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How can we be sure we are forgiven?

Fortunately God doesn't leave it up to our feelings! We can be sure of God's forgiveness and grace - because he wraps his promise in physical means to deliver it to us. God comes to us in the Word and Water, in Bread and Wine, in the community of his people.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 2nd December, 2018. On this day we had seven young people receiving communion for the first time, and a remembrance and celebration of our baptism.

 

It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

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Judgement Day

The very word 'judgement' can bring up fear and anxiety in our minds. We don't like being judged, evaluated, criticised, or held to account - by others or even by our own internal voice. How much more anxious we can get when we contemplate God's judgement! However, in John 5, Jesus gives us good news about judgement. He says 'The Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgement to the Son.'

So the Judge - the Lord of all, who has authority over all creation - is also the Saviour - the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His judgement is the one that ultimately matters. And he says 'Whoever believes him who sent me will not come into judgement but has passed over from death to life!'

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 25th November 2018 (the last Sunday of the church year).

Enjoy!

 

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In Mark 13, Jesus speaks f three different 'endings' - the persecution of his disciples and the possible end of their own lives; the ending of Herod's Temple and the sacrificial system; and the end of the world when he returns to judge the world and set it right.

This sermon particularly looks at the first - tough times in the life of a disciple. Jesus says in essence: 'Do not be deceived. Do not be distressed. Do not despair.' When the going gets tough, keep your eyes on Jesus.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 18th November 2018.

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Each of us is, to quote the Blues Brothers, 'On a mission from God.' But we don't do this in our own power. We do it by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. It's not something we have to do - it comes naturally when we know Jesus and the world changing fact that he is alive!

Jesus doesn't need defending. Rather, our task is to invite people to 'come and see' Jesus. Jesus was magnetically attractive to people when he walked this earth and he is still magnetically attractive to people as their hearts are opened to him by the Holy Spirit.

This sermon is part 4 in a series called 'Walking with Jesus.' It was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 11th November 2018. The sermon can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

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In some parts of the world, the Bible is so rare and precious that it is carefully divided into separate pages, which are then passed from hand to hand among pastors so that each can have one page of God's precious word to learn, teach, and preach, before passing it on to others!

Have we perhaps forgotten what a priceless treasure we have in being able to freely read God's word without fear? 

The Scripture is important because in it we encounter Jesus, the living Word, and receive new life. This sermon is about how we can practically know and communicate the story of God in connection with our story and others' stories. 

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 4th November. You can enhance your listening of this sermon by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link. 

This is also the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church and I urge you to watch this introductory video on persecuted Christians in Pakistan.

God bless you. Please pray for the persecuted church.

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Barriers come down over a meal. Guests become friends, friends can become family. Jesus was scandalously known as one 'who is friends with sinners and even eats with them.' As followers of Jesus, we seek to CARE for others - and one of the primary ways we do this is through hospitality. 

For guests among us, the primary question is 'Am I welcome?' 

For friends, the primary question is 'Am I worthy?'

For family, the primary question is 'Do I belong?'

Jesus answers all those questions with a resounding 'yes' - and we seek to do the same for others.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 28th October 2018. 

It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

 

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On this Sunday we 'launched' our Sunday morning, weekly public worship. It was a great occasion, as God answered prayers and brought a large number of new people to join our church. God is the only one who can grow his church.

Our sermon series is focusing on our church's mission statement 'Walking with the risen Jesus' (Actually it's focusing on Jesus himself!) which springs from Luke 24, with the wonderful narrative of Jesus walking unrecognised with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus on the first Easter morning. 

This is a kind of template for our Christian life and mission.

  • Jesus meets us where we are at - whether in doubt and unbelief, or joy and amazement.
  • Jesus goes on the journey with us.
  • Jesus is with us even when we don't recognise it.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 21st October 2018.

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In our consumer culture, fasting might be the hardest Christian discipline - and perhaps one of the most necessary and important. 

Jesus says to his disciples 'When you fast...' not 'If you fast...' Along with praying and giving, Jesus simply assumes that this will be part of normal Christian living for his followers. Fasting can quickly reveal our idolatries and also be one of the ways God sets us free from the false religion of consumerism, which puts comfort and convenience above all else. But many of us today do not really know either how or why to fast.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 2nd September, 2016.

Enjoy!

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Jesus calms the storm

Sometimes life can be really stormy. It can be terrifying to be caught in the crashing waves and howling wind of our own storms. 

When Jesus calms the storm, the disciples ask 'Who is this man?' The answer is good news for all of us. 

This sermon was preached at Sunday Chapel at Pakenham Lakeside Church on August 19th 2018.

Enjoy!

 

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What is church planting like in the LCA? Or what shall I compare it to?

There was once a surf school down on the Great Ocean Road...

It's an exciting and challenging time to be part of church planting and mission in the Lutheran Church of Australia. We are seeing a growing movement of church planting and evangelism. But it's hard work! New churches need partner churches to pray, support, share the stories, and be mutually encouraged by one anothers' faith. 

This sermon helps a potential partner church understand what that means, and encourages congregations to consider how they might become church planting partners. 

It was preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Knox, on Sunday 19th August.

Enjoy!

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