Upon This Rock: Part III

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What is this thing called “the church” that Jesus said he would build upon the Solid Rock the proclamation of Jesus Messiah-God by Peter and those like him (the little rocks).?

There were in effect two pillars to the building of the first church. One of the pillars, according to Acts 2:42, is the teaching of the apostles about who Jesus was and what he did. Continue reading Upon This Rock: Part III

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Upon This Rock: Part II

In part 1 of Upon this Rock, we looked at the story of Jesus and His disciples at Caesarea, Philippi, in Luke 9. Peter has been asked by Jesus,  “Who do you say I am?” And Peter has just had a light bulb moment and said “You are Messiah-God!” This is the first time any of the disciples had became aware of who Jesus really was. Jesus responded to Peter by saying: “And you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Continue reading Upon This Rock: Part II

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Upon This Rock: Part I

In Matthew 16 we read that Jesus took his disciples to the area of Caesarea, Phillipi, which was just north of the sea of Galillee and is the site of the source of the Jordan River. Here there are a number of deep caverns which the ancients referred to as the Gates of Hell. Here they believed the demons came up from hell.

Because it was a dark and mysterious place, there were pagan shrines built to the Roman Gods. In fact, at the time of Jesus, there would have been a statue of pan and a statue of Caesar. A god who thought he was man and a man who though he was god. Continue reading Upon This Rock: Part I

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As I shared in our Focus 2015 message a few weeks ago, the New Testament idea of fellowship could be best described as being a “mutual bond of purpose”.

So what is the purpose we are mutually bound to fulfill?

As a church, our mutual bond of purpose is built upon our common union we have because of our faith in Christ. His death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead and the sending of the Holy Spirit to fill each one of us has made us joint heirs with Jesus. We are sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father and brother and sisters together with Jesus.

As result of sharing this common union with Jesus we have a united purpose to obey Jesus’  three great commands:

Continue reading 2015 The Year of Koinonia (Fellowship)

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Jesus Throws Nothing Away

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that it depends on what you are looking for.

I saw this piece of flotsam high up in the rocks at one of my favourite beaches at Evans Head this Christmas. A large group of us were on a low tide walk around a beautiful headland.  I am not sure if anyone else noticed it, but I saw an old bit of wood stuck in the rocks.  I immediately got excited and saw the potential in the piece of washed up rubbish. I saw a dining room table. The next day I went back and took a handsaw with me. Someone asked me why I had a saw on the beach. I answered  “To cut a piece of drift wood”. They looked at me as if I was weird. I felt weird. But I was on a mission… Continue reading Jesus Throws Nothing Away

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The wall, well, window and door are all symbols that speak of essential elements of the places we live. Without these elements our houses would be impossible and unpleasant places to live. God has used these elements as symbols to speak to us about the things He wanting us to build as a church. The church is God’s house. It is not a building but people put together to serve God, one another and the world at large.

Continue reading What Does A Wall, Well, Window and Door Have To Do With Our Future?

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Occasionally I hear the song on the radio with the line, “what if God was one of us?”  I am not sure the writer was thinking of Jesus when she penned the lyrics, but for some people I think it makes them think of Jesus. Immanuel, which Matthew refers to in his Gospel (Matthew 1:23), was the name first given to Jesus by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before His birth (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel, means “God with us.” The word incarnation means to put on flesh. The Son of God who had forever been Spirit became a human and “put on flesh” and became one of us.

You might say, “Isn’t God always with us?” Continue reading Immanuel Incarnation: God With Us, God as One of Us

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A friend of mine recently sent this excerpt from David Pawson’s commentary on revelation.

The church in Philadelphia was a busy little church. Jesus said, ‘I know your deeds’. They had this  glorious opportunity and even though verse eight might suggest to us that they were small in number and had little influence, that does not matter. A little church with a big faith in God can do much more than a big church with a little faith in God.  So their incapacity for witness was not a handicap. Jesus moves on to talk about their fidelity. This is the secret of successful service for the Lord. We are not called to be successful… Continue reading Small Church, Big Faith

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ONE

New congregations best reach new generations, new residents and new people groups. Firstly, new congregations attract and engage the energy and passion of the younger generation who are able to relate with the new generations. Secondly, new residents in a community are looking to build their social networks and they often connect first with other new residents and lastly, new socio-cultural groups in a community are always reached better by new congregations.

TWO

New congregations have, by nature, a greater focus on Continue reading 8 Reasons We Have Been Called to Start New Congregations

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Building the Seen and Unseen

There is a story found in the book of Ezra that connects with the book of the prophet Haggai. Haggai records the words of the Lord to the remnant that had returned from exile in Babylon to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The remnant had already rebuilt the altar and had laid the foundations of the temple, but not long after, their enemies began to harass and intimidate them in order to frustrate their plans and the people became afraid and stopped building (Ezra 4:5). Continue reading Building the Seen and Unseen

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