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.
Keeping it Simple | Andy Elmes | 15th November 2020
November 15, 2020 • Andy Elmes
Set Apart | Andy Elmes | 10th January 2021
Andy Elmes • January 10, 2021 • Andy Elmes
Pastor Andy again speaks of the breakthrough he believes will occur to us all in taking part in the twenty one days of fasting at the start of this New Year 2021. He speaks of the need for us to come before The Lord and rid ourselves of junk, pride and so forth, in bringing ourselves to God. Sometimes we need to rid ourselves of things first before we are able to come before The Lord. When we present ourselves to God, it is not the old but the new creation we present to Him. The blood of Jesus has washed away our past sins. Consecration is an interesting and important word if we live with Jesus. It means to be set apart. During Old Testament times it referred to material things being set aside, set apart for His use. Now it is relevant to us, God wants us he wants us to set our lives apart for His use. Consecration begins by us knowing we now belong to God; we have been set apart and bought at a price, by His own blood. Our lives are not our own. In 1 Corinthians 6 verse 15 (NKJV), scripture says “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” So we need to honour God with our bodies. Now we know and believe in the work of the cross, of salvation, we belong to the household of God. We need to understand this not through fear but from love. When we were our own we all messed up! Thankfully Jesus has saved us so this grace of God causes us to live a set apart life for The Lord.
Awaken the Sleeping | Andy Elmes | 3rd January 2021
Andy Elmes • January 3, 2021 • Andy Elmes
This week Pastor Andy speaks about “Awakening the Sleeping”. He began by restating the invitation to a time of prayer and fasting for the first twenty one days of 2021. Fasting is not just about giving up things but being able to hear God in our spirits. Take moments not to feed our soul but our Spirits. Pray for our nation, our church, our families and ourselves. Laying aside things that get in the way of our pursuit of God will allow God to speak into our lives much more. God is in control! We should not be casual – it is vital we hear Him and see Him in our lives. We need an awakening in ourselves, in our nation, in our churches, so the hearts of men and women are awakened to the reality of God and His love. Isaiah 60 speaks of days of great darkness but these announce days of great light…that break and penetrate darkness. Let us pray prayers of awakening, an awakening that comes from heaven. An awakening in the world must start from an awakening in the church. We long in this New Year 2021 to see moves of Gods Spirit that will draw the hearts of the lost back home. But we need this in our churches and ourselves first. We need to see a move of God and kingdom mindedness rising up in the courtyards of government and the nation. But first we need to shake off slumber and awaken to a new place of intimacy with God…..walking closely with God. Oh that the church would awaken to the purposes of God – the great commission. Our lives need to crave the intimacy of God and be busy with His purposes. Romans 13, verse 11 onwards speaks of the time we are in and waking from slumber…. (NIV) “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”. Ephesians 5, verse 8 onwards encourages us regarding who we were and who we now are (NIV) “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light”. This talks about our intimacy with God and then in verse 14..” This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil”. Only a person who is awake can awaken another, so we need to commit to being a people who are fully awake with Him. Only the prince of peace, the touch of the Holy Spirit will awaken us. Intimacy with God will awaken us for His purpose. We pray “Lord in these next twenty one days come and lean over your bride the church and awaken her from her slumbers, give her a fresh touch of your Holy Spirit to stir and shake hearts and let us all rise from any sleeping to seek your face in true devotion”.
Carpe '21 | Andy Elmes | 27th December 2020
Andy Elmes • December 27, 2020 • Andy Elmes
The week Pastor Andy looks back at the year 2020 and rather more looks forwards into the year 2021. Covid has stolen much of what we came to know as Christmas but as the 25th December emerged we were left with Jesus. Nothing had affected the fact that The Father has given us His Son to bring us back to Himself. As we stand at the door of 2021 we step out of a very unusual 2020. Although life has been hideous in some ways, elsewhere the church has blossomed for example in the small groups and community work. But we can look into 2021 with hearts full of joy rather than disillusionment because Gods word still stands. His promises remain true. He has plans for us, the church and the nation. We need to be committed to these plans as God rebuilds in 2021. Andy spoke about how we need to be ready to seize the day or even seize the year (Carpe 2021) to make full use and enjoy the new season. In Philippians 3, verse 13, Paul speaks of his life and forgetting what lays behind and reaching forward for what is yet unknown. Andy speaks about how we also need to forget the negatives and disappointments of 2020 and be found reaching forward for the plan God has for us in 2021. In the next few days we need to be getting our hearts afresh for 2021 and for what God wants to do in our lives. In Jeremiah 21 it tells of the plans God has for us….to prosper us and plans of future and hope. The year 21 is often associated with getting keys to the door. In Matthew 16 verse 19 scripture speaks of The Lord promising us the keys of the Kingdom. Keys which can loose things and also bind things. Here, Jesus was speaking to His Church. Immediately before this Jesus speaks about building His church. During 2020 we rediscovered a fresh approach ot what the church really was, certainly not a building. God is standing ready to build His Church in 2021 with spiritual keys that have the power to bind evil and loose Heaven. Andy then spoke of the invitation for Prayer and Fasting starting day one of the New Year. A time to focus and pray for our nation, government, our church and be intentional not drifting as we commence 2021. Fasting takes prayer to a new level, it cannot be casual when we fast but intentional, releasing supernatural keys for supernatural breakthroughs.