True Worshippers

True worshippers, that’s who the Father seeks, according to Jesus.

So, does that mean the ones with good voices, or musical talent, or the most ‘spiritual,’ whatever that means? Is He seeking those who know good songs to sing to Him?

And does that mean worship is reserved for church on Sunday morning (after all, it is called a ‘worship service) when we gather to sing for 30 or 40 minutes? Of course, the more spiritual among us might do it privately during the week too, but surely the Father doesn’t expect that of all of us?

Continue reading

True Worshippers

True worshippers, that’s who the Father seeks, according to Jesus.

So, does that mean the ones with good voices, or musical talent, or the most ‘spiritual,’ whatever that means? Is He seeking those who know good songs to sing to Him?

And does that mean worship is reserved for church on Sunday morning (after all, it is called a ‘worship service) when we gather to sing for 30 or 40 minutes? Of course, the more spiritual among us might do it privately during the week too, but surely the Father doesn’t expect that of all of us?

Continue reading

Who is this man?

The more I study the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, the more amazed I am at the way Jesus relates to, and connects with, people.

And the more obvious is the contrast between how He addresses the powerful and how He deals with the lowly.

For instance, in John 2 He enters the Temple and, outraged at the corruption and exploitation displayed, makes a whip, overturns the tables of the money changers, and drives the animals out of the Temple courts.

Another time, He was angry at the religious leaders for their hypocrisy and lack of compassion, and deliberately healed a man on the Sabbath in the synagogue, knowing full well that it would provoke them to plot His death [see Mk 3:1-6].

“You snakes, you brood of vipers,” He calls the scribes and Pharisees in Matt 23:33; “Snakes in the grass,” one translation puts it.

‘Gentle Jesus, meek and mild…’ Hmm, maybe not.

Continue reading

Living Water

“I thirst,” Jesus cried out from the cross.

And so do we. We thirst – we all thirst – for something more, something beyond ourselves. But we can’t quite put a finger on what we are thirsty for. We just know it is something we don’t have at the moment.

So we begin to accumulate wealth and possessions, hoping that they may satisfy our thirst. Or we seek fame, or power, as if that could quench the dryness within.

Or maybe we gather friends. If we have enough friends, then surely we’ll need nothing more. And if that doesn’t help, then we explore religion and spirituality.

But none of it satisfies the thirst within. There must be something more.

And there is…

Continue reading

Living Water

“I thirst,” Jesus cried out from the cross.

And so do we. We thirst – we all thirst – for something more, something beyond ourselves. But we can’t quite put a finger on what we are thirsty for. We just know it is something we don’t have at the moment.

So we begin to accumulate wealth and possessions, hoping that they may satisfy our thirst. Or we seek fame, or power, as if that could quench the dryness within.

Or maybe we gather friends. If we have enough friends, then surely we’ll need nothing more. And if that doesn’t help, then we explore religion and spirituality.

But none of it satisfies the thirst within. There must be something more.

And there is…

Continue reading

A much neglected teaching

‘Aseity.’ Now there’s a word you don’t hear every day of the week.

In fact, I’d bet most of you have never heard the word at all, let alone recently. And I suspect you would be in the vast majority of Christians if you don’t know the word or what it means.

And I also suspect that you’d be in the vast majority if you don’t care what it means either. Let’s face it, a word that rare and unused can’t be very important, can it?

Continue reading

The Graciousness of God

Why is it so hard for us to understand the grace of God? Why do we go into our shell when we know we’ve done wrong, rather than reach out to our heavenly Father?

Is it because everything about our life is based on getting something in return for what we give?

We work 40 hours a week in exchange for a pay packet. No one gives us a weekly wage to do nothing – not even the government; you at least have to fill out forms and go to job interviews to get your payments.

Even our relationships are usually based on what the other person can give us in return for our friendship. We gravitate towards someone who is interested in the things we are interested in. No one gets our time if they can’t return to us in like.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch!” Is this why we don’t really grasp the wonder of the depths of the grace of God? Continue reading

COVID19 – Fear or Faith?

Only a couple of weeks ago, we were all looking on with befuddled amusement at scenes of empty shelves in the supermarkets and shoppers fighting over the last few toilet rolls. “Have these people gone crazy?”, many of us wondered.

Because only a few weeks ago, what triggered the panic-buying was still something ‘out there,’ not really expected to bother us much.

But now, wow! It’s all become uncomfortably real for us. And so quickly! How can things change so much in such a short space of time?

Welcome, Coronavirus, to centre stage.

The sheer speed that change has come to the whole world has left many of us confused, uncertain, anxious even fearful.

And I’m sure it has left many people wondering whether there really is a God, and if there is, whether He really is in charge.

Or is the devil running rampant at the moment, and God can’t (or won’t) do anything about it? Continue reading

Beacons of Light in Dark Times

What strange times we find ourselves in. Only two weeks or so ago, it was business as usual here in Australia, even as we heard reports of COVID19 spreading overseas.

One week ago, it was church as usual, albeit with great care taken to sanitise surfaces and avoid the usual hugs and handshakes.

This week, wow! The bombshell has hit, and the floodgates have been blasted wide open.

We had already made the decision to cancel all church gatherings as a matter of prudence and safety for our people. Many churches tried to continue to meet, albeit with significantly reduced congregation sizes.

But as I write this, I hear reports that all church gatherings will be banned. Sunday worship, Connect groups, corporate prayer – all stopped until further notice.

One of the most important aspects of Christian life is the regular gathering together of the saints. Not only does Scripture insist on it (see Heb 10:25, for example), it is part of our growth to health and maturity as believers (see Eph 4:11-16).

How can we possibly fulfill these requirements if we are forbidden to meet together? How are we to grow as Christians if we can’t worship and hear the Word as one body regularly?

How indeed? Has the devil finally found a way to destroy the Church?

You know what my answer to that will be, of course…

Continue reading

He Must Increase

How do we measure successful Christian ministry? What are the indicators that God has blessed a preacher, a church, a ministry?

The most obvious sign is that they have lots of followers. John the Baptist certainly had lots of followers back in the day.

But then, so did Rev Jim Jones when he led nearly 1,000 of his followers to commit suicide in 1978. So sheer numbers may not be the best measure of success.

In fact, if we were to measure only numbers, then Jesus was an abject failure.

So, what is the best indicator of a successful ministry?

Continue reading