Hi Church,

I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for those who have reached out to me, and let me know that you have been praying for me as I was recovering from a bacterial infection. I am all back to ‘normal’ (well – as normal as one can be in the midst of a pandemic), and after a time of retreat in South Australia, I am feeling quite renewed and refreshed.

While on retreat, we were led for 3 days by Pastor Peter Steicke, who you may know from his conferences and visits to Ipswich in past years, and he shared with us, among many things, about his new book (which if you would like a copy of – and I suggest getting one – please speak to Martin Oldfield), called ‘The Freedom Journey’, and the main thing he shared with us was about not over-complicating things, and doing the things that Jesus told us to do, and doing them well.

And I don’t think it’s particularly a ‘Lutheran’ thing, or even an ‘Ipswich’ thing, but so often we really over complicate, and create barriers for ourselves to simply live in the grace of Jesus, and be open to sharing that grace with others.

We want all the answers, all the possible training, we want to know what we need to do, or say, and when to do or say it. But, having received the good news, the gospel, how God loves us to the point of sending His Son, Jesus to live, and die and live again, and how God empowers us with His Holy Spirit to remind us of that each and every part of each and every day, we are then called to live a life following and serving Jesus.

There is not some complex formula that we need to follow, we are just called to follow and serve Jesus, it is that simple. 

How are we best equipped to do that? By listening to God. And one of the best ways to listen to God is to hear what He is saying to You through His Word.

It is through the Word (the Bible) that God reminds us of His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness; and where we are called to go out into this world to share this with others. It’s not a program, it is you, living out your life of faith, and inviting others to join you on that journey.

So, as we finish off our message series going ‘Back to Basics’, let’s aim to keep things simple, and not over complicate the grace of God and the hope we have in Jesus, and let’s just follow Jesus and serve Him and those around us. 

In Christ
Pastor Ben

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