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.
Psalm 91:9-16 NLT says, “If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,  no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.  For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.  You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!  The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.  When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.  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.
Hi all, my sermon from today is now online. It was titled, “Paul’s heartfelt prayer for the Ephesians”. I made six points from Ephesians 1:15-23.
You can find the text here and PowerPoint here. The audio can be found here.
I was talking with someone the other day about how important it is to put God first in our lives. As we talked I shared with them a part of one of my previous sermons. I thought I would share it today…
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
There are two things contained in this verse.
- Seek God’s Kingdom above all else
- Live righteously or live right.
This doesn’t need much explanation. It is pretty straight forward. It simply means to put God first place in our lives. A have a helpful acrostic about putting God FIRST.
F – Finances – Are you putting God first in your finances? Does He get the first portion or the leftovers? Are you living generously?
I – Interests – What are you most passionate about? What do you dwell on most of the time?
R – Relationships – Is God first in your relationships? Is He your most important relationship?
S – Schedule – Where does God fit into your schedule? Is He first or squeezed in somewhere? Is He left out?
T – Troubles – Where do you look to or lean on when troubles come your way? Is He your anchor in the storm?
Three out of the last four weeks I have been to the church I was Pastor of for just under two years. It had been the best part of a year since I had been there before that.
It is amazing how once you have Pastored a church how much love you retain for the church and the people who call the church home. You really do hold the people in your heart.
I can remember when I started at the church how much I prayed, “God help me to love and care for the people who call this church home. I pray that You will love them through me too”. It was on my heart and on my lips every day.
Looking back that was a big prayer to pray and I probably didn’t fully understand it when I prayed, but it was one that I feel God was very happy to answer. And He didn’t hold back!
This week I am preaching at the church. I am really looking forward to it. Although I am not Pastor, I want God’s best for the church that stills holds a big place in my heart. I am hoping to bless them all this week.
Early next week I will share the text, audio and PowerPoint on here.
One group of Pastors I really respect are Bivocational Pastors. Over the years I have known quite a few Pastors who work in a secular job during the week and Pastor their churches for little or no financial reward.
One of my heroes was a Pastor who worked four days a week for a furniture company for many years, so his church could purchase a building for them to hold services in. The money which would have paid him, paid for the church.
This example has always stayed with me. It has always inspired me. In my last role for my church I was paid a few days a week by the church. But over time this became tight for the church and very tight for us as a family.
As I said in a recent post about Elder based church leadership, country churches in our region have ageing populations and declining incomes. I think this will lead to more churches being led by Elders and/or Bivocational Pastors.
This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Now that I have a part-time job at our local hospital, being a Bivocational Pastor might be an option for us as a family. It would be a way for us to use our gifts and bless a church, and require little or no finances from the church.
It is something that will require a lot of prayer and discussion. And as with all things with God and His Kingdom, time will tell if this is something God wants for us!
Easter is a great time to stop and think about life – where we are at and where we are going.
Thirty years ago at Easter I explored the true meaning of Easter. I went to church with some friends and heard about Christ.
Over the coming months I explored the claims of the Bible and learned what the Easter message was all about.
I learned that at Easter Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sin on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday He rose to life.
Jesus conquered sin and death and He offered me a new life in Him as a result. In July of 1989 I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour.
I found true and lasting peace with God. That day changed my life forever.
If you would like to find peace with God, you can visit this page on my website – Peace with God.
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.
I read this quote today and thought I would share it…
When we pray, remember:
- The love of God that wants the best for us.
- The wisdom of God that knows what is best for us.
- The power of God that can accomplish it.
William Barclay, Prodigals and Those Who Love.
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!