About Dave Quinn

I am a Pastor and Founder of the Christian Ministry PASSIONAustralia.org. On this blog I post on a variety of topics from a faith and life perspective. I also share my recent sermons and other resources I have written and recorded.

Showing favouritism?

James 2:1 tells us not to show favouritsm. It says, “Verse 1 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favour some people over others?”

It is a straight forward and clear reminder not to favour one person over another. In verses 2-4 it gives the example of favouring richer well-dressed people over poor people. It talks about giving richer people preferential seating, while the poor sit on the floor. It pretty much says “rich at front, poor on the floor”.

Recently I read a story I want to share that illustrates this point. It is about a Pastor and what God asked him to do before he started at his new church. It made such an impact in his community that it was reported in newspapers and on TV at the time. I will put links on the website version on this message.

“On the morning of Sunday, June 23, 2013, the newly-appointed pastor of Sango United Methodist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, Willie Lyle, lay down at the foot of a tree on the church grounds with an overcoat for a blanket. Unkept and bearded after spending most of the previous week on the streets, he looked for all the world like a homeless man, which was precisely the effect he hoped to achieve.

“He wondered how many people would approach him and offer him food, or a place to sit inside an air-conditioned room, or just see how they could help,” wrote freelance reporter Tim Parrish in a June 28 story for the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. “Twenty people spoke to him and offered some type of assistance.”

When the time came to deliver his inaugural sermon he did so from that very spot, changing into a jacket and tie and shaving off his beard with the help of his daughter as he spoke. “Before the 200 people gathered that morning,” Parrish wrote, “he went from looking like a homeless person to the new pastor of the congregation.”

Appropriately, Lyle’s sermon was a call to emulate Christ, to not judge other people by appearances. “Our goal should be to improve and change the lives of people as we live like Jesus,” he said in closing. “You see, we look at the outside of others and make judgments. God looks inside at our heart and sees the truth.”

We need to remember that God sees everyone as special, as created in His image and made with a purpose. And there is not one person in this world that Jesus did not die for. As a result, we can’t discriminate and treat others differently.

Right with God

Romans 5:8-11 has some wonderful truths about our salvation because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. It says…

[8] But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. [9] And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. [10] For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. [11] So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Five things jump out at me as I read…

  1. We know God loves us – we know this because Christ died for us.
  2. We are right with God – Jesus’s death paid the price for our sin.
  3. We are not condemned – we are forgiven and set free from condemnation.
  4. We are friends with God – Jesus has made us friends with God.
  5. We can rejoice – we are free to live in God.

What a great passage of Scripture. It contains so much truth about what God has done for us in Christ. We are loved, forgiven and friends with God.

This is a great reason to rejoice today!

God Bless,
Dave

Cleansed and strengthened

1 John 1:8-10 NLT – If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. [9] But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. [10] If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Temptation and sin are sadly part of our lives here on earth. When we sin it has a way of spoiling our lives and the lives of the people around us. It also affects our relationship with God.

Today’s verses tell us that we all sin at times and if we say we don’t sin, we make God a liar. Thankfully God has made a way for us to be right with Him – confession. When we sin, we come to God in confession. We simply apologise and ask God to help us to live right.

In the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 it says…

Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. [10] May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. [11] Give us today the food we need, [12] and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. [13] And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

A key component of this prayer is confession. It asks God to forgive our sins and to help us not yield to temptation. By doing this we are cleansed and strengthened.

Dear God, please forgive my sin. I am sorry for the wrong things I have done and for the right things I did not do. I ask that You would strengthen me when temptation comes and help me to live my life for You. Amen.

All and all

Psalm 139:1-3 NLT – O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. [2] You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. [3] You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

God knows us inside out. He knows everything about us. These verses tell us He examines our hearts and knows our thoughts. In spite of knowing everything about us, He loves us deeply. So much so, that He moved heaven and earth to secure a place for us in heaven when Jesus died for us. It is reasurring that we don’t have to wear a mask with God like we do with people sometimes. He knows ALL and He loves ALL of us.

Dear God, thank You that You love me just as I am. It gives me comfort to know that You have examinded my heart and You know my thoughts, and You still love me. Thank You Jesus died for me and for preapring a place for me in heaven. Amen.

Jesus is our Advocate

1 John 2:1-2 – My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous. 2 He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins–and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

My heart as a Christian is to live in Christ and not sin, but sometimes I do fall short and I need to confess. At other times there are things I know I should do and I don’t do them. It helps me to know that I have an Advocate, a Defender, and a Supporter in heaven who pleads my case on my behalf.

It helps me to know that when I let myself down and ultimately let God down, that our Advocate is there for me. Over the years I have wondered what Jesus says in my defense. We can never know, but it might be something like this:

Father, Dave loves Me and I love Him. He knows Me and I know him. He tries really hard to live in Me and he does really well most of the time, but sometimes he falls short. Father, I died on the cross for Dave’s sin. I took it on Myself. I paid the price. Dave is forgiven because of My efforts on his behalf. Please restore Him and help him to live right.

We can never really know what is said, but it helps me to imagine something like the above. It helps me to know the One who is truly righteous is on my side and pleading my case before the Father in Heaven.

Here are some questions for personal reflection and application:

  • Do you find it hard to confess your sin when you fall short? Does it take some time to approach God?
  • Does it help you to know Jesus is your advocate, defender and supporter in heaven?

God Bless,
Dave

Rescue the poor and helpless

Psalm 82:3-4 NLT – “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. [4] Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.

God wants us to look after and protect the most vulnerable members of society. He wants us to look after the poor, the helpless, the orphans and widows. These are people that are easily taken advantage of by evil people.

What can you do to help the poor, the orphan, the helpless and the widow today?

Here are some organisations that my wife and I have supported over the years…

Compassion – http://www.compassion.com.au
Destiny Rescue – http://www.destinyrescue.org.au
Leprosy Mission – http://www.leoprosymission.org.au
CBM – http://www.cbm.org.au

All of these organisations help the most venerable in our world.

God Bless,
Dave

He has always been there

Psalm 71:5-6 NLT – O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O LORD, from childhood. [6] Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you!

God has always been there. Even from before our birth. He has always cared for us, even though we may not have realised. I came to Christ in my early 20s. I have never really thought about God until then. But looking back I can see His fingerprints throughout my early life. He was there looking after me through the good times and the bad. He brought people into my life to help me and He gently nudged me in His direction. I am so thankful.

Dear God, thank You that You have always been there. Even before I was born You were there. Thank You for loving and caring for me right throughout my life. Amen.