Where Do We Come From? (Hebrews 11:1-3)

Sunday 05/07/2020

One of the biggest questions you can ask is: Where do I come from? What we think about the origins of the world and ourselves makes a huge difference to how we live.

Perhaps you believe that the material world we see is all that there is. All that exists is ultimately just a series of chemical reactions. There’s no God directing it all. Then there is no purpose for the universe or for your life. That’s a recipe for despair.

Maybe you believe that we can only really know the things we can see and measure. The very idea that God could reveal Himself is supernatural, so it’s out of the question. So, the Bible takes second place to science.

Or maybe you believe that everything has to be explainable by the laws that we observe in the operation of the universe. So, whatever you believe about God, you don’t expect Him to intervene in the world or to act in response to prayer.

Those are very reasonable ways of understanding the world. But this scientific materialistic worldview cannot explain realities we recognise about the world we live in like our inbuilt senses of beauty and justice. Science cannot explain all of our human experience when it excludes faith.

So, what does faith tell us about where we come from? And how does that give us meaning?

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

Faith understands that the universe was formed from nothing at God’s command (v3), so we can be assured of what we do not see (v1).

So, what difference does it make to live by faith, trusting what God says about where we come from?

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Grace Under Fire (1 Peter 5:5-14)

Sunday 28/06/2020

The doorbell rings. When you get to the front door, there’s a smartly dressed man holding a silver tray. On top is a hand-written letter addressed to you. It’s from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

She explains that a document was found deep in the government archives, declaring one of your ancestors to be the King of Australia. And you’re the rightful heir. So you’ll be moving to Government House in Yarralumla ASAP.

But before you can plan your coronation, a security officer briefs you on the groups likely to assassinate you once news of your accession is announced.

So, you have to choose a personal bodyguard to protect you. Unfortunately, they weren’t expecting to protect an Australian King or Queen full-time so the options are thin. You can choose one officer who is anxious and jumps when someone steps on a twig, or another who is so relaxed, he slept through their last planned drill. Who do you want protecting you?

Which one is most like your spiritual bodyguard?

Back in 1 Peter 2:9, we saw that we’re “a chosen people, a royal priesthood”. But how do we react to the spiritual dangers in us and around us?

Are we anxious? Do we doubt God’s love when life goes wrong?

Or are we unguarded? Don’t we think about spiritual warfare?

Either we think God isn’t looking after us in the best way. Or we don’t think we need to be protected from Satan’s attacks. Both responses come from pride: thinking we’re too important for God to let Satan trouble us or we think we know what’s best for us.

But remember 1 Peter 5:5b: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So, what sort of grace does God give us when we’re anxious? Or when we’re thoughtless?

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The Unfading Crown (1 Peter 5:1-8)

Sunday 21/06/2020

Hypocrisy, grumbling, greed. They all reveal a heart that says, “I deserve better than God is giving me.” And that’s one of the oldest lies around. When Satan asked Eve, “Did God actually say ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the Garden’?” (Genesis 3:1), he wasn’t questioning whether God had actually said those words; He was asking, ‘How could God have said that to you if He wants what’s best for you? Surely you know better!’ And every time we agree with Satan, that’s pride.

That’s the sin at the root of all this. Jesus says, “You will recognize them by their fruits,” (Matthew 7:20). The fruit is the action: grumbling and hypocrisy. But the root of the plant is pride. And it goes deep down.

Here, God tells us one essential fact about Himself, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble,” (v5b). So, if we’re reeling from all the focus on hypocrisy and grumbling: maybe we should be. Because God opposes the proud. But remember, He also gives grace to the humble.

So, what kind of fruit will that grace grow? What does God’s grace do in us?

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Click to access 3.-treasures-in-heaven-sotm-3-discussion-questions-and-_digging-deeper_-family-devotion.pdf

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The Fiery Trial (1 Peter 4:12-19)

Sunday 14/06/2020

Being a Christian should be so easy!

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are citizens of God’s worldwide, eternal kingdom (1:9-10); we are united with Him in His new, resurrection life (3:18); we are given God’s grace (4:6, 10-11), and are free from the power of sin (4:1-2).

But is being a Christian easy?

Maybe you’ve stuck your neck out to serve Christ. You went door knocking, and copped a serve for Jesus. You mention your faith at school or work, and get insulted or ignored.

Sometimes life is just hard anyway. But you wonder why, if God really loves you. Have you done something wrong?

And other times people make life hard for you when you’ve done nothing wrong to them! Sometimes, you’ve even tried to do them good and they persecute you.

It happens to every believer. So, if we’ve been rescued from Satan’s kingdom, why do we suffer? If we’ve been set free from sin’s power, why is life still so hard? Why do Christians still suffer? Can we trust God when we do suffer? Can we trust Him enough to keep living for Him?

God tells us here that we shouldn’t be surprised by suffering. But He doesn’t say to keep a stiff upper lip and carry on. God tells us what we can do when we suffer.

Video Playlist (with songs)

Video (Sermon only)

Audio

*Sermons can be downloaded by clicking on the three dots at top right.

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For Kids 2-4 years

Click to access 6.a-do-not-murder-sotm-2-activity-sheet-ages-2-4.pdf

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Click to access 6.b-do-not-murder-sotm-2-activity-sheet-ages-4-8.pdf

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Craft & Game Ideas

Click to access 7.-do-not-murder-sotm-2-craft-and-game-ideas.pdf

For Family Devotions

Click to access 3.-do-not-murder-sotm-2-discussion-questions-and-_digging-deeper_-family-devotion.pdf

Other Resources