Category Archives: Bible Study

Believe Series – Chapter 14 – Single-Mindedness

Sunday Service

  • 17 June 2018
  • Believe Series
  • Chapter 14 – Single-Mindedness
  • Pastor Martyn Barrett

Definition

  • Having or showing a single aim or purpose;
  • Dedicated, resolute, steadfast

It’s not about God coming on board with our plan – but we must align with his…

 

THINK Key Idea I focus on God and his priorities for my life.
THINK Key Verse Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

ACT Key Question How do I keep my focus on Jesus?
ACT Key Practices I Do The practice of single-mindedness is about setting priorities.  This involves putting our past decisions and actions behinds us and focusing on God’s kingdom with help from the Holy Spirit.  The Bible presents us with many inspiring profiles of people who have displayed tremendous single-mindedness for God, including King Jehoshaphat in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament.  During his early years Peter struggled to “fix his eyes” on Jesus, but later he and the disciples declare with great conviction in the face of persecution, “We must obey God rather than human beings” (Acts 5:29).
BE My Virtues  
BE Who I Am Becoming The product of a life of single-minded determination and focus is an untouchable peace from the hand of the one true God who loves us deeply.  Seek first God’s kingdom!

 

Gems

  • If having the Bible on my phone, causes me to be distracted by other apps on my phone, then get a real Bible and turn off my phone.

How well do I align with these statements?

  • I desire Jesus to be first in my life.
  • I see every aspect of my life and work as service to God.
  • I spend time each day reading God’s word.
  • I value a simple lifestyle over one cluttered with activities and material possessions.

 

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Believe Series – Chapter 13 – Bible Study

Sunday Service

  • 10 June 2018
  • Believe Series
  • Chapter 13 – Bible Study

 

THINK Key Question How do I study God’s Word?
  Key Idea I study the Bible to know God and his truth and to find direction for my daily life.
THINK Key Verse Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

ACT Key Practices I Do  
BE My Virtues A life of integrity, where my values are in alignment with God’s message.
BE Who I Am Becoming A Biblical Christian.

 

Danger Example
Reading the Bible with ONLY one eye open!  …Or the other eye. Everything that is happening today is to do with ISRAEL; Nothing that is happening today is to do with ISRAEL
Miss the BIG picture

 

Wives should submit to their husbands.  But, Husbands should also submit to their wives.
Over value the Bible; Under value the Bible The Spirit can lead us; the Bible can confirm.
Not willing to do the work to understand. Need to spend time reading it for ourselves.

 

Get stuck on the version debate… There are good and bad translations in all versions.
It was written by God; It was written by man… 4 gospel versions grant us an insight into their different lifestyles and foci.
Read the good and ignore the bad… Value “popular” opinion…
Not using the Bible to understand God; presuming we know what God will do… There are some surprising events in there.  God still works miracles today.
Hearers not doers AKA hypocrites
This passage is literal… or poetry, sarcasm, humour, prophetic, historic etc. Don’t misread the intent of the passage.

 

Discarding verses. They are all in there for a very good reason.
Not leaving room for your interpretation to be wrong! A-Millennial, pre-millennial, post-millennial.

 

STRAIGHT OUTTA CONTEXT Prosperity gospel vs role of suffering in developing maturity.
Choosing a Bible verse roulette style. Random application of verses instead of using our intelligence.
Twisting verses to make them mean what they don’t.  
Not studying the Bible at all!  

 

Study the Bible:

  1. Ready simply and do what it says
  2. Learn deeply in context of the passage & the overarching Bible story
  3. Study well

How to read the Bible

  1. What stands out for me?
  2. What questions does this raise for me?
  3. Where does Jesus appear in this?
  4. How does this apply to me and/or others?
  5. How can I share what I have learned today?

 


These are the thoughts of James about this lesson.

Pet Peeve #1

  • I was right there, with the pastor, up to the point where he warned us not to make Scripture our God. I’ve heard this argument before.
  • The argument is, that attempting to interpret modern times in context of the ancient Bible leads to inaccuracies such as an insistence on literal 6 day creation.
  • Specifically, “leave room for my interpretation to be wrong.”

But, there are 4 things wrong with this teaching:

  1. Attempting to read in millions of years into Scripture is torturing the plain reading of the text. 1 thousand years is not the same thing as several million years.  The Hebrew word for day, when preceded with “there was morning and there was evening” leaves no room for ambiguity.
  2. Why are you allowing literal God-less atheists, to attempt to reinterpret the meaning of Scripture? They have no interest in proving the accuracy of the Bible.  Fallible human science is constantly proved wrong.  Just like Global Warming/Climate Change, this is a political decision, not a true scientific consensus.  Belief in evolution is a philosophical world-view, not real science.  It is a faith proposition.  It is at odds with Christianity.  It places human science above Scripture.
  3. Millions of years of evolution means death before Adam sinned. This means death is not a consequence of Adam’s sin.  It is normal and natural, rather than being a punishment and unnatural.  This means the blood of Jesus is rendered powerless to save anyone.  This negates the entire gospel.  Essentially, without a literal punishment of literal death for a literal first sin, there can be no remission of sin by the literal death of Christ.
  4. Weakening belief in Genesis 1:1, weakens belief in the entire Bible. Why trust anything this book has to say, if you don’t believe the opening verses?  You’ve rendered the entire Bible into the realm of allegory.  The plan reading of Genesis is as history, not allegory.

Pet Peeve #2

  • It was 6 days of creation, not 7.
  • How unfamiliar with the Genesis account does one have to be, to get that part wrong?

Disclaimer

  • My pastor is a godly but fallible human. He’s right more times than not.  I don’t doubt his sincerity, nor his calling.  He fully has my support in all other areas of ministry, except this one.

 

Believe Series – 11 – Worship

Sunday Service

  • 27 May 2018
  • Pastor Suz Holmes
  • Believe Series
  • Chapter 11 – Worship

 

 

THINK The Key Question How do I honour God in the way he deserves?
THINK What I Believe Psalms 95:1-2

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

ACT Key Practices I Do I worship God for who he is and what he has done for me.
BE My Virtues Most important part of our worship is that our worship comes form the right heart.  A heart that says, “this is all about you God!”
BE Who I Am Becoming True worship is done with hearts surrendered and submitted to God, attributing true worth to Him.

–          I worship God for he is worthy.

–          He in turn reveals my worth as his child.

 

 

Worship:

  • Attributing worth to someone or something
  • Praising God for who he is and what he has done.

Verses:

  • Revelation 4:2-11
  • Psalm 29:2
  • Psalm 95:6-7
  • 2 Samuel 6 (David dancing before the Ark.)

Why worship?

  • Situations become insignificant.
  • Gives us peace.
  • Declares ‘You are God of my life!’

Hebrews 4:16

  • So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.

Hebrews 10:19

  • We can boldly and with no hesitation enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

 

Believe Series – Chapter 10 – Eternity

Sunday Service

  • 20 May 2018
  • Pastor Arnie Hall
  • Believe Series
  • Chapter 10 – Eternity

There are 2 types of people:

  • Those who like surprises;
  • Those who like anticipation and planning.

Thankfully, the Bible has sufficient information to give us clues about eternity.

 

THINK The Key Question What happens next?
THINK What I Believe Revelation 20-21.

·         What is Heaven?  It is God’s dwelling place.  There is a final judgement. Nothing evil dwells there.

 

I believe there is a heaven and a hell, and that Jesus will return to establish his eternal kingdom.

 

John 5:28-29

·         Don’t be so surprised!  Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in the graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again.  Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life…

 

Everyone gets to go to heaven?!

·         Matthew 7:21-23…

·         Depart from me, I never knew you.

 

People who don’t go to Heaven cease to exist?!

·         (Annihilation theory)

·         Revelation 14

·         The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever.

·         2 Thessalonians.

ACT Key Practices I Do How and Why do you get to heaven?

·         Good deeds?  Earned it?  Reward?  No!

·         Believe Jesus died for our sins!

 

How and Why do we get to hell?

·         Evil deeds?  Deserve it?  Punishment?  No!

·         REFUSED to believe in Jesus!

 

What is Hell?

·         Fully separated from God.

Heaven

·         Fully with God.

Now

·         Partial experience of both!

 

God promises

1)      To be with me

2)      Heaven

 

BE My Virtues  
BE Who I Am Becoming  

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

Sunday Service

  • 13 May 2018
  • Pastor Suz Holmes

Mother’s Day

  • Names have been changed.

 

Traci

Issue with a baby born with an abnormality.  Was born.  Had surgery.  Died.

How did you know God was evident in your suffering?

  • Examples of His mercy.
  • The gifts of who He brought around us to support us.
  • The gift of a Christian consultant and nurse who prayed with us.
  • The birth could have been traumatic.
  • His timing was perfect.
  • Having mum and dad meet him.
  • Being able to hold him.

When did you sense the presence of the Lord?

  • I treasure that moment when Evan transitioned to heaven.

Has your relationship with (God and your husband) changed?

  • I had a child-like, naive faith.
  • The rubbish got stripped away.
  • My faith became much more personal.
  • Layers of faith are continually being exposed.

What is one thing you want to say?

  • We chose to look up to Him. He is God.  The absolutes didn’t change.
  • We chose to look out. We travelled to others we met in our journey to thank them, and healing took place.

 

Rachel

Diagnosis of breast cancer.  I’m too busy for this.  9 weeks into a new role.  12 weeks later, had surgery.  Had chemo and hormones.  Healed.

During the process, I was fearful.

  • Isaiah 31:10
  • Fear not, for I am your God.

Why me?

  • 1989, Stephen Bell Booth, God will provide.
  • He will provide a way.
  • “He will not send more trials than you can endure.”
  • “When God calls, he will provide the means (to cope).”

What is one thing you want to say?

  • I am far stronger than I ever thought possible.
  • There were highs and lows.
  • Husband and family were instrumental.
  • Faith is stronger than fear.
  • Christ alone; Cornerstone. Faith made strong.

 

Gabrielle

Husband died in an accident.  Surreal.  Sudden loss of a future.  Remarried.  Divorced.

Were you angry at God?  No.  It was an accident.  But I was disappointed.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  We don’t know His plans.

Lessons from her suffering:

  • “You have been shaped by your tragedy, but not defined by it.”
  • “I have a plan for you; a plan for a hope and a future.”

What is one thing you want to say?

  • It’s a continual journey.
  • There were times when I didn’t feel close to God.
  • But God was staying close to me.
  • Through family and church family and friends.
  • Faithful parents.

 

Becky

Dad was sick for years.  Then he died.  Took on emotionally the trauma.  Acted out.  Came back to the Lord.

What changed?

  • After I had dug myself a pretty deep hole.
  • Not dealing with grief.
  • I moved out of home.
  • Went into a bad environment.
  • The house was always a mess, because we were always high.
  • She decided one day to clean up.
  • She stopped and realised, what am I doing here?
  • This isn’t what I want.
  • Choosing to not be broken anymore.

What was trigger?

  • Grief and pain put layers around my heart.
  • Came back to the Lord at 21.
  • He is gentle.
  • Had ministry in “Pure Heart”.
  • Learned to let go of hurt.
  • But, didn’t want to refill heart with Love.
  • God spoke, “you are not alone.”

What is one thing you want to say?

  • Choose Him.
  • Let Him (be God).
  • Fight to choose.
  • Actually believe in what the cross stands for.

 

Summary

  • “When you face trials…”
  • “If you sin…”

Trials are a given.  Sinning is your choice.

  • You have free will.
  • Choose Jesus every day, no matter what trials.
  • His is always the right choice.

 

They All Prayed Together

Sunday Service

  • 29 April 2018
  • Pastor Suz Holmes

Her vision:

  • I hunger for God in my life
  • I hunger for a Church that is passionate about God.
  • I desire to see the community and the nation radically changed.

Matthew 18:20 (MSG)

  • Take this most seriously: A yes on earth in yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this.  When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action.  And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.

Get involved in prayer

  • Something for everyone.
  • Every: Sunday morning 9AM in the chapel
  • Every: Sunday evening 5PM in the upper room

Monthly Special purpose prayer every Sunday 9AM in the upper room

  • 1st Sunday: for the lost
  • 2nd Sunday: prodigals
  • 3rd Sunday: Youth & YA’s
  • 4th Sunday: Missions

Mark 11:34

  • I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you have received it, it will be yours.

Together, they all prayed!

Acts 1:13-14 Straight after the Ascension
Acts 1:21-26 Choosing a replacement for Judas
Acts 4:23-31 After Peter and John were released from the Sanhedrin
Acts 12:1-16 After Peter was miraculously released from prison
Acts 13:1-2 The call of Barnabas and Saul

 

 

Romans 15:30 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesu Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. (Strive together)
Luke 18:7 Don’t you know that God, the true judge, will grant justice to all of his chosen ones who cry out to him night and day?  He will pour out his Spirit upon them.  He will not delay to answer you and give you what you ask for.
Hebrews 7:24-25 But because JESUS lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever.  Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

 

The revival of the Isle of Lewis (Scotland) in 1949-1952: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db9EgMYWTKY

2 challenges:

  1. What is stopping me committing to one of the prayer meetings in our church?
  2. What changes in my lifestyle must I make in order to make myself available for one of the prayer meetings?

 

 

 

A fantastic exchange between myself and 2 atheist friends

This actually took place.  Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

11-Year-Old Genius Out to Prove Stephen Hawking Wrong After His Death: “God Does Exist”

https://faithit.com/11-year-old-genius-prove-stephen-hawking-wrong-death-god-exist/

James I hope he does well.
George What a waste of a bright kid’s life. Believing that a higher power created the universe fixes nothing, it just raises the same question about where the higher power came from, and even more troubling questions about why. Surely, He knew people would suffer (unless you hide behind free will where he wasn’t perfect and didn’t know the outcome) so why create us? Was he lonely or sadistic?
James It’s very interesting to me, George, that your objection to the existence of God rests on His supposed moral failings. However, if He didn’t exist, why should you expect an impersonal, amoral universe to be fair? Fairness and justice are qualities outside the materialistic, natural realm. I submit, you have a moral sense precisely because you are not a random collection of proteins but are made in His image. As to whether this boy’s pursuit amounts to a waste of time, I further submit that the study of evolution has advanced nothing to the true betterment of mankind; that creationist scientists, working from a true understanding of science are able to make better, more accurate predictions and thus create better technological advances. I know that’s a huge statement to make, but from my worldview, and the literature that I read, evolution’s “just so” stories are constantly made up after the fact of actual observable science, and their ability to predict outcomes (in other words, the scientific method) are highly flawed. Evolutionary scientist can’t accurately predict outcomes, because they attempt to have a bet both ways. As an example, they can’t measure Dark Matter, because it’s not there. They need it to be there, because their inflationary models of the expansion of the universe requires it, unless there was a Designer.
Mark There’s the crux of the matter… if I can’t explain it then it must be God.
Even Isaac Newton had the same world view yet we keep furthering our scientific knowledge and those issues that stumped Newton were eventually understood.
The line at which our knowledge and understand should be a driver to learn and understand more not to give up and just say “Sorry, I give up I can’t explain X so it must be God”.
Yet eventually we have a tendency to find the true answer to the best of our knowledge.
James Mark, I think you already know this, or you ought to know this already, but I’ll spell it out anyway: there are intelligent people who do and don’t believe in God.  Therefore, intelligence is no measure of the truth about God. Therefore, for some people “God done it,” or “Evolution done it” is a satisfactory answer. This just proves everybody, at some point, is willing to make a conclusion before all the facts are known. This is called faith. Religious people accept that fact. Atheists pretend they aren’t doing this, when they invoke, “we don’t know how evolution did this yet, but one day we will.”

Your problem with attempting to explain away my faith in God as “He’s the God of the gaps”, is not that the gaps are getting smaller, but they are actually getting bigger! The more we know about cosmology & biology, the more unlikely it all happened by accident. Instead of Carl Sagan’s 2 factors necessary for life, we are now up to 200, and growing!

BTW, since intelligence is not a factor in determining whether a person believes in God, I have determined there must be another factor (sense?) involved. Further, I submit this factor to be experience. Thus, religious experience determines whether a person is willing to believe in a Higher Power. Depending on their willingness to be:

a)       open to the possibility (and not harden their heart);

b)      once experienced, seek out its meaning; and

c)       act upon that knowledge;
Then one becomes a believer.

I further submit that Intelligence + Experience = Wisdom. It is possible to be very intelligent, but without experience of the living God and living in right relationship with Him, then that person has not Wisdom. They are, by Biblical definition, foolish. Not mentally deficient, but morally not in tune with the Creator.

George But where did the Creator come from? Where did all the stuff he used to make it all come from? Why did he make it in the first place?
James The problem of the First Cause is a problem only for materialists because you have to explain whence came the Big Bang. Else, ‘Nothing created Everything’. A logical absurdity.

The Creator of the physical realm, had to have come from a dimension outside our space/time domain, in order to Cause it. In fact, it makes logical sense that the physical realm (time, space and matter) had to be created out of nothing by the spiritual realm.

This logically leads to the truth that the trinity of trinities:

·         time = past, present, future;

·         space = length, breadth, height;

·         matter = solid, liquid, gas
was created by the Holy Trinity.

As to why He did it? It wasn’t because He was lonely. He doesn’t need us to survive. So, it must be the reason He gives in His message to us. Because He loves us. He’s not impersonal, capricious, irrational. He is love. The fact that, despite the evidence of my eyes that we live in a Fallen World, my conscience tells me there must be a better way, proves the scripture, “God has put eternity in the hearts of all men”; meaning we all yearn for the Eternal, including love, beauty, truth and ultimately, Him.