Pastor Tim Pianta 65 Main Street, Tolga, Phone 0418882605 Email ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Monday, January 13, 2020

Re-Building God’s Temple – Ezra chapter 1

Bible References:  Ezra 1:2-4; 7-11; Isaiah Isaiah 44:28

The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus.  The heart of kings is in the hand of the Lord. We need to look for the Lord to lead us; lead in the Church and the world. Cyrus was a king God used to help restore Israel back to the land.

God wants us to be part of witnessing the morality of God to the world.  Jesus came so God could deal with our sins; let God deal with your sins and we are to get on with what God wants us to do.
Cyrus made a proclamation that the gentiles were to assist Israel through gifts to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, and he proclaimed the greatness of God.

Today, the story is God rebuilding the temple - you, me, Christian people God wants us to look to God to find the way.  God’s offering us freedom; we have a walk with Jesus Christ.  It starts when we accept Him.  Be a world-changer – those who went from Babylon to Jerusalem.  Put yourself into God’s hands, not sitting in our sin.  Those bound by sin can be made free by Jesus Christ. Many who hear the joyful sound of the Gospel stay in sin in Babylon.  Some love their sin and sit in it; there are others who rise above it and take hold of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel offer will not be made in vain; some will take up the offer.  Isaiah 44 – nearly 150 years before Cyrus was born, God through Isaiah, wrote about Cyrus.

Many people are anointed in the Old Testament to be ‘lord’ (not a capital letter) and they are raised up by God to be the Lord’s “lord” for a specific purpose.  Cyrus was NOT an Israelite, yet he was the Lord’s ‘lord’.  A messiah at the time of Cyrus was not The Messiah (The Lord’s Messiah – JC)
As a Christian we are to walk with the Lord; not stay in our sin.  Jesus Christ has dealt with our sin.  Our walk is about our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Shesbazzar (Zerubabel) was tasked with taking the articles of gold and of silver to Jerusalem when the Jews went from Babylon.  In the Old Testament, God lived in the temple in Jerusalem.  Today as New Testament Christians, God lives in the temple (the body of Christ – our bodies; not a building).  The articles for the temple had meaning in the Old Testament, and it would a goo study for Christians to review.  The temple as the time of Ezra was just rubble and that’s what they used to rebuild.  Man sees the outward appearance, but God sees the heart.  Our outward appearance may be rubble, but God can rebuild our lives out of the rubble.

So, do we hand the steering wheel of our lives over to Jesus Christ, letting him take control, or do we hold on so tightly thinking we’ve some control?

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Showing Kindness

Bible references:  2 Samuel 9:1-13

The Son of God looks for his lost and ruined people. 

David went looking for those left in the house of Saul,  even though Saul had tried to kill David,  to show kindness to them.

Mephibosheth, son of Johnathan,  crippled in both feet.  He had a son.  Ziba was Saul's servant and his whole household. 

Mephibosheth had fled to a desert, worthless place.  David shows that he wants to restore people and do things God's way.  He showed kindness and charity to Johnathan's son.  David had to search for family related to Saul. 

God is faithful to us, and showed us tremendous kindness.   David did this to Mephibosheth.   David could have destroyed all of Saul's family, including Johnathan's son.  This account tells us of real people.   

David comes to restore instead of destroying.  This marks a change in the history of Israel. 

Mephibosheth = shame

David, like Jesus,  seeks this person out to restore him.  This is what Jesus does.

Ziba - likes to solve problems his way.  A fraud; one you need to be wary of. 2 Samuel 16

David is setting up a different Kingdom to the kings around him.  God says of David, he was a man after God's own heart. 

Jesus is calling everyone.   Everyone has the opportunity to know him.  But we too, have characters who try to distract us.  We also have people who reach out and help us.   What a blessing to be one of those who hear God and go out of their way to help others.

God reaches out because he believes you are worthwhile. 

Prayer Verse

Bible reference:  Jeremiah 1:10

"See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Jeremiah 1:10 NIV

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Tolerating Each Other

Bible references:  Romans 15:1-33

In following the example of Christ,  we are to tolerate one another and each other's failures. 
Christian liberty is a wonderful thing,  but its not for our pleasure but to bring glory to God. 

We are not to please men and women,  but to be servants of Jesus Christ.   He is our Lord,  our Saviour and example.   We who have trusted him are called sons and daughters of God.   We are to consider one another at all times.  We are to bear one another.   

We are not just believers but disciples, because he first loved us.

Jesus was meek, and put up with the lowly.  He stood with the weak, not Lord it over them.   As God's people,  disunity causes strife.  We should be building up people (edification).  

God did what he did,  because he loves you.  People will never agree on everything,  but we are to live in harmony.   No one is better than another,  we are to serve one one another.   

We are not to despise God's people,  the Jews.  The book of Ephesians talks about the one new man,  Jew and Gentiles together.   Christ fulfilled the promises of God.  The Church,  God's people,  not a building. 

We should be praising God and sharing the knowledge of Christ.   Praising God brings a message of hope to our nation.   We need to fully trust Christ with our lives.

Do we trust God to act in our life? 

The whole plan of redemption is to reconcile us to God.   We need to bring reconciliation.   We can come before God in complete assurance,  boldly, because He paid the price for you in Christ. 

Romans tells us who the people of God are,  they walk in the Spirit.   

Paul walked in the Spirit,  he endured hardship,  stoning, shipwreck.  Our hope is in Christ. The Holy Spirit works in our lives.

Paul is writing to house churches in Rome.  Many are extended families.   These Christians loved each other and a godly affection for each other. 

People can easily make up rules which are not God's commands. 

Justification is God's work.  Sanctification requires our cooperation.   Enjoy your walk, live it with God.  God has called us to be disciples,  not people pleasers. 

The Holy Spirit is the one who quickens our Spirit to come to Christ.   Whatever good we do is Christ in us.

Paul also talks about service to the brothers and sisters of Christ.  Saints = us.  Paul sought pleasing God, on God's business,  not our own agenda.

We should always be about doing Gods work.   We should be about wanting to see souls saved.  We pray for God's will on the earth.  God loves a person who is obedient and cheerful in giving. 

Ministry in the Church - is when we love one another,  stand together,  build up one another.   Ministry is one of the purposes God has given us to do in the Church.   We need to learn to pray for each other.   We need to pray ourselves and for each other, caring for each other. 

Families that pray together,  stay together.   They love each other. 

Read:  Romans 16
Paul lists fellow workers.   Always pray for each other,  build each other up.  God wants us to be building people up. He exhorted the people with unity, build each other up, serve those who are weak,  you are victorious,  a child of the Most High God.

Our first purpose is to Worship God.  In all we do, worship God in our daily life.  Praise God for those in your life,  pray for them. This builds the body.

If the Spirit of God is with us,  who can hurt us?

Christ chose men and women.   Women had equal standing in a culture that showed little thought to them

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Living in God's Family - Be a Building Block Not a Stumbling Block

Bible references:  Romans 4:1-23

This passage is about accepting our brothers and sisters in Christ.   If we can learn to do this, there would be a lot less fighting.  Different opinions should not prevent Fellowship.   In this passage,  the writer wants to make us think.

We should be growing and learning all the time.   Aren't we fortunate that Jesus is Lord.

Forcing people to accept 'our' doctrine,  is not what God wants.   Jesus never forced people into a tied down doctrine.   Christian Fellowship is not to be disturbed with words.   Jesus looks into our heart and sees us.  God dealt with our sin.  When we deal with our sin,  we can't,  depression sets in.  Dealing with another person's sin is not what we can do.   Only God can deal with our sin.  In Church,  we should build each up, edification.   Reference:  Book of Ephesians. 

Some are weak, some are strong,  but all are to build each other up.  We should live to please God, not ourselves. 

Our validation comes from God.  I am righteous, acceptable in Christ. 

We all belong to the Lord.   We look and serve, approving ourselves to the Lord.   I want to please Jesus.  

As a Christian,  people will talk about you,  make stories about you.  We are too blessed to be distressed.   Jesus is Lord of the living and the dead.  We're not here to despise one another, but to love one another.   Take heed of what we do so that our brothers and sisters do not stumble. 

Edify,  build each other up.  We do not do something in front of our brothers and sisters that would cause them to stumble. 

Romans 14: 13-23
It's better to decide to act in love, not knowledge.   We live in the age of knowledge,  information.   Christ deals gently with those who show true grace.   We all have sin in our lives, but God loves a person whose heart is for God.

We all value the reputation of being good and no I'll practice.   If evil is spoken of us, then its God who deals and judges those who have done so.

God is at work in every life that is his.  The Lord wants us to live at peace and show charity (love) to all around us.    Jesus showed grace to us, he kept his focus even when people were condemning him to death.   Our focus is heaven.   Our nature should be the nature of Christ. 

Christ life was hammered out on the day he was judged and died.  He had defeated the powers of darkness.   We give regard to Christ in the things we do.  The opinions of any other person is not to be regarded. We don't want to be a stumbling block but a building block.  Everything we do should be to build people.   Don't give people an opportunity to use our good for evil.

Jesus has dealt with our sin.   Now go on with Christ,  letting him transform you.  Live, walk in faith.   Everything that does not come from faith is sin.  Abraham fulfilled the Law by faith,  and he didn't have the law.

God wants us to have unity, but not uniformity. God wants us to build each other up.  God wants us to accept each other, love one another.   Jesus brings us all with our differences,  showing us the facets of God.

Where Do We Find Our Rest?

Do we still have the sabbath?  What does the Bible say?
Jesus is our day of rest.  Bible reference:  Hebrew chapter 4

We are to rest in Christ  everyday.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Who validates your Life?

Bible references:  Acts 20:24; Romans 12:9-21; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:22-24; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:25-26 - 5:3; Romans 12:19-21; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Deuteronomy 19:15-21

How to live the Christian life?  We are servants of God.   Build up the Church. 
We are saved by God and the way He does things.  God wants to take you from being justified,  sanctified and glorified. 
We allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives,  the fruit is found in Galatians 5:22-23.
Each day  - we must dedicate our lives and bodies to the Lord.  To be sanctified,  is about committing ourselves to the Lord.  We must choose to put off our old self and put our new self put on.  A spiritual act to allow God to transform our mind.
When we read Scripture, we are challenged.   It's important to God that we participate in life, working, community.  Idle minds need work.  
Don't waste your time on people who can insult you.  People who do things to you, pray for them,  for one day they will face God.  We do not be overcome by evil; but overcome evil with good.  

Who validates your Life? Acts 20:24
Romans 13:1-7. 

How we, the Church behave in society.   We don't always know why God establishes some 'authorities.'

We should be the people who set the example on how to behave.   We need to be good and loyal citizens.   We're not to think we're better.  We are to bless others.   We are role models to other Christians and the people around us.   We are to walk as Children of the day; Christ himself is the light.   We are not to walk in the darkness.  Submission to God.

Don't use your Christian brothers and sisters,  don't use them to make personal gain.   Daniel 4:34-34 - example of respecting the Lord and government of land.  

God is still god regardless of what we think.  The role of government is to Administer justice and collect taxes.

Deuteronomy 19:15-21 - how God thinks about running things. We are required to fulfill our obligations to the community.   Churches were meant to bring people in.  

Matthew 22:17 - leaders of the law were trying to trick Jesus.  We're to live Gods way of life.  Not setting up laws.   Love is fulfillment of the law.  Love your neighbor as you love yourself. 

Don't do to others as we want.  Do to others as we want done to us.  We're not being told to deal with the sin, bit to run to Jesus and repent.   Be morally alert to what is happening in your life. 

Matthew 5:13-18 - the hope of our salvation.   Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.  We are to be in authority over our conduct.   The Holy Spirit needs to be involved in our life so that we have real change.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

How We Ought To Live

Bible references: Acts 20:24; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-16; Romans 6:13-15

Romans 12:1-2 speaks to us about how ought to behave.   We should dedicate ourselves to Jesus Christ every day; a spiritual act of worship. 

Often people struggle because they don't know how to think.   Teachers teach us to think.   We need to renew our minds.  

We want to love because Christ's love compels us to live for Him.
With salvation comes responsibilities.