Food for the Soul
Food for the Soul
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
Jesus comes in the power of the Spirit and a report went out among the area around Galilee. Jesus has been baptised. The Holy Spirit filled him at His baptism, He is lead into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and now Jesus returns to Galilee, where He was well known.
What is the report – Jesus returns in the power of the Spirit. There must have been something quite obvious about Jesus that was different to when He left, because a report circulated about Him. What is the report that would be told of you after you have been baptised and baptised in the Holy Spirit. Is the life change that Baptism brings so powerful in you that others take note and make a report…
Father, may I live a life so filled with Your Spirit that others report how magnificent You are!!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Spiritual temptation is a tricky subject. Because we can’t necessarily see it clearly, we can either be unaware that it’s happening, overwhelmed by it, or be dismissive of its impact on us.
But this passage reminds us that there are very real dark forces at work in this world that we must overcome. And it gives us some incredible insight on how Jesus overcame His temptations.
Some of the lessons we can learn are:
1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Thank you, Jesus, that you understand what it’s like to be tempted and that you are full of grace and mercy towards us. And thank you for modelling how we can deal with temptation and that you have given us the power to overcome it.
Written by Shelley Witt
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,
the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, the son of Melki,
the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,
the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath,
the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,
the son of Josek, the son of Joda,
27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,
the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki,
the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,
the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,
the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon,
the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,
the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna,
the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,
the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse,
the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,
the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,
33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,
the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,
the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob,
the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,
the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu,
the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan,
the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,
the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,
the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,
the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
the son of God.
Have you ever traced your family tree? Every family tree has a multitude of characters and stories which may be a source of pride, wonder, shame, amusement and much more, but can also give a sense of belonging or being part of something bigger. My family tree has some branches that are pretty shady (for all the wrong reasons). Jesus ‘inherited’ this family tree from Joseph who stood in as his earthly father, and there are some legendary connections in there. For the Jewish community the family line told the story of where you fit and belong in the community, and it also show’s evidence of Jesus being a fulfilment of prophecy. Jesus spiritual heritage however cut to the point. He was The Son of God. Likewise, while we all have an earthly heritage, we also have a spiritual heritage. The New Testament several times refers to us Believers as being the adopted Sons and Daughters of God (Eph 1:5, Heb 2:10,11). Our spiritual heritage tells us where we fit and how we belong in the Kingdom of God. We are not the product of random chance or genetics but are chosen and loved by our Heavenly Father, welcomed into His Kingdom through the sacrifice of Jesus. So next time someone in your earthly family spins a yarn about the antics of some ancestor, remember that you and I also share a great spiritual heritage of which we can be proud and grateful.
Heavenly Father, I thank you so much for all that you have done for me. Thank you for accepting me into Your Kingdom. Thank you, Jesus for dying for my sin so I could be adopted by God. Help me to remember that I am your chosen child. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Written by Christine Knight
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
I imagine hearing these words from my Father in heaven. You are my son. Whom I love. With whom I am well pleased.
Are these not three phrases every child wants, no needs, to hear from their parents? And these words are spoken to Jesus on the eve of His public ministry, before He’d preached a sermon, healed a sick person, relieves someone of demonic attack!
If this is the greatest example of the most perfect and complete relationship to ever exist for us to observe – between God the Father and God the Son empowered by God the Holy Spirit…
…then God wants a relationship with me based first and foremost in security with Him. Security of identity – my sonship too. Security of good will – I am loved too. Security of affection – I am well pleasing too.
How? By faith in Jesus who has made this possible for me too.
Lord, today, as every day, I practice resting in your security. This is the font of life, motivation, purpose and direction for me. Amen
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.
19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.
John the Baptist was baptising people in water, but clearly declared that his baptism was lesser compared to the baptism of one he declared would come after him. The prophets physical washing with water would be surpassed by the Saviour’s Spiritual washing and purification by the Holy Spirit’s fire. As always, Jesus raises the bar! It is immediate and practical to be baptised in water – even necessary (side note: get baptised if you have not already!), but it is far greater to allow the Spirit of God to baptise us in the Spirit of God! Broadly put: let us all desire baptism in God’s Spirit, which is the baptism of Jesus! Practically put: let all us believers reading this today meditate on Jesus baptism of spiritual fire which is with us every day by God’s Spirit which is with us every day. It is a baptism that is more challenging to handle than water baptism, it is a baptism that drove John into the desert to conduct his baptism ministry, emboldened John to speak out against Herod. It is a baptism that purifies like fire and ‘winnows’ like the farmer sifting out the kernels of wheat at harvest time.
Jesus, thank you for the powerful baptism of your Spirit that you bring to me. Purify my life just as you every day give me life! Set me on fire! Thank you for your power to be bold and passionate for your cause. Amen.
Written by Sam Stewart
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
John the Baptist has preached to the crowds and exhorted them to repent from their sins, return to God, and be baptised to show their allegiance to God and God’s ways. A large and diverse group have responded and come for baptism but John calls them out. It’s not enough to be baptised he says you must repent from your sins and change your ways. He reminds them of God’s teachings and laws that they would have known well from their learning of the scriptures. Scriptures like Micah 6:8b “… do Justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” To care for the poor, help the hungry, do not exploit people, and live justly. He then clearly points out what each can do. Share your clothing, provide food to others, don’t take more from others than is necessary, and live as if God is with you in your midst. Finally, give thanks and live gratefully.
These teachings from the Old Testament were fulfilled and exemplified in Jesus. In the New Testament, we see Jesus caring for the vulnerable and instructing people to care for one another. Love God and love people. Paul encouraged the early church to follow Jesus in living this way – care for the sick, the orphans, and the poor. For example James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” Share with one another and care for your brother and sister in Christ. We too are called to follow Jesus and his ways. This is the way of peace, love, and goodness. It is the way of Shalom and the way to human flourishing for us and for those around us. It is the outworking (the revealing of) our salvation – not the way we get saved but the way we live because we have experienced God’s saving grace.
Jesus, help us to walk in your ways. May we love God and one another. May we be generous, loving, and kind because you have shown us this way! Amen
Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’ ”
I love how Luke begins this passage, stating the time, place, and people of significance to ground this account in reality, and mark its place in history. And what happened at this point in history? The passage tells us “The word of God came to John.” John did not speak his own words, but he preached a word from God, in the power of God’s Spirit. Let’s be sure to listen and trust in this message that John brought, about “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”.
Thank you, Lord that your message of hope is real and true and comes with authority. Help us to recognise the significance of this message in our lives here today. Amen.
Written by Ps. Andrea Molteno
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
It was the annual custom of Jesus’ family to travel to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. After the festival people returned to their homes and so it was with Jesus’ family although unbeknown to Mary and Joseph, Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. After a day Mary and Joseph realised Jesus had not travelled with friends or relatives and frantically headed back to Jerusalem to locate Jesus. They found him safe and sound in the temple listening and asking the religious leaders questions. This left Jesus parents bewildered! It was apparent at a young age that Jesus had a zeal for God’s house.
As a parent I can’t imagine what Mary and Joseph went through trying to find Jesus for 3 days. Searching, asking and looking here there and everywhere until they finally found him – what a relief! From this passage we can learn that it is possible to lose Jesus even if you know him. You can assume he is nearby, with family or friends perhaps but he’s not. I am encouraged to keep my eyes on Jesus, to remain close to him so I can follow him. This Scripture helps me to take stock – where is Jesus in my life, is he close or at the periphery?
Dear Lord, please help me to keep my eyes on Jesus so I can follow him each day. May I not wander off and be distant from Jesus. Amen
Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
It is so interesting to think about what stories the gospel writers included in their books. Today’s passage is a story to remind us how much God organises things – how His has plans and how they come to fruition. He made sure Mary and Joseph and Simeon and Anna were all at the temple at the same time. Remember both Simeon and Anna were likely to be very old. Anna obviously spent most of her time at the temple, but Simeon responded to a prompt from God to be there. Mary and Joseph brought Jesus in line with the law – it might have been soon after his birth or it might have been after months or more. There was no way to predict which day they would all be there together. However, God made sure it happened so the gift of Jesus to His people could continue to be properly celebrated – here in this story by Anna bringing her worship and prayer made beautiful and strong through years of practice. What a beautiful way to set up the beginning of His life. The passage tells us that this continued throughout his childhood – He grew up healthy, strong and full of wisdom.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of Jesus and our salvation through His life and death. Thank you that you have big plans, world changing plans and that you bring them to be. Help us Lord to hear you about the plans you have for the world today. Help us to hear our part in those plans. Help us to believe that you can bring them to be despite what we can see in front of us. Help us to see your love and grace in the everyday stories we see playing out. Amen.
Written by Therese Manning
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Simeon lived in ‘prayerful expectancy of help for Israel’ (The Message version). Because he lived this way, he was actively looking for that answer to prayer. Because he lived this way, he didn’t miss the answer to his prayers when the answer walked into the Temple as a child. What are we living in prayerful expectancy for? Are we faithfully praying for our churches, our nation, our world?
As for Mary, I marvel at her as a mother. She is not told that her child would be liked, strong, successful, and have a long and comfortable life. She is told that her son would cause the rising and fall of many, that he would be rejected, that He would bring truth to light. She is told that a sword would pierce her own heart, that she would mourn. When we pray for our children what do we pray? Do we pray for success, friendship, safety, and happiness? These are excellent things to pray for. But are we also praying that our kids would be equipped to do what God asks of them even when it’s hard? This is a more difficult prayer.
Lord, please help us to live in prayerful expectation for our children, our families, our churches, our nation, and our world. Help us to see your answers to prayer even when the answers are surprising. Help us to trust you with our own lives and the lives of those we love the most, even when it’s hard.
Written by Rhiannon Mellor
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
It’s amazing how quickly we can forget mighty God moments in our life. I can imagine after the miracles that occurred at Jesus birth, Mary and Joseph would’ve have quickly settled down into business as usual. In the next reading they will be shocked back into an awe over their child while they are at the temple, but first some thoughts about Jesus’s dedication.
Every first born in Israel had to be dedicated according to the Old Testament Law. This goes back to the exodus from Egypt more than a thousand years before Jesus. The first-born boys of Egypt died in the plague, whereas the firstborn boys of Israel were from then on dedicated to the Lord.
Jesus came to live truly dedicated to the Lord God, to be a true son of Israel. He would fulfil the Law of the Old Testament, but would go even further. He would mediate a new covenant between the people of God and God himself. Just as he was presented before God at 8 days old and dedicated, now he dedicates to God all who trust and believe in Him; believe in the power of his death to cleanse us of all sin, believe in the power of his resurrection to raise us up again.
Lord, we are dedicated to our God in your name. We have eternal hope and unending joy, even in the face of death, for you have presented us holy before God forever and ever. Amen!
Written by Andrew Mellor
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
We’ve just seen an astonishing, and confusing announcement by a whole host of angels to a group of insignificant shepherds. The saviour of the world is lying helpless in his mother’s arms. The Messiah, the anointed king of Israel, is in a feed trough in a stable in conquered Judea. The creator of the universe has come into his world as a tiny baby. They were probably thinking the same as Mary: “How can this be?” (1:34) Today we see four brilliant responses.
Even though it’s the middle of the night when their sheep are most vulnerable, even though its dark and the hills outside Bethlehem are rocky and steep, they go right away to see for themselves this baby that’s been announced. They allow God to take them completely outside their comfort zone because they trust him. They take their part in God doing something that is well beyond their imaginations and understanding. And when they find Jesus just as the angel had said, they freely tell them everything they’ve just witnessed.
The people who heard what they said, held it in wonder and amazement. They didn’t try to explain it. They didn’t judge what they had heard. They allowed this new thing that God was doing to unfold in its way.
Mary gave what they said great value and treasured their words in her heart. She pondered them, meditating on this new thing that God was doing. As Jesus grew up and began teaching, healing and announcing the kingdom of God in completely unexpected ways, sometimes she understood what he was doing and sometimes not. But she was always faithfully there with him, even at his execution. And she was there for his even more astonishing resurrection.
Finally, the shepherds respond to what they’ve seen by glorifying and praising God.
Jesus, thank you that are constantly exceeding my expectations. Holy Spirit, thank you that its safe to go well outside my comfort zone with you. Father, give me wisdom to understand what you’re doing and saying but also wisdom to recognise when I need to treasure and ponder it until you reveal more. I want to go with you and be part of the astonishing things you are doing. I worship you for the marvellous things you have done and for what you’re doing now, especially when you go beyond my understanding.
Written by David Cornell
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
We have a tendency (or at least I do) to think that God’s grace couldn’t possibly be granted to us. We make assumptions like, “I am not worthy” or “I could never be good enough” or “how could he love me?” I wonder if the lowly shepherds, out in the fields that night of the first Christmas, thought anything like that. Yet God’s grace – His unmerited favour – is exactly that – unmerited. I don’t deserve it, yet He gives it anyway. Why? – because of His indescribable, incomparable love. The Angel, in verse 10, made a special point of saying that this news about Jesus is, “for everyone, everywhere.” Maybe that’s why He chose the shepherds- to show that no one is exempt. You may feel unworthy, but God says you are. You may feel unloved, but He loves you. You may feel like you will never be good enough, but He couldn’t bare an eternity without you. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved! The shepherds got the message, that first Christmas night. Will you and I?
Dear God, love so amazing, so divine… Help me know your love deeper than I’ve ever known this Christmas. Amen
Written by B Van Noppen
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
David is often described as God’s “anointed” (messiah in Hebrew) king. When he asked to build a house for God, God promised him that he would build a house for David, and that one of his descendants would rule God’s house and kingdom forever (1 Chronicles 17:10-14). No natural son of David could do that, but now the Son of God was about to be born into David’s house, his line of descent. Jesus is the long-promised Messiah bringing in the kingdom of God, but in a totally unexpected way.
Ironically, Jesus was born in exactly the right place, Bethlehem, the city of king David, because another king, Augustus, wanted to count all the people he thought belonged to him. Little did he know that one of them, Jesus, was the true king of all creation and that everything is his.
Paul says the house Jesus is building is his people, the church – you and me – as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). We have a part to play in these events as we acknowledge Jesus are our Lord, worship him as who he truly is, and serve him faithfully.
Jesus, I choose to worship you for who you really are and what you are doing. Holy Spirit, live in me today. I want to bear your fruit. Father, thank you that you are bringing all that you have promised to completion.
Written by David Cornell
66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:|
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Verse 66 poses a question. Zachariah answers that in his prophetic song. His son John is to be a prophet of the Most High to prepare the way for the Lord.
I love that Zachariah prophesied over his new born son, that the Holy Spirit involved Zachariah in proclaiming his destiny.
We may or not of had our fathers present when we were born, they may or not be believers, but there is one thing that I know, we have a Heavenly Father who is always present for us. He has a plan and purpose for me and He rejoices over me with singing. (Jer 29:11 & Zeph 3:17
Father I pray that you would enable each one of us truly know that you rejoice over us, you have a purpose for us and as we actively seek you, we can be assured that we will walk in the life you have for us.
Written by Suzie Hodgson
57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
I like to talk. I can’t imagine what it was like for Zechariah to not be able to speak for 9 months! It got his attention – and the attention of the people around. If God were to strike me dumb for unbelief as he did Zechariah – I would probably never speak again. I identify with Zechariah. I too limit what I am prepared to believe based on what I think is possible rather than on God’s capacity and track record. So when I read the response of the people watching when John is born and Zechariah’s ability to speak returns – I am challenged afresh.
Verse 65 “Awe fell upon the whole neighbourhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills.”
God is at work in and around my life so that the world will know Him, be in awe of Him, and seek Him out. I want to fully partner with God in this – so I have to be prepared to take a God at his word – and believe what He promises.
Lord – keep reminding me You are the God of the impossible. I choose again to live in the realm of faith – trusting in what You can do and will do – so Your Kingdom will come here on earth as it is in heaven.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Mary has seen the evidence of the angel’s words to Elizabeth and has moved into a fuller belief of the truth of what God is doing in her life. She is not dismayed by the many possible negative implications – rejection by others for being pregnant out of wedlock – but is overcome by praise for God. She starts with praise for what He’s done in her own life, and moves into praise for His hand over the nations and His promises.
Do I look for the positive in life’s challenges? I am encouraged by this passage to remember God’s promises and recognise his hand in my life more, and to ‘let my hair down’ in praise for Him.
Written by Megan Cornell
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Mary is keen to seek out what God is doing. So she goes to see for herself how her cousin Elizabeth is faring in the midst of a miracle pregnancy. I’ve no doubt this would have built her faith, and why not. And how cool that the Holy Spirit encourages her so strongly as Mary takes these steps to build her faith in God.
What steps of opportunity do I take to build my faith in God and His work in my life. Mary is such a model and example to me in this regard. God is for her in this venture, giving very specific and profound encouragement to her by the Holy Spirit.
Lord, I thank you for this reminder that it is good to take regular opportunities to build my faith through others and what you’re doing in their life. Help me not neglect this great opportunity that is often far more normal and accessible (eg. Mary’s cousin) than I recognise. Amen
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Here is God’s marvellous plan of redemption becoming reality! Fulfilling prophesy and bringing the long-promised reconciliation with God, the birth of His Son is announced.
The God of relationship once again is working through people to bring about his plan. I realised how incredible it was that God worked his plan through a young woman in Nazareth. Mary’s response especially in verses 46-56 shows she felt it was an incredible promise too. God has always been acting through people to bring about his purposes and he still is today, working through those who love him. This is God’s character, to have relationship with us, for us to know him. What a privilege!
Mary’s humble response to learning her world was about to completely change is always inspiring! Mary’s heart was full of obedience and humility at the call of God on her life. What is my response when God calls me?
Dear Lord Jesus, you are in control of my future. Your call on my life may take me somewhere unexpected, but as you are in control, help me to respond like Mary, in gratitude, and humility.
Written by Claire Moore
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
Here we have an amazing story of Zechariah and his encounter with an angel. The back ground to this story is what is so amazing. Firstly, Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were old – very old – well past having children old. So old, that naturally it was impossible for them to have children. No 21st century medicine to support older women with child birth.
Secondly, despite being old, they have not stopped praying for a child. When it was easy to quit praying, they kept going. And then, one day, an angel turns up and says guess what? Your prayer has been answered; you are going to have a son!
I love Zechariah’s response in the Message Bible, “Do you expect me to believe this?” Yet, what is so amazing about this, is that they had not stopped praying. Their faith had not waivered. Even though he struggled to accept the answer, they hadn’t given up asking.
I can’t begin to list all the things that I have stopped asking God for. And to be honest, when you have been asking God for something for a long time, and there is no answer, and when it now looks like it is impossible, it’s easy to give up. We might even say it just wasn’t God’s will.
Well, as I read this story, I am encouraged, that it is never too late for God to answer my prayer. Until something else better comes from God, we should not let the naturally impossible be a reason to give up and stop asking God for it.
Father, forgive me for all the things that I have stopped praying for. For you, nothing is impossible, nothing is ever too late.
Written by Andrew Martin
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Both the book of Luke and the book of Acts are written by Luke to a man called Theophilus. Theophilus name means “friend of God”.
It seems that in these first 4 verses we see that the disciples have been already writing their eyewitness accounts of Jesus (the gospels).
So here is Luke (possibly the first “theologian”) who has investigated the accounts written by the disciples and declared them as true. He confirms that both the accounts of Jesus and his account of the beginning of the church (Book of Acts of Apostles) are TRUE.
He assures Theophilus that he can be certain what he has learnt is true.
It makes me feel so encouraged that here is Luke not willing to just accept what he has been told or read; but investigates it. I think this is important for all us to investigate what we believe and why we believe it. We may not all be theologians, but we can certainly read and access a huge amount of information from around the globe and also ask people to help strengthen our faith and belief.
Father thank you that Luke showed us that, and encourages us to, investigate what we believe. Thank you that he recorded not only the miracles and teachings of Jesus but authored the beginnings of the church. We are so grateful for all those before us who have translated, written, retranslated to bring us the Bible (Your Word) in a variety of ways that we are able to learn more about you and understand who You are.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
How very like Jesus! Encouragement plus in this passage.
The disciples had all abandoned Jesus when he was arrested, except for Peter, who then denied knowing him. Yet here Jesus is, meeting with them at a pre-arranged place so that he could talk with them, encourage them and instruct them.
Let’s look at what he said. Jesus starts by proclaiming his authority – the same authority he is giving to his disciples. Yes, he is asking them to do something big in discipling all nations, but he is equipping them first.
Then, he is showing love to all people by instructing his disciples to reach out to all nations. In the Old Testament, Israel was called “God’s son” and was told to be a light for the nations, a task they unfortunately failed in. Here, Jesus is fulfilling the Old Testament. He is God’s true Son, and He is a light to all nations! All that remains is for us to be his mouthpiece – to tell others about Him, baptise them and teach them the same commands the disciples had already received.
Finally, Jesus encourages the disciples again. He will be with them (and us) to the very end of the age!
I admit that I find telling others about Jesus difficult at times. I miss opportunities or feel that I don’t say the right things. But I can take heart from this passage. Jesus is equipping me for what he has asked me to do, and he is with me always. I don’t need to be afraid.
Jesus, thank you that you equip me, fill me and go with me. Please help me to fulfil your ‘great commission’ by telling others about you. Amen
Written by Megan Cornell
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
It took lies and slander, bribery and power to try to keep the fact of Jesus rising from the dead hidden. Plainly it didn’t work.
Jesus rose from the dead; this is what the soldiers went and told the chief priests. However, the chief priests made a plan for the soldiers to say otherwise, but there were so many eyewitnesses, Matthew being one of them. This is the gospel message. Jesus died for our sin and he rose again to eternal life, death is defeated. It’s the difference between Christianity and any other faith belief, Jesus rising from the dead. This is what gives hope and joy to believers, knowing that this life is not all there is, knowing that our sin has been forgiven, our souls cleansed with eternal life waiting for us in the presence of the Trinity.
Lord Jesus, you are truly the King of kings, Lord of lords, the truth of who you are can not be silenced.
Written by Suzie Hodgson
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
This passage is full of astonishingly wrong expectations. The women came in fear and grief expecting to find Jesus dead in a sealed tomb. The earthquake was the least astounding thing they found. What looked like just the dawn of a new day was the dawn of a whole new stage of history. Jesus is the first one raised from death to eternal resurrection life, and we will join him in that same resurrection life when he returns.
Jesus chooses these two brave, faithful women as his first witnesses. They tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee where Jesus will commission them to be his witnesses too. And they are to teach all Jesus’ followers to be his witnesses too. That includes you and me.
It’s both unexpected and significant that Jesus chooses women as his witnesses. No woman’s testimony would be accepted in their culture. Yet it’s these two brave, faithful women that Jesus chooses as his first witnesses, to announce him to the world. Its even more astounding that Jesus chooses me to be his witness too. But he does.
This is the beginning of Jesus reconciling and restoring all of creation. It’s already begun. Jesus gives us all a part to play now. And it will all come to a glorious completion when Jesus returns.
Jesus, we’re overwhelmed with joy and excitement that you are alive, and that you’re transforming us and our world now. I love that your Spirit is alive in me today. To be honest, I’m like these women and filled with both fear and joy that you choose me to be your witness too. Please give me just a bit of the bravery and faithfulness of these two women. Work with me in speaking your truth into my world.
Written by David Cornell
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
When God has a plan, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. No earthly authority, no assembly of people and no amount of security can thwart God’s intentions. All fail if the Lord of the universe, who is patient, loving and kind, wills it.
How the chief priest and Pharisees were so out of line with God’s will is a warning to us and how we should live. I need to remind myself that to live my way is not necessarily God’s way, but His way is always better! I might not like what’s good for me, but God’s will for us is to grow, prosper and have hope. Yes, life is an incredibly difficult endeavour, but we live it with Jesus by fixing our hearts on eternal things. We remember that the future holds something far better and far greater!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the life You give us, a life of fully knowing and loving You. Help us to relinquish our own personal desires that don’t fit in to Your plans and to live a life that glorifies You, Lord!
In your precious name, Jesus, Amen
Written by Sven Bessesen
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
When a person dies, it is a hugely difficult time for the family and friends of the deceased. The weight grief can be intense, and there are a huge number of arrangements that need to be made, and often there aren’t the skills, time and emotional resources to be able to organise things well.
In Jewish tradition, especially in Jesus’ day, funerals and burials were held within 24 hours of a person’s death, and Jesus’ burial was no different. What is perhaps unusual is that many people who were crucified were not given proper burials, because they were considered criminals by the Romans and cursed people by the Jews.
It is recorded in all 4 Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that Jesus was buried at the request of Joseph of Arimathea, and that he was laid in a “new tomb.” The kindness of Joseph to step in and arrange this burial is so personal and deep. The disciples must have been so touched by Joseph’s generosity towards Jesus, as well as his action to respond so quickly in their time of grief. Joseph’s gift honoured Jesus, while blessing others.
Reflecting on this passage today has reminded me that whenever I show generosity and kindness to others, big or small, I honour Jesus and bless others.
Joseph’s generosity and compassion became part of the amazing testimony of Jesus’ resurrection, but my kindness also proclaims the resurrection of Christ through His life in me!
Lord, help me to live in a way that testifies to your life and resurrection.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
He was abandoned by God, so I would never be abandoned. He was separated, so I could be drawn in. His life was taken, so my life could be restored. His heart was broken, so mine could be busted open and made soft again. His wounds were inflicted, so mine could be permanently healed. He refused drugs to numb the pain of my sin, so that addictions would be broken off my life. He faced the despair of darkness, to flood my life with light. He descended into his own living hell, to rescue me from mine. He died a sinners death, so I could live a righteous man’s life. He rose with a resurrected body, so that, one day, I will too.
Jesus, all praise and glory and honour and thanks to you – for what you endured for me on the cross. I raise my hands – there’s nothing else I can do – but offer gratitude, awe, and worship.
Written by B van Noppen
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
They stripped Him, they mocked Him, they taunted Him, they beat Him, they spat on Him … humiliation at the utmost. This was in front of the whole Roman regiment. Then they took Simon from Cyrene (in today’s Libya), most likely Jew visiting Jerusalem, and made him carry His cross.
He went through this for you and for me.
When we are mocked, maligned, unfriended, taunted, rejected, left out for being Christians, even persecuted … Jesus knows how we feel. The disciples knew how we felt. It is said that 1 million Christians died for their faith in the first century.
John reminds us of Jesus’ words: John 15:18 and 1 John 3:13 – “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
There is a wonderful line in a “chick flick” – What a Girl Wants – “why are you trying to fit in, when you were born to stand out”.
Let’s not look like the world.
Let’s take courage – and BE HIS DISCIPLES. Let’s be willing to be persecuted, left out, shamed, for loving Jesus, following Jesus, and worshipping Jesus.
Lord Jesus, help me to stand out for YOU. To be unashamed of being your disciple. Help to be brave and share my faith, with whoever will listen. In Jesus name, Amen
Written by Ps. Sue Botta
Phone: +61 2 9875 0300
PO Box 2744,
Carlingford NSW 2118
7.00PM - Fridays in school term,
for students in Years 6-12
Carlingford High School Hall,
547 North Rocks Rd, Carlingford 2120
9.30AM and 5.30PM
Carlingford High School Hall,
547 North Rocks Rd, Carlingford 2120
Best access for the 5.30pm service is via Roselea Way
We gather worship and work, on the lands of the Darug and Guringai people and wish to acknowledge them as the traditional custodians. We pay our respects to first nations elders past and present.