God keeps building His plan into us


Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

God is always working on us. He is always building in new things and stripping things away until Jesus comes back. It is His promise to us from His Word.

As I have been thinking about this lately I have been thinking about my growth and change in regard to the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

At first the Great Commission was just about getting people saved. I would talk to people on the bus, hand out tracts, do letterbox drops, give away Jesus videos door to door and much more to reach people for Christ. 

This was my joy and passion for the first 10 years or so of being a Christian. Somewhere around 2000 God spoke to me about the Great Commission and reminded me it is about making disciples or lifelong followers of Christ.

I then realised that while I was reaching a lot of people for Christ as an “evangelist”, I didn’t know what happened to them afterwards. This caused me to write a very simple discipleship booklet to take new Christians through.

My focus expanded from just getting people saved to discipling them or making tools available for others to disciple the new Christians in their lives.

Then about 5-6 years ago God expanded me again. Not only did He give me the desire to see people saved and discipled, He wanted me to travel with them as a Pastor to teach and shepherd them to be lifelong followers.

Being a Pastor of a church enables me to be in the best position to see people saved and to equip the church to help get their family friends and neighbours saved too. 

It also allows me to systematically teach the Bible in a practical way that people can put into practice and pass on to others.

If you had of asked me what I would be doing now 20 years ago, I would have said an intinerant evangelist. But God keeps building into us and shaping us into the people He needs us to be.

God Bless,

Dave

Posted in Faith & Life, Pastoring

Sermon: We have an Advocate

Hello all,

Here is a copy of my sermon from today. It was titled, “We have an Advocate”.

It touched on four main points from 1 John 2…

  1. We have an Advocate
  2. An old/new commandment to love one another
  3. Do not love the world
  4. Watch out for antichrists

You can find the text on my personal website here and the audio on our church website here.

God Bless,

Dave

Posted in Bible, Bruce Rock, Church, Faith & Life, Podcast, Sermons

Wholeheartedly


Wholeheartedly is one of my favourite words when it comes to faith in Christ. I want to be a wholehearted follower. In today’s Our Daily Bread there was a good post on this topic. Thought I would share it…

Wholehearted

Caleb was a “wholehearted” person. He and Joshua were part of a twelve-man reconnaissance team that explored the Promised Land and gave a report to Moses and the people. Caleb said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Num. 13:30). But ten members of the team said they couldn’t possibly succeed. In spite of God’s promises, they saw only obstacles (Num. 13:31–33).

Ten men caused the people to lose heart and grumble against God, which led to forty years of wandering in the desert. But Caleb never quit. The Lord said, “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (14:24). Forty-five years later God honored His promise when Caleb, at the age of 85, received the city of Hebron “because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly” (Josh. 14:14).
Centuries later an expert in the law asked Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matt. 22:35–38).
Today Caleb is still inspiring us with his confidence in a God who deserves our wholehearted love, reliance, and commitment.

Posted in Faith & Life, Resources

What is the Pastor’s role?

As a Pastor I recently started to look at the Pastor’s role according to the Bible. We all have our ideas of what the Pastor should do, but I think it is important to start from what the Bible says.

The term Pastor only appears once in the New Testament. This might surprise some, as it did me when I looked it up first time. So what is the context of the one time it is mentioned?

Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

This is the only reference to the Pastor. The role mentioned above is an equipping role. Equipping the people of God to do the work of God in the church and the world.

I asked someone at the denomination that I am apart of and they said the same thing. The Pastor is there is equip the church to do the work of ministry, not do the work of ministry on behalf of the church.

So the Pastor’s role is a teaching and equipping role. This happens through sermons, Bible studies, and encouraging the church in their faith.

The interesting thing that I aslo found is the Greek word used for Pastor is Poimen. This is translated as Pastor in the above passage, where is other places it is translated as shepherd. This is where the Pastor as a shepherd image comes in.

In 1 Peter 5:2-3 it says, ” 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. ”

The second role of a Pastor is to shepherd God’s flock. To watch over them, look out for them, counsel them, provide an environment where they can grow in their faith in Christ, living out a godly life as an example and to lead them with the other Elders to the place where God wants them to be.

Pastors do so many things but the two main roles they will be accountable to God for is equipping the church members to do the works of service and shepherding the flock entrusted to their care.

My final thought of the role of a Pastor is the Greek word for flock – Poimnion – this means a group of believers. The Pastor (Poimen) looks after the flock (Poimnion). The focus on the Pastor should first and foremost on the group of believers they are overseeing.

It is a really interesting exercise to research the biblical role of the Pastor. With people expecting so much of Pastor’s and the many different roles they undertake, equipping and shepherding needs to be the focus.

God Bless,

Dave

Posted in Bible, Church, Faith & Life, Pastoring | Leave a comment

Just hang in there

Today as I was reading Hebrews 10, the following two verses jumped out at me…


In these two verses two words really jumped off the page –  “patient endurance”. Patience often means waiting. Endurance means continuing on for a long time doing the same thing.

So I guess you could say patient endurance means “just hang in there”. It is hard when you want something to happen now. 

But God promises we will recieve all He promised in verse 36. He also promises we will reap a harvest if we do not give up doing good in Galatians 6:2.

If you are waiting on breakthrough today, I would encourage you to just hang in there with patient endurance. We can trust God because we know He IS a God who backs up His Word.

God Bless,

Dave

Posted in Bible, Faith & Life

A great report of faith

In 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 the Apostle Paul tells of the peoples great faith. He says their faith is known far and wide. It says…


There are a number of important elements in these verses…

1. They turned from serving idols to serving God.

2. They have a vibrant faith that others have heard about. Their faith and reputation goes before them.

3. They are looking forward to return of Jesus.

4. They are rescued from future judgment because of their faith in Christ.

Wouldn’t it be great if people said these things about our churches? Wouldn’t it be great if our faith reputation went before us? 

God Bless,

Dave

Posted in Bible, Church, Faith & Life

Saved by grace to serve

Ephesians 2: 8-10 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

One of the great truths of the Bible is we are saved by grace thought faith in Christ. This means we become Christians through God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part. 

Out of love for God and out gratitude for this free gift from God, we should seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not just not live as we please.

While no action or work we do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service. We are not saved merely for our own benefit, but to serve Christ and build up the church.

God wants to save us. That is why Christ came and died on the cross for us. God wants us to accept this and go one and serve Him all the days of our lives. We truly are saved by grace to serve.

God Bless,

Dave

Posted in Bible, Faith & Life