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The PASSION Blog
The PASSION Blog is a place where I share reflections on faith, life, the Bible and ministry. On this page I keep about three months of posts. For more you can visit davequinnonline.blog.
Jesus teaches about humility and a funny story
Posted on May 15, 2019
Part of my Bible reading plan today touched on a section from Luke that Jesus taught the people about humility. It reminded me of something that happend to me a number of years ago. It says…
Luke 14:8-11 NLT – “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?  The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!  “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
As I read this today I was reminded of a funny story that happened to a friend and I a few years back.
We went to a National Athletics meet at our local stadium in Perth. All the top Australian athletes were there and a number from overseas. We went because we loved to watch the top athletes compete.
Anyway, the grandstand was pretty full except for one area. Part of it was roped off and some of it was open. My friend and I said, “Wow, these are great seats with a great view. Why don’t we sit here?”
As time went on people were walking past us and saying hello and nodding at us. At first we thought everyone was being really friendly, but then we realised they must think we are VIPs.
I had an Olympic Games tshirt on and my friend had a similar sporting top on. And becuase we both exercised a lot, we both looked fit. People must have thought we were athletes who were invited as VIPs!
Eventually someone came up to us and asked to see our accreditation. Which surprisingly we did not have. We were then asked to move to the more “common” seats.
For us it was a bit of a laugh, but the people in charge were upset and felt a little bit embarrassed that they did not check our accreditation earlier.
I haven’t thought about this story for a long time, but today’s reading reminded me. Without knowing we took the seats that were in the place of honour and we were asked to move. So I can relate to this story. It wasn’t quite at a wedding feast, but it was an important event.
It has taught me to always look at where I am going to sit and make sure I chose the humble seats, not the best seats. It is much nicer to be upgraded, than downgraded!
Posted on May 10, 2019
Hello all, I have just made an update to my sermons page. Previously I had a list of sermons by title and the most recent ones were at the top of the page.
I updated it just now to group them in to sermon series. Generally when I preach I like to preach in a series by working my way through a book of the Bible or in a series of messages with a series title. I think this will make it easier if you are looking for a sermon on a particular idea or book of the Bible.
Many of the sermons have the full text and audio. If you are interested you can find them here on my sermons page.
Making the Lord your shelter
Posted on May 8, 2019
Psalm 91:9-16 NLT says, “If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,  no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.  For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.  You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!  The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.  When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.  I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
Here is a great passage for encouragement today. It talks about making the Lord your shelter. There is so much in these verses, but two great promises jump out at me today.
1. If we make the Lord our shelter no evil will conquer us. It promises that angels will protect us wherever we go. It goes on to say He will protect those who trust in His name.
2. If we make the Lord our shelter He promises to rescue us when we call on Him. And His Word says He will honor us, reward us with a long life and give us salvation.
These words really encourage me. It is great to know the Lord God, promises to always look out for us. He is our King and our protector.
Sermon: Paul’s heartfelt prayer
Posted on May 5, 2019
Hi all, my sermon from today is now online. It was titled, “Paul’s heartfelt prayer for the Ephesians”. I made six points from Ephesians 1:15-23.
You can find the text here and PowerPoint here. The audio can be found here.
Putting God F.I.R.S.T.
Posted on May 3, 2019
I was talking with someone the other day about how important it is to put God first in our lives. As we talked I shared with them a part of one of my previous sermons. I thought I would share it today…
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
There are two things contained in this verse.
This doesn’t need much explanation. It is pretty straight forward. It simply means to put God first place in our lives. I found a helpful acrostic about putting God FIRST.
F – Finances – Are you putting God first in your finances? Does He get the first portion or the leftovers? Are you living generously?
I – Interests – What are you most passionate about? What do you dwell on most of the time? Is God right up there?
R – Relationships – Is God first in your relationships? Is He your most important relationship?
S – Schedule – Where does God fit into your schedule? Is He first or squeezed in somewhere? Is He left out?
T – Troubles – Where do you look to or lean on when troubles come your way? Is He your anchor in the storm?
Love for a church and the people
Posted on April 30, 2019
Three out of the last four weeks I have been to the church I was Pastor of for just under two years. It had been the best part of a year since I had been there before that.
It is amazing how once you have Pastored a church how much love you retain for the church and the people who call the church home. You really do hold the people in your heart.
I can remember when I started at the church how much I prayed, “God help me to love and care for the people who call this church home. I pray that You will love them through me too”. It was on my heart and on my lips every day.
Looking back that was a big prayer to pray and I probably didn’t fully understand it when I prayed, but it was one that I feel God was very happy to answer. And He didn’t hold back!
This week I am preaching at the church. I am really looking forward to it. Although I am not Pastor, I want God’s best for the church that stills holds a big place in my heart. I am hoping to bless them all this week.
Early next week I will share the text, audio and PowerPoint on here.
Posted on April 25, 2019
One group of Pastors I really respect are Bivocational Pastors. Over the years I have known quite a few Pastors who work in a secular job during the week and Pastor their churches for little or no financial reward.
One of my heroes was a Pastor who worked four days a week for a furniture company for many years, so his church could purchase a building for them to hold services in. The money which would have paid him, paid for the church.
This example has always stayed with me. It has always inspired me. In my last role for my church I was paid a few days a week by the church. But over time this became tight for the church and very tight for us as a family.
As I said in a recent post about Elder based church leadership, country churches in our region have ageing populations and declining incomes. I think this will lead to more churches being led by Elders and/or Bivocational Pastors.
This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Now that I have a part-time job at our local hospital, being a Bivocational Pastor might be an option for us as a family. It would be a way for us to use our gifts and bless a church, and require little or no finances from the church.
It is something that will require a lot of prayer and discussion. And as with all things with God and His Kingdom, time will tell if this is something God wants for us!
Peace with God this Easter
Posted on April 20, 2019
Easter is a great time to stop and think about life – where we are at and where we are going.
Thirty years ago at Easter I explored the true meaning of Easter. I went to church with some friends and heard about Christ.
Over the coming months I explored the claims of the Bible and learned what the Easter message was all about.
I learned that at Easter Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sin on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday He rose to life.
Jesus conquered sin and death and He offered me a new life in Him as a result. In July of 1989 I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour.
I found true and lasting peace with God. That day changed my life forever.
If you would like to find peace with God, you can visit this page on my website – Peace with God.
Elders based church leadership
Posted on April 11, 2019
Since moving from the city to the country 12 years ago I have noticed a big change in our churches. Many are moving from having a Pastor to Elders based church leadership. When we moved to the WA Wheatbelt most of the four larger churches in our region had Pastors. Over time this has gone from full time Pastors, to part-time Pastors, to no Pastor at all.
Some of this has been because of declining finances and ageing church population. At other times it has been because some Pastors do not want to work in country towns. On the surface not having a Pastor on staff can be seen as a bad thing. But I have seen having a group of mature Elders as the church leaders work really well.
Generally most of the churches in our region have people in the church who have had some Bible training, have attended church for a long time, have a deep relationship with the Lord and are considered by all to have good character. These people are great as Elders. They pray, seek and discern God’s will and lead the church well.
The church that I was Pastor for two years has gone back to an Elders based leadership team. Some preach, some lead service, and they all do pastoral care. It works well. The church I attend at the moment will not have a Pastor soon and they will have to decide which direction they go in. I am happy if they chose a new Pastor or lead with Elders.
If we think about Elders based church leadership for a moment, the first thing we see is it is Biblical. The Apostle Paul set Elders in place of the churches he planted. That way when he moved on to another area he has people in place to look after the church. He also asked other church leaders to do the same.
In my last church I looked at the role of Elders right throughout the Bible. Right throughout the Bible the Elders have led the people, made decisions for the direction of the group, sought God in prayer and overseen their flock. This is true in both the Old Testament and the New.
So from my perspective Elders based church leadership makes sense in our regional context. With declining finances and ageing populations and Pastors not wanting to work in smaller regional towns it might just be the way forward.
When we pray
Posted on April 5, 2019
I read this quote today from William Barclay in Prodigals and Those Who Love. I thought I would share it…
When we pray, remember:
Posted on April 5, 2019
Hebrews 13:16 NLT – And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God
I like how this verse says, “Don’t forget to do good and share with those in need” .
By saying “don’t forget” it implies we can forget. It is easy to get caught up in our own lives and lose sight of those around us.
Let us purpose in our hearts to not forget today!
Free Devotional Booklet
Posted on April 4, 2019
I have added a new devotional booklet to my website today. It is titled, "New Beginnings: A ten day devotional on the basics of the Christian faith".
This devotional booklet is designed for new Christians or those who are needing a refresher to re-ignite their faith in the foundational areas.
This devotional looks at the topics of assurance of salvation, the Bible, Prayer, Church, Serving God, Evangelism, The Holy Spirit, Jesus and the future.
Each devotion has an introduction, 8-10 Bible memory verses and a prayer. If you are interested you can
click here to download it.
Alive in Christ
Posted on April 3, 2019
Colossians 2:13-15 NLT – You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.  In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
In this passage there are seven truths about our relationship to God in Christ…
In the lead up to Easter, I am so thankful for what Jesus did for us on the cross. We are free from sin, set free and alive in Christ.
Who you are in Christ
Posted on March 27, 2019
One key foundation for us as Disciples of Christ is to know who you are and what you have in Christ. I mentioned this is previous posts earlier in the week.
Back in 1989 when I came to Christ, I had a very low, almost non-existent, self-esteem. I really thought I was a waste of space and not worth much at all. Over time this changed to seeing myself through the lens of Scripture. I am now more interested in who God says I am, rather than the world or those around me say.
Every year that goes by I find my mind is being renewed more and more in this area. As a result I did a sermon for my church titled, “10 things God says about you in the Bible”.
The summary points and verses are below. To read the full message with text, audio and powerpoint you can find it here.
Today, regardless of if you read the full sermon above or not, I just want to remind you that God made you wonderful. You are amazing. You are special. You are loved. You are priceless in God’s eyes.
One year of Bible college
Posted on March 24, 2019
In my last post I said I would like everyone I know to do at least one year of Bible college. I had an email question asking me why I think this is so important.
I think doing one year of focused Bible college helps us to really take time out to focus on Christ, our salvation, who we are in Christ, our calling and growing in our faith.
My first year of college was done online through Tabor Adelaide. I had done previous units at Perth Bible College, but doing the year at Tabor was my first real focused effort at studying the Bible as my sole focus.
The units I did in this year were…
At the time this course was called a Certificate IV in Christian Life and Ministry. These days it probably most closely aligns with the Diploma of Theology at Tabor.
I chose this course because I was already serving in my local church and I was involved with PASSIONAustralia.org. I found this gave me a good foundation for what I was doing and a good beginning to the extra studies I did after that.
For me this was a great foundation as it taught me the Bible basics and the basics of ministry. It also firmed up who I am in Christ and who I am created to be.
Build them up in the Lord
Posted on March 23, 2019
Romans 15:1-2 says, "We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. 2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord".
This is one of my motivation passages that keep me wanting to help others grow in their faith. The heart of these verses is that the stronger and more mature people in their faith should be helping those who are less mature in their faith to grow.
It doesn’t matter where we are along the spectrum. We might be a Christian with a basic knowledge of the Bible or a Bible college professor, or somewhere in between, we all have a part to play in helping people grow and mature in their faith.
This is a major reason why I trained to be a Pastor and I have my website PASSIONAustralia.org. My heart is for people to come to Christ and grow in their faith. I want people to become lifelong followers of Christ.
My hope is that everyone I know would do the following things…
How about you? What passages motivate you to help people grow in their faith?
Give thanks to the Lord
Posted on March 19, 2019
Psalm 136:1-9 NLT – Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights- His faithful love endures forever.  the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever.  and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever.
Giving thanks to the Lord is a great foundation for our lives as Jesus followers. If we think about the above passage and reflect on our lives with God, we have so much to be thankful for. These are some of my things I thank God for…
These are just some of the things. My blog post would keep going all day!
How about you? What are you thankful for? I think it is worth reflecting on today.
Remember: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
A great time to grow as a Christian
Posted on March 17, 2019
I became a Christian and found peace with God back in 1989. It was the best thing I have ever done. It changed the course of my life forever and my eternal destiny.
One thing I was reflecting on today is that it is especially a great time to be a Christian. Especially if you are keen to grow and keep growing in your faith.
When I came to Christ I had a Bible and various books to read and learn from. I also spoke to people who were more mature than me. As I was not really a big reader or very social, this was not as good as it could have been.
Nowdays, we have the internet with podcasts, blogs, apps, online Bibles, online dictionaries and commentaries, streaming church services, online Christian radio and online Bible colleges, as well as the things I had when I came to Christ.
Today I think there is no excuse to not be growing in our faith. With so many great resources that we can take advantage of it is a great time to be a growing disciple of Christ.
As I type I think about new Christians I know who are growing far quicker than I did all those years ago. What took me five years to learn seems to happen in a year or two. This makes me so happy!
With all the resources we have for growth today, I can’t wait to see what is available in 5-10 years time. It is truly a great time to grow as a Christian!
10 reasons I love the Bible
Posted on March 14, 2019
I was doing my devotions this morning and I was thanking God for the Bible. As I prayed I was thinking of reasons why I love the Bible. Here are 10…
There are so many more reasons, but these are some of the simple reasons I thanked God for this morning. How about you? What would you say?
Mark a straight path
Posted on March 13, 2019
Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT – Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.  Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
In a world that is constantly throwing things at us that can easily sidetrack us, it is important to set a straight path for your feet. Setting a straight path for the Christian means to keep focused on God and His Kingdom.
We do this by…
Marking a straight path and keeping focused takes time and effort, but the reward is a strong and mature faith that makes a real and lasting difference in this world.
Posted on March 11, 2019
Colossians 2:6-7 - And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. 7 Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Several years ago I took a group of teens through my discipleship booklet. In the first lesson I quoted Colossians 2:6-7 and used it as a foundation for our studies.
I explained to them the importance of building a firm foundation for our lives in Christ. I am excited to say the message and the discipleship booklet studies we did really sink in and deep roots were formed.
If you would like to use the free booklet you can find it here – https://passionaustralia.org/DiscipleshipBooklet.pdf.
Jesus healed the blind
Posted on March 10, 2019
Matthew 9:27-30 NLT – After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”  They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?” “Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.”  Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”  Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, “Don’t tell anyone about this.”
In today’s reading there are a number of miracles. We see that Jesus had just raised a young girl from the dead. Then two blind men started following Him after He left the house. They wanted healing for their blindness.
In this miracle there are a number of things happening.
Determined unshakable faith that God can do anything is what it took on this ocassion. This is a good lesson for us today if we are looking for God to heal us.
Are you waiting for a miracle from God? Have unshakable faith and keep following Jesus.
Preaching focuses for me
Posted on March 8, 2019
I have been thinking about some keys to preaching lately. Especially preaching to your audience and context.
In my most recent church the congregation was a wide range of ages and most were mature Christians, but they did not have a Pastor for four years before I came. So I kept that in mind when preparing my sermons.
Here are some keys I tried to focus on.
What I try to do as a Pastor
Posted on March 4, 2019
I was talking with someone at church yesterday about the main roles I try to do as a Pastor. It was an interesting conversation. Today I thought I would share my thoughts here.
For more blog posts back to 2006, you can visit davequinnonline.blog.
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