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Are we Believers or Disciples?

Andy Elmes

August 9, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy asks if we are Believers or Disciples. There are similarities but great differences between the two. In Matthew 28, the Lord asks us to be a going people, to make disciples, not just to be saved. Help the people to learn of me, believe in me and obey my words and observe my commands….are words from the Amplified version of Matthew 28. So we are to go and make disciples and teach people to obey Jesus commands. Believing is having faith in something or someone. Believing in God is a powerful thing but even demons believe in God also! - James 2:19 (NKJV) “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” So God does want us to experience the powerful salvation which comes from believing….. But also more……. being a disciple as well. In believing, lives are saved but not transformed. When lives are positioned as disciples, followers of Christ, transformation takes place. It’s an ongoing commitment to the work of the Holy Spirit within. Unlike the thief on the cross next to Jesus, we do have time in our lives for the Holy Spirit to change us. Moving from being a believer to being a disciple was Jesus’ plan in order to transform lives. This is what he called us to be. Believing is not the final thing! Jesus ministered not only to many crowds but also to his disciples when he was not with crowds. Crowds maybe are there for what they can get but disciples are there for what they can become. Being a disciple means becoming subject to the disciplines of the person you follow. A life being transformed will always involve a level of discipline in order to cause the changes required. God calls us to be subject to His teachings and truths. Do we want our lives to adhere to Jesus’ teaching? The bible calls all believers to achieve Christ-likeness choosing discipleship over pure membership. We need to let Jesus train us or disciple us into a better way of living. This means living in the Word allowing the Holy Spirit to challenge us and moving from being in a crowd experience about God to being a follower of God. Believing is belonging but disciplining is submitting, allowing changes to occur, daily. When we are living in the Word of God we will be transformed – Romans 12:2 (NKJV) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. Our thinking will be challenged and our wisdom altered, this needs to be our prayer. We must exchange incorrect philosophies for correct ones. Colossians 2:8 tells us (NIV) “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ”. The Passion Translation colours this in with even greater clarity in modern day English “Beware that no one distracts you or intimidates you in their attempt to lead you away from Christ’s fullness by pretending to be full of wisdom when they’re filled with endless arguments of human logic. For they operate with humanistic and clouded judgments based on the mindset of this world system, and not the anointed truths of the Anointed One.” So we have a choice as believers, carry on as we are or turn to God and choose His wisdom to operate in inside us. This means we redefine our belief system in accordance with Jesus words. As Jesus said, disciples live by and are obedient to His words (he was speaking to Jewish believers), read John 8:31 (NIV) “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples’”. So Jesus was speaking to people who were saved telling them they needed to hold true to His words. The same is true for us in order to be disciples.

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Missional Church

Andy Elmes • September 27, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy speaks about us being a Missional Church. Recently back from a trip to African nations, he is keen to impart his experiences. We need to shift our thinking from being church attenders and church members to be missionaries. Right now, the world is crying out for truth. For those of us who are followers of Jesus, we have the answer! As we move forward into whatever this journey we're taking together looks like, we would dare each of us to think more missional. Let's not be caught up in an attendee way of thinking. There's no lock down on us being missional. So let's begin to turn our focus and shift on reaching people. This is a challenge to our hearts today! If you send Pastor Andy who's been unable to travel for six months to Zambia and place him in front of two hundred odd hungry missionary guys, you're going to have an explosion! But that explosion wasn't just for them. It was for all of us. I came back feeling enthused. What if we change the way we see ourselves and become a missional church more than we've ever been before. We are all missionaries in the places we live, work and relax. This is the challenge!

Learn from Jesus

Steuart Payne • September 20, 2020 • Steuart Payne

Learn from Jesus is the title for this week’s message given by Pastor Steuart Payne. Lockdown and loss of weekly gatherings has presented many challenges, the loss of God’s presence in a large meeting possibly the greatest. The need for our own personal relationship with God is now paramount. In Matthew 11 Jesus speaks of taking the yoke from those who are heavy laden, giving them rest. There are two actions we must take daily – coming to Him and learning from Him. Jesus is the one who releases us from every burden including all our sins. We need to draw close to Jesus, opening our hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s role is to lead us and teach us every step of way as we make the choice to walk with Jesus and couple ourselves to him. Sometimes ignorance, laziness, fear of losing control or pride makes us unteachable but we need to walk with and learn from Jesus every day, not just hang out with him occasionally.

Jesus Centric

Andy Elmes • September 13, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy speaks about Jesus being the centre of our lives, being Jesus Centric. Jesus deserves to be central to everything we are and everything we do now. We can look at an example of a person being egocentric where they are self-centred believing everything involves around them. But for followers of Jesus, He is to be the centre of all things in our lives. But we've sung more recently where it says Jesus at the centre of it all …..It’s a great song but we have to ask ourselves a question: Is that more than a song in our life? Is Jesus the centre of it all? Is He the centre of our relationships, finances and our view on things happening in life? Romans 11:36 (ESV) says “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” speaking of the supremacy of Christ. In reality, we need to divide our lives up into sections or subcategorize things so that we can begin to ask ourselves honest questions. He should be central to our Gospel message when we're sharing the gospel which should be Jesus centric not work centric based upon what people do or how people perform but Christ centric. All roads do not lead to God. There's one way to Salvation. There's one way to remove the separation between God and man and that's through Jesus Christ only. Acts 4:12 bluntly states (NIV) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. Jesus went to the cross, shed his blood for our sins and caused a divine exchange that made the guilty innocent. Christ alone did this. Christ Jesus is the key component causing a person to be saved. Salvation is not possible without Jesus. Worship is an expression of our Salvation to the one who saved us - an expression of thanksgiving and gratitude to Jesus. We turn our eyes in worship, bringing our adoration. Let's start a worship revolution and get our eyes back on Jesus. Let's get Jesus centric again and say Jesus my worship may be out of tune, but it's all for you! Let's be Jesus Centric in our worship. The simplest of songs sang out of tune but dedicated from an earnest heart to the one who is seated on the throne are the songs that change the atmosphere. Be encouraged to be a worshipper not when you gather with others. Psalm 22:3 (NIV) says “Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises”…..Jesus is enthroned in our praises again. Jesus Christ deserves the throne of our lives…..the central place of our lives where everything comes from, everything comes through, and everything returns back to him to enthrone. The key question is however …Who is sitting on the throne of our heart today?