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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: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:13:38 +1000

Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:13:38 +1000


Overcoming Doubt

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 18:00:00 +1000

23rd April 2017 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 20:24-31 - Every thinking person sometimes wrestles with doubt. That is true not only for thinking Christians, but also for atheists and agnostics. Sometimes we wonder, "What if I'm wrong? What if Christianity is not true?" For some, the doubts are relatively minor and fleeting. For others, the doubts are deep and disturbing. But wherever you're at on the spectrum, if you've been a Christian for a while, you have gone through times when you struggled with doubt. Sometimes we are made to feel guilty for harbouring doubt, but doubt can be the tool that God uses to help you grow. That was certainly the case for Thomas. After all that he had seen of the brutal treatment and death of Jesus, his hopes and dreams are crushed. The other disciples excitedly share their meeting with the risen Jesus and Thomas has doubts. Once he meets Jesus he moves from doubt to faith, making the first clear declaration of Jesus, 'My Lord and my God.' We too have sources to overcome our doubt and grow through it.

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The Two Lost Sons

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 10:30:00 +1000

23rd April 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Klitscher - Bible Passage: Luke 15:11-32 - While perhaps the most famous teaching of Jesus, the parable of the 'prodigal son' is arguably his least understood. Upon closer examination of the story and its characters, it is clear that Jesus' message concerns more than just a wayward son, but also a judgmental older brother and, more importantly, a loving Father. Revealing the Fathers' heart, he invites both the wayward and not-so-wayward to abandon their hopeless conditions and draw near to the one who ferociously seeks them.

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Easter Sunday The Women at the Tomb

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 10:30:00 +1000

16th April 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Matthew 28:1-10 - Over the last few weeks we have considered the characters around the tomb, the people who stood and watched as Jesus was crucified. Some of these people loved Jesus, some loathed him, yet everyone watched him die. The earth shook as he breathed his last and darkness fell over the land. He was taken down and placed in a tomb and in the eyes of the world that was meant to be the end of his story. But we know better. Only three days later two of Jesus most faithful followers, two women who cared for him, go to pay their respects. These women find soon realise that something has happened, something that will change everything, quite literally, forever.

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Good Friday Roman Centurion

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 22:30:00 +1000

14th April 2017 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Mark 15:21-39 - This Good Friday we will focus on the amazing confession of a Roman Centurion, 'Surely, this man was the Son of God'. These were the words of a seasoned soldier, one how had watched men die; who had put many to death himself. So was this a confession of faith or was it a professional soldier trying to make sense of something he had never experienced before? Obviously, the events that had happened at the cross deeply moved him to make this declaration, but what does it mean? But more importantly, is this your confession? If so, what does it mean to you? If not, why not?

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People Around the Cross The Disciples

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 18:00:00 +1000

9th April 2017 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: John 19:16-27 - Where would you be standing if you were at the crucifixion? What would your response be? Would you have said, 'If I lived around the time of Jesus then I would have no trouble believing in Him.' Really? What if you were of the chosen disciples? Would you have said, 'If I was chosen as a disciple then I would never have left Him.' Really? The gospel accounts give us a very different picture. Those closest to him deserted him the moment he was arrested and bound. They fled in fear and confusion. They hid, trying to understand why their teacher was being executed. What were they thinking? Their beliefs about Jesus did not match the reality of Him hanging on a cross. They were gutted and fearful, yet God was gracious to them.

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People Around the Cross The Crowd

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 10:30:00 +1000

9th April 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Matthew 21:1-11; 27:11-26 - This week we are considering the crowd in the final week of Jesus' ministry on earth. As Jesus approached Jerusalem a crowd gathered. They cried out 'Hosanna', lay their cloaks on the ground and softened the road with tree branches. They welcomed this Jesus with open arms, calling Him their saviour and a great prophet. Yet only a week later this very same nameless and faceless crowd cried out 'Crucify Him'. How could this change happen so quickly and what can we learn from them? Come along to think about the two distinct faces of this crowd.

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The People Who Should Have Known Better The Religious Elite

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 18:00:00 +1000

2nd April 2017 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Matthew 27:39-44 - This second sermon in our series on the audience of the cross focuses on the religious elite; the chief priests, scribes and elders. These were the religious men of power in the time of Jesus. These were the men that handed Jesus over to the Romans. They controlled the Jewish faith and were responsible for teaching and understanding the world of God. Simply they should have known better. Why did they reject Jesus and how are we in danger of doing the same?

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Jesus Remember Me

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 10:30:00 +1000

2nd April 2017 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Luke 23:32-43 - It's perhaps hard to believe but we're approaching Easter time already! In light of that it's appropriate that we as a church start to focus our attention on what is the cornerstone of the Christian faith: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the weeks leading up to Easter we're going to look at some of the characters we find around the cross of Jesus and how the stories of their lives affect the stories of ours. This Sunday we start by looking at two characters being crucified alongside Jesus. Please join us as we unpack this moving event around the cross of Jesus.

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The Search for Religion

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 10:30:00 +1000

26th March 2017 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 - In the verses we are looking at today God now gets a mention. Up to now, much of Ecclesiastes has been about the meaninglessness of life apart from God, now we are to look to God who made our world. What is clear is that our "under the sun" lives are in a drastic need of recalibration to how we approach God. Have you ever thought about the fact that God knows and judges the way we worship? He sees into your heart; He sees the attitude behind your actions and judges whether your worship is acceptable. Solomon is saying that there is a right way and a wrong way to worship God. The right way is that of the wise person and the wrong way is that of fools. If we do not want our religion to be meaningless we need to avoid the wrong way to worship God. What is that wrong way? What is the right way?

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Sun, 19 Mar 2017 18:00:00 +1000

19th March 2017 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:16, John 8:32 - "The injunction against bearing false witness, branded in stone and brought down by Moses from the mountaintop, has always provoked ambivalent, conflicting emotions. On the one hand, nearly everybody condemns lying. On the others, nearly everyone does it every day." Paul Gray's quote (above) in Time Magazine is highly relevant. The issue of lying - properly understood - is one that we wrestle with every single day of our lives and our world is engrossed in. It's such a big issue that God has cared to devote one of only a precious few absolute rules for humanity to this issue of truth. On Sunday we'll discover why it's so important and how God seeks to shape us when it comes to truth.

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Injustice and Our God of Justice

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 10:30:00 +1000

19th March 2017 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3 - When people, especially young people, think about life the question is not so much about purpose but significance. The thought is, 'I want to make a difference.' I want my life to amount to something of worth. So, people throw themselves into different causes, fighting against corruption, oppression and injustice. These are great things to put your energy into but, in the verses today, Solomon begins to dismantle the idea that doing these things will make a lasting impact. They are ultimately meaningless. Why? From an 'under the sun' perspective it never seems to end; it never is finished; there is always another place of injustice to tackle. This has been true through the ages and even today. It cries out for something more, something better, something lasting. It drives us back to God, who will redeem all things and bring righteous judgement.

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Sun, 12 Mar 2017 18:00:00 +1000

12th March 2017 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:15 - This Sunday we are looking at the 8th Commandment which says, 'You shall not steal'. It is simple, blunt and to the point. Every country in the world forbids stealing, so why have a sermon on it? Because God forbids it and the biblical position goes a lot deeper than our surface understanding. Maybe you think, 'I don't steal so this sermon doesn't apply to me.' Maybe you don't, but do you live out the positive side of the command, doing all you can for your neighbour's good? The negative side is easy to deal with, the positive side sets a higher standard. We will work through this 'simple' command together.

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Knowing the Times and the Timeless One

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 10:30:00 +1000

12th March 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 - There is a time for everything. We know the poem, we might even know the song made popular by The Byrds. It is a poetic reflection of humanities time on earth from beginning to end. It is a poem about time and yet Solomon moves straight from our finitude into the infinite nature of God. We are bound by time and yet we all have a sense of the eternal. We are limited, God is limitless.

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Sun, 05 Mar 2017 18:00:00 +1000

5th March 2017 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:14 - "In the jungle of modern permissiveness the meaning and purpose of sex is missed and its glory is lost." How true are these words of J.I. Packer? This Sunday night, as we preach on the seventh commandment ("You shall not commit adultery) we'll hopefully discover - or rediscover - in some way the glory of sex as God intends it. While the subject will be handled sensitively and wisely, it will nevertheless be a 'mature audience' service. If any parents deem their children too young and therefore not ready to be exposed to a biblical understanding of sex, you may want to consider coming in the morning. For the rest of our church community, let's hear what God's Word has to say to us about this incredibly relevant aspect of our lives.

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The Meaninglessness of Work

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 10:30:00 +1000

5th March 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 2:12-23 - To paraphrase a song from Rihanna, all we seem to hear is work, work, work, work work. It's a pretty fair assessmentof most of our lives. We spend most of our lives either physically or mentally at work, for many of us we spend more time with our colleagues than we do our own family. Yet one day when we take our last breaths what will our work mean? Not much according to Solomon, the man who's work was more majestic and memorable than any of ours. It's another pretty grim picture from the man who had it all. But wait there's more because this week we begin to find hope. Hope in a God who wants us to enjoy his world and a God who want's us to find eternal satisfaction in him!

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Pleasure is Meaningless

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10:30:00 +1000

26th February 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 - "Everything is meaningless" is the cry of the author of Ecclesiastes. Last week Jim walked us through the first chapter, showing how Solomon begins his reflective journey through life. Everything is meaningless, even wisdom. Yet in chapter 2 the focus turns from everything into the idea of pleasure. Solomon had every pleasure possible at his disposal. He had wine, women, wealth, works and wisdom. In each of them he found at least a sense of pleasure but never enough to satisfy his searching heart. Before he even lists his vices he concludes that each of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. How does this passage speak into our world? Well in many ways it cuts right to our hearts. Neil Postman's famous book, Entertaining Ourselves to Death adequately describes our society. So where does faith fit? Where does God fit? And most importantly, where does Jesus fit in this story?

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Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:00:00 +1000

19th February 2017 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:12 - The idea of honouring your parents seems a little out of touch in 2017. Surely they should be honouring us! While that is what the world might spin it's not what the Bible describes for us. This week, focusing in on the stories of Jonathan, David and Saul, we will consider what this command looks like for us today, realising that its reach is well beyond the confines of the family home.

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The Search for Meaning

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:30:00 +1000

19th February 2017 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Ecclestiastes 1:1-18 - The opening verses of Ecclesiastes sounds a little depressing... Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is Meaningless. Well, it's supposed to be. Solomon is simply voicing what each of us have probably felt at some time. In the routine of life, you wake up? You take a shower, brush your teeth, eat your breakfast, get in your car, drive to work, work, drive home, watch TV, go to bed, and do it all over again. Have you ever stopped and said 'what is the meaning of it all?' That's what Solomon is doing in these verses. Perhaps the most terrifying conclusion would be that of Solomon, 'everything is meaningless'. That everything we feel and experience, work and strive to accomplish end up in futility. Ecclesiastes portrays this in a most realistic way and that, apart for God, everything is futile. This is where we will start our series on Ecclesiastes.

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Ten Words REST

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 18:00:00 +1000

12th February 2017 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:8-11 - Does the idea of the Sabbath day mean anything to us today? Should it? For some people in the church, the Sabbath is a legalistic command. So, how does the New Testament and the life of Jesus change how we understand it? The Sabbath is possibly the most ignored command of the 10, for some it is a strict necessity, for others, it means absolutely nothing! What are we to do or think about a command that calls us to stop and rest?

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Stewardship of Relationships

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 10:30:00 +1000

12th February 2017 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Romans 12:9-21 - Relationships are tricky. Each of us have relationships of different kinds, whether they be marital, family, friends, work, folks you volunteer with, people on a sports team, etc. But the bottom line is that we all experience relationships with others, and sometimes these relationships are messy and complicated and painful. Yet we can't flourish without them. That's because our God is a God of relationships. After God created Adam, He said, "It is not good for man to be alone." Obviously, God cares about relationships. The Ten Commandments is about relationships, with God and each other. Jesus summed up all Ten Commandments in two commandments (Mt. 22:37-40). Since God created us as relational beings we must wrestle through our stewardship of those relationships; thinking about how to initiate, maintain, and promote them for God's glory. We do this because God cares about us and he cares about the way we get along. But in the end, I am responsible for my relationship with God... AND, I'm responsible for my relationships with those around me. I should not only be seeking God's good, but also seek the wellbeing of others.

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Ten Words HONOUR

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 18:00:00 +1000

5th February 2017 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:7 - You shall not take the Lords name in vein. Seems simple enough. Don't blaspheme and you can tick this one off. But what is thepurpose of this command? Is it to stop us from swearing in God's name or is there something more significant at work? While it's true that using any of God's many names in a trite way is wrong and offensive to God there is myriad of other ways that we can drag God's name through the mud. Every single one of us breaks this command all the time. But do we even care?

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Stewardship of Money

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 10:30:00 +1000

5th February 2017 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 - Forbes recently released its list of the 50 richest people in the world. As you look over the list you realise that someone is missing. Who? God! What God owns makes Bill Gates look like a pauper. His holdings extend as far as the universe. The Bible says that there is no one and no thing that does not belong to Him. That means that His possessions include you and me, our life, our strength, our times, our talents and our money. If that is true, we need to think through how we handle the things that God has then entrusted to us. We have been thinking about some of those things over the past couple of weeks and today we get to tackle the issue of money. More specifically, how we wisely steward the money that God has entrusted to us.

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10 Words IMAGE

Sun, 29 Jan 2017 18:00:00 +1000

29th January 2017 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Exodus 20:4-6 - Last week we saw that we have a choice, a choice between the God of the bible and every other 'god' that the world has to offer. Step one is making that right choice. Step two is understanding how we worship this God. While we may think that in the western world we have rid ourselves of religious idols the opposite is actually true. In many ways, we are worse than any other people group in history because our idols are everywhere! And the church is just as bad.

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Stewardship of Talents

Sun, 29 Jan 2017 10:30:00 +1000

29th January 2017 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Matthew 25:14-30 - One of the most frequent questions directed at psychologists, guidance councillors, parents, pastors and many others is: 'what am I supposed to do with my life?' Somewhat ironically, in a world with seemingly limitless options and an era of history in which choice abounds more than ever this question has become commonplace. Statistics show a great deal of confusion or lack of motivation when it comes to selecting and practicing a life-long vocation consistently and with perseverance. Christians do not escape this phenomenon and need to ask themselves the question: what does God want me to do with my life? Is there something in my faith that informs - or transforms - my vocation in life? On Sunday morning we'll look at some principles from Scripture that speak to this issue.

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10 Commandments

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:00:00 +1000

22nd January 2017 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: - This evening we begin a new series on The 10 Commandments.

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Stewardship of Time

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 10:30:00 +1000

22nd January 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Psalm 90 - This week we begin a new series about stewardship. How do you manage the resources that God has given you? What things take priority and what parts of your life do you pass by? Over the next four weeks, we are going to consider four of the most important resources that God blesses us with. This week we are considering how we use time, one of the most difficult resources to manage. How do you steward the time that God has given you?

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Imprecatory Psalm Psalm 109

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 10:30:00 +1000

15th January 2017 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Psalm 109 - Imprecatory Psalm

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Psalm of Praise Psalm 111

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 10:30:00 +1000

8th January 2017 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Psalm 111 - Psalm of Praise

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Simeons Song

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 10:30:00 +1000

1st January 2017 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Luke 2:21-32 -

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Christmas Service Angels Song

Sun, 25 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +1000

25th December 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Luke 2:8-20 - Christmas Day Service

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The Voice

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

18th December 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Luke 3:1-18 - Mary was told the child she would have was going to be the Saviour. Her response was a song of praise. Zechariah was told that he, in his old age, was having a son who would tell of the coming Saviour. His response, after a time of being mute, was to praise God. Today we step a little later into the story when we meet 'The Voice' preparing the way for the coming Saviour. And John prepares the way by proclaiming God's message. His message is that the people need to repair their lives and prepare for Christ's coming. He does this by calling the people to repent and be baptized. But why do we look at this poem about John? Because, as someone has said, the path of the incarnation passes through John on the way to Bethlehem's manger. So, while Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, it is also a time of reflection of the words of the angels, shepherds, and the whole story. Words which talk about the salvation offered to humanity through the atonement of Jesus on the cross. It is a time to reflect on your own salvation.

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Blessed Is

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

11th December 2016 PM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Psalm 32 - Psalm 1 starts with the words: 'Blessed is the man...' It can be understood to mean 'happy is the person whose delight is in God's word upon which she or he meditates day and night'. As profound and deep as this truth is, we find that there is another Psalm which starts with almost identical words (blessed is he...) and yet "the happiness of the man speaking here is greater even than that of the man speaking in Psalm 1" (Montgomery Boice). What is this happiness of Psalm 32? Please join us as we consider the precious words of this Psalm.

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Zechariahs Song

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

11th December 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Luke 1:67-80 - After nine months of silence, Zechariah has something to say! Of course, it's not just that he's been bursting to talk, or even that nine months of reflection has led to such deep insights. Zechariah's song, which we will look at this Sunday morning, is a prediction made by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This prophecy is a beautiful summary of the implication of all the events surrounding the birth of Jesus that Luke describes. It is a song saturated with the abundant mercy of God. God knows the need of the people; God is responding to His promises to save His people; God is bringing about the salvation of His people. This is a song of mercy, and blessing. After singing his praise of God's tender compassion, he turns to offers his Spirit-filled benediction upon his son, the one who will announce God's tender mercy and give them knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. And so, the old priest Zechariah, near the end of his days, sings a song of mercy, blessing, and forgiveness, under the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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Marys Song

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

4th December 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Luke 1:46-56 - Today we begin a short series looking at the songs on Luke's gospel focussed on the birth of Jesus. We start with Mary's poem, known as the 'Magnificat'. Through it all, Mary is an example of humility, stating her dependence on God. Mary is an example of thankfulness, praising and exulting God. She saw God's work in her life as evidence of his love for all his people. We honour Mary and thank God for her simple trust. We honour her, not by praying to her, but by modelling our own relationship with God on the traits she displayed. We will look at those traits of submission, humility and praise.

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Christian of the Year Award

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

27th November 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Mark 9:30-37 - As you read this passage, you can imagine the disciples arguing about who would be awarded the prestigious award of 'Christian of the Year'. You picture them trying to show why they should be considered for the award, how they were greater, each convinced that they were a better disciple than the one next to them. When they hit Capernaum Jesus challenges them to share what they were discussing and all they can do is look down at their sandals. This argument they were having was not something they were comfortable sharing with Jesus because it seemed so ludicrous. The scary thought is that this kind of bickering, while not done openly, probably happens more than we care to admit. So how does Jesus address their debate? By turning their world and the expectations of the world upside-down. Today we will try to get an understanding of this upside-down kingdom that Jesus proposes.

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Life WITH Faith Hope and Love

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

20th November 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: 1 John 4:7-12; 19-21 - We are wrapping up our WITH series tonight. Last week we looked back at our rejection of life with God in the Garden (Genesis 3) and we looked forward to our reunion with God in the new creation. This reunion flows from our reconciliation through Jesus Christ, who came and lived with us. Yet, how do we live with God in the here and now? It starts with understanding that we live with God as a beloved child. Jethani writes, 'Love is the beginning and the end, the origin and culmination of our relationship with God.' We can strengthen that love relationship with God by training ourselves to be aware of His constant presence and communing with Him. We live with a faith that we're always safe in God's care, we place your hope in God Himself rather than in our circumstances, and we let God's love inspire us to love others, and live in wonder, and joy.

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Belief Unbelief and Everything in Between

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

20th November 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Mark 9:14-29 - Peter, James and John have just witnessed Jesus amazing transfiguration, they got to see Jesus in his glory. What an amazing experience! But what goes up must come down, so they climb back down to the reality of the mission. When they get there they are immediately confronted with a bickering crowd who are questioning the authority and power of the disciples. For some reason, the disciples cannot heal a demon-possessed child so Jesus takes the opportunity to teach them (and us) about faith.

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The Transfiguration

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

13th November 2016 AM - Preacher: Ettiene de Wilzem - Bible Passage: Mark 9:1-13 - If you're a Christian, you may have read this passage numerous times in the past and thought to yourself: 'what a strange, strange story!' Only three of Jesus' 12 main followers up an incredibly high mountain (about 9000 feet above sea level!) to see him 'transfigured'. What does that even mean? And more importantly, why give these disciples the insight into this very, very strange event? On Sunday morning we'll unpack this and hopefully profit immensely from both understanding it and receiving it's rich nourishment for our often-weary souls.

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Life FOR God

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

6th November 2016 PM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Luke 15:11-32 - From within the Church a life for God would have to be the most pervasive misunderstanding of how we relate to God. Do we live as Christians simply to do God's bidding? Are we to simply pour ourselves into as many ministries as we can handle? A life for God is a dangerous posture because it elevates what we do above all else.

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Blurred Vision

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

6th November 2016 AM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Mark 8:31-9:1 - Peter's response to Jesus' teaching about His coming death and resurrection is a clear example of blurred vision. Peter, correctly, recognised Jesus as the Christ, but loudly objected to any mention of Jesus suffering and dying. To Peter this is an inappropriate role of the Christ that he was looking at. We need clear spiritual vision to see Jesus for who He is: Messiah and Lord. With that type of vision we can then accept the requirements of discipleship that Jesus goes on to teach about. What does suffering for the Christian look like if we have the right vision?

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Life FROM God

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 18:00:00 +1000

30th October 2016 PM - Preacher: Jim de Witte - Bible Passage: Luke 15:11-32 - How do you best relate to God? This is the question we are seeking to answer in our journey through the suggestions made in this book, "WITH: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God". So far we have looked at the Life Under God perspective and the Life Over God perspective. Today's topic is Life From God. It is worth repeating that all the perspectives we'll be talking about have merit. There is something to be said for living each perspective as a part of your faith journey with God. However, when each perspective is the sole or primary way of relating to God, we fail to experience all that God desires for us in a relationship with Him. Life from God is fuelled by our consumer culture, where everyone's and everything's value is determined by its usefulness to me. I stand at the centre and everything orbits around me. The thinking that creeps into our Christian worldview is that God is just another one of those things that orbit around me. How can we identify the error of our posture and how can we protect ourselves from it?

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Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

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

30th October 2016 AM - Preacher: Ben Peletier - Bible Passage: Mark 8:22-30 - This week we hit the turning point in Mark. Yet before we get to Peter's confession we are faced with another healing miracle; this time it's a blind man. Yet again Jesus saves the day, the man is no longer blind. Yet this miracle is different because Jesus seemingly fails, or at least half fails, at first attempt. Why? Well, this half-baked miracle is actually intricately linked to what happens next, the central confession of Jesus. How?

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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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