Pastor Grishma will be sharing more about his ministry in Nepal - what God is doing there through our prayers and partnership.
Grishma is the senior pastor of Nayagaun church in Nepal, where he has been serving now for more than 30 years. Originally from a high-caste Hindu background, Grishma became a Christian after investigating Christianity closely in an attempt to disprove it. He was especially impressed by Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and so put his trust in Jesus despite intense family pressure. Today his church of 1000 people has planted 11 churches with which he retains links. Several Australian CMS missionaries are part of the Nayagaun church and work in fellowship with him and his wife Laxmi. Grishma is the International Speaker for CMS Summer Conferences in January 2020.
God has always taken the initiative going out in love to us, drawing us into his presence and abiding with us. This presence of God brings an end to fear, loneliness, alienation, sadness, bitterness and guilt. We come to God through the Son because Jesus removed those things that separated us from God on the Cross, so the Father, Son and Spirit come to us, reveal themselves to us, pour their love into our hearts by living in us, abiding with us and therefore transforming us. Knowing and being known by God enables us to live a true life full of joy, love and hope.
Along with the joy and excitement, the New Year will have its share of trials, challenges and “storms”. But if we look to Christ and how he has overcome the great storm, we will be able to face our own trials with courage, with our eyes fixed on our Saviour.
A thanksgiving service for the year, and an opportunity to look forward with greater trust to the leading presence of Jesus.
As part of this morning’s baptism & confirmation service we will all make a promise to ‘live out our baptism’ – but what does this mean?
We’ll be briefly exploring this today through the lens of Jesus’ birth and the promise of new life that he brings to us all.
Isaiah prophesied that a Son of God would come and his government and peace would not end. At Christmas we remember that prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus; the babe in the manger who died on the cross, rose from the dead, was exalted to God’s glory and who now lives in the church through the Spirit. His life of joy is embedded in deep confidence in God’s goodness, humility in the Spirit and deep love for the world. How do we know that? We see it in those who walk by the Spirit and who boast in his cross. Through them the Spirit cries out, join in the dance, there is enough joy for everyone.
All of us from time to time question our faith. Some even take the step of exploring other ways of living thinking there is freedom outside the freedom of Christ. In a life where suffering and temptation is real how important it is for us to keep in step with the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Freedom is both a gift we have in Christ and a promise that we will receive. It’s what the gospel of Jesus promises the church. It is a promise and hope that we need to embrace by faith as well as a living reality in us. But this freedom is not a freedom to do whatever our selfish whims determine. No, true freedom is the freedom to love and the serve. In Christ we become an answer to the Lord’s own prayer "Your Kingdom come on earth”. So, are you free?
The whole history of the people of God is full of the miracle of God’s promise of a son to Abraham. It’s the miracle of the new covenant of God’s grace, in contrast to the old covenant based on human effort to fulfill the law. We need to interpret what Paul is saying to the Christians in Galatia in the first century AD, not only in the light of our personal lives as ‘children of promise’, as we heard last week, but also in the light of today’s cultural landscape. Because we are now free in Christ, we are free to think and speak with a clear gospel voice. We are free to speak out boldly against the often outrageous diktats of today’s cultural ‘Judaizers’, who insist that we align ourselves with their progressive ideological agendas.