May 2, 2015
Rich Giving
Posted by Rebecca Inglis
Series: Being Rich

“Your bank and credit card statements are theological documents. They tell who and what you worship” – Brian Kluth. While we are continually seeking to improve our worship through the way we spend our money, for a very long time now our family choose to honour God by giving the first tenth of all our earnings to his purposes in the world through his local church. Giving a tithe requires faith. It requires faith because it means we are setting aside 10 percent of God provision to us – and we’re committed to living beneath God’s provision. Tithing teaches us to put God first and it increases our faith in God.

Who can’t relate to having more debt than dollars at the end of a month? To staring down an unexpected expense and realizing there isn’t enough money to cover it? To giving in and buying something unnecessary, despite funds already being tight? We’ve all veered off course at one time or another. God says, “You can track true today.” And the best place to start is with tithing. With declaring to yourself, your family, and your money that as for you and your house, God is in charge. Give God your first 10 percent. Then stand back and see what he will do.

Bill Hybels says, “If I had to recount every conversation with an individual or a couple that ended with “and then we started tithing, and that one act of faith changed everything,” I couldn’t do it. There have been far too many of those conversations. And I delight in every one. Show me someone who is faithful to give the first tenth of their earnings to God’s work through the local church, and I will show you a person who has radically simplified life.” This too is my experience. Not just any tenth, but the first tenth. People who give the first tenth of their earnings to God’s kingdom work have clean hands, light hearts, and easy sleep. Why? Because they are obeying the Scriptures, walking by faith, and trusting God to do what God says only he can do.

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  • May 2, 2015Rich Giving
    May 2, 2015
    Rich Giving
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Being Rich

    “Your bank and credit card statements are theological documents. They tell who and what you worship” – Brian Kluth. While we are continually seeking to improve our worship through the way we spend our money, for a very long time now our family choose to honour God by giving the first tenth of all our earnings to his purposes in the world through his local church. Giving a tithe requires faith. It requires faith because it means we are setting aside 10 percent of God provision to us – and we’re committed to living beneath God’s provision. Tithing teaches us to put God first and it increases our faith in God.

    Who can’t relate to having more debt than dollars at the end of a month? To staring down an unexpected expense and realizing there isn’t enough money to cover it? To giving in and buying something unnecessary, despite funds already being tight? We’ve all veered off course at one time or another. God says, “You can track true today.” And the best place to start is with tithing. With declaring to yourself, your family, and your money that as for you and your house, God is in charge. Give God your first 10 percent. Then stand back and see what he will do.

    Bill Hybels says, “If I had to recount every conversation with an individual or a couple that ended with “and then we started tithing, and that one act of faith changed everything,” I couldn’t do it. There have been far too many of those conversations. And I delight in every one. Show me someone who is faithful to give the first tenth of their earnings to God’s work through the local church, and I will show you a person who has radically simplified life.” This too is my experience. Not just any tenth, but the first tenth. People who give the first tenth of their earnings to God’s kingdom work have clean hands, light hearts, and easy sleep. Why? Because they are obeying the Scriptures, walking by faith, and trusting God to do what God says only he can do.

  • Apr 26, 2015SNS: Extravagant Love
    Apr 26, 2015
    SNS: Extravagant Love
    Posted by John Viles
    The Alabaster Jar...
  • Apr 26, 2015The Deceitfulness Of Riches
    Apr 26, 2015
    The Deceitfulness Of Riches
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Being Rich

    When I was younger I used to go to the arcade. I don’t know if you remember the pinball machines and the video game machines. There are still a number of arcade places around, and you can still find a few machines in most ten-pin bowling centres. In the last couple of decades however, there has been a fundamental shift in the arcades. New machines, new games have been brought in which seem more like fair ground games and instead of just enjoying the game for the enjoyment of it the machine now spits out prize tickets at the end of each game. Then if you collect enough tickets you can claim a prize.

    The number of tickets required to redeem a prize is usually extremely high compared to what you would think the prize would be worth. Often this means people go back to the machines to try and win more tickets. Upon returning to the counter they notice that if they just got a few more tickets, they could get a better prize. So back to the machines they go to win more tickets.

    When we get older however, the tickets aren’t little cardboard things, but dollars. They work the same way, but not only can you get prizes from the counter, you can get all sorts of things from almost any counter in the country.

    No matter the type of tickets, the temptations are the same. They say to us "If you have more of me you will be happy," "If you have more of me you will be significant," "If you have more of me you won't have to worry," "If you have more of me you will be liked."

    Jesus described the consequence of this 'deceitfulness of riches' by comparing it a weed that grows so big that it chokes the life out of the plant.

    Join us this Sunday as we explore more of what Jesus has to teach us about this essential aspect of modern day life.

  • Apr 19, 2015Good News, Bad News
    Apr 19, 2015
    Good News, Bad News
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Being Rich

    A bigger house, nicer car, better vacations: wanting more isn't always bad, but are we looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places? Over the next few weeks we are going to consider, as people of God, how rich we are and how God wants us to respond to his blessings.

    Paul says “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

    The fact is we are rich. God has blessed us with more than we need. If you live in Australia, you’re one of the richest people in the world, but so often we fail to realise how rich we are. Knowing we are rich affects our attitudes about worry, tithing, generosity, and thankfulness. While it’s easy to see the problems of poverty, God’s word gives more warnings about the problems of being rich.

    As we open God’s word, allow it to speak to us and become more aware of the riches in our lives, let’s ask ourselves “Is there anything in my life that I need to change so that I’ll become rich in a way that honours God?”

  • Apr 12, 2015Emmaus Road
    Apr 12, 2015
    Emmaus Road
    Every week Nova 969 radio in Sydney they have a segment where people ring into the station with stories of celebrities doing absolutely ordinary things. One caller rang in and told a story of watching Russell Crowe buying a coffee. Another caller rang in and told a story about seeing Nicole Kidman buying groceries at a supermarket. A couple of years ago our family was lining up at David Jones for a Santa photo and a while after lining up we realised that we were lining up behind Fitzy, the announcer from Nova 969 radio, he and his pregnant wife were there with their son Huey for their Santa photo. It was a long time before we realised who we were lining up with, but then Fitzy wasn't on TV all that much and so he wasn't all that recognisable.  
     
    Two guys walking to a town about 12km from Jerusalem took all day to realise that they were walking with Jesus of Nazareth. In their defence, Jesus has recently been crucified and they had never seen Jesus on TV. It would have been such an awesome experience though: To find out you were travelling with a celebrity that the whole world was talking about.  Listen in as we unpack this story and see what we can learn from these two guys walking to Emmaus. 
  • Apr 5, 2015Paradise
    Apr 5, 2015
    Paradise
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Jesus wasn’t the only one crucified on that first Good Friday. A couple (maybe more) of robbers are mentioned in the story because of the conversations they had with Jesus as they all hung there together on crosses. This easter we are going to focus on the words Jesus spoke to one of the criminals crucified with him, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise." This criminal hanging on a cross near Jesus has nothing to offer. He can’t improve his life, he can’t go out and lead a better life, he can’t show Jesus just how serious he is about following him. There is absolutely nothing this man can do to earn his salvation or show how deserving he is of Jesus’ mercy. This man has nothing to give Jesus, absolutely nothing, all he does is ask Jesus for mercy and Jesus gives it to him without any questions. Jesus doesn’t ask the man if he is serious about his sin and turning away from it, he doesn’t ask him what he believes about God or the Bible or any other doctrine of faith, Jesus simply reaches out to him in love and says today you will be with me.
    Jesus was forever getting into trouble because he healed lepers, called evil and despised tax collectors to follow him and allowed well known prostitutes to wash his feet with their hair. Jesus spent his entire life reaching out to sinners and offering them mercy so it should come as no surprise that Jesus is dying the way he lived – sharing life with a sinner condemned to die, and evil doer. Join with us this Sunday as we celebrate this new life, freely given to all..
  • Apr 3, 2015It Is Finished
    Apr 3, 2015
    It Is Finished
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfil Scripture he said, “I am thirsty”. (John 19:28) This Sunday at 10am we continue to look at Jesus final hours and this unusual statement declaring his thirst. In John 4 we read about a Samaritan woman who asked Jesus to give her a drink. Jesus responded by meeting her need and satisfying her thirst. But her thirst was not what she had initially thought – it was a deep thirst and Jesus revealed himself to her as the one she had been waiting for, the Messiah, able to meet her deepest need. “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
    Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the people gathered and shouted “Hosanna” or “save us.” They expected he was the Messiah to save the day politically, to quench their perceived thirst. But here he is on a cross the next week, really saving their life – their eternal life. This Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday and consider a crowd who didn’t get the Messiah they were looking for, but certainly got the Messiah they needed, may we really encounter the living Jesus who is beyond the expectations we place on him.
  • Mar 30, 2015I Thirst
    Mar 30, 2015
    I Thirst
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfil Scripture he said, “I am thirsty”. (John 19:28) This Sunday at 10am we continue to look at Jesus final hours and this unusual statement declaring his thirst.
     
    In John 4 we read about a Samaritan woman who asked Jesus to give her a drink. Jesus responded by meeting her need and satisfying her thirst. But her thirst was not what she had initially thought – it was a deep thirst and Jesus revealed himself to her as the one she had been waiting for, the Messiah, able to meet her deepest need. “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
     
    Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the people gathered and shouted “Hosanna” or “save us.” They expected he was the Messiah to save the day politically, to quench their perceived thirst. But here he is on a cross the next week, really saving their life – their eternal life. This Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday and consider a crowd who didn’t get the Messiah they were looking for, but certainly got the Messiah they needed, may we really encounter the living Jesus who is beyond the expectations we place on him.
  • Mar 22, 2015Father, Forgive Them
    Mar 22, 2015
    Father, Forgive Them
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    RLD2 - Father Forgive Them

    “Righto, I want you two to shake hands and say you’re sorry.”

    That’s what my father used to say when my sister and I would get into a fight. Some minor disagreement would morph into world war three in our house and if dad was home there would come a point where enough would be enough, the violence could no longer be tolerated, and we would have to forgive each other.
     
    I guess it’s a similar story told by everyone, but as life develops the hurts become less trivial, the violence decreases and the passive aggressiveness often increases. The hurts aren’t caused by siblings much any more but usually by the people who’ve stepped into those close relationships of our lives
     
    Sometimes the hurts are horrific, torturous, emotionally shattering and relationally devastating. How do we deal with hurts, how do we deal with the frustrations and anger in life? Someone clever once said that bearing a grudge is like drinking poison expecting the other person to die.
  • Mar 15, 2015My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
    Mar 15, 2015
    My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    It was a Red Letter Day. Bloody, beaten, and nailed to a cross, a dying Jesus looked at those around Him and spoke His final words as a man. What did he say? Over the next few Sundays, as we prepare for and celebrate Easter, we are going to relive Jesus' final hours, and celebrate His ultimate victory on this Red Letter Day.
    I reckon most of us have experienced tragedies and difficult situations that have caused us to ask, as Jesus did ‘My God, My God…Why?' As Jesus was tortured and ridiculed while handing on the cross, Jesus felt forsaken, abandoned, forgotten. Fortunately, this is only part of the Easter story - a story of ultimate transformation, redemption and life. Similarly, our tragedies and trials are only part of our life’s story, and while sometimes we don’t understand the purpose of them, and ask ‘why?’ we are reminded in scripture that perhaps we won’t get the full answer to that question, at least, not in our earthly lifetime.
    “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12.
    My prayer is that God will continue to grow us and shape us and teach us more about himself in the difficulties we face, and while we endure those things that we don’t understand.