What we believe will determine how we act. If I believe that a chair will not hold my weight I won’t sit on it! What we really believe about God determines how we will live, how we will pray and what we will do in response to our awareness of God’s presence. As a community of believers in Jesus Christ, there will be some in the church who are given the particular spiritual gift of faith to help us. This faith, which impacts the whole community, is a confidence in Jesus’ real working in our world in ways we simply cannot comprehend. It’s a wonderful gift that can lift all our expectations of God’s grace and amaze the church. And really, who wants to live a life without amazement!
We are confronted by all sort of complex challenges in our lives. Many times we simply don’t know the right course of action to take and our emotional responses can make this even more difficult. Oh, how we need the wisdom of God at times like this. James tells us the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. We don’t have that sort of wisdom in us but God does promise that He gives the church this gift of wisdom through the Holy Spirit. In a world of confusion God brings his wisdom to save us.
We live in a world of many conflicting ideas about what it true and right. It can be very confusing to know what we should actually believe. Do we just work it out ourselves? Do we let TV or social media tell us what is right? While the technology might be different, the early church faced many such issues. Into this situation God called his prophets to speak God’s words of clarity to a people needing to understand. These are the Spiritual Gifts of Godly Speaking that God gives to the church. They are as necessary for the church today as they have ever been.
This Sunday we welcome Ps Mark Kickett from the Uniting Aboriginal & Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) who will share about the ministry of reconciliation from 2 Corinthians.
When the Bible speaks of God’s saving grace it speaks not just of God’s removal of our old sin nature through Jesus, but of a Christ-like power given to every believer. In Christ we not only know God as Father, we know ourselves as empowered children of God by grace. By grace we become partners with God as agents of God’s varied grace. We may face great opposition but by grace God calls and enables us to grow into the life he has given us. It a life for others in the power of grace; God’s marvellous active renewing grace.
In the book of Acts, Peter and John are asked by a beggar for money, but instead they point him to Jesus and he is healed. So often in life we go after the things we think we need - money, possessions, relationships - when all we really need is Jesus.
This is our first attempt at a podcast - there are a few glitches (apologies, we will get better). The message from Shep is great, enjoy.
We are looking forward to this morning where a few individuals will be sharing their story. It will be a great way to get to know each other and be encouraged by each other’s faith.
John tells us in his gospel that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No man in history has been able to hold together the blessings of God’s truth with a love that is so focused on the wellbeing of sinners. In this, Jesus not only remains our example but, through the Holy Spirit, our power. He is a power who offers a steady rock in the ever shifting cultural sands of modern Australia. As the Uniting Church considers its ministry to the nation regarding marriage, now is the time to fix our eyes on Jesus and be obedient to His grace and His truth. There really is no other hope for any of us.