Archive for March, 2014

LOVE ANOTHER  5PMonline dating



Proverbs 18:22 The Message (MSG) – Find a good spouse, you find a good life —
and even more: the favour of God!

Dating websites abound. Figures released last week from Fairfax-owned RSVP’s annual Date of the Nation report show Australians have reached a tipping point – 51 per cent of us have tried finding love online or would consider it a viable match-making option. While not a direct comparison, the same report in 2010 showed that just 25 per cent of Australians had used online dating. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/online-dating-the-marriage-maker-20130709-2pmv0.html#ixzz2xPlp7MAu

What is the reason? People find it hard to find a friend because they don’t know who’s looking and they hate rejection. Perhaps the stigma attached to it has largely gone, with the surge due to our increasingly time-poor, technology-driven lives and the fact online dating is now an accepted part of popular culture. Now we are over the 50 per cent mark, it’s really suggesting it’s becoming commonplace.

The upside. Quality websites that have a good reputation do personality matching. You have a much higher chance of meeting someone that firstly wants a relationship and secondly is more suited to you. American survey released last month of 19,000 people, which showed those who met their partners online were happier and less likely to divorce.

The downside. It’s only works if the person has been honest. You can meet someone who takes you down. If you’re easily influenced then it’s dangerous for you. When you go online with your personal details, there is only a 1 in 6 chance a man will respond to a woman’s message regardless of her age. [44]; however the average man has only a 1 in 25 chance a woman will respond to his message on a dating site. [44]; and 54% of dating site users have found someone who has misrepresented themselves in their dating profile. [49]

Long distance relationships. What if Mr. Right lives in Bolivia? If Miss Right lives in California?

It can be very expensive.

The stats are on your side if you use a reputable website and you are prepared to stick at it and meet a few people.


Love is dangerous on the net when:

  1. You are looking for relationship and you meet a predator.  Recently a world-wide porn ring was busted and some victims were Australia teens. http://www.echo.net.au/2014/03/aust-victims-massive-us-child-porn-ring/
  2. Pornography gets a grip on you. The stats for porn use among teens and adults in Australia is high and rising. Strangely the porn use addiction is much worse among Christians than among non Christians. The Christian psychologist and internationally known speaker Robi Sonderegger reports that studies on the human brain show that addictions are harder to break when the victim suffers shame and guilt. The non- Christian may actually believe there’s nothing wrong with watching porn as long they keep it under control. However very authentic Christian believer knows the word of God has string warnings against un cleanses and sexual immorality. This means that once the Christian crosses the line in temptation,the guilt and shame that kicks in almost guarantees that the victim will go back to those prohibited images. http://phot-o-live.livejournal.com/83819.html
  3. Bullying takes away love. When your communications on line are not building you up – take decisive action. The bully hides behind a made up identity or they may be a real person but they hide behind a remote screen where they think what they says is funny or makes them feel bigger. When you get bullied, do this…
    1. Tell someone, show someone the comment. Never walk through this alone.
    2. Record the comment.
    3. Warn the bully, it’s not appropriate, if it continues you will take action.
    4. If it continues, unfriend, block, and remove the link in what ever way you can.
    5. If they continue someway, call the local police and report the bullying and show the recordings you have (screenshots etc)



When sharing love the best way to get a read on someone is face to face, then phone call, then written. What you see written online has potential to be misread. A text or Facebook comment does not contain facial expression, body language, or tone of voice. That means that when you share your love and friendship online it needs to be very clear.

Dont just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:9, 10 NLT)

If you’re going to vent, never make it personal. You can say you’re ticked with the MYKI system but not with an individual.   Why are people sometimes so rude online? The Wall Street Journal shows some research about it here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444592404578030351784405148

We’re less inhibited online because we don’t have to see the reaction of the person we’re addressing, says Sherry Turkle, psychologist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of the social studies of science and technology. Because it’s harder to see and focus on what we have in common, we tend to dehumanize each other, she says.

Astoundingly, Dr. Turkle says, many people still forget that they’re speaking out loud when they communicate online.

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This month our theme of Love Another is a powerful encouragement to turn our love loose on one another in the same manner that Jesus loves us. We determine to love the brothers and sisters that God has placed us with. You can’t choose your relatives in the natural sense and neither can you in the spiritual sense. God places us together. Any reluctance to love a certain annoying brother or sister reveals the tendency in us to fail to see ourselves as we are. It’s not all about you! As a church we are continuously others focussed.

Today we are focussing on words of love.

How would you like to help create such a powerful atmosphere of love and encouragement that whenever members of this church gather together on Friday night, Sunday or in Urban Connect Groups that people always leave feeling uplifted, inspired and loved? Do you realise you are all ministers of the Spirit? You are creating the culture and atmosphere of this local church by what you say and do when gathered together? Our words can be uplifting or they can be hurtful. Being sensitive to others is part of love, realising how people hear or receive what you say is important also. As Australians we are good at sarcasm, but it only works when trust is high.


A red head is called – “Bluey”

A really tall bloke can be referred to as “Shorty”

A big overweight bloke as “Tiny”

If you’re going to use this kind of approach with people, only do it when you have built up a deep trusting friendship first.

There is a powerful tool we have at our disposal. The words of our mouth. Let’s look at James 3:1-12

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.[b]

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.[c]  (NLT)

Your words are very powerful! Love another means being kind with your words. With our words we can bless another. Ephesians 4:29-31 trains us in the way we speak to one another:

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).

31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).(AMP)

Do you know the power of your words? When you criticise attack and vilify another person when they are not there, you are speaking words into the air, there’s passion behind them and that constitutes prayer of the most destructive kind.


Your words are not just sound waves but they have spiritual effect! John 6:63 teaches us that: It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life. (AMP)

So your words are powerful and have spiritual impact. When we curse or talk negatively about one another we make room for demonic forces to attack and hinder God’s people.  Look at this unusual verse in Ecclesiastes 10:20

Curse not the king, no, not even in your thoughts, and curse not the rich in your bedchamber, for a bird of the air will carry the voice, and a winged creature will tell the matter.(AMP)

Loving another is more than just not gossiping or not talking negatively; it’s speaking words of life over them. It means speaking words of encouragement to people and also about them to others when they are not there.


The best way to let your words be loving and up-building is to pray for your brothers and sisters. Your prayers are very powerful. In our local church often members are asking for prayer through Facebook or by calling the church or me or John personally. We send out prayer requests on email or if it’s not sensitive in nature on Facebook at the church group page and people begin to pray. Often there is a positive result.

James 5:16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].(AMP)

Often Paul asks for prayer, and it’s not only the leaders that need prayer, we all do. This is especially the work of our small groups called Urban Connect groups. When your part of an UC group your fellow members will be praying for you. UC leaders I ask that you pray for your members regularly, every day if possible. Listen to Paul’s requests:

1 Thess 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.

2 Thess 3:1 Furthermore, brethren, do pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may speed on (spread rapidly and run its course) and be glorified (extolled) and triumph, even as [it has done] with you,(AMP)

Heb 13:18 Keep praying for us, for we are convinced that we have a good (clear) conscience, that we want to walk uprightly and live a noble life, acting honorably and in complete honesty in all things.(AMP)

When you love people, you pray for them. How do you pray for another.

  1. Pray for blessing, grace and favour; for God’s mercy to be poured out on them.
  2. Pray the Lord’s will be done. (Luke 11:2 When you pray, say: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Your will be done [held holy and revered] on earth as it is in heaven.)
  3. Specifically for their prayer request, calling to remembrance the scriptures that promise answers.

Don’t pray against anyone, all men are precious to God, pray and bind demonic forces. Matt 16:19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[d] in heaven.(ESV)

Famous Korean Pastor Dr. Yonghi Cho was preaching on prayer once and remarked how he was so upset with his deacons that he wanted to pray – “Dear God, Please give them a heart attack!” Try to avoid prayers like that one. A really powerful way to pray for others is to ask for God’s mercy to be poured out on them.

KIDS PRAYERS – They are so honest with their prayers.

Dear God, I went to this wedding and they were kissing right there in church. Is that OK?
Dear God, thank You for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.
Dear God, it must be super hard to love all the people in the world, especially my brother. I don’t know how You do it.
Dear God, Did you mean for a Giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?                                                                                                                 Dear God, I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying.                                                                                                                               Dear God, If you give me a genie lamp, like Aladdin, I will give you anything you want, except my money or my chess set.                     Dear God, If you watch in church on Sunday I’ll show you my new shoes.

Make room in your prayer life to pray for your brothers and sisters in your own local church regularly. As you pray for one another, you are exercising love. AS God answers these prayers, blessings flow and the church edifies itself growing up I love.


Keep your words to one another sweet and encouraging. Don’t speak negatively about one another behind their backs. Make a habit to pray for others.


1. How would you define gossip?

2. Why is gossip destructive?

3. What should your response be when someone speaks negatively about another brother or sister to you?

4.  How do you feel when you know others are praying for you?

5. How can you make room in your life to pray for others?

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What a great year it is this year as we journey through the theme of LOVE. A whole year of unpacking the subject of love in 12 different sub-themes.

This month’s theme of “Love Another” is one of the key love themes for the year. When we love one another as Christ loved us, we demonstrate that we are His disciples. This is much more powerful than we realise! If unbelievers have any criticism of church folk at all, what is it that they most commonly say?

  1. They are all hypocrites
  2. All they do is fight among themselves.

Jesus shows us the example of loving another, whether that person is a Christian or not. We are called to love the brethren, love those who are lost and far from God, and even to love our enemies! Is there anyone left? However, the real power to change the world is how we treat each other within the church because this has the greatest power to demonstrate the reality of Jesus and His truth about eternal life.

Wouldn’t you love to be part of a church that reaches many lost people? I know you have a heart for the lost. I want to show you how that can happen today.

This is one of the key factors that led to my own conversion at the age of 20. To see the Christians really loving each other unconditionally in the church really stood out to me as being so very different from the world; and I gave my life to Christ.

Let’s look carefully at this verse together:

John 13:33-35

33 [Dear] little children, I am to be with you only a little longer. You will look for Me and, as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: you are not able to come where I am going.

34 I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.

35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].

The context here is that Jesus is about to depart (He went to the cross the next day) so His words take on amplified importance as summing up those very important messages to remember before He goes. Jesus says it’s a new Commandment – but how is it new? When Leviticus 19:18 says You shall not take revenge or bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord. Matthew Henry explains it like this: “it was the second great commandment of the law of Moses; yet, because it is also one of the great commandments of the New Testament, of Christ the new Lawgiver, it is called a new commandment; it is like an old book in a new edition corrected and enlarged. This commandment has been so corrupted by the traditions of the Jewish religion that when Christ revived it, and set it in a true light, it might well be called a new commandment.”

This new commandment is a refreshed and renewed and reinstated commandment, that was to be applied with renewed purpose to your brethren as being apart from, and distinct from, your neighbour (as in the story of the good Samaritan where Jesus clearly said the neighbour was anyone who was close by to you whether of your own kind of people or not). The point Jesus clearly wanted to make in John 13:35 was our love for one another is a key factor in the spreading of the Gospel. So here’s our incentive to win the lost, perfect the practice of loving one another in church.

When the love of God has come into your life and radically changed you; you are full of that love. There is plenty to go around and you can love your brothers and sisters no matter what obstacles might be in the way. The evidence of changed lives is that we love one another. Of the myriad of fallen human attitudes that might be evident in people, the Love of God overwhelms these in the truly converted believer. The light goes on and the revelation of who we are as fallen creatures, and in need of forgiveness, overwhelms our prideful disposition and we see all God’s people as trophies of His grace and marvel at the wonder of God, instead of the prideful view of seeing ourselves better than someone else.

To be clear – it’s an evidence that you are saved when you love the brethren. Loving people is easy when you’ve been filled with His love. Salvation opens our eyes with humility to see each other as precious to God.

One of the great obstacles to loving each other is comparing. When we compare ourselves with others we make a grave error that holds back our Christian growth.

Look at his verse with me: 2 Cor 10:12 Not that we [have the audacity to] venture to class or [even to] compare ourselves with some who exalt and furnish testimonials for themselves! However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely. (AMP)

When we look at another Christian there is often an overwhelming temptation to judge and assess them in comparison to ourselves. We surreptitiously look them up and down and draw conclusions based on flimsy evidence that they are better or worse than us.  Jesus covers this idea when He says: Luke 6:41-42 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye but do not notice or consider the beam [of timber] that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You actor (pretender, hypocrite)! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

The fault of the man with the beam in his eye is that he has not examined himself before examines another. This is obvious only to the other and not to himself. Jesus calls this person a hypocrite – one who pretends to be something they are not. Love accepts people as they are and when that becomes difficult, we are very careful to check ourselves out first before we go and help someone else see where they need to change. Remember advice unsolicited is seldom taken.

Comparing is unhelpful in two ways, looking down on someone or looking up.

Comparing ourselves to another by looking down on them is not love. We are caught in the web of pride, and we can’t see the reality of who we are, next to God, a person who has many faults. Look with me at Galatians 6:2-5                                                                    2 Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it].

3 For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.

4 But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.

5 For every person will have to bear (be equal to understanding and calmly receive) his own [little] load [of oppressive faults].(AMP)

How then should we treat a person who is vastly annoying or has sinned and created a problem for us? Galatians 6:1 answers us this way: Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.(AMP)

The idea comes through again here that we keep an eye on ourselves right through the whole process – that’s humility. The practice of judging another is condemned by Jesus in Matt 7:1 Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.

2 For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.(AMP)

As one becomes more and more mature, the gift of discernment carries no condemnation with it, but an ability to see beyond the surface and understand the spiritual realities behind the façade in a persons’ life. The outcome of that discernment is always for the betterment of the person being ministered to. Check out this verse; 1 Cor 2:15  But the spiritual man tries all things [he [a]examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him].(AMP)

Comparing up can be just as dangerous for a Christian. When we observe another who is blessed – do we envy? When observe someone who is successful in their walk of faith do we compare our own results and put ourselves down? This is a common trap for pastors who sometimes get their self-worth from the size of their church. Am I a failure if I don’t have a church the size of so and so’s church?  As a believer, if everyone in church seems to be doing so much better than you, do you put yourself down, curse yourself and want to give up? Or do you recognise each one has their own call and journey with God and that we will all be judged on what Jesus called us to do as individuals not what He called someone else to do. Remember some people have to climb a ladder to reach the bottom!

When interacting with your brother or sister, get to know their story. You will most likely take on a real appreciation for them and see them in a different light. This is so much the case in Urban Connect groups. Let me tell you about Anna, who attended our church many years ago. An older lady who was born in Hungary. She had some broken relationships and tough times but she deeply loved God. When she told us her story of being a young girl in her home at the end of WWII and German soldiers coming in and raping her sister. She took the gun of one soldier and shot and killed him. Some people live through very dark times, and we take on a new appreciation for them as having survived and found Christ and now living what we think is a fairly normal life.

Let me tell you about Jimmy. He came to a John Mellor meeting in our church and was quite strange in how he spoke and interacted with people. It seemed a bit off-putting. Then John Mellor told his story. He has been suffering with Schizophrenia for so many years and doctors believed he would never come out of hospital. After prayer he has made significant improvement. While he may not appear to our version of “Normal” he has made so much progress and now has much to look forward to. When you know the journey some people have been through you realise what a long way they have come. I love the bumper sticker: Please be patient with me, God hasn’t finished yet!”

One of the great comparison traps we fall into at church is not listening to the message. We are apt to say, “I hope so and so is listening to this message – they sure need it!” This act of comparison says I’ve got it all together, but all these losers around me better take on board what the pastor is saying! Familiarity can breed contempt when we say “I’ve heard that message before” OR, “I know that passage back to front and I know what it says.” Really, that’s religion talking and we miss what the Holy Spirit wants to say to us at that point. I love the disciples’ attitude at the last supper when Jesus tells them, “One of you will betray me.” And one by one they say to Jesus, “Is it I Lord?” Wouldn’t you know if you had it in your heart to betray Jesus? Yet none of them dared trust themselves, but stayed open to God that maybe that word from Jesus was for them. This is how we must come to church and to the preaching time every week, Holy Spirit talk to me, show me what you want me to do and to change.

What now? What impact has this message made on you? Let’s examine our own heart and see; how do we treat others in this church? Do we have a love for each and every person in this local church? Do we ever compare ourselves with someone and feel superior? Turn the mirror of the word around to see yourself like the disciples did. What do you see?


1.  Why do we find it so easy to judge others?

2. Have you ever been mistaken about someone and thought differently about them after you heard the facts about their life?

3. Have you ever been misjudged? What did that feel like?

4. What do think the verse is talking about above (Galatians 2:5) when it say OUR own little load of oppressive faults?

5. What plans can you make to love each other in the Urban Connect group you are in?

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