Monthly Archives: May 2016

Sweet Unspeakable Comfort

Predestination is a word banned in some church circles. Yet, as we’ll see in Romans 9 today, it is the Bible’s teaching that God chooses some people to be saved, but not others. It’s God’s choice.

Article XVII of the Anglican 39 Articles states: ‘As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God.’ (http://acl.asn.au/the-thirty-nine-articles/)

Our salvation doesn’t depend on anything in us or what we do but something better and far more sure: God’s choice and mercy in Jesus. This is the most stunning love imaginable. So predestination gives sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to the Christian.

But what about the non-Christian? That’s next week in Romans 10!

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Advertisements

God at Work

Familiarity breeds contempt.

The story of Gideon is well-known. We talk about Gideon’s woolen fleece that was put out to seek guidance. But last week in Judges 6 we saw it wasn’t for guidance, but was a delay tactic. He knew what God asked, but in fear he delayed.

I was challenged to consider if there are decisions or tasks where I am ‘placing a woolen fleece out’ rather than obeying God?

God graciously speaks to us through the Bible, revealing his plans and purposes in Jesus for us. Personally, understanding God’s will for us in the Bible is not that hard… obeying it is the challenge. The Word of God is near and clear, but so often we fear!

Let’s ask God for help to trust and obey him, so that we serve him with our whole life. And ask that faith would replace fear as we hear his Word.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Pray for Malaita

How quickly our plans can be changed! A group from our Diocese (including me) were set to go to the Solomon Islands this weekend to run a clergy training conference.

A senior clergyman of the Diocese of Malaita has been accused of sexual misconduct with a married woman, and so Bishop Sam has asked that we not come while the allegations are being investigated. It seems this year our partnership will be one of prayer; and so please join in asking:

That God would use these recent events to grow his church in obedience, purity, love, and truth;

That there would be genuine repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation;

For Bishop Sam (and the Council of Bishops) to be wise and prayerful through the investigation;

The good news of Jesus would make deep and lasting change in the life of all Christians in Malaita, so that they shine like light to the onlooking world;

That God would equip and encourage the clergy and church leaders by other means in 2016;

That we would be especially prayerful in our partnership in 2016, and that the training team can return to Malaita in 2017.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Be reconciled to God!

The need for reconciliation has been discussed for many years in Australia. There are varying ideas as to what reconciliation actually is and so many questions raised, like…

How are forgiveness and reconciliation linked?

Do we even need reconciliation to go forward?

Is saying sorry enough?

What would true repentance look like anyway?

The Bible is a story of reconciliation. It’s the story of how a perfect holy God is reconciled with a sinful people whom he loves.

God calls Christians to forgive others as he forgave them. And so let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5:11–6:2 to understand God’s forgiveness and reconciliation for us so that we know and live true forgiveness and can be agents of reconciliation.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

‘I forgive you’

It’s not often I get put on the front page of a newspaper. I still feel uneasy about the time I did.

Our church office in Tamworth had been burgled, for the fourth time in a month. I spent a Friday night cleaning up the glass and blood where the offender had smashed their way in.

When the media reporters came, they all asked: ‘Would you forgive the person who did this?’

‘Of course,’ was my immediate answer. Funnily, my sermon that weekend was on the Good Samaritan, so I was quicker to compassion than usual!!!

But the front page of the newspaper read:

I forgive you! Says Tamworth Anglican minister

Is that true? Can I forgive someone who hasn’t repented for their wrongdoing? Can I forgive someone I don’t even know?

…or was I just willing to offer forgiveness?

I’m looking forward to exploring the place of repentance in forgiveness today from God’s Word.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.