Archive | April, 2010

Devotion on John

30 Apr
This will be a short encouragement on John 5:1-15


1Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie — the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7″Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

8Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ “

12So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Many of us would have read the story of the healing of the paralyzed man at the pool but do we really understand the spiritual miracle behind this physical miracle?

There are three parts of this story that I want to share:

1) God heals
2) God commands
3) God gives new life

The first thing that we note here is the compassion of the Lord. This would have been a helpless man. He had no friends, no family no one was willing to help him. This pool that is talked about would have been a well known pool where many sick people would be gathered. The disabled or invalid people would go into the water and be healed. (Note: verse 4 which is missing but is found on the footnotes of your bible says From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had.”

So this guy that the bible talks about caught the Lord’s eye; out of all the sick people there Jesus chose to heal Him. The Lord was aware of his helplessness and hopelessness. Jesus saw how this man’s sickness made it impossible for him to go into the water to be healed.

Bringing the first principle: Jesus chooses who and when he wants to heal, and only then will you be healed.

So how do we adapt this principle into its spiritual meaning? Are you spiritually “broken” or sick? How and what do you think Jesus is trying to heal you spiritually from?

The next thing is the conversation between this man and Jesus. Jesus asks the man: “Do you want to get well?”

When Jesus asks a question He demands a response from us. What is our first response to Jesus’ commands?

The man replies “Sir, I have no one…”. The man responds in self-pity. This is the response that many of us give God when He commands us to do something. We ask God how we can serve Him and He says serve me in this ministry? And we respond, Oh, but I’m not good enough. Or He says share the gospel with this person? Oh, but I’m by myself and no one will help me. It’s like so many of our responses to God. We should be instead challenged to act upon His commands in faith.

Jesus came to the world to restore the sick, restore those who will respond to His call.Jesus then gives 3 commands to the man: 1. Get up. 2. Pick up your mat. 3. And Walk.

Giving the next principle: God’s commands always calls for obedience.

The first part of the command was for the man to get up from his self-pity and helpless and desperate state. Similar to us, we should not dwell on our downs, our sinfulness.

The second part of the command was to pick up his mat giving. Because of his paralyzed state, someone else would probably always have to pick up his mat for him. But Jesus gives him a responsibility of this mat. He says don’t just get up but pick up your mat take your responsibilities with you as well. Similarly, what we can take from this is that we should accept our circumstances our situations and carry them because of the Lord’s strength that has been imparted to us to do.

The last part of the command was for him to walk. In order for the man to move away from his self-pitied self state he would have to walk away. Go to a new place to start again. What we can gather from that is once we have responded to the call, we need to move away from where we had been in the past, spiritually dead to a new life.

Ask yourself, what is your first response to Jesus’ commands?

The last part talks about the man’s life post-healing. This refers to both the physical healing and the spiritual healing through Jesus. There are a few things that show a changed life for this man. The man knew he was well (complete, whole). He ran into opposition immediately.There was still so much about Jesus he didn’t know. The man was giving thanks to God in the temple. The man was ordered to stop sinning. And finally the man went to witness to others about Jesus.

We should take the similar new change in life after our spiritual healing.

We must know that we are complete and well in the Lord. You also will run into opposition immediately. Your knowledge about Jesus will not be complete but you must know you need to continue to learn about Him and grow in knowledge and righteousness. Give thanks to the Lord; we should be in His temple praising Him with His people. Jesus commands us to stop from sinning being controlled by the world but be controlled by the Spirit. And lastly, we should go out to witness about the compassion that we have received from the Lord.

The last principle to get from this is: A new life in Jesus calls for a new attitude and lifestyle.

How are your actions, attitudes, beliefs and lifestyle show that you are a new man/woman in the Lord?

So in conclusion, hopefully we can just briefly understand the spiritual meaning behind this physical miracle of the healing of the paralyzed man at the pool. From the passage, we have seen that God heals us from our sickness and makes us complete. God commands us into a new life. And finally God gives us a new life in Him.

Firstly, are we seeking God daily? Only then can we ask ourselves how are we experiencing God daily to build us to an intimate personal relationship with God?

Deborah Heah

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Reaching Out and Gathering In Camp Promotion

23 Apr
Here is a hilarious camp promotion done by Jason Ling.

Can apples grow on an orange tree?

21 Apr

This is a continuation on the passage in Galatians that was done here

Galatians 6:7-10

7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Don’t be led astray, God is not mocked.

v. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Mocked is being fooled or ridiculed, as kids (and those with siblings) you’ll get picked on, tease and tricked etc etc.



Mocking God is rebelling against Him, it is knowing God’s law and turning away from it.

God is not mocked, and cannot be mocked. We cannot go against what God has commanded.



We can fool each other, our parents, our cell leaders, our Pastor, but saying this with respect we’re not fooling anyone that matters. God cannot be fooled or deceived. God knows everything that happens.


Remember who God is. 1 Timothy 6:16 if we were to see God we would die. All of us will face God one day. Don’t for one second think, I can get away with this or God doesn’t see this.



A man reaps what he sows. It makes sense when you think about it.

When we want an orange tree, we plant…. orange seeds. Apple tree, apple seeds and so on.



You wouldn’t expect Apples to grow on an orange tree, nor vice versa.


In the same way if we sow sin, don’t think God will bless you for that. Whatever we plant we will harvest that. From that nature will reap destruction, some other translation destruction is decay.


You won’t be able to mock God, go against his law and have His blessings.

v. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

What is a sower? A sower is someone who plants seeds.

What is a reaper? A reaper is the one that harvests the seeds when they are ripe.

So what does this mean for us spiritually? Someone who sows seeds in the spirit will produce fruits in the spirit. One who sows in the world will produce fruits of the world leading to destruction.



We sow to please the spirit which will reap eternal life. What seeds are we going to put into the ground?

It is all a matter of what we plant. Who are we trying to please? Are we going to just please ourselves? Or please the spirit? In due time, we will see what will grow.



As believers the Holy Spirit is in us, we have a desire to do the right thing, but the Bible says that our flesh has sinful desires. Our body has desires that go contrary to God’s laws.


God knows what is going on, he knows when we sin, and when we sow to please the spirit and we will reap it at the end. what we sow will be seen.

v. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

The first part of the verse looks as us to “…not become weary in doing good…”. Let us never stop in our good works, let us not be discouraged and not be tired from the work we do. The main point of this part of the verse is to not slacken down, get tired, burned out or stop what we are doing before the harvest is even plowed or planted.



What is there in your service do you feel you are slackening off in? How will you use this verse as an encouragement to keep going on in what you do?

For at the proper time we will reap a harvest. This would be a slightly frustrating thing. Because what we feel is proper maybe (or most likely) different to what God deems to be proper.

I can’t cook and don’t know much about food. I am not going to walk into a kitchen and go hmm why don’t you try this, or do that and therefore making it better. Just because I watched every kitchen nightmare, and every Hell’s kitchen episode there is out there doesn’t make me a chef. I have no experience in the kitchen.



So who am I? I should just let the cook\chef do what they need to do.


If we question God’s timing it’s the creation arguing with the creator.


We live in an arrogant society, that everyone’s opinion becomes important. Everyone believes we have the answer for everything, everyone’s voices wants to be heard and taken note of, we think we know… but we’re talking about God I’m pretty sure His opinion over rules ours.

It came to my mind that… when we question God in anything, we are all in over our heads.



God has love and mercy beyond our comprehension, his ways and thoughts are so far beyond us. So we should just accept that and come under Him accepting Him as a Sovereign God.

v. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Don’t be led astray, God is not mocked.

There is a season for everything, and now is the season, to do good to all people.

We have this opportunity, let us do good to all people especially to those who belong to the same family of believers.



We have this opportunity today, we might not have it tomorrow or next week, so whilst we still have it, while it is still ‘seed’ time where we sow into what pleases the spirit, do what we can to love, comfort and care for the people around us and especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Time flies by. And life is fragile. There are a few members of our church in hospital now.


I have heard this said by a few of our members ‘I can’t believe I’m (insert age here) and it feels like yesterday we were (insert nice memory here)’ The Bible tells us that our life is short, so while we have the opportunity, do good.

The time is now, are we serious about God? Do we realize how big God is?

Nothing in our lives matters, except what we do for God. Every ounce of energy and money we spend on worldly things is a waste. I know I regret a lot of the energy I’ve put into relationships and worldly possessions.

What are we investing our lives in? How should we be investing our lives? What priorities do you need to change around to invest in the “right things”?

We need to self evaluate and think is this what God would want for me, to do with my time, passion and effort?

Let’s remember God is a gracious and forgiving God. And He has given us his Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us in our lives. Lets continue to encourage one another and building each other in faith to pursue God and His will for us. Sowing into our lives what pleases Him.

What are you sowing into your life?

Devotion done by Deb and James

Daniel Loo Special Guest Speaker

19 Apr
Hey Guys!


As Dietrich has said games night will be postponed.

We have the awesome privileged to hear from Daniel Loo (former Youth Pastor), who is currently a full time missionary in Thailand. This special event will start at 7:30PM and held on the 30th April at our usual Youth Group location.

We have been praying for him for quite some time so it would be great to hear what God is doing in Thailand. He will come and speak to us and share with us a little about his ministry and God’s word.

Bring your friends because I think it is such a rare opportunity that we have people come and speak to us whilst serving on the mission field in another country. And I believe it will be a challenge and encouraging talk from him.

Please ask your Cell Leader if you have any concerns.

Games Night Postponed

19 Apr
Games night has been postponed until the end May. May/ we will be having speaker Daniel Loo from the Surin Foundation speaking @ the end of this month.

Games Night

15 Apr

Hi,

Just a reminder, at the end of April will be our Youth Group Games Night.

The Welcome and Outreach Team will be running a series of mini-games and it will be a great experience to invite your friends along for some good fun and games.

Another thing is that the last day for early-bird special rate for camp is today so please get your forms and money into either Amy or Jason.

If you have want to come to camp and have financial issues please speak to James or Amy as we don’t want money to be an issue in holding people back from coming to camp.

God bless all!

James

Aaron Boyd Interview

9 Apr

Hello All!

An interview made by our welcome and outreach team for Aaron Boyd our camp speaker.



Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Aaron Boyd. I’m married to Gabby who works as an Occupational Therapist. We have a pet cat named Gracie. We attend Bundoora Presbyterian Church and I work for the Christian Union at La Trobe University Bundoora. My ministry basically involves seeking to share the gospel with students on campus, encouraging students to follow Jesus, training the next generation of Christian leaders and sending them out.



What are your passions\Interests ?


I enjoy running, reading, preaching, good food and drink, bushwalking/hiking and watching pretty much any sport on TV – especially supporting the Melbourne FC and the Aussie Cricket Team.


How did your come to Christ? Turning points in your life?



I grow up in a Christian family and can’t really remember a time when I would say I wasn’t a Christian. Having said that, I didn’t really understand the gospel until I was 15. At a conference I understood for the first time that God demonstrated His incredible love for me by sending his Son to die in my place for my rejection of Him (Romans 5:8-9). Following this during my time at University I sort of had a crisis of faith. I studied an Arts degree and was confronted with many different philosophies and worldviews. I had to decide if I really thought Jesus was the only truth or just one option among many. Once I’d decided that Jesus was the only truth – the only way people could know God – I wanted to spend my entire life urging people to follow Him.


Our theme for the year is ‘reaching out and gathering in‘, what would you say are some of the most important attitudes to have when sharing your faith?


Our motivation for sharing our faith should be the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14). We must be convinced that Christ died for the sins of the whole world and everyone should have an opportunity to hear the gospel. Our attitude in sharing our faith should be the same as our attitude in the Christian life in general. We know that Jesus is the truth and the gospel powerful so we should be confident and bold. On the flip side, we know that we are only Christians because of God’s grace so we should be humble and gracious to others. In summary, motivated by love in an attitude of confident humility.


What is the most difficult part about ‘reaching out’?



There are many difficulties with reaching out and it’s difficult for me to pin-point one. Some of them include: lack of clarity in our own understanding of the gospel, lack of love for people who don’t know Jesus, lack of relationships with people who don’t know Jesus, lack of sufficient relationship building/conversational skills, lack of conviction in the truth and power of the gospel.


What would you like to see from the Youth coming out of this camp?


Above all, i hope the youth will grow in their understanding of the gospel and their love for Jesus. As well as this I hope the youth are encouraged that God is a missionary God who is seeking to save people from all nations through Jesus. Finally, I hope some young people will be challenged to think about what part they might personally play in God’s mission to seek and save people who don’t know Jesus.



Thank you very much for your time Aaron- we look forward to hearing you share God’s truths about outreach with us at the upcoming camp at Merrick’s lodge.

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