The Peace of God

Steuart Payne

October 6, 2019 • Steuart Payne

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What are we becoming?

Andy Elmes • May 17, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy asks us “What are we becoming?” during this season of lock-down. Two Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV) says “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord”. In this season we need to ask what are we becoming? ‘Coming’ and ‘becoming’ are not the same. We cannot ‘come’ to church we as did but we can still ‘become’ more as god wanted us to be. We are still in an element of isolation and our choices will determine what we become. Some fitter, some fatter! We are all ‘becoming’ something; some wiser, some less so. Some bitter, some better! A great example is Joseph in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 37, he shared dreams with his brothers, but they threw him into a pit and later sold him. He might have become bitter and insecure. However, in his isolation he determined not to quit. In Genesis 39 the favour of God is on Joseph, he has risen to be second in charge in the house of Potiphar. He even scorned Potiphar’s wife who wrongly accuses him of improper behaviour. Joseph is wrongly imprisoned, but in this time of isolation he actually developed himself to be stronger and better. In Genesis 41 when he is released from prison God works for his good. Pharaoh asked for Joseph to interpret his dream about seven years of good and seven years of famine. Pharaoh then promoted Joseph to being second in charge of the country! So he is not broke and weak but he comes out of prison strong and ready for action. He leads the nation in a successful plan of well-being and sustainability. Why? Because in prison he chose to let God do in him what God wanted to do at that time. When others were quitting he chose to develop from glory to glory. Such decisions we can all make for ourselves when we read the word, pray and spiritually develop. God is in this moment with us. When Joseph was in prison, he was diligent – Genesis 39:21-23 speaks of God’s favour being upon him, even being promoted within prison! He also stayed sharp in walking and hearing God. In Genesis 40 the Cup Bearer and Baker ask Joseph to interpret their dreams. Joseph was hearing heaven! Let us be alert and spiritually diligent also. Three things kept Joseph focused - • He knew God was with and in him and had plans for him • He had a revelation of Romans 8:28 which speaks of all things working together for those who love God (Romans wasn’t written then!). In Genesis 50 his worried brothers were brought to him when his Father Jacob had died, but Joseph showed optimism, telling them not to be afraid as even although they had intended to harm him. God had put him in the place he had been to accomplish His plans and save many lives. • He stayed submitted to God. God often leads people into wilderness or isolation in order to accomplish His plan or make that person ‘become’ something different. Jesus is the prime example in scripture. The Holy Spirit is with us now in our periods of isolation. We need to stay submitted to Gods plans for us to become as he intended.

Spending Time To Pursue God

Andy Elmes • May 10, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy Speaks about pursuing God, and redeeming time during this season of lockdown. Some things in our lives are out of our hands, others may not be. Things may not necessarily be out of control but waiting for us to manager properly. Time, a gift from God is such a thing. We can all do different things with this precious gift of life. Many folk have a lot more time than usual presently, (not everyone), but many do have extra time at the moment. What do we do with this time, which we can consider as the currency of our lives? God has blessed us with time, our life and also the ability to spend it as we see fit. We need to spend the rest of our time in best way we can. It’s the most important currency we will ever own. Unfortunately, some people are not good at managing time well. We cannot get back time we have wasted….but we can invest time in serving others. In Ephesians 5:15-16, Paul speaks about the best use or redeeming of time. In Colossians 4:5, we are also told to walk in wisdom to outsiders, making the best use of time. Let us make sure today we are being wise in how we use our time. The best way we can use our time is in our personal pursuit of God. Many other things are admirable, but this ought to be top of our priorities. Let us be diligent in knowing Him more. God is waiting and wanting to be found by those who dare to seek Him. We need to seek God out, search for him. Jeremiah 29:11 speaks about knowing the plans to prosper and live with good health. However, verses 12-14a (NIV) also say “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord”. This is not a casual pursuit, but a whole hearted action by someone desiring God. Matthew 7:7-8 tells us “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Many verses in the Old and New Testaments encourage us to be in pursuit of a deepening relationship with God. Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV) says “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me”. James 4:8 instructs us that if we would draw near to God, He will draw near to us. This is not just a call for those who do not know God, but also for us who do know him….to know him deeper, to know him as we could. God waits for those who will pursue him. He beckons us to spend our time to be in personal pursuit of him in ways we did know know before. God will never disappoint the person who hungers for him. Psalm 42:7 speaks of “Deep calling unto Deep”. Nothing satisfies the longing we have within us like a deep calling for God. We must find God for ourselves. We must not choose familiarity but rediscover awe for God.

Time To Clear The Weeds

Steuart Payne • May 3, 2020 • Steuart Payne

Pastor Steu speaks about clearing weeds from our lives. He focuses on three key weeds; Insecurity, Offence and Doubt. He has been gardening recently clearing weeds, which tend to grow back unless the roots are dug out and the soil tended. In the garden of our lives, there is also a challenge to keep ourselves weed free. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart as it determines the course of our lives. If our lives are the garden, then our hearts are the soil and God wants to be able to display his glory in our garden. Removing the weeds and planting fruit bearing plants is our responsibility as a Christian. No one else can do this, however we are not alone….good people surround us and we need to call upon them, especially if their gardens are beautiful! Our heavenly Father is present in the garden of our lives also. In order to deal with the weeds we need to understand them. Weeds start with seeds and growth begins under the surface until they take over unattended areas of our lives. Salvation is often a time of clearing weeds in our lives. Our hearts are made new at this time, but we may allow things to affect our hearts in daily life. Some roots remain; even from a clear-out. The Christian life is a process of clearing the weeds from our garden. Even after roots are removed weeds grow as weed seed blows back, so weeds need to be permanently eradicated after uprooting, maybe by burning. The devil puts tiny seeds of thoughts in our lives – 1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us to stay alert as the enemy is looking to prowl around - these tiny thoughts can grow and cause damage. Some weeds are deceptive, looking rather nice, but they stop fruit bearing trees from growing. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Paul addresses the Corinthians about false teachers….not everything that looks good is actually good for us. The weed of insecurity comes from the seed of rejection. It’s a tough weed to deal with. It damages good seeds, overshadows healthy plants. This weed says “we don’t deserve it, we can’t achieve it, and we will make fools of ourselves”. The weed must be dealt with at the source which is the root of rejection. The Sword of the spirit, the word of God is the axe to use. The word tells us we are accepted, we are children of God, we are no longer rejected. As we declare this truth we get revelation from it. If we have this weed, we can use God’s word to eradicate it. Ephesians 1:4-8 tells us that God decided in advance to adopt us into his family. The weed of offence can grow strongly. It can grow from misunderstandings or false expectations, or also the seeds of entitlement or rights. It might say “that’s not what we agreed, I feel that I deserve more than this”. We can justify these easily. The weed of offence that grows to look quite pretty is actually deception; we need honest friends to tell us how this may take over the garden of our life. Proverbs 26:27 tells us that a friend who really loves us will speak the truth. In Job 32:6-10 Job’s friend Ellihu had held back listening to all the supposed intelligent people, but told Job that no one had spoken the word of God into his life as he was now going to do. Sometimes we need honest friends who love us enough to speak truths. The seed for the weed of doubt is hope deferred or disappointment. This seed can impact a life hugely. Proverbs 13:12 tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick. This weed is like contaminated soil. Nothing else can grow. It seems that all dreams are impossible. The weed tells us “we didn’t see a miracle today so one will not come tomorrow, good things happen to others not you, and things never work out for you”. All joy can be robbed. Our gardens will not be attractive to others. The roots here need to be dug out and burnt. We need to become closer to God, the One who never lets us down, never breaks promises. Our hearts needs to be unclogged and we need to come to God and recognise he is totally faithful and dependable and also know that all things are possible with God. Other weeds exist and now may be a time to walk through our garden and deal with these too. However, these three - insecurity, offence and doubt often have the strongest roots. Ephesians 6:17 (NLT) says “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”……this is our gardening tool, the word of God.