Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Outline of Service 8th September 2013

To Make Ready a People Prepared for the Lord   Luke 1:17

Hymn 6:  The Great Expectation   
The Lord’s Prayer Luke 11:2-4
Psalm:  Psalm 103:1-5, 17-22

Bible Readings:
A Great Awakening:  Ezekiel 37:1-11
Types of what is to come:  Luke 1:5-17
Sitting with the Lamb:  Revelation 14:1-5; 15:1-4

Hymn 19:  The Dry Bones
·        The Bible tells of disturbances in the Earth itself in the Last Days
·        Those who love The Lord will be Making Ready for His return
·        A Special People will be Prepared through obedience to God’s Laws and Commandments
·        Some will stand with The Lamb on Mount Sion
·        When Jesus Christ returns those prepared will be redeemed in spirit and soul and body without physical death

Hymn 83:  Ready and Waiting!  


Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Paper September 2013 –
Faith In ???
When I come home on a dark night, put my hand in through the door and flick the switch, I expect that the light will go on.  When I go across a high bridge in the car and look down at the water below I feel safe.  When I sit in a train as it travels quickly along the lines I don’t worry about safety, and when I am sitting in my seat on an aeroplane 10 kilometres up in the sky I have confidence I will safely land on earth again.  In all these “potentially uncertain” situations I accept the circumstances and expect a particular outcome even though they are all far beyond my personal ability to control!  I have never visited a Power station, I was not there when the bridge was built, I know nothing about how to make 360 tonnes of metal and plastic ascend into the air like a bird, but yet I have confidence that those who do will make it work on my behalf.  Perhaps the fact that I have been in these situations before is able to help me to accept, but how do I know that it will work next time? 
What gives me confidence to be able to accept that these things will continue to work in the way I expect?  The answer, I guess, is that through experience and over time I have developed faith in systems in the world around me, things that exist and support me.  Now these examples cited are all from an engineering-built environment that we can inspect, handle or see if we want to - not that we would be able to understand the theory, design and construction of them even if we tried - but because we are “physical”, and these things are “physical”, we develop and accept a level of trust that allows us to have confidence, or faith, in things we use so frequently. 
Whilst it is demonstrably true that we are “physical” beings, I believe it is also imminently observable that we are more than just physical – we also have a part of our being which exists beyond the physical, or in what we might call a “spiritual” realm.  I see this in the world around me – in feelings, emotional responses, acceptance of basic life-principles and in showing of concern for those in need.  I experience it in my own life as well as through the experiences of others which they share with me. 
I believe that the World was created by a non-physical, or an aphysical Power I call God, and as a Christian I also believe that this God has manifested Himself to us through one Jesus Christ who lived on the Earth in a different generation.  Through study and observation I have come to believe that He was able to link the world beyond to the physical world around us.  Whilst my human experience of God is not physical, it is none the less just as true to me as is the assured certainty of turning on the light, safely crossing a bridge or flying in an aeroplane.  I can logically worship my God through a faith that is within me.
The issue of putting faith in something we cannot see is not a new topic.  The Apostle Paul in the New Testament, when speaking to people in Athens, ‘reasoned’ with them about a God who is findable if anyone seeks him, for “he is not far from any one of us”. (See the Bible book of Acts, Chapter 17 verses 16 to 32 for a more detailed report of Paul’s encounter.)  However, unlike the faith we have in the physical world around us, Faith in God is not some-thing that we can manufacture or ‘try’ to have, but is given us of God.  It is strengthened with experience.  Rather than being passive, faith in God leads to an active life aligned with what the Bible teaches.  Faith sees the mystery of God and his grace, and seeks to know and become obedient to Him.  To a Christian, faith is not static but causes one to want to learn more of God and grow; its origin is in what God has done in history, and its presence in what God is doing in lives today.
Many think that having ‘faith’ in God and Jesus Christ is fideism, that is a faith that is independent of reason.  However, when we consider the situation, we find that there are reliable reasons to place our faith and trust in the claims of the Bible and specifically in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

We would like to invite you to visit us, or a Church in your local Community, to talk about how you can develop a certainty about “spiritual” things of God in a physical world.  See Church Notices in this Paper for times of Meetings at the Christian Israelite Church at 196 Campbell Street – we have been there since 1853 - 160 years.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Outline of Service 11th August 2013

Signs in the Earth  Acts 2:19

Hymn 118 (Tune 115):  Facing the Future  
The Lord’s Prayer Luke 11:2-4
Trust in God:  Isaiah 26:1-8

Bible Readings:
Promises of Change:  Isaiah 65:16-19
The Old Prophecies:  Joel 2:21-32 
The Prophecies Partly Fulfilled:  Acts 2:14-32
The Final Fulfilment and Transformation:  11 Peter 3:1-14

Hymn 57:  Heavens and Earth
·        The very Earth itself will be troubled because of evil
·        God will deliver those who trust in Him
·        We hope to live to see Jesus Christ’s return
·        God’s Israel will be redeemed wholly in spirit and soul and body
·        We cannot imagine the glory of the New Kingdom

Hymn 113 (Tune 117):  Personal Dedication