ODB: Dealing with delays

I really enjoyed this devotion from Our Daily Bread today. It touched on patience and how God get us to where He wants us to be. Please enjoy…

Dealing with Delays
By David C. McCasland

So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God (Genesis 45:8).

A global computer system outage causes widespread flight cancellations, stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers at airports. During a winter storm, multiple auto accidents close major highways. The person who promised to send a reply “right away” has failed to do so. Delays can often produce anger and frustration, but as followers of Jesus, we have the privilege of looking to Him for help.

One of the Bible’s great examples of patience is Joseph, who was sold to slave traders by his jealous brothers, falsely accused by his employer’s wife, and imprisoned in Egypt. “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:20–21). Years later, when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, he was made second in command in Egypt (ch. 41).

The most remarkable fruit of his patience occurred when his brothers came to buy grain during a famine. “I am your brother Joseph,” he told them, “the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. . . . So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (45:4–5, 8).

In all our delays, brief or long, may we, like Joseph, gain patience, perspective, and peace as we trust in the Lord.

Father in heaven, in all of our delays may we trust Your faithful hand of guidance and experience Your presence with us in every situation.

Confidence in God enables us to live out our faith patiently.

Read the New Testament in 2018 Bible plan

Just a reminder that we have a PDF Bible reading plan to help you read the New Testament in 2018.

You can read 5 days a week and it takes a year. Or you can read it 7 days a week and it takes about 9 months.

It is A4 size and it has check boxes so you can tick the chapters off as you go.

You can find it here.

God Bless,

A reminder about our sermons series’

Hello all,

As we are fast approaching the end of the year I thought I would remind you all of some of the sermon series we have done this year.

We have done five main series this year. Three on Bible books, one on our church roles and one on living in the Kingdom.

I thought I would include links to each of the series on our website, just in case you are keen to revisit them. You can click on the links below…

I hope they were a blessing to you. They were a blessing to me in the preparation and preaching.

God Bless,
Pastor Dave

The all consuming call sermon

Hello all, my sermon from today is now online. It was titled, “The ALL consuming call”.

In it we looked at the two passages that are known as the Great Commission – Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16. In these passages the word “all” is used four times. This formed the main points of the message.

  1. Jesus has ALL Authority in heaven and on earth
  2. Jesus told us to go into ALL the world and make disciples
  3. Jesus told us to teach them to obey ALL His teachings
  4. Jesus promises to be ALL-ways with us

One key for us as Christians is we need to realise that all authority belongs to Jesus. He has all authority in heaven and at His baptism He received His Father’s approval. While on earth Jesus performed all types of miracles that confirmed His authority on earth.

In these passages we also see that Jesus bookend His commands. He says all authority is with Him and He promises to be all-ways with us. In the middle He says to go and make disciples and teach them to obey all His teachings.

If you would like to listen to the message you can do so by clicking here, or you can read the full text here.

God Bless,
Pastor Dave

PS. Here is the link to the Discipleship Booklet I wrote.

WDJDWI sermon

Hello all,

My sermon from today in now online. It was titled, “WDJDWI”. Or for those who were good enough to guess, “What did Jesus do when interrupted!”

In this message we looked at two main passages. The woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and how she touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed (Mark 5:21-34). This interrupted Jesus on His was to heal the synagogue leaders daughter who was dying.

The second passage was from Matthew 14:13-22. In this passage Jesus had gone to the other side of the lake by boat to take some time to mourn the death of John the Baptist (Jesus’ cousin). The crowds found Jesus and interrupted His mourning. Jesus then healed the sick and fed 5000 plus people in an amazing miracle.

When we go through the gospels, we see that Jesus never discarded any of the interruptions that came along His way. He always made the best use of those interruptions. In fact, some of the greatest miracles that Jesus had performed were through interruptions He had while doing something else!

Today we looked at two examples of Jesus being interrupted and how He responded. There are many more…

  • When speaking to a crowd in Luke 5:17-19, Jesus healed a lame man brought to Him in the middle of His message.
  • When asleep in the boat in Luke 8:22-24, a storm threatens, and He calms the storm and calms the terrified disciples.
  • When travelling to Jericho in Mark 10:46-52, Jesus healed a blind man who cried out to Him from the edge of the road.
  • When talking with his disciples in Luke 12:11-21, someone comes to ask about an inheritance and He tells the parable of the rich fool.
  • When praying in a solitary place in Mark 1:35-39, the disciples find Him.
  • When celebrating at the wedding in Cana in John 2:1-12, he was celebrating a wedding and He had to turn warn in to wine.

Never once is Jesus ‘thrown’ by these interruptions. He doesn’t even lose His temper. But He uses each occasion as a golden opportunity for some priceless teaching or wonderful miracle.

For us today as Christians, God sends certain interruptions into our lives to catch our attention. He knows that we have schedules to keep and work to do, but He wants us to look to Him. He wants our attention on things that are more important to Him at that present moment. Let’s pray and ask Him for the wisdom to discern what He may be trying to say through interruptions.

We never know how a listening ear, a helping hand, or a kind encouraging word can do in someone’s life. Maybe if we take the time to stop, God may perform and amazing miracle through us.

If you want to read the full text of the message you can find it here, or you can listen to the audio here.

God Bless,
Pastor Dave

The right people sermon

Hello all,

My sermon from today is now up on the website. The title was “The right people in the right place” and looked at Acts chapter 6 verses 1-7.

In this passage 3000 people were added to the church after a powerful sermon from the Apostle Peter. As you can imagine they had some growing pains.

The main three points in the sermon was…

  1. The Problem – The Apostles needed help after the rapid growth in the church. Church leaders today need help and they need to let others help too.
  2. The Solution – The people chose 7 people who had a good reputation, full of Holy Spirit and with God’s wisdom. We need the same today.
  3. The Outcome – The right people in place led to more church growth. Having the right people in the right place can help us too.

You can find the full text here and the audio here.

God Bless,
Pastor Dave

Living sacrifice sermon series

Hello all,

I have put all the sermons together in a booklet titled, “The living sacrifice series”. It is a collection of the first six sermons from my role at Bruce Rock Church of Christ that I have just completed.

The theme of these sermons is Being a Living Sacrifice for God and focuses on Romans 12. The sermon titles include:

  1. Five things to help us be a living sacrifice
  2. Transformed or conformed
  3. 10 things God says about you in the Bible
  4. Born and equipped for a time such as this
  5. A greater love
  6. A greater perspective

The idea behind these messages is to encourage us to live our lives in God’s service; to renew our minds to line our thinking up with Kingdom thinking; to understand who we are in Christ; to live our lives by loving others the way Jesus loved; and ensuring we are not overcome by the evil things that happen in the world around us.

I hope and pray these messages are a blessing and encouragement to you. You can download them all in PDF format by clicking on this link.

God Bless,

What is Palm Sunday?

I was asked the question “What is Palm Sunday and why do Christians celebrate it?”. Today I thought I would share an answer from GotQuestions.org…

Palm Sunday is the day we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, one week before His resurrection (Matthew 21:1–11). As Jesus entered the holy city, He neared the culmination of a long journey toward Golgotha. He had come to save the lost (Luke 19:10), and now was the time—this was the place—to secure that salvation. Palm Sunday marked the start of what is often called “Passion Week,” the final seven days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” of Jesus’ work on earth.

Palm Sunday began with Jesus and His disciples traveling over the Mount of Olives. The Lord sent two disciples ahead into the village of Bethphage to find an animal to ride. They found the unbroken colt of a donkey, just as Jesus had said they would (Luke 19:29–30). When they untied the colt, the owners began to question them. The disciples responded with the answer Jesus had provided: “The Lord needs it” (Luke 19:31–34). Amazingly, the owners were satisfied with that answer and let the disciples go. “They brought [the donkey] to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it” (Luke 19:35).

As Jesus ascended toward Jerusalem, a large multitude gathered around Him. This crowd understood that Jesus was the Messiah; what they did not understand was that it wasn’t time to set up the kingdom yet—although Jesus had tried to tell them so (Luke 19:11–12). The crowd’s actions along the road give rise to the name “Palm Sunday”: “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road” (Matthew 21:8). In strewing their cloaks on the road, the people were giving Jesus the royal treatment—King Jehu was given similar honor at his coronation (2 Kings 9:13). John records the detail that the branches they cut were from palm trees (John 12:13).

On that first Palm Sunday, the people also honored Jesus verbally: “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ / ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ / ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Matthew 21:9). In their praise of Jesus, the Jewish crowds were quoting Psalm 118:25–26, an acknowledged prophecy of the Christ. The allusion to a Messianic psalm drew resentment from the religious leaders present: “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’” (Luke 19:39). However, Jesus saw no need to rebuke those who told the truth. He replied, “I tell you . . . if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40).

Via http://www.gotquestions.org/Palm-Sunday.html

What do you want?

I read this devotion from Oswald Chambers recently and I thought it was really good. It talks about our desires and our motives. Please enjoy…

What do you want?

Do you seek great things for yourself? —Jeremiah 45:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person? God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Himself than simply receiving His gifts— He wants you to get to know Him. Even some large thing we want is only incidental; it comes and it goes. But God never gives us anything incidental. There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.

If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, “I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t give me the rest and the peace I expected.” And instantly God puts His finger on the reason– you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7). Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether. “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said, “Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit”? If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).