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Archive for May, 2010

5th Master Class of Jesus Christ (12)

May 31st, 2010
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Scripture of the Day: Luke 8:14

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who ear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.(NIV)

 The seed which fell among the thorns are those people for whom the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word of God. Such people will hear the word of God, will understand it, and, it would seem, will take it to heart, and begin to live according to it.

But quickly life’s cares attack them or life’s momentary pleasures of every sort beguile them, while the word of God, which had barely obtained a cramped place for itself in their heart, is oppressed by these manifestations, and, alas, there is no fruit unto eternal life, because these people gather fruits unto temporal life.

I would say this is where the great temptation is greatest today in our society.

 We are in a balancing act because we know that being a human with physical bodies, with our thoughts, emotions and our need for relationship is included in a healthy understanding of the gospel. It is not the soul separated from an evil body dualism.

We know through the festivals and celebrations described in the Bible that we are not denying the pleasures of the flesh that God created. We also know that we must care and provide and be responsible to those dependent on us. A man who is lazy, or who refuses to work is clearly criticized in scripture. We are interdependent people who live in community with others and thus cannot just do our thing. We have real obligations.

This is usually a slower, almost imperceptible process. We can’t get the balance right between those things that sow to the Kingdom of God and those things that perish with the using.

 That’s why we need to hear.

They do not mature:

If our heart has a preoccupation with what is happening to me, or what I want or what I like or need to do or have, to the point that we do not think about others in the light of God’s love and purpose for them, then I would say the word of God is being chocked out of us.

We will find a minimal interest in the circumstances of other Christians –whether locally or overseas. We will become bored with the good news of God’s purpose to deliver the world out of bondage.

My life today, where I am, is the dominating concern.

A sermon is only relevant if it helps me to cope with my problems or to enjoy my life more.

Message for the Day

Regional Update (Rod Matthews, May 2010)

May 30th, 2010
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A regional update from Rod Matthews dated 28/5 is available for downloading by right-clicking here.

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Myanmar, Thailand, and personnel matters in the Solomons, Vanuatu and Fiji are covered in this update.

Sydney congregation and regional churches are supporters of the work in our region.

Missions

5th Master Class of Jesus Christ (11)

May 30th, 2010
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Scripture of the Day: Luke8:13

Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.(NIV)

 The seed which fell on the stony ground indicates those people who, perhaps, hear the word of God readily, with attention. It may be that this group of people is even sensitive to everything good, but they receive the word of God in the superficiality of their mind and even the excitement of their emotions and do not allow it to penetrate to the depth of the heart.

They are ready to receive the word of God, as long as it does not require sacrifices from them.

If Jesus comes long and promises success, health and wealth, God’s abundant blessings they will hear. Reap a 100 fold in your business. Be healed of all your ailments. Now that attracts.

But to say that:

All the trials common to man will be yours.

Through much tribulation you will enter the Kingdom of God.

Even if you suffer for right you are blessed.

But this is all included in the good news of the Kingdom and cannot be diluted or stripped away. Listening cannot be selective of just the good bits.

In a sense all the disciples were untested as they listened. How enthusiastic will they be for a crucified Messiah? How faithful will they be when their lives are at risk in the presence of the disgraced one?

We with hindsight know the answer to that one.

And that they continued later is a source of encouragement as we listen to this explanation of the parable. It is not fixing us into compartments.

Message for the Day