Tolga Community Church

Tolga Community Church
"We believe a Great Commitment to the Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission will GROW a Great Church."
Showing posts with label worship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label worship. Show all posts

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Four life building Habits


Putting Christ first in my Time, Relationships, Money and prayer to worship God
1. Time alone with God each day. The habit of a daily time with God (Reading God’s Word) James 1:22 & 25. Personal Bible reading and prayer each day. Mark 1:35, James 1:25 and Romans 12:1
2. The habit of Fellowship Hebrews 10:25. Being a committed team for God. Fellowship with believers in a small group and church.
3. The habit of Tithing; revealing our heart to God and giving to invest in the future through a weekly tithe to God 1Corinthians 16:2; 2Corinthians 8:7; Matthew 6:19-21. 1Timothy 6:18-19 and 2Corinthians 9:6
4. The habit of Prayer Romans 12:12.

By developing these four habits we will; -
1.Know the Word of God
2.Have the mind of God
3.Have the heart of God
    4.Do all to the glory of God
       5.Have the character of God

Mature Believers are called Disciples:I cannot be a Disciple without being disciplined
The more disciplined I become the more God can use me. Jesus said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27

So Jesus said to those who believed in Him, “If you obey my teaching you are my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

  • Attitudes of Disciples
1. They confess their sin to be open daily to hear God's Word. “So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the Word that He plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.” James 1:21
2. They do not get so preoccupied with life’s problems and distractions that they do not hear God Word. “That is why we must hold on all the more firmly to the truths we have heard, so that we will not be carried away.” Hebrews 2:1
3. They are serious and act on what they hear and learn. They are not superficial.
Do not deceive yourself by just listening to His word; instead, put it into practice.” James 1:22
4. They memorise God’s Word. “Do what I say and you will live! Be as careful to follow My teaching as you are to protect your eyes. Keep My teaching with you all the time; write it on your heart.” Proverbs 7:2-3
  1. It helps to resist temptation. Psalm 119:11
  2. It helps to make wise decisions. Psalm 119:105
  3. It strengthens when there is stress. Psalm 119:49
  4. It comforts us when we are sad. Jeremiah 15:16
  5. It helps us to witness to unbelievers 1Peter 3:15

5. They meditate on God’s Word “I remember the days gone by, I think about all that You have done, I bring to mind all Your deeds. Psalm 143:5
This is: -
  1. The key to maturing to be like Christ. Proverbs 4:23
  2. The key to answered prayer. John 15:7
  3. The key to successful living. Joshua 1:8
  4. Meditate on God’s Word to Apply God’s Word
  5. Disciples read the Word and Hear the Word

Monday, October 7, 2019

Being the Message – Bringing God’s Shalom (Lydia)

Bible References: Acts 16: 11-15; Philippians 1-2

The Message Version:
11-12 Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.
13-14 On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!
15 After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.


Paul had been unable to go anywhere but west to Troas.  In Troas, Paul had a vision where he saw man of Macedonia begging him to come and help them.  So, Paul set out for Macedonia and came to Philippi (Acts 16:6-10)

So, Paul comes to Philippi. He comes to the colony of Philippi – which was a “miniature Rome”.  Philippi was a leading city in the region.  In coming to Philippi, it was the same as if you were coming to Rome.  Paul goes in obedience to the calling by the leading of the Holy Spirit, to be the message and preach the gospel to the people of Macedonia.

As you read Paul’s story in the New Testament, you will find that he usually looks for the community of faith – usually the Jewish Synagogue or believers of Jesus Christ.  And as was his custom, he went on the sabbath where he expected to find a place of prayer (synagogue) near a river.  We’re told that he found a proseuchÄ“, a prayer-house.  Whilst it has not been confirmed whether a synagogue existed at Philippi, it appears that there may not have been enough men to have a synagogue (10 Jewish men were needed to have an established synagogue) Why near a river?  Because part of the synagogue/Jewish religious practice needed ‘living water’ and living water is running water not cistern water.  Cistern water is collected during the wet season and stored.  The river would provide living water for ritual washing as part of their faith practice. Whilst we’re not sure if there was a synagogue, there was a house of prayer and the narrative tells us that women had gathered there.  Paul and Silas begin to speak with them. Interestingly, Paul and Silas meet Lydia.  

What do we know about Lydia?

1. She was a woman. We don’t hear about a husband.

2. She was a business woman – a dealer in purple cloth.  She had independent wealth. 

3. She sold purple cloth.  The significance of this?  Purple could only be worn by royalty and wealthy.  So, she sold expensive cloth to the very wealthy of the region and was wealthy. There were rules about who could wear purple, so she has connections with wealthy and royalty.

4. She was originally from the city of Thyatira.  Thyatira was well-known for purple dye.

5. She was a worshipper of God. Yet she was gentile (non-Jewish by birth).  She has discovered the God of the Jewish people and she had chosen to follow and obey God instead of the multitude of pagan gods and goddesses that were revered across the Roman empire.  The message of bring shalom, God’s peace, had already come to Philippi. There was a Jewish influence in this colony; and this provides Paul and Silas a foundation to speak the message of Jesus. The community of God’s people, although not Christians, must have been putting God on display and this invitation to follow God, brought Lydia to follow God instead of Caesar or one of the multitude of deities.

6. She was mistress of her own home and her house was large enough to accommodate her family and anyone else she wished to invite to stay.  Additionally, the house was large enough to accommodate a gathering of Believers to hold worship.

7.  We learn later that her home became the first church in Philippi. Do you realize that Lydia is also a foundational member of the church in Philippi? [* In some parts of the Roman Empire, women could play prominent roles in their Jewish communities, especially in places where women already had some social freedoms. Ancient inscriptions survive that show a few women were even called leaders of synagogues. Other women were patrons of synagogues and were prominent and influential in their Jewish communities. Lydia may have been a patron of the Jewish community at Philippi. It is likely she became both a patron and a leader of the church in Philippi.]

 Lydia believed the message that Paul preached.  The Lord opened her heart and she believed Paul’s message. She believes the good news.  What is the proof that the kingdom of God has come to Philippi?   Immediately she shows what it means to the be the message.  She wanted to bring peace to those around her and opens her home.  She wants to bring peace (Shalom) to those around her.  She shows hospitality to Paul and Silas. [Lydia “persuades”, or “prevails” upon, Paul to accept her hospitality. The Greek verb used here, parabiazomai, “reflects the Middle-Eastern custom of initially refusing an offer only to have it repeated and accepted on a second or third occasion.” The same verb occurs in Luke 24:29 in a similar context.)] This would have been at great cost to her.  She worships Jesus Christ as Lord instead of Caesar or one of the other well-known and acknowledged deities.

Being a Christian could potentially impact her ability to buy and sell.  Yet Lydia not only believes, but her entire household are baptized and follow the Messiah – Jesus Christ.  Then in response to the peace and freedom she experiences in coming to know Christ, she opens her home to God’s people.

Her witness must have been real because later in the story after Paul and Silas are released from prison, they return to Lydia’s house to see the church before leaving the colony.

When reading the Book of Philippians, note how Paul is thankful, how he encourages the church at Philippi to rejoice. He holds up this group of Christians to the Lord with great affection.

Philippians 1:3-9

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Paul then continues to give them a progress report on what has happened since he left them:

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preaches Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

At the end of Chapter 1 Paul encourages the church at Philippi:

Life Worthy of the Gospel

27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[e] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Paul’s letter must have encouraged this church which was operating in a colony of Rome.  Regardless of their background, the Philippian church was loved by Paul and remembered.  He wrote to encourage them and provide a progress report on what was happening to him.

Philippians is actually an encouraging book. We see Paul’s great love for this church which not only responded to the message of Jesus Christ, but also saw to ensure Paul received practical help whenever they could. 

This church flourished in spite of Caesar worship and the multititude of other deities.  It flourished in spite of difficulties.  Paul calls the believers in Philippi ‘dear friends.  How wonderful it is when we can call each other ‘dear friends’ in the faith.

Does it matter if we are male or female? No.  Throughout the New Testament we read of a number of women – the woman at the well in Samaria, Lydia (Philippi), Mary, Martha, Mary Magdalene (Jerusalem, Bethany), Phoebe (Romans), Priscilla who taught alongside her husband Aquila in Rome. There are others you will find as you read the Bible in both OT and NT.

How do we bring God’s message to a confused, hurting world?  Be the message.  How we live, what we say and how we act matter.  It’s not easy.  Only in the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who set the example for us, can we accomplish this.

Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)

1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (The Msg) Philippians 2:1-4


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Purposes of our Life

Matt 22:37-39

In OT God spoke through His Word and the prophets
In NT God spoke through His Word and the Holy Spirit (now)

1  Worship God  -  Love the Lord your God...worship God Matt 22.37, loving God.  God doesn't just want lip service, but fulfilling these life purposes.

2  Ministry -  Matt 22:39 - loving others.  Love people regardless, even the sand paper people.  

3  Evangelism - Matt 28:19-20 - ethnic groups, make disciples - v19a, Evangelism Individualism has caused so much harm, especially Christians.  How do we go and make disciples?  A disciple is different to a believer.  Satan believes in God.  A disciple is someone who follows Jesus, and has a relationship with Him.  The Holy Spirit is our helper.

4  Fellowship.  Until you taken home as a baby you dont have a family.  Baptism, incorporating people into a family.  A baby becomes part of a family when the mother and father pick the baby and take that child home.  Matt 28:19b  To lead in Church (be a Pastor) the first test is to pass is that you are a father or mother who can lead their children.  Organise your own family, if you can't organise your family, you can't organise the Church.  Check Bible terminology about what leadership terms really are, not 'church' (man made) terms.

5  Matt 28:20  Discipleship.  Older men teach younger men, older women teach younger women.

I am with you always...

God is not into pieces of paper!  Its about relationship.
To celebrate God we have to build relationship with Him each day.

We get inspired by God, and we can inspire.  We are created in the image of God.
Preparation, God will prepare you on how to go about things.

Church exists to demonstrate Gods love    John 13:35  1 John 3:16-23, Rom 12:13
In a family every person is a member, and every person is a minister.  Everyone should feel that they can promote their family. If we treat our 'children'horrible, will they promote that family?  Church.

Every task is worthwhile, important.
Every member is a 10 in some area.
God uses ordinary people!

Not how much we give or gather, but how much we can be involved.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Remembering Baptism: an act of worship

Mark 1 v 9.   Jesus set the example of how we are to live.

Matt 28.19 to 20
Baptism is not somdthing that can save us, it shows we are a believer
 1 John 2 v3
Surely we want to do what God wants for us
There us a way we do it and dont do it
Baptism should illustrate Jesus death and ressurection.
 1 Cor 15:3-5
Baptism is about demonstrating our new life as a Christian. If our life is just the same as before we were a Christian we need to check our life.
 Rom 6.4
Baptism does not make you a  Christian it shows you already believe. Baptism is the outward symbol of commitment you have made in your heart. Baptism is by immersion.
 Matthew 3 v 16
Baptism is not about duty, its about our response to God.
 Jesus' baptism is very powerful, part of Gods way of doing things.

The word baptise means to dip under water, not to dip in or on water.  Greek means to immerse or dip under.  Baptism is not about Pastor or Church.

Are we ready to be pulled apart and put back together better? There is pain it it,  but God makes us over better
Baptism symbolises a burial and a ressurection
 Acts 2.41
Everyone who is a Christian, should be baptised

 We dont sees things happen because we dont do things Gods way. Its not about being right, if we wait until we are right we will never get baptised
 Baptism is a response. If anyone needs to be baptised there is no need to delay

 Acts 8.35 to 38
 You make a statement to the world, its about His will for your life
Become a son or daughter, grow up!  Be part of the family of God, that is the Church!  If someone is annoying you, here is a thought, you are probably annoying them!  Being in church is about being in family. Become a mature person.  Orphans struggle in life.
As a Christian we should not be an orphan, we are called to be part lf Gods family, on earth it is the church.  The place to start is with baptism, Gods way.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Go Back to Where You Come From

 Bible References:  Romans 7; PS 138.8

What is the purpose for our life?
The Lord called out a people to live in the centre of the world. Israel, the people were called to live where the centre of the world;  north and south, east and west and a lot of trade happened
God placed the Jewish people in the land we know as "Israel".

Crossing the Jordon, indicated a whole new start.  Its not about feelings at all.  Ps 138.8  the Lord will accomplish what concerns me, the Lord will accomplish not me!

Matthew 22: 36-39  the greatest commandment, purpose of God in our life.  Matthew 28. 18 to 20

Why do we live this life?  To fulfill the purpose God created you for.  You were Created for a purpose.

Worship is not about going to a service.  Its about living our life cause God wants us to.  God blesses us to bless others.  Worship is not singing a song, its about loving God.  Its not about feelings.
Loving God, letting God transform your mind, you using your freewill.  If you don't allow God to speak to your spirit, Satan will.

As a Christian, God created you to bepart of a family.

“I went out to find a friend and not a friend was there. I went out to be a friend and friends were everywhere.”

Adam and Eve gave authority to Satan.  Jesus gives the authority he took back to his disciples.  To be a disciple, Jesus is our model.
We  choose to allow God to grow us in his character.

Romans 12:1-2  Spiritual act is allowing God to transform the way you think.

Success in life on earth is never final, and failure is never fatal
Keep going in the Lord.  I was created to become more and more like Jesus!

Most people in western world today are disciples of their denomination, we need to become disciples of the Saviour.

When we look at each we have got to see the person created in all the glory (as God sees them).  Reaching out to other people to serve God.  If we keep looking at people and their failures you burn out and get discouraged.  Ministry, is loving others God's way...Matthew 28

Teaching others - evangelism.  Evangelism is about going to the places in our society and confronting society with what is truth
Evangelism is about telling people the truth, i.e.  Jesus!

The church was like Israel, called out to be a different people.
The scriptures teach us the lessons of the past, so we can go forward.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don't be Misled

Colossians 2:18 (GNT)
Do not allow yourselves to be condemned by anyone who claims to be superior because of special visions and who insists on false humility and the worship of angels. For no reason at all, such people are all puffed up by their human way of thinking

Worship God, not a god, not some god.  We need to make sure about where we are going (our faith journey with God) so we are not misled.  Don't follow those who are "religious"in the way of burning candles bowing to idols/statues etc.  God tells us we are not make carved images for ourselves.  Don't serve things ( e.g. new motor car, money, house etc)  These things are resources for you to use.

Always remember to forgive one another, we are not our brothers (or sisters) judge.  Give all to God - He will bring those who hurt us to account.

Bible References:  Rev 21:8; Col 2:18; 2 Kings 17:14 (v7-23)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Day of Rest

Bible References:  Hebrews 3:7-4:7

·         Read God’s Word
·         Enter God’s Rest

Be very careful not to fall away or harden your heart in your daily journey through life and living out your Christian faith.  Many Churches run ‘entertainments’ but these things don’t bring belief /faith to people.
Deut. 6:20-25

Our first purpose in life is to Worship God.  How do we keep the laws of God today?  Through Jesus Christ.  God has called us out through Jesus Christ.  He calls us through grace.  Worship= celebrating God’s presence in our life and giving Him honour, love and ourselves.

Deut. 7:1-5; 1 Peter 2:9-10
Remove the things from your life that drag you down, people who turn you away from God; places and situations that cause you to stumble.
Remember your position in God.  We are a kingdom of Priests (a bridge builder) a holy nation, under our Great High Priest (Jesus Christ).

Deut. 14:1-2
Christians are to be distinctive and separate.  This does not mean we ‘holy huddle’. It means we live so people see Christ and want to know Him.
Deut. 26:16-19
Marriage.  A symbol of the relationship between God and His people.  A husband and wife are to be totally devoted in marriage. God is totally devoted to His people.  Likewise we should be totally devoted to God.  God is faithful to His promises.  God always loves us.  He promises He will always love us. 
James 4:8; Phil 4:19; 1 Peter 5:6
This is the day of rest.  Accept the rest God wants for us.  The Sabbath was made for man to spend time with God and refresh.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Life of Abram - being in covenant with God

Bible References:  1 Peter 2:9; Genesis 15; Deut 33:27-29; Ps 84:11; Rom 4:17-22; Rom 4:4; Romans 4:17; Genesis 15:12(Refer to TCC website post: )

If we done serve God we will see a spiritual connection somewhere else.  We will have a 'priest'of some kind.  As spiritual beings we need spiritual leaders.  God established Israel and He established the spiritual leadership that would imitate God's voice and teachings (Levites).God wants us to fulfill five (5) purposes in life:worship, belong to family of God (through being born again and baptism) (This is not belonging to a denomination), Discipleship (being transformed), Evangelism (tell the world about God), Mission (what God wants you to do)
We need to have a reverence for God  - fear (not being afraid, but a real deep resepect) Him.  A Priest is a bridge builder.  We are priests - we are bridge builders for people to seek God.  Abram in Genesis Chapter 15 became afraid and God took him outside, showed him the stars, made a promise to him and told him some things.  He then had Abram prepare to seal a special covenant between them (Gen 15). The Lord showed Abram (and us): that He is our shield (Ps 84:11), The Lord is our provision, God is able to create life - God does the creation, not Man (promised son), God promised Abram a land and then 'signed'the covernant.Abram knew he couldn't keep the covenant, only God could.  If this covenant  (  A binding agreement) was broken then God would have to make the covenant good by dying, spilling his blood.  That's what Jesus Christ fulfills - the covenant broken by Israel.  It means that we can't fix our problems, God has done it all.  We can't.  We have a future and a hope and eternal life as God's children (heirs) because Jesus Christ fulfilled the covenant promise that if either side failed to keep the covenant one of them would have to die.  We a deep fear (terror) fell on Abram regarding the sealing of this covenant, God comes.  He walks the sealing of the covenant alone.  God is our shield, our righteousness.  God takes all of us, good and bad.  He keeps the sealed covenant because He loves the world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Not About You

It's not about You.

Tough statement.  I have witnessed seeing in a Bible Study one person open PDL, read that statement and then shut the book and put it down. 

In giving glory to God's name, the purpose of your life is greater than your personal fulfillment.  If you want to know why you were placed on this planet at this time then it begins with God.

  • puzzled?
  • glory of God
  • What will You live for?

The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people since the fall of mankind.  Why is it a puzzle.  We start from the wrong starting point.  We focus on ourselves in stead of focusing on the life purpose God has for us.

The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the Glory of God.  What is the glory of God?  It is WHO God is.  The essence of His nature; atmosphere of His presence; expression of His good and all of His other qualities.

Living for God's glory in our greatest accomplishment.  God's glory is best seen in Jesus Christ.

What is worship?  It is celebrating God's presence in our lives.  It is enjoying Him, motivated by love, thanksgiving, but not duty.  Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God in all we do. 

The Church is commanded  to love one another.  We bring glory to God by serving others. (1 Peter 4:10-11).  We bring glory to God by telling others about him.  Introduce then to Jesus.

What will you live for?  You?  God?
This is the choice you need to make.  Will you live to see glory given to God?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Reading:  Zechariah 4:3-7; 2 Peter 3:8;1 King 11:1-13

We have a real enemy - Satan.  He tries to trick us into thinking we can live our Christian walk and also live in the world, and keep them separate.  But we can't.  No where are we told this in God's Word.  It's a lie.
Everypart of our lives must express our devotion and love of God and following Him in every part of our lives.  Another lie is that our education, skills, talents and thinking will help us overcome any task - using our own strength.  This isn't true.  You can't live out your calling without God's help.  Zechariah 4:6

Life lesson:  Solomon - a little compromise can lead to complete ruin. 1 kings 11:1-13

"I'm coming back to the heart of worship, and it's all about You, It's all about You, Lord.
I'm sorry for the thing I've made it when it's all about You, all about You Jesus."
(M Reedman)

The Holy Spirit changing our hearts

  Ultimately, we know that the final son of Abraham and Sarah is who blesses all nations and that is Jesus. And Jesus gives us a sign bett...