Church in the Marketplace
Liberating Grace

Liberating Grace

July 5, 2020

Galatians 3:3 says – "You began your life in Christ by the Spirit. Now are you trying to make it complete, by your own power.  This is foolish."

If we understand how to relax in God's grace we’ll find a new level of joy in our lives, we’ll find a new level of freedom that we've probably never experienced before, except maybe when we first became a believer. 

Healing Grace

Healing Grace

June 28, 2020

None of us sails through life. We all have problems and hurts. We may have some hidden wounds and emotional scars that nobody else sees but they're there and they hurt.

The Bible says in Psalm 147:3 – "God heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds."
How does He do that?  By changing the way we think about ourselves.  By changing our minds. Romans 12 says - "Let God transform you into a new person, by changing the way you think."

God helps us to see ourselves in a new light.  We see that by His grace we’re acceptable, valuable, lovable, forgivable and capable. Healing Grace

Sustaining Grace

Sustaining Grace

June 22, 2020

The Bible tells us, that God always finishes what He starts.  Always.  In the first chapter of Philippians we read - "God, who began, the good work within you, will continue His work, until it is finally finished ..."  

 

God says - I will help you finish life’s race.  It’s God’s sustaining grace.  God sustains us when we’re tempted, when we’re tired and when we’re troubled.   1 Peter 5:11 says it this way - "My purpose in writing, is to encourage you, and assure you, that the grace of God is with you, no matter what happens."

 

We can access God’s grace by asking, filling our minds with God’s word, accepting support from other people and holding on to God’s promises. 

Guilt and Grace

Guilt and Grace

June 15, 2020

Let's admit it.  When it comes to guilt, the truth is all of us at some point in our lives have to honestly say - "I did it."  There are things, we've all struggled with.  We're all in the same boat.  James 2:10 says it this way - "The person who keeps every law of God, but makes one little slip, is just as guilty as the person, who has broken every law there is." The Psalm writer reminds us that guilt isn’t a good thing for us to carry around - "My guilt has overwhelmed me, like a burden too heavy to bear." (Psalm 38) When it comes to dealing with guilt we often resort to shame, hiding and blame.  They’re methods as old as humanity itself that we see in the Genesis account of the garden and Adam and Eve.  God’s way of dealing with our guilt is different.  It flows out of his “grace” towards us.   1 John 1:9 describes it like this -  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness." Isn’t God’s grace amazing?  

Saving Grace

Saving Grace

June 11, 2020
Message by: Peter Godwin

Everything about our way of life teaches us that we get what we earn in life, that there’s no ‘free lunch’ and that we ‘make our bed and then we lie on it’.  We’re very aware of the values of competition, winning and we know what it means to work hard.  We value effort. We tell people ‘you get what you deserve in life’ and ‘If you want to make something of your life it's up to you’.  

It’s sometimes called the ‘christian work ethic’.  
The only problem is God doesn't operate on the same work ethic.  And that makes it difficult for us to relate to God because we're in this driven work mentality.  

Psalm 145:8 tells us that God’s ethic is - "God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love."  

The Bible says God is a gracious God.  That means He loves to be gracious to us.  God loves to bless people who don't deserve it.  That's God’s nature.  

I'm glad that God blesses people, who don't deserve it.  

The True Nature of Happiness: Five Daily Habits for Happiness

The True Nature of Happiness: Five Daily Habits for Happiness

May 26, 2020

In the third chapter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he gives us five habits we can practice that will nurture our happiness –

  • Every day: relax in God’s grace.
  • Remember what matters most.
  • Get to know Jesus better.
  • Review where we need to grow.
  • Forget what can’t be changed, and 

focus on the future.

Paul says - “For my determined purpose, is that I may know Christ that I may progressively become, more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving, and recognising, and understanding Him more strongly and more clearly ...”  Philippians 3:10 

The True Nature of Happiness: Happiness Can Be Learned

The True Nature of Happiness: Happiness Can Be Learned

May 21, 2020

In the second chapter of Philippians, Paul describes his relationship with Timothy and Epaphroditus.  He’s planning to send them back from Rome to Philippi and he says –
“So that I may be cheered” – (Verse 19) and “so that you may be glad” – (Verse 28). Paul says, that sending these men – “will make me happy and lighten my cares”.

These two men clearly have some life qualities that create ‘happiness’. They include –

  • a focus on others
  • being trustworthy
  • working well with others, and
  • having a life purpose

In Mark 8:35 Jesus says - “Only those who give away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.” 

The True Nature of Happiness: A Happy Heart

The True Nature of Happiness: A Happy Heart

May 21, 2020

Paul, writing to the Philippian church says - “You must continue, to work out your salvation, with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to act according, to his good purpose” – (Philippians 2:13-14).

Now there’s an incredible thought – God first works salvation “into” us so we can then “work out” our salvation in the way we live our lives.Because salvation is God’s gift and is given us by God’s grace, Paul says we can find
happiness, if:

-we remember that God is with us, in us and for us (Verse 13),
-we’re grateful and never grumble (Verse 14),
-we keep our conscience clear (Verse 15),
-we remember God’s word and live it (Verse 16), and
-we use our lives to serve God by serving others (Verses 17 &18).

It’s all part of God’s promise that we first find in Ezekiel 36:26 - “I will give you a new heart, with a new and right desire, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take out, your heart hardened by sin, and I’ll give you a new heart of love.”

The True Nature of Happiness: The Humble Path To Happiness

The True Nature of Happiness: The Humble Path To Happiness

May 6, 2020

If we were to go out and ask people what they think is the path to happiness, most people would say something like - get an education; get a job; get married; have a family; make a lot of money and retire. The Bible, however, says that the path to happiness is through humility. Philippians 2:3 says – “Don’t do anything from selfish ambition, or vain conceit. Instead, be humble and give more honour to others than to yourself.” Philippians 2 is very practical. Paul tells us that the habit of humility is the key to reducing conflict in our lives. He gives us four pieces of counsel - 1. Never let our pride be our guide. 2. Be humble. 3. Listen and pay attention to others, and 4. Keep asking ourselves what Jesus would do? May God help us to be humble as we relate to all the people in our lives this week.

The True Nature of Happiness: How to Be Happy No Matter What

The True Nature of Happiness: How to Be Happy No Matter What

April 30, 2020

In his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul says that - he has learned to be content, whatever his circumstances (Philippians 4:12). That’s a lesson that takes some learning. Often our contentment, our happiness, is determined by our circumstances, especially if those circumstances involve pain, difficult people, pressures and problems. We easily fall into the trap, of ‘when’ and ‘then’ thinking. ‘When’ such-and-such happens, ‘then’ we’ll be happy. In Philippians 1:12-30, Paul says that we can address some of the “killjoys” of life, if we - look at our circumstances from God’s point of view, don’t let others control our attitude, trust God to help us work things out, and stay focussed on our purpose. Paul sums it up this way - “Whatever happens, conduct yourself, in a manner worthy of the good news of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).