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  • Part 01 - by Colin Retief
    the trauma and stress of what was in store for him He prayed for God s will to be done everything is possible for you Take this cup from me he s talking about suffering YET not what I will but what you will What traumas are you facing this morning as you sit here Take it to the God who is mighty Take it to the God who created the heavens and the earth by his great power Everything is possible with him He is mighty he is powerful And you have his ear You have an audience with this mighty and powerful God We also get to call him father This great and mighty God great in power and mighty in deed We get to call him father The first time in the Bible that we are told to address God as our Father is when Jesus teaches his disciples to pray at the Sermon on the Mount He s telling the disciples about how to pray as a citizen of God s kingdom It s not a thing you do to look good in front of others It s not a think you do to show how holy you can be Prayer is something you do out of relationship with God So when you pray address God as your father I am well aware that for many folk here the concept of a father isn t always a helpful one when it comes to God Your experience of a father may not have been a good one I m sure there are many of you here this morning who are disappointed in their fathers Some for small things Some for big things And can I also say that no matter how great your earthly father was or is no matter how hard he may have even tried to be a good father he still wouldn t have got it 100 right So whatever your experience of a father is you need to realize that when God takes on a role he fulfils it the way it was meant to be He is the perfect father From the day that you were born you were dependant on your earthly father for many things But they weren t perfect They weren t in total control of the universe They could never full meet our expectations Well God is perfect God is in total control And you can call him father He is a good father He is not abusive He values his children Now when we get to the Lord s prayer and we see Jesus telling his disciples to address God as Father we can understand why Jesus calls him father because he is God s son But now he tells his disciples that they can call God their father the same way that he does And so can we Just think about this Let this idea sink into your head The God who created the universe The

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/part-014/read.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Rejoice in Suffering - by Mike Emslie
    see you change to become mature complete not lacking anything And this is not a stoic grinning and bearing it while facing trials idea this is a different mindset a God focussed persevering and active exercising of faith in the face of trials that is what matures your faith and deepens your relationship with God And this developing of staying power and endurance is also what you need to get through the suffering in this world which is always there strong and faithful now till the end Perseverance of faith in God s goodness in the face of trials is what changes your life into something mature complete and full giving up or giving in is what keeps you in immaturity struggle and frustration The worst trial that can happen to you in this world God uses as part of how He is sculpting you into the beautiful creation He has in mind Now when you are going through trials it is not easy to see things that way Firstly because we somehow falsely imagine that the good life on this earth should be without trials Secondly because we somehow wrongly believe that we don t deserve any of these trials Thirdly because we don t look beyond ourselves to a greater good and tend to wallow in self pity It requires great wisdom to see things the way of verses 2 4 wisdom that none of us possesses really which is why James then says what he does in 5 8 God will give it And even here you must exercise your faith because God rarely gives us that kind of wisdom miraculously but over time as we exercise faith The only reason there is the possibility of doubt here The blessing of perseverance under trials is not just for this life 12 Of course there is another way we can respond to trials we could give in to bad thoughts about God in trials 13 17 In this passage there is a play on the words trial and tempt The same Greek word has been correctly translated as two English words trials in verses 2 and 12 and tempted in verses 13 and 14 Both refer to difficulty that people might face in life When the difficulty is external it is called a trial something that comes to us from outside e g poverty sickness oppression gossip When we are facing this external difficulty we may also face an internal difficulty which we call temptation If we give in to this internal pressure we sin For example when rich people discriminate against poor people as is spoken of in James the poor can be tempted to envy or revenge or think that God has got bad intentions by leaving them poor These sinful thoughts come from within us God brings trials that is external difficulties He does it to test us strengthen us image of testing strengthening metal He does not bring temptation that is our own internal

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  • Rejoice in Suffering - by Mike Emslie
    to become mature complete not lacking anything And this is not a stoic grinning and bearing it while facing trials idea this is a different mindset a God focussed persevering and active exercising of faith in the face of trials that is what matures your faith and deepens your relationship with God And this developing of staying power and endurance is also what you need to get through the suffering in this world which is always there strong and faithful now till the end Perseverance of faith in God s goodness in the face of trials is what changes your life into something mature complete and full giving up or giving in is what keeps you in immaturity struggle and frustration The worst trial that can happen to you in this world God uses as part of how He is sculpting you into the beautiful creation He has in mind Now when you are going through trials it is not easy to see things that way Firstly because we somehow falsely imagine that the good life on this earth should be without trials Secondly because we somehow wrongly believe that we don t deserve any of these trials Thirdly because we don t look beyond ourselves to a greater good and tend to wallow in self pity It requires great wisdom to see things the way of verses 2 4 wisdom that none of us possesses really which is why James then says what he does in 5 8 God will give it And even here you must exercise your faith because God rarely gives us that kind of wisdom miraculously but over time as we exercise faith The only reason there is the possibility of doubt here The blessing of perseverance under trials is not just for this life 12 Of course there is another way we can respond to trials we could give in to bad thoughts about God in trials 13 17 In this passage there is a play on the words trial and tempt The same Greek word has been correctly translated as two English words trials in verses 2 and 12 and tempted in verses 13 and 14 Both refer to difficulty that people might face in life When the difficulty is external it is called a trial something that comes to us from outside e g poverty sickness oppression gossip When we are facing this external difficulty we may also face an internal difficulty which we call temptation If we give in to this internal pressure we sin For example when rich people discriminate against poor people as is spoken of in James the poor can be tempted to envy or revenge or think that God has got bad intentions by leaving them poor These sinful thoughts come from within us God brings trials that is external difficulties He does it to test us strengthen us image of testing strengthening metal He does not bring temptation that is our own internal and sinful reaction

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/rejoice-in-suffering/read.html (2016-05-01)
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  • The Word of God trains us - by Mike Emslie
    good fight of faith so we can stand firm God s Word is also like a military training facility And like all military training facilities that understand the stakes at hand when we enter and we have we enter as those who have been told and know that it will be tough and will require perseverance And at this training facility we receive instruction but are also then often rebuked and corrected if we don t put that instruction into practice properly and we are put through rigorous training to get it right 2 Timothy 3 16 17 Training is literally the word discipline Funny the Greek word is paideian which sounds a bit like the word padawan from Star Wars Jedi in training J The idea is of being enlisted 15 And then God breathes out in His Word the instructions and commands we need to be equipped to survive the warfare that wages around and threatens to destroy us see context of 3 1 17 And we know from one of Paul s other letters Ephesians that every day we are in a spiritual battle with real foes who will use whatever and whoever in an attempt to topple us and drive us from our journey on the narrow way to our final destination heaven Ephesians 6 10 13f So God s Word is like a dangerous double edged sword when we read it God can sometimes confront us and use it to cut out the sin that can weaken us and cause us to be vulnerable to our foe For our lives to change ever increasingly to God honouring lives we must be willing to surrender ourselves to God s sword Maybe that is why in part it is said in Proverbs 27 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses God s Word is like a military training centre You are enrolled Sometimes there is fun and camaraderie always there is tough work going on that we might know how to live so that we experience more of the victory over sin that Christ won for us on the cross Are you willing to put down your head down and persevere in shouldering the discipline of God s Word so that you might change into the God honouring Christian you were created to be James 1 22 25 Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves Do what it says Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirrorand after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it not forgetting what they have heard but doing it they will be blessed in what they do I know some prefer to see their relationship with God in more gentle and peaceful ways And I suppose

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  • The Word of God trains us - by Mike Emslie
    of faith so we can stand firm God s Word is also like a military training facility And like all military training facilities that understand the stakes at hand when we enter and we have we enter as those who have been told and know that it will be tough and will require perseverance And at this training facility we receive instruction but are also then often rebuked and corrected if we don t put that instruction into practice properly and we are put through rigorous training to get it right 2 Timothy 3 16 17 Training is literally the word discipline Funny the Greek word is paideian which sounds a bit like the word padawan from Star Wars Jedi in training J The idea is of being enlisted 15 And then God breathes out in His Word the instructions and commands we need to be equipped to survive the warfare that wages around and threatens to destroy us see context of 3 1 17 And we know from one of Paul s other letters Ephesians that every day we are in a spiritual battle with real foes who will use whatever and whoever in an attempt to topple us and drive us from our journey on the narrow way to our final destination heaven Ephesians 6 10 13f So God s Word is like a dangerous double edged sword when we read it God can sometimes confront us and use it to cut out the sin that can weaken us and cause us to be vulnerable to our foe For our lives to change ever increasingly to God honouring lives we must be willing to surrender ourselves to God s sword Maybe that is why in part it is said in Proverbs 27 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses God s Word is like a military training centre You are enrolled Sometimes there is fun and camaraderie always there is tough work going on that we might know how to live so that we experience more of the victory over sin that Christ won for us on the cross Are you willing to put down your head down and persevere in shouldering the discipline of God s Word so that you might change into the God honouring Christian you were created to be James 1 22 25 Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves Do what it says Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirrorand after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it not forgetting what they have heard but doing it they will be blessed in what they do I know some prefer to see their relationship with God in more gentle and peaceful ways And I suppose different personalities

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  • The Journey of Life - by Mike Emslie
    The kind of knowledge that comes from reading thinking and discussing What is right what is wrong What is wise and unwise What is appropriate and what is not All from the Bible Self control Making every effort to fight our sinful natures so that we can live according to the knowledge we have of Christ and as we try to imitate His goodness Perseverance Making every effort to keep going with that self control for the long haul even in difficult times We need to think like warriors Godliness A practical awareness of God and His will and presence in every aspect of life We are not alone in our making every effort Brotherly kindness We must always be growing in our love affection and kindness for those with us in the faith in the family of God Love And here the focus of this word in this context is not just love for a fellow Christian we have just seen that in brotherly kindness but love for anyone whether Christian or not A lot of change is required on an ongoing basis in the Christian life if we are to grow as we ought to and be effective and productive as is our Lord s will 1 8 No change is a problem 1 9 A lot of change But that is ok because God changes lives and on the basis of that we make every effort As Paul says in Philippians 2 12 13 work out your salvation with fear and trembling sounds like every effort for it is God who works in you to act and according to his good purpose sounds like change There is a tension to be maintained And then as we change we become more like Christ So that when our destination is reached 11 The eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ he sees the effort we made in love because we look so much more like Him than at first The picture is of the athlete who has made every effort entering the stadium to rapturous applause Of course we know it is not only because of our every effort but because of God s grace and our every effort So God doesn t only change our lives when we become Christians And we then relax until we reach the destination different to the plane trip in that way Explain Hot Tub Religion by JI Packer God is working to change our lives through His Holy Spirit every day So we must embrace that change and work with it make every effort our God the God who loves us so much loves to constantly work on changing us like a sculptor until one day we reach our destination and we shall be what He has planned for us to be How does that affect the way we live day by day We read pray obey change don t fight it even the tough things Our God changes lives

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/the-journey-of-life/listen.html (2016-05-01)
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  • The Journey of Life - by Mike Emslie
    that comes from reading thinking and discussing What is right what is wrong What is wise and unwise What is appropriate and what is not All from the Bible Self control Making every effort to fight our sinful natures so that we can live according to the knowledge we have of Christ and as we try to imitate His goodness Perseverance Making every effort to keep going with that self control for the long haul even in difficult times We need to think like warriors Godliness A practical awareness of God and His will and presence in every aspect of life We are not alone in our making every effort Brotherly kindness We must always be growing in our love affection and kindness for those with us in the faith in the family of God Love And here the focus of this word in this context is not just love for a fellow Christian we have just seen that in brotherly kindness but love for anyone whether Christian or not A lot of change is required on an ongoing basis in the Christian life if we are to grow as we ought to and be effective and productive as is our Lord s will 1 8 No change is a problem 1 9 A lot of change But that is ok because God changes lives and on the basis of that we make every effort As Paul says in Philippians 2 12 13 work out your salvation with fear and trembling sounds like every effort for it is God who works in you to act and according to his good purpose sounds like change There is a tension to be maintained And then as we change we become more like Christ So that when our destination is reached 11 The eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ he sees the effort we made in love because we look so much more like Him than at first The picture is of the athlete who has made every effort entering the stadium to rapturous applause Of course we know it is not only because of our every effort but because of God s grace and our every effort So God doesn t only change our lives when we become Christians And we then relax until we reach the destination different to the plane trip in that way Explain Hot Tub Religion by JI Packer God is working to change our lives through His Holy Spirit every day So we must embrace that change and work with it make every effort our God the God who loves us so much loves to constantly work on changing us like a sculptor until one day we reach our destination and we shall be what He has planned for us to be How does that affect the way we live day by day We read pray obey change don t fight it even the tough things Our God changes lives and through that He

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/the-journey-of-life/read.html (2016-05-01)
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  • God changes lives - by Mike Emslie
    miraculous supernatural signs He acknowledges that this means that God is with him somehow But it is interesting that Jesus doesn t say at that point that he wishes everyone else would acknowledge his supernatural works like Nicodemus He instead tells Nicodemus that he needs to be born again What Jesus is saying here is that the kind of supernatural that Nicodemus needs to see to enter the kingdom is not just the miracles that Jesus does outside of him but the miraculous supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in him John 3 6 8 Thirdly note that being born again is not just you turning over a new leaf or getting an upgrade it is a new you If you were standing next to someone as they were born again and who knows when that happens but if you were they would still have the same accent they would still look the same they would walk the same but from that moment on there would be radical changes in what they spoke about how they lived how they made decisions how they related to people what they were passionate about There would be all sorts of changes Why Because when the Holy Spirit does His supernatural work in us although on the outside we look the same on the inside spiritually we are new persons it s like we have been born again The key to understanding this radical new you is in John 3 5 Clue in 3 7 you should not be surprised and 3 9 10 You are Israel s teacher and you do not understand these things Something in the OT Ezekiel 36 24 28 Jesus calls this in John 3 being born again Being born again of water and the Spirit as alluded to in Ezekiel God s people all become His people through being born again by the Holy Spirit as was prophesied in Ezekiel So when you are born again it s you but with a new heart and a new spirit It is a new you A radical new you Not just an improved you Not just a little better you A whole new you Completely changed God changes lives God changes lives radically And then finally it is worth noting that it needs to be radical change because of the radical situation you are in before you are born again And this is why it is the best possible news for us Ephesians 2 1 10 We are all born dead 2 1 spiritually dead Unable to see or enter the kingdom of God Worse still 2 3 end Now you can see why George Whitefield when asked why he always preached on being born again said because you must be born again By nature we are dead helpless and under wrath Did you also notice that we can do nothing about being born again That is the decision and work of God You are dead 2 1 You can

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/god-changes-lives/listen.html (2016-05-01)
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