22nd April 2018 - DON’T WORRY

April 22, 2018

In his “sermon on the mount” one of the challenging things Jesus said was - “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34). 
 
That’s more than challenging, that seems unreasonable.  We live in a world of anxiety and worry.  Worry about the pace of change and changed expectations.  Worry about human morality, security, international events and the ultimate future of the world.  How can we not worry?
 
Jesus reminds us that we’re not in control of the future, but we can focus on the areas where we can make a difference. 
 
Paul writing to the Philippians reminds us - “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds, as you live in Christ Jesus.”   (Philippians 4:6-7)

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15th April 2018 - THE RADICAL MESSAGE OF JESUS

April 15, 2018

Message by: Peter Godwin

We said it on Easter Sunday – “Jesus is risen.”  That’s a pretty radical thing to say.  So, if we say that it’s true, what does it mean for us now; what does it mean for how we live our lives that, ‘Jesus is risen?’
 
Today, we want to go to Jesus Himself, and ask Him what He’s calling us to do.  What kind of life, does He want of us?  And it’s pretty radical.  In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7) Jesus says some pretty challenging things to us. 
 
So, what are we to do when Jesus’ calls to follow Him, and to give our one life to Him, seems not just challenging, but in many ways, even unreasonable? Here’s a start.  Let’s remember that –
Jesus is a loving Saviour
Jesus wants to make our lives better, not worse
Jesus knows more than we do
Jesus lived what He taught.
 

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8th April 2018 - MORE TO JESUS THAN MEETS THE EYE

April 8, 2018

Easter Sunday has just been celebrated.  “Not dead” Jesus!  Resurrection Sunday.  And if Jesus truly is resurrected, then maybe the only question we can ask is, “who is this Jesus”.
 
Of course, there are many ways to begin to answer that question.  Matthew, when he writes his gospel, starts with Jesus’ family tree – “an account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham …” (Matthew 1:1).  It’s like even before Matthew introduces us to the birth of Jesus, he wants to locate him in the Scriptures.  He wants us to see something of Jesus before his birth. 
 
Matthew wants us to know that there’s more to Jesus than meets the eye, and the Old Testament tells the story which Jesus completes.

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1st April 2018 - 3D LIVING

April 2, 2018

Message by: Rev. Peter Godwin

First, we watched movies in black and white, then colour and now 3D.  Each advance brought a deeper and more rewarding experience than the one before. 
 
Easter, and faith in the resurrected Jesus, can be the same for us. 
We can see Jesus’ resurrection as simply a proof that he was uniquely who he claimed to be – the Son of God.  At a deeper level we can believe that Jesus’ resurrection is the promise, and the key, to life lived always, life lived eternally, in God’s presence.  Then, we can know 3-dimensional living - not just the proof, not just the promise but also the power of the resurrection.
 
Baptism is the Christians ID card, the mark of 3D living.  Baptism says I accept the proof and believe the promise and count on the power that was evident in Jesus’ resurrection. 

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25th March 2018 - Palm Sunday

March 26, 2018

Message by: Peter Godwin

It’s said that “attitude is everything” and we know what that means.  We’ve all felt the impact of “attitude” in our own lives.
 
We have a choice about our “attitudes” every day of our lives.  We can’t change our past and we can’t stop the inevitable.  But we can choose our “attitude”.
 
The story of Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entering Jerusalem is a great opportunity to think about our “attitude” to him.

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18th March 2018 - Heaven’s Song

March 18, 2018
Over a million angels are singing in heaven ‘worthy is the lamb who was slain.’ Heaven is singing all about Jesus. And many of us here on planet earth sing our own song and we  make it all about us. We cannot be in harmony with both heaven and the world. As we examine our lives what song do we sing?  
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11th March 2018 - WHILE ROME BURNS

March 12, 2018

Christianity is in many ways a paradox.

We are encouraged to go out into the world and make disciples yet it is obvious from our experience and the scriptures that we are aliens or strangers in this world.

We reach out with our Easter buns and Christmas farmyard activities on the mall in the hope that at least someone will respond. Our gifts are either politely received or impolitely rejected by the public.
As to our Christian message and what it represents, for most people it is “thanks but no thanks”.

Rejection, persecution and suffering are the indelible marks of a true individual Christian or Christian community.

1 Peter is the New Testament letter “par excellence” on rejection, persecution and suffering.
How did Peter recommend the Christian communities of his time deal with such responses ?

How do we, in our day and age, deal with them ? 

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4th March 2018 - JOY IN OUR THOUGHTS

March 5, 2018

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse”.  (Philippians 4:8)
 
Philippians is sometimes called “the letter of joy”; which is strange because Paul’s letter is also filled with things like imprisonment, jealousy, sickness, betrayal, spiritual danger and betrayal.  Joy, it seems, isn’t having perfect circumstances but rather enjoying God’s presence, love and power in our imperfect circumstances.  Even there, we can experience incredible joy.
 
In Philippians 4, Paul encourages us to nurture our relationship with God (and find joy) with joyful thinking.  He gives us some clues about dealing with anger, abolishing anxiety and focusing our thoughts on what’s positive and true.

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25th February 2018 - JOY IN OUR FUTURE

February 26, 2018

By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus.  I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:12-14 (Message)
 
Every one of us is rushing into the future at a rate of sixty minutes an hour, whether we like it or not.  And our attitude towards tomorrow, has a powerful effect, on our joy today.  So, how are we going to live out our future? 
 
In Philippians 3 Paul describes how we can have a healthy attitude towards the future.  He talks about –
not being content with the present (“forgetting what lies behind”),
having a clear commitment (“straining to what is ahead”), and
defeating discouragement (“we must be transformed into heavenly bodies”).
 
May God help us to have our eye on the goal, to press on and not turn back

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18th February 2018 - JOY IN OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

February 18, 2018

Sometimes, it’s easy to think of all the things we’re not proud of and the things we wish could be changed.  But maybe it’s more important to recognise the things we do believe in and are proud of; to recognise our accomplishments.  Our accomplishments play an important part in determining our joy in life.
 
In Philippians 3 Paul describes how he was focussed on all the wrong accomplishments in his life; how he was living with a lot of energy, a very successful and powerful life, but it was completely without joy.
 
He finally comes to reveal that his greatest accomplishment was knowing Christ. And it’s true for us!  The accomplishment in life that will bring us joy is to know the one who gave his life for us. 
 
As we move through the time of Lent, towards Easter may you more deeply know Jesus.    

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