Sunday, July 10, 2005


The news from Britain, commented our minister in his sermon this morning, ran the gamut of human emotions – from the euphoria of Olympic selection to the horror of terrorist bombings. Is there a solution to the troubles of humanity? It doesn’t seem like it. God has the answer but the world doesn’t want to hear it. “I am the way, the truth and the light.” This passage is offensive to many because it is exclusive, they say; salvation is restricted to those who come to God through Jesus Christ. Not good works, or religious ceremonies, social engineering or ethical speculation.

Regardless of what the world thinks, he continued, there is only one God. And there is only one way to reach Him.

An outsider looking at us through our mass media would have no idea we were a so-called “Christian country”. There would be no evidence of the close communion with God that is essential for all of us.

The world and the Bible offer different answers. The problem is not with the Bible, but with the worldly beliefs of the human race.

Jesus Christ transformed lives when he walked the earth and he does so today. The world won’t be changed by Olympic committees or the United Nations, but only when people accept the truth of John 3:16

The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is His new creation
by water and the Word:
from heaven He came and sought her
to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her
and for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
yet one throughout the earth;
her charter of salvation --
one Lord, one faith, one birth:
one holy Name she blesses,
and shares one holy food;
as to one hope she presses
with every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
men see her much oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping,
their cry goes up: 'How long?'
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

In toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore:
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blessed:
at last the church victorious
shall be the church at rest!

Yet she on earth has union
with God the Three-in-One;
and mystic, sweet communion
with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, grant to us Your grace,
with them the meek and lowly,
in heaven to see Your face.

R2, our other minister, was musing on the recent problems of a certain Melbourne celebrity: “Steve’s fall from grace has received much attention this week. I’ve followed his career with interest since I boarded with him at College. He was brilliant and funny then – and was open to the gospel. Sadly that seems non-existent now, but he is a devoted family man and has done much for his State. Which leads to the bewilderment of why he threw it all to the wind in one stupid act, and then tells us to take note that he actually lost money on the share deal. Dumb and dumber Steve.
He wouldn’t be the first to see his need of God amidst personal failure.. I prayed for him back then and I pray for him now that this might lead him back to the faith he seemed to once embrace.
But enough finger-pointing. Jesus told his followers to be aware of the signs of the times in Luke 13 – and to learn from then for our own lives. One lesson is the deceitfulness of riches [Mark 4:19]
Steve is a multi-millionaire; when is enough enough? His saga coincides with a report this week that shows only 1 in 5 millionaires with over $3M are satisfied, while the percentage of those earning $25,000 p.a. is much higher. Amazing – but not really when you weigh up the teaching of Scripture about priorities, values, greed and responsibility.
The Live8/G8 challenge re Africa’s poverty could quite “easily” be solved by a biblical response to equity and wealth between North and South. There are many issues involved like corruption and Prime Ministers spending $9,000 a night on a hotel, but we best start with our own life... and faith.”

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