Monday, December 26, 2011

Corinthian Chaos

What caused the Apostle Paul to say the following words to the Corinthian Church: “I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be”?

In 2012 this series will look at eight points of chaos that plagued the Corinthian Church. We know the word of God is timeless and its truth is relevant to any generation but you will be amazed at how similar the issues at Corinth are to 21st Century society.

The chaos may have continued to the present day but Paul speaks of the reality of God’s divine power to demolish strongholds leading to order, peace and harmony in our relationships with one another and with God.

Meet the Master

In 2012 Oreste will be looking at the book of Luke to see what Jesus is really like. If we are His disciples that means we are to follow Him and become like Him.

Sermon on the Mount provided a wealth of insight into what being a disciple looks like. This series from the book of Luke provides another angle by looking at Jesus in action. How did He behave? Was He a nice person? Was He blunt and to the point? Was he political and sensitive to social issues? What mattered to Jesus?

In this series we will meet the Master. Do you think you will recognise Him? Whatever we may discover about Jesus the essence of His response to us personally is welcoming, eternal and genuine – come and know me as I am and not how you seek to make me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Your Time Will Come

Oreste's message on Sunday 25th December 2011 is available for download.

At Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus we can focus on the babe born in a manger and lose sight of the fuller scope of the celebration. The Christmas celebration heralds the announcement and declaration of Jesus the Christ who entered into our broken world to establish,build and bring to completion God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. This kingdom is an everlasting kingdom of justice, peace, truth, joy, righteousness and life. Apart from this kingdom there is no other that will endure into eternity. Jesus is what Christmas is all about and after the celebrations have ended the significance of Jesus has not. He is the Saviour and Lord of all. In the light of this revelation that has been given to all humankind our response to Jesus is clear - '...you must listen to everything he tells you...' (Acts 3:22). Your time will come when you must respond to Jesus. Be wise and listen to Him. Jesus is your guarantee of eternal life in God's everlasting kingdom.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Inspiration, Perspiration & Transformation Pt 2

Oreste's message on Sunday 18th December 2011 is available for download.

In part 2 of this message Oreste continues to look at the inspiring God given vision of the coming of His kingdom. This kingdom vision is to find practical expression in the communities that surround a local church. The responsibility to see this vision of transformed communities come to pass, belongs to all those who are disciples of Jesus Christ. For the disciple this means being committed to a local church, committed to the local community that church finds itself in and committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their entire lives. When a disciple finds themselves positioned before Christ, their local church and the community in this way, they are free to be serving humbly, learning openly and living joyfully. It is from this position of freedom that the disciple is able to fulfil the assignments that God has appointed them to do for His glory and the blessing of the communities they are called to influence. In this way each disciple adds their unique piece of the puzzle towards fulfilling God's vision for local communities through the local church.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Inspiration, Perspiration & Transformation Pt 1

Oreste's message on Sunday 11th December 2011 is available for download.

In part 1 of this message Oreste talks about the inspiring God given vision of a redeemed, restored and regenerated society that honours God through its people who serve one another in humility, sincerity and with great joy. This society or community is the kingdom of God. It is this kind of God-inspiration that stirs the Jesus follower with the motivation to work hard for the coming of God's kingdom. This diligent work represents the perspiration of the disciple as they carry out their God-given assignments referred to in Ephesians 2:10. Inspiration and perspiration that flows out of the purposes of God for His people and His earth is what brings about a positive transformation in the individual life of anyone who seeks to honour God. It will also bring about positive transformations among groups of people, our local communities and the entire earth.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Living Like a Dead Man

Oreste's message on Sunday 4th December 2011 is available for download.

Oreste takes a look at the parable of the sower and the example that Jesus set His disciples when he washed their feet. Herein lie significant keys to understanding the Kingdom of God; it is this Kingdom understanding that becomes the catalyst that enables increasing abundance and fruitfulness in the life of a disciple. In the Kingdom of God understanding is always coupled with holy actions that are pleasing to Father God. In this message those actions find their place in scriptures where the Apostle Paul exhorts us to die to the attitudes, motivations, principles and methods that are opposed to the purposes, practices and knowledge of God. This is what it means to die to the old sinful self in order that you may live for God increasingly as a new creation; it is the outworking of the eternal life that Jesus came to bring His followers - it is living like a dead man.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

About God

Lucy Norbury's message on Sunday 27th November 2011 is available for download.

In this message Lucy shares many thought provoking, comforting and challenging words that tell a story as you listen - that story is all about God. Sit back with your eyes closed and reflect on what Lucy is sharing in her characteristic poetical style. Let the biblical truths that are expressed be sown deeply into your heart and return a fruitful harvest in your life for the glory of God. Life is after all, all about God.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Paths...Produce...Practices

Oreste's message on Sunday 20th November 2011 is available for download.

Oreste looks at the final passage from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus speaks of three distinct but connected illustrations that helps us understand what being a follower of Jesus looks like and means practically. All that Jesus has unpacked before His original hearers and for anyone who will listen today, in His liberating and radical message of discipleship, fits seamlessly into the three illustrations of Paths, Produce and Practices. The path we walk in is either narrow or broad, the produce is either good or bad and the practice is either wise or foolish. Jesus says we are to make every effort to enter through the narrow gate and He alone is that gate. If we obey His word we will build wisely and bear good fruit as we journey in the steps of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The path we take will yield produce that governs our practice - for either bad or good. In Jesus' life and example, God the Father demonstrates His desire that we walk and build wisely and bear good fruit.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Walking in the Spirit

Oreste's message on Sunday 13th November 2011 is available for download.

Oreste looks at the final essential for Jesus followers - that of walking in or living by the Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, no follower of Jesus can possibly become all that Father God has planned and purposed for them in Jesus Christ. In this message gain biblical insight into how to walk in the Spirit so that our desires become aligned with those the Lord has for us. Understand the obligation we have as disciples to the Holy Spirit and what happens when we fail to fulfil our salvation commitment on a daily basis. Be encouraged when you realise how godly desires and holiness can be fast tracked in our lives with regular, sincere and humble surrender to the Holy Spirit - our Counsellor, Comforter and Coach.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Armour of God

Sash Stanceski's message on Sunday 6th November 2011 is available for download.

Sash takes us through the word of God and provides us with a thorough insight into the biblical truth of the armour of God and the relevance that it has in the life of a disciple of Jesus. Unfortunately the first part of the message was not recorded but the majority of it is available for you to be challenged and encouraged by. As soldiers of Jesus Christ, let's ensure we put that armour on every day!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Fear of God

Sarah de Haan's message on Sunday 30th October 2011 is available for download.

In this message, Sarah challenges us to get a hold of the fear of God in our lives; that we might be transformed as we stand in awe, reverence, wonder and amazement of God, who is holy and perfect. Sarah warns us to avoid the extreme of turning God's grace into an excuse for not faithfully seeking to be changed and repenting in the light of God's holiness. A timely message that will not only help us to recognise more fully that God is awesome but that the fear of God in our lives leads us to godly action and life change - to the glory of God.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A.S.K.

Oreste's message on Sunday 23rd October 2011 is available for download.

As we have been working through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, there would be times if we are honest that we cannot see ourselves living up to the expectations that Jesus has for His followers. In this message Oreste looks at a refreshing and inspiring passage in Matthew where Jesus provides us with a timely reminder of the means by which we are able to walk as Jesus calls us to. It's as simple as A.S.K.ing our Father in heaven - Asking the Father to give us the good things we need, Seeking the Father that we may find those good things of the Kingdom and Knocking on Father God's door that it be opened for us to access those good gifts He has for us. God always intended us to ask Him for help along the journey of discipleship - let's be persistent and bold in our asking, in our praying. The promise for those who do will be beyond your expectations and imagination.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Obedience

Oreste's message on Sunday 16th October 2011 is available for download.

Having previously looked at daily faith and humility as essentials for Jesus followers, leads us to the visible evidence that these qualities exist in the life of the disciple - obedience is that evidence. So obedience is also recognised as an essential for all disciples. It should not be surprising then, that Jesus calls for complete obedience to His commands when He authorised His followers to go and make disciples of all peoples. Be inspired and encouraged as you understand the practical realities of how complete obedience emerges in the life of a disciple by learning from the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Promise Is For You

Wayne Gillie's message on Sunday 9th October 2011 is available for download.

In this message Wayne explores the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit as he takes us through a clear biblical imperative to seek the Lord that we may receive this amazing gift. The Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead is both God and yet distinct from the Father and Jesus. So to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is to receive God himself in the fullest possible way. The promise is for you - the most amazing gift intended for all followers of Jesus and not an optional extra.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lose Your Life, Then Gain It

Sash Stanceski's message on Sunday 2nd October 2011 is available for download.

In this message Sash looks at the life of Moses as an example of a person who demonstrated the kingdom principle that Jesus explained in Luke 9:24 - that is "whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it". Be encouraged and challenged as Sash gives us biblical keys from the life of Moses, to apply in our lives as followers of Jesus, in order that we may lose our life that we may gain it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Triumph Through Tragedy

Rob Brown's message on Sunday 18th September 2011 is available for download.

Rob shares his testimony of how God was faithful even in the midst of the tragedy of a serious motorbike accident that left him paralysed and in a situation where he would not be able to regain physical mobility. Rob's story may cause us to ask God, "why did this happen?" but listen in as Rob shares his journey of trusting God in challenging circumstances. He speaks of his experience as one of triumph through tragedy by the grace and love of God who has provided him with enough physical mobility to complete the work he has been assigned to do. Be encouraged and inspired as you listen to Rob's story. You can also read Rob's story through his online book at his website www.triumphthroughtragedy.com.au.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Day Jesus Met Uriah Heep

Oreste's message on Sunday 4th September 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste looks at another essential for the follower of Jesus - humility. In Philippians 2, the Apostle Paul provides us with divine insight into the humility of our Master Jesus. This gives us a clear picture of what we are to become through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. An amusing contrast between true humility and false humility is provided as we step back into time on "The Day Jesus Met Uriah Heep". Uriah's signature phrase "be 'umble", is true enough but when it comes to the practice let Jesus be your benchmark.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seek, Don't Freak

Oreste's message on Sunday 21st August 2011 is available for download.

As we continue looking at Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew, we come to a passage where Jesus tells His followers not to worry. Today He might say to His disciples, "don't freak". But how can we do this when there seems to be so much that can keep our minds spinning with fear, concerns and anxiety? Worry may be wasted effort, but how can we live out what Jesus expects of us as His servants? Listen and be encouraged as the Spirit of God opens your eyes to recognise that our minds and hearts are to be spinning, concerned and occupied with the Kingdom of God. We are to practice seeking first the Kingdom of God. In five words or less how can we sum this up. Why not write it on the palm of your hand - "Seek, don't freak".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daily Faith

Oreste's message on Sunday 14th August 2011 is available for download.

The word of God is clear that disciples have been created in Christ Jesus to do Ephesians 2:10 Kingdom works. Do you find this a difficult thing to live out in the midst of your day to day activity? There is an essential experience a person must be able to claim before these works can begin to unfold. Hear about the nature of this essential experience and recognise that being a disciple of Jesus requires total acceptance that Jesus is Lord over all areas of your life. This means a disciple must exercise daily faith - an attitude of the heart that is determined to forsake all in preference for Jesus in all things at all times.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alan Hirsch: Communitas

Final clip in the series - Communitas.
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kingdom Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Oreste's message on Sunday 7th August 2011 is available for download.

As followers of Jesus we are responsible for completing the mission we have been given by Him to do. This means that as a disciple we are expected to complete the works or deeds we have been created in Christ Jesus to do. Ephesians 2:10 makes this clear. Doing the kingdom deeds we have been assigned by God, ought to fit into the natural rhythms of our lives and is not meant to be a burdensome extra task on the "things to do" list. In this message, Oreste looks at the characteristics we need to be mindful of as we do our kingdom deeds, so that they don't hit us with an unreasonable cost. Kingdom deeds can be done dirt cheap.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Alan Hirsch: Organic Systems

Next clip in the series - Organic Systems.
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Children of God

One of our LWCC 3W Netgroups led the Sunday Gathering on the 31st July 2011.

You can download it now and be encouraged as you listen to Mary Tsekoutanis and Carolyn Vincent. Sandra Sartor also shares a compelling word with us about God's children.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Alan Hirsch: Apostolic Environment

Next clip in the series - Apostolic Environment.
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What I Store Shows Who I Serve

Oreste's message on Sunday 24th July 2011 is available for download.

Jesus teaches His followers the attitude they are to adopt towards material possessions and points out the importance of accumulating heavenly treasure. This message explores the expectations Jesus has for us around the things we choose to store up for ourselves. What we store up reveals the condition of our heart and affects our ability to see things with a clear and discerning perspective. In the end our choice of what we store reveals who we serve.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alan Hirsch: Missional-Incarnational Impulse

In this clip Alan talks about the third component of the "Forgotten Ways" : missional-incarnational impulse. For some of you this will be stuff you may not have heard before - can I encourage you to humbly listen to it a few times in order to absorb all that is being said. All the components Alan looks at are essential and need to operate together for a genuine gospel based people movement to gather momentum.
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do This and You Will Live (Part 2)

Oreste's message on Sunday 17th July 2011 is available for download.

This is the second and final part of a message where Oreste explores the perspective Jesus takes on the royal law to "love your neighbour as yourself" and what leads Him to say "Do this and you will live". The story of the Good Samaritan is unpacked to clearly show Jesus' expectations of His followers, that are as relevant for all people today as they were for the original hearers of this amazing story.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alan Hirsch: Disciple-Making

Next clip in the series , 'Disciple-Making'. Enjoy!
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dealing With Distractions

Sarah de Haan's message on Sunday 10th July 2011 is available for download.

In this message Sarah speaks about staying faithful to Jesus by walking down the narrow path and dealing with the distractions that hinder us in our journey. Just as there are two paths we can travel in life - either following or not following Jesus- so too there are those things in life that either hold eternal value or are eternally worthless. Be encouraged and challenged to stay true to the Master Jesus Christ as you diligently throw of the worthless hindrances and distractions and keep focused on Him as you follow Him daily. Prior to the message some of our LWCC young people share a few thoughts about their faith.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Do This and You Will Live (Part 1)

Oreste's message on Sunday 3rd July 2011 is available for download.

In the first part of this message Oreste looks at the third of the essentials for the follower of Jesus that corresponds to our relationship with other people; that of showing and demonstrating our faith in Jesus Christ through our deeds and actions. The book of James has much to teach us about faith and action, showing us that the real evidence of our faith is reflected in what we do for others. James refers to the royal law found in the Bible which says "Love your neighbour as yourself". He says if we keep this law we are doing right. This is the essence of genuine faith in Jesus. Part 2 of this message will explore the perspective Jesus takes on the royal law and what leads Him to say "Do this and you will live".

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alan Hirsch: Jesus is Lord

Hope you enjoyed the introduction on the Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch. Here is the next clip in the series , 'Jesus is Lord'. This stuff is gold folks.
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hollywood or Holiness?

Oreste's message on Sunday 26th June 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste continues to look at what Jesus has to say regarding the way He expects His followers to live in this world, if they are to be light and salt and make a difference for the glory of God. Jesus first speaks about people who are motivated to do so called acts of righteousness for the purpose of drawing attention to themselves. He calls them hypocrites. Jesus says His followers are not to be like that. Hypocrites love to be seen, to be honoured and to bask in celebrity status. They represent the personal Hollywood dream and aspiration that places self in the number one position. Jesus followers however are to be like their Master Jesus and seek to place self at the bottom in surrender and service to God and others. This is the way of holiness. If we claim to be disciples of Jesus, the question we must resolve is, are we truly seeking Hollywood or Holiness in our lives?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Alan Hirsch and The Forgotten Ways

Do you get the sense that something is wrong with the Church in Western nations? Can't quite put your finger on it but something is out of sync somehow? Alan Hirsch thinks the Church is not doing well in the grand scheme of things. Listen to what he has to say about this and the "forgotten ways". I'll be posting the complete series of these clips over the next few weeks. Be challenged and enjoy. Be challenged and ask God how you can best respond to what you hear. Be challenged and do something about it.
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Deny Self and Follow Jesus

Fay Walkling's message on Sunday 19th June 2011 is available for download.

In this message Fay speaks about the one thing that is necessary for the follower of Jesus - to deny self and learn from the Master Jesus. Denying our self will mean losing our selfish life but this sacrificial act constantly opens up the way for gaining the life God created us to live. That life is the life that Jesus lived (and still lives) and as His followers we are called to be with Him and become like Him as we follow Him.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

You're Front Page of the Age

Oreste's message on Sunday 5th June 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste looks at the second of the essentials for the follower of Jesus that corresponds to our relationship with other people; that of showing and demonstrating our faith in Jesus Christ. Actions speak louder than words and it is essential in Kingdom mission that our lives show visible evidence of the good news message we proclaim. People will be reading our lives much the same way as a front page news story that grabs the attention of the passers by and people who come across the news stand. So what story are people reading and coming to know about you? The story we show is crucial to the effectiveness we achieve in our mission of making disciples. Our lives are to show and reveal the life of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. This is why as disciples of Jesus we are truly front page of the kingdom age.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Oreste's message on Sunday 22nd May 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste takes a look at key biblical markers that indicate the closeness of the second coming of Jesus. Our present society arguably displays the majority, if not all, of the characteristics that describe the conditions of the time preceding Jesus' return. The stage may well be set for the final scenes of God's purposes to be played out before Jesus returns to rule and reign over the earth in righteousness, mercy and justice. When the first scene is played out we know the stage is set and the remaining predicted scenes will follow. What is the first scene and the scenes that will follow, culminating in the glorious and victorious return of our King and Lord, Jesus Christ? When we are witnessing these specific scenes, we are able to confidently respond to the question "Are we there yet?" with a certain assurance that we have only a little time left to travel before our Kingdom destination is reached; that end time is but a new beginning where the kingdoms of man cease to operate and the Kingdom of God is manifested fully and visibly across the whole earth with Jesus reigning as Saviour and King.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Get Over Your Self

Oreste's message on Sunday 15th May 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste takes a look at what Jesus teaches His followers about retaliation, vengeance and hatred of our enemies. The attitude of the heart that produces these actions and feelings also produces partiality, favouritism and selfish ungiving responses towards the needy. The issue is that of the individual's desire to rule over and have the upperhand towards others. Our self wants to control and exert itself over others and essentially serve itself. But Jesus says we are to be like our Father in heaven which stands in contrast to the sinful actions and attitudes of self. For this to be a reality in the life of a disciple the message is "Get Over Your Self". Listen in and find out what this means for you.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Caring, Sharing, Declaring

Oreste's message on Sunday 1st May 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste looks at the first of the essentials for the follower of Jesus that corresponds to our relationship with other people; that of sharing and declaring our faith in Jesus Christ. This essential comes directly from the mission Jesus gave His followers - to go and make Jesus followers (disciples) of all people throughout the earth. As faithful followers of Jesus there must be a time when we share and declare the good news of salvation in Him. The challenge for those of us who claim to be disciples of Jesus is this - do we truly care about the lives of other people to the point of being prepared to share and declare our faith in Jesus to them in the hope that they will enter into the kingdom of God. Are we a Christian who is actively caring, sharing and declaring? This is a non-negotiable for the disciple of Jesus.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Death Destroyed, Life Lives

Oreste's message on Sunday 24th April 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste looks at the implications of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ for the life of the disciple of Jesus. There will definitely be a day when disciples of Jesus will be resurrected with imperishable bodies like that of Jesus, when He returns to earth to rule and reign over the nations. But there is also the biblical reality that the power of the resurrection must show in visible ways in the life of a disciple in the here and now, through the inward transformation of the heart and mind, showing itself in becoming more like Jesus. This is the process of being made holy. For the disciple of Jesus who is born again of the Spirit of God, this process should be as natural as a seed that germinates and grows into all that resides within it; that is, the likeness of our Master Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

2012 Events: Real or Counterfeit

Can't help but notice all the 2012 euphoria - the Mayan Prophecy, the 2012 movie, the plethora of websites, posts, comments and the like speaking about the cataclysmic events that will occur on 21/12/2012 (or thereabouts).

This is an important time for followers of Jesus to refresh their understanding and seek to gain more insight about God's revelation in the Bible about our present circumstances and how they might relate to future events. As disciples of Jesus we need to be reading and studying the Scriptures with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, to better see the context and key markers of things that will come to pass in the time preceding the return to earth of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the "ruler of the kings of the earth" (Revelation 1:5).

Jesus made it clear that it is not for us "to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority" (Acts 1:7) concerning the fulfilment of His kingdom on earth and the return of Jesus to rule and reign over that kingdom on earth. Jesus also pointed out that we are to "watch out that no one deceives [us]" (Matthew 24:4) for many would come making claims in His name and would deceive many.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that the coming of the Antichrist would "be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).

So 2012 may or may not be when Jesus returns as only God knows but we are to be watchful and aware of the signs as revealed in Scripture. Be reminded that counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders in accordance with the work of Satan must occur before Jesus returns. Will these occur in 2012? Let's be prayerful, well versed in God's word and sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit so that if they do we will be ready and prepared to act as kingdom agents for God's glory.

Bye for now,
Oreste

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Few But True

Oreste's message on Sunday 10th April 2011 is available for download.

In this message the issue of truthfulness is addressed as Jesus exposes the evil of an environment where meaningless oaths made up of many words and hollow promises were the order of the day. The essence of Jesus' teaching is to let your words be few but true; thus becoming a disciple who is true to their word and reliable in the service of the King.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Children of God - Part 2

Part 2 of Sash Stanceski's message on Sunday 3rd April 2011 is available for download.

In this message Sash continues to encourage us about the highest status of all - that of being a child of God. Sash emphasises the importance of the truth of God's word in recognising our identity as a son or daughter of the living God. We are reminded afresh of the similarities between our life in Jesus in the word of God and a tree.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jesus I Didn't Recognise You

Do you think the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law were sincerely awaiting the coming of the Messiah? I believe they were. They didn't get what they were expecting when Jesus turned up. And yet this same Jesus was the fulfilment of the Scriptures of the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law (the Old Testament). These Scriptures were what they claimed to have read, studied and applied in their lives and they failed by and large to recognise Jesus as the Messiah.

Today we have the complete Scriptures - the same Old Testament of the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law and the New Testament which explains in plain language that Jesus is the Messiah and fulfilment of God's plans and purposes. We who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ or Christians are also prone to falling into the trap of the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law. That is we may claim to read and study the Bible and yet our lives and how we live them demonstrate that we have not recognised who Jesus is. This is evident to others because we are not living in a way that shows we are following in the Master's footsteps. Are we looking for and subsequently living for other things and not the things of God and His kingdom? It is possible for us to make Jesus into a convenient front to cover over our selfish desires and wants that lurk within our hearts.

Don't be too quick to dismiss this as something that doesn't apply to you. Consider the following questions. When did you last put another persons needs (excluding family members) ahead of your own such that it truly cost you to do so? When did you last stand up for a person who was being unjustly treated? When did you last socialise with an outcast of society because you cared about them and not because you felt you needed to do them a favour?

It would do all of us good to regularly read afresh the accounts of Jesus' life as presented in the Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This won't be a comfortable experience as we read to recognise not only who Jesus is but that we are expected to be like Him in our lives. I am sure we will all recognise how far short we fall of His example. And in doing so we will recognise what the Holy Spirit is aiming to shape us into. But take heart, for the discomfort of our shortcomings can and must give way to repentance and reliance upon the Holy Spirit that will increasingly cause more of Christ Jesus to be formed in and through our lives.

I pray when Jesus comes back to planet earth, those who have been awaiting His glorious return will recognise Him and not be offended by what they see.

Take care,
Oreste

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lose Those Looks

Oreste's message on Sunday 20th March 2011 is available for download.

Oreste continues to look at the expectations Jesus has of His followers, as expressed in what has become known as the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew. In this message the issue of faithfulness in marriage is addressed. Adultery and divorce are key areas Jesus talks about in order to clarify Father God's desires and purposes for people in marriage relationships. However what Jesus teaches us has relevance for all people because faithfulness in marriage and maintaining sexual purity as a single person are important demonstrations of faithfulness to God. This message brings a timely and sobering reminder for all people whether they are married or single, male or female.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jesus and Justice

Oreste's message on Sunday 13th March 2011 is available for download.

Father God's vision for the earth is the complete roll out of His kingdom rule and reign through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, at work through His Church. This kingdom will eventually reach perfection when Jesus physically reigns upon His return to planet earth. At Jesus' return this kingdom will fully reflect the reality of God's rule and reign as it exists perfectly in heaven. A key pillar of God's kingdom vision is justice. Thus the Church must place justice in its vision and reflect it as a core part of its activities. Justice is the expression of righteousness and Jesus Christ is the perfect example of justice in action. What does this mean for the faithful follower of Jesus where it seems injustice surrounds us personally, locally and further afield? And could we unwittingly be agents of injustice, acting in opposition to the plans and purposes of our Lord and King Jesus Christ?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It Takes Two

Oreste's message on Sunday 6th March 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste presents the second of the essentials for the disciple of Jesus - prayer. The essence of prayer is communication with God. When this deteriorates our relationship with the Lord becomes stagnant and we end up living a life disconnected from Him and the power of the Holy Spirit. Oreste encourages us to be active in our fellowship with the Holy Spirit and reminds us of Jesus' command that disciples are to seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit by asking Father God for this gift. Where we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit the challenge is keep being filled with the Holy Spirit. As we are active in being filled with the Spirit, prayer flows naturally and keeps us safe from the onset of communication stagnation in our relationship with God.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feast on Fresh Food

Oreste's message on Sunday 27th February 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste presents the first of the essentials for the disciple of Jesus - the word of God. The word of God is a non-negotiable for anyone who considers themself a follower of Jesus. Oreste encourages us to regularly feed our minds with God's word which is spiritual food for the human spirit. This spiritual food is available for everyone and is found in the Bible. We are to not only feed on this spiritual food but to feast on it. Feasting on fresh spiritual food is essential for the disciple if they are to live faithfully and obediently in honour of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.(/p>

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fall Outs? Fix them Fast!

Oreste's message on Sunday 20th February 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste encourages us to live reconciled lives with one another, if we are to be truly reconciled to God. We are to be ready at all times to be reconciled to others and move quickly in the process or run the risk of selfish anger taking root in our hearts with the potential consequence of the judgment of hell. The motivation to respond to fall outs with others - to fix them fast- is crucial to overcome complacency and apathy in our relationships with others. Listen to this message and be reminded once again of the essential motivation that will keep you reconciled and refreshed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Restoration of Paradise Lost

Steve and Ella Parker are missionaries in South Africa, supported over many years by LWCC. On Sunday 13th February, Steve and Ella shared with us as they conclude their missionary service and settle back in Australia. Steve goes on to preach an encouraging message about the work of God in restoring all things that were lost in paradise through Adam and Eve. Satan, sin and death have been defeated through Jesus Christ and as followers of Jesus we are secure and assured of victory - all because of our risen Lord. Download the message and slides and enjoy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mission: The Missing Link

Oreste's message on Sunday 6th February 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste challenges us as a Church, to have a mindset where mission is the activity whereby we organise all our other activities in Church. This does not lessen the importance of those other activities of worship, fellowship and discipleship but in reality will strengthen them and make them more meaningful and relevant to our everyday lives. Engaging in mission at the local church level that seeks to make a difference in the local community, results in a dynamic that energises and motivates disciples of Jesus to live faithfully and work together to fulfil Jesus' command to go and make disciples. Mission is the missing link! The mission is to move out and make disciples; to move out and make a difference.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Children of God - Part 1

Part 1 of Sash Stanceski's message on Sunday 30th January 2011 is available for download.

In our culture people seek some kind of status to obtain identity and benefits. In this message Sash teaches us about the highest status of all - that of being a child of God. Be encouraged as you learn about the blessings of being a child of God and what it means to be a child of God.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Missional Velocity

Yet another inspiring and challenging message I have come across by a guy called Alan Hirsch. I recommend you watch this if you are hungry to see your community reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. As disciples of Jesus we truly are sent people on a mission. Enjoy!
Bye for now, Oreste

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Critical Success Factors

Jim Vaughn's message on Sunday 23th January 2011 is available for download.

In this message Jim looks at three kingdom factors required to bring success in any area of life, be it church, home, work or wherever. Success begins with and depends upon getting ourselves positioned under the authority God has placed over our lives. Be challenged as you understand how the three factors relate to one another and as you seek to apply them so that kingdom success may come your way just as God intends for you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mission Revisited

I came across this message by Michael Frost on youtube. I highly recommend you listen to it. It's about the mission of the church . May it challenge you, make you feel uncomfortable and cause God inspired changes to emerge in you.
Bye for now, Oreste

Monday, January 17, 2011

No Choice - We are all Responsible!

A new year has begun and people are still in various stages of taking their breaks and vacations. For some it is a traditional pilgrimage to the annual family holiday destination. That safe and reliable getaway with no surprises and no unknowns; at least it seems that way. Others may dare to go somewhere new and take the risk of a disappointing experience or the reward of a totally ripper holiday. Which way will it go?

The risk of doing something different confronts all of us, not only when we are deciding on a holiday break but in many areas of life. Choices are ever before us. Do we risk that new job, those new friendships, that new brand of cleaning product? Which movie do we choose - the totally predictable chick flick or that epic masterpiece of 21st century cinematography? There are also those times when we must make immediate choices in circumstances that we have not chosen, as a consequence of a tragedy that has occurred, bad news we may have received or the unexpected death of a loved one. The current situation with floods across Queensland and other parts of Australia is a potent example of this. As a south-east Queensland boy, I couldn't believe the images I was seeing of familiar places such as Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane.

Whoever we are, we have this in common: choices must be made and these confront us daily. Our circumstances may not all be the same but the responsibility we individually bear for making those choices is the same. So regardless of our individual social standing, level of wealth and position in the cruel, ungodly pecking order our broken world attempts to squeeze us into, we are just as responsible as the person on the other side of the world or the person next door to us.

Why? Because we are responsible for the same thing; our personal response to the circumstances we find ourselves in. This is a scary thing to reflect upon and all the more when we consider who we are responsible to.

We are all, whether we choose (again there is that word again) to accept this or not, personally responsible and thus accountable to God, our Creator. When we take up this responsibility before God our Father (who Jesus Christ revealed to us through His life) by entering into relationship with Him, we find relief, peace, strength and an inner fortitude. These realities are personally experienced by the indwelling presence of God's Spirit whom the Father generously pours out upon those who re-connect with Him through His son Jesus Christ. The good news is when we accept our responsibility and accountability to God, His mercy and forgiveness which all of us is in need of, is available in generous measure. But we must first face up to our responsibility before God before His forgiveness can flow to us.

We all have our challenges at different times in life, and though they may seem trivial compared to those of others, they still represent moments when choices are required. The responsibility that goes with some of those choices may not seem to carry much weight but let us not be deceived or lulled into a false sense of security that causes us to forget the enormous weight of responsibility that we each bear before our Father in heaven.

This responsibility God has entrusted us with, is so important to Him, He is going to meet us face to face at the end of time and ask us to give a personal account of our actions. Let's get ready and ensure we are prepared for that meeting. Let's be reminded that mercy and forgiveness flows from God during times we have failed Him but this must be preceded by heartfelt and honest confession of the wrong we have done. Let's be reminded that such honest confession to God is the means of being transformed into the person He created us to be.

Such responsibility is on the shoulders of every person who has ever lived. Such responsibility reflects the enormous importance that God places on humanity. Such responsibility must be the priority for all of us. It is a matter of life and death.

Bye for now,
Oreste

Sunday, January 16, 2011

You in 2011: Making it Count

Oreste's message on Sunday 16th January 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste challenges us to make 2011 a year that counts as we commit to be obedient disciples. Obedience is the only thing that God has ever asked of us and yet if we are honest God does not always get what He asks of us. This message will cut you to the core of your heart and with honest self-reflection will either expose you as faithful or unfaithful to the Lord.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010:Another One Bites the Dust

Oreste's message on Sunday 2nd January 2011 is available for download.

In this message Oreste challenges us to consider what we carried in our personal bag in 2010. Although the year 2010 has been and gone, as disciples of Jesus, the bag should have included the things that matter most to our Master. Be encouraged and inspired to embrace the new year as a result of reviewing our individual performance against Kingdom priorities during 2010.