RSS Feed Welcome to The PASSION Blog

Our God is a fortress and refuge

January 14th, 2018

“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This is a great comfort to know. The name of our Lord is our strong fortress. Psalms tells us that He is our refuge and strength and we can run to Him (Psalm 46:1). When we need help or we are afraid, we can run to Him for protection and safety.

Prayer

Thank You Lord that You are our refuge and strength. Thank You that we can run to You for safety when we are afraid or need help. Amen.

A compassionate and gracious God

January 13th, 2018

The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6).

In Roman and Greek mythology the gods were easily angered. It is the same with most ancient religions. Often the people lived in fear and had to offer daily sacrifices to appease their gods.

But our God, the God of the Bible, is slow to anger and abounding in love. He is also compassionate, faithful and gracious.

We are told we become His adopted children when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. He is for us and we don’t have to live in fear any more. We are accepted.

Prayer

Thank You God that as Your adpoted children we do not have to live in fear. Help us to remember that You are compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love towards us. Amen.

Testing those who claim to speak from God

January 11th, 2018

“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.” (1 John‬ ‭4:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

We need to test those who claim to be prophets. The key test is what they believe about Jesus. Did He come in a real body? Is He the Son of God? Is He the only way to salvation? Did He die on the cross for our sin and was He raised to life? He physically raised to life, not just spiritually? Is Jesus eternal?

These questions help us to test what a person believes about Jesus and if they are from God. Two other time related tests will help too. What is their daily walk with God like? And have the things they have said actually happened?

Testing the spirits or testing a person who claims to be from God is important because what they do and say has the power to lead God’s people astray.

Prayer

Dear God, please help us to be wise when new people who claim to be from You come into our midst. Give us wisdom and discernment to know if someone is from You or not. Amen.

Bi-vocational country Pastors

January 9th, 2018

I returned to my old job at our local hospital yesterday. I will be working 2-3 days a week in a supply role purchasing medical equipment and supplies. I will also do 2-3 days a week for my role at church.

There are a number of things I like about being a bi-vo country Pastor.

1. It gives you an understanding of the people who volunteer at church

Volunteers juggle work and church all the time. Sometimes they can’t fulfill a church role due to work commitments and that is easier to understand when you have those pressures too.

2. It gives a better work/life balance

It is easy for me to work full time hours as a part time Pastor, so having another job helps me to be more focussed in what I do. It also gives me time away from thinking about church, sermons and upcoming events too.

3. It takes pressure off the church finances

Working in another role means it frees money up for the church to use finances for other things. Rather than paying the Pastor a full time salary, the money can be used for outreach, building maintenance, missions and more.

4. It forces community involvement

It is easy for a Pastor to go from home to church, to church members homes and home again. It is easy to not connect with people outside the church. Working as a bi-vo Pastor means you are with people outside the church at least a few days per week. This helps to form great connections and friendships.

Being a bi-vo Pastor is a great thing to to. Especially in country areas where it enables you to be a part of your local community.

If you are in the city region, I would encourage you to consider being a bi-vo Pastor in the country. There are always jobs available and churches are crying out for Pastors.

God Bless,
Dave

 

Looking after your voice as a Pastor

January 8th, 2018

Over the years I have heard Pastors and worship leaders talk about the importance of looking after your voice in ministry. This is because their voice is their instrument to bring honour to God and encourage others.

I have never really thought about it much as a lay preacher. Preaching 5-6 times a year it is not really an issue. But this year I really noticed my voice or throat getting worn out as the year went on. Especially during spring when I suffer hayfever.

As a Pastor I preached 35 sermons in 2017. This may not sound like much, but if you include lots of singing, doing communion talks, leading Bible studies, and talking with people after church and during a home visits, it adds up.

I think this year I will have to pace myself a bit more. Some times in 2017 I preached six weeks in a row. Not only is that mentally and spiritually taxing, but I felt it physically in my voice. Maybe in 2018 I might limit myself to three weeks of preaching in a row?

If you are thinking about entering ministry as a Pastor or a worship leader I would encourage you to consider looking after your voice as something you need to think about. After all, it is your instrument.

God Bless,
Dave

Jesus is the light of the world

January 5th, 2018

In the Bible light is used in a number of places to describe the things of God and the good things of this world.

In the beginning God said, “Let there be light” and there was light in Genesis 1:3. Psalm 18:28 tells us “You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.” And in Psalm 119:105 it says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”.

One key verse for me is John 8:12. In this verse Jesus described Himself in this way, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Jesus is the light of the world. He lights our way and He fills our life with His light. He said His light leads to life.

As I reflected on this today for my morning devotions I remembered Jesus’ death. When Jesus was on the cross being crucified it says darkness came over the earth.

Matthew 27:45-46 says, “At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?”

Not long after these words, Jesus gave up His Spirit and died.

I find it interesting that Jesus came into the world to be light, and when the world rejected Him and crucified Him, the lights went out. Darkness fell over all the earth in the middle of the day.

For us as Christians we need to remember that Jesus is the light of the world. He is our light and our hope. And He calls us to let our lights shine to those around us (Matthew 5:16).

Prayer

Dear Jesus, I thank You that you came into this world to be light for us. I pray that You will help us to reflect Your light to those we come in contact with each day. Amen

 

 

Don’t miss Jesus

January 4th, 2018

John 5:39-40 says, “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

Jesus said these words to the religious teachers of His day. They claimed to know all about faith and the Scriptures, but did not recognise Jesus as the Messiah that they were waiting for.

They had knowledge of the Scriptures, but missed the main person – Jesus.

Over the years I have known some very religious people who have studied the Bible, but they missed Jesus too.

So what are some keys we have to understand about Jesus?

  1. He is eternal (John 1:1-3)
  2. He is the Son of God (Luke 1:35)
  3. He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26)
  4. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sin (Romans 3:23-24)
  5. He was raised back to life and is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Romans 8:34)
  6. He is coming back for those who trust in Him as their Lord and Saviour (Hebrews 9:28)
  7. He is the only way to salvation (John 14:6)

These are seven things that are key about Jesus. It is just so important to understand who Jesus is and what He has done.

Two things you can do right now is trust Jesus for your salvaiton and find peace with God. You can do this by visiting this page.

Then you can download our free discipleship booklet to help you understand more about Christ and HIs will for your life. You can find our free booklet here.

It is my hope and prayer that you will do these two things.

God Bless,
Dave

Read the New Testament in 2018 Bible plan

December 31st, 2017

Just a reminder that we have a PDF Bible reading plan to help you read the New Testament in 2018.

You can read 5 days a week and it takes a year. Or you can read it 7 days a week and it takes about 9 months.

It is A4 size and it has check boxes so you can tick the chapters off as you go.

You can find it here.

God Bless,
Dave

Having the right attitude sermon

December 31st, 2017

Hello all, my sermon from today in now online. It was titled, “Having the right attitude in 2018”.

In it I used the letters from the word attitude to make the main points. The points were as follows…

A – ASK God to examine your heart.

T – TELL God the truth about where you are at.

T – TALK to someone else about your struggles.

I – INVITE the Holy Spirit to control your mind.

T – TRAIN yourself in the things of God.

U – UNDERSTAND you are a work in progress.

D – DETERMINE to stay the course.

E – ENJOY the journey.

You can find the full text here. The audio is available here or below.

God Bless,
Dave

Winding down for holidays

December 28th, 2017

I love this time of the year. Christmas has been and gone and it is time to wind down for holidays. As you can imagine the lead up to Christmas is a busy time for Pastors, so having a break after Christmas is a good idea and much needed.

This year has been a good year, but a big one for me. Church has been busy as it is my first full year at our church. It has also been a big year due to family members being not well with serious illnesses. So I am really looking forward to some time off.

So what will I be doing on my holidays? I will be probably have a few days away with my wife at some stage, but mostly we will be home. As I am with people most of the time, holidays are a time to just chillax at home with my family.

So I have one service to go for the year, and while I am looking forward to it, I am looking forward to my holidays even more!

If you are having holidays at the moment, I hope you have a nice relaxing time and a refreshing break from your work.

God Bless,

Dave