Monthly Archives: January 2013

Prayer thoughts….with Luella

 

luellaAt the beginning of August, Pastor Paul began a series called “The Antichrist Chronicles” with the screening of a rather shocking DVD on events in the world which seem to point to the fulfillment of prophecy and the near return of Jesus.

Perhaps the most shocking is that, in spite of all the efforts being made to blanket the globe with the gospel, (a stunning 98% of the world has the potential to hear the gospel), every form of evil is escalating: wars, persecution, famine, disease, crime, violence and Satanism. Why is that? Has the message of Jesus lost its power to affect people? Is it being rejected because the lives of God’s people are so little different from the people in the world that the church is no longer credible or relevant?

Why did the good news impact people in the first century so that in one generation it was claimed that the Christian church had “turned the world upside down”? And that was accomplished without the technology which makes the spread of the gospel that much easier today. Jesus said that there are two things that touch people’s hearts – the love of God’s people for one another – John 13:34,35 and oneness in the body of Christ – John 17:23.

What does this mean? To love one another means to meet each other’s needs at our own expense. That means that, if I have to choose between my needs and someone else’s, I choose to take care of them first before myself. But the problem is that we have the natural tendency to think of “me first”.

Unity means submitting ourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). That’s an equally tougher requirement because our natural  response is “my way”.

How did Jesus handle these issues? Everything He did was for others and in submission to the Father. Just before His arrest He prayed, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one”. What does that mean? We see God’s glory in who He is – gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). Jesus showed us what the Father is like so that we can feel safe being in submission to Him. He wants us to submit to one another to live out the unity we have with Him.

Now how can we love and be one with each other without prayer? Only as we live in God’s presence and power are these things possible.

A Word from Pastor Colin

Light and Darkness

 

colinCurrently, we are living in a world of spiritual darkness.  Every time we look at the news on the television, listen to the radio or read the newspapers, we see that the prince of darkness has been active throughout the world causing rape, murder, child molestation and a host of other heinous activities.  Through the passage of time, the profit Isaiah sees the advent and ministry of Christ and describes as follows in Isaiah 9.2 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” Luke 1:78, 79 confirms this passage of scripture: “Through the tender mercy of God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Isaiah sees the Lord Jesus as a light, coming for the special purpose of expelling the darkness from human hearts and lives.  Darkness resulting from sin that draws a veil across the soul and separates it from the love and grace of God.  A few hundred years after Isaiah, John the Baptist (John 1:9-11) introduces Jesus as the light to a world of darkness.  In John 8:12 Jesus himself says “I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  When I was stationed at  the East London Harbor in the South African Railways and Harbor Police, I would perform duties near the light house, Hood Point, East London, and there were times when the fog was very thick at night.  The light house would shine out at sea to warn passing ships.  I often wondered how effective that light was until I realized that there were no shipwrecks.  Jesus is like that Light house that pierces the darkness in the lives of mankind in order that they don’t walk in darkness.  Jesus overcame the prince of darkness at Calvary and continues to shine through you and me. So, “Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 Colin

 

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Family

paul

I so enjoyed the recent challenge to my heart regarding the biblical characters of Martha & Mary as a teaching on how to love God.  Too often we have merely condemned dear old Martha for being too busy to be devoted to Jesus as Mary was, but we so missed our own attitudes very prevalent in Martha’s life.

A brief summary for those who missed it:  The issue in the Luke 10:38-42 passage is not that Martha was busy doing stuff.  The issue was that her attitude reflected that of most of us at some time—it stank!  She could have stayed in the kitchen and successfully worshipped Jesus had her attitude been one of love and devotion whilst she did her thing, just as easily as Mary could have sat at Jesus’ feet and not worshipped Him had her attitude not been correct.

Too often we are tempted to separate the mundane, everyday, ordinary stuff from our lives before God.  We see as “holy” things like our quiet times, reading the Word, going to church, meditating and so on.  On the other hand, we treat the rest of our lives, including kitchen duty, as little to do with God.  WRONG!

The Bible teaches us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, EVERYTHING we do in the body should be subject to our worship experience.  We furthermore read things like: Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  and again, Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”.

“Whatever you do” – that pretty much sums it all up, doesn’t it?

Loving God is a privilege reserved for those who do so through Jesus Christ.  How about you making momentary, daily choices, to love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.  It is only because of His favour towards us that we are allowed to love Him anyway, so let’s go for it.  Fall in love all over again!

Paul