Monthly Archives: January 2015

No favourites!

Surely if someone was ‘too bad’ for Jesus it was Saul, whom we met last week in Acts 9. But God’s grace converted him. No one is ‘too bad.’

Surely if someone was ‘good enough’ to not need Jesus, it was Cornelius whom we meet today in Acts 10, but even he needed to accept forgiveness from Jesus. No one is ‘good enough.’

In the story of Cornelius we see ‘how true it is that God shows no favouritism but accepts men from every nation.’ Everyone who believes in Jesus will receive forgiveness of sins through his name (Acts 10:34–43).

The challenge for us today is to make sure we show no favourites, and remember everyone needs Jesus. Regardless of culture, religion, or race… everyone must turn to Jesus for salvation. Everyone.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

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Stay calm!

Switch on the TV and see terror and murder over the last month… 2 killed in Sydney, 17 in Paris, over 2000 in Nigeria. It is easy to fear terrorism, and wonder where the world is going.

But the message of the Bible is ‘STAY CALM, CHRIST HAS WON!’

On the cross, Jesus Christ defeated sin and evil. His victory was not through violence and terror, but by enduring suffering for his people. His kingdom is one of love and grace; and he calls us to follow in this way.

And so while it is tempting to be fearful, and perhaps want to retaliate or seek vengeance, with current world events, Jesus calls us to follow him in love and grace.

If you’ve given your life to Jesus, you’re on the winning team. Stay calm.

In the short time until God blows the final whistle and sends Jesus back to earth, our task is to focus on introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Break out

Acts 8 marks a huge development for the Kingdom of God.

As the risen Lord Jesus said would happen, his followers receive the Holy Spirit and are witnesses to Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Now we we stage two of the spread of His Kingdom.

Ironically, following the death of Stephen, persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem and scattered followers of Jesus throughout Judea and Samaria. And as they go they proclaimed the word (8:4). We get two examples in this chapter: the Word goes to Samaria (8:4–25); and Philip travels with the Ethiopian returning from Jerusalem (8:26–40).

Both are different contexts and so we see Philip vary the way he shares Jesus. In Samaria, he speaks of God’s kingly rule being established in the Lord Jesus Christ. With the Ethiopian reading Isaiah the prophet, he shares how Isaiah speaks of the sufferings and humiliation the Christ would endure for his people on the cross; and starting from that passage goes on to explain the good news of Jesus.

Both give different response to the word. Simon the Sorcerer in Samaria is in it for what he can gain – his isn’t a genuine conversion, unless he repents soon face judgment for his sin. The Ethiopian is the ideal conversion – he is already seeking God, hears and responds straight away in baptism, and rejoices in the gift of the gospel.

So what do we take from these?

Let’s be ready to talk about Jesus. Proclaiming, or preaching (verse 4, NIV), isn’t just ‘giving a sermon on Sunday.’ It’s sharing who Jesus is, what his death and resurrection has won for us, and the difference he makes in our life, in everyday conversation while we are working, walking, driving, or wherever we go. Jesus is the best news ever… why wouldn’t we want to talk about him! And all people must call on his name to be saved from God’s coming judgment. Who can you share Jesus with this week?

And as the kingdom spreads from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, it continues to spread to the ends of the earth today. The good news of Jesus is for all people regardless of race and religion – God invites us all to join his kingdom. Are there any people you think are not ‘worthy’ or ‘interested’ because of their race or religion?

Let’s pray for opportunities to speak about Jesus wherever we go, for… salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

In Christ, Tory.