Monthly Archives: November 2014

God is with us and for us!

Today is the beginning of the Advent, where we remember the coming of Christ.

As we consider suffering for Jesus, the truth that God – Father, Son, and Spirit – is with us and for us ought to give great boldness and comfort.

Jesus is the Saviour who suffered for us. Making us righteous and bringing us to God, and leaving us an example of unjust suffering (1 Peter 2:19–25).

The Holy Spirit empowers us to witness to Jesus ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). The book of Acts gives many examples of that happening. Jesus even said don’t be afraid when asked to testify, ‘for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.’ (Matthew 10:19–20).

The Father cares for us, even knowing the number of hairs on our head. Nothing happens apart from his will (Matthew 10:26–31). He’s watching your back!

Whatever happens, don’t be afraid! In fact, praise God that you are considered worthy to suffer with and for God (1 Peter 4:12–19). Let’s pray, lives good lives, be ready to give a response for our hope in Jesus, and not be surprised that we suffer for the name of Jesus!

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

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Half-hearted Creatures

C.S. Lewis said: ‘We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.’

The Bible tells of the infinite joy God offers in his Son Jesus. Sadly, we look elsewhere for joy.

As we consider alcoholism I hope we see that the fundamental problem is our heart. We seek the desires of our sinful hearts and so miss what God offers.

Let’s pray for one another to set our hearts fully on Jesus, the one who gives new life and infinite joy.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

You Can Change!

Human nature says: ‘I am who I am, and you can’t change me!’

But the Christian life is one of repentance and faith, and so involves continual change. In his helpful book ‘You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for our Sinful Behaviour and Negative Emotions’ (Inter-Varsity Press, Nottingham, 2008), Tim Chester gives four life-changing truths about God:

God is great – so we don’t have to be in control.

God is glorious – so we don’t have to fear others.

God is good – so we don’t have to look elsewhere.

God is gracious – so we don’t have to prove ourselves.

How might these truths help you address the sins and emotions you struggle with this week?

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Marriage: A Piece of Heaven on Earth

Today we looked at the Bible’s definition of marriage. We talked about why marriage is between a man and a woman, so that it mirrors to the watching world the relationship we were all created for: the marriage between Jesus Christ and the church. We also thought about the social reasons for marriage, that is, for the good of society. Check out the talk under ‘Bible talks’ above if you missed it.

Here are some video links for more about social reasons for the ‘traditional’ view of marriage:

https://publicchristianity.org/library/modern-family#.VFWCJOdMKUc

https://publicchristianity.org/library/marriage-what-it-means-and-why-it-matters#.VFWDledMKUc

Solidarity Sunday

Persecution of Christians is rife in many countries. In the Middle East, we are witnessing another genocide. Christians, Yazidis, and even Muslims are being targeted by the brutal actions of the Islamic State (IS).

The entire Christian population of Mosul (Ninevah) has fled: forced to either convert to Islam, pay a tax, or leave. Half a million Christians have been driven out of Syria during the 3-year civil war; many still in makeshift refugee camps.

What hope is there in such brutality?

Firstly, Jesus Christ identifies with the martyrs’ suffering. ‘Why are you persecuting me?’ Jesus said to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:4).

Perhaps we need to be more ‘body conscious’ and identify with those in the body of Christ overseas?!

Christians have great hope in suffering. Indeed, we are told to rejoice as our faith is proved genuine and leads to the revelation of Jesus (1 Peter 1:7).

Secondly, we have a duty to speak. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was martyred by the Nazis, said: ‘Silence in the face of evil is evil in itself.’

Today is Solidarity Sunday, where about 600 churches around Australia will join to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, and raise local awareness of the persecuted. How will we respond?

For more on Solidarity Sunday, checkout: http://www.acl.org.au/2014/10/a-prayer-for-the-persecuted/

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.