Archive for February, 2013

God is harsh but merciful.

Does anyone remember this movie scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark?


It shows the horror of opening up the ark of the Lord or the Ark of the Covenant and the resulting destruction. There is an element of truth to this wild story.

The Ark of the Lord was a real piece of furniture that was kept in the place of worship the Israelites had in ancient times. Moses was the leader and he received from God the ten commandments written on stone.

The Ten Commandments were:


Exo 20:3-17

When God gave the law to Moses, the penalties for breaking the law were harsh.

Lev 24:16  And he who blasphemes the Name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him; the stranger as well as he who was born in the land shall be put to death when he blasphemes the Name [of the Lord].

Lev_20:9  Everyone who curses his father or mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or mother; his bloodguilt is upon him.

Lev_20:10  The man who commits adultery with another’s wife, even his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. [John 8:4-11.]

Lev 24:17  And he who kills any man shall surely be put to death.

Or what about this one..

Num_1:51  When the tabernacle is to go forward, the Levites shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up. And the excluded [any not of the tribe of Levi] who approach the tabernacle shall be put to death.

One time the Israelites were moving the ark from one place to another when…

2Sa_6:6  And when they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled and shook it.

2Sa_6:7  And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for touching the ark, and he died there by the ark of God.

The laws God gave to his people were to be obeyed and if you didn’t obey then the result was often death. God told Moses, Exo_25:16  And you shall put inside the ark the Testimony [the Ten Commandments] which I will give you.

On the top of the ark was a gold statue of two angels called the mercy seat. Inside the ark God said place the tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments.

ark-of-the-covenant The mercy seat was the lid of the box called the Ark of the Covenant. The lid was made of one piece of pure gold beaten into shape including the two angels.

Every year Blood would be sprinkled on the top of the lid between the angels. The place where the blood was sprinkled was called the mercy seat. When God looked down from heaven he saw the blood covering the law which was inside the box called the Ark of the Covenant. God’s power presence and glory shone out from this place called the mercy seat.

When you take away the lid of the ark, you take away the Mercy Seat, you take away the blood that was on the mercy seat that shielded the harshness of the law. The high priest NEVER opened the Ark of the Covenant after the initial set up.

In the New Testament is says that Jesus has become our mercy seat.

Rom 3:25  Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. (AMP)

God’s law still stands. The penalty for breaking the law is still harsh…

Rom 6:23  For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

The only thing standing between you and the Law is the blood of Jesus. It shields and protects you from the harshness and penalty of death that you and I so rightfully deserve. If you believe in Jesus – His blood is a cleansing and atonement for your sins.

Rom_5:9  Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.

We must never lift the lid on the Ark of the Covenant – we must never take away the blood of Jesus from over the law, we must never stop trusting in the blood of Jesus to save us from the penalty of the law. The only way to have the blood of Jesus shield you from the harshness of the penalty of disobeying the law is to have faith in Christ – faith in His blood.

Rom 3:28  For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands. (GNB)

Read Full Post »

Sunday 17th February 2013 PMchurch

This month we are helping people to find where they fit in the plan God has for their lives. You are a very important part of God’s plan for Melbourne. God has gifted you and called you for a very important task so that His plan can be fulfilled completely.

Maybe you are gifted by God to really impact your own school or your Uni?

Maybe it’s at your workplace that you will make a real difference.

Eph 1:8  He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need,

Eph 1:9  letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ,

Eph 1:10  a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

Eph 1:11  It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living,

Eph 1:12  part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.


Do you know what God wants you to do for Him?

The best way to find out is to ask Him!

The Holy Spirit is God at work in you to show you His plan and equip you to do it.


When I received Jesus as my saviour I began to attend church Sunday nights. Soon we were invited to a new Christian’s dinner. We the staff heard that Chris was a trainee Teacher they were very excited and asked her to come on Sunday mornings and teach kids in Sunday School. They said, “You can come along too Craig.”  Chris and I taught new comers. We would share with them about Jesus from a wordless book.


I remember the first time I led about 5 boys to Christ in the class, I just about exploded with joy! Why was that so exciting? I used to get drunk for kicks and organise student parties for the uni students. Something changed in me – the Holy Spirit working in me to touch others lives was exhilarating!


In the youth group we were in we used to meet on Friday nights and then go out into the city to witness to people. Sometimes the praise and worship would last an hour or more. There were some occasions when we sang in worship to God for an hour and it seemed like a bout 5 minutes had gone past. The Holy Spirit just captivated our hearts and minds in worship and Jesus seemed so real, so close and so powerful.


When I got water baptised. The pastors prayed for me and asked the Holy Spirit to fill me. I didn’t know what to expect, but I really wanted the gift of tongues. Nothing happened, and I went home a bit disappointed. So for three weeks I was praying to God for the gift of tongues. One Wednesday night at church we had teaching and during a time of loud praise and worship I was just so thirsty for God I cried out to Him and said, “Please fill me with the Holy Spirit God, and give me the gift of tongues or I am going to die!” A great rush of life and power hit me and out of my mouth flooded a torrent of language. It was real and powerful and obvious.


After we had been serving for about two years I was asked to lead a teens group which we called Youth Alive. The people who were taking on the youth and the people who were leaving the teens program as leaders all got prayed for and hands were laid on them. For what ever reason, I was overlooked. I decided it wasn’t anyone’s fault but God was still available, so after the church service (it was at a youth Camp) I went back to the church meeting room after lights out and just waited on God for a couple of hours. God visited me by His Holy Spirit. I felt an amazing peace flood over me and a real sense of God’s power overshadowing me. I believe God equipped me and empowered me for the new role of leading the teens church.


The Holy Spirit wants to fill you and empower you for His work He does through you.


I know that when people lay hands on you Gods’ power flows through you.

Many many times I have been prayed for and the power of God is so strong and tangible that I can’t stand up. I end up on the floor and experience peace, joy and a marvellous sense of victory.

um 11:16  And the Lord said to Moses, Gather for Me seventy men of the elders of Israel whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; and bring them to the Tent of Meeting and let them stand there with you.

Num 11:17  And I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take of the Spirit which is upon you and will put It upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not have to bear it yourself alone.

1Ti_4:14  Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination].

I have had the great honour of receiving prayer form some truly great men of God. One of these was Lester Sumrall who was prayed for and anointed by Smith Wigglesworth in his early ministry.

When we started this church, it was a special time of God’s moving and people were getting drunk in the Holy Spirit, seeing visions and experiencing what is called Holy laughter. Teenagers in this church saw visions of angels, of heaven and even of hell right in the meetings. Some people received prayer and were laid out on the carpet for two hours or more.

The Holy Spirit does things that may seem strange to us when we see it. Like in the book of Acts, when the disciples heard a rushing mighty wind and saw tongues of fire upon their heads.

He is not limited to worldly reason. He works in peoples lives to convict them of sin, to heal and set them free and to equip and empower them for ministry.

The Holy Spirit wants to work in your life and fill you with power and equip you to serve Jesus in ministry. You’re never too young in age or in years of experience.

Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

Come and receive all that God has for you.

Read Full Post »

Sunday 17 February 2013 AMhands

The Anointing service


Have you discovered your God given place in God’s incredible plan?

Eph 1:4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

John spoke about God’s call to Moses to serve the people of Israel. Moses was so reluctant. I can’t speak he said, I’m not equipped; I feel like a failure, I’m only a shepherd, can’t someone else do it?

Sound familiar? We all feel like that at times. We may be reluctant, but God has an important task for us to accomplish for His plan.  This month we are helping as many as possible to find their place in His plan.

Last week we spoke about servanthood. Jesus gave us the most magnificent example of servanthood one could imagine. His Spirit and love now reside within us and we have this same passion to love others and serve them for the Kingdom of God producing fruit that will last for all eternity.

The most important way we serve God.

Essentially the call of God on your life is a call to be with Him. It’s the call to daily take up the cross and live this life of walking day by day with Jesus. It’s a call to love people. It’s a call to lay down our life for others. It’s a call to prayer and it’s a call to share the gospel with as many people as possible. What ever role or task you fulfil in the local church is secondary to your primary role of walking with Jesus and winning lost people.

The story of Acts 6.

In the first few weeks of the early church there was rapid growth and a need to gain the help of new members to assist in the smooth running of important tasks.

Act 6:1  NOW ABOUT this time, when the number of the disciples was greatly increasing, complaint was made by the Hellenists (the Greek-speaking Jews) against the [native] Hebrews because their widows were being overlooked and neglected in the daily ministration (distribution of relief).

Act 6:2  So the Twelve [apostles] convened the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not seemly or desirable or right that we should have to give up or neglect [preaching] the Word of God in order to attend to serving at tables and superintending the distribution of food.

Act 6:3  Therefore select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the [Holy] Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty.

Act 6:4  But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.

Act 6:5  And the suggestion pleased the whole assembly, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith (a strong and welcome belief that Jesus is the Messiah) and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte (convert) from Antioch.

Act 6:6  These they presented to the apostles, who after prayer laid their hands on them.

Act 6:7  And the message of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; and [besides] a large number of the priests were obedient to the faith [in Jesus as the Messiah, through Whom is obtained eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].

This story is exciting for many reasons

  1. The new converts found a place of serving and significance
  2. The Church was empowered to grow more than ever
  3. The apostles were enabled to remain focussed on the task God had called them to which was the prayer and the ministry of the word.

This morning we want to recognise and set apart for the work of the ministry those people in this local church who are volunteering for roles of service in this church.

What happens when we lay hands on you?

1. By the laying on of hands you receive the gift of God.

1Ti_4:14  Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination].

2Ti_1:6  That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].

2. By the laying on of hands you are committed to the Lord.

Act_14:23  And when they had appointed and ordained elders for them in each church with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in Whom they had come to believe [being full of joyful trust that He is the Christ, the Messiah].

3. By the laying on of hands you are commissioned and released.

Act_15:22  Then the apostles and the elders, together with the whole church, resolved to select men from among their number and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, [both] leading men among the brethren, and sent them.

The anointing with oil which represents the Holy Spirit was an important part of Gods selection, setting apart and equipping of leadership in the Old Testament times and now in the early church, oil was again used as a vehicle of prayer and power from the Holy Spirit.

Heb 13:20  Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), [Isa. 55:3; 63:11; Ezek. 37:26; Zech. 9:11.]

Heb 13:21  Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).


1. How do you picture the Holy Spirit?

2. How do you talk to the Holy Spirit in Prayer?

3. What are some of the things the Holy Spirit wants to do to help us live for Jesus?

4. Do you wait on the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you power?

5.  How can He help you in your current role of serving God?

Read Full Post »


 It’s the darkest night in Jesus short earthly life; for once He is all alone. He prays to the Father, “Let this cup pass from me; never the less not My will but yours be done.”

In this moment of decision, pain and dread the master chooses to die for others. The immense pressure of the decision and all that it entails weigh heavily upon His soul. So much is the pressure that great drops of blood ooze from the pores of His furrowed brow.

Php 2:5  Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]

Php 2:6  Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,

Php 2:7  But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. (AMP)

Have you found you calling?

Have you found your reason d’être?

Your highest purpose in life is that for which God has called you.

Straight away our minds go to the stage of successful acclaim as we wow the audience of life. But God has called us to serve. The old ways of seeking recognition and significance make us dream of prominence and lives that make the entry in of Who’s Who in the tabloids of church history. But God calls us to obscurity, to secret tasks, to unrewarded and unrecognised mission, to servanthood and to death.

Death to selfish ambition, death to control, death to the strokes of praise that come from the lips of well meaning others.




Or will that place go empty, the picture spoiled by the absence of the one piece that didn’t make it to the perfect place?

What passion drove Jesus to complete His calling, His mission? Such a love for you!

Consider this love. This love that now resides within you. You are now the vessel of His unending love. You are the hands, the feet, the face of Jesus in this world.

To love not merely those who love you, but the unlovable. To serve, not merely the noble and deserving, but the ignoble, ungrateful and rude, who we once were.

We take courage, empowered by the example Jesus set for us.

We are spurred on by the inspiration Jesus gives us in His selfless life.

We are bold to obey the calling given to us because this is the highest calling to be the lowest of all.

How will you serve Jesus? What is it that you are gifted to do for God? Consider how your life is formed and fashioned as a vessel in His hands.

There are forces that will try and stop you serving God.

Even Jesus experienced such opposition to His calling…..

Mat 16:21  From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised from death.

Mat 16:22  Then Peter took Him aside to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You!

Mat 16:23  But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.

Do well meaning friends deter you from serving God in the church and in the community?

Luk 8:19  Then Jesus’ mother and His brothers came along toward Him, but they could not get to Him because of the crowd.

Luk 8:20  And it was told Him, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to have an interview with You.

Luk 8:21  But He answered them, My mother and My brothers are those who listen to the Word of God and do it!

Are you offended at the idea that kingdom comes before blood?

You were born for greater things than just worldly success. You were designed by God for a purpose that has eternal significance.

Eph 1:4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

You are unique, gifted by God and designed for purpose. This purpose has power and significance when working in concert with the body of Christ.

1Co 12:27  Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function].

If you’re not sure of your right place or calling, begin to serve anywhere and you will discover what you are good at and where you function best.

We have a gift questionnaire that will help you discover what you are gifted for and called to in God’s work. Please take one home and complete it and bring it back next Sunday. We will be happy to sit down with you and discuss how you can serve and make a difference with your gifts and abilities.

Consider serving in the church and also more importantly serving outside the church, that is, serving in the community, serving in some way that reaches lost people.

Chose where you will serve this year.

Fill in this opportunity questionnaire. We need lots of new workers.

You were born for greater.


It’s part of your walk with Jesus, your development that you embrace servanthood and become His servant more and more.

Rom 6:20-22 (Jer) When you were slaves to sin, you felt no obligation to righteousness, and what did you get from this? Nothing but experiences that now make you blush, since that sort of behavior ends in death. Now, however, you have been set free from sin, you have been made slaves of God, and you get a reward leading to your sanctification and ending in eternal life.

1 Pet 2:16 (NIV) Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

 Mat 24:45-47 (NIV) “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.”

Next week we will be praying for and anointing with oil each person who is serving God in and through this church. We will be teaching about the power of the Holy Spirit to equip you for His purpose.


1. Describe the servant aspect of Jesus death on the cross

2. What does Paul mean when he says in Phill 2:5 – Let this mind be in you?

3.  How can someone find out what they are good at in serving in God’s Kingdom?

4. What is the one way to figure out where to serve in the local church?

5. What is the difference between serving inside the church and serving outside the church?

Read Full Post »


You’re not meant to do this journey alone.

Ecc 4:8  Here is one alone–no one with him; he neither has child nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labor, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, neither does he ask, For whom do I labor and deprive myself of good? This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility); yes, it is a painful effort and an unhappy business. [Prov. 27:20; I John 2:16.]

Ecc 4:9  Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor;

Ecc 4:10  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Ecc 4:11  Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?

Ecc 4:12  And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.


 Adam – Your help meet

Gen_2:18  Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.

Moses – Jethro

Exo_18:14  When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, What is this that you do for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?


Paul – Barnabas

Act_4:36  Now Joseph, a Levite and native of Cyprus who was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles, which interpreted means Son of Encouragement,

Act 9:26  And when he had arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to associate himself with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe he really was a disciple.

Act 9:27  However, Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and he explained to them how along the way he had seen the Lord, Who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached freely and confidently and courageously in the name of Jesus.

Act 9:28  So he went in and out [as one] among them at Jerusalem,

Act_11:30  And so they did, sending [their contributions] to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

Act_13:9  But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit, looked steadily at [Elymas]

Act_13:43  And when the congregation of the synagogue dispersed, many of the Jews and the devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked to them and urged them to continue [to trust themselves to and to stand fast] in the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God.

Paul and Titus A GREEK

2Co_7:6  But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus.  – REFRESH YOUR SPIRIT

2Co_8:16  But thanks be to God Who planted the same earnest zeal and care for you in the heart of Titus.  – SAME HEART

2Co 8:23  As for Titus, he is my colleague and shares my work in your service; and as for the [other two] brethren, they are the [special] messengers of the churches, a credit and glory to Christ (the Messiah).  – SHARES YOUR WORK


My Coaches:

Graham Hill – I learned who I was and how to balance my ministry life and family life

Gary Hourigan – I learned how to manage my time weel and assess all the parts of church life that need to attended to.

David Schaeffer – I learned ho to raise leaders and build a leadership empowering environment

Peter Pilt – called me out on the hard questions and made me face what I believe about faith and the big questions.


Pro 27:17  Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other. (CEV)

If your motto is me and God – we can do it. Maybe you need to rethink that one.

Pro 18:1  HE WHO wilfully separates and estranges himself seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.


  • Visit with Ross and me in March (SKYPE)  THE CARAVAN OF COURAGE – We will talk through what are your measureables, where do you want to be in two years time?
  1. Mentoring Network – July


4-5            Global Care National Conference –

10             PUBLIC HOLIDAY – Queens B’Day

22             Pastors Mentor Network – Mooroopna – TBC

28             School finishes – Holidays start

29             Pastors Mentor Network – Melbourne – TBC



15             School Starts

20             Pastors Mentor Network – Traralgon – TBC

27             Pastors Mentor Network – Geelong – TBC


Goal will be to dialogue with other pastors through your measureables and what is working for you and what you have learned.


What does that look like?

LN Rapid Growth Results – 4 minutes



Read Full Post »