Pastor Tim Pianta 65 Main Street, Tolga, Phone 0418882605 Email tolgacommunitychurch@gmail.com ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Equipped and Accountable

Ephesians 2:8-10:  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Tonight I want to talk about Christians to be equipped and accountable.

If you go home and 'google ' verse 10 of Ephesians, you will find it says it is a masterpiece.  God says who I am.  A lot of times when things go wrong we ring someone and complain.   Go first to God and talk to him about to.  Whoever you are, whatever job or position you have, you are first and foremost a minister of God.

What matters is what you've done with the Lord.  Not material things.  Life changing truth about you:  you are a minister of God.

Ministry is not worship, music; it about loving people.  Practice what God has given to you.

1 Peter 4:10 - Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

We in Australia operate under a government system of democracy.
God works a theocracy.   God calls us to be ministers of Jesus Christ.  (a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.... dictionary.com)

Matthew 28:18-19  The Great Commission.  Our ministry.
Our authority comes from God.  We are not here to control anyone but to exercise authority.   Matthew 20:28 - we are called to serve.  God wants us to do the work He has called us to do.
We are commanded for ministry.  

"Success is never final and failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts.
Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."

We have to practice our faith.  Another  command is to not worry.

Ephesians 4:11-16: "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

When parents bring their child home, they teach them to grow up, to walk, to learn.

Pastors, teachers, apostles had to be taught.   Paul after the road to Damascus went and learnt for several years about Jesus before he began preaching.

1 Corinthians 12:27 "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

In the body of Christ, e.g. fighting, illness this affects the whole body.   For the body to be healthy, each part must do it's part.  Jesus thought so much of you, he died on the cross a cruel death.

Matthew 9:36-37 - there is a while world out there that needs to hear Jesus.  Tell the world about Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Romans 14:12
Matthew 25:14-30
Colossians 3:23-24
Matthew 25:23

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Being willing to Change

Justification and Santification

Romans 3:12

"Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."   Philippians 2:12-13

3 kinds of love:
Romantic love- attachment
Responding love - thankful and responding
Agape love - your salvation; God saus,  "I will pay the price for"

We not talking about earning our salvation through efforts.  This is a wordly thinking.  God is not in the business of insurance but assurance.

Sin is sin; no matter how big or small. You need to reconnect with God.   The wonderful news is when you are a Christian; because you have God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in your life, you can do good works.

Ephesians 2:8-10:  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

God has a plan for you.  We live in a world corrupted by sin; He takes careof our spirit.  We as God's people are declared fit for heaven; but we know we are still a work in progress.
Holy saints; but we are not always holy.

God is calling us to live like holy saints now.

Philippians 1:6:  "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

Once a person is forgiven of our sins, God begins a change in us.  Progressive sanctification- gradually God is making us fit to livein heaven.  When we are saved? God makes our spirit right.   Then He works on the rest of our body, etc.

"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;"  2 Corinthians 2:15 NASB

We are to be different that people would see the love of God in us.
Greek word for being saved means we are in a process.   God calls us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling.   The journey is the greatest part of our life with God.

Without God we cannot grow, particularly spiritually.   Someday we will reach heaven and be perfectly holy. 

In order to live the Christian life we must want to change.  Example: Abraham.

When we get things wrong go to God and talk it out.   Restore with God.   The most important thing in our life is our relationship with God.  We need God to change us.  If you try to change yourself it won't work.   We must depend in God to change us.   We must want ro change and grow.

God has given us the Holy Spirit.   When the Holy Spirit works in our life; we will change.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Discipleship - Growing Up

Disciples use discipline in their lives- in response to Jesus.

3 types of love; in English we only one word but other languages have more than one word:
Romantic love
Responding love
Sacrificial love  (agape)

We want to grow up to the full stature of being a mature person.

Habits:
1.  Christ in my life; my time
2.  Put Christ first in relationships
3.  Put Christ first in financial
4.  Put Christ first in prayer.

Time:

James chapter 1:22-25

"But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]."

What you do with your time is important.   Does this save me?  No.  Does it make my life better?  Yes.

If we say we have a relationship with God then we need to take time, make time and invest in the relationship.

You have to put time in to learn, to develop your life, to grow up.  If you want to grow up but don't put time aside there is no relationship.

Relationships:

Hebrews 10:25

Growing up means being part of team; committed to being in fellowship.  Loving each other; lift each other up; sharpen each other.  If we run families with laws and rules then you run with a rod.  Families are to be built on love.
Families should be safe.

Tithing

1 Corinthians 16:2

We are to set aside and give to God.  We are to use our resource to show love to the local community.
We can also support people in their mission work.

What is mine is God's.   God gives me stewardship over the resources to build His Kingdom.

Prayer:

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Luke 14:7

God wants us to grow up and be able to look after ourselves.

Jesus - if you are my disciples you obey God and grow up.

If we sin, confess our sin and receive forgiveness from God.

1 John
James 1:21

Practice new habits to change how we live; don't get so preoccupied with life's distractions that we  live on circumstances.  We need to put time aside with God and hear him.

Don't become superficial.   God wants us to be real people- where we put our time, relationships, money, prayer.

Disciples are people who hear God's Word, become what we are committed to.

Growing up in the Lord takes discipline.   Even when you fail; God still loves you.

1 Timothy 4:7 - you have to put effort into your training.  It will cost you.

Psalm 55

Listen to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my plea. Listen to me and answer me; I am restless and distraught in my complaint and distracted Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble on me, And in anger they persecute me. My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me; Horror has overwhelmed me. And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. “I would wander far away, I would lodge in the [peace of the] wilderness. Selah. “I would hurry to my refuge [my tranquil shelter far away] From the stormy wind and from the tempest.”  Confuse [my enemies], O Lord, divide their tongues [destroying their schemes], For I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around her walls; Wickedness and mischief are in her midst. Destruction is within her; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets and market places. For it is not an enemy who taunts me-- Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who has hated me who insolently exalts himself against me-- Then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man my equal and my counsel, My companion and my familiar friend; We who had sweet fellowship together, Who walked to the house of God in company. Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), For evil [of every kind] is in their dwelling and in their hearts, in their midst. As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. He has redeemed my life in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me. God will hear and humble them, Even He who sits enthroned from old-- Selah. Because in them there has been no change [of heart], And they do not fear God [at all]. He [my companion] has put out his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant [of friendship and loyalty]. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But his heart was hostile; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. Cast your burden on the Lord [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail). But You, O God, will bring down the wicked to the pit of destruction; Men of blood and treachery will not live out half their days. But I will [boldly and unwaveringly] trust in You.
PSALM 55:1‭-‬23 AMP
https://bible.com/bible/1588/psa.55.1-23.AMP

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Maturing as Christians

We are to grow up...in Christ.  We are not called to just be a believer, but as a disciple.
As people we are to grow up from children to adults.  So to, we are to grow up.
Hebrews 10:24-25
Meeting together is a very important part of God's plan.
In marriage, you are to not be individuals but a family. 
1 John 4:20
This love is not romantic, or responding but a sacrificial love.   Families love each other where those outside of the family, won't.   Family should be a safe place to test, try and experience.  Growing up requires all processes of God in our life.  It takes commitment.   It takes relationship.  It takes habits.
1 Thessalonians 1:8
The people didn't try to get rid of stuff in their lives; they simply responded to what God wanted for them.
To mature in Christ, we are to grow up.
Luke 14:27   Grow up; carry your load.
Disciples are known by what they are committed to.   Look at what people do; not say.  Peoples values come out in their lives by what they do.  Those who belong to God are to take on His values.
2 Peter 3:18 - you can be sincere but if you don't pick up God's values (grace and knowledge) then we pick up the world's values.
Ephesians 4:13 - becoming mature.
It's a requirement to become mature and to have unity.   We are to become the best person we can become in the Lord.
Romans 8:29-30 - maturity is being like Christ. Christ has called you, justified you, sanctified you. We are to grow up. You have God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Growing up is not a gift, it's work.  The 'work' we are given to do is to grow up.  It doesn't happen by thinking but doing.
Hebrews 5:12-13 - if you stay on milk all your life, you will end up falling.  Maturity takes discipline.  You have to set time aside for God each day.  You have to set time aside to fellowship.   You have to set finances aside to do God's work. If you don't set time aside to pray, it will stop. 
1 Timothy 4:7
Maturing is discipling yourself.   Taking action, effort, cooperation with God.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

John chapter 11 (Lazarus raised by Jesus Christ)

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been buried four days before. Bethany was less than three kilometres from Jerusalem, and many Judeans had come to see Martha and Mary to comfort them over their brother's death. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for.” “Your brother will rise to life,” Jesus told her. “I know,” she replied, “that he will rise to life on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; “Yes, Lord!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. “The Teacher is here,” she told her, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him. (Jesus had not yet arrived in the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.) The people who were in the house with Mary, comforting her, followed her when they saw her get up and hurry out. They thought that she was going to the grave to weep there. Mary arrived where Jesus was, and as soon as she saw him, she fell at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people who were with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved. “Where have you buried him?” he asked them. “Come and see, Lord,” they answered. Jesus wept. “See how much he loved him!” the people said. But some of them said, “He gave sight to the blind man, didn't he? Could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?” Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrance. “Take the stone away!” Jesus ordered. Martha, the dead man's sister, answered, “There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!” Jesus said to her, “Didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory if you believed?” They took the stone away. Jesus looked up and said, “I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me.” After he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” He came out, his hands and feet wrapped in grave clothes, and with a cloth round his face. “Untie him,” Jesus told them, “and let him go.” John 11:17‭-‬25‭, ‬27‭-‬44 GNB https://bible.com/bible/296/jhn.11.17-44.GNB

Jesus Paid The Price

Jesus is the Lord of our lives.   The cross represents the price paid, forgiveness.   Jesus had to die.  On the cross Jesus was left naked, beaten, horrendous sight.  No death was more scandalous.  Blood poured from the flesh torn.  The effect of the scouring in Pilates palace was dreadful.  Before the cross, he went to the garden to pray to His Father this was before the torture.

By the time he died on the cross, it was finished.  Jesus experienced the shame, degridation on the cross.

Isaiah 52:14
Isaiah 53:2
Isaiah 53:3-12

When someone is under a struggle we point and say they must have done something wrong, even when they did not.

Jesus was bruised, suffered, whipped; yet on the cross he completed the work of the cross.

Jesus has paid the price.  To think you are not good enough for God; is to not understand how important you are to God.

We cannot understand how deep God's love is.

We thank you Father for the message of the cross.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

AMT - Now is the Time


"...Why do so many New Year’s resolutions ultimately fail? I believe because those commitments are too often dependent on time, and not the task. There would be more success if the urgency of the task was paramount rather than the focus on some arbitrary start time..."  Excerpt from AMT/Now is the Time/Editorial by Edward Chan

Click here to read further


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Discovering our Maturity

Santification and Justification
Sanctification- imputed right; makes us fit for heaven.
Perfection in God's sight is not obtained by achieving higher level of good works.
You can only surrender your life to Jesus Christ and let him deal with our sin on the cross.  We are to know grow up. People are without excuse.
Hebrews 10:14
Romans 1 - consequence of not dealing with God.
The difference between people who really want to be in God's church and grow up.  One word - commitment.  What I do in my life here affects the whole body of Christ.  You cannot be accountable when you are not committed to a group of God's people.
God has made us fit for heaven.    We are fit to be in the family of God because He brought us in to be in His family.  He wants us to grow up.
Living life with other Christian people daily.  Look at actions - what people value comes out not by our words but by our actions.  We are to grow up.
Discovering our Maturity.
1. Spiritual maturity - when your are born again- your spirit is born again.  God won't abandon us. We are tremendous worth to Him.   God validates us.  He loves you because He loves you.
Acts 2:42  - developing some habits in our life to grow up.
1.  Devoted themselves to the apostles teaching (The Bible);
2.  Devoted themselves to fellowship (be there/turn up/share life/being obedient to the Lord );
3.  Breaking of bread - checking our heart to make sure our relationship with the Lord is right and our relationship with fellow believers;
4.  Prayer - not just giving God a list; we need to be still and listen to Him.  Our relationship with God and believers is very important.
What's the whole purpose of growing up?
Ephesians 4:14-15.  When you see mature people they don't get torn by different teaching.  Intellectual teaching doesn't mean you are mature.  When you are mature you will be confident in what you believe.
The early church listened to the teaching of the apostles, fellowship, communion and prayer.
Misconceptions about growing up - you need help. 
Tremendous Jones - find out more here
Growing up is not automatic.  We are to continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  If we are to grow up it must be intentional.   You must set your mind to make sure you put yourself in the place to be accountable to God and to the family of God.
1 Timothy 4:7  keep ourselves in training for a godly life.  Now we choose to take God's discipline or be rebellious.
Disciples are known by what they are commited to and value.  No can do this for you.  You have to want to do it and action it.   No short cuts.
We don't deal with our sin again.  Come back and follow Christ.   Growth is intentional and a process that takes time.