31 May 2017
Signs we are turning from Jesus
The last letter of Paul the Apostle (2 Timothy) was written to "his dear son" Timothy. Paul knew of his impending death and speaks of it in the last chapter of 2 Timothy.
What would you say in your last letter to someone who had worked with you for many years to achieve the most important goal of your life. Timothy was younger than Paul and Timothy had the task of carrying on Paul's mission.
What did he say? It's been nice knowing you? Didn't we have some great times? I'm sad to be leaving you? No. Paul urges Timothy to press on with gospel. He asks Timothy to fan into flame the gifts that have been given to him. He asks Timothy not to be ashamed of the Lord and to suffer for the Lord as is needed.
In one way, Paul was telling Timothy (2 Timothy 1) to watch out for the signs that he is slipping from his task and, perhaps, beginning to turn from Jesus as Paul noted others were doing.
Pastor John Jeffreys has prepared a short video on this. Click here to watch it.
28 March 2017
Jesus understands you
Do you ever feel misunderstood? Have you ever been in a difficult situation that resulted in unpleasant feelings? Then you tried to explain those feelings to another person and that other person seemed to have scant regard for the way you felt. It’s happened to all of us. Why? Because people are more interested in themselves than anything else. So, we get used to the fact that other people don’t understand us.
But here’s the problem. Do we transfer that thinking to our relationship with God? If people don’t understand me that well, how can God understand me? After all, he is big and mighty and is a spirit. How can a being like that understand me?
When I spoke, last Sunday, I put the proposition that every person should know deep in their heart that Jesus understands them because of his experiences while he was on earth. I referred to 3 types of experiences he had. These 3 experiences were:
These are referred to in Hebrews 2:9 – 18. In this passage of the Bible we read:
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Verse 9)
“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” (Verse 10)
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Verses 14 & 15)
There is nothing about human existence that Jesus did not experience. No matter what we’re going through, he can understand this. It is to be remembered that Jesus was not Superman. He was a human being just like you and me. He was God in the flesh but he, by choice, lived a human existence without his God powers. The miracles that he performed were a result of Jesus’ perfect relationship with his father. Because he was not Superman, but a feeling, hurting, caring, hungry, sleepy etc. person, just like you and me, he can relate to human beings in whatever situation they face.
You can listen to the whole of the talk here.
20 March 2017
God has a plan - even for the impossible!
It was a pleasure to have Pastor Glenn Tweedie come and speak to the church on Sunday. Glenn reminded us that God can always see a solution to a problem even when we cannot see a way through. God has a plan for the impossible.
Glenn said that resurrecting Jesus from the dead was not as difficult as getting Jesus into the grave in the first place. You see God can easily resurrect a human body. However, getting Jesus into a grave that was to fulfil the prophecies of the Old Testament was a more difficult feat.
Firstly, the Jews had no concept that their Messiah was going to die and be in a grave. Also, the ability to get Jesus into the grave in the hours between his death and before the “special Sabbath” (John 19:31 NIV) commenced, was challenging. It was the normal custom to leave crucified bodies on the cross but there had to be something that would cause Pilate to take the bodies down. So, “Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down” (John 19:31).
Someone of influence (Joseph of Arimathea) needed to be available to be able to gain access to Pilate and ask for Jesus’ body. The disciples would not have had sufficient influence to see Pilate and the Jews would have prevented that anyway. Also, the requirements of a Jewish burial needed to be readily at hand. We read that Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about [34 kilos]. Then, taking Jesus’ body, Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped it with the spices in strips of linen. All this had to be achieved prior to the commencement of the Sabbath and without help from Jesus’ main followers. Also, (conveniently!) at the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Exactly the right sort of tomb had to be available.
Glenn had much more to say than what I have set out above. The point of his talk was that it was seemingly impossible for Jesus to have been buried in a tomb. No one would have thought this possible for the Messiah. Nevertheless, God constructed an elaborate set of plans and procedures which resulted in the fact that the Messiah was laid in a tomb and wrapped in grave clothes. It was from this tomb that he rose from the dead, gave hope for the world and fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies.
The lesson for us is that we may be facing an impossible situation where it seems that there is no way of a positive outcome or a solution to the problem. Nevertheless, God will have a plan in place and he can do what is impossible for us.
Address: 6 - 18 Lincoln Road Croydon Victoria Australia
Contact: Pastor John Jeffreys (03) 9725 1878