And What Does The Lord Require Of You? by Andrea Parry

January 14, 2018

Referring once again to our verse of the year, 2 Corinthians 4:6, Andrea spoke on how God wants us to move on from 2017, leaving it behind us, and moving forward into 2018. He doesn't want us looking back and dwelling, He wants us focusing. In order to do this, we need to focus and drill down into the word of God so that we are processing it in a healthy way. She spoke of truth, and the importance of knowing the difference between relative truth, and absolute truth. Jesus Christ is an absolute truth. When everything else is uncertain, one thing remains: Jesus. 

Andrea then went on to talk about how transformation happens from the inside out. What we see on the outside is a reflection of our insides. We are called to become more and more Christlike. We are called by God to someone before we are called to something, and our dream should never be bigger than your God. What He desires for us should become our dreams. He brings things about for His glory; we no longer matter, because it's all about Him. 

We must remember that God loves us, and not to relegate Him to the periphery. God wants totality. He wants us to put Him at the center of our lives, and not just be a Christian on a Sunday morning, when we go to Church. He wants us to place him at the center of our relationships, speech, thoughts, and all aspects of our life and our world. 

Reading from Micah 6:8, Andrea raised three points for us to apply to our lives.  We must seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. 

Sin will be judged and punished, but God loves us and wants us to return to Him. By Jesus' glorious resurrection, we can be with God. We can be empowered by the living God, but we must keep our hearts open, and keep certain moral duties. We don't get to decide what pleases God's heart. We need to guard our hearts, and not judge each other. God is the only one who is allowed to judge us. He will deal with us, and anything we do that isn't pleasing to Him, but it is not our job to do this. We have moral duties that must be kept to please God. The reward, however, doesn't come just after keeping them. The blessing comes much later, but the real blessing is actually in keeping His commandments. David got true joy from walking with his God. He loved keeping His law. 

Andrea encouraged us to dive into the word, and to read and read and read until it soaks into our very consciousness. She reminded us that it is through this that God locks away scriptures in our brain, which He can then point us to in times of need. 

She spoke of three acts:

1. Act Justly, which means keeping our mouths shut, often when every part of our being is telling us to speak up. Our human brain wants justice when we are wronges, but we have the mind of Christ, and must act as such. In Romans the word tells us that we will never make ourselves look good if we are making somebody else look bad. 

2. Love Mercy. We have endless, overflowing mercy from God. He tells us that we must do things His way. Mercy is withholding punishment because you choose to, even though it would be so easy for you to punish. There are no factions in the Church of Jesus. When we withhold mercy, we are withholding God Himself. What God says in the Bible stands the test of time. A love of mercy is absolutely key. In the world, we have this concept of karma, but this is not a Christlike concept. We mustn't take delight when we see people down in the dirt. We must be the ones to pick them up. We are the hands and feet of the Most High God, and God shows His love through us. 

3. Walk Humbly. God becomes more as we become less. When we make everybody else less, we make Jesus less. Serving God can be comprised of the simplest things. We must serve like Jesus did. We must love on others. It really is that simple. We must give, even if we get no thanks. We should not expect any thanks. The truth is that if people are talking about us and don't like us, we are actually probably doing things right, even if we never get to see the benefits ourselves, and, we should remember that if Jesus isn't in it, then we shouldn't want it.

In closing, we are encouraged to question what it is that God requires of us.  

 

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 4:6, Micah 6:8, Romans 12:9-19, Galatians 6:12-16, Philippians 2:5-11

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Light Up The World Part One by Pastor Phylip Morgan

January 7, 2018

This week, in his first sermon of the year, Pastor Phyl began his series "Light up the world". He started by talking about the different elements that we have, and discussed a personal fascination with the element of 'light', and the principle of 'light years' as a unit of measurement, often used in astronomy. It is used to try and give us an idea of distance for things that are incredibly far away; things that are so unsearchable that the only way we have to quantify them is to take the largest unit of measurement on earth and the fastest thing on earth and join them together. 

Without light, we wouldn't have half of the things we have now, and we can thank God for light, because in Genesis 1:1, God spoke light into being. He then introduced us to ABC's "Verse for the year", taken from 2 Corinthians 4:6

" For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (KJV)

In this scripture, light is mentioned three times: 

1. The light of the universe (God, which is a natural light)

2. The light of humanity (Christ, which is a spiritual light)

3. The light of the world (Us, which is a reflected light)

Jesus' light is in us. There are three dynamics that light has for us. Firstly, light allows us to see. In darkness, we stumble and fall, but in the light, we can see where we are going. 1 John 1:5 tells us that God can give us light for seeing. This is fundementally important to us. Secondly, light is good for observing. There is a difference between seeing and observing, just as there is in hearing and listening. God wants us to observe this year. Light reflects off us, into others' eyes. The power of seeing comes from the intake of information we have observed. There is a saying that there are none so blind as those who cannot see.

This year, we must ask God what he's trying to teach us.

What will be your observations this year?

In Genesis 4, it is said that there is light for seeing, for observing, and for seasons. This year, there will be light for seasons of your life. You will have trouble in the world, we know this because it is said in John 16:33. Our challenge is to observe and understand that God is in this. All of us have to look for God in the seasons of our lives, through the good times and the bad, through the wonderful and the terrible experiences. We must remember that "This, too, shall pass". 

This year, we must put our hand in God's. We must trust Him with all we have. 

In closing, Pastor Phyl encouraced us to commit this verse to memory, and to hold it in our hearts for the coming year.

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ"

2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)

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Breakthrough by Pastor Phylip Morgan

December 31, 2017

Today, Pastor Phyl spoke a word entitled "Breakthrough". On the cusp on the new year, he discussed how nothing physically happens as the calendar turns over to a new year, but psychologically, we see it as a chance to move on.

Some people need breakthroughs in the areas of health, finance, or family. He discussed how breakthrough is available through Christ. We are all children of the light, and if we step into the light, we can receive a breakthrough through Him.

Pastor Phyl referred to Mark 5:21-43 speaks of Jairus, a Jewish leader, and of a woman suffering with a bleeding condition. Both of these people are seeking breakthrough. Jairus needed a breakthrough in a family situation, but as a Jewish leader, he had a lot of barriers to overcome, in order to come to Jesus and achieve his breakthrough. He had to set aside all that he knew, and humble himself in order to ask for help. He had to bury all of the things that he "should" know, and come to Jesus, completely openly.

The woman with the bleeding condition had been suffering for twelve years. She had spent all that she had on doctors, but instead of getting better, she simply felt worse. She, too, had to get to a point of utter desperation before she could humble herself and come to Jesus in faith. This desperation gave her the courage to push through the crowd.

Sometimes, we don't have the courage to push through the crowd. The fear, and "what if's" make us hesitate. We might think "What if He does it for everyone else, but not for me?" The woman with the issue of blood had absolute faith. She came to the realisation that she couldn't do it by herself and pushed through the crowd to seek Jesus.

Are there barriers in your life, which you need to break through? God is there for you, and all you need do is ask. There is nothing to lose by asking, but if you don't ask, you won't get.

At the end of his message, Pastor Phyl encourages us to turn to God, and ask him to help us with any issues that we need to break through. What is your breakthrough need? Ask God into the situation now, that He will be with you in the coming year and help you to push through the crowd and to come to Jesus for your own personal breakthrough, whatever that may be. 

Scriptures: - Mark 5:21-43, Mark 10: 17-23

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Comfort And Joy Part Two by Pastor Phylip Morgan

December 24, 2017

Continuing his series on one of his favourite Christmas Carols, "Tidings Of Comfort And Joy", Pastor Phyl spoke on the joy that can be found in Christ Jesus. In his message, he talks about happiness, versus joy, defining the former as an artificial high, and the latter as a deeply rooted emotion that we can see in the Bible.

Love in the Bible is meaningful and always does the right thing. It is the joy of the Lord that is our strength. It brings us a deep, grounding joy, which helps us to be strong.

Pastor Phyl spoke of the Bible as our manual for life, and specified three keys to happiness that can be found in the Bible: Belonging, Believing, and Becoming (all that God has planned for us to be).

God is our comfort and joy, and we will never be lonely with Him. In Jesus, we can find our belonging. Jesus doesn't care about our background. He just loves us.

In closing, Pastor Phyl reminds us that the comfort and joy of Christ's love will always be there for us. 

 

Scriptures: Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:31

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Comfort And Joy Part One by Pastor Phylip Morgan

December 17, 2017

Today, Pastor Phyl began his series on one of his favourite Christmas carols, "Tidings Of Comfort And Joy". Comfort is such an important thing. It is something that we strive for. 

Pastor Phyl discussed the three 'C's' of Christmas:

Christmas can be our comfort. It brings us the comfort of certainty, as it is always on the same date. It gives us something to look forward to, and at Christmas, we are reminded of the idea that every little thing is going to be alright. 

Christmas also brings us the comfort of community. Traditions allow us to get together, and we can use this time of year for developing better community with people, whether it is family, friends, or neighbours. 

The most important comfort of all, is the Christ of Christmas. He is the center of the center of the center. He came do save us from ourselves, and He's alive right now, all we have to do is look to Him. 

Will you look to the comfort of Christ this Christmas?

Scriptures: Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:31

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