Tuesday, April 17, 2012 1:24:32 AM
“Repent of your sins and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped away.”
A crowd gathers in amazement at the healing of the lame beggar. Peter takes the opportunity to preach.
Firstly Peter points out that is is not his and John's personal power or godliness that healed the man but their God- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- who has brought glory to Jesus.
He reminds them of their collective guilt in having Jesus crucified- “You killed the author of life.” Now God has raised Jesus from the dead.
The man was healed through faith in Jesus and the people in the crowd can be saved through faith in Jesus.
In his speaking, Peter directed people's attention away from himself and towards Jesus. It wasn't Peter and John who healed the man but Jesus. The whole sermon is about Jesus.
I need to ensure that in everything I do the name of Jesus is exalted. My life is not about what I achieve but about what Jesus does through me. My goal is not personal praise or self-fulfilment but about ensuring Jesus is praised and His purpose fulfilled in me.
When we do this we find remarkable miracles take place- healings and salvations through the name of Jesus.
Father I confess my pride in wanting people to applaud me and to notice me. Help me to die to myself to allow the life of Jesus to flow through me. Amen.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 1:23:19 AM
Gossip and malice
It's all around
Good men trashed
Lord you are my defender
Your approval is all I need
Let the truth win
You are just O God
Your judgements true
So I will praise you
Author of life.
Monday, April 16, 2012 7:28:44 AM
What started as a nice day for gardening took a dramatic turn with a storm this afternoon. At one stage the rain was so heavy that I couldn't see past the railway tracks across the road- less than 100 metres.
So here is a couple of images from today's wetness.
Sunday, April 15, 2012 7:12:18 AM
Rozina made an absolutely scrumptious baked cheesecake for church this morning. The white layer is white chocolate and the dark layer is thick caramel.
Not for the faint hearted!
It was hard to get the focus right on this one
Sunday, April 15, 2012 1:50:17 AM
The sermon for April 15th 2012 is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on Acts 4:31-35, I talk about the importance of having a revelation of Christ's resurrection.
Click here to listen
Saturday, April 14, 2012 11:22:06 AM
It's been a lean week for photos.
Tonight, after a hard day's working at home, we went to Grant & Rozina's place for dinner- roast lamb.
Alex insisted that I watch him jump on the trampoline so I took advantage of the opportunity to take a few shots. It was nearly dark so the flash was required.
On the way home, we found ourselves driving behind this rather unusual load. I took a photo just in case we needed it for either police or insurance. If you look closely to the left of the white line, you will see a stick hanging all the way out from the tray of the ute. It was moving quite a lot around the ute as we followed it. We were glad when it turned off the highway.
Friday, April 13, 2012 6:12:19 AM
People have been forecasting the death of christianity for, well about 2000 years so this is no surprise.
The thing with atheists is that they don't study history or geography or sociology. If they did they would not be so sure of their impact.
But then these are people who are arrogant enough to think that their narrow little philosophy haas explored the outermost extents of the multi-dimensional universe and proven that there is no God to be found anywhere.
From the ABC:
Religion will be a non-event in Australia within two generations according to the head of the country's atheist foundation.
David Nicholls says we are now seeing the tip of the iceberg as more and more people declare themselves non-believers and free thinkers.
But he admits religion will always be present in Australia because of indoctrination and because some people "need fairy stories to survive".
"Within two generations, religion in Australia will be a non event," he said.
"[It] will always be here, there's always going to be a genetic and cultural indoctrination, enough to affect some people, some people need it, some people get comfort from it, some people need fairy stories to survive, but not as many as before."
His comments come ahead of the Global Atheism Convention which starts this evening in Melbourne.
The best illustration of the folly of these people is the French philosopher Voltaire claimed that within 100 years nobody would believe in God. His house is now the head office for the Bible Society in France.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:19:10 AM
After Jesus greeted them he said, “I'm sending you just as the Father sent me.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sin they will be forgiven. But if you don't forgive their sins they won't be forgiven.”
Easter Sunday evening and the disciples are meeting in a locked room. Jesus appears to them and commissions them for mission, fills them with the Holy Spirit and authorises them to forgive sins.
Thomas was absent from the meeting and was sceptical of their report of the risen Christ. A week later Jesus again appears to them, this time including Thomas who now believes.
The gospel concludes with the words, “These things are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him you will have life.”
For true faith we must have an encounter with the risen Lord. It's not enough to have a purely mental assent. We must have a personal encounter with him- like the disciples and Thomas.
It is faith that in Jesus that gives us life- abundant life now and eternal life with God.
Lord, I cannot live your way in my own strength. Please change my heart and make me more like you. Amen.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:34:43 AM
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have seen and heard. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.
John writes to proclaim and testify about Jesus, the word of life whom he saw and heard and touched.
The message of Jesus is that God is light and there is no darkness in him. To have fellowship with God means that we must walk in the light. This means that we must recognise sin, confess it and receive God's forgiveness.
The aim of salvation is not just routine absolution of sins. Jesus wants to clear the darkness of sin out of our lives and let his light shine through us.
This means a total transformation of our lives so that we no longer walk in the habits of sin. Yes, we fall and when we fall there is forgiveness through Christ. But our life direction must be towards the light of God.
Thank you Lord for salvation. Please help me to walk in the light of your presence every day. Amen.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:31:57 AM
Very cool and breezy today. I have sore legs from yesterday's exertions so between sore muscles and high winds, the bike did not appeal at all. A leisurely stroll around the lake was the preferred exercise.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:46:45 AM
Easter is a celebration of a God who gave it all for His people. God sent His own Son into the world for the purpose of being sacrificed for our redemption.
That thought should cause us to tremble in adoration. As Philippians 2:6-8 says "
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Jesus, the divine Son of God, the only Son, gave Himself up for me. He made himself nothing.
There is only one response to that kind of love. I must give everything back to Him.
The gospel does not leave us the option of mere intellectual belief. The knowledge of this self-giving God should grab my heart and leave me desperate to know Him more and to serve Him with every part of my life.
Similarly we cannot afford to just have faith as an "add-on" part of our lives, squeezed into a busy lifestyle like some kind of benign hobby.
Resurrection comes via the cross. New Life starts with dying to ourselves.
It's time. If you have never given everything over to Jesus, then decide to do it now.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:16:15 AM
I love the Lord
But he is so whacky
And she is so weird
This church is liberal
That church is blind
Lord open my heart
Let me see the image of God
And the life of Christ
In every believer.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:15:11 AM
The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and God's blessing was on them all.
There is great unity in the early life of the church. The believers act like a family in which nothing is held back.
The apostles preach powerfully of the the resurrection and the needs of all the believers are met by sacrificial giving.
A fully functioning church has both a powerful message of the risen Lord and a community of believers whose lives are so changed that they give everything. The result is that lives are changed spiritually and physically.
This sort of radical lifestyle change is totally foreign to our culture as it challenges our secular and individualistic theories about how to live.
It is impossible to achieve this except by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Lord you intend tour church to be more family than institution, more lifestyle than country club. Please show me what it means to live in true community with my brothers and sisters. Amen.
Sunday, April 8, 2012 1:58:14 AM
The sermon for Sunday April 8th is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on John 20:1-10, I talk about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Click here to listen
Thursday, April 5, 2012 7:28:44 AM
What with bike riding and preparing for Easter, as well as marking another birthday, the daily photo challenge has been a little on the "fail" side of the ledger this week.
This afternoon as I was walking around the garden, I noticed the late afternoon sunlight shining through this grass flower. Looks pretty good to me
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 3:42:35 AM
Glen Stanton debunks the myth that Christians are as likely as anyone else to be divorced.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP)--"Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!" It's one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it's perhaps one of the most inaccurate.
Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population.
Here's the truth....
Many people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith -- be it Christian or other -- have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population.
The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes -- attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples -- enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers.
Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced .
Other data from additional sociologists of family and religion suggest a significant marital stability divide between those who take their faith seriously and those who do not.
W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project, finds from his own analysis that "active conservative Protestants" who regularly attend church are 35 percent less likely to divorce compared to those who have no affiliation. Nominally attending conservative Protestants are 20 percent more likely to divorce, compared to secular Americans .
Professor Scott Stanley from the University of Denver, working with an absolute all-star team of leading sociologists on the Oklahoma Marriage Study, explains that couples with a vibrant religious faith had more and higher levels of the qualities couples need to avoid divorce:
"Whether young or old, male or female, low-income or not, those who said that they were more religious reported higher average levels of commitment to their partners, higher levels of marital satisfaction, less thinking and talking about divorce and lower levels of negative interaction. These patterns held true when controlling for such important variables as income, education, and age at first marriage."
These positive factors translated into actual lowered risk of divorce among active believers.
"Those who say they are more religious are less likely, not more, to have already experienced divorce. Likewise, those who report more frequent attendance at religious services were significantly less likely to have been divorced ."
The divorce rates of Christian believers are not identical to the general population -- not even close. Being a committed, faithful believer makes a measurable difference in marriage.
Saying you believe something or merely belonging to a church, unsurprisingly, does little for marriage. But the more you are involved in the actual practice of your faith in real ways -- through submitting yourself to a serious body of believers, learning regularly from Scripture, being in communion with God though prayer individually and with your spouse and children, and having friends and family around you who challenge you to take you marriage's seriously -- the greater difference this makes in strengthening both the quality and longevity of our marriages. Faith does matter and the leading sociologists of family and religion tell us so.
(c) 2011 Baptist Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Glenn T. Stanton is the director for family formation studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is the author of the new book, "Secure Daughters Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity" (Multnomah, 2011).
1 Bradley R.E. Wright, "Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites …and Other Lies You've Been Told," (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2010), p. 133.
2 W. Bradford Wilcox and Elizabeth Williamson, "The Cultural Contradictions of Mainline Family Ideology and Practice," in American Religions and the Family, edited by Don S. Browning and David A. Clairmont (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007) p. 50.
3. C.A. Johnson, S. M. Stanley, N.D. Glenn, P.A. Amato, S.L. Nock, H.J. Markman and M .R. Dion "Marriage in Oklahoma: 2001 Baseline Statewide Survey on Marriage and Divorce" (Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Department of Human Services 2002) p. 25, 26.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 2:07:29 AM
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
The cross is the place where God makes peace with the world. So many people are raging against God needlessly. The war is over and peace is available for those prepared to enter in. Pray that you may be, like Paul, an ambassador of peace.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Matthew 28:5-7
We worship a risen King. Jesus has conquered death. He truly is alive and pouring resurrection life daily to all who follow Him. Pray for your friends to receive the new life in Christ.
« Prev 1 ... 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 ... 214 Next »