Visible Sacrifice

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29 April, 2018Pastor Mark SimpfendorferVisible Church

#3 in series: Visible Church

READING: 1 John 3:1-24


He was known as 'Fighting Mac'. A Scotman who came to Australia in his teens and who gained a reputation as a good fighter while drinking and brawling in the pubs of Bundaberg, Queensland. But it was here his life changed. It was at a Salvation Army open-air meeting in Bundaberg that he saw the light” when he heard the testimony of two fellow Scotsmen who, like him, had been hardened drinkers, fighters and adept in the use of foul language. McKenzie became a Salvation Army officer who served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front as a chaplain. He worked in Newcastle and Raymond Terrace before the war and not only epitomizes the spirit of Anzac sacrifice but a visible sacrifice so much greater.  After seeing many of Australia's finest young men needlessly sacrificed at the Battle of Lone Pine, Chaplain William McKenzie could not sit back and watch any longer.  When the soldiers tried to convince him to stay in the trenches he responded:  'Boys, I have lived with you, I’ve preached to you and I’ve prayed with you.   Do you think I’m now afraid to die with you?'  What would motivate such a response?  The sacrifice of love that he had received through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  A sacrifice that had given him a new identity and an eternal purpose.  It's that same love that enables us as children of God to be visible sacrifices in this world today.



This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16



Through the power of God's vulnerable, sacrificial and tenacious love in Jesus Christ, we have been given an identity and relationship that we cannot stuff up. Ever.  It's a love that empowers us to act, without counting the cost, as we lay down our time, energy, talents and resources as a living sacrifice that makes visible his eternal purpose and presence.

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Visible Life

15 April, 2018 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

#1 in series Visible Church

Reading: 1 John 1:1-4


Fakeness. It's all around us. There's fake news - misleading or deliberate misinformation that is designed to shift public opinion in a certain direction against a person or institution. There's fruit juice that’s not really made from fruit; burgers not really made of meat, pictures in magazines that are so airbrushed, they bear little resemblance to the real picture. Then there's fake faith which has all the elements of the real deal but which falls woefully short of the life that Jesus gives us through his death and resurrection. The beloved disciple, John, now an old man and grandfather of the early church takes us back to what’s real and genuine and can be trusted for life itself forever. What is real is Jesus, who stands triumphant over all the fake, pretend & dying things of this world to bring us life with the Father....a life that he calis us now to make visible through the Church.


The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 1 John 1:2


Resurrection makes an eternal difference. It gives deep fellowship with the Father and the Son; access to everything God is and has. That fellowship leads to real and genuine love for others and community with others. It enables confident living that fills the heart with joy and overflows with infectious excitement that is plainly visible for the world to see.