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

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Growing Up In Christ (Becoming Mature)

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:1-16
God equips and gifts people to do functions in Church so that people can grow up and become mature people in the Lord.   Then we grow the body of Christ.

Hebrews 6:1 - going onto maturity
We're to stop going over basic teachings and grow up. When a family doesn't grow up, it goes everywhere and broken.  Each person of the family are to contribute.   Growing Up takes time and it can be wonderful.   Being human want to speed up the process and we in the West, want it now.   It's a lifetime journey where we develop and grow.  People won't remember what you owned but will remember what you contributed.   At the core of this journey are disciplines.
We are the sum of our habits.  People will know and remember what you do over what you say.

Facts v Truth.   God is not a fact but Truth.  People need to learn to practice habits that become part of their daily life.  We focus on four (4) spiritual habits.  Romans 12:1-2, do not conform to the habits of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Worthwhile and important to growing up.

John 8:31-32; to find truth, read the Bible daily.   The truth sets us free.  Let God validate your life,  you will find meaning.

● Read the Bible daily.  Encourage one another to read Bible regularly,  daily.  It's a worthwhile habit to invest in.

● Pray daily.  Disciples spend time with Jesus.  John 15:7-8  Let God's Holy Spirit reveal the truth of His Word to you. We listen to God through His Word and talk with God through prayer.  Too often people think the Church should build me.  But you are part of building the Church up and encouraging one another.  What I do with my life matters to the people around me. We grow up to walk with the Lord and build the Church.  We are the Church.

●  Tithing.  We need to give.  Giving reminds us that everything we own and are is God's.   Genesis 14:18-24 If you don't think you are God's,  try taking your next breath without him.  Too many people are totally possessed by their possessions.  Learning to give helps people to let go of possessions.  Don't give to Church organisations.  Give to God.  Grown up people are able to help others and you become strong.   Giving is very important because everything we own is God's.

●  We need Jesus and our fellow Christians to grow up.  Jesus saves us.  Call on Jesus to be saved.  We need to fellowship,  sharpen each other.   Significant relationships don't develop once a week.  We are to fellowship daily.   We don't build an organisation,  we build an organism.  Families are to encourage each other, build relationships. People need opportunities to talk to fellow believers to grow.

There are no shortcuts to growing up.  We might be concerned about the time but God is concerned about how mature people become.

Hebrews 4:12 - The Holy Scriptures are the Word of God.  The Scriptures through the Holy Spirit,  comfort, counsel, guide, encourage and open up the Word to the believer.

Learn these habits and you find your life changed.  You will grow like a maple tree not a mushroom.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Being Prepared for Glory

Bible Reference:
Isaiah 9:6-7; Philippians 2:9-11

God justifies us and makes us right with him - Through Jesus Christ.
In heaven,  one King,  one Lord, one overall.  It is He who makes you for and ready for heaven.

References: Romans 3:23
We can only receive faith in Jesus Christ  who is the only one who can save us.

Worship with humble hearts because He chose us to be his own.
We can't do this by ourselves, or our parents.

Your spirit was created to live forever.  Your choice is to live with God or separated from him. Since God has called us, to glory and He is preparing us.  We have no right to judge another,  but to love one another.

All the hardship and suffering in this life will be worth it.  One day everyone will bow at the feet of Jesus Christ and acknowledge him as Lord and Saviour.

We live in this world and it's fallen.  We live in a land that is peaceful but churches in Australia will come under great persecution.   Suffering to purify and unify the Church.  The body of Christ being made fit to live in the New Jerusalem.   People may pick on us, continue to stay true to the testimony of Christ in us.  1 Thessalonians 1:10
Your testimony- is not just important but worthwhile.

Be like a squirrel or a beaver. Working together,  using our gifts to build up the church.  God wants us to be Awake!  Not slumbering.  

1 Thessalonians 1 & 2 - talks about the official return of the Lord Jesus.
Rev 1:7 - we need to be Awake!  not asleep.

2 Thessalonians 1:4-10 - faith through suffering. God judges fairly and making us fit to share in his glory.  God is our defender - he will punish those who hate us. We are to live with the Lord daily. He will bring us relief.   God is judge.  Those who choose not to accept the gospel will be shut put from his presence.  Christian people will suffer until Jesus Christ returns. We live in this world. 

Come Lord Jesus!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Being Glorified

When God created man and woman, he created them to live with him in glory. We can read what happened in Genesis.
2 Corinthians 3:18

God reverses the tables as far as the world goes.   When you die, you cannot take anything from this earth with you.

King David - Psalm 73:24
For the Lord gives grace and glory.  To walk up rightly, we put our faith in Jesus Christ.   1 Peter, we are told we will suffer for a while, as Jesus did.  We also need to know that after we suffer for a little while,  you will be with the Lord Jesus in His glory. 
There is a lot of living after this life on earth.  Eternal glory involves the whole person.  We are born into a world that is sinful.  We all suffer.  Our bodies will be raised in glory for those who believe in the Lord.   Philippians 3:21

The resurrected body of the believer will be fully restored,  no impairment,  no deficiencies in heaven.  People in heaven will not be sick, no illness, no lonely, no aching limbs, no impairments. We shall be perfectly delivered from every evil, we shall be immortal.   No graves in glory.   But here on earth, we experience death,  impairment,  hurt.

On earth, we can either choose to sin or choose to know the Lord. Glory - we as Gods people will live in glory.  The saint will have a purified character. No sin will be found in us.  We will be made fit to live through the Holy Spirit , with God. 

1 John 3:2
Ephesians 5:27 - in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty — pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection.

Ephesians 5:27 - in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty — pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection.

Ephesians 5:27 GNB

We will be mirrors reflecting God, even today, though our mirror is foggy,  then it shall be clear.   Each day, God works in your life,  shining to the powers and principalities, what he is doing in your life,  to show His glory in you!  He, God, loves his people so much. We will in heaven,  live in God's immediate presence in heaven.   We will enjoy intimate fellowship with God.  The fact we're in his glory will shine out everything else.   God will be our joy.  We will have his attention. God has dealt with our sin,  lets give all that to him.  Let's get on with what God wants us to do.   We cannot control much.  God is going to have us reign with him.  Think about this! 

If you really want to see the power of God at work in our nation,  pray for the church to be one in spirit and truth. God has called us to repentance,  faith, justification, sanctification and glory. (Acts)

1 Thessalonians 2:12 - God did not save you for nothing!

2 Timothy 2:10 - God wants all to know the truth and be saved!
Sometimes,  we get tired of the world.   We would like to be with the Lord, now in heaven.   God has brought each of his people out; pray for those who don't know God.  Suffering is temporary,  being with God is eternal.

Romans 8:18 - I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18 GNB

1 + 1= 1 (not two) There is nothing we can bring to God but our faith in Him.

Hebrews 4:16

Transformed to Glory

Bible References: Roman's 9:22-23; Colossians 3:4

Abraham was declared as righteous because he lived by faith.  We Believe life is a lot more than just now.  This is a small part of our eternal life. You can be a vessel of mercy or a vessel of destruction. We were a vessel of destruction before God reached down and saved us.  2 Corinthians 3:18 - we are being transformed into glory by God. God will take us through the process of life; if it's up to us, we'll never get there.  God will restore us.  God will not let up until He is through.  The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in our lives.  We need to be vessels that leak; not vessels that hold.   We can take the overflow of God.  He wants us to let His goodness flow through us.  God will supply what we need; what God is pouring through your life.   There will be enough to transform you into glory.   We need to be cracked pots so that God's purpose and glory flow through us.

Romans 9 - God chose you! He chose you to be His vessels that leak, cracked pots to overflow his glory.

Romans 8:17 - Jesus told us that as the world hated him; they will hate you.  The world doesn't know / understand what you are talking about.

Our bodies are getting older.  But our new self is being transformed into the image of the Lord.  He preparing us to live in His glory.   In the state we are in now,  we can't look upon God.   So he has to do something about it. 

We don't have an insurance policy but an assurance policy!  Not because of how good you are, but because He loves us.

2 Timothy 2:11-12  Going to church doesn't make you a Christian,  it doesn't put you in heaven.   Faith in Jesus is what gets you to heaven.  

Luke 22:28-30
Revelation is filled with passages about God's people reigning with Christ.   We are being prepared for that glory.  Hebrews 2:10
God has saved you to live with Him in glory.  Jesus Christ is the captain of our Salvation.   He is the one we listen to.   There are treacherous ways, ups and downs.   All the while, He is bringing you to glory.  There will be no exceptions.  We who belong to Christ, will live in glory.  Revelation 21:4-5

Have You Been Made New In Christ?

Romans 3:23

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Fulfilling My Life Mission - Allowing The Lord To Direct Your Life

Bible References: Romans 4:3
Abraham fulfilled the Law yet he didn't have it.   Repentance - I give the Lord my life and let Him direct it.  Abraham did get things wrong, which is comforting.   Yet he allowed God to direct his life.   Man fell From grace in the garden. Jesus restores us.

The most important thing - I complete the mission given to me.  The Bible is about God's people living with their God.
God created me to fulfil God's purpose.   Being saved is not about getting saved,  and then free for all. 

One of the good news stories is if I give my life to Jesus,  I go to heaven to live with Him.  If I reject Him, I don't go to heaven. I live separated from him.
Ephesians 2:10

People are created for purpose.   My Life Mission has universal elements:  the ministry of reconciliation (we are all called to take Gospel to all people).  Living the life with God.  We are all given the ministry of reconciliation to tell people about Jesus.  God has custom made me, made you to be a certain way.   We are able to reach different people.  We all are uniquely made, which is wonderful!  We bring glory to God when we live out our mission in life.

John 17:1-12 - We (The Church) are one.  When Jesus went to the cross,  he conquered death and took back the authority which He gave to His People.  To bring glory to the Father in heaven.

I complete my mission, to tell people about Jesus Christ and the Good News.  It's not about what you get wrong,  it's about what God does in our life.

God has an overall purpose on creating human beings.   We are not human doings, we are human beings.  In the West,  we are trained to work, work, work...but God just wants to sit with you.
Sometimes God just wants us to sit with him and enjoy being with him. 

Jesus had a purpose in coming to earth.  First purpose we are created - worship God.   We were made to have a relationship with God. We were made to serve God's purposes, not our own.  We were made to last forever.  God has set eternity in the hearts of men.  It is God who has put the idea of eternity in our hearts. We want to be living forever - the question is "Will you walk with God or away from Him?"

The most important thing is that I complete the purpose God has for me in this life.   To put my faith and trust in God.

Bible References:  Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 4:1-5; Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2; Eccelesiates 3:11; Ephesians 1:10

2019  focus verse is Acts 20:24

Sunday, December 16, 2018

How We Walk Matters

Bible Reference:  1 Peter 5:10; Ephesians 1:6

Living in a land like Australia,  we have a pretty good life.  We don't experience suffering as other countries have.  Each day Praise God.   Sing praise,  speak praise together or when you are alone.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.   The spirit of grace.  Christianity is not a religion,  it's a way of life.   God loves us and forgives us.  He wants us to overcome sin and live with Him.  If we want to find this grace, we must relate rightly to the God of grace.  He created us to live with and in us.  Developing a personal relationship with God.

John 17:3 - eternal life.   Developing a personal relationship with God.   It's about knowing God not just knowing about Him.  Like marriage,  get to know each other more.  Time and communication.   Knowing the Lord is our greatest treasure.  Everything else that competes is considered a loss.
Philippians 3:7-8

Getting increasingly acquainted with the Lord increases our relationship with him.

2 Peter 1:2
Two strategic,  rational realities:  humility and faith.  Jesus was faithful to everything that the Father wanted.  He was humble and came to earth from heaven.

1 Peter 5:5
God's grace is given to those who walk humily with your God. When you walk in humility and serving, when you get old you can walk with respect.   Proudness will leave you in a mess.

How we walk matters.  For example we look at the centoph where we hold ANZAC ceremonies we are reminded of the sacrifice our soldiers have made and still make.  1 Peter 2:3-11.  We are a living stone,  that is to show people the story of God.  When Israel had memorable events happen, they put up stones to remind them of the stories that happened on their lives.   If a nation wants to take God out of the nation, remove the Christians.
We are to lay the foundation - that is Christ Jesus!  To us, He is precious,  but to those who reject him, they hate him.

How We Live, walk, and act matters.   God gives each of us a mission in life - to show the world is Jesus!  When I get to Heaven will there be people in heaven because I obeyed him instead of doing the worldly things.

The Message of restored relationships.
Our ministry?  Reconciliation.   Bringing people back to being restored to God   That's how we change our nation.  2 Corinthians 5. Am I prepared to be a living stone for Jesus.   2 Chronicles 6:9

Are we fully committed to the Lord?  Psalm 96:2.  Seek first God's Kingdom.  We do what God wants- we love him when he gives, we love him when he takes. 

Acts 13:6 - David  served God's purpose in his own generation.  Psalm 51 is David's psalm of repentance.   Keep yourself pure, walk with the Lord.   The more you walk with the Lord, the more you will be ready to do what the Lord calls you to.

Acts 20:24 - we are to be in the race of life to complete it and win.  To testify to the gospel of God's grace.

We are to be a living stone.   Jesus was a living stone; rejected by people as worthless,  but precious to God.  We are precious to God.   God will make a way for you to do what he calls you to do.

God sees you - precious child whom He loves.  He is fitting you ready for heaven.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Shaken Up

Are we ready to be shaken up?

Bible reference:  Nehemiah 2

Nehemiah went to Jerusalem and rebuilt the wall.  The Lord wants to take our life, rebuild it and put our lives right.

There has been much that has happened in Australia that may appear that people are against God, but there are lots of wonderful things happening in our country.  Music, preaching, mission out reaches, etc. The Lord is bringing back the church in Australia.  

Nehemiah was called to assist in the restoration of Jerusalem.   He faced tremendous opposition .

Bible reference: Nehemiah 2:9-11.  Sanballat - a deceiver in hiding
Tobiah - one who did deceive instead of blessing the Lord. He was an ammonite.

The spirit of ammonite deceives.   The Ammonites came from Lot.  Lot lost everything in the world; Abraham gained everything because he walked with the Lord.   It's not about how good you walk; it's that you walk with the Lord.

The spirit of ammonite rose up to try and block the Lord's work.  Nehemiah 2:19-20.  Nehemiah was the one you phoned to fix the wall; Ezra was the one you phoned for prayer.  Those who oppose us have no place in the kingdom of God.   They have no heritage,  right or claim in Jerusalem.   When Nehemiah had to return to his job with the king, Tobiah tried to deceive the levites (the church leadership).  Nehemiah returns to find Tobiah working to break down Gods people.

Nehemiah 3:1 - sheep gate (where the water came into the town) Tobiah had married into the High Priest's family and he had secured a place that he should never have had.   By having access to what was not his, he was able to bring disunity into the priesthood.   He caused strife and confusion.

In the Old Testament,  Ammonites and Moabites were not to be in the congregation of God.  They had hired Balaam to curse Israel.   We should  be careful who we mix with, marry, be in relationship with.   Deceivers, those who cause disunity come in and break down the family of God. Reference: Nehemiah 13:1-8; 11-13

Nehemiah finds out what had been going on.  He had to sort out the problem of Tobiah.  Trouble starts when we don't allow good judgement and allow the  'Nehemiah's' in our church to clean out the problems.  Nehemiah 13:9-10

5 fold ministry- to equip the saints.  In Australia,  the enemy has come in and caused problems as they are not the ones who should be on leadership.   It's important that the right people are put in place. The levites had to leave their positions and tend their lands to provide food instead of doing their work at the temple. The levites were to be looked after, so they could teach the people how to live Gods ways.  Reference:  Joshua 21:1-3

The spirit of ammon promotes self-advancement.  Nehemiah had to throw out the evil,  he then restored the levites. 

Which spirit rules over the storehouses of our church?  It's about edifying the body of Christ.  We are servants to people.   We are to equip the saints accurately.  Through Jesus we are connected back to God.  In church we are all the Lord's flock, but he will use certain people to do certain roles.  God never calls one man to do all the work,  he calls a flock.

Reference: Luke 22:24-27.  We are to be servants. The world will see it that the one who sits at the table will receive accolades; Jesus sees that person as the one who serves.  It's very important we follow Gods example.   He gives us the ability to teach and edify God's people.   Acts 3 - the money raised was to help those in need.

If there is a spirit of Tobiah in our church and storehouse,  then we need bring this to the Lord and have the fortitude to deal with it.  Then be ready to be shaken up.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Read The Word!

Bible References: Acts 14:21-22;Acts 20:32; Jude 1:3.

We find the word of grace by reading God's Word.  The Word is the Word of Life (Holy Bible). The Lord desires us to continue to grow with Him, continue with Him, Read the Word.   We were created in God's image.  When we read God's Word,  we get the real picture.   God keeps us in His grace.  

One vital aspect of the process is to continue to read the Word.   Continue in the Faith - revealed truth of God. 
Saints- Those who are born again in Christ Jesus!  Faith - Word of God!  We're putting our faith in Jesus; in what God has to say.  We are built up in The Word of God.   Jesus dealt with all our sin; we deal in victory.

Paul entrusted the Ephesian elders to care for the Word of God.   God extended his grace to us to be saved.  Grace flows from the word of God.   It's the Lord's undeserved riches poured out in justification; sanctification,  edification.

We learn from the Word our great need for grace.   We access glory through our humble dependence on God.  We completely depend on God to bring us through.   I can't do it.  Pastors can't do it.   We must continue in the Word of His grace.  Daily, prayerfully,  study it.  We study to build ourselves up so we can help others.  

We will want to be in the Word so we can to KNOW  Jesus.

Ezekiel 3:18 - when we don't read God's Word right, we don't realise we have a responsibility to tell others so that they can hear the Gospel.  All Christians need to read God's Word and do what it says. There are consequences for our inaction. 
1 Corinthians 9:16 - Your mission is not optional.   Part of what we do is to tell the world about Jesus!  It's not as an option.  

Romans 1:16 - The Good news has the power to save those who believe.
In the past you were without Christ,  no hope, no future,  but with Christ, peace.

Roman's 1:14 - my God is greater than all those gods.  Paul doesn't want us to run the race to miss out; we are part of the winning team.

2 Corinthians 5
Jesus is the only one who can save.
Acts 4:12; Roman's 10:13-14.

When the Good news is preached to all the world,  then the end will come.
Acts 1:6-11: commission.  We are to be His witnesses and to go out into all the world! When Jesus comes back He comes as the Victor!

God has called us to be the people in the Community who is the difference.   He started with 12; now there are millions. 

How do you think God feels if we don't spend time with Him each day?