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Message from Bruce Rock yesterday

June 27th, 2016

I spoke at Bruce Rock Church again yesterday morning. This is the third time I have spoken there in the last 3-4 months and attended another 3-4 times too.

It is good to help out country churches that do not have a Pastor. It gives me a chance to encourage them through the preaching and also enjoy a time of fellowship afterwards. I always come away encouraged. Bruce Rock feels like my second church family now.

Yesterday I shared from Colossians 3:1-17 and titled it, “Four things to remember about living the new life in Christ”. My main points were…

  1. Set your hearts and minds on things above
  2. Put off your old earthly nature
  3. Put on your new heavenly nature
  4. Remember you are Christ’s heavenly representative.

The thing I tried to do was remind us all is that we will spend way more time in eternity and as a result we need to live our lives accordingly.

When we have a heavenly focus our lives take on an eternal perspective and we start to see the world through God’s eyes. This changes our attitude to money, work, other people, service and our time here on earth.

A key thought was death is not the full stop at the end of our story, it is the full stop of the end of the first chapter. The rest of our lives will unfold in eternity.

If you would like to read the full message, you can find it here.

God Bless,
Dave

5 ways God helps us through suffering

June 25th, 2016

Recently I was asked to share a short testimony and some thoughts about how God helps us through our times of pain and suffering with our youth group at church.

The first testimony part is a bit too personal to share on here, but I thought I would share some of the ways God promises to help us through our suffering. I hope they will help you and encourage you.

1. God promises to help us

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

God promises to help us. He is our ever present and our refuge and our strength. A refuge is a place you can go to, to get away. A place where you know help will be and you will find comfort. There are so many times in my life where I never thought I could go on, but by knowing God is helping me and my refuge got me through.

2. God promises to never leave us

Hebrews 13:5 tell us that “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Knowing that God will never leave me has helped. In the early part of my life through all the struggles of family life, terrible health and depression I felt so alone. I felt like no-one really knew me and my struggles. It gave me comfort to know God promises to never fail me and never abandon me.

3. God says our suffering can have purpose

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

At the time our suffering does not make sense. It is just hard and seems unfair. But God tells us that He can use our suffering for good. I have lost track of the times that the things I have been through have helped others. Recently I was able to talk to a 11 year old boy who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He was worried for his future, but I was able to reassure him that things would be ok.

4. God promises to give us strength

Philippians 4:13 says, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

God promises to give us strength and there are times when we really need it. This is something that I have prayed for a lot over the years. Sometimes I imagine getting to heaven and seeing the things that I have prayed for most. Close to the top of the list will be “Lord give me help, I need strength to do this”. And God always does help. Somehow I am able to do what I need to do.

5. God promises that suffering will not last forever

Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe every ear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

God promises that one day we will live in heaven and there will be no more pain and suffering. No more sadness and no more death. No one will hurt us or abuse us. No one will cause us harm. We will be loved and accepted and experience perfect peace. This gives me comfort. This gives me hope.

Another significant song on my journey

June 22nd, 2016

I was listening to some older songs today and one came on that was significant in my journey with Christ. It was a Hillsong song called “I will never be the same again”.

When it came out I can remember singing my heart out to God in prayer and asking Him to do what He needed to do to make me more Christlike. As the lyrics say below I committed to close the door on my old life and walk the path and run the race He set before me.

As I sang I wanted God and His will in my life with all my heart. Looking back now I can see it was another one of those significant songs.

What are some of your more significant songs from your journey with Christ? Maybe you could listen to them today too?

“I Will Never Be”

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I’ve closed the door.
I will walk the path, I’ll run the race
And I will never be the same again.

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I’ve closed the door.
I will walk the path, I’ll run the race
And I will never be the same again.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness, burn away the chaff,
And let the flame burn to glorify Your name.

There are higher heights, there are deeper seas,
Whatever you need to do, Lord do in me.
The Glory of God fills my life,
And I will never be the same again.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep aways the darkness, burn away the chaff
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness, burn away the chaff,
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I’ve closed the door.
I will walk the path, I will run the race
And I will never be the same again.
And I will never be the same again.
And I will never be the same again.

 

Outreach and thinking out of the box

June 18th, 2016

I read this quote from Andy Stanley about evangelism today…

If we want to reach the people that no one else is reaching, we have to do things no one else is doing.

This is very true. I think we need to regularly pray and ask God what we need to do to reach others. Especially those no one is reaching out to.

Two prayerful questions that should be on our hearts and lips are…

  1. Who are the unreached people in our community that need to be reached Lord?
  2. What do we need to do to reach them Lord?

Then when God shows us we need to be obedient. We know if we are, that He will go with us.

So today let us ask the two questions above and do what God tells us to do.

God Bless,
Dave

 

Evangelism is a command, not a gift

June 17th, 2016

I read a really good article on OutreachMagazine.com by Ed Stetzer. It is titled, “Stop talking yourself out of evangelism”. In it he talks about sharing the Gospel because we are called to and that evangelism is not a gift for some.

I found it interesting and I have cut and paste some of it below. You can read the full article here.

It’s an unbiblical and unhelpful idea to think we should not share the gospel because we lack the spiritual gift of evangelism. Some think if a person doesn’t possess the gift of evangelism, then they are often relieved of this burden; they no longer have the responsibility to do evangelism. That’s bunk.

Here is why it is so unhelpful to refer to evangelism as a spiritual gift reserved for the few: It removes the responsibility of all believers to share their faith. In other words, many think if they don’t have the gift, then it is not their job.

But in the Bible, evangelism is not a “gift.” (Don’t believe me? Look it up.) Instead, sharing Christ is a call for all believers. Somewhere along the way, people confused the “role” of evangelist (Eph. 4:11) with the “gift” of evangelism. There is no gift of evangelism, but a call for all to evangelize. The church is gifted with evangelists, and their job is to equip all of God’s people to do evangelism.

The “evangelist” is a biblical role and a gift to the church. Evangelism is a biblical mandate for all believers and a responsibility of the church. We should not wait for the gift of evangelism before we assume the task of evangelism.

All believers are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). Therefore, all Christians are called to be agents of reconciliation and to share how men and women are to be reconciled and redeemed—changed by the power of the proclaimed gospel.