Church in the Marketplace
When God Messes Up Your Plans

When God Messes Up Your Plans

December 25, 2019

Have you ever had one of those days when everything went wrong and you thought - “I shouldn’t have got out of bed today!”  Well Christmas must have felt like that for many of the key characters – for Mary and Joseph, Herod, the religious leaders of the time, the inn keeper and the shepherds.  Everybody’s plans got changed.
 
So, the story of Christmas can teach us what’s happening when it seems that God messes up our plans.  Christmas is a great opportunity –
for God to get our attention
for us to discover God’s purpose for our lives, and
to trust God.
 
May God bless this Christmas time for you as you reflect on your life in 2019 and commit your life into God’s care in 2020.  

What will you find at Christmas?

What will you find at Christmas?

December 15, 2019

We spend much of our Christmas season searching – searching for the perfect gift, searching for the bargains, searching for just the right decoration, searching for a parking spot. 
 
Many people at the very first Christmas missed it because they were too busy.  They were searching for other things.  The politicians missed the first Christmas.  The business community missed the first Christmas.  The innkeeper missed the first Christmas.  Even the religious establishment missed the first Christmas.  They were just looking at other things. 
 
The only people who really enjoyed the very first Christmas were the people who were looking for it – shepherds and wise men.  Luke tells us - "The angels told the shepherds, `You'll find the baby wrapped, in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.'  And the shepherds said, “’Let's go and see!’”  (Luke 2:12&25) and Matthew says of the wise men - "We've come from the east, and we've come to worship Him."  (Mathew 2:1&2)
 
When we search and find Jesus at Christmas we also find three gifts.  We find forgiveness, peace of mind and eternal life.  And they’re something worth searching for!

The Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

December 8, 2019

It is important to understand that there is a power at work when we pray. Do you know that prayer has the power to demolish strongholds and arguments against the knowledge of God [2 Corinthians 10]? 

Jesus never had an unanswered prayer and He is our greatest example of the power of prayer. Because of Him we can pray 'Abba Father’ and have direct access to the Holy of Holies. We can come boldly to God with our prayers and we are able to intercede for our friends and family who do not yet know the truth of Jesus.

Join us this Sunday as we explore the power of prayer.

Own the Vision

Own the Vision

November 24, 2019

The well know Proverb says- “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.”  (Proverbs 29:18)
More traditional translations like the King James version talk in terms of vision – “Where there is no vision, the people perish …”
 
Jesus, who best shows us ‘what God is doing’, talked about and lived out, God’s kingdom “come on earth as it is in heaven”.  For Jesus that kingdom of God is multinational; it’s powerful, eternal and inevitable.  In practice it meant that Jesus shared “good news” with other people, He trained leaders, He helped the poor, He cared for the sick and He taught children.
 
What a great starting point for a church’s vision! 

Saved and Set Free

Saved and Set Free

November 17, 2019

Relationships are a big deal. Relationships are how we live. Relationships that work with our spouse, in our family, with somebody we’re dating, with friends and acquaintances … relationships, are just an important part of life.

Sometimes though relationships get broken. Sometimes we find ourselves in “toxic” relationships and “abusive” relationships. That abuse can be physical, verbal, sexual, emotional or some combination of those dysfunctions. And we can carry the pain of abuse through our entire life. Job said - “The churning inside me never stops; each day confronts me with more suffering.” Job 30:27

Scripture isn’t silent on the matter of abusive behaviour in relationships and has some principals to -guide and help us. We needn’t suffer in silence. Jesus said - “The truth will set you free.”

God shows us who He is by what He does

God shows us who He is by what He does

November 10, 2019

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from the all." Psalm 34: 17-19 NIV

We are living in the midst of unprecedented economic challenges and shattered dreams.  Lost homes, broken marriages, hunger, unemployment, and so much more is raging all over the world. But even in the midst of these shattered dreams, there is hope!

Boundaries in Our Relationships (Grace & Truth)

Boundaries in Our Relationships (Grace & Truth)

November 3, 2019

Relationships are a big deal. Relationships are how we live. Relationships that work with our spouse, in our family, with somebody we’re dating, with friends and acquaintances … relationships, are just an important part of life.

We can sometimes find ourselves in relationships where we’re asked to take too much care and too much responsibility. Solomon cautions - “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). If somebody is asking/telling us to take care of their life and it’s making us stressed, worried and anxious, it’s probably because we’re not guarding our heart, the right way.

God’s relationship with us is built on grace and truth. In our human relationships, grace provides the safety we need (“I’m for you no matter what”) and truth provides the structure we need (“I need to give you some feedback”). God says when grace and truth are together, things go better.

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

October 27, 2019

In his letter to the Ephesians (6:10-18), Paul tells us to put on the whole armour of God. This armour that Christians are called to put on comprises of the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit.

This powerful metaphor not only is a reminder for Christians about the reality of spiritual warfare, but it also describes the protection God has made available to us through Jesus.
 
We are called to put on the armour of God and fight against the powers of darkness in the spirit realm. Angels and demons are real, and the devil is full of deceptions and lies (John 10:10). God has given us everything we need to be victorious. Join us this Sunday as we learn about spiritual warfare. 

Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution

October 20, 2019

Because the world is broken there’s conflict.  Conflict between countries, political conflicts that leave nations in a mess, economic conflicts, relational conflicts, sexual conflicts.  There’s conflict in every area and every segment of society.  So, one of the most important skills we have to learn is how to resolve conflict.  Writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul says -“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  As much as possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone.”  Romans 12:17-18
 
Scripture tells us that when it comes to conflict, we can –
take the initiative to be a peacemaker,
confess our part in conflicts,
listen to another’s hurt,
consider another’s perspective,
tell the truth tactfully,
fix the problem rather than attribute blame, and
focus on reconciliation.

Slow to Anger

Slow to Anger

October 13, 2019

Paul, writing to the Ephesians says - “When you get angry do not sin … ” (Ephesians 4:26)  which suggests that not all anger is sin and there’s a way to get angry and not sin.   There are some things that are just wrong and we should be angry about them.  Anger can be an evidence of love and we can get appropriately angry because we reflect God’s image.

But there’s an anger which is not appropriate: an anger which is selfish, self-centred and uncontrolled, an anger which arises in our hurts, frustration and fears. Matthew, in his gospel encourages us to - “Grow up.  You’re kingdom subjects.  Now live like it.  Live out your God-created identity.  Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5:48)