Sunday, 10 November 2013
Duration: 27 mins 31 secs
God created mankind in His own image. Ever since Adam, we have failed to live up to God's image because of our sin. How do we regain the image of God in our lives that has been lost? We need to live like Christ and become Christlike. God's purpose is to make us like Christ. God's way to make us like Christ is to fill us with His Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit within us that we are transformed into God's image. Recognising that we can't do this in our own strength, are we willing to allow God's Spirit to chisel away at those things in our lives that keep us from being Christlike?
Sunday, 03 November 2013
Duration: 34 mins 13 secs
To know Christ means having a deep and intimate relationship, and it is continuous. Our goal, direction and purpose for the rest of our lives is to know Him. Do we have a vibrant, alive, growing relationship? Or is it a cold, informational, dead relationship? We get to know Jesus by sharing in His sufferings and dying to self. We do it by letting go, forgetting past sins and failures and persevering. We’re not just pressing on for Jesus, but pressing into Him.
Sunday, 13 October 2013
Duration: 27 mins 49 secs
Jacob wrestled with God all of his life in wanting His blessing, which eventually came to him. Do we wrestle enough with God in our life? We can wrestle in His Word and we can wrestle in prayer when things are really important, but are we looking for God like Jacob was? We need not to be distracted by the things of this world and to seek and hang onto God with all that we can because He has done that for us through Jesus Christ.
Sunday, 06 October 2013
Duration: 28 mins 34 secs
Jesus started His preaching by saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near". To repent is not just being sorry about the sins we commit but about turning our lives around and living our life differently - not our agenda, but God's agenda. When Jesus called His first disciples, He did not wait for them to be ready, but He called them whilst they were busy doing their own work. The men did not hestitate to change their own agenda and go in a new direction in their lives to follow Jesus. How will you respond when Jesus calls you to change your agenda? Will your priority be to follow Jesus?
Sunday, 22 September 2013
Duration: 21 mins 16 secs
One of the greatest issues we face is determining our place in the world. As Christians, we need to also ask what is God's purpose for us in this world and what is the purpose for the church as a whole. We were made to worship God. He made us to be in a relationship with Him. Paul tells us in Romans 12:1, that we need to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is worship! At Emu Plains Community Baptist Church, our Purpose Statement is to "Know Christ, Grow Christ like, Show Christ's love and Sow Christ's gospel". We need to be transformed in ourselves and to take that transformation out into this world. (Our church broke into 6 groups to discuss this further. The main item that each group thought we needed to focus on is shared at the end of the message - see also notes attached).
Sunday, 15 September 2013
Duration: 26 mins 47 secs
We live in a remarkable age and can only marvel at what can be done through medical treatments, communication, space travel, etc. It is so easy to feel proud of man's achievements. James reminds us in this passage that as we view our ourselves from the perspective of eternity, our lives are really nothing. We need to humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our ignorance, our frailty and our dependence (not trusting in ourselves or other people but in God). James is not saying that we don't need to plan ahead, but when we plan, we are to include God and allow Him to direct our future. We should not be self-sufficient in our planning but allow God to control our lives because He is the author of tomorrow!
Sunday, 08 September 2013
Duration: 32 mins 18 secs
We know there is conflict in our world, our country, our neighbourhood, our churches, our families and even within ourselves. James reminds us, as we look at this passage, that we need to look at ourselves to see what is happening in our lives. We are responsible for our own issues. In times of conflict with others we need to examine ourselves, our prayer life and check our motivation - are we connecting with the world rather than with the values of God. James tells us that we must submit ourselves to God and resist the devil. We need to really hate sin and repent to God when we fall short of His expectations. We need to remember, that as Christians, and whatever the situation, we are united to God through Jesus Christ.
Sunday, 01 September 2013
Duration: 26 mins 32 secs
Wisdom is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong and it is not so much knowing why, but it is knowing what to do. James highlights in this passage that there are two type of wisdom - heavenly wisdom or earthly wisdom. What is the source of the wisdom in the words we say, the deeds we do, the decisions we make? Is it from God's wisdom or is it from our own sinful desire? How are we going to choose things in our lives? Are our decisions going to glorify Jesus or glorify self?
Sunday, 18 August 2013
Duration: 35 mins 56 secs
James' life was transformed when he came to accept his own brother, Jesus, as his Lord and Saviour. The issue that James deals with in this passage is people who say they are Christians but their hearts have not been transformed, their hearts have not been changed. They are not converted, they are not saved and do not have a real faith. We can know the right answers, but as Christians, we need to show this in our everyday life. Deeds alone will not allow us to enter the Kingdom of God but when, through faith, we give our lives over to God, then our deeds show our faith in Him. What do people see when we call ourselves a Christian? Do our actions match with what we say?
Sunday, 11 August 2013
Duration: 29 mins 22 secs
James reminds us, as Christians, not to show favouritism to one person or group over another. Showing favouritism misrepresents God, dishonours those we reject and breaks the law of love. What are we to do? Verse 8 tells us to keep the royal law - "love your neighbour as yourself". We need to love all people, whoever they are, and reach out to them in their time of need, so that God's love to them can be shown, they can be healed, shown forgiveness and be made whole.