Catch up on previous Sunday worship services - video or audio only (audio messages only prior to 22 March 2020)
Service recordings will be uploaded as soon as possible after each service
Today is the international day of prayer for the Persecuted church. Jesus said in John 15 that if the world hated him they would also hate his followers. We generally don’t see that kind of hated in Australia but there are many in the world who do. One pastor in Egypt asks ‘Pray with us, not that the persecution end, but that we may stand firm in Jesus’. Here then is also the victorious church. Their buildings may be burned to the ground, they may be jailed, beaten and even killed for their witness to Jesus but also they show a radical love and a faith that just won’t die. So let’s pray with them. It might just be the gift of God we need.
The word “preaching” seems to produce negative responses in the church today. Paul found a similar response when the elites of his time said preaching the gospel was stupid. Yet he says: “God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe”. Here’s a provocative definition of preaching. “Preaching is God’s election of the ungodly”, (G Forde).
That God elects or chooses us is off-putting enough. That he chooses people while they are opposed to him is worse. But the suggestion that election by God is done by preaching is worst of all. But if such preaching really happens the hearers rejoice so much that we can hardly keep them quiet.
Jonah was an Old Testament prophet who tried to run away from the God. There is much that we can identify with Jonah. However, when Jesus was challenged to prove himself before the religious people of his day he looked to Jonah as a sign of his ministry and identity. In the same way God saved Jonah in the depths of his sin so Jesus comes to where we are and saves us. God then uses our witness to save others. He is a beautiful and merciful God. Now that is good news for everyone to hear.
A great message from Adi Francis - interesting title...!
"I was sitting on a hill in the Chora valley in an overwatch position looking down into a valley when the Muslim evening call to pray was being sung by a lady. I was sitting there and in silence admiring the view when I heard God calling to me.
Have you ever sat in a corner and wondered where God is?"
When God spoke to Abraham it was to a world full of idolatry and gods that shaped and controlled their lives. His visiting and speaking to Abraham was a revolutionary and never before heard of event. God spoke a word of blessing to Abraham, blessing which has flowed to all people for all time. This blessing comes to us in the Good News of the Gospel of which we are the recipients. The world we live in today is not really different from the world of Abraham and we are summoned daily to hear and live in the Good News of the Gospel not for our sake only but the sake of those with whom we share our lives.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”
To “behold” means to give our full attention to someone or something while allowing ourselves to be changed by the encounter.
What are you beholding? What has your attention?
In an age of scrolling, flicking and skimming so much information how do we “behold” Jesus, the Lamb of God? How might we respond to his invitation to “come and see” in his presence?
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after receiving the law of God his face was radiant. It was seeing God’s glorious grace that transformed him. We too are changed when we get a glimpse of God in all his glorious grace. When we see Jesus as He is we are both humbled and restored. The church is never changed by law, by new commands to do things better or differently. We are changed by a vision of Jesus. Today let us gaze upon the beauty of his grace.
As we enter Spring I’m am reminded that our lives have seasons. Spring comes with the promise of new life, but what about the times when we are in the thick of winter? We don’t like to talk about these times. If we do we usually focus on the coming Spring. With such good news in the gospel it is important we don’t deny the truth about our pain. God certainly doesn’t. Psalm 88 is an honest word from God to us. It gives us permission to be real about our lostness, God’s silence, our fear and our loneliness. God is not just the God for the happy; He is the Saviour of the world. Even in the darkest times there is a love that holds us firm.