God sees your heart

The kingdom of heaven isn’t like a human kingdom. It doesn’t depend on worldly wealth or power, on who has the largest army, or the most nuclear weapons. It doesn’t depend on who is the most charismatic leader, or the cleverest, or the richest. It’s not like earthly power structures.

God can see through the outward appearances – when he sent Samuel to anoint a new king, after Saul had proved disappointing, the obvious choice was rejected. Sure, Jesse’s first son Eliab was tall and good-looking, but he wasn’t the one. He may have had all the worldly attributes, and being the first-born has gone a long way to promoting someone’s chances of ruling. No, Samuel was instructed to look at the other promising boys, until he had gone down the line of all 7 of them. Imagine asking someone who has 7 kids if there are any others? It would be a bit odd wouldn’t it. But that’s all about God’s provision. Just when we think that the possibilities are exhausted, God has something new in store. Is there another also? Yes, but he’s working. Tending the sheep. I wonder why he wasn’t included in the original roll-call. Maybe he was too young and of too low a status to be considered. Maybe his mother was a concubine or slave, and he was relegated to second-best. He wasn’t even deemed worthy to come and join in the sacrifice. Continue reading

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Sermon: Jesus is coming…

Sermon Longview 15 August 2013

Luk 12:32-40

There is a bumper bar sticker that says  “Jesus is coming – look busy! It sums up in a sort of a way part of our Gospel. But it’s not enough just to look busy. And busyness can be such an idol in this world. We need to be ready, not just taking up all our time and energy with feverish activity. Now it might seem a bit odd me talking about feverish activity here in Longview, a Rest-home. Now is the time for you to be resting from a long and busy life, but there are still things that go on for you. Continue reading

Building a people of Power

Do you know this song? I’m building a people of power, I’m building a people of praise…

I’ve been thinking about what it means to build the kingdom of heaven. It’s like an underground structure – like roots of a tree, which spread unseen, taking in nourishment, to eventually support something large up top.

There’s a building project going on near where I live. The petrol station is being refurbished. Is this an unseen, underground movement? No! Even though the finished result will be unseen, with new petrol tanks in the ground, there’s a huge crane that can be seen all over our suburb.

But the kingdom of heaven is much more subtle. Every time someone discovers that God loves them, there’s another block in the kingdom. Every time someone discovers that they can help someone, there’s another nail in the walls. Every time someone speaks up against injustice, the kingdom grows!

Don’t consider that you can’t be part of a wonderful glorious building project! This one has no council consents needed, no deadline, no budget. It may not be a crystal cathedral, but the kingdom of Heaven is the Best thing to build!

The song goes on “Build your church Lord, make us strong Lord.” Don’t leave it all up to God – pick up your hammer and get building!