trust when the inexplicable anomalies of the Christian Faith are thrown at you. Don’t ask why, but ask what? Keep your grip on God.
  • g. Cancer, premature deaths, betrayal, Christians acting more like heathens than heathens themselves!
  • Wrestle it though with God. Work out relationships.
  • The front of this building today is a wrestling mat.
  • It is a place to put your total reliance on not letting go of God.
  • It is a place to declare “Not until you bless me”.
  • It is a place to hold onto God when confusion still reigns in your understanding.
  • It is place of full surrender.
  • Make a commitment to “stay in the fight” until victory is secured this side of heaven or in eternity’s certainty.
  • Commit to the fact that you will keep on wrestling.
  • Pray it through.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think wrestling with God is a Kingdom essential when coming to grips with God’s hold on your life and his desire to bless you?
  2. Do you agree with the statement that says: When God calls us to wrestle with Him, there’s always more going on than we first understand and God always uses it to transform us for good?
  3. Do you wrestle in prayer with God and don’t give up?
  4. Can you not let Him go until He blesses you?

The Lost Art Of Wrestling – Ps Bruce Claridge [25/08/2019 AM]2019-08-27T07:33:49+10:00

How To Make The Devil Mad – Ps Kerrin Wallis [18/08/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

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How To Make The Devil Mad – Ps Kerrin Wallis [18/08/2019 PM]2019-08-20T12:34:22+10:00

In Captivity But Not Captive Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [18/08/2019 AM]

The story of Daniel

Episode Notes

We are looking at the story of Daniel in the Bible.

Daniel is a powerful man of God in the Bible!

  • He is highly influential in the lives and ruling of four separate kings.
  • He sees the miracle power of God.
  • He has spiritual gifts flowing and operating in his life and calling.
  • He works a ‘secular job’ in a secular kingdom and is highly successful.
  • He is a man of prayer.
  • He is a man with no recorded mistakes.
  • Daniel is exceptional and he does this all while being captive in a foreign land! He spends his life captive to violent and ungodly regimes in a land far from his own, but he flourishes and lives out a powerful influential life for God.

John 17:13-18 (NIV)

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

We are in the world, but not of the world.

  • Jesus’ instruction is that we are not ‘exhumed’ or ‘exempt from the world and its problems’, but rather called to be Jesus representatives in the midst of it all’. We want out, but Jesus puts us in.
  • We need to decide to ask what, not why. It is a temptation of the human soul to ask why, but we rarely get the answer.
  • Too many people run away from God asking why, instead of running to Him asking what.

One of the first things the captivity of this world wants to do is change our names!

  • Choose to live by what God says about you!
  • Choose to live free in Jesus Christ – despite the captivity and brokenness of this world.
  • Resolve to give God your best and don’t defile yourselves.

Daniel 1:8

8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

  • This means taking responsibility for our lives, despite the circumstances and irrespective of other people’s opinions or actions, also beyond our feelings, or past. Other people and circumstances can’t defile us, only we can!
  • Daniel lived in the favour of God.

Daniel 1:9-20 (NIV)

9 Now God had caused the official to show favour and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Kerrin said vegan was cool before it was cool!

Living in favour doesn’t mean we won’t be tested, but rather we will be tested.

  • The devil doesn’t mind when you live in captivity – he will leave you alone, but when you stand up and start to believe and live in favour, he gets mad. Favour equals testing because we are doing something!
  • Choosing to live in God’s favour doesn’t always look like the way those around us live. It often involves what others would see as crazy sacrifice – but it leads you to God’s favour and purpose.
  • Never shy away from commitment and sacrifice that others are unwilling to make
  • Don’t let other’s mediocrity reduce your passion, commitment or service to God.

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

Right from the start, although he was in captivity, Daniel had the favour of God!

  • When we look at this it helps us understand that external, earthly circumstances do not ‘limit or stop’ the favour of God.

David in the Psalms says:

Psalm 23:5-6

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me    all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

  • The enemies haven’t left, David is in the presence of the enemies, but the table is still there, prepared by God and His goodness and love follow us.
  • This is not the description of some poverty mentality, struggling another day, just enough, God’s angry kind of God.
  • The opening passage describes Daniel as being ‘unequalled’ in skills and 10 times better than those around him – that is favour!
  • Daniel’s choices to follow God at all costs and then his refusal to defile himself or give God second best and taking personal responsibility meant God could bless and favour him. It wasn’t just with the ‘perfect’ or ‘right’ circumstances – but despite circumstances.

Some people seem to live in the:

  • Trial of God – life is hard and difficult – just ask them, they will tell you!
  • Judgment of God – always looking at their faults and failings
  • The wrath of God – always worried and timid before God
  • The brokenness of God – their favourite verse is blessed are those who mourn.
  • Don’t camp there, God is the King, be confident because He is your God.

Daniel flourished knowing there are realities of the above, but chooses to focus on, and to live in the favour of God!

Genesis 26:1-3, 12-16 (NIV)

26 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you.

It is about obedience first.

12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same (the LAND of famine at the TIME of famine) year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.

16 Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”

  • Notice the King said ‘powerful’ not ‘rich’ because it’s never about money but influence!
  • Even in the midst of a famine there is further physical resistance and circumstances stacked against Isaac, but they cannot stop God’s blessing.

He is in a land of famine yet two amazing things happen!

1. He sows

  • You don’t sow when there is no rain – that doesn’t make sense!
  • But sometimes things don’t make sense until you understand something you can’t see at the time.
  • Isaac seems crazy when you look at the natural, for example sowing in a famine – but Isaac’s sowing was according to God’s Word and promise, not what he could see.
  • Everyone thought he was crazy, but they didn’t hear God on the Bluetooth in his prayer time! He had information they didn’t see.
  • His sowing makes sense when we consider what we can’t see.

This talks of the miracle power of sowing in obedience to God.

Giving of obedience in:

  • Relationships – you respond in obedience and forgive.
  • There might be a famine of their love and grace – but we need to sow anyway. Love overcomes hate.
  • Finances – giving to God shouldn’t be determined simply by whether we have plenty of excess or not. It’s about what God says to give.
  • Praise and Worship – there could be a famine of fun times around us, but we sow worship and praise.
  • Prayer – we might not be seeing what we want happening, but keep sowing in prayer according to God’s promises, not what we see or don’t see.

Purpose what God has asked you to do with your lives and then sow into it!

  • There might be a famine of opportunity in front of you regarding what you feel is your divine purpose, but never let it stop you sowing!
  • You may feel called to be a person of influence, but you are stuck somewhere far from it. Sow into your life in reading, prayer, study, people skills and you will reap a harvest.
  • You may feel called to be a preacher, but have no stage – sow into it. Press into God, study the word and preach in front of your mirror! Get some anointing on your life.
  • You may be called to be a leader, but no opportunity seems near. Sow into making leadership decisions in your own life, live by convictions, lead wherever you find yourself.
  • Are you called to run a business, but it doesn’t seem possible, sow into it. Study business management.
  • Do you feel called to be a husband or wife, but there is no one in sight – don’t get sorry – get busy being the becoming the best spouse you can be so when the promise comes you are prepared and ready! Become the best you can be.
  • Sow because you choose to live in favour, not famine! People who life in famine don’t sow!

The other part that doesn’t make sense is:

2. He reaped in a famine

  • 100 times more than he sowed in famine.
  • Despite famine around him, Isaac lived in favour and blessing!
  • God’s hand on our lives is not determined by our externals, but by what we allow to be happening in our spirit! It’s not about what’s happening to you, you can choose how to pray and believe for favour.

We see this in Daniel’s life!

Chapter 2

  • The King (external of Daniel) has a bad dream and demands people do the impossible – tell him the dream and what it means.
  • No one can do it (again totally external of Daniel, he doesn’t even know about it yet).
  • A guy rocks up at his house and says:
  • “Good morning, just so you know, you are ordered to be put to death. Have a nice day!”
  • Daniel jumps on his IPAD and confirms it with APPLE NEWS – all wise people are to be put to death.

Then Daniel:

  • Looses the plot and blames God for stupid captivity and even worse, giving him the gift of being wise which is now the reason he will be executed.
  • What sort of sick, stupid God would make this happen and so he regrets and moans about all the sacrifices he has made for God and goes on every social media feed he can and bleeds on why God can’t be real, or the church is a farce.
  • Turns to Facebook and checks Google about a new theology to fit his evolving melancholy experience.
  • Tries to work harder to make it happen.

He doesn’t do any of these natural responses!

  • He goes to prayer, and we would do well to listen to his prayer!

Daniel 2:20-23

Then Daniel praised the God of Heaven 20 and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. 23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Can I encourage all of us with this prayer?

  • Changing our prayers often times is the first step to changing our circumstance!
  • Many pray the wrong prayer.

We need to pray prayers filled with:

  • Acknowledging God’s plan and wisdom despite the current lack of comfort.
  • Trusting God despite the captivity.
  • Having faith that what God has shown him in prayer will unlock the future for him and others.
  • The kind of prayer that moves mountains. It changes lives.

If we want to live in favour we must make a faith decision that we will be a reaper!

Let’s face every day:

  • Looking for a promise.
  • Believing for breakthrough.
  • Scanning for good and blessing, great reports and praiseworthy.
  • Focusing on your future and favour – not the past.
  • Choosing praise and worship – rather than doubt or cynicism.
  • Deciding to thank God and prophecy joy rather than dwell on brokenness.

The steps that we have seen so far are important in their order for a reason.

Here we see that when we choose to put:

  • God first. Demonstrate a total surrender to God.
  • Give Him our best.
  • Put His purposes and instruction above our own wants or comfort or plans.
  • Then He is able to bless and give favour outside of circumstances!
  • These steps are in order because without the choices of putting God first and giving Him our best – blessing and favour leads to pride or distraction.
  • You need to surrender to God before He will trust you.

Daniel’s decisions, his words, his actions, his fruit and his prayers all point to the fact that he may have been in captivity, but he lived in favour and expected it!

Kerrin encouraged every person not to:

  • Live in the past – live in favour for the future.
  • Don’t live in mistakes – live in favour of grace.
  • Don’t live in negativity – live believing for God’s goodness and favour.
  • Don’t live in lack or poverty mentality – believe to reap 100 times more in a famine.
  • Don’t live with fear of ‘what if God doesn’t’ but live with confidence, favour and trust that God will.
  • God will only give favour when surrender comes first.
  • Wake up, pray for, believe for and look for favour, goodness and mercy.
  • Look for all the things that show you are God’s favourite!

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Favour equals testing because we are doing something! What do you think this means?
  2. Can you choose to focus on, and to live in the favour of God?
  3. Changing our prayers can often be the first step to changing our circumstances! Discuss how this can happen.

In Captivity But Not Captive Pt 3 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [18/08/2019 AM]2019-08-19T19:27:07+10:00

Fully Engaged With God – Josh Battersby [11/08/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

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Fully Engaged With God – Josh Battersby [11/08/2019 PM]2019-08-15T08:44:44+10:00

In Captivity But Not Captive Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [11/08/2019 AM]

The story of Daniel

Episode Notes

Kerrin wanted to give opportunity for people to respond and have prayer because he felt so stirred by the Holy Spirit that this is part of some people unlocking God’s hand on their lives.

  • There are people here today and you have been thinking what is it?
  • Why does it seem like I just can’t make ground in my life?
  • Kerrin believed that for some the understanding and therefore response of today is key.

Recapping on last week

  • Daniel is a powerful man of God in the Bible!
  • He is highly influential in the ruling of four separate kings.
  • He sees the miracle power of God.
  • He sees spiritual gifts flowing and operating in his life and calling.
  • He works a ‘secular job’ in a secular kingdom and is highly successful.
  • He is a man of prayer.
  • He is a man with no recorded mistakes.
  • Daniel is exceptional, yet he does this all while being a captive in a foreign land!
  • Daniel spends his life captive to violent and ungodly regime in a land far from his own, yet he flourishes and lives out a powerful influential life for God.
  • We seem to be surrounded by a material and physical earth filled with brokenness and the effects of sin, death and evil – yet we as Christians no longer live captive to that same bondage.

John 14:13-18 (NIV)

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

(God’s plan is not just hanging on or surviving till we get to Heaven)

14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

  • We are in the world but not of the world! We don’t have to live under others broken world.
  • This is where the story of Daniel starts!

Daniel 1:1-2 (NIV)

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

  • Ask what, not why? Decide to ask what?
  • It is a temptation of the human soul to ask why, but we rarely if ever get the answer.
  • Too many people run away from God asking why instead of running to Him asking what? What are you saying?
  • Refuse to change your name and don’t give in to defeat.
  • One of the first things the captivity of this world wants to do is change our names!
  • For every person here today, there will be some kind of name or label that this world and its captivity will want to put on you.

However:

  • Choose to live by what God says about you!
  • Choose to live by faith rather than your circumstance
  • Choose to live free in Jesus Christ – despite the captivity and brokenness of this world.

1. Resolve to give God your best and don’t defile.

Daniel 1:8 (NIV)

8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

This verse follows straight after v7 where they intend on changing Daniel’s name.

  • Not only does he refuse this and stays with what God says about him, but Daniel refuses and resolves not to defile himself.
  • Daniel resolved to give God his best.
  • If the devil can’t change our name and get us subject to his attempts at defeat, he will try to defile us.
  • The devil has many tricks of the trade when it comes to this:
  • In Daniel’s case it was with things that would water down his faith and holiness.
  • The foods and customs that in his God given country and people would have been considered unholy.
  • What is meant by God with this idea of ‘defiling’. What did Daniel refuse exactly?
  • There are only a few references to this word in the Old Testament and a key one is found in:

Malachi 1:6 (NIV)

6 “A son honours his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

(This is speaking to the believers, not just unbelievers or sinners, but those who should know)

“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ 7 “By offering defiled food on my altar.

“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. 8 When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

9 “Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. 11 My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

12 “But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.

  • God is clear here in the most challenging of terms. This is a confronting passage.
  • God is not saying that we are out committing gross sin or hideous immorality. that would be too easy for us to recognise as a plot of the devil.
  • The devil has already tried intimidation, failures and changing your name.
  • He is not standing with a neon sign and a pitch fork.
    • Too often we think the devil walks around with a red suit, horns and a huge pitch fork saying – come and sin!
    • Like signs on the highway saying police radar ahead.
  • Instead, he simply tempts us not to offer God our best!
  • To defile means not giving God our best!
  • God will not take second place in our lives and if we think that is ok, the devil has won in convincing us to defile ourselves.
  • God has already given us His all!
  • He gave his best!
  • He didn’t send an angel or just a good guy.
  • He sent His only Son Jesus.
  • God expects our best in return.
  • We see this in the Old Testament:
  • Abraham the hero of faith
  • The hero of faith was not tested by God to give his best property, but his only son!

David in:

1 Chronicles 21:24

24 Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”

In the New Testament:

  • Jesus asks the rich young ruler to sell everything and give to the poor – not just a tenth.
  • The young man left feeling sad.
  • Nothing compares to life in Jesus Christ.
  • God doesn’t take second best.

What things in our life are we surrounded by that are tempting us to defile us?

  • In our devotion to God and His ways – do we give our best?
  • Does business convince us we don’t have time?
  • Does TV, social media or just not thinking, cause us to not bother?
  • In our commitment to His service – do we give our best?
  • Do we serve our boss better than we serve God? Do we serve our mates opinions better than we serve God?
  • In our worship – do we give our best?
  • He will only take first place.
  • People say they are just not the kind of person to get passionate in worship.
  • YET at a football game they shout and yell – maybe we just don’t care about God… or have let lukewarm Christians talk and ‘defile us’.
  • In our giving financially do we give our best?
    • If we think we can live with God’s blessing and not tithe – we have been tricked into defiling ourselves and giving our scraps. This is the exact meaning of Malachi.
  • In our speech – does God get our best, or leftovers?
  • In our time – does God get our best, or leftovers?
  • How much of what we do goes to serving God’s kingdom, or our kingdom?
  • In what we put into our mind – watch, listen to, read.
    • How much honours God vs leftovers?
    • How does God’s input weigh with other inputs?

This seems a little intense Church, but this is a reality that God takes seriously and sadly much of the time believers live captive, it’s because they do not take it seriously.

We cannot live outside of God’s kingdom in a whole bunch of areas and then expect His freedom that is for within His kingdom.

  • Daniel’s temptation was to lower his standard of best.
  • This is where Daniel is such a brilliant example, because he was in a foreign nation.

Have you visited other nations and found life is different?

In Fiji Kerrin lived on rice and sauce.

  • Not because he was Godly, but he didn’t trust village food.
  • Rice and sauce is not good for your system after a week.

In Poland Kerrin got lost.

  • Couldn’t read the street signs, they were in POLISH!

For Daniel, being Captive in Babylon meant two things!

#1 – He did not have the freedom in life he wanted. Things were not in his plan.

  • Anyone feel like there are things in your world you don’t ‘have control of’?
  • The weight of a mortgage or financial decision.
  • A marriage that needs more effort than we thought when we were starry eyed and no responsibilities.
  • A job that frustrates us.
  • Taken a risk.
  • A habit or struggle we just don’t seem to be able to click our fingers and have God take it away.

#2 – Daniel had no restraints of God – no one to tell him what to do.

  • No-one was compelling or forcing Daniel to take God seriously.
  • He was choosing to because of his personal love and commitment to God.
    • He wasn’t forced to pray.
    • No-one was pressuring him to prioritise God.
    • He actually had peer pressure to abandon his commitments to God, yet he resolved not to.
  • In most of these things or areas, no one will know or is telling us what to do, it’s between us and God – but He knows!
  • Serving God is about revelation of His Word.

Daniel 1:8 (NIV)

8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

Kerrin loves the words ‘Daniel resolved’! There is power in that because it was his:

  • Personal choice.
  • Not the easy road.
  • Required commitment.

Daniel accepted responsibility in all this. It doesn’t say:

  • “Daniel wouldn’t let the king defile him”.
  • “Daniel wouldn’t let the circumstances defile him”.
  • Daniel didn’t defile.

Other people and circumstances can’t defile us, only we can! It is our choice.

  • Someone can hurt us – but only we can defile ourselves with offence!
  • Circumstances can be financially tough – but we defile ourselves by putting God’s tithe down the priority list.
  • Life may not pan out like we wanted – but only we can choose to get angry with God, give up on Him, get cynical about church and faith.
  • The guys or girls at work can surround us with topics and language that is dirty and ungodly – but we have the choice to join in or not.
  • Life and feelings can make us feel like not worshipping Jesus – but only we defile ourselves and choose not to praise and worship.
  • You have a personal decision to choose not to defile.
  • Too many people blame everything and everyone else instead of taking responsibility to choose not to defile themselves.
  • We make choices. We choose to focus on God. We need to choose daily.

Ever had a cut or wound that got infected?

Kerrin’s friend Craig B got a stick in his foot when they were fishing down at the creek. The doctor who treated him didn’t clean the wound properly and Craig ended up really ill with infection. It could have killed him.

Our lives are a bit like this:

  • This world might give us a cut now and then, but if we don’t clean the rubbish out it will poison us.
  • It is our responsibility to ask God to clean it out and not to let it get infected.
  • Don’t let the poison become invisible.
  • Don’t put God second place in your life. Put Him first.
  • Show people He is number one in your life.
  • Don’t be tempted to lower your standards.
  • Don’t be a lukewarm Church.
  • Don’t lower the bar.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Can you resolve to give God your best?
  2. Do we give God our best in all our lives?
  3. Do you know who people blame everything and everyone else instead of taking responsibility for their own actions?
  4. Do you choose not to defile yourself?
  5. Discuss the consequences of not making the right choices.

In Captivity But Not Captive Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [11/08/2019 AM]2019-08-12T12:19:25+10:00

Check Your Headlights – Ps Dave Doolan [04/08/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

Sorry, we do not have any notes from this message.

Check Your Headlights – Ps Dave Doolan [04/08/2019 PM]2019-08-09T13:23:36+10:00

In Captivity But Not Captive – Ps Kerrin Wallis [04/08/2019 AM]

The story of Daniel

Episode Notes

Kerrin looked at what he would consider one of the most evident and challenging of concepts that we wrestle with as Christians.

He believes that the next few weeks will help us make sense of things and help us  know how to respond to life’s challenges in faith and according to God’s Word.

Kerrin was reading the book of Daniel earlier this year and noticed something!

  • Daniel is a powerful man of God in the Bible. He is a hero.
  • He is highly influential in the ruling of four separate kings.
  • He sees the miracle power of God.
  • He has spiritual gifts flowing and operating in his life and calling.
  • He works a ‘secular job’ in a secular kingdom and is highly successful.
  • He is a man of great prayer.
  • He is a man with no recorded mistakes.

Daniel is exceptional!

He does this all while being a captive in a foreign land!

Daniel spends all of his life that we read about in scripture, captive to violent and ungodly regimes in a land far from his own, yet, despite that:

He flourishes and lives out a powerful influential life for God.

Perhaps you have noticed that not everything is perfect.

  • Life isn’t always fair
  • Why does healthy food taste so terrible?
  • Why is it that we don’t realise how awesome it is being a kid and teen until we aren’t’? Many of us spent our youth wanting to be older and our older years trying to be a youth again. It feels unfair.
  • Bad things sometimes happen to good people and good things sometimes happen to bad people.
  • It was reported that a man threw an Ooshie at a bird pooing on his car – only to find out later that particular Ooshie was worth thousands of dollars. Possibly someone doing the wrong thing will pick that up and cash in.
  • We face things we don’t want to. Life isn’t fair.
  • We have situations arise that bring challenge, loss, grief, levels of brokenness, all sorts of stuff that none of us want.

We all know that there is a very real sense in which many of these things are serious and present huge challenges in life.

It would seem that we live in a broken world. Funny, that is exactly what the Bible talks about in Genesis. The world was created perfect, but sin broke it.

We then keep reading the Bible and have all these promises and things like healing and blessing that seem to be for us, yet sometimes it seems they are far away.

This is where the story of Daniel starts!

Daniel 1:1-2 (NIV)

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

Daniel is a Jew, one of Gods people and around 598 BC is taken captive by the Babylonians from Jerusalem, his native town.

  • This would not have been a nice time:
    • Babylonians were contemporaries of the Assyrians and at a time where captivity and war meant a certain level of brutality.
    • It involved – mass killing of innocents, women and children.
  • For example:
    • It is documented that they at one defeat hung the heads of those killed throughout trees in a defeated city.
    • Often times those captured were impaled and flayed alive to have their skin hung or used for display, as a warning to others.
  • Likely Daniel had lost and seen brutally murdered family and friends.
  • They had been stripped of everything they owned.
  • Daniel was now property, like beasts or furniture.
  • They were in the natural, totally at the mercy of a brutal and Godless dictator and his armies.

To just read this in a verse does not help us understand the reality Daniel was living in.

But Daniel’s reality reflects ours in that we live in a world that is captive to sin and that sin all around us constantly wars with us and also wars with God’s plans for us! We feel powerless.

We know that in eternity this is all sorted out and we become eternally set free and changed into God’s likeness, living in a place of God’s plan and purpose! We should read Revelations 21.

What about the gap between today and eternity (or death)? Some of the things people face/deal with/walk through are hard to even describe let alone understand.

Is there a way then that God’s promises/kingdom/plan/words etc… have an effect on this life, or is it all about eternity? Should we struggle and strive?

Kerrin realised that we live our lives often times with levels of captivity and circumstances outside of our control. Yet we are called to not live captive to them.

Have you ever been in the shops, but not actually shopping? There may be a time in life where the terrible affliction of being in a shopping centre is forced upon you! Kerrin thinks shopping centres are dark and horrible.

We know this is separate to God’s plan for our lives, because even Jesus refused to do the shopping – he sent the disciples! See John 4.

  • Kerrin is now walking around the shops, perhaps even going in and out of some, yet he is definitely not shopping or participating!
  • It may be ALL around him, others might be doing it, but it doesn’t mean he has to!

Jesus put it like this…

John 14:13-18 (NIV)

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

We are in the world, but not of the world

So let’s look at Daniel’s life and see what God can teach us, reveal to us, that can help us to live in this world that is captive to sin and brokenness, but we don’t have to be captive to it.

Let’s not so much to look at the WHY behind this:

  • because we hear so many different theories, theologies and ideas around it and have found they have a level of useful but it’s not very comprehensive.
  • You talk to a person who has just lost a loved one about the discouse of good and evil – doesn’t help!

Let’s look at our response! The first lesson to learn from Daniel is that there is no point in asking why.

1. Ask what, not why.

Daniel doesn’t spend the next four chapters asking:

  • Why everything went wrong?
  • Why Him?
  • Why his generation?
  • Why did he live and others die?
  • What if it didn’t happen?

It is a temptation of the human soul to ask why, but we rarely if ever get the answer.

  • Even if we could get the answer, due to the circumstance we are facing (the grief, anger, loss, pain etc.) we are not in a position to process the reality of the answer.

Steve Penny, who lost his son to cancer at a young age, talks about this in his book ‘Where is the Miracle?’

  • Asking “WHY” is the wrong question .
  • Asking “WHAT” is the correct question .

The book of Daniel is about the WHAT!

It totally ignores the idea of ‘getting to the bottom of why’ and Daniel instead makes some incredible decisions of faith which are the WHAT!

  • WHAT does God’s Word say about this?
  • WHAT are God’s promises for my future?
  • WHAT can I learn in this season?
  • WHAT will I focus on moving forward?
  • WHAT can I do to help others?
  • WHAT attitudes will help me through this?
  • WHAT is God saying in the midst of this?
  • WHAT will I turn to for strength in this?
  • WHAT can God do from here?

Too many people run away from God asking WHY, instead of running to Him asking WHAT.

John 9:1-5 (NIV)

9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Life happens, stuff goes wrong sometimes.

The Disciples want to ask WHY and:

  • Jesus says, “WRONG QUESTION” – there is a WHAT in here – works of God might be displayed.
  • Life happens.
  • Stuff goes wrong.
  • Don’t look to fix why – look to glorify God.
  • You have been asking WHY for too long.

People have been stuck on WHY. God wants you to know there is a way out, but you have to start changing your question.

A wrong question – can give you a wrong answer!

Embrace the WHAT of the future. You have been stuck on WHY.

People get stuck in cycles.

Don’t keep yourself in the cycle of doom.

2. Don’t change your name!

Daniel 1:6-8 (NIV)

6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 8 But Daniel….

Daniel refused this name change and we even see his defiance in the very start of v8…

  • IF he had allowed his name to be changed he would have said, ….therefore Hannaniah.

One of the first things the captivity of this world wants to do is change our names!

Names: Changed:

  • Daniel – God is my judge.
  • Belteshazzar – Bel (another name for Nebuchadnezzar’s favourite God – Marduk protect the king).
  • HananiahGod is gracious.
  • Shadrach—the inspiration of the sun god, which the Chaldeans worshipped – at command of Marduk.
  • MishaelStrong like God.
  • Meshach—of the Babylonian goddess Shach, – he who belongs to Shach, or Sheshach. (Benson)
  • Azariah: The Lord has helped.
  • Abed-nego- The servant of the shining fire, which they worshipped also – servant of Nebo.

We might live in a world that is fallen and face challenges that want to try and define us and rename us, but we are not captive to the names that the world wants to give us!

Make a mistake:

  • The world wants to call you failure/looser.
  • God says forgiven – more than a conqueror.

Live with a challenge of anxiety:

  • The world wants to call you anxious or mentally ill.
  • God calls you a man or woman of faith. Gideon was anxious, but God called him a mighty man of valour.

Face something that hurt or wounded you:

  • The world wants to call you broken and injured.
  • God calls you SOZO – Salvation = WHOLE.

Loose all your money / born on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’.

  • The world wants to call you poo, missed out.
  • God calls you blessed.

Walk the valley of grief or loss:

  • The world wants to call you sorrowful/depressed and unable to praise. The world takes the song out of your mouth.
  • God wants to call you to a people of praise and worship.

REFUSE to live under the names that come with some of the captivity and brokenness of this world!

Whatever captivity faces your world – YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE UNDER IT OR ACCORDING TO IT!

Josh – a friend of Kerrin when he was in Bible College:

  • Lost a lot of money – took him down to buy a brand new suit and clothes.
  • When the devil rips you off, you go and show him you will love to bless others. Refuse to give in, refuse to live under this world.

What does God and His word say about you?

It is human to want to bring our faith in God down to the earthly level of what we see, but that will never lead to possession of things in God.

  • Faith is above our circumstances.
  • It instead leads to people who never possess all God has. eg: Israel in the wilderness.
  • But we must choose to keep our faith centred on God’s word and promises – which exist outside of this temporary captivity on earth! Live above it.

Regardless of what:

  • THIS WORLD
  • THE DEVIL HIMSELF,
  • CIRCUMSTANCES
  • YOUR PAST
  • PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE

Might say, you have the power to refuse it!

If we allow it to be our name we become a servant to it.

  • HOWEVER if you accept GOD’S name for you – you become HIS servant. – that is another story.
  • Never take on a name that the world wants to put on you.

AS A CHURCH – the devil likes to put names on us – ‘small’ or ‘rural’…

BUT we won’t accept that!

Our Church serves a GOD of:

  • Souls – we will be a soul winning Church.
  • Abundance and blessing – we will walk in that.
  • Healing – where we believe and see the miraculous power of God to heal the sick.
  • Victory and all-conquering – and our city will find that out as we take territory from where darkness has ruled and move into those areas.
  • Harvesting – people are looking for God and they will find HIM!
  • A generational church – building not just for today, but for generations to come!
  • Choose not to live under it and not capture to it.
  • David was an incredible man.
  • Choose to live free in Jesus Christ.
  • The world lives captive, bt we can choose to live beyond it.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think of Daniel?
  2. Life isn’t always fair. Discuss.
  3. When things happen to you, can you ask WHAT instead of WHY?
  4. Have you allowed others to change your name?

In Captivity But Not Captive – Ps Kerrin Wallis [04/08/2019 AM]2019-08-05T15:58:14+10:00

Use What You’ve Got – Ps Dave Doolan [28/07/2019 PM]

Episode Notes

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Use What You’ve Got – Ps Dave Doolan [28/07/2019 PM]2019-07-31T15:50:05+10:00

Seasons – Ps Bruce Claridge [28/07/2019 AM]

Episode Notes

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, 11, 12. (NIV)

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

James 1: 2-4 (NIV)

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.

  • Bruce said that he used to think there were only two seasons – Football (which included his birthday) and Cricket (which included Christmas)!
  • His recent personal seasons are a season of Operations and then a totally different season of overseas travel.
  • Ministry seasons included victories, challenges, dreams fulfilled and dreams shattered. We need to live seasons in victory.
  • New seasons demand flexibility and adaptability…. the old ways don’t work!
  • Bruce read this morning of a man he have admired for many years who celebrated 50 years on from an incident in Vietnam which ushered in a new season for him. A tragedy that began and continues a season of triumph as he continues to minister to thousands.
  • The incident Jim Roever celebrated, was when a Viet Cong sniper shot a grenade out of his hand in 1969 which, as it exploded, literally tore off his face.
  • Thus began a new season, not of tragedy, but of transformed lives from his unique ministry particularly to teenagers lost in a world that judged them on how they look.
  • Jim said his wife married a good looking guy and now she is married to a freak with a challenging face.
  • His theme “I am proud of my scars and stripes”… proud to serve his country and his God. He could have shrivelled up but chose to rise to the challenge.

God is into seasons.

  • In College this week we looked at the 400 years between the Old and New Testament and realised that God was preparing the world for the season of the entry of His Son into their midst. It was His timing.
  • Israel had been so disgraced and humiliated by their idolatrous behaviour and subsequent domination by foreign powers, that they were so intent on being monotheistic. They descended into legalism and another form of bondage, religious bondage.
  • Scribes made up ridiculous oral laws such as not spitting on the Sabbath. Women were not to look at their reflection in a mirror on the Sabbath. They put a new burden on the people and it brought them into religious bondage.
  • They were ready for a Saviour, but not of the variety they expected. They did not expect a baby in a manger.
  • They wanted another hero like Judas Maccabeas to rid them of the Roman rule – a hero who, for a short time, had given them autonomy as a nation. The people even named their children after him.
  • But on the upside, Roman domination had also given them some religious freedom due to the Romans acceptance of any gods.
  • Roman engineering had built roads which prepared the world for travel and thus allowed the spread of the message of Christianity to be birthed in Roman times.

God was getting things in place for this significant season of salvation.

  • God prepares us for our seasons.
  • God is in control of ALL seasons, both ours and the ones of the proportion of the incarnation of Jesus.
  • No season is a surprise to God.
  • Bruce continues to be surprised by the seasons of life that come his way, but God isn’t.

God is getting us ready for what He already has prepared for us.

  • When we face seasons changing in our lives, we have options and decisions to make. We need fresh vision of the season of our Church life.

There are 3 main possible responses to new seasons:

  1. We can Oppose the season – a non-acceptance mentality, denial and anger at such change. We do not like change – we say ‘we never did it that way before!’
  2. We can Endure the season – a survival mentality, just try to get through it – isolate ourselves and tough it out! We don’t want to share with others. We want to stay the way we are.
  3. Or, we can Embrace the season – an optimistic, opportunistic, victorious mentality based on Romans 8:28 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

  • God will do new things. He wants us to be prepared for new things.
  • We are called to embrace the truth of God’s Word and embrace the season we find ourselves in.
  • A season where “the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord”.

Psalm 37:23 (AMP)

The steps of a good and righteous man are directed and established by the Lord, and He delights in his way and blesses his path.

  • New seasons come for Churches, organisations, families and individuals and often bring dramatic changes.
  • God has created seasons in the natural and so it s