25/04/2021

A servant serves.

I am currently reading Paul David Tripp’s book called ‘Lead’, and he writes something quite profound in his chapter ‘Servants’ that I would like to share about.

The theme of servanthood is so radically counter-intuitive, yet it is the term that defines how God has called us to do what we have been called to do.

What is the motivational joy in the heart of a true servant? The joy of a true servant is not power; the joy of a true servant is not control; the joy of a true servant is not acclaim; the joy of a true servant is not comfort or ease; and, of course, the joy of a true servant is not position. What gives a servant joy in being a servant is service.

Why is service so unnatural for us? Why do we love to be known as servants while not always loving the call to serve? Why do we fall into thinking of opportunities to serve as an interruption, a hassle, or a burden? Why do we count the cost while forgetting the riches we have been given? Why are servant posture and attitude not normal in the hearts and lives of those whom God has called?

The answer is clear: sin.

Sin is self-focused, self-absorbed, self-defensive, and self-aggrandizing – selfish in the purest sense of what that word means. Our default idol is the idol of self, and because it is, my default craving is for what I find comfortable, enjoyable and exciting.

So it is clear of the presence of power of rescuing and forgiving grace is present when any person finds joy in the self-sacrifice and self-denial that are the normal life of a servant.

That struggle of selfishness is the focus not only of the rescue and forgiveness of our justification, but also of the transforming work of our sanctification.

Jesus, our Saviour has rescued you from you, is rescuing you from you, and will continue to rescue you from you until that rescue is no longer needed.

If those people around you were to characterise your attitude and actions as a person, would they say that you have a servant’s heart?

In His service,

Pastor Ben.

18/04/2021

So, I have had the amazing opportunity to spend some extra time with my kids over the Easter break. This time highlighted two things for me. Firstly, what an amazing blessing my kids are to me. Also, what amazing gifts kids, or young people, are to us in general.
 
This train of thought continued and got me asking some questions about my parenting; what my kids might really need most from me in the season of life that they are in. This continued in a more general direction asking questions like, “what will they need from me in the near future?” and “what do kids, especially school aged kids, need most in general?”.
 
So after I have done hours of researching credible literature, talks and interviews. This the one consensus that seems to come across is that what is needed most is:

1. “Beliefs” engagement and growth, and,

2. Forming of “meaningful relationships”.

 
This emphasised for me the importance of parents living their faith openly and talking about it honestly and frequently. It is so vital for parents to make sure there are other trusted and supportive adults in their family’s (and therefore kids’), lives.
 
So, as a parent, we model and speak about our beliefs, the faith it stems from, and how it influences our behaviour and speech. And, as a parent, we invite other trusted adults into our space to also model those beliefs and talk about the outworking of their faith in their contexts.
 
This is why it is vital for parents to work on their own faith and meaningful connections, so that they can share this part of their lives appropriately not just with their own kids, but also kids that are a part of their sphere  of influence (nephews, nieces, god-children, close family friends’ lives, church family…for example). Furthermore, this is why it is important for us, as church family, to model our faith appropriately and form appropriate meaningful connections for and with the younger generations God has entrusted us with.
 
How do we do this collectively? Well, one way in which we do this is by making time and space for young ones, or the youth, to enable them to form meaningful peer and mentoring relationships. We need to provide opportunities for them to learn and grow their faith. This is the responsibility of every parent, grandparent, godparent, great-grandparent, trusted family friend, and more mature members of our community/church family.
 
So in which way can you be equipped to and help fulfil this responsibility we all have and find joy in seeing your own faith grow and also young ones flourish?

· By being an active community member

· By being a part of a small group (engage group)

· By being a part of youth group

 
I would encourage all of you to be a part of church life in this way and am looking forward to hearing from you all regarding this.
 
In His service,

Pastor Roelof

11/04/2021

Our inactions can betray us
One of the many narratives surround the Passion of Christ is the story of Peter, and how he doesn’t act, in that he doesn’t tell anyone that he is a follower of Jesus. The good news for Peter was that this meant that by his inaction, he wasn’t also subject to any punishment from the authorities, but we also know his response when he realises what he had (hadn’t) done.
 
And this idea led me to think – what do our own inactions say about us.
 
I think about our own government, and their inaction to do anything regarding the continued unfolding events in Myanmar as hundreds upon hundreds of people, including 43 CHILDREN are being killed by a military junta.
 
I think of the continued inaction of so many governments around the world to actually combat climate change by reducing emissions.
 
There is the continued inaction of so many countries in regards to ensuring that COVID-19 Vaccines will be distributed to all people all around the world, by not ensuring the technology is at a price above what developing countries can afford.
 
But what about us. What does our inaction say about us?
 
When we see someone in need, and we don’t help. When we don’t make the phone call, or don’t send that email, text message or social media post. When we fail to share God’s message of life, forgiveness and salvation to provide hope to others?
 
The good news is that regardless of our inaction, Jesus’ action means that we are forgiven. Some of the words we often use in our confession are to ask God for his forgiveness ‘for what we fail to do’. God forgives that, but I find a challenge in there. To not be someone of inaction, but to be someone of action.
 
What action might God be calling you to do today, this week?
 
Pastor Ben

04/04/2021

For those of us living in the South-East corner of Queensland, what an emotional and interesting past week it has been.

I don’t know about you, but I have been keeping one eye on the news to see the next latest developments in terms of case numbers, cluster statistics, possible infection sites and commentary on all of those things as well.

And it is interesting that it around 100 years ago, the world was fighting against another pandemic, the so called ‘Spanish Flu’.

And as churches returned back to a ‘new normal’, after also having to close, and live with restrictions, it is interesting that this new normal was most of the old normal, but considered with new eyes.

As much as some people might say the church is ‘dead’ or ‘dying’, as we celebrate Easter, we know that is not true, as the unstoppable mission of God continues.

Jesus himself declared “I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it”.

It is Easter! And that gives us reason to celebrate that God is still at work in our lives, each and every day, and so we celebrate that on the cross and by his resurrection and ascension we have life, forgiveness and salvation.

With this celebration, we too are given new eyes to see the world around us, a world that is hurting, and in need of love and hope and grace.

And we, the church of God are to continue the mission that God has given to us, to share the love and hope and grace that we have received with those around us.

So let’s keep on living in that resurrection hope that we have because of Jesus!

Have a blessed Easter,

Pastor Ben.