Service

John 13:1-15 Ministering to Each Other - Bill Randles (Christchurch)

A RESPONSE TO THE CHC TERROR ATTACK

In the wake of the Friday 15th March 2019, terror attack on the two Christchurch mosques, with the killing of 50 men, women, and children Bill reminds us that this is but a further confirmation that we are in the last days before Christ returns. NZ is not exempt from the maladies of evil and disregard for life; the death of people whom are created in the image of God.

Bill takes us to John Ch 13 and exposits the significance of Jesus washing the disciples' feet, where Jesus took the form of a servant, rising from the place of honour as the master of the feast, stripping to just a towel and demonstrating selfless love for his disciples. In the same way, Jesus rose from His place of authority in heaven, took on human form, humbling himself, Phil 2:5-8, and became obedient to the point of death and has now returned to be with His father at His right hand.

John 13:12, When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garment and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?”

The example given to us is to love each other, wash each other's feet, forgive each other and minister forgiveness to each other. Wash each other with the Water of the Word. Not just loving each other as we would love ourselves but love one another as Christ has loved us, with a love that is willing to lay down our life so that others might live.

Matthew 25: Be Ready - Geoffrey S Ross P

For the first time in this teaching series we hear from two speakers on Chapter 25. As the end time events were summarised by Ross last week we have incorporated a review of the parables of the Wise and Unwise Virgins and the Talents from Geoffrey, and then Ross concludes the last section of 25 on the final judgement to complete the end time message begun in Ch24.

All three of the end time parables, Wise, Talents and Sheep/Goats deal with being ready or standing in the right place of character and service when Christ returns.  The first two parables challenge us to be:
1. Patient, as if the Lord's return might be long be delayed
2. Prepared, to have attended to the Lord's work and be found in His service
3. Productive, to be using the gifts and talents the Lord has given us to the increase of His Kingdom.

Have you made the decision and bowed at the cross?
Will you be rewarded for using your talent well. Believers will be judged, not for our sin but for how well we have served the Master.

Faith and Works
Do you have any doubt as to whether Faith is justified by Works? Ross unpacks this question to show that what we believe motivates our works.

Where will you stand before the Judgement seat of Christ. Will your own words will condemn you?
Avoidance of God's judgement requires repentance and faith.

Look both up and around because the Lord is returning and there is a judgement coming.

Be ready.

Matthew 4:1-11 : Identity from Temptation - Simon S

Simon asks how we should learn from the Temptations of Jesus. What should we make of this teaching? In Exodus we read that Israel set apart to show the world who their father is so that the nations would come to know their father too by the way they lived to a light to the nations around them. When tests and temptations come would they resemble the character of their father. Will they look like God or betray their sonship? Jesus himself enters into history to show us who the Father.

Ch 4 is a spiritual battle. Satan is tempting God’s son to betray his identity of looking like God and his mission. Who are you going to be and what will you do to accomplish your mission. 

3 ways of accomplishing His mission to become King.

Test 1: in the wilderness. Jesus body and mind weakened. Reminds him of his human needs. Who are you…are you the son of God really?  How are you going to be the Messiah? Are you going to use your power for yourself. If you did you would be so popular. A short cut to the throne. Will you indulge your power? asks Satan. Jesus does not indulge his power for his needs.

Test 2: The temple, the place of worship. At the top where all the faithful Jews will be. If you are the Son of God then put on a show. Jesus, will you manipulate the crowd into believing in you?. Jesus resists because this is not what God is like. He will not manipulate his identity.

3rd way. I will give you all of it. The king who takes rather than the servant who would give. A jewish Alexander. A military shortcut to the throne. Jesus will you force them? Will you bow down and worship and betray his identity? God is not like that. God does not abuse power like we do. Kingdoms already belong to him. What kind of messiah are you going to be? All quotes from Deuteronomy.

If you are unfaithful and betray your identity then there will be consequences. The way of Jesus is the way of the cross, self giving love, humble service, sacrificial suffering because this is what God is like, this is who he is. He gave up his life so we can find it in Him. The God who meets us in Jesus. No crown with out a cross.

In the face of temptation we will be asked who we are and how we will accomplish our mission. Through out Church history we have not resisted satan. We play the power game to coerce people into the kingdom. We can wish that the message to share is more palatable or more wonders to display. But that is not what God is really like.