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.

 

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Reformation Sunday

Sunday Service

  • 29 October 2017
  • Reformation Sunday
  • 500 years since Martin Luther nailed 95 theses (questions) to the door of the church in Wittenberg
  • Pastor Al Hall

John 8

  • The woman caught in the act of adultery
  • “Deal with that, Jesus”
  • Adultery meant death
  • Where was the man caught in the act of adultery?
  • What was He writing in the dirt? The sins of the accusers?
  • Jesus alone had the power to offer forgiveness instead of death for sin.
  • Because only faith in God has this power.
  • Jesus was making changes with the intention of setting things back on track (reformation).
  • God forgives anything. Now go, and sin no more.
  • If you reject Jesus, you reject the offer of forgiveness from God. That leaves you alone with your sins, in front of a Holy God.

Many reformations:

  • Baptism
  • Raising your hands in church
  • Dancing in church
  • Reading the Bible for yourself
  • There is only Heaven and Hell (and no Purgatory)
  • No indulgences (paying for the privilege of being allowed to sin)
  • We can’t ever feel that we’ve got this faith stuff sorted. There are constant reformations.  This is also called Revival.

Ask God, in what areas does He want to reform me?

  • Allow Him to transform me into His image
  • By communion with Him
  • Am I willing to allow Him to do this?
  • Do I trust Him enough, that He wants what is best for my part in reaching my community for Him?
  • (Not what is most comfortable, nor easy, nor necessarily fun).

Earlier this morning:

  • I just got back from Middlemore Hospital.
  • I served with a team from this church, to act as ushers for the Church Service they held there.
  • Our role was to help bring in patients.
  • I ended up in a one-on-one conversation with a man looking for spiritual answers to life’s big questions.
  • Thank you God, MCBC, Toastmasters & Alpha for giving me the information, practice & confidence to answer this man’s questions.

 

Summary of Tests

Sunday Service

  • 22 October 2017
  • 8 Tests
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Tests: Summary

8 Tests

  1. 03-Sep, Disappointment
  2. 10-Sep, Time = Patience
  3. 17-Sep, Failure
  4. 24-Sep, Misunderstanding
  5. 01-Oct, ?
  6. 08-Oct, ? (Absent because of Promise Keepers)
  7. 15-Oct, Adapting
  8. 22-Oct, Summary

Whatever tests we will face in this life, God is up for it!

  • “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
    • John 16:33
  • For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.
    • 1 John 5:4
  • For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right (dominant) hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.
    • And stop trying to fix it yourself. (Arnie’s addition, which seems reasonable to me.)
    • Isaiah 41:13
  • The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
    • Psalm 27:1
  • The eyes of the Lord search the whole Earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
    • 1 Chronicles 16:9

 

 

8 Tests: #7 – Adapting

Sunday Service

  • 15 October 2017
  • 8 Tests
  • Adapting
  • Pastor Al Hall

8 Tests

  1. 03-Sep, Disappointment
  2. 10-Sep, Time = Patience
  3. 17-Sep, Failure
  4. 24-Sep, Misunderstanding
  5. 01-Oct, ?
  6. 08-Oct, ? (Absent because of Promise Keepers)
  7. 15-Oct, Adapting

Culture is one area of life where being adaptable is important in order to relate the gospel to others.

Matthew 4:19

  • “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
  • He will use your occupation.
  • God will take you and use you to directly impact others for eternity if you let him!

1 Corinthians 9

  • “I become all things to all men, so that some may be saved.”
  • Being adaptable.

Reaching out to Indian Migrants

Sunday Service

  • 15 October 2017
  • Raj Narayanan
  • rajmynz@gmail.com
  • (021) 733615
  • Evangelism Explosion NZ

Reaching out to Indian Migrants.  What do Hindus believe?

  • Work towards salvation
  • 330 million gods. Three forms
    1. Human
    2. Animal
    3. Demonic
  • Karma – determines rebirth
  • Remove Sin from their life.
    1. baptism (annual)
    2. animal sacrifice (repeated)

What can I do?

  1. Pray for right souls
    1. Psalm 2:8.
    2. Ask of me, I will give you nations as inheritance and ends of earth as possession
  2. Provide hospitality
  3. Share your testimony

Ask these important questions

  • If you were to leave this world today, are you absolutely certain that you will be with God in Heaven?
  • If you were to sand before God and He were to ask you why should I let you into heaven, what would you say to Him?

Grace

  • Freely given
  • Unearned
  • Undeserved

Wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life (Rom 6:23)

  1. Removing sin
    1. Jesus washed my sin away.
    2. I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone. (Rom 1:16)

 

 

 

Full Throttle Faith – Danny Guglielmucci

The pureness of your motives will determine the clearness of your vision.  He pastored a church in Babylon, Long Island, New York.

 

The Four Looks of Faith

  • An upward look for revelation
  • An inward look for motivation
  • A backward look for confirmation
  • A forward look with expectation

 

New Zealand will (once again) become a forerunner of Kingdom Alliance (Ecumenicalism)

  • Love – prove we are his disciples by demonstrating this.
  • Fruit – prove our good works by this.
  • Continuance – A Churchian is easily offended. But Christians are easily extended.

 

Are you willing to live with contrasts?

  • I’m not a Christian just because of what Jesus does.
  • I’m a Christian because of who Jesus is.
  • I am not serving Christ to kill the pain.
  • I am serving because I’ve had the four looks of faith and I can stand.

 

The full journey of faith:

  1. Comforted by the Gospel. Reveals Christ.
  2. Connection to the Body. Your “ands” will determine your “end”.  (Peter and John.  Paul and Barnabas.)  Reveals the Church.
  3. Embrace the Cause of Jesus Christ. Evaluate, don’t evacuate.  Reveal the Cross.
  4. Commitment to the Cause. Get baptised.
  5. Go through Crisis. The initial sign of true discipleship.  Develop Character.
  6. Develop Conviction.

Live a life of Consistency.  Await the Crown.

Keeping Clean in a Dirty World – Sy Rogers

Common Mistakes in Dealing with Sinful Thoughts

  1. Suppress them
  2. Give in to them

 

Instead, you should:

  1. Admit them (confession)
  2. Submit them (leave them at the foot of the cross)

 

Instead of running from God, try running to God.

 

It may be embarrassing to confess a sin, but it’s better than keeping a secret with Satan, because when you do, then it will surface later at a less convenient time.  (Be sure your sins will find you out.)

 

Christianity = Sinners Anonymous

  • Weekly meetings to stay the programme.
  • Reliance upon a Higher Power to overcome my addiction
  • Instead of 12 steps, we have 10 Commandments

 

What does God really say?  Some boundaries:

  • Your body is My temple: don’t misuse it sexually.
  • Don’t look at a woman sexually.
  • Beware of those who say the grace of God gives you permission to do what you should not do.

 

Retrain your neural pathways

  • Be not conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind by the Word of God.

 

The goal is self-control.  On the journey to self-control, there may be necessary steps to take.  However, porn is never acceptable.  There is no good reason for a man to look at another man’s daughter to use her sexually.

Setting the record straight.