Our Easter service times this year are:
Easter Sunday (April 5th 2015) – 10:00am
We invite you to join us for these times of rememberance, thanksgiving and celebration. All are welcome!
Our Easter service times this year are:
Paul says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11b-12a, “Strive for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Run your best in the race of faith… “
Paul sets a high standard for Timothy. He wants Timothy to “strive” to achieve some very difficult things. He wants him to run his best race. Paul wants Timothy to walk that life that is lived in grace, but not to take grace lightly. Rather, to take grace on board seriously, realising the depths of God’s forgiveness, and to live accordingly.
Indeed, earlier in the chapter Paul has reminded Timothy of the importance of the words of Jesus and before the end of the letter urges him to keep safe what has been entrusted to his care. The Gospel of Jesus Christ — his death that has purchased our freedom — his resurrection that guarantees our eternal hope.
May we not move from the foundation of Jesus—his death and resurrection. May we run the race before us as best we can. May we give our lives as living sacrifices to the one who creator, saviour, Lord and King.
To Him be the glory as we live lives with hearts that have been changed by Him.
In Genesis 3 we are told that one of the reasons that Eve ate the fruit was because it was useful in attaining knowledge. Indeed, it was going to make her more like God, according to the serpent.
Why is power so appealing? Why do we yearn to be more than we are? Why do we have a desire to set ourselves above others, to be our own little god, ruling our own little world?
We were created to have meaning and purpose. The problem is that our hearts get confused about what meaning and purpose look like. To have power over another is not real meaning or purpose. Indeed, animals, dictators and kindergarten teachers can all put themselves into positions of absolute authority over others, but Jesus showed another way, that reflects meaning and purpose that lasts forever.
Jesus said, “…learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit.” (Matthew 11:29). Real meaning and fulfilment does not come from having the power to tell someone else what to do.
Jesus showed that real meaning came from choosing to take whatever it is that is yours (your life), and using it for the good of others and the glory of God.
At the end of Genesis 2 we are told that man and woman were designed to join together to be one, and that although they were naked, they had no shame. There was ultimate intimacy. There was nothing to fear or hold back from one another.
Of course, by the end of Genesis 3 everything has come undone. Husbands would rule over their wives, relationships would be confused through guilt and shame, and we would learn to blame each other, rather than face responsibility for what is ours.
Many years after Genesis, Jesus came. He highlighted the brokenness of family relationships (Matt 10:34-36), and that through him we could have real family (Matt 12:46-50).
1 Timothy 5:1-16 reminds us that through the foundation of Jesus we have family, as it was originally designed to be. We have the opportunity to relate to each other, without the confusion of guilt and shame. Our family does not need to look like an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond!
May we all learn to relate to each other in the shadow of the Cross. May we learn to treat each other as true brothers and sisters, looking to the example of the one who died so that relationships could be restored and renewed.
I have always struggled to feel like a grown up. All my life, whether I was 14, 24, 34 or 44, I have felt like a kid, albeit a large one!
I guess it is good to feel young at heart, but it has always troubled me as to what it was that caused me to feel like a kid. I have felt like an adult in certain situations, but I have always had an underlying feeling of not being an adult.
As I reflect now I realise that for much of my life I have not been acting like an adult. Not in the true sense of what it is to be a healthy, functioning, biblical adult.
I have decided in more recent times to start walking that fine line between taking ownership of my life (being an adult), and giving my life over to God (being His adult). I recognise that my life belongs to God, and yet I also recognise that he wants me to live it and take responsibility for what is mine.
In 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul tells Timothy to not let anyone look down on him because he is young. Instead he is to be an example for believers in his speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. In everything, really!
May we all take responsibility of our lives, as followers of the one who has bought our lives at a great price!
One of the traps that we are all in danger of falling into is that of not living your own life.
Us humans have a nasty habit of looking at what other people have, and wanting it for ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even look at a real life and want it. Sometimes we spend hours reading books or watching movies because we covet a life that is a work of fiction.
Apparently us humans long to feel like we have a purpose and a meaning. To truly satisfy this longing, we need to bring the reality of who we are to the world, and we need to pursue our purpose in the world. If we don’t, then we have only robbed ourselves of who we need to be.
Micah 6:8 reminds us why we are here. We are to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. What Micah 6:8 does not tell us is what that is going to look like for each of us individually. It does, however, tell us what underlies meaning and purpose.
May we all walk in truth and grace with humility. May you learn how to do this in the way that God has placed on your heart, so together we can each play our own part in living as the people of God in our time and place.
Does religion make a difference? Or is it like so many other things in life, like fad diets, wealth schemes, relaxation techniques and personal organisers that fail to deliver what they promise?
Ultimately, a fad diet, or a technique to organise your busy schedule is going to rely on you to see it through. It will only ever be as good as your self control.
If religion comes down to my self control, then it will never deliver. In 1 Timothy 3:16 Paul talks about the great mystery of our holiness—or as some translations say, the secret of our religion. The secret or mystery is Jesus. God in flesh, witnessed by many, believed throughout the world and taken to heaven.
But how does Jesus make a difference? How does he succeed where our self control fails?
There are several answers to this question which respond to different levels of the question. Jesus pays the price for my sin, making me holy. Yet, Jesus does more than that. Through His Spirit I am empowered to have better self control. Yet, even more than that, the reasons behind much of my sin (guilt, shame, insecurity) is also done away with.
May we rest more on the secret of Jesus so we might be Holy!
Are you caught up with the task of personal management, or are you investing in personal leadership? This can be the difference between surviving and thriving. God does not want us to just manage what he has given us (though this is still important). God wants us to be creative, passionate, and productive with what he has given us.
We see this clearly in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). We are not to simply manage what we are given, but instead God wants us to step out of our comfort zone. He wants us to step into relationships and love. He wants us to step up to what is most important, and ultimately what we were designed for. His glory.
As the parable suggest, our view of God will influence how we do this (verses 24-25). To move forward in life; to be able to see when and where we can invest in others is to be in a place where we can give of ourselves. We need to be able to tap into a Heavenly Father who sows where he will not reap, who is not a hard task master, but one who offers a light load for those who follow him (Matthew 11:28-30).
May we all be moving from personal management to personal leadership today!
The Good News – that Jesus died so we might live has the power to turn our world right side up. Imagine — the creator of the universe (or multiverse!) gave everything he had for you. This is a powerful truth, which is why some people seek to distort it.
In Ephesus there are people who want to distort the Gospel. Paul calls them false teachers in his letter to Timothy (1 Tim 1:3). Paul wants Timothy to make sure there are a bunch of people (called elders) who know the true Gospel who will guard it.
So what criteria will be used to select these guardians of the true faith? Simple! They must be living a life that reflects a heart changed and motivated by the true Gospel (1 Timothy 3:1-13). Paul gives Timothy a list of behaviours that should reflect an inward change. This is not simply a list of things elders do, as they should be doing them before they are made elders. They are a list of proofs of a changed heart.
We know that elders guard the true faith, as this is what Paul asks the Elders at Ephesus to do (Acts 20:28-30).
May we all live lives that bear witness to the inner work of the one true Gospel in our hearts.
Our church mission statement claims that we exist as a church to help all people draw closer to Jesus. This mission statement is important. It reminds us of the importance and centrality of Jesus to the church, and to the world. It reminds us that we are partnering with Jesus in His work. It is a mission that relates to believers and non-believers.
Sometimes we forget our mission. Some times we allow our mission to be side tracked or even hijacked.
Paul asked his young helper, Timothy, to stay in the church in Ephesus and make sure they stayed on task. He was to deal with false teachers who undermined the centrality and person of Jesus. They wanted to major on issues such as myths and genealogies.
Paul reminds Timothy what their mission was, to have a “love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith”. Paul concludes the letter with the words, “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you… Grace be with you”.
May we be active in each playing our part to help all people draw closer to Jesus. May we go about it with a pure love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.