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Preview: Redlands Christian Reformed Church Sermons

Redlands Christian Reformed Church Sermons

Listen to audio sermons from the Redlands Christian Reformed Church

Published: Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:22:17 +1000

Last Build Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:22:17 +1000


Life OVER God

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:00:00 +1000

23rd October 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 5:31-40 - In our second sermon from Skye Jethani's excellent book "With" we will deal with the spiritual dryness of a Life Over or Apart from God. Life Over God seems, at first, something that is better applied to others, because it is the posture of atheists. Atheists have no need for God. Their principles for life come from the world, the natural principles of science, and sociology so there is no need for God. So how does this type of posture make it into the church? Jethani writes, "my concern is those who claim Christian faith and even participate in a local church but may actually have the same life over God posture as atheists... they practice a faith that has little room for God". If we aren't careful, we begin to elevate scriptural principles over the life giving relationship Jesus died for. We gradually shift our focus, however unintentionally, from developing a deep, loving relationship with Jesus to following a set of guidelines to receive a specific outcome. By doing this we are saying thank you God for teaching us how to live, now that You've taught us, we don't need you anymore. We don't need God as we take direct control over our world through the principles we derive from Scripture. So what warnings are there for us?

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Lifes Greatest Danger

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 10:30:00 +1000

23rd October 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Mark 8:11-21 - From time to time, perhaps when we feel reflective, we may wonder: what is the greatest danger we will face in this life? Granted, it's a somewhat gloomy question to think about. Yet there can be no doubt that it's answer should be the most decisive in shaping our priorities and values. Surely we will want to be careful and watch out for the great dangers in life that may cause us harm. Indeed, Jesus affirms this logic when He urges His closest friends to 'be careful' and 'watch out' (Mark 8:15). But what for? 'The yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod' (Mark 8:15) we are told. But what on earth is that? On Sunday morning we'll answer this question as we navigate some of the deepest waters of the Christian faith.

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Life Under God

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 18:00:00 +1000

16th October 2016 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Matthew 19:16-30 - As Christians, we spend a lot of time thinking about our relationship with God. But do we think about how this relationship actually functions? Is this relationship like all our other relationships? What do we expect? In this new series titled 'With' we think about this, our most important relationship, beginning with the first, and one of the most common issues, living under God.

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Miraculous Spot the Difference

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 10:30:00 +1000

16th October 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Mark 8:1-10 - This week as we continue our walk through the gospel of Mark we come to the feeding of the 4000. Only a few weeks earlier we saw Jesus do something very similar. Why is such a similar story recorded twice? What is the difference? There are so many similarities that it is easy to miss what Mark is saying here. While the stories may look the same what they point out to us are quite different.

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Be Opened

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:30:00 +1000

9th October 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Mark 7:31-37 - John Piper, writing about this passage starts with a riddle, 'Who is permitted to speak but not able, and able to speak but not permitted?' The man in this account from Mark who meets Jesus. In what seems like a rather gross story we see another side of who Jesus is and we again glimpse His person and power. This is the same Jesus who reaches to us and changes us. Join us as we meet the Jesus who loves and cares for all people.

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Escaping Death

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 18:00:00 +1000

2nd October 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 12:1-28 - When Moses was trying to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, Pharaoh refused to let them go until the final plague, which killed all of the first-born people and animals. Death was coming, so how could the Hebrews escape this death, this judgment of God? It was not because of prayer or fasting, not because they were exempt, not because they were good people. The Hebrews were protected because they obeyed God and put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. So how do we escape death? The Passover we read about in Exodus was meant to tell us about the ultimate sacrifice that was coming. Jesus was going to be the sacrifice that would take away the sins of all who came to Him. How is it possible for a holy God to receive sinners without violating His righteousness and justice? The inspired answer comes from the book of Exodus: "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Exodus 12:13). It is not enough to know that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for the forgiveness of sin--one must personally trust Him as Saviour.

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Faith of a Dog

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 10:30:00 +1000

2nd October 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Mark 7:24-40 - After seeing Jesus challenge the traditions of the Pharisees we move quickly onto a physical application of Jesus teachings. Leaving the Jewish communities for some respite Jesus is quickly confronted by a pagan woman who's daughter is spiritually oppressed. In this moment Jesus is confronted with a challenge; do unclean people fit into His mission? If all foods are clean are all people clean as well? Jesus answers these questions with both a parable and a miracle, revealing the reason for His time on earth while pointing to a much bigger kingdom than His disciples even realised.

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A Matter of Cake or Death

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +1000

25th September 2016 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Exodus 10:21-29 - Throughout this series we have seen God send nine powerful plagues. Each one displayed both God's power and the weakness of the Egyptian gods. Despite all these miraculous and powerful signs Pharaoh still has not given in, his heart is still hard and the people are still stuck in Egypt. That is until God sends one final plague. The plague that would begin the exodus. This plague is the most confronting of all. It is death. Not the death of the military men, not the death of slaves, not even the death of magicians. No this, the last plague, is the death of all the first born sons, from the greatest to the smallest. This plague was so confronting that Egypt screamed as one. But what is God doing here? What is He saying? Why did He do it? What does it mean? This final plague confronts us today in a world where it simply seems unjust. How could God do something so graphic?

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Outward or Inward Religion

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 10:30:00 +1000

25th September 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Mark 7:1-23 - Jesus comes into conflict with the religious leaders because of the different emphasis and concerns expressed. They were concerned with externals; He was concerned with the heart. Inward and outward religion comes into conflict whenever we place more emphasis on behaviour than motive and on symbolic actions than interpersonal relationships. Jesus expects a radical reorientation of our perspective, from a concern for how things look, to a concern for how they really are. How is your heart?

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Are You Afraid of the Dark

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +1000

18th September 2016 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Exodus 10:21-29 - The ninth plague in the exodus from Egypt sees God turn the lights out onPharaoh. By blotting out the Sun God shows to all the people of Egypt that he is in total control of all creation. He is the God who created and he is the God with power to stillintervenein his creation. But what does this mean for our life today? Is recognising that God is in control enough? ForPharaohand Egypt that wasn't enough because he still didn't let thepeople go. The same is true for us. Believing isn't enough. Simply being afraid of the dark does not mean that we will see the light. We need to recognise the dark before we can ever see the light.

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Ridiculous or Revolutionary

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 10:30:00 +1000

18th September 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Mark 6:45-52 - Last week Ben cracked open the poignant meaning of the feeding of the 5000. It showed us something about Jesus that neither the crowds nor his disciples understood - at least not until much later - that Jesus was the one whose body (the bread) had to be broken and 'handed out' for the forgiveness of sins. This week we'll see another event that is geared to show us something about who Jesus was. To the modern mind it seems like a rather 'ridiculous' story until it's details are connected to the grand revelation of God that we find throughout history and the scriptures. When we see this the story moves from being ridiculous to revolutionary.

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A Ferocious Army

Sun, 11 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +1000

11th September 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 10:1-20 - We all love a good story. A good story can be retold over and over again and it never gets boring. A good movie can be watched again because the story captivates you. As we continue with the account of the 10 plagues in Exodus we get to the story of the locust plague that devastates the land. Why this eighth plague? It is so Moses and the people 'may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt with the Egyptians'. God wants his own people to know the story that shaped them; the story of their salvation; the story of God's power and glory. The story was so important that He wanted all His children to know. We, too, have a story. We have something to tell share with each other and our children. It is the story of Jesus Christ. Is that your story?

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What are You Searching For

Sun, 11 Sep 2016 10:30:00 +1000

11th September 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Mark 6:30-44 - This week we are getting back into the gospel of Mark. Jumping back in where we finished last year we begin with Jesus feeding the 5000. Marks gospel answers an important question. Who is Jesus? Over the next few weeks we will continue to fill out this question showing who Jesus is and why that matters so much today. In the feeding of the 5000 we see Jesus miraculously feed an entire crowd with only five loves and five fish. But what did Jesus intend by the miracle and who was it actually for?

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The Shadow We Cast

Sun, 04 Sep 2016 10:30:00 +1000

4th September 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: John 13:1-17 - Jesus spent three years developing a close relationship with His disciples. In that those three short years they watched Him, listened to Him and leant from Him. Essentially they lived in His shadow. In John 13:15 we read of Jesus charge to His disciples at the end of His ministry: "I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done for you" This Father's Day we consider that shadow that men cast as fathers as well as followers of Jesus. As a part of this Ben will be sharing how the shadows of his father and grandfather have shaped his life, faith and ministry.

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Is SelfEsteem biblical

Sun, 28 Aug 2016 18:00:00 +1000

28th August 2016 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Matthew 22: 34-40 - The world around us constantly tells us that we need to believe in ourself. Self-esteem is the catch phrase the supports this idea. But does it match with our biblical understanding of self value & worth?

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Afflictions Work For Us

Sun, 28 Aug 2016 10:30:00 +1000

28th August 2016 AM - Preacher: Mark Bensley - Principal of Redlands College - Bible Passage: 2 Corinthians 4: 5-18 - 2 Corinthians 4:17 drawsa contrast between present tribulations and future compensations; between troubles here and triumphs hereafter.

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Honest Prayer

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 18:00:00 +1000

21st August 2016 PM - Preacher: KJ Tromp - Bible Passage: Nehemiah 9:5b-37 - Nehemiah the builder, governor and spiritual giant during a critical time for Israel - God's people - leads a congregation of believers to pray a powerfully honest prayer. It gives us a wonderful insight into communal prayer, but also some very good principles for our own walk with God.

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Life Love Theology

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 10:30:00 +1000

21st August 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Revelation 2:1-7 - In chapters 2&3 of the book of Revelation we read the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Over the next two weeks Jim and Ettiene are visiting the sites of these seven churches. The first letter is addressed to the church in Ephesus, a church known for it faithfulness but lacking in love. Are we at risk of falling into the same trap?

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Our Hope Is Certain

Sun, 14 Aug 2016 18:00:00 +1000

14th August 2016 PM - Preacher: Josh Hartog - Bible Passage: 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17; Psalm 130:7 - Often the things we hope for are just wishful thinking, but biblical hope is certain, because our hope is in God and His gracious work in our lives. Our hope is certain because it's not based on us or our circumstances, but on God and His power and love.

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Gods Purpose for You

Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10:30:00 +1000

14th August 2016 AM - Preacher: Bevan Burnes - Bible Passage: Romans 8:28-34 - Have you ever wondered what is God's will for you? Who do I marry; what career should I choose; should I be a missionary; what activity should I pursue in church ministries; etc; etc? These are personal questions which only you and God can answer. But the verses we will explore this morning reveal what is God's primary purpose or will for you. If you understand what God has in store for you, His primary purpose for you, and you allow the Holy Spirit to change your life so that God's purpose for you can be achieved, then you may find answers to those first wonderings.

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I Worship You Worship

Sun, 07 Aug 2016 18:00:00 +1000

7th August 2016 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:1-17 - Over 4000 years ago God gave to Moses the ten commandments and despite the history that fills the gap to today they still stand as a guide to life before God. Yet our world falls at the first hurdle. We all struggle to simply obey the first commandment. Everyone worships something or someone. Its a simple fact of life. Where we focus our worship will determine the way we live, the way we work and the way we interact with others.

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Are We There Yet

Sun, 07 Aug 2016 10:30:00 +1000

7th August 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Philippians 3:12-4:1 - Last week Paul contrasted what a true believer looks like, and what a religious person looks like. The true believer lives "In Christ," by repentance, through faith. The resume of the religious is one of merit, works, and self-glory, while the resume of the believer is one of grace, repentance, humility and God reliance. In the passage today Paul continues his point using a series of statements to emphasise that fact that he hasn't arrived; yet he is pressing on in that direction. It is important to note that the direction isn't in legalistic formulas, but a continued desire to know Christ, and receive His righteousness (See Philippians 3:8-11). But the same is true for us, we haven't arrived yet; we still have our 'l' plates on; we need to press on in the Christian life because there is so much more of Christ to know. But what does that look like? What we do know is that it takes effort on our part. So, again, what does that look like? We will wrestle with that on Sunday morning. Join us.

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The Worst Hailstorm

Sun, 31 Jul 2016 18:00:00 +1000

31st July 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 9:13-35 - Tonight we are beginning the third and final cycle of God's mighty acts of power against Egypt and against Pharaoh and against all the gods of Egypt. As we follow Pharaoh through the plagues, we keep wanting to ask, "Come on, what is it going to take?" What's it going to take to get through the hard heart of Pharaoh. The blows against Egypt are mounting. This seventh plague account is longer than any of the other narratives, and it signals a significant escalation in intensity of God's actions against Egypt, yet Pharaoh continues to hold out. What's going on? Maybe Pharaoh is just an extreme case of a tendency present in all of us. Maybe we are seeing a bit of our stubborn self-will, our tendency to renege on our promises when relief comes, our ability to lie to ourselves. Tonight we look again at the effects of the cosmic battle being played out over the land of Egypt and we see the grace of God in a storm of hail.

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I Want

Sun, 31 Jul 2016 10:30:00 +1000

31st July 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Philippians 3:1-11 - "I just don't know what I want. Despite all my efforts I can't figure out what I want to do." These are words that Cathy Caprino, career coach and writer for FORBES magazine, hears all too often. In a world saturated with opportunities and options it's amazing how little we seem to know of what we want our lives to be about. What defines us? What will make us reach the end of our lives and have no - or perhaps as little as possible - regrets over what we spent our lives on? What do we want? This is the question we'll look at today and we'll consider a powerful testimony to guide us towards the best thing to want in life.

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Could Not Stand

Sun, 24 Jul 2016 18:00:00 +1000

24th July 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 9:8-12 - When hardship strikes some people will try and bring comfort with the saying, If you have your health, you have everything'. The idea is that you can cope with things that annoy, some economic hardship and some inconveniences as long as you are healthy. People might have been encouraging Pharaoh that way but the next plague hits Pharaoh, and the Egyptians, personally. Now their health is impacted. The gods they worshipped for health and protection are impotent against the God of the Hebrews. So how does Pharaoh respond now his health is impacted. 'He would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses'. What's going on here? How are we supposed to respond to this? Here is another plague to wrestle with.

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Two Worthy Lives

Sun, 24 Jul 2016 10:30:00 +1000

24th July 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Philippians 2:19-30 - Last week we considered the high call of what it means to live lives worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil 1:27): to live selflessly humble - to live in such a way that all our power, abilities and resources are geared to build others up and not ourselves. This Christian-worthy way of life, we said, is based firmly on the unique humility of Jesus Christ himself. After all of this, however, we may still be left somewhat in the dark as to the question of 'what does it look like for me to live 100% for others'? Does it end with me selling my house and becoming a missionary in a developing country? Should I give up whatever I'm studying and do theological training? Should I become a pastor? If not, what then? Thankfully, in the very next section of Philippians we see Paul being immensely helpful at giving us guidance. On Sunday morning we'll crack into his advice.

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Sacred Cows

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 18:00:00 +1000

17th July 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 9:1-7 - On Sunday evening we are picking up the next plague that comes on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. This one impacts the livestock of the people and the first that brings death. God is breaking down the gods of the Egyptians one by one, to expose their reliance on the things that cannot save the. What 'sacred cows' might God need to remove from our lives so we look to him? What is the importance of and understanding heart and the importance of how the decision we make today...that will impact our tomorrow. Pharaoh had the chance 'today' to submit to God and avoid the disaster of 'tomorrow' when the plague struck. We have the similar 'today' opportunity. Join us as we again delve into the plagues of Exodus.

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What is Humility

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 10:30:00 +1000

17th July 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Philippians 2:1-11 - "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." These are Paul's words to the Philippian Christians and to us when it comes to how we should live. Our every action, every word, every thought are to be done in a 'manner worthy of the gospel of Christ'. It's perhaps somewhat easy to see the implications of this for us as individuals, but what does it mean for us as a Christian group of people in relationships with each other? Karl Barth once commented: "there are no letters in the New Testament apart from the problems of the church." Every letter addresses issues that God's church faced then and most certainly faces now. In light of this, what is it that will make this group of Christians - us, Redlands Christian Reformed Church - a church worthy of the gospel of Christ in our dealings with one another? This morning we'll consider the deep and absolute call that God places on the life of his church in order to be 'worthy of the gospel of Christ'

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Lord of the Flies

Sun, 10 Jul 2016 18:00:00 +1000

10th July 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 8:20-32 - Philip Ryken, in his commentary on Exodus, writes,'In the end Pharaoh was defeated by mighty forces like darkness and death. But long before the sky turned black over Egypt and the angel of death snatched the firstborn son, it was the little things that got to Pharaoh - little things like lice and flies. One of the wonders of the exodus is that God used tiny insects to demonstrate his power over Pharaoh and his gods.'Flies! God used flies to humble Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Flies speak to us of filth, disease, contamination and nuisance. Flies in the land was bad news for everyone - everyone that is, except the Israelite slaves, they were untroubled by this plague, for throughout the area of Goshen not a fly was to be seen. What is going on here? Again we turn to the plagues of Egypt and see what God is doing to redeem his people.

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Shining as Stars

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 10:30:00 +1000

3rd July 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Philippians 1:1-11 - We are starting a series delving into the letter Paul writes to the Philippian church. His letter is sometimes described as a love letter. There is a wonderful note of joy and thanksgiving that runs through this entire letter. Even these first few verses make it abundantly clear why. It has a very warm beginning and the first few paragraphs, which we will be looking at, ooze love. Paul begins this section of his letter with this simple but profound statement: "I thank my God every time I remember you." Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to start our letters like this. Or to start our conversations. Try it. Seriously. The next time you have a significant conversation with a friend, start by telling the other person that every time you think of them, you give God thanks for their friendship and support. Or the next time you have a significant meeting at work, start by telling the whole group why you are grateful to work with them. Or the next time you sit down with your family, turn to each one and say what you are grateful for about each one. Thanksgiving is powerful because it builds up the other person, names what is beautiful and wonderful, and links it to the goodness of God the giver of all gifts. Each of us could do with a little more thanksgiving in our life. We will look a little more closely at this aspect of Paul's prayer on Sunday morning.

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God Causes Us to Itch

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 18:00:00 +1000

26th June 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 8:16-19 - We are continuing our series in Exodus, looking at the third plague- of gnats. Each of the plagues is designed to build upon the next and to lead to the ultimate redemption of Israel. When they are redeemed, they'll go to Sinai to worship the Lord, and eventually they will head for the Promised Land. The lessons grow each time too. The Lord is not merely God over the waters, but he is God over the land too. He is the Lord over one thing and not another. He isn't just God over one group of people and not another. He is not just a God over one location, but all places. He is absolutely sovereign over all things, including Set, the god of the desert, and Chemi, the god of the fertile soil. He is still the sovereign Lord today and sometimes we need to be itchy to turn to him. What more can we learn from the plague of gnats.

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I Promise

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10:30:00 +1000

26th June 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Jeremiah 29:1-15 - On Sunday morning we have the immense privilege to baptise Vivian Gail Booysen. What makes this such a privilege is not necessarily the preciousness of gathering around a family who intends to raise their child to come to know Christ - special though that is. What makes this a weighty matter is that all of us are brought face to face with the eternal promises of God. These are promises and truths which, if understood correctly and received appropriately, are the most precious possession you will ever have. So, please join us as we marvel at God's promises and consider what it means for you.

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A Lot of Frogs

Sun, 19 Jun 2016 18:00:00 +1000

19th June 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Exodus 8:1-15 - If the words 'ten plagues' were to be mentioned, most people would have some fairly distinct images coming to mind. Images of frogs, locusts and boils are imprinted on us whether it is from the pictures we colored in as kids or the vivid scenes from Exodus: Gods and Kings. What wouldn't come to mind, however, is that each of these plagues is a stern judgment of God that still confronts every single human being today. The frogs exposed a critical failure of Egyptian society and in timeless fashion it's doing the same thing to Australians as well. On Sunday night we'll unpack what the frogs are meant to tell us - and it's about a whole lot more than good entertainment...

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Sheltering in God

Sun, 19 Jun 2016 10:30:00 +1000

19th June 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Psalm 91 - What does it mean to 'dwell in the shelter of the Most High'? How do you find rest there? These questions, and more, we ask when we read Psalm 91. The words bring up the idea safety, protection and care. But what does that look like when life is hard, when you are faced with sickness, when cancer comes knocking on your door? This morning Damien and Helen Watson will be sharing what it looks like for them. How they hold onto faith and trust in God through Damien's journey with cancer. How God sustains them. How they try to look at the big picture. Where does hope lie? Where do you look for shelter?

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A River of Blood

Sun, 12 Jun 2016 18:00:00 +1000

12th June 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 7:14-24 - Over the next few weeks, in our evening services, we will be picking up the Exodus story again. We finished with the prologue to the plagues where Pharaoh turns his back on Moses and Aaron. It was the culmination to his earlier words, 'Who is the Lord, that I should obey him?' (5:2) Now God begins to reveal himself to Pharaoh, demonstrating his power over all things. It begins tonight with the first 'plague' where the water turns to blood. Why start with this plague? The Nile was such an important part of the life of Egypt that God is making a statement through this 'miraculous sign and wonder.' Join us as we look into this confrontation between Pharaoh, who thought himself god, and the Lord of the universe.

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Christian Thinking about Science and Technology

Sun, 05 Jun 2016 18:00:00 +1000

5th June 2016 PM - Preacher: Chris Downs - Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 10:23-31 - Our world is being shaped by many new advances in science and technology. Genetic modification of crop plants and animals, assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and advanced information technology and artificial intelligence systems all offer considerable promise - or do they? How should we think Christianly about science and technology? Just because advances in science and technology are possible, are they beneficial?

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Love Spiritual Gifts in Perspective

Sun, 05 Jun 2016 10:30:00 +1000

5th June 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 12:31-14:1 - Sam Storms writes: If love for other Christians does not control and shape how you employ your spiritual gift, your gift is worse than worthless, it is dangerous. Spiritual gifts are a wonderful blessing from God, but compared to the transcendent value of love they are but a temporary and incomplete dimension of Christian life. 1 Corinthians 13 is in the middle of a huge section on spiritual gifts. In chapter 12 Paul discussed the types and place of spiritual gifts, emphasising the way God has put them together in the church so it can function well. Then in chapter 14 Paul writes about the proper exercise of the gifts, how to do it and how not to do it. And right in the middle is the proper energy...the proper motive...the proper power...the proper environment in which the gifts operate...LOVE. It's part of the more excellent way we will look at this morning.

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Are all religions the same

Sun, 29 May 2016 18:00:00 +1000

29th May 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: John 14:6 - Mahatma Gandhi once said: "The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different." While these are words spoken by a leader of old we hear them frequently mentioned in conversations and discussions about religion in our society. People say stuff like: 'I believe all religions are basically the same' or 'it is the same deity behind them all which is 'accessed' differently through various forms of spirituality'. Behind this thinking lies the assumption that all religions or worldviews can be right about its claims on truth and reality. But can they? Sunday evening we'll unpack this question. Please join us.

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Spiritual Gifts Communication Gifts

Sun, 29 May 2016 10:30:00 +1000

29th May 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Acts 18:18-2 - God has given the church spiritual gifts. We have been looking at these gifts over the past number of weeks. The purpose of the gifts given is for the glory of God and the helping of others. Today we look at the grouping of gifts under the umbrella of communication gifts: teaching, preaching and exhortation (encouragement). This is the art of communicating truth to others so that their lives will be changed through their growing understanding. Every one of us has an understanding of Jesus and the Bible because someone in our lives had one of these gifts. These gifts hold special honour because they bear fruit. Today we will see how these gifts are displayed and how they can be practically applied in the life of the church.

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A Crack in the Curtain

Sun, 22 May 2016 18:00:00 +1000

22nd May 2016 PM - Preacher: John Van Dijk - Bible Passage: Job 1:6-12; Job 19:13-29 -

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Will my faith sustain me

Sun, 22 May 2016 10:30:00 +1000

22nd May 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Psalm 46 - The start to Ruby Black's life was anything but normal. There were moments of heartache, fear, uncertainty and so much more. When faced with circumstances completely outside of your control, is there someone you can trust? We are taught that God is faithful; that he is true; we believe the promises of God in the Bible but what happens when crisis hits? It is the chance to go from knowing these things of God, to experiencing them. This is the testimony of Lachie and Bonnie through the premature birth of Ruby and her long hospitalisation. Today becomes a time to celebrate Ruby's life, the promises of God in her baptism and the faith we hold onto, because we know that 'God is our refuge and our strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear' (Psalm 46).

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Gifts of Leadership

Sun, 15 May 2016 10:30:00 +1000

15th May 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Judges 4:1-7 - "The church ought to see itself as a leadership factory that stirs up the gifts of God in people, not an auditorium that gathers people behind a leader. Jesus did not build his church by recruiting the 12 brightest from the rabbi's list of "up and coming stars" and platforming them in large stadiums around the world. His disciples were mostly blue-collar workers with little to no formal theological training." - J.D. Greear. One of the great strengths of this quote is its celebration of the fact that God has given gifts (notice the plural) of leadership to his church. This Sunday we'll have a peek into what some of these gifts are, the value they have in the body of Christ and also clarify some great misunderstandings that often surround this group of spiritual gifts.

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A Fierce Flourishing

Sun, 08 May 2016 10:30:00 +1000

8th May 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Isaiah 55:1-13 - One of the ministries of our church is called Mum's Cafe. This year their theme is 'A Fierce Flourishing.' According to one dictionary the meaning of the word 'flourish' is to "grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment." It's fair to say that every human being wants their life to flourish - to grow and develop in a healthy and vigorous way... But what does this look like and how can it happen? This Sunday, as we turn to Isaiah 55 we'll see how we can flourish fiercely, particularly as mothers but indeed all of us.

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How can a good God allow suffering in this life

Sun, 01 May 2016 18:00:00 +1000

1st May 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: 2 Corinthians 1: 3-11 - How can a good God allow suffering in this life? It's a huge question, isn't it? Hardly a day goes by when we don't come across suffering. Devastation caused by earthquakes and tsunamis... millions living in poverty... children being abused... family breakdowns... bullying... people suffer. We suffer. So it's right to say to God: "God, if you're there, why don't you do something about it?" People have endeavoured to come to grips with these puzzling questions from the dawn of recorded history. To humans, it seems so obvious - if God truly is, as Christians proclaim, all-loving and all-powerful, He could stop the evil and suffering in this world. So why doesn't He? Atheists and agnostics often point to this conundrum to support their disbelief and scepticism. How does a believer answer? As part of our apologetic series we will tackle this topic on Sunday night.

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Spiritual Gifts Gifts of Service

Sun, 01 May 2016 10:30:00 +1000

1st May 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Romans 12:3-8 - We're two weeks into our series on spiritual gifts. So far we have looked at what spiritual gifts are in theory and why they have been given by the Holy Spirit to the church. For the next few Sundays we will delve a little deeper into the actual gifts and come up close to them as we unpack them in categories. By giving a brief description of each gift and seeing how we observe it in Scripture, we'll again discover how unique - and therefore indispensable - each of the gifts are. Please join us as we discover more of God's grace to His church in these remarkable gifts.

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Can a loving God send people to hell

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 18:00:00 +1000

24th April 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Luke 16:19-31 - "For a conscious creature to undergo physical and mental torture through unending time... is horrible and disturbing beyond words and the thought of such torment being deliberately inflicted by divine decree is totally incompatible with the idea of God as infinite love." These words from John Hick, a one time professor of theology at Birmingham University mirrors the sentiment of many when it comes to the Christian doctrine of hell. It seems so incompatible that a God who 'is love' (1 John 4:8) would commit to such an extreme act as to condemn people to an eternal punishment by himself. Is it true? And if it is, how can it be believed alongside the claim that God is a God of love? This Sunday evening we'll unpack this question further.

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Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 10:30:00 +1000

24th April 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7 - We are looking further into Spiritual Gifts this Sunday and run into the question, 'What is the purpose of Spiritual gifts?' In Romans 1:11-12 Paul writes, 'I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong- that is that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith'. The thing we see is that the spiritual gifts are for strengthening the faith of others. These gifts are meant to be graces from God for the instruction and encouragement of the church. Someone wrote, 'When God got ready to organize his church, He didn't set up a dictatorship with the pastor at the head. He also didn't set up a democracy where everybody had an equal say in everything. When God got ready to organize the church, He set up a body with Christ as the head and each Christian as a part of the body. Spiritual gifts enable the body parts (you and me) to function correctly.' We will be looking at what that means for us, as individuals and a church.

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Can we Trust the Bible

Sun, 17 Apr 2016 18:00:00 +1000

17th April 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Matthew 5:17-18; 2 Timothy 3:14-17 - "Jesus love me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Perhaps the greatest strength of this children's hymn is it's sheer simplicity of truth. Yet any critic has to ask: "is '... for the Bible tells me so...' a good enough foundation to build a worldview on and indeed entrust your very life to? How do we know the Bible is true? How do we know it's not tampered with? Is there anything that can give us assurance that it is reliable? This Sunday night we kick off a series of apologetics sermons. Apologetics means 'to defend'. In the case of this series we'll give a defense of various Christian doctrines and beliefs that are often put forward to discount the credibility of the Christian faith. This series will be immensely helpful for anyone skeptic of the Christian faith but keen to do more investigation. Furthermore, it will be a very valuable for time for Christians to grow in their understanding of why their faith is realistic and how it can be explained in conversations with friends and family who ask the hard questions. You are more than welcome to join us.

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Spiritual Gifts What are they

Sun, 17 Apr 2016 10:30:00 +1000

17th April 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 12:1-27 - A spiritual gift is an expression of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers which empowers them to serve the body of Christ, the church. What do you think when you read this quote? What questions does it raise for you? Today we are starting a series looking at the topic of spiritual gifts. There are a number of places in the New Testament which list various spiritual gifts. Some examples are 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Peter 4:7-11. From these passages we can put together a bit of a list of Spiritual gifts and get an idea of what a gift is. Some of the gifts can look quite extraordinary while others seem so plain and ordinary. What we will be doing over the next few weeks is try and understand spiritual gifts, giving you the opportunity to discover, develop and deploy your gift mix. Why? For the glory of God and the growth of his kingdom.

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The Parable of the Talents

Sun, 10 Apr 2016 18:00:00 +1000

10th April 2016 PM - Preacher: Ryan Hemelaar - Bible Passage: Matthew 25: 14-30 - We know that Jesus has promised that He is coming back, but what should we be doing in the meantime? In Matthew 25, Jesus gives two well-known parables and when both taken together, provide a good balance in terms of what we should be doing while we wait for His return. For our focus on Sunday evening will be the Parable of the Talents, an often misunderstood parable of Jesus, and yet one that packs a punch.

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Authentic Christian Living

Sun, 10 Apr 2016 10:30:00 +1000

10th April 2016 AM - Preacher: Bevan Burnes - Bible Passage: Romans 13:8-14 - The world is full of fake imitations of goods and products. When it comes to us human beings, we use the wordhypocriteto describe people who purport to be something or someone who is not real or genuine. Unfortunately this is not confined to non-christians. Many "Christians" may also be labelled hypocrites, i.e. those who profess to be christian, but whose everyday living does not fit the model the Bible teaches for a real, authentic Christian life style. Throughout the New Testament epistles, Paul has a lot to say about how we should live as genuine followers of Christ and today we will ask ourselves four questions: How important is our conduct as Christians; should our Christianity be only for Sundays; Is it a 24/7 lifestyle and are you a genuine follower?

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Were You There When They Caught the Fish

Sun, 03 Apr 2016 18:00:00 +1000

3rd April 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: John 21:1-14 - In the weeks leading up to Easter we brought to life some of the events preceding Jesus' crucifixion. On Good Friday we sat in the darkness of his death and on Easter Sunday we saw the light of his resurrection. But what now? Christians know that the story of Jesus soon shifts to the book of Acts and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Yet before it does there are a few intimate encounters that people have with the resurrected Jesus. On Sunday afternoon we'll unpack one of these - a living parable with some hugely significant lessons for the church. Please join us.

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The Days After

Sun, 03 Apr 2016 10:30:00 +1000

3rd April 2016 AM - Preacher: Michael Choi - Bible Passage: John 10:10, 20:31 - Last week for 3 days over Easter we despaired over the crucifixion of Christ, we lamented over His death and we finally celebrated His victory over the binding force of hell. Yes, it is true that Jesus' resurrection is great news and hundreds of millions of people around the world celebrated the hope they have in Christ, that one day, as promised by the Bible, they too will be resurrected. So we have hope after death, that's great. But what about hope BEFORE death? What are we to do, the days after this roller coaster ride of emotional events? The answer lies in something Jesus said on the cross and this Sunday, we will revisit Golgotha to find out.

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An Empty Tomb

Sun, 27 Mar 2016 10:30:00 +1000

27th March 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: - At the time of Jesus' arrest, the gospel writer Luke reports Jesus saying to his captors: "Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me.But this is your hour - when darkness reigns(22:53).' Throughout Friday and Saturday that darkness reigns in every sense of the word, spiritually, physically and emotionally. History is covered in blackness. But then... "... early on the first day of the week,while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb...(John 20:1)." What she finds there changes everything! Please join us on Sunday morning as we journey through this passage and in some way come to terms with what happened in that dark, dusty, moldy tomb and why it above any other historical event has the power to turn our lives around.

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Good Friday

Fri, 25 Mar 2016 10:30:00 +1000

25th March 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Mark 15:33-39 - During the crucifixion ‘at the sixth hour darkness came over whole land until the ninth hour.’ Darkness from midday to 3pm? Something ominous and evil is going on here because the darkness cannot readily be accounted for by natural phenomena. How would it feel to be standing there watching events as they unfold and being enveloped in darkness? That would freak me out big time. What is going on here? Amos alludes to it in his prophecy, “In that day,’ declares the Sovereign Lord, ‘I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.’” (8:9). What happened in those hours of darkness? We will think about that on Good Friday.

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Were you there at My Victory

Sun, 20 Mar 2016 18:00:00 +1000

20th March 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 - Legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi famously said: "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." The apostle Paul, describing life metaphorically as a race, says that his aim is to win the 'race' and not to lose it (Phil 3:12-14; 1 Cor 9:24-27; 2 Tim 4:6-8). Both these famous authors wanted the exact same thing - victory! One craved it in the game of football and the other in the 'game' of life. But what is victory in the 'game' of life? And if we can successfully define what that victory is, how do we get it? This Sunday as we celebrate the churches cricket competition drawing to a close we'll unpack these questions.

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Were you there at Jesus trial

Sun, 20 Mar 2016 10:30:00 +1000

20th March 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Matthew 26:57-67; 27:11-26 - We tend to find trials fascinating. They are so full of suspense and drama. Over the past couple of years there have been some sensational trials that have us riveted to the proceedings and waiting for the outcome, the verdict. Gerard Baden-Clay and Oscar Pistorius are a couple that come to mind. The trial of Jesus Christ, which led to his guilty verdict and crucifixion, is probably the most sensational trial in all of history. If it were being played out in the courts today, it would be front page news. But is that the way you see the trial? Or is it, as spectacular and important as it was, we skim over the details of it because we feel it was just a sham, something that had to happen and so was inevitable. But that's not the case at all. For things to be done right, proper legal procedures needed to be followed and the law upheld. This morning we will look a little more closely at the trial, hear the testimony and receive your verdict. As Montgomery Boice writes, 'The strange thing about this case is that the decision you make will not determine the destiny of the defendant [Jesus]. It will determine the destiny of yourself, the judge.'

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Were You There when Peter denied Jesus

Sun, 13 Mar 2016 18:00:00 +1000

13th March 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Luke 22: 54-62 -

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Were You There

Sun, 13 Mar 2016 10:30:00 +1000

13th March 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: John 18:1-11 - "It takes some work for us to reclaim for our imaginations the true picture of the arrest of Jesus. Some of you might see in your mind's eye the richly painted, perfectly posed scene often depicted in classical art. Others of us are stuck with a cardboard and plastic version of what we've seen acted out in some church basement." How true are these words of Michael Card? It's so hard for us, 2000 years removed from the scene of Jesus' arrest to 'get' how intense and how significant every detailed aspect of this event is. This Sunday as we step into that event we'll come closer to grips with the magnitude of what occurred in that garden and how it alters our lives beyond measure. Please join us.

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Were You There

Sun, 06 Mar 2016 18:00:00 +1000

6th March 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Matthew 26:36-46 - ....when Jesus prayed in the Garden? It is always a temptation for us to minimize the suffering of our Lord. Perhaps that is natural because we were not there to witness it. We tend to view our Saviour as calm, cool, and in control. He had everything planned, didn't He? Yet, here we read of His great sorrow and fear (Luke, the doctor, says he had sweat falling like great drops of blood), and yet somehow it all seems so unreal! We almost feel as though He must have been play acting for us. Jesus knew what was going to happen. He knew that He would die, and He knew that He would rise from the dead! What did He have to fear? What so often escapes our attention is that He was also true man. He wasn't God pretending to be a man, but a real, genuine, normal, mortal man.In the face of his coming death he was fearful, but not just for his physical death but for the significance of his death for all humanity. Our aim this Sunday evening is to try and put ourselves there in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus and the disciples to see what it might mean for us.

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Is It Me

Sun, 06 Mar 2016 10:30:00 +1000

6th March 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Psalm 41:9, John 13:18-30 - "In my dream I was carried away to a great and high mountain where I saw that great city, the goal of all our hopes and desires, the end of our salvation, the Holy City of God, the new Jerusalem. Around the city, as around the earthly Jerusalem, there ran a wall great and high. There were twelve gates, north, south, east and west;and every gate was a pearl, and at every gate stood one of the Great Angels. On the gates were written the names of the Twelve Tribes of the children of Israel, from Reuben to Benjamin. The wall of the city stood upon twelve massive foundation stones, and on each stone was the name of one of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb; and as I walked around the city, thrilling with joy and rapture at the glory and splendor of it, I read the names written upon the twelve stones - Peter, James, John, and all the others. But one name was missing. I looked in vain for that name, either on the twelve gates or on the twelve foundation stones - and that name was Judas..." - Clarence Edward Macartney. On Sunday morning, as we we start a new Easter series called 'Were you There', we'll unpack what happened to the one who's name was missing and what can we learn from him. Please join us.

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Were you therewhen Jesus washed the Disciples feet

Sun, 28 Feb 2016 18:00:00 +1000

28th February 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 13:1-17 - This chapter begins with John's account of Jesus' final hours before his crucifixion. Over the next few weeks, leading up to Easter, we will track Jesus' journey to the cross. In one sense, it is the journey Jesus now took to the cross that demonstrated the full extent of his love. But John, more likely, has in mind here what Jesus did and said at the Last Supper, beginning with the foot washing story that is so well known. We live in a very proud and egotistical society. It is now considered acceptable and even normal for people to promote themselves, to praise themselves, and to put themselves first. Pride is considered a virtue by many. Humility, on the other hand, is considered a weakness. Yet Jesus, confident in his own identity, was not diminished by his humbling himself to serve. If we are confident in our identity in Christ, knowing we are deeply loved by God, should not experience any of the insecurity that generates competition and struggle. So what has the servant Jesus done for us? What are we, as fellow servants, to do for one another?

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Families of Faith Widen the Circle

Sun, 28 Feb 2016 10:30:00 +1000

28th February 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Acts 16:1-5 - Many of us have heard the African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child." In African culture this boils down to some extensive sharing of intimate parenting responsibilities among mums, dads, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandmas, grandpas and even friends. While this may seem like a strange phenomenon to Western culture we can learn a very important faith lesson from the Africans. It says to us that it takes more than just the authentic voices of parents to lead their children to Christ. Forming a living faith in the hearts of the future generations is everybody's business in a church. Irrespective of age, gender, children or no children we all are somehow burdened by the responsibility of passing on the truth of the gospel to the generations after us. The big question, of course, is how? How do we all do this? Please join us on Sunday morning as we explore this topic and finish of our series on Families of Faith.

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I AM the True Vine

Sun, 21 Feb 2016 18:00:00 +1000

21st February 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 15:1-17 - The evening series has had us looking at the "I AM" statements of Jesus. We have already talked about Jesus being the Light, the Gate, the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd and the Way, the Truth and the Life. Each of these sayings reveals some aspect of who Jesus is. Today Jesus takes us to a vineyard when he says, I am the true vine. Throughout the Old Testament, vineyard language is used to portray Israel and its relationship to God. In John 15 Jesus picks up this old vineyard song. Jesus says that He is the true vine. He is the true Israel. He is the true Messiah. Only in Him can true life and true fruitfulness be found. Not only is Jesus the vine, but we are the branches. Through our relationship with Jesus Christ we are connected to life-giving faith and sustenance. The branches that abide in the true Vine represent those who are truly saved and the promise of Jesus is that He will remain with them. So what does it mean to know Jesus as the true vine? What does it mean to 'remain in Him'? These are great questions we will look at on Sunday night.

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Families of Faith Creating Rhythms

Sun, 21 Feb 2016 10:30:00 +1000

21st February 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Deuteronomy 6:7-9; Luke 2:39-51 - We live busy lives as we rush from one thing to the next. But there is one time we can't rush, when we have to slow down; where you have to have courage to face your fears; when you need to be patient; when you need to give careful instructions. That time is the first time your child sits in the driver's seat of the car and you are the passenger. You want to make sure that everything is right before whack the car into gear and kangaroo hop away from the curve. Moses, in Deuteronomy 6, is painting a similar picture for us when it comes to the spiritual instruction and guiding of our children. We will look at these instructions Moses gives and apply them in our busy lives, establishing rhythms of healthy family life

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I AMWay Truth Life

Sun, 14 Feb 2016 18:00:00 +1000

14th February 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: John 14:1-6 - C.S. Lewis once wrote: "There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else..." Mankind's greatest efforts and greatest desire in history have been to have what Christianity calls 'heaven', a place where among other things life endures, death is absent, health abounds and nothing but joy is known. Virtually everything we do on earth is a striving to make this a reality and every fear we face is because it won't be. It's into this fear that Jesus speaks in John 16:1-6 when he says "Do not let your hearts be troubled..." Please join us on Sunday afternoon as we marvel, take in and enjoy the beauty of a Christian's unshakable security over the future.

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Useful in a Whole New Way

Sun, 14 Feb 2016 10:30:00 +1000

14th February 2016 AM - Preacher: Murray Capill - Bible Passage: Philemon - We all like to feel useful in some way or other. No one wants to feel like they are useless. So it is good news that as the gospel of Jesus Christ changes us it makes us useful in a whole new way. We see that in a delightful way in Philemon, Paul's shortest and most personal letter. This letter opens up to us how to lead really useful lives.

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I AMthe Good Shepherd

Sun, 07 Feb 2016 18:00:00 +1000

7th February 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Psalm 23 and John 10:11-21 - One of the greatest difficulties in communicating biblical truth into our culture is bridging the gap between the ancient contexts in which these truths were spoken and the time in which we live. In the verses we read above we hear of Jesus making himself known as the 'good shepherd'. Both words beg explanation. Firstly, the word 'shepherd'. What does it mean for Jesus to call himself a shepherd? How does it affect my life if he is 'my' shepherd and how does it affect my life if he is not? Secondly, there is the word 'good'. Does this assume there are 'bad' shepherds? If so, what or who are they? And if Jesus is the 'good' shepherd, what makes him so good? Please join us on Sunday afternoon as we unpack this.

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What about you

Sun, 07 Feb 2016 10:30:00 +1000

7th February 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Matthew 28:16-20 - The sobering fact is that parents will have an influence on their children. Verse 6 points out that the commands that God gives are to be upon YOUR heart. This is talking about parental responsibility. Your heart must be right; God must be all important to you or He can never be important to your children. You can be a negative or a positive influence. What you do will have an impact on your children. How you pursue God; how you love your husband/ wife; how you respond to authority; how you treat others; how you work; how you spend money. All these things and more affect the values and perspectives of your children. Do your kids know your story; have they seen your faith journey; what about your joys and struggles in the Lord? One of the most powerful things that children can see is God at work in the lives of their parents. Seeing God make a difference in your life, will make a difference in theirs too.

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I AMthe gate for the Sheep

Sun, 31 Jan 2016 18:00:00 +1000

31st January 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 10:1-10 - Sheep and shepherds. These images are some of the most powerful in the Old Testament. David's Psalm 23 picks up the warm and comforting image of the believer as a sheep in the personal care of God. The shepherd was also the common image of the OT prophets. There it stands for the spiritual leaders, comparing the exploitive spiritual leaders of God's people with the promise of a one who would shepherd the people in God's name. These images were so well known that the people listening to Jesus could not have missed the implications of Jesus claim in John 10. In Jesus' next great 'I am...' statements he describes himself as the gate for the sheep. As the gate, Jesus presents himself as the only means of entrance to his flock and, at the same time, the way through which the flock would pass to find pasture. We will explore this imagery together on Sunday evening.

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Go for the Heart

Sun, 31 Jan 2016 10:30:00 +1000

31st January 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 22:34-38 - When it comes to raising children to come to know Christ, it's been said that faith is 'caught rather than taught'. Of course this rings true only to some extent. Any faith that is robust must be a faith that is well informed and came with being taught the truth about God, His Word, sin, salvation, etc... Having said that however, simply passing on information to the next generation will almost certainly not lead them to a real encounter with Jesus Christ. Whatever seed of truth we seek to grow in the lives of our descendants requires a certain environment in which this seed can grow and flourish - the same environment that God seeks to establish in His relationship with all His children. Please join us Sunday morning as we discover what this environment is.

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I AMthe Light of the World

Sun, 24 Jan 2016 18:00:00 +1000

24th January 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 8:12-30 - Light is one of the essential themes in John's Gospel. The word is used 23 times, starting in the opening verses (1:4). Today, Jesus picks up the image and makes his second 'I am' statement, claiming "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12). Jesus is picking up the image of the OT where the pillar of cloud and fire was continually with the people. It was a reminder of the presence of God along with his protection and guidance. This was true for the people of Israel then and it is true for us, as the people of God, now. With and in Jesus we have the presence, protection and guidance of God. How do we respond? Our call is to see the light, walk in the light and we reflect the light. The choice is easy, according to Jesus, we either walk in the light or we remain in the darkness.

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Families of Faith

Sun, 24 Jan 2016 10:30:00 +1000

24th January 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Deuteronomy 6:4-12 - As schools slowly get ready for a new year we as a church are also preparing for a new year of passing on the truth of the gospel to future generations. Thinking through the process of how we do this led us to the idea of preaching a series on what it means for God's people to be 'Families of Faith'. This may sound like it has only to do with parents, but it's not. 'Passing on the truth' is everyone's business in a church. We were reminded of this only last week as we all committed around the baptism font to help raise a child to come to know Christ. We hope that this series will redefine for both the individual families in our church as well as the big family of our entire congregation what it means to faithfully live out the promises we make about passing on the truth. Along the way we will also discover some key essentials for each of us in our lives as Christians. Please join us on this journey.

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I AMthe Bread of Life

Sun, 17 Jan 2016 18:00:00 +1000

17th January 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 6:25-29 - Jesus said 'I am' on seven occasions. Each 'I am' is a description Jesus gave of Himself and is recorded in John's Gospel. The Seven 'I am' sayings help us better understand the divinity of Jesus Christ because each time Jesus uses the phrase it reveals something more of his role or identity. Over the next few weeks we will be looking a little more closely at these 'I am' statements of Jesus and what it reveals to us about Jesus. The first one we come across is in John 6:35 where Jesus describes himself and the bread of life. Bread was the staple food of the people in Jesus' day. It was so basic in the diet that 'bread' is a synonym in the Bible for 'food'; that which sustains physical life. Jesus could have found no more powerful way to affirm that he is the source and sustainer of spiritual life than to compare himself to the bread that sustained the physical life of all his listeners.

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From Duty to Delight

Sun, 17 Jan 2016 10:30:00 +1000

17th January 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Ephesians 4:17 - 5:2 - We have the privilege to baptise a young baby. As she grows up she will understand that the Christian life involves doing a duty. She has a duty towards God's law and uncompromising holiness to which he calls every person who considers himself or herself a Christian. This she will understand. Yet if this is all she understands the Christian life to be, we can be guaranteed that she will fail in her holiness. Her motivation for wanting to be a holy person has to be steeped in and empowered by something infinitely more powerful than her mere will power to be a 'good Christian'. Today we'll find out how she might move from duty to delight.

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DRSABCD Action Plan

Sun, 10 Jan 2016 10:30:00 +1000

10th January 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Romans 10:1-17 - Every year I have to renew my basic First Aid Certificate by attending a 3 hour lesson and test on resuscitation. There we are taught the DRSABCD steps. I was thinking through those steps and thought the same action plan acronym ifs well with God's plan of rescue, salvation and resuscitation. We would do well to remember and implement the action plan in our lives and the lives of others. Join us in the morning service as we learn the steps!

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Which way do you look

Sun, 03 Jan 2016 10:30:00 +1000

3rd January 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Psalm 121 -

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Sun, 27 Dec 2015 10:30:00 +1000

27th December 2015 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Micah 6:1-8 - Sunday 27th of December AM Service Sermon. Jim de Witte continues the Micah series in todays sermon.

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Christmas Service

Fri, 25 Dec 2015 10:00:00 +1000

25th December 2015 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: 1 Peter 2:24; John 12:46; Matthew 16:17; Romans 8:17-18; Romans 5:8 - Christmas Service 2015

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O Little Town of Bethlehem

Sun, 20 Dec 2015 18:00:00 +1000

20th December 2015 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Micah 4:8-5:5a; Matthew 2:1-12 - In the midst of despair and misery Micah brings a message of hope to the people. They will be rescued and redeemed. How? As Matthew understood it, Micah had prophesised that the Messiah, the delivering king, would be born in Bethlehem. The hope of Israel would be fulfilled in the birth of a child in Bethlehem. the promises of Micah took 700 years to arrive. It was so long a time that hardly anyone was ready when it did come. So what? out of the small, significant town of Bethlehem will come the one who is our ultimate Saviour too. It sems so long ago when this happened but the significance of the story is still the same. God still speaks through the Bethlehem story. Are you listening?

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Peace on Earth

Sun, 20 Dec 2015 10:30:00 +1000

20th December 2015 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Micah 4:1-5, Luke 2:8-14 - In a book like Micah it can be easy to get discouraged as you read through oracle upon oracle of doom, judgement and gloom. Our discouragement may even be heightened when we look at the world around us and realise that much of what the prophet critizes is true of our world and even of ourselves. Yet, embedded in the midst of all this sternness we also find some of the most beautiful words of hope and promise. This Sunday we'll deal with just such a passage dealing with god's peace that is to come to earth. A peace which, as Bruce Waltke writes: "does not lie exclusively in an unattainable Utopia but is available now to all who will come to the heavenly Mount Zion." Please join us on Sunday as we celebrate the message of encouragement and hope.

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The Definitive Word

Sun, 13 Dec 2015 18:00:00 +1000

13th December 2015 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Micah 3:5-4:5; John 1:1-14 - We are continuing in our series in Micah, linking it to the Christmas story. In the Micah passage the prophet turns God's judgement against the priests and prophets of the religious establishment, who were supposed to speak the Word of God. Their message was supposed to be consistent with the scriptural call for justice and with God's contemporary revelations to them. Instead of teaching God's Word they were adjusting their message based on payment they received, failing dismally in their obligation to God. When we come to John's gospel we read that the Word became flesh. The Word of God that should have been spoken by the prophets stepped into our world. The definitive Word of God has come. This is the Word we need to listen to; this is the Word that needs to be proclaimed. Proclaiming this Word is the essential ministry of the church and of each believer. Micah's messianic hope is that the gospel will be preached with such purity and grace that all the peoples of the earth will stream up to Jerusalem. This is the Christmas story.

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Bad News and Good News

Sun, 13 Dec 2015 10:30:00 +1000

13th December 2015 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Micah 2:1-13 and Luke 2:1-5 - The great theologian Augustine divided all of mankind into two cities 'formed by two loves:the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God andthe heavenly city by the love of God, even to the contempt of self'. On Sunday morning we'll see how the words of the prophet Micah upholds this truth and tells us in sobering terms what God has to say about each of these 'cities' - what their futures involve, how they work and how to gain citizenship in each. Please join us on Sunday morning as we consider to which city we belong and how to gain citizenship in the city formed by love for God, even to the contempt of ourselves.

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God is on the Move

Sun, 06 Dec 2015 10:30:00 +1000

6th December 2015 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Micah 1:1-9; John 1:14-18 - In the opening verses of Micah we read that God is on the move. Those who heard this message might have initially been excited thinking, 'Great, God will deliver us'. But this was bad news; God is angry with them because they were unfaithful to him and destroying each other and he is coming in judgement. In John's gospel God is on the move again but this time he is coming to dwell amongst his people. This is the good news of the Christmas story; this is what we celebrate at Christmas; this is how God will deal with our sin and rebellion and his righteous anger against it. Our sin and rebellion is as great as the people in Micah's day but we, living on this side of Christmas and Easter, can witness how God has dealt graciously with us in Jesus Christ. What a great thing to celebrate this Christmas.

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One Thing

Sun, 29 Nov 2015 18:00:00 +1000

29th November 2015 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Psalm 27 - What's the one thing that makes life worth living? There are so many things that grab our time and attention in our busy world and hectic lives. We live in a world where people are looking for the one thing that will make them truly happy; the one thing that gives life meaning and purpose. What's the one thing I your life that gives you purpose and meaning? In Psalm 27, with everything going on around him, David was able to focus on the one thing that mattered most for him. On Sunday evening we will think about the one thing that consumed David and ask how that might work for us.

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The HABITS of Growing and Going

Sun, 29 Nov 2015 10:30:00 +1000

29th November 2015 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Romans 15:1-7 - We are winding up our short series focussing on factors we need to consider as a growing and going church. We don't tackle this issue for selfish reasons like larger numbers, bigger income or self-preservation, so why do we tackle it? As our vision statement says, 'For the glory of God'. Paul states it this way in our text, 'Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God'. Paul reminds us of the attitude we must have if the unity of the church is to be preserved and his kingdom grow. So we will finish today by looking at 7 habits we need to develop to remain a growing and going church.

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God vs Satan

Sun, 22 Nov 2015 18:00:00 +1000

22nd November 2015 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Exodus 7:8-13 - "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" - Ephesians 6:12. So often we associate these words of the apostle Paul with our times - the time of the church after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit - where Christians are often made aware and equipped to take their stand in spiritual conflict. Yet as we look at Exodus 7:8-13 we discover how acutely this conflict plays out already in Pharaoh's courts in Egypt. In this prologue to the ten plagues we are given some profound insights into the proof of God's legitimacy, His strategy to confront evil and his authority over Satan. Please join us for our last sermon on Exodus.

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The COST of Growing and Going

Sun, 22 Nov 2015 10:30:00 +1000

22nd November 2015 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Numbers 13:1-16; 26-33 - Over the past couple of weeks we have been looking at the concept of growing and going. We tackled themes such as the heart, personality and fear of growing and going. This morning we're going to look at the cost of church growth. Let's be honest with each other and acknowledge that this church cannot and will not grow without some cost on your behalf and some cost on mine. What might that cost look like, and are we willing to pay the cost? The text this morning focuses on the 12 spies Moses has sent into the Promised Land. He sent them to do what spies to best and bring back a report. 10 of the 12 were excited by the potential of the land, but weren't willing to pay the cost of entering. Caleb and Joshua, while not ignoring the problems, looked beyond them to the solution by stating 'The Lord is with us'. How do we tackle the cost of growing and going?

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Representing God

Sun, 15 Nov 2015 18:00:00 +1000

15th November 2015 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Exodus 6:28 - 7:7 - One of the words Christians are highly familiar with is the word: 'gospel'. The word basically means 'good news' or in verbal form 'announcing good news'. In other words, the gospel has to do with a message. It's news. Essentially it is the news that God is restoring his kingdom peace in our world through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. But how does God choose to communicate this news to the world? And once the news is shared, what purpose does it achieve? Why is it supposed to be announced? Surprisingly, we find some very deep, insightful and comforting answers to these questions in Exodus 6:28 - 7:7. Please join us as we unpack this together.

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the FEAR of Growing and Going

Sun, 15 Nov 2015 10:30:00 +1000

15th November 2015 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Acts 9:10-31 - What were you afraid of as a child? Spiders, the dark, heights, teachers/principal? Fear isn't just a reality in our childhood. What are you afraid of now? Of all the things you might be asked to do in the church which is the scariest? Teach a Kids@Church? Read the Bible in church? Sing a solo? Become the church treasurer? The worst, according to many, would be this: share your faith. But there is no growing without going. In Acts 9 Ananias overcame his fear to meet Saul; Barnabas had the faith and courage to bring Saul into the church and the rest is history. Today we will think through some things that we might be fearful of which inhibits our impact and growth.

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No Little People

Sun, 08 Nov 2015 18:00:00 +1000

8th November 2015 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 6:13-27 - When you preach through a book of the Bible you get some interesting challenges. Today we come across a genealogy that seems to be inserted is a random place that breaks the flow of the story. The temptation is to skip over the list of names, because it doesn't make for very good reading, and get back into the exciting story. But genealogies must be important because God included so many of them in the Bible. As you read the list there are names known to us but many that aren't. The thing is they are all known and named by God. They each have a place in the family of God and they all were given tasks to complete. The list serves to ground the story of God's redemption in history and it is through these people that God is working out his plan of salvation. A comfort is to know that God knows each of us by name too and that we have our place in the family of God.

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The PERSONALITY of Growing and Going

Sun, 08 Nov 2015 10:30:00 +1000

8th November 2015 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Romans 14:1-12 - Last week we kicked off a new series on church growth as we dealt with the theme: the HEART of going and growing. We highlighted the importance on God's agenda of bringing new people into the church and we explored the reasons for that importance. This week we'll explore the theme: the PERSONALITY of church growth. Under this theme we will consider if and/or to what extent will new people coming into the church or into your ministry affect you personally? How will my experience of worship at RCRC be impacted if the church does grow? Am I OK with that - as in really OK? How should we respond if our experience of church is indeed affected? Please join us as we unpack this more on Sunday morning.

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I will

Sun, 01 Nov 2015 18:00:00 +1000

1st November 2015 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 6:6-12 - This short passage from Exodus brings out what God is going to do in response to Pharaoh's rejection of the request to let his people go. God has told the concerned Moses that he 'remembers' his covenant, he now tells Moses what that remembering looks like. In two verses there are 7 'I will' statements defining what the Lord will do to keep his promises and redeem his people. God would do for the Israelites what they couldn't do for themselves. These promises that God makes to Israel in Egypt are the same ones he makes to his church throughout the ages. He is our redeemer, the one who delivers and protects his people. So, when we see Israel miraculously delivered from slavery in Egypt and brought to a new place, we are reminded of our own redemption. We are to remember the work of Christ that has brought us from slavery to sin to the glorious freedom of being children of God.

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The HEART of Going and Growing

Sun, 01 Nov 2015 10:30:00 +1000

1st November 2015 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Luke 15:1-10 - Bishop J.C. Ryle once commented of the three parables in Luke 15: "There is probably no chapter of the Bible that has done greater good to the souls of men." This Sunday we are starting a new series dealing with the implications of wanting to grow as a church. The foundation of these implications,however, must rest on answering the following two questions: a) how important is it that we grow as a church? and b) if it is important, why is it so? Luke 15 gives us some very decisive answers. Please join us as we introduce this new series and unpack Luke 15:1-10 on Sunday.

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When Bad Stuff Happens

Sun, 25 Oct 2015 18:00:00 +1000

25th October 2015 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Exodus 5:22 - 6:5 - "God's promise to deliver his people seems to be contradicted by the providences that have led to their situation being made worse" - Iain Campbell. How often is this the experience of God's people? His Word is full of promises of life, light, freedom, prosperity, joy and many other delights. Yet, it's the inescapable experience of every person who becomes a Christian that all these promises are accompanied by bad things happening to them. Why is this and what do we do when we face these circumstances? Please join us on Sunday night as we look at the answers to be found in Exodus 5:22 - 6:5.

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Me and My House

Sun, 25 Oct 2015 10:30:00 +1000

25th October 2015 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Joshua 24:14-27 - This morning we have the privilege of seeing another child brought under the covenant through the sign of baptism. With that in mind, this morning, we will look at the incredible role of parents in the family life. It goes without saying that values are passed on from one generation to the next. Whatever parents hold in high esteem in their lives, almost always, these will be the things that their kids hold in high esteem in their lives. This is the baton that we are passing on to our kids in this relay called life. All of us have hope and dreams for our kids, the question is, are they the right hopes and dreams? The most important thing for you and I to pass on to our kids are the things that really matter in the end. Faith, hope, light, salvation, love, service, eternal life. And a lot of these things are forged in the family home by parents. Joshua certainly understood the power of parents. As he came to the end of his life, he called the leaders of Israel together for one final message. Knowing that he is only one step from death, he sounds a call to renewal. In the middle of his message we find those stirring words that have been quoted and memorized for over 3000 years, "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (24:15). We need to use these words to spur each other on, and that is what we will do today.

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