Category Archives: Bible Study

Thankfulness

Sunday Service

  • 10 December 2017
  • Pastor Al (Arnie) Hall
  • All in service (with the kids)

The Pastor Al Translation:

  • Gratitude = Great Attitude

It’s okay to recognize what we don’t have, but it’s more important to be thankful for what we do have.  This will improve our demeanour.

  • Devote yourselves to prayer
  • With an alert mind
  • And a thankful heart.

Things to be thankful for:

  • The Bible, God’s Word, Wisdom
  • Parents
  • Offerings, resources
  • Clothes
  • Leaders, teachers, Bible-in-schools

1 Thessalonians 5:18

  • Be cheerful no matter what
  • Pray all the time
  • Thank God
  • No matter what happens
  • This is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus, to live.

How gifts work

  • Accept the gift
  • Use the gift
  • g. prayer, love, music, life, worship, salvation

Gratitude completes the transaction

  • The value of the gratitude doesn’t have to match.
  • What God have given us, we cannot match.

Isaiah 9:6

  • For to us a child is born
  • To us a son is given

A gift always demands a response.

  • You can choose not to accept (Jesus)

 

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The Book of James

Sunday Service

  • 3 December 2017
  • Suzie Holmes
  • The Book of James

Most of us here (in Auckland, NZ) live in relative luxury, compared to 90% of the world.  We usually fulfil our desires without thought.

Osiligi Farm – Kenya.

  • Training school for young men.
  • The Aims family ministering there.
  • Absolute poverty

Galatians 2:20

  • My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
  • So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Unlocking the Bible

  • James the Just, was stoned to death.
  • He prayed for his persecutors.
  • He didn’t deny Christ.
  • His knees were greatly calloused.
  • The half-brother of Jesus.

James 5:1-6

  1. Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.
  2. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.
  3. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.  You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
  4. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you.  The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
  5. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.
  6. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

The West:

  • 6 percent of the global population owns 85 percent of the global wealth.
  • This means anyone who owns over $100,000.00 in assets.

Deuteronomy 6

  1. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
  2. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
  3. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
  4. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you like down and when you get up.
  5. Time them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
  6. Write them on the doorframes on your houses and on your gates.

Matthew 22:37

  • Jesus replied, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart all your soul and all your mind.’”

Holy Spirit

  • Teach me to love the Lord my God
  • With all my heart
  • With all my soul
  • With all my mind
  • And with all my strength

 

Vision Sunday 2017

Sunday Service

  • 26 November 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Vision Sunday

Pastor Al presented the church annual report.  Things are rosy.  Then he presented an idea to create a new pop-up mall outside our front door on the grass verge.  But only if it generated funds and ministered the gospel.  His final statement, leading into his sermon was, “Our most effective outreach is You!”

Matthew 25:14-30

  • The parable of the bags of gold.
  • Jesus is looking for our return on his investment.
  • Not just my faith and my child’s faith.

“God, I am serious about this!  I want my life and my faith to count for eternity!  I would love to have the privilege of seeing someone come to faith in the next 12 months through me.  I will pray for that, work towards that and trust you for that.”

Signed: James Hippolite

 

 

The Book of James

Sunday Service

  • 19 November 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Clarity

“The book of James is like the YouTube of scriptures.”

  • It’s there to provide us clarity.
  • You’ve seen that 3 minute video, now you can do it.

Clips:

  1. “Wisdom, just ask” clip
  2. “Words and Deeds” clip
  3. “How to live well, and how to live wisely” clip (James 3:13-18)

Want to be wise?

  • Live well
  • Live humbly
  • It’s your actions that count

A good life is about how well we serve God, and serve others.

  • Your life will be full on, and full.

What wisdom isn’t

  • Mean-spirited selfish ambition
  • Envy & boasting
  • Twisting truth to sound wise
  • Earthly, unspiritual & demonic
  • Looking better than others
  • Getting the better of others
  • … this leads to things falling apart!
  • (NOT ‘ME FIRST!’)

Unmet Expectations

  • North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, expects respect.
  • Just like abusive husbands in NZ expect respect.
  • Were these expectations conveyed well?
  • Why have the expectations not been fulfilled?
  • What needs to change?

Real Wisdom

  • From God
  • Begins with a holy life
  • Characterised by getting on with others
  • Gentle & reasonable… considerate
  • Mercy
  • Good fruit & blessings
  • Impartial & sincere

James 3:18

NIV Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness
The Message You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour.
Amplified And the seed whose fruit is righteousness (spiritual maturity) is sown in peace by those who make peace (By actively encouraging good will between individuals).

 

I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist

It used to be said that belief in God demonstrates a lack of scientific understanding.  That if only I understood science better, then I would let go of my childish need to believe in a “God of the gaps.”  The “God of the gaps” theory is the belief that, since we can’t explain everything about how evolution works, therefore God must have done it.  The problem with this theory for the theist, was that as science uncovers more evidence, then the gaps get smaller and the need for God diminishes.

However, contrary to the expectation of Darwin’s time, the reverse has proven to be true.  As science uncovers more evidence, then the gaps are getting larger, not smaller.  Instead of there being only 2 universal constants necessary for life to evolve (like the goldilocks zone, allowing water to exist in its liquid state), there are now recognised to be 26 universal constants (and quite possibly more to come).

This amount of fine-tuning is too perfect to be random.  No process of slow and gradual change can account for this fine-tuning which presumably took place the nano-second after the so-called Big Bang.

There are rational scientists who believe in a creator God who made this universe specially for us.  It is becoming painfully obvious to any unbiased observer of scientific literature that those who cling to a naturalistic (non-spiritual) origins of the universe and life, are doing so despite the evidence, not because of it.  In short, Darwinians are acting exactly like religious followers, content to let these mysteries coexists alongside their doctrine, secure in the knowledge that they will one day discover how the universe spontaneously created itself without God.

I am not an ardent Darwinian.  I find it much more believable, understanding, testable, provable, falsifiable and reasonable to be a theist.

James

Sunday Service

  • 12 November 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Book of James

Events

  • Announcement of Suz Holmes for consideration as new pastor. To be voted on later this month.  Must be accepted by 75% of members who vote.  Not a replacement for Gary.  Still looking for this one.
  • “Her” event coming this Saturday. I won a ticket for Fiona.  The word for “woman” in another language:
    • Maori = wahine
    • Spanish = mujer
    • French = la femme
  • 2 baptisms

James 2:14-26

  • If what I do doesn’t match up to what I say, you can rightfully conclude that I don’t really believe what I say.
  • What I believe and what I do has to have some correlation.
  • “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

Need to do:

  • Believe
  • Good Deeds
  • The intersection is called “Saving Faith”

However:

  • Good deeds without belief are just dead works.
  • Dead faith produces nothing.
  • Living faith produces good works.

James 2

  • What good is it dear Brothers and Sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?
  • Unless it’s a really busy week? (This part is not in the Bible)
  • However: Saved by Grace through faith and nothing else.

How do we reconcile these two statements?

  • Saved by grace through faith and nothing else.
  • Faith without deeds is dead.

This way:

  • Salvations always produces works, works never produces salvation.
  • Faith leads to Salvation and Good Works
  • Therefore: We are saved for works not by works.

 

Expectation/Application

Sunday Service

  • 5 November 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Expectation/Application

3 “real” reasons for coming to church

  • Came to the Light Party this week and want to check us out;
  • It’s a habit.
  • Came for a 21st last night, and just came as part of the package deal.

2 “proper” Reasons for coming to church

  • Not here for myself, but because I want to worship God
  • For others. To care for them, to share with them.

James 1

  1. This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes” – Jewish believers scattered abroad.  Greetings!

    Am I too blunt, too cold in my interaction with people?  The first 2 sentences sets the tone.
  2. Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
  3. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
  4. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

    Not a whacky Christian, whom says they’re ecstatic when they lose their job; but a person who sees opportunity in adversity.
    In the toughest times, God is with you!

  5. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
  6. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave on the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
  7. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
  8. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

    If you don’t know what to do, this section is for you.
    Wisdom: A Need. Ask & Given.
  9. Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honoured them.
  10. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field.
  11. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.

    Don’t focus on stuff!
  12. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life and that God has promised to those who love him.
  13. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.
  14. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
  15. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
  16. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.
  17. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
  18. He chose to give birth to us to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

    Temptation > Evil desires > Enticed > Sinful Actions > Death
    Don’t cross the line to Sinful Actions.
    Don’t even cross the line to Enticement (worry).
  19. Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
  20. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
  21. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the world God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

    Be quick to listen;
    Slow to speak;
    Slow to get angry.
    Which 1 of these 3 do I need to focus on?
  22. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.  Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
  23. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.
  24. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.
  25. But if you look carefully in to the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

    Faith without works is dead faith.
    Work without faith is useless.
    Faith with works produces righteousness?
  26. If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
  27. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.