Come let us sing and worship Him

Psalm 95:1-7 NLT – Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. [2] Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. [3] For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods. [4] He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. [5] The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. [6] Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, [7] for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

When I read the passage above, I can’t help but want to sing and worship and kneel before my God. He IS the great King above all gods. He DOES hold everything in His hands. It ALL does belong to Him. And we ARE His people He watches over and cares for. Praise Him!

Remember His mighty deeds

Psalms 77:11‭-‬12 NLT says, “But then I recall all you have done, O Lord ; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.”

One thing I try to do in my walk with the Lord is to remember the wonderful things He has done in my life, in my family and in our churches.

Remembering the great things the Lord has done encourages us to celebrate the victories He has won. It also encourages us that God comes through when we are going through hard times now.

Here are a few things to remember…

1. When God brought healing when you were unwell.

2. When God brought provision when you did not have much money.

3. When God opened a door of opportunity when all doors seemed closed.

4. When God protected you when it seemed like trouble was pressing in from all sides.

5. When God sustained you when you thought you couldn’t take another step.

6. When God brought strength at the loss of a loved one.

7. When God sent Jesus in to the world and purchased your salvation

8. When God used you to meet someone elses needs.

There are so many wonderful deeds God has done in all of our lives. He is always at work. He is always moving. He is always there.

Let us remember His mighty wonderful deeds today.

Blessings,

Dave

Need advice, look in the Bible

I found this interesting list of helps from the Bible online. I thought I would share it here…

The Bible is a storehouse that offers practical advice on the following everyday issues:

  • Love (1 Corinthians 13).
  • Leadership (Nehemiah).
  • Laziness (Proverbs 6:6–8).
  • Materialism (Deuteronomy 8; Ecclesiastes; Luke 12:15).
  • Investments (Proverbs; Matthew 25).
  • Household responsibilities (Proverbs 31).
  • Disappointment (Psalm 121; Philippians 4:6–7).
  • Satisfying relationships (Colossians 3).
  • Overcoming weakness (2 Corinthians 12:7–9).
  • Marriage faithfullness (Proverbs 6:25–29; Hebrews 13:4).
  • Aging (Ecclesiastes 12).
  • Marital bliss (Song of Solomon).
  • Courage (Esther).
  • Hope (John 14; 2 Peter 1:3).

There is much to be discovered. One way to make Bible reading interesting is to assume the role of a hunter.

With a highlighter as your weapon, and your prey a subject (God’s attributes, miracles, fulfilled prophecies, grace, unknown facts, salvation, heaven, baptism, or precious promises), set out to underline everything the Bible has on that subject.

Take notes. Become an expert. —Author Unknown

Jesus teaches about humility and a funny story

Part of my Bible reading plan today touched on a section from Luke that Jesus taught the people about humility. It reminded me of something that happend to me a number of years ago. It says…

Luke 14:8-11 NLT – “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? [9] The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! [10] “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. [11] For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

As I read this today I was reminded of a funny story that happened to a friend and I a few years back.

We went to a National Athletics meet at our local stadium in Perth. All the top Australian athletes were there and a number from overseas. We went because we loved to watch the top athletes compete.

Anyway, the grandstand was pretty full except for one area. Part of it was roped off and some of it was open. My friend and I said, “Wow, these are great seats with a great view. Why don’t we sit here?”

As time went on people were walking past us and saying hello and nodding at us. At first we thought everyone was being really friendly, but then we realised they must think we are VIPs.

I had an Olympic Games tshirt on and my friend had a similar sporting top on. And because se we both exercised a lot, we both looked fit. People must have thought we were athletes who were invited as VIPs!

Eventually someone came up to us and asked to see our accreditation. Which surprisingly we did not have. We were then asked to move to the more “common” seats.

For us it was a bit of a laugh, but the people in charge were upset and felt a little bit embarrassed that they did not check our accreditation earlier.

I haven’t thought about this story for a long time, but today’s reading reminded me. Without knowing we took the seats that were in the place of honour and we were asked to move. So I can relate to this story. It wasn’t quite at a wedding feast, but it was an important event.

It has taught me to always look at where I am going to sit and make sure I chose the humble seats, not the best seats. It is much nicer to be upgraded, than downgraded!

Blessings,
Dave

Sermons page update

Hello all, I have just made an update to my sermons page. Previously I had a list of sermons by title and the most recent ones were at the top of the page.

I updated it just now to group them in to sermon series. Generally when I preach I like to preach in a series by working my way through a book of the Bible or in a series of messages with a series title.

With this change I think this will make it easier if you are looking for a sermon on a particular idea or book of the Bible.

Many of the sermons have the full text and audio. If you are interested you can find them here on my sermons page.

Blessings,
Dave

Making the Lord your shelter

Psalm 91:9-16 NLT says, “If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, [10] no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. [11] For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. [12] They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. [13] You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! [14] The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. [15] When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. [16] I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

Here is a great passage for encouragement today. It talks about making the Lord your shelter. There is so much in these verses, but two great promises jump out at me today.

1. If we make the Lord our shelter no evil will conquer us. It promises that angels will protect us wherever we go. It goes on to say He will protect those who trust in His name.

2. If we make the Lord our shelter He promises to rescue us when we call on Him. And His Word says He will honor us, reward us with a long life and give us salvation.

These words really encourage me. It is great to know the Lord God, promises to always look out for us. He is our King and our protector.

Blessings,
Dave

Elders based church leadership

Since moving from the city to the country 12 years ago I have noticed a big change in our churches. Many are moving from having a Pastor to Elders based church leadership. When we moved to the WA Wheatbelt most of the four larger churches in our region had Pastors. Over time this has gone from full time Pastors, to part-time Pastors, to no Pastor at all.

Some of this has been because of declining finances and ageing church population. At other times it has been because some Pastors do not want to work in country towns. On the surface not having a Pastor on staff can be seen as a bad thing. But I have seen having a group of mature Elders as the church leaders work really well.

Generally most of the churches in our region have people in the church who have had some Bible training, have attended church for a long time, have a deep relationship with the Lord and are considered by all to have good character. These people are great as Elders. They pray, seek and discern God’s will and lead the church well.

The church that I was Pastor for two years has gone back to an Elders based leadership team. Some preach, some lead service, and they all do pastoral care. It works well. The church I attend at the moment will not have a Pastor soon and they will have to decide which direction they go in. I am happy if they chose a new Pastor or lead with Elders.

If we think about Elders based church leadership for a moment, the first thing we see is it is Biblical. The Apostle Paul set Elders in place of the churches he planted. That way when he moved on to another area he has people in place to look after the church.

In my last church I looked at the role of Elders right throughout the Bible. Right throughout the Bible the Elders have led the people, made decisions for the direction of the group, sought God in prayer and overseen their flock. This is true in both the Old Testament and the New.

So from my perspective Elders based church leadership makes sense in our regional context. With declining finances and ageing populations and Pastors not wanting to work in smaller regional towns it might just be the way forward.

Blessings,

Dave

 

Don’t forget

Hebrews 13:16 NLT – And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God

I like how this verse says, “Don’t forget to do good and share with those in need” .

By saying “don’t forget” it implies we can forget. It is easy to get caught up in our own lives and lose sight of those around us.

Let us purpose in our hearts to not forget today!

Blessings,

Dave

Alive in Christ

Colossians 2:13-15 NLT – You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. [14] He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. [15] In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

In this passage there are seven truths about our relationship to God in Christ…

  1. We were dead in our sin
  2. We still had he sin nature we were born with
  3. We are now alive in Christ
  4. Jesus took our sins on the cross
  5. We are forgiven and set free
  6. We have no further charges for sin against us
  7. The spiritual rulers and authorities of this world have no power over us.

In the lead up to Easter, I am so thankful for what Jesus did for us on the cross. We are free from sin, set free and alive in Christ.

Blessings,
Dave