Issue #112

I very much enjoy the times during the year where I attend the Baptism Class. It is always so encouraging witnessing fellow brothers and sisters excitement of being like Jesus and going through the waters of baptism. The class looks at the fundamentals of the Christian faith and the importance of walking with the Lord each day. It also encourages us to realize the responsibilities of caring for others both within our Christian family here at Grace and our own family and friends who are yet to know Jesus. Last Sunday I was reminded once again of the purpose of studying the Bible. Paul says that the Bible is intended to teach, rebuke, correct and train us in righteousness so that we will grow in maturity and prepare us for service. Sometimes I think that we fail to grasp the significance of this. Jesus and James are on the same page when they warn us of the importance of putting into practice what we learn.

What have we been learning thus far in the book of Judges? What is there for us to put into practice in our lives in this busy twenty first century? I guess for me I have been challenged once again to step out in faith in total dependence on God. I have also been challenged as a pastor to look for the people that you would least expect to serve the Lord in ministry positions. We are coming close to launching our ‘Sign-up for Service for 2016’. I am wondering if 2016 will herald in a new era for our church family where every member of this body gathered here at Kogarah will realize their God given gift and put it into action for the edification of our church family. It appears to me that unless we do this we may be in danger of being no different to the Israelites we are reading about in Judges.

Today we look at lessons learned from Gideon and one of his sons named Abimelech. They had a hunger for recognition, reward and power. There are some sad lessons for us to learn from them following their failure to recognize these temptations that soon gripped their lives. Let us be assured that human nature is the same today as it was in the time of Gideon and Abimelech. This hunger for recognition, reward and power is in all aspects of life including the God’s church. Let us not only be hearers of God’s word but doers of His word. Let us make a huge difference to our church family, community and nation, just like those Thessalonian Christians did who we studied last year!

Issue #111
Issue #113