Pastor Stephen spoke the final word on the series Life with Jesus.
Life with Jesus is a totally new life - from a human point of view things don't change so much but we feel a whole lot different when we have Jesus in our lives. It frees us from living for ourselves and life a life of faith.
BUT WITH JESUS we live a NEW LIFE that is FILLED WITH GOD,
LED BY FAITH, REAL and ETERNAL
with GOD GIVEN PURPOSE.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honouring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-14
Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Galatians 2:20
I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. - John 10:10
And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, The one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent. - John 17:3
…The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. - 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
Please connect in with Riley's sermon on Sunday 11 September as he delves into the Life Series.
Some times things are not pleasant to taste or we find difficult to put up with or accept - but with Jesus we can find the flavour.
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”
He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
The issue of the “unpredictability” in life is one that we all feel from time to time.
King Solomon also faced unpredictability.
Ecclesiastes 8:7 (LB)
“Yes, there is a time and a way for everything, though man’s trouble lies heavy upon him; for how can he avoid what he doesn’t know is going to happen?”
Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 (Message)
“I took another walk around the neighbourhood and realized that on this earth as it is—
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,
Nor satisfaction to the wise, nor riches to the smart,
Nor grace to the learned. Sooner or later bad luck hits us all.
No one can predict misfortune. Like fish caught in a cruel net or birds in a trap,
So men and women are caught by accidents evil and sudden.”
We invite you to take some time to listen to Pastor Bill's sermon or devotional time on the Sermon Questions attached.
As Christians, we too will face unexpected storms. The key is to start turning our focus onto Jesus.
To take the unpredictable moments to him - in prayer and devotion.
Life can be unclear - especially when we don't see the full picture.
Connect in with Pastor Stephen as he preached The Word last Sunday on Life can be unclear but with Jesus you can find clarity.
1 Kings 19:13b-18
Then a voice said to him,
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
WE ALL HAVE ELIJAH MOMENTS
Psalm 73:15-20 (MSG)
If I’d have given in and talked like this, I would have betrayed your dear children.Still, when I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache . . .Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture:The slippery road you’ve put them on, with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.In the blink of an eye, disaster! A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!We wake up and rub our eyes. . . . Nothing. There’s nothing to them. And there never was.
Turn our eyes to Jesus for Clarity.
We are currently travelling through the book of Ecclesiastes, authored by King Solomon
And over the next few weeks we have and will be looking over his observations of Life, especially when we set his statements alongside the teachings of Jesus.
Pastor Bill's sermon from Sunday 14th August is entitled “Life can be unsatisfying, but with Jesus you can find Godly satisfaction”
Ecclesiastes 5:19 (NIV)
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.”
Matthew 6:24-34 (Message)
24 “You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.
25-26 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
If you missed Pastor Sonya's sermon on Sunday 7 August, we encourage you to watch/listen to the the Youtube recording attached.
Here's a segment for you to consider:
In this fallen world, things are not always fair or equal. Lives every day across this globe are impacted with unjust acts that cause death, pain, injuries, torment and the like. So why is it as Christians we think we should be exempt from being mistreated by another? Life is touched, ripped apart, blown up by people who do unjust acts toward innocent people all across this world. It’s a fact of life and we need to understand it’s going to happen and our response to it makes a difference.
- We need to keep our integrity.
- We need to be content in our life situation.
- We must resist the temptation to try to manipulate the situation with our own self-centred ways.
- We need to learn the discipline of prayer to stay the course of the Lord in our lives.
- We must learn the discipline of patience.
- We must not become consumed with the “woe is me” focus.
- We must not become whiners.
- We must make the best of our situation and seek God’s wisdom, and direction.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 (NIV)
Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness
“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.”
Ecclesiastes 8:11-12 (NIV)
11” When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. 12 Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.”
Matthew 20:1-16 (NIV)
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denariusa] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Spread the Good News!
God’s love conquers all—even death.
Together, let’s rejoice in Jesus’ triumph over death and the everlasting life we have in Him.
Catchup, rewatch and share the Easter Sunday Service at Marion Church of Christ as we celebrate the Risen King.
The Empty Tomb
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Service of Shadows (Darkness) 2022 - available on the MCC Youtube channel to reflect on the readings from the Gospel (and seven candles) that represent seven “shadows” in Christ’s life:
1. The Shadow of BETRAYAL Matt. 26:20-25
2. The Shadow of INNER AGONY Luke 22:40-44
3. The Shadow of LONELINESS Matt. 26: 40-45
4. The Shadow of DESERTION Matt. 26:47-50; 55-56
5. The Shadow of ACCUSATION Matt. 26:59-68
6. The Shadow of MOCKERY Mark 15: 12-20
7. The Shadow of DEATH Luke 23:33-46
At the speaking of “IT IS FINISHED” the last candle is extinguished and each person present leaves in silence and the mood is mournful, reflecting on the death of Christ and the darkness that covered the world on Good Friday.
So what is Palm Sunday all about? Riley brings us The Word around Palm Sunday. Riley focuses on three things - The Donkey, The Pharisees and People.
Connect in with the Service on Youtube to hear the whole sermon, worship, communion and the study questions attached. Plus the special surprise at the end as we celebrate Palm Sunday as a congregation.
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, , 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”a]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”