The Mystery of Healing

Let's reflect on the mystery of healing today. There is a close connection between love, forgiveness, healing and peace. God revives the humble and contrite … leading them to comfort. Only five of Jesus' healing events in the Gospels involve people dying. The main stories are for the blind, deaf, dumb, paralysed and possessed. In many ways, these can be metaphors for common experiences of life - spiritual blindness, deafness, dumbness, paralysis, and deadness. Blind > can't see; darkness; no vision. Deaf > can't hear; silence; no revelation. Dumb > can't speak; muted; muzzled; no voice. Paralysed > can't move;... Read more →

Discerning Truth and Error

Most followers of Christ understand the need to pursue truth and avoid error. Some take it upon themselves to find error and point it out to others. Most churches I know have a statement of faith and their teaching teams speak from this foundation. They believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is authoritative in matters of belief and practice. From time to time, I noticed that one of our teaching team may quote someone in a message and it raises questions from a listener or congregation member. This can lead to some interesting conversations. In one such... Read more →

He's Risen! (Easter Sunday Reflections)

Matthew tells us the story like this: Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. Dont be afraid! he said. I know you are looking for... Read more →

Why Did Jesus Die? (Good Friday Reflections)

Christmas is barely over and now it’s time to talk about Easter. No wonder little children get confused. Did you hear about the little boy who said to his mother, “Jesus has just been born and now you’re telling me He’s died!" Over this Easter weekend, millions of Christians will reflect on what Jesus Christ accomplished through his death and resurrection over 2,000 years ago. These are believed to be 3 days that changed the world. Good Friday – a day reflecting on the cruel death Jesus went through. Resurrection Sunday – a day of joy and hope because Jesus... Read more →

Jesus is ALIVE! (Easter 2014)

Easter is here again and with it a holiday weekend, chocolate eggs and enough shopping sales to tempt any credit-card carrying buyer. What’s it really all about? All around the world, around two billion Christians will take time this weekend to reflect on and give thanks for the work that Jesus Christ accomplished through his death, burial and resurrection. That’s the real meaning of Easter. Followers of Christ believe that Jesus is ALIVE! The Living Jesus In his excellent book The Living Jesus, New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson notes that whether a person is dead or alive really matters... Read more →

The Lord's Supper

Yesterday was Remembrance Day here in Australia and we took time to remember those who have given their lives at war for our freedom. Ultimately, Jesus is the greatest hero as he gave his life willingly not only for our freedom but also for our salvation. That's why we take time regularly in church communities all over the world to remember his death and his sacrifice. The Lord's Supper, or "communion" is one of the sacraments given by Jesus to his followers (another being water baptism). A "sacrament", in the Christian Church, is a ceremony regarded as imparting spiritual grace.... Read more →

ORIGINS #2 - Creation

The Genesis Creation Story Genesis 1 is a simple and majestic opening to the Bible. It introduces the two main subjects of Scripture, God the Creator and humans as his creatures, and sets the scene for their long relationship. Clearly the interests of the author are focused primarily on the patriarchs, given the amount of material allocated to their story (Gen.12-50), but the background is that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is no mere localised or tribal deity, but is the sovereign Lord of the whole earth (Gen.1-11). There were a number of creation and flood myths in... Read more →

Creation Models

The book of Genesis opens simply ... "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The author boldly presents God as Creator then as Redeemer of humanity. Life is not an accident. God has a purpose and he is working to fulfill it throughout history. Men and women are made in the image of God. As partners together, their God-given mandate is to fill the earth with loving community and to give responsible leadership to the planet. All Christians believe in creation but there are a variety of opinions as to exactly how God created the earth and... Read more →

Freedom in Christ

Jesus ministry had three major components (Luke 4:14-5:26): Teaching, healing and setting people free from spiritual bondage. Jesus confronted demonic powers and freed people from their influence (Luke 4:31-37, 41). The early church carried on the ministry of Jesus as the apostles focused on these same three areas of ministry (Acts 5:12-16). We should do the same – go about doing good, teaching, healing, and helping people find freedom from the work of the enemy. The result will be many people being set free and added to the kingdom of God. Christians cannot be “demon possessed”, as God owns us.... Read more →

Your Friend, the Holy Spirit

The Gospel of John records many of Jesus’ last words spoken not long before his and crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. During this time, Jesus spoke frequently about the fact that he would be leaving his disciples but that another One just like him, the Holy Spirit, would come in his place (see John 14:15-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7). Instead of simply being with them, the Holy Spirit would live within them, filling them and empowering them to live as disciples of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a person, not just a force, power or influence. God has revealed himself as one... Read more →

Healing Today

This weekend at CityLife, we spoke on the subject of healing and then took time to pray for people. We were encouraged by the many testimonies of healing that took place in each of our church gatherings and we pray for God to continue to work in the lives of everyone needing healing. When it comes to healing, we must begin with an accurate understanding of God’s character and nature. The Bible teaches us that, when it comes to our need, God knows (Prov.15:11. Ps.139:1-10), God cares (Ex.34:6-7. 1 Pet.5:7), God is able to help (Jer.32:17, 27. Mt.19:26) and God... Read more →

The Joy of Not Knowing It All

I was reading the apostle's Paul's first letter to the Corinthians last week and came to chapter 13, the great love chapter, a chapter I have read hundreds of times. The following statement jumped off the page at me: 1Cor.13:12. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. NLT Here is the leading theologian of the Christian faith, who met the risen Christ personally, who... Read more →

Your Work, God's Work (Pt.2)

In a previous post, we talked about God as a worker and the sacredness of work, as well as God’s purpose for our work or business. Today we want to share a few reflections on the integration of our work and our faith as followers of Christ. How You Work Matters It's one thing to have a job and know God’s purpose for our work. It’s another thing to consider how we go about our work. God desires that we work with diligence, honesty and an excellent attitude. This attracts God’s favour and makes the Gospel attractive to a watching... Read more →

Jesus' and the Routine of Daily Work Life

For the first 30 years of his life, Jesus was boring. He was an unknown carpenter who wasn’t doing “big” things for God. He worked alongside his dad, using his hands to shape, shave and tack together pieces of wood. He quietly studied the scriptures, and grew in stature with God and men. He didn’t have a public ministry. He didn’t write any books, go on a conference tour, adopt an orphan, give away 75 percent of his income, or go on multiple missions trips. He loved the Lord with all his heart, honored his mother and father, and quietly... Read more →

Your Work, God's Work (Pt.1)

Did you know that the average person spends about a third of their life working, a third of their life sleeping, and the other third with family or friends (when they are not working or sleeping … or on the internet!). That mean’s that over half of our waking hours are spent in the workplace. Have you ever asked yourself what God's purpose for your work is? And how we can find more meaning and fulfillment in our work? These are some of the questions we’ll be discussing in this series. God as Worker In the beginning, God worked. Genesis... Read more →

Jesus, Born to be King

Christmas draws our attention to the arrival of Jesus on the earth as a small baby over 2,000 years ago. It provides an opportunity to reflect on his life and how He intersects with our life, wherever we may be on our journey. Jesus is known by many titles, each describing part of who he is and/or a role that he fulfils. We can think of Jesus as Saviour and Immanuel. Jesus was also called the Messiah or the Christ, which means ‘anointed one’, as well as Son of Man (his humanity) and Son of God (his deity). I love... Read more →

4 Wrong Answers to the Question “Why Me?” by Tim Keller

Here is an excellent BLOG post by Tim Keller from Redeemer Church in New York City (August 6th, 2012) ... When I was diagnosed with cancer, the question "Why me?" was a natural one. Later, when I survived but others with the same kind of cancer died, I also had to ask, "Why me?" Suffering and death seem random, senseless. The recent Aurora shootings—in which some people were spared and others lost—is the latest, vivid example of this, but there are plenty of others every day: from casualties in the Syria uprising to victims of accidents on American roads. Tsunamis,... Read more →

Understand and Rest in God’s Providence (Pt.2)

Let’s look at a well known statement by the apostle Paul that gives us a providential perspective on our lives. Rom 8:28. We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. NAS No matter what is happening in your life – good, bad, or ugly – God’s purpose is working in you. When you have a problem that you don’t understand the purpose it’s very difficult to handle. You know the most difficult kinds of questions of life are, “Why is this happening... Read more →

Understand and Rest in God’s Providence (Pt.1)

One of the things that the prophet Daniel had to learn was to understand and rest in God's providence. If he was here today, he would tell you that his life did not turn out as he expected it would or even as he planned that it would. His life was affected by dramatic circumstances and changes of events that took him totally by surprise beginning with him being taken as a prisoner from his homeland and right through his time in Babylon. Dan 4:25. “… until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world... Read more →

Theological Reflections

Theology may sound a bit boring and heady, but it's really not. It is simply the study of God. Of course, God is not someone we can put under a microscope and fully understand. He is beyond our comprehension. nevertheless, as creations of God, its important that we take time to think about our Creator - to reflect on who he is and what's like, as well as what he's up to in the world. I've written a whole bunch of posts around the topic of theology. Take some time to read one or two of them each day over... Read more →