Living Exclusively for Others

12 May, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

"Homo incurvatus in se."

Humanity curved in on itself. St. Augustine came up with that phrase back in the fourth century to describe a world that has removed its gaze from God and placed it firmly on itself. The headlines stories in the news these days are evidence of a world being curved in on itself. We've made life to be all about us - my hopes, my dreams, my desires, my happiness. But the curved in life does not bring fullness of life. Paul reminds the Galatians that the good news of the Gospel un-curves us. Jesus is like a spiritual chiropractor who straightens us out, restoring our posture and teaching us to focus our gaze on him as he helps us live an un-curved life for others. This straightening out, this uncurving occurs, is nurtured, strengthened, practiced, encouraged, and sustained exclusively in community. Christ desires to strengthen and straighten your posture today as his transforming grace in you gives you power for living exclusively for others.

#6 in series: 'Living Exclusively'


Living Exclusively in Freedom

5 May, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

"They make take our lives...but they will never take our freedom!' Who can ever forget that quote from William Wallace in the movie 'Braveheart' Freedom is portrayed as worth fighting for, even dying for. So what is freedom? A capabilty to do whatever, whenever, wherever? Or is it a freedom to live without restrictions, without limits, without boundaries? Freedom by its very nature requires restriction, limitations and boundaries. For both indiviudal and societal freedoms are constantly in competition with one another and will eventually clash. We cry for freedom of expression but are close to shutting down free speech. We demand tolerance for all and yet have become one of the most intolerant generations in history. We may exercise the freedom to spend our money now, but then we will be limited in what we can spend later on in retirement and visa versa. So which freedom will we choose? We are never really free. But the Gospel gives real freedom; it's a grace to live exclusively in freedom without limits, without restrictions, without boundaries for the sake of others. We will explore this radical understanding of Gospel freedom and the purpose it gives to our lives today.

#5 in series: Living Exclusively


Living Exclusively as God's children

28 April, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

See Hi-Vis gear on a person and you have a pretty good idea they are tradie. See a person wearing a clerical collar and you can be almost 100% certain they are a Minister of Religion. See the uniform of our Armed Forces or Emergency Services people and you have a good identification of who they are and what they do. The clothes we wear go a long way to revealing to others what we do, or what organisation we are a part of, which helps people understand who we are. In this next part of our series: Living Exclusively, Paul shows us the unmistakeable Gospel clothing we have been given that reveals our identity for all the world to see. Today we look at Living Exclusively as God’s children.

#4 in series: Living Exclusively


Living Exclusively by Faith

21 April, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

'I just wasn't thinking!'

Have you ever uttered those words? Maybe to the Police Officer who pulled you over for speeding. Perhaps when you inadvertently backed into a stationary object in the car. When you spoke words in a situation that you immediately wish you could take back or clicked on a link that you instantly regret. We have all made stupid decisions, some that we can laugh at later, but some that we can never erase…when we have been foolish, acted foolishly or were just not thinking. Paul accuses the Galatians of foolishness, of not thinking when it comes to our relationship with God because they were shifting their eyes away from the perfect gift of Christ and thinking they had to prove themselves, their value and their perfection to God. The consequences of that are horrendous and so Paul encourages them and us to living exclusively by faith. We will explore that today

#3 in series: Living Exclusively


Living Exclusively in Christ

14 April, 2024 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

Having you ever noticed your car pulling to the left or right when braking? Have you ever noticed a shudder in the steering wheel when applying the brake? Have you ever noticed uneven wear on your tyres? If so, you probably should get a wheel alignment. Hitting a pothole or kerb at force can cause your wheels to go out of alignment. The settings are so precise and sensitive and need to be done in parallel, that if one part is even 1/6 of a degree off, your wheels can be out of alignment, which can cause huge damage. That's why it is important to have a regular wheel realignment.

The same is true of the is so easy for the bumps forces and sudden jolts of life to cause a misalignment of our hearts, our minds and our behaviours. And when left unchecked it can do serious damage to our faith, our relationships and the fulfilment of God's purposes in the world. So today Paul pulls tells us to pull into Christ's workship and let him do a Gospel realignment of our hearts and lives so they run straight, true, and free and we can arrive safely at the destination God has prepared for us. So today we look at what it means to live exclusively in Christ.

#2 in series: Living Exclusively


Living Exclusively...By the Gospel

7 April, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

Gin AND tonic. Scones, jam AND cream.

Some things are MEANT to be added together.

Some…are not. They are enough in and of themselves.

Jesus. To add anything is to lose him. Over the next 7 weeks we’ll be reminded of that fact by Paul as he speaks pointedly & sternly to the church in Galatia…and to us.

Add ____ lose your faith.

Add ____ squander your security.

Add ____ forfeit your identity.

Add ____ surrender your destiny.

(need to fill in the blanks…? Law, rules, rituals, human/cultural approval…status, power…?)

Only in Christ do we have full access to the freedom the Father desires us to enjoy as his children. Only by the Spirit do we receive the fullness of blessing the Father seeks to make flourish in our lives. Today we explore what it means to live exclusively by the Gospel.


Jesus is Lord

31 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

The Truth…the whole Truth…and nothing but the Truth.

That's what the resurrection reveals. There is only One who can speak the Truth and reveal the Truth about the pain in our own lives, the suffering of all people, the brokenness of our world, the violence that destroys and the tragic reality of death. There is only One who embodies Truth, breathes the Truth and lives the Truth that brings hope to our souls, courage to our fears, strength in our weakness and life in the midst of death. The resurrection is the Father’s clear testimony that Jesus is the powerful Son of God who has conquered death and reigns as Lord of all. But even more...the resurrection is the unmistakable testimony that God is accessible to us, that God will not abandon us, that God desires more than anything to be in relationship with us, that God knows us, calls us by name and forever invites us into his presence. That's the whole truth that is life-transforming.

#4 and final in series: The Truth


Jesus is Sacrifice

29 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

What is truth? That's the question Pilate posed to Jesus over 2000 years ago and yet it is a question that people are still asking, still searching after today. The German poet and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote, “It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.” That's what is so remarkable about Jesus; he came from the Father, full of grace and truth. He came to bear witness to the truth! He came to make the truth visible to those who are searching for it. On this day…clothed in humility, immersed in depravity, encased in tragedy, accused of blasphemy, beaten for our iniquity, tortured with brutality, suffering in agony and sacrificed for humanity, the Truth is proclaimed to the world for all eternity...God loves you to death. It's the truth we experience again today.

#3 in series: The Truth


Jesus is Servant

28 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

'Your business is important to us. Please continue to hold. We will be with you shortly.' Sound familiar? Customer service is not what it used to be Go to a major department store and you struggle to find someone to take your money and complete a transaction. Go to a bank and not only do you get charged for having an account but there is no-one to talk to in person about your account! Our business may be important to them, but we are not. We are a customer number, a phone number, an email address. The truth have never been a number, a database entry, a means to an end for God. The God of the universe, in the flesh, did not come to be served, but to serve you. To invite you in, to wait on you, to anticipate what you need and give you what you need, even before you realise your need. That's the truth, we'll explore tonight. Jesus is servant and he's here to meet your deepest need in a basin of grace.

#2 in series: The Truth