Life is full of mysteries that puzzle us. Like…
- Why do cows always face north or south while eating?
- Why do we press harder on the remote when the batteries are dead?
- Why does bladder control become so much harder that closer you get to the toilet?
- How far west can you travel before you are travelling east?
- Can you daydream at night-time?
- Why does your nose run and your feet smell?
- Why can’t you change the volume of the voice in your head? (you just tried didn’t you!!)
We live in a world where things often don't make sense. And they are the easy ones...what about these. Why do bad things keep happening to me? Why can't I just get it together? Why does nobody love me, want me?They are the questions that keep us up at night, that play over and over in our minds, that trouble us and cause us unrest. For we know what we believe and we believe what we know. Today God invites you to live with the questions rather than find answers. To quit analysing or trying to understand and explain or make sense of things and to simply make room for the impossible, the unexplainable, the mysterious. And maybe...when we open our eyes again we discover the morning of new openness and opportunity to be part of what God is doing in this world. When PEACE comes to town, there is a renewed persepective, acceptance and courage. We'll explore that today.
#2 in series: When God comes to Town
Life comes at us fast. If you have ever driven a left-hand drive vehicle when you are used to a right hand drive...you may know the terrifying feeling of suddenly seeing three lanes of oncoming cars bearing down on you! It's frightening. But that's the reality of life as we know it too. World events, earthquakes, bushfires, floods, acts of terrorism and war, and of course global pandemics can come over the rise and shake our very foundations. Personal or family tragedies, untimely retrenchments, or an unwelcome health diagnosis can feel like three lanes of traffic bearing down on us, causing our lives to go into a fearful spin. When the oncoming traffic of this world and our lives looks ominous and we begin to grow afraid, our first response is usually to look for a place to hide and brace for impact. Jesus tells us to do the exact opposite. He tells us that the louder the threats of the world around us, the nearer he is beside us and the closer his return to rescue/receive us into his kingdom. Hope comes to town, precisely when all seems lost or at risk. Jesus reminds us of our assured future in him when our future circumstance looks bleak. When God comes to town, hope comes too to fill us with courage in the moment, boldness for the days ahead and a joy-filled expectation & anticipation of what will be. So stand up and take a look and see what happens when HOPE comes to town.
#1 in series: When God comes to Town
Life is risky. That's why we have insurance. To cover against loss, uncertainty or other unforseen calamities that can cause hardship in life. There's home insurance, contents Insurance, car insurance, CTP insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, income protection Insurance, business insurance, pet insurance, loan protection insurance, health insurance and of course life insurance. Each of these is there to provide a safety net when things fo wrong. But none of these can give us an eternal security that enables us to live boldly in every circumstance. Today in the final week of Ancient Creed | Living Faith, we confess a belief in a God who lives forever, and who invites us into this forever life with him. Our personal broker, the Holy Spirit understands our needs, and signs us up for a policy where the premium is already paid, and the payout already made, while we are still alive. And there is no fine print! Join us as we unpack this policy that is guaranteed to bring freedom, certainty and joy to your life now and forever.
#7 and final in series: Ancient Creed | Living Faith
"Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman." So said Coco Chanel, the founder of Chanel. What we wear creates an impression. How we dress matters. There's a whole movement designed to help people dress for success, be confident and to go out and shine in the world. God also wants us to shine in the world, to reflect his beauty and design wherever we are. God wants the inner transformation that he has brought to our lives in his Son Jesus to radiate out in all we do; for us to become fully alive with his presence. That's why he has given us his Holy Spirit. The Spirit is our personal wardrobe assistant, daily helping us to select the clothes that accentuate the beauty he has restored within, so that the nations may see the face of God and experience the joy of his blessing. That's what we will explore today as we declare, "I believe in God who lives through his people.
#6 in series: Ancient Creed | Living Faith
Adrift, abandoned, untethered. Excluded. On the fringe. Not heard. Alone. Left to find your own way. Do any of those words resonate with your spirit today? It's the sign of an orphan spirit. "I have no-one". "I wish I could just talk to mum right now" "What I would do to have Dad's wisdom for this decision." "I still have my parents, but why do I feel I'm on my own?" There are seasons in life when changes, tragedies, or circumstances leave us asking orphan questions. There are moments when the struggles of simply living in this life are so overwhelming and we feel so alone. But that is not the truth or the reality of life in Jesus. When we confess, "I believe in the Holy Spirit", we are speaking the promise of God into being, that we have a God who is here now…with us…for us…always. We'll experience how the Holy Spirit protects and keeps us in the presence of Christ every day as we explore "I believe in God who is here now.'
#5 in series: Ancient Creed| Living Faith
The last two years have been a challenging time for many Australians. The constantly changing restrictions to lockdowns, home learning and extended times of isolation have made life difficult. Yet lockdown hasn't been all bad. Retailers like Bunnings, paint stores and garden centres have done exceedingly well. The forced slowdown has made people stop and look at their own environment and see what work is needed to be done. From maintenance to painting houses, from landscaping to restoration projects, long neglected or forgotten DIY projects have been started.
But when it comes to our hearts, no amount of DIY will fix lives destined for the scrap heap; lives which are disconnected from God, alienated from his presence, battered, broken and in disarray because of sin. We can't fix ourselves. We can't fix our circumstances. But God can. God does not look at the world with the eyes of a critic, but with the eyes of a restorer. It’s this reality that we confess in the second article of the Apostles' Creed as we see God’s restoration project at work, in action. So today we explore and experience what it means to believe in God who is Saviour.
#4 in series: Ancient Creed | Living Faith
"I'm only human." It's a phrase that we have heard often and maybe even uttered ourselves. A phrase that slips off the lips when we want to excuse an outburst, justify a failure, give a reason as to why we acted in a certain way. "I'm only human". But we are not who we are and the world is not the way it is because "we are only human" but because we are not human enough. As humans we are created in the image of God, a little lower than the angels, called to reflect the glory of God in this world. But we are not living into that calling, that reality. So God had to become one of us, to show us what it means to be truly human. When we confess that we believe in God who is human, we are confessing that Jesus is one of us…with a human body, with human emotions and a human will. Our God gets involved in our lives, in the frailties of human flesh, in the full scope of human emotions, in the struggles of our will to show us what it means to be created truly human. God is not afraid to get close to us. It's his deepest desire. He comes to redeem our humanness, to save our frail bodies, to heal our broken wills and to rescue our hearts so we can truly experience a life that is filled with love, truth and grace! We'll explore that today.
#3 in series: Ancient Creed...Living Faith
Designer originals. One of a kind. It's every designer's desire and dream to create something new. But the truth is, everything has a traceable past. Everything we look at in this world points back to an original purpose, design and direction. Genesis 1:1 tells us exactly who that designer is. The Apostles' Creed confirms it. The Church confesses a God who is Creator - who created with purpose, design and direction. The earth, for example…any closer to the sun and it would burn up. Any farther away, and it would freeze. Perfect positioning with a 23.5 degree tilt which gives us our four seasons. Wow! Have you ever looked at a sunset and had to stop and stare for a minute? That’s creation trying to get our attention to point us toward God. Creation wants for us to see and proclaim God as he is. Creator. But even more than that, the designer created limited editions of one in you; creative master pieces uniquely crafted by his own hand, according to his perfect design with a clear purpose to bring delight, joy and beauty to this world. Our God not only creates, but sustains and cares for all he has made and enables us to creatively contribute and add to the beauty of life every day. All of that is contained in the phrase I believe in a God who is Creator. We'll explore and experience that again today.
#2 in series: Ancient Creed - Living Faith
Unboxing! It's all the rage. Unbox your new computer. Unbox the parcel that has turned up on your door step and video the unboxing. It's the new entertainment as people record their first interaction with and experience of every new product they unbox. There's an excitement and a thrill about unboxing something that is new. And "new" is what we value today - new ways of thinking, new ways of being, new technologies and new innovations. But sometimes in our quest for the new, we are oblivious to the treasure that is right in front of us. It's been there for centuries, gives wisdom in every era and shapes our everyday lives today. It's an Ancient Creed that has united people across generations and ethnicities. It's an Ancient truth that continues to be a rock of certainty on which we can stand in a shifting society. It's an Ancient framework that gives us a secure refuge in a stormy world. It's an Ancient witness that propels us into a modern world with a Living Faith that can transform people, one life at a time. And it begins with the boldest of declarations. I believe in God who is Father….we'll explore that today.
#1 in series: Ancient Creed Living Faith