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Walking with Jesus - Jesus the Good Shepherd

Andy Elmes

October 25, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy continues speaking about walking with Jesus, this week Jesus the Good Shepherd. Last week we looked at Jesus the Lion of Judah as well as being the Lamb who was slain to take away our sins. The bible has portrayed Jesus in many differing ways each declaring a special part of who He is ….Son of God, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Lion of Judah, bread of life, the True Vine and the Good Shepherd. In the Gospel of John Chapter 10, many verses are devoted to Jesus being the Good Shepherd. Verses 1 through 6 speak of us knowing the Shepherd’s voice, how the true sheep know the voice of their shepherd. Further verses speak of Jesus being the gateway to God’s field. We can enter relationship with God, come into his field of safe pasture through Jesus only. Verse 10 also speaks of the enemy, the bad shepherd whose only purpose is to kill, steal and destroy. Jesus, the good shepherd is here to give us life in all its fullness. Verse 11 tells us that the Good Shepherd lays down his life for us. In Verse 12 we find that the hireling is not the shepherd who owns the sheep so will abandon us in the face of trouble….a wolf attacks and scatters the flock of sheep in the face of a hired hand because he has no regard for the flock, he is just a hired hand. In Verses 16 to 17 scripture speaks of a gathering, the plan of God for us – bringing the different cultures into the same ‘sheep pen’, one kingdom. In the Old Testament God also reveals Himself as a shepherd. In Ezekiel 34, the first ten verses rebuke bad shepherds of the day (we still have them now!). Verses 11 through 16 prophetically speak of God being the Good Shepherd in our lives, enabling us to lay down in good rich pasture (sheep only lay down when they feel no fear). This refers to us having a sense of well-being and safety, as we should feel with God at the helm of our lives. David’s Psalm 23 reveals the same things God revealed to Ezekiel earlier. God has our back; we just need to ensure we are listening to His voice, not the myriad of others trying to deceive us. Scripture is so powerful Pastor Andy ended the service with every home reading this scripture out loud. Psalm 23 (NKJV) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

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Global Sunday | Andy Elmes | 29th November 2020

Andy Elmes • November 29, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Sunday 29th November is Global Sunday, Pastor Andy Elmes has Ray Mills with him who has recently returned from the mission field in the Philippines with his wife and children. Today we are focusing on the global aspects of what Family Church is doing across the nations, as a local church but with a global vision. A video compiled by Ray showed many of the missionary peoples and their families and gave us wonderful insight into their work, their situation and cultures. After watching the video, Pastor Andy chatted with Ray about his time in the Philippines. Ray spoke of the isolation that many missionaries feel when communications are poor or their lives are distracted. Pastor Andy encouraged all of us to be focused on supporting the world wide activities of God as well as our local tasks with our prayers, our communication and our giving. Our missionaries are an extension of our church family and do not, cannot, operate alone.

The Lord Has Need Of You | Andy Elmes | 22nd November 2020

Andy Elmes • November 22, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy’s message this week begins by recounting the story In Luke Chapter 19, verse 28, and the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. However, the key here is the part where Jesus sent two disciples on ahead to locate and untie a colt that had never been ridden. He told them to say that “The Lord had Need of it”, if anyone should ask why they were taking the colt. Jesus sat on the donkey and people shouted their praises for the miracles he had done as he rode into Jerusalem….a famous bible verse. As Pastor Andy explained, this must have been a pretty amazing time for the disciples – feeling they were about the steal a donkey but apparently Jesus knew the plan for this all along. In effect, Jesus had set the donkey free from being tethered….because he had a plan for the donkeys life…to carry The Messiah. Jesus had sent His messengers on ahead carrying a message of freedom for the donkey; it was to be untied from all the things that had held it, no longer captive, no longer a slave. In the same way, Jesus has a purpose for our lives and can set us free from everything that has been binding us. But what will we do with our freedom? Jesus has a purpose for it that brings fulfilment, alternatively we can do nothing. Just as in Luke 19, we too have a purpose in life and can carry Jesus to others. The Lord has need of us! He needs us to be a soul winner, a carrier of His presence. Jesus wants us to use the freedom he has given us to take His presence to our friends, families, neighbours and so on. Someone will have been the ‘donkey’ who brought Jesus to us. They cared enough for us to make sure we spent eternity with God. God now wants to use our lives to bring freedom to people in our circles from everything that binds them. The Lord has need of us for this purpose. Will we join Him in this great Commission? If we want to get the zing back in our Christian lives then we need to start telling others about Jesus. God needs our availability not ability. Are we available?

Keeping it Simple | Andy Elmes | 15th November 2020

Andy Elmes • November 15, 2020 • Andy Elmes

This week Pastor Andy speaks about “Keeping it Simple”. He begins by recounting the story in Gospel of Mark, Chapter 7, Verse 1 where Pharisees came asking Jesus questions about religious practices, ceremonial washing, and other traditions. Their question was based on an understanding of the law & religion only. Jesus told them in no uncertain terms that their hearts were not where their lips were, that they were hypocritical! Jesus told them they had let go of the commands of God and were holding onto the traditions of men. There is a dichotomy between the religious do’s and don’ts and a simple relationship between us and The Lord. This simple relationship is what Pastor Andy was reminding us of today. Walking with God is meant to be a heart thing, a relational experience, quite simply. Adding religion to a walk or a desire for God turns the simple into something complex and confusing. We need to purpose in keeping our walk with God as simple as the first followers of Jesus did. Religion leaves us confused but relationship with Jesus leaves us fulfilled. Pastor Andy referred to the industry wide KISS principle – Keep It Simple, Saint! We are not to get bogged down missing the point. The relationship with God is not complex - in fact it is profoundly simple. Pastor Andy has three words to guide us through these Covid times and other circumstances (like the prime minister’s podium strapline has been). These are Love, Obedience and Faith. Love, First Book of Corinthians Chapter 13 reminds us of the qualities of real love, this is the love of God defining who He is. Verse 2 reminds us we have nothing without love even if we can move mountains, have all knowledge. Other verses tell us we can do all manner of wonderful things but they are worthless without love. Obedience is the true expression of our love. Gospel of Luke Chapter 6 and verse 46 is profound - it says ‘you call me Lord but you don’t do what I say’. Recognising the Lordship of Christ is simple but we confuse it with manmade issues. In a love relationship with God we are joined at the branch of his love and the natural expression of that should now be in the heart of one who was once rebellious. The favourite word of all Christians should be obedience. There are great consequences to obedience and also disobedience…Obedience means living in accordance with His Word. Faith to really believe as the scriptures tell us many people did like the Father with his mute child who came to Jesus immediately after the transfiguration in Gospel of Mark, Chapter 9 and Verse 17. The Father cries out to Jesus saying “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” then Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit in the boy. All things are possible to those who believe. Jesus told blind Bartimaeus, “your faith has made you whole”, after he healed his sight…… Pastor Andy spoke about how God brought us into a love relationship not slavery….he never brought us into something we were not meant to enjoy. Jesus loved us first and we did nothing to deserve it. So this week we need to just concentrate on loving at God loved us, being obedient to his word and having child-like faith. The bible says we are saved when we place faith in Jesus Christ.