Sermon – Obeying the Word of the LORD (Jonah 3-4)

We love satire when it comes to political cartoons. Often we see our national leaders’ faults comically exaggerated. But what about satire when it comes to God’s prophets? Jonah is a famed biblical story where we find God’s hero, the prophet Jonah, neglect his responsibility and flee from God. Meanwhile, the city of Nineveh, famed for their evil, turn to God after a surprisingly short sermon!

This is not a story about a giant fish, but rather a God who shows grace and mercy to wicked people, despite his prophet’s rebellion.

This talk will focus on God’s faithfulness in saving Nineveh, despite Jonah’s begrudging obedience. The question remains… are you glad to see God save evil people?

Read the Bible texts – Jonah 3-4; Luke 11:29-32

Speaker: Josh Ord

Sermon – JesusWORKS: What is a Christian?

JesusWORKS aims to introduce you to the Jesus of history by looking at his life, teaching and work. Primarily, it is for the person who wants to check out the claims of Jesus or the claims about Jesus – so that they can make up their own minds about him.

Yet, it is also for any Christian who wants to be prepared to give a reasoned answer for the hope that they have in the gospel of Jesus (1 Pet 3:15).

Jesus calls people to himself, yet he gives everyone the opportunity to examine him and his message before making that decision.

In this talk, the common reservation that a person could never be good enough for God is addressed. We look at what a person can do to respond rightly to what Jesus has done to save.

Read the Bible texts – Luke 18:9-14; Mark 8:34-9:1

Speaker: Ken Noakes
Speaker: Ken Noakes

For more information and resources that go with the JesusWORKS course – go here

Sermon – If loving, God why send people to hell? (Luke 16:19-31)

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‘Hell’ is a repulsive concept and the one thing that proponents and objectors both agree upon, it is that ‘hell’ is a place to be avoided.

In this talk we look at what the Bible says about ‘hell’. It is real, people really are going there – but there is someone who really doesn’t want you there.

Read the Bible text – Luke 16:19-31

Talk Outline – If so loving why send people to Hell?

Watch the Talk – here

Listen to the Talk

– Ken Noakes

 

Sermon – Does Religion cause Violence? (Mark 12:28-31)

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A glance at history or a quick read through any newspaper will almost certainly report on some act of violence committed somewhere in the world. Often what lies behind those acts are people who declare themselves to be a follower of a particular religion.

Does Religion cause violence – and how does that implicate Christianity?

 

Read the Bible text – Mark 12:28-31

Talk Outline – Does Religion Cause Violence

Talk Addendum – Does Religion Cause Violence (This addendum is referred to in the talk)

Watch the Talk – here

– Ken Noakes

A Perfect Storm – Crying out to God (Psalm 13)

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Photo courtesy of Wolter Petters Photography

Sometimes in life we get hit by the perfect storm.

 

I live in the Lower Blue Mountains of NSW – west of Sydney. At present, we are experiencing a perfect storm – hot temperatures, long term drought, a build up of combustible and dry material, high winds and a terrific fire storm.

Since September 5th 2019 there has been fires burning in NSW and Queensland, which at the time of writing, has burned through 3,900,000 hectares, claimed 8 lives, and destroyed 829 properties.

It is understandable that many have fears and concerns.

And while natural disasters cause collective concern, there are so often times when individuals experience there own personal perfect storm – an unexpected medical diagnosis, the loss of a job, a car accident, sickness, depression, family dramas, breakdown of relationships, financial pressures, death of a loved one.

What do we do when we get hit by the perfect storm – or any storm?

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Bold in Witness & the Great Commission (Part 3 of 7)

Bold in Witness

What does it mean to be bold in Witness?

Jesus asked his disciples to be his witnesses. And that is what Jesus’ first disciples did.

To be a witness, you have to be willing to make a stand, to testify, to speak on behalf of the person or the event that you are bearing witness too. The aim is to provide enough reason or evidence for someone who is not a witness to ascertain the truth behind what you say.

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How does a Christian organise their Godly Giving? (Part 4 of 4)

Over the generations, across the world, and right to your local church family, there will be numerous examples of godly and generous givers. Among those who have given, are many who have given even at times of extreme poverty or hardship (Luke 21:1-4; 2 Cor 8:2). It is right and proper to be immensely thankful to God for these saints (maybe you are one such person). Under God, what has been given has served the gospel and those the gospel has reached for centuries. Godly giving, although rarely put on display, is a wonderful testimony to the power and gift of the gospel. Praise God.

So how should a Christian organise their godly giving?

Let’s look first at our priorities and then at the practical mechanics!

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Godly in Giving (Part 3 of 4)

Christians are called to be godly in giving. That could be giving in attitude, time, energy or money – all are important. Here we will focus specifically on the area of money and the way we generously and responsibly use the resources that God has put in our care.

Let me make four points from 1 Timothy 6 which may help our thinking.

First, Godly giving is not a means to financial gain.

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Talk – How Can I be Sure? (1 Cor 15:1-19 and John 20:24-31)

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Foundational to belief of Christianity, is the historical reality of the person of Jesus and with that comes his well-documented life, teaching, death and resurrection.

Whilst it is true that belief in the existence of Jesus may be a no brainer and acknowledging his death traditional – to allow his teachings to shape the way we live, or to hold to the idea of a resurrection – for some is a step too far.

There are a chorus of Atheist voices who have spoken loudly against religion. That is not new, every age in history since and including the time of Jesus has seen opposition to organized religion – and at times, sadly, the opposition has been well placed.

In a series of short talks, we look at what the ‘new atheists’ say about the resurrection, before examine the resurrection for ourselves. The hope that we might be able the weigh up what is said and reordered in scripture and history and make our own decisions about faith.

Read the Bible Text – 1 Cor 15:1-19; John 20:24-31

Talk Outline – How can I be Sure?

– Ken Noakes

 

Obedience (Part 5 of 6)

Love, Truth, ObedienceWhat is love that is pleasing first to God? It has something to do with obedience in the context of truth. We have considered ‘Love’ (Part 3 of this series) and ‘Truth’ (Part 4 of this series), so this time let’s focus on ‘Obedience’.

 

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them (1 John 3:21-24)

A love that is pleasing to God is a love that obediently follows his commands.

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