Weekly Messages

13th October, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Faith based on knowing Christ; who God raised from the dead, gives Christians reason for hope we are being kept by God until the Day of Salvation! 

But how should we live on earth in these complex times? 

Given Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’. Aim at being peacemakers in all you do! 

The early Church stood out as peacemakers in troubled times. Especially: As they shared the message of peace with God. 

Acts 8:25-26, prompts us to be open to Gods leading just as the original Disciples took their lead from God. 

Gods Spirit called the Apostles to preach beginning where they were then strategically moving out spreading the Gospel throughout the lands. 

Phillips spontaneous response gives insight into how we should be sensitive to the Spirits leading. [See v26] 

This means that we like Phillip need to be open to the Spirit looking for opportunities as they arise. [Viz vv27-30] 

Your Testimony is unique and offers a good basis for a chat. But like Phillip we need to link what we say to Scripture as it is the prime source for knowing about God! [Vv31-34] 

Like Phillip we should point people to Christ because we ourselves are unable to save anyone. [V35] 

Like Phillip in [vv37-39] we should encourage people to respond to Christ. How? By encouraging repentance and faith that leads to baptism. 

If you are ready to make a fresh commitment to witness let me know so we can pray together! 

Barry

 

6th October, 2019

Dear Friends

A Channel Ten News at 5pm interview with an Astronomer drew my attention. He was discounting the likelihood of any other life form in the universe except say microorganisms. He dismissed speculation of a Planet B to replace this planet. In what was an interesting discussion he did raise the issue of mining other Planets or Asteroids for rare minerals in short supply here on earth. Suggesting this as an ethical issue to consider? 

Although he and I would have other differences: He identified as an Evolutionist whereas I hold that God has Created humans as Stewards to care for all Creation. I do agree any form of interplanetary mining raises ethical concerns. 

While it’s also true Australians benefit from mining income, isn’t it time to explore our collective conscience when it comes to interplanetary mining Asteroids or Planets to satisfy any appetite for rare minerals? 

Questions to consider include: 1/ is it a reasonable excuse to assume this action wouldn’t harm anyone? 

2/ Must human actions always be driven by greed? 

Some years ago a Church at Lakemba turned its hall into a temporary restaurant to raise monies for missionaries working directly with people in the poorest 3rd World Nations. 

The motto they adopted was ‘Living Simply so others can Simply Live’. Although this ideal is at odds with the ever rapacious hunt for the next new thing. It does offer food for thought especially as Australia prepares for the next round of Space Exploration. 

Barry

 

29th September, 2019

Dear Friends

Skepticism about Jesus Christ is not new! People have rejected the idea of a certain future with God, by trusting in Jesus Christ for two millennia. 

*Eternity Newspaper shares at length insight into the journey of Actress Anna McGahan, an avowed skeptic. Who has discovered the reality of Jesus after reading a Gideon’s Bible! 

In a very revealing article she answers the question: ‘When you met Jesus he was not at all as you expected was he?’ 

She said: “I expected to meet a Jesus that was on the side of Christians and of people that I, at that time, didn’t identify with. When I first read the Bible- it was a Gideon Bible that I knew would be in the drawer of the hotel I was staying in –I read it to convince myself it wasn’t true”. 

The report identifies:

This was at a low point in the actress’s life. She added the following comment: “As soon as I started to read it the person [of Jesus] sort of came out of the page and was at my side. I felt a deep alliance with Him and acceptance”. Her portrayal of Gods acceptance of her follows: “Everything that you are- the entire mess that you are- exactly as you are right now, I am with you. 

Imagine the effect of that realization. The depth of God’s acceptance has had a profound impact on this person’s life! 

This speaks to Gods willingness to accept us; just as we are! 

It also shows the impact you can have on others by telling of your journey of faith. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

*In Depth p6 September issue of Eternity 2019

 

22nd September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Last Sunday’s 11am. Parish Service brought together folk from each of our churches. 

The fellowship was good as was the lunch that followed. 

John Williams from Presbytery led our service. The speaker Rev Kerry Bartlett spoke of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. To remind us how important it is to gathering together everyone including those who’ve strayed from God. 

This tells us God values everyone with equal love and urges, indeed Commands us to go and seek the lost, to bring them to faith in the Good Shepherd. Who is Jesus Christ our Lord!   

It’s just a thought but it would be wonderful to have periodic combined services at say Narooma and Cobargo to praise God together. 

On a different note please be in prayer for the three Australians incarcerated in Iranian Prisons. One couple is accused of flying a drone in a Military Zone and another woman is accused of spying. 

This is a grave situation for anyone to face. So although we do not know any of the individuals involved. That doesn’t prevent us from praying for them to commend them to Gods care. Please pray our countries Diplomats can help them receive a fair and just hearing and help their respective families face coming days in God’s strength. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

15th September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Why is the Blood of Christ necessary so we can live spiritually effective lives? 

Paul gives insight into the answer in Galatians 2:29

“It’s no longer I that lives but Christ that liveth in me!” 

He is not talking about living on a higher level than other Christians. What he identifies is our day to day Christian life. 

Examine it as it applies to you! It’s no longer: Insert your name _______that lives, but Christ that lives in me. 

God offers only one solution to our human need and that’s His Son Jesus! 

God works in us by removing our sinfulness and replacing it with? Jesus! 

The Son of God died instead of us, so we can be forgiven. 

This works by substituting Christ’s death on the Cross, to pay for our sins, so we do not have to pay the consequences for them ourselves: Atonement

So the Cross secures our forgiveness!

‘But wait there is more’

Christ living in us secures our Victory! Because it’s no longer I that lives BUT Christ who lives in me? 

If we remember this verse we know what God has done and is doing in us. 

Then every Question we might ask of God is answered by showing us more of Jesus. So that having entered into faith in Christ Jesus, we will choose to model our lives on His. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

8th September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

It’s a true saying to ask “who can lengthen their days by worrying”. But worry which breeds anxiety and uncertainty is prevalent in the world today. 

Anxiety over our past; concern for our future, are common triggers for unnecessary worry. 

Matthew 6 can go a long way toward resolving unnecessary concerns if we are open to the words of Jesus. 

Verse 24 outlines a problem then verse 25 and following identify how relying on God resolves unnecessary worries. 

Matthew 6:24-34 (NIV)

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. V25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?” 

If we would filter every concern through maxim that God is the solution to all that might disturb us! Then the Joy of knowing God could enable us to trust in faith in Jesus without need to worry unnecessarily. 

God does not forbid prudent care. But verse V34 reminds us not to worry in advance, as each day has its own worries. 

Christians have brilliant access to God through prayer, to bring any or all our concerns to God in humble confidence.   

Anyone who invites Christ into their lives by prayer can be guided in wise decisions by God’s Holy Spirit! It’s just a matter of being open to God! 

Barry

 

1st September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Most children hero worship their dads thinking nothing is impossible for their ‘Dad’. 

Most dads would love to live up to those expectations; but know they need help to do so. 

A Godly Father loves God as the basis upon which happiness is built. Read Matthew 6:33 

A Godly Father fosters healthy relationships with all his family. 

A Godly Father loves his Wife. 

Real love seeks to meet all the needs of another person; read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 for a definition of real love. 

A Godly Father loves his Children. Love is more than provision for material things. Don’t miss your children’s childhood; there is no second chance at childhood.

A Godly Father is a man of Integrity! 

A Godly Father is a role model of God. 

Given we live in testing times please be in prayer that more Dads will take up the challenge to become Godly Fathers so more children can enjoy a blessed Fathers Day. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

25th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Flicking through TV Channels; the end of a Science Show was on ABCTV. The picture on screen was a Blue Planet like Earth only larger. The host suggested it might possibly support human life. Unsure if this was speculation or more, I dismissed it from my mind, until 9 News announced QLD Astronomers have discovered 10 New Planets. 

As a Christian the idea of a New Earth isn’t a surprise. 

Revelation 21:1-8 predicts a New Heaven and New Earth to replace this tired planet when it has passed its use by date. 

That prediction from the Bible was written some 2000 years ago to focus the attention of Christians on Jesus as Gods Plan for their future, at a time when they faced difficult days! 

Presently the world at large is facing difficult days according to a UN IPCC Report. 

They cite emissions; need of good food production and food waste as issues of concern. So this worlds burgeoning population can be fed! 

If only the world at large knew of Gods Plan to resolve the Spiritual and Physical problems facing this Planet! 

In Matthew 28:16ff Jesus Commands His followers to go into ‘ALL’ the world to share the Gospels Good News so others can trust in Jesus as God’s Plan for their future. 

By sharing Gods Love we give people opportunity to make an informed decision, so they too can have Eternal Hope. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

18th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

It’s interesting what you can learn on local radio. As an instance, a hairdresser was interviewed to explain how shampooing works best. Who would imagine that each individual hair on our head has scales like fish have scales? As we wash our hair in hot water the scales open to release dirt. 

Then as we condition our hair we use cold water to close the scales to protect our hair from breakage. 

It’s said in the Bible God knows us so well, even down to the hairs on our heads. Matt 10:30 

If you compare shampooing of our hair with what Jesus can achieve in our lives He washes away every aspect of hurt or failure in our respective lives. He gives us new life to trust in Him. To carry the metaphor one step further; Gods Holy Spirit conditions our lives by leading us the way Jesus would have us follow in truth & love. 

In walk with God, people poured cold water on the idea anyone could benefit from knowing Gods Love at work in or through their lives. 

Comments similar to “he will get over it” can come from unexpected sources. Perhaps you have fielded similar rebukes by people dismissive of your faith. 

Let me encourage you hold to onto your faith in Jesus and let God minister in every aspect of Eternal Life. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

11th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Every generation has songs that appeal to them:

Two songs that stand out for me are ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘How Deep the Fathers Love’.

The first was written by John Newton 1725-1807 after he admitted to himself his involvement in slavery was wrong. Gradually but surely he understood his need of God’s forgiveness. The lyrics continue: “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found I was blind but now I see”. Once he realised the depth of his sin, he called on Christ and two Amazing things happened. 1st he was forgiven all his wretchedness. 2nd his life found new meaning serving God by advocating the end of slavery.

My second song choice: ‘How Deep the Fathers Love For Me’ was written more recently; by Stuart Townsend. It also uses the word wretch but the meaning is more general in application because anyone singing it could apply it to themselves: How Deep the Fathers Love for Me! How vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.

The concept that God treasures us is lost to many today: Just remember God did not send His Son Jesus to condemn anyone He came to save people from their doubts fears and failures.

We can experience Gods Amazing Grace for ourselves simply by asking for Jesus help.

Then we can live for God with a clear conscience. 

Yours in Christ’s Name 

Barry

4th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Charles Stanly shares on how to be led by Christ’s Spirit!

By citing Dietrich Bonhoeffer; who was martyred for his faith in WWII. He found self denial was necessary to follow Jesus.

"Self-denial means knowing only CHRIST, and no longer oneself. It means seeing only Christ, who goes ahead of us, and no longer the path that is too difficult for us. Self denial is saying: HE goes ahead of us, hold fast to HIM!''  

The Apostle Paul was led by the Spirit as the following extract from Romans 8:14 and Galatians 5:18 share. 

"Both times the reference is to resisting ones own sinful -impulses as the flip side of one's own practice of righteousness. Taken rightly; LEADS means 'guides'. In Galatians 5:25 we find another reference to walking in the SPIRIT. This time how-ever, Paul uses a different and more descriptive Greek word----WALK. This word means to 'be in line with' or 'agree with'. The idea here is to walk in such a way as to avoid the moral land-mines buried all around us!” 

When someone is following another there must be trust----even to the point of dependency! 

"So I say, live by the SPIRIT and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."  Galatians 5:16 

"Since we live by the SPIRIT let us keep in step with the SPIRIT." Galatians 5:26 

Hopefully this offers you food for thought. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

28th July, 2019

Dear Friends,

 Colossians 2:8 Warns against becoming captivated by hollow deceptive philosophies based on human traditions… rather than on Christ. 

This begs the question:

What is Jesus Christ to you? 

Is he “the way the truth and the life” John 14:6? Or a philosophical concept, that you might be tempted to dismiss as obsolete? 

The following extract from ‘Thought for the Day’ offers food for thought about the Person of Jesus. 

“Truth is not just a concept to study. Truth is a Person.

JESUS did not say, 'I will teach you the truth,' HE said, 'I am the truth' (John 14:6).

When GOD gives you eternal life, HE gives you Himself (see John 17:3). HIS Holy Spirit, who lives in you, reveals truth... When the Holy Spirit reveals truth, HE is not teaching you a concept to consider. HE is leading you to a relationship with a Person. HE is your life!

When GOD gives you eternal life, HE gives you a person.

When you became a Christian,

JESUS didn't give you a thing;

HE gave you Himself!"

 

If or when someone seeks God’s will for their life God reveals the truth to them, alerting them to what He is doing in their life. 

On that basis faith is an active interaction between God and the person who seeks to know Him rather than an idealistic concept derived from human tradition. 

Knowing Jesus for your-self is important: a simple prayer for Gods help can overcome unbelief. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

21st July, 2019

Dear friends

We celebrated the life of faith of our dear friend Bev on Tuesday. Narooma Church was packed with those who recalled someone who lived for Christ in good or hard times. 

Each of our Churches were represented, but for those unable to be there let me share in part my recollections of Bev. 

She was someone with a large wonderful generous and caring personality. 

Undaunted by impact of Floods Bev arranged for Queensland flood victims to holiday in Narooma. 

When Vanuatu experienced a Hurricane; Bev expressed her love of God and people in practical caring ways. 

Together with Jim, Bev encouraged others to be generous &-loving as well. 

Bev’s actions epitomized the essence of Christ’s Commands: To ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ [Matthew 22:37-39] 

The point to take from the example of Bev’s life is she wasn’t trying to earn her Salvation! Rather her actions gave expression to her abiding faith in Jesus Christ! 

If you recall Beverly Wilkinson remember she shared God’s blessing to bless others. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

14th July, 2019

Dear Friends, 

It is good to know people pray for us. As prayer creates inner awareness that others care.

In his letter to the church at Colossae the Apostle Paul assures the Colossians of his prayers of thanksgiving for their faith, love and hope

He came by this knowledge when their minister Epaphras shared this good news. 

But Paul doesn’t single out Epaphras as their sole minister. Rather he identifies all the people of the church as ministers; indeed he describes them as saints, because they had all attested to their faith. Paul further prayed their knowledge of Christ increase. 

He prayed for their ministry to be fruitful and importantly he prayed they would be strengthened in faith. Col1:9-11 

Those who rely on Christ’s redeeming love, appreciate Gods Holy Spirit of Grace reveals the Fathers love for each and everyone on earth. 

Yet even after years as a Christian there is always something new to learn and share re Christ’s abiding Love. 

There are four congregations within our parish and each has its own area of ministry.

Let me encourage you to be in prayer for the Bodalla Church. Thanking God for their faith love and hope! Pray their ministry is fruitful & their faith as Christians is strengthened. 

Equally it is fitting to pray thanksgiving & encouragement for our Bermagui, Cobargo & Narooma congregations as well; as each gathering of faithful people is important to God and to us as a Parish. 

May God strengthen you all! 

Barry