Luke 10:38-42– In a few short verses, Luke has recorded an important encounter in the lives of two sister, Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus. At first glance Jesus seemed to be scolding Martha for her activity and praising Mary for her lack of it. But a closer look shows us that much more was taking place than at first glance. Mary had stopped to listen to Jesus and found that only one thing was necessary for her that day. Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”Are we prepared to sit at His feet each day, and wait on Him for the one thing that is necessary for us?
On Sunday we celebrated the Lords Table, looking back at the Feast of the Passover (Exodus 14), and how God chose Moses to free His people. God always makes great choices and we should be ever ready, never doubting when He chooses us. We looked at when Jesus went into Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. He knew that it would be the last meal that He would share with His friends, His disciples. Jesus broke bread and shared wine, telling them they were to do this in remembrance of Him. We shared bread and wine and remembered in our hearts just how much Jesus means to us. When He became the ultimate sacrifice, we
were set free from sin and were gifted eternal life.
From the opening chapter of the Bible onwards, it’s clear that God’s design for all He’s formed and created is multiplication, fruitfulness and growth! He has designed and destined us to keep growing – personally and in our churches. In his letters to the Ephesians and Corinthians the apostle Paul shows us how the church grows and how each member is empowered by the Spirit to play their vital part in this, “so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Eph 4:16). If you want your life and church to experience blessing and meaningful growth then this message is for you!…
Over the last couple of months we have considered Israel’s conquest of Canaan, recorded in the book of Joshua. The boundaries of the land God had given then, He clearly laid out for them, so their success was measured by their progress of driving out their enemies, to possess their inheritance in full.
The Apostle Paul tells us (1 Co 10) that these things were recorded to instruct us, His church. In this message we consider principles that can be seen in the record of Joshua of how to reach the boundaries of potential God has for us, and to remain faithfully within the boundaries of God’s protection.
All of life comes about because of the principal of sowing and reaping. Arne shares with us the power of sowing simple seeds of good words and deeds in day to day life, and encourages us never to neglect small beginnings because the biggest fruit can come from the smallest seed.
God loves family! He wants our families and households to be secure and blessed, and to be a blessing. This will come about when we, like Joshua’s declare, ‘As for me and my family, we will worship GOD’. We look at how his example will help us ensure we too have whole households.
For Joshua and his generation the time had come to cross boundaries, overcome obstacles and possess the promises of God – and great strength and courage were the outstanding characteristics needed for their success. These things are true for us too, and this message is a call to recognise the urgent need of our day, the great harvest all around us, and the fact that the clock is ticking…. This is your time, God is with you, and so are we! So be bold, be strong and don’t miss the moment!
In Joshua 2 we discover how the “house of Rahab the prostitute” was significant for the success of the advance God’s people into the promised land. In Rahab’s house we notice that there is radical living, influential reports, hospitality for strangers, faithful promises, and rescue from death and destruction! “Let’s go to Rahab’s house and learn from the examples there, for our own success in advancing into all God has promised us.
Following on from the message on the spiritual mind, we look at the importance of the body in the context of a renewed and restored spirit. We look at the human body and it’s spiritual significance as being a part of Christ, a temple for the Holy Spirit and a vessel for mission and purpose. Then we look at it’s earthly significance and our responsibility to look after it well! It’s a challenging message that could prolong your life!
Joshua 1:11– In the first chapter of Joshua we enter a new phase in Israel’s history and find a new leader, with a threefold command for God’s people (v.11) to get them ‘fit for the fight’ of their lives! In this message we consider the relevance of this threefold instruction for us today, as we enter a new phase in our history, and how it can help us also to get battle-ready.
The book of Joshua covers around 30 years of history and describes how God leads His people, by faithful and obedient leadership, into His amazing promises. In this session we set the scene of this great book of the Bible, look at God’s plan and the great heroes of faith within it.
In many ways, it’s Paul’s great longing for unity in the churches that underpins this letter from beginning to end! And now in the final chapter he gives powerful personal expression to this as he sends his affectionate love and greetings to dozens of named members of the church in Rome. They’re his “co-workers”, “brothers” and “dear friends”; they “work hard” and are “approved in Christ”; they’re like family to Paul. They comprise men and women, Jews and Greeks, slaves and freed-men; and all are loved dearly and greatly valued by Paul. This great apostle didn’t just write about fellowship, teamwork and unity in Christ – he set us all a great example by living it out in his life and ministry!
Romans 4:13-21– The righteous have always lived by faith (Rom 1:17). God revealed to Abraham who He had MADE HIM TO BE, and in so doing, showed Himself to be the God who GIVES LIFE TO THE DEAD and CALLS INTO EXISTENCE THE THINGS THAT DO NOT EXIST
Abraham’s resulting faith enabled him to see, beyond all human hope, what God was going to do in his life. It enabled him to see his own future promised son, Isaac whom God was calling into being, and even beyond to God’s Promised Son, Jesus through whom many nations would come into the same faith. Abraham’s example can show us how to see what God has MADE YOU to be, what the Spirit is doing IN YOU to bring you into the full stature of Christ, and all that God is seeking to do THROUGH YOU to call many nations into His Kingdom. Let us align ourselves with what God has said He will do, and call into existence those things which He has promised, but do not yet exist!
When God says to us “I Promise” we can expect that we will be stretched and changed us to become more like Christ, we can expect to grow in clearly hearing and diligently responding to the voice of God, and we can expect that our faith in God can inspire faith in others to believe that the One who promises is faithful. How awesome that God loves us and considers us to be a people whom He can bless and trust with His promises.
What does the bible say about our salvation in terms of our body, soul and spirit? In this message, we attempt to sensitively unpack the elements that make up the whole human person and look at some of this in the context of anxiety, stress and depression. We then look at some keys to help us live in fullness with a spiritual mind.
In Romans chapter 8 the great apostle Paul introduces us to what he’s previously described as “the new way of living” (Ro 7:6), and which we now discover is a life filled with, led by and in the power of the wonderful Holy Spirit! In this fantastic chapter we find that the Spirit frees us from failure and liberates us from legalism; He the One who verifies our sonship and gives us victory over sin; and He’s the One who energises our bodies and empowers our prayers! The Holy Spirit is our greatest advocate and we pray that this message will encourage and enrich you in your walk with God.
How radical is our rationale? How radical is our way of thinking? Paul tells us in Romans 12 to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice but then goes on to tell us that this is our rational service – our totally rational response to all God has done for us. God wants to challenge us not only to think radically as our minds are renewed but also then to live radically in light of that… and Romans 12 gives us some great keys on how we can do that.
Romans 8:28 – In our present uncertain age, this Biblical truth is a steel peg which can be punched into the Rock. It is an anchor point in the storms of life. During this message we examine the different parts of this wonderful declaration, to consider some important aspects which we often overlook, and discover some revelatory truths we may not have known were there! The Apostle Paul acknowledges that there are things in life which we don’t know (v.26), but tells us emphatically that this is an eternal truth we MUST know, with a confidence that nothing is equal to shaking.
Every home has its own distinct emphases and characteristics; things which form the essential hallmarks of that house and its inhabitants. In the second half of this mini-series we describe in further detail the kind of churches we’re seeking to build on the foundations of our gospel. What will this house and family be like? What will it look like, sound like, feel like? It’s our prayer that this message will inspire and encourage you as you give yourself to be part of Christ’s church, which is to be the dwelling-place of His Spirit (Ephesians 2:20).
“What kind of house will you build for me?” asks the Lord (Acts 7:49). It’s a rhetorical question, but nevertheless provokes us to think carefully about the kind of churches we’re establishing and building. In the first half of this mini-series we set forth the good news of “our gospel” here at Living Rock. These foundational teachings are centred around the resurrected Christ: they bring great security and peace; they liberate the church and her leaders to function with gift and grace; they offer real hope to all people; and they inspire and empower our mission together!…
Reading Romans chapter 5 is like taking giant strides to the very top of a magnificent mountain-peak, and from that vantage point gazing at the vast panoramic views now spread before us! Because we’ve been “declared righteous by faith”, Paul explains, we now have blessing-upon-blessing (v1-11): Peace, access into Grace, Joy, Hope, indwelling Love, the Holy Spirit, Salvation! And all this is made possible because Christ came to create a new humanity: to reverse the effects of Adam’s sin, to restore mankind completely, and by “one righteous act” on the Cross to obtain life for everyone! May this great message of new life and fresh hope bless you and strengthen you for the year ahead…
We learn in Romans that we have the freedom to become like Christ, and discover God’s limitlessness love and power in our lives. We can be identified or defined by many things, but in this message we discover how we can find out identity in Jesus Christ. Romans 8:5-17 says that Christ lives in you; the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within us! We are adopted as His own children and we are heirs of Gods glory. Once you become a new creation in Him, everything changes for the better. You’re given a new name. Your whole identity changes because you’ve been rescued and redeemed from sin and darkness and welcomed into God’s Kingdom family.
If we confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. Our hearts matter most to God, because what is in our hearts matters most to us! In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, we read that God looks at the heart, and only He can truly change our hearts.
In the opening verses of Romans chapter 1 Paul introduces himself to the church at the heart of the Empire as a “slave of Christ” who’s been “set apart for the Gospel of God”. In this message, we discover that we too are “set apart” by God, saved by a powerful and gigantic gospel, and called to join the ‘revolution’ – declaring that JESUS IS LORD and abandoning our allegiance to anything else!…
As we launch our teaching series, based in the letter to the Romans, we start by considering the background and circumstances of this great work of the Apostle Paul. We also consider what it has to say about 3 great existential questions of our time, (1) Who am I? (2) What am I here for? and (3) What does the future hold for me? The unfolding divine revelation in these pages speaks of our IDENTITY in Christ, our PURPOSE in His Kingdom, and our DESTINY as faithful children laying hold of God’s promises for a glorious future!
The apostle Paul describes himself as being compelled to preach the gospel (1Co 9:16) and in this message Slava talks about the joy of serving God’s purpose and making his mission the overwhelming priority in our lives. He shows us that having the attitude of “I must!…” brings the ultimate joy and fulfilment.
Acts 11:19ff & 13:1-3 – The church in Antioch, was expansive and outward looking from its beginnings. Aptly described as a ‘church bursting its banks’, Luke’s account gives us a clear picture of the prevailing culture and values that made this the epicentre of a gospel explosion across the Roman world. In this message we explore these features of such a vibrant, multi-gifted church to see what made them instinctively outward looking, Christ-centred and fruitfully nurtured – a place where ‘living stones’ had room to grow!
Jesus assures us the spiritual ‘harvest’ is here and now (John 4:345) and Joshua 3:15 gives us a picture of the river Jordan (representing healing power and resurrection life) “overflowing all its bank” throughout the harvest season! In this keynote message, we see the urgent need for the church to be carrying life and bursting its banks and consider what this means in practice. For all of us at LRC the new season we will soon embrace is our greatest ever opportunity to experience such powerful and far-reaching overflow!…
We are living in days where people are ready to respond to the Good News! We look at how we, as Spirit-filled believers, will transform the world around us. The Holy Spirit in us is a flood that can overcome obstacles. He is a well spring that blesses and refreshes others. That the church is river to restore and bring life to our local schools, work places, communities and neighbourhoods!
The lyrics of the song ‘These are the Days of Elijah’ are full of biblical truth to help us declare who we are as God’s people and how we are to be in the times we live in. As we look at the examples of Elijah, Moses, Ezekiel and David; we see the kind of people God is calling us to be in the world today.
As we read the book of Acts we see a church that lives in the expectation, experience and appreciation of the miraculous. Tim encourages us to open our eyes to the miracles we see in our every day lives, and position ourselves to hear the Holy Spirit; as we do this faith and power will be unlocked for us to see even greater miracles in the church.
Jesus tells us that the harvest is great and the harvest is ripe! People all around us are ready to respond to the Good News of the Kingdom that we carry. Like Jesus we have the Holy Spirit and power, God is with us! As we go around each day, and go on our way; God wants us to look up, look around and see the opportunities we have to change the world around us!
2 Samuel 11-12 tell the awful story of King David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his attempts to cover things up afterwards, before being confronted by Nathan the prophet. “I have sinned against the Lord”, David finally admits, and Psalm 51 is his heartfelt prayer of repentance; the public outpouring of a contrite heart in all its humiliation. David was forgiven and restored, and enjoyed many more years of fellowship with His beloved God. This tragic episode serves as both a warning and an encouragement to all God‘s people. On the one hand, sin is no respecter of persons, and we must be aware of our weak-spots. Nevertheless, however we may have fallen and whatever the past, when we come clean with the Lord there is bright hope for great future!
Jesus repeatedly assures His disciples the ‘harvest’ is abundant and ready! In Joshua 3:15 we read that “the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season”, and in this message we draw these images together and consider what it means for our own lives to ‘overflow’ with life, promise and hope to others during this this present harvestime. This is an essential message for all of us who want to play our part in the greatest ingathering of our generation!…
When we accept Jesus into our lives, we are given access to the most amazing rack of spiritual clothing to help us walk as God intended. In this message, Ben takes us on a whistle-stop tour of Joseph and his different outfits… and how he doesn’t get distracted en route to fulfilling God’s purpose for his life.
The supernatural church speaks with an authoritative, faith filled, supernatural voice. A voice with the power to proclaim that what is already bound in heaven will be bound on earth and what is already loosed in heaven will be loosed on earth. As we draw near to God to hear His heart, we can boldly speak the word of God with the assurance that the Spirit of God is ready to bring dynamic life and power to the words that leave our mouths.
In the beginning of beginnings God let shine into the darkness and began the creation of all things on earth (Ge 1:2-3). When He later entered the world He had made, Jesus declared Himself to be “the light of the world”, and His dynamic, life-changing ministry demonstrated just that – bringing hope to the sinful (Jn 8:12), sight to the blind (Jn 9:5) and much more! But He also declared that we too are “the light of the world” (Mt 5:14), and He equips and expects us to continue His ministry – bringing great light into the darkness of our worlds!…
Over recent months the Lord has been drawing us further into His presence, around the throne, where there is everything we need. One of those essential things is God’s Promised Rest. In fact, we find in the letter to the Hebrews (3:7-4:11), that there is an ever-present invitation to join Him in ‘His’ rest. From here we take a journey through the Scriptures to see want this means, and how finding this rest will impact our past, present and future.
The Bible’s big story of God’s purpose for His people is centred at various times around a significant encounter with a particular person! Both Old and New Testaments contain numerous stories of individuals having an encounter with God that changes everything! In this message we look at Jacob’s powerful encounter with the Lord (Genesis 28) and find characteristics we should expect when we meet Him ourselves. Get ready to meet Him in this way!…
The small letter of Paul to Titus contains a big message for our day! The church is to be built on SOUND TEACHING and to be devoted to GOOD WORKS. This is the vital ‘inflow’ and ‘outflow’ that ensures we stay healthy and fruitful. We must remain biblically balanced in our joint-focus on the Message and the Mission – and be ready at all times to meet the urgent needs that are all around us.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – Approaching the Throne of God is an awesome thing! Thankfully we can do so because we have One who has gone before us, securing our inheritance and our acceptance forever. As we approach we need to hold fast to a confession based on the Word of Truth about who He is, and who we now are (in Him). By embracing Jesus’ humanity, as well as knowing we are accepted we can also know we are fully ‘understood’. By a revelation of such things we can learn how to lay hold of the Grace of God, in its various forms, not only for ourselves, but also for the world He loves and came to save!
God sent Jesus so that we can have an abundant life, lived to the full. He has plans for us to live a life full of joy, love, victory, power in close relationship with Him. In this podcast we consider how we can live this full and vibrant life God has for us.
God’s creation of “heaven and earth” (Ge 1:1) was a two-fold manifestation of Himself, and His eternal purpose is the harmony of things on earth with things in heaven! This purpose finds it fulfilment in His supernatural church: people born from above; the dwelling-place of the Spirit (Eph 2:22); the Body of Christ extending His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. In this message we consider how the Holy Spirit is at work in the church and how He wants to lift us into a new dimension of purpose and power.
In these days the Lord is impressing upon us the importance of spending time around His throne together. The writer to the Hebrews (8:1-7) shows us the reality of what this means, whether we gather in twos or two-hundreds. It is a place of REVELATION – where the Lord wants to show us who He is and who we are in Him, of TRANSFORMATION – where our line of sight and our thinking comes into line with Spiritual realities, and COMMISSION – where the Lord wants to equip and instruct us, so that we can build according to the pattern He has shown us around His throne. From this place Mission becomes for us, simply an overflow of the Holy Spirit’s life within us.
When John the Baptist heard that crowds were flocking to Jesus, he declared “He must increase, but I must decrease”. As Christians, we have followed a Person, not a cause or a creed. And Jesus must totally eclipse all things in our lives if we’re to find our proper place and play our proper part. His offer and provision for each of us is: “all of Me, for all of you” – He is all we need! But that is also his demand: if we want all of Him we have to surrender all of ourselves to Him. It cannot work any other way, but it is the most blessed exchange imaginable!…
There are many physical and natural activities that the Bible instructs us to do, e.g. fasting, sharing the Lord’s Supper, anointing with oil, caring for the sick. They key is that when we do these things, we apply our faith and obedience to the Spirit of Christ. They become a means of grace; physical acts that carry real spiritual power and significance and set us apart as God’s people!
The story of the Israelites is the story of ‘our forefathers’ says the Apostle Paul (1 Co 10), laden with warnings and promise. From God’s first promise to Abraham, the Apostle traces the history of his own people, including the ups and the downs, to show us God’s intended fulfilment through Abraham’s Seed, Christ Jesus. It is the story of a loving and faithful God whose GRACE to Jew and Gentile alike is displayed, and of RESTORATION, as Paul shows us God’s great plan to bring a future remnant from Israel back to Him, through Jesus.
We start this new year encouraged by the apostle Peter’s assurance that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) so that we now “share in the divine nature” (1:4) – these are incredible statements and in this message we explore how we can live in the good of these truths! We discover that what God did for us at our conversion – through our repentance, baptism, being filled with the Spirit and being added to His Church (Ac 2:38-41) – are the reasons we now lack nothing. Here and now, we already have all we need to succeed in our mission, as we cultivate all the fruit of the Spirit and activate all the gifts of the Spirit!…
Revelation 19 shows us a picture of the Bride of Christ, which is His church. We see that a day is coming where we will have made ourselves ready for His return, but what does that mean for us today? How do we make ourselves ready to be the Bride that Christ deserves?
What kind of people ought we to be in the light of His return? In this podcast, we explore the essential framework needed to be in place in order for us to be productive in playing our part in God’s purposes for our lives. Viewing the world through the lens of mission means very little unless we have the frame in place to support the lenses. We explore several themes which will help us focus our time and priorities better and be more productive in our time here on earth between His ascent up to heaven and our wait for His return!
Jesus will return at the time of “the restoration of all things” (Acs 3:21), which, crucially, will include the restoration of the Church. In this message we consider what this means and explore some of the big pictures and magnificent images the apostles use to describe the mature, restored church. Jesus is not returning to rescue a weak and powerless remnant of people, but rather to be joined with His glorious Bride! The restored church is the City of God, the Temple of the Spirit and an expression of all the Fulness of Christ…
Christ’s return is the ultimate unfulfilled prophecy, and when it happens it will mark the end of the Present Age and the start of the Age to Come. The ‘Second Coming’ will transcend and eclipse everything else in human history! However, the NT writers want us to be filled with faith not with fear and to focus on WHY Jesus will return rather than WHEN – and on what the Church should be doing in the meantime…
Jesus Christ did a magnificent thing on the cross. Although He could have been overwhelmed by the influences of the fleshly human nature He had taken on, Christ, in loving submission and obedience to His father, overcame the flesh and defeated it completely. It was as He did this that the veil was torn in two and access into God’s most holy place was granted. In His presence we are made more like Christ and can expect to receive gladness, refreshing and forgiveness!
The Cross has changed everything, including how we are to perceive every aspect of life! We consider how this can rightly impact our view of God, ourselves, our future and purpose, the mission, the situations we face, other people, and the world around us. We must learn to look at all things through the lens of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Recently the Lord has been speaking to us about seeing all things through the Cross, but also moving out of ‘maintenance mode’ into ‘mission mode’. At the heart of the Mission, is the Cross. And the purpose of the Cross is the Mission. We have been co-Missioned by Jesus, to continue His great work of restoring all things to God. In this message we look at Paul’s words, to the Philippians (2:6-11), describing how Jesus embraced His own co-Mission from the Father, by embracing the Cross – inviting us to do the same. We consider how we should therefore view the Mission through the ‘lens’ of the Cross, and approach the Cross in light of the Mission.
The feeding of the 5000 was a miracle of unprecedented scale and impact, and tells us vital things about the mission of the Church in these critical days. We’re here to FEED THE WORLD and In this message we’re challenged to do so with as much compassion, bravery and generosity as Jesus Himself.
In 2 Chronicles 5 and 6 we see the impact of a completed Temple and the provision of God that was there, but also can be found at the Table as we break bread together today.
The story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) is an amazing account of God working in a man’s life to fulfil his dreams and his destiny! In this message we explore some of the key moments in Joseph’s journey from the pit to the palace and discover three powerful principles that worked for Joseph and can work for you too!…
The Bible’s first mention of “worship” occurs in the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22), and provides us with a rich understanding of what worship involves and what it produces. Just as God put Abraham to the test, so He asks whether we will put Him first, offer everything to Him, and learn what AW Tozer called “the blessedness of possessing nothing.”
The Covenant Meal is about Remembrance of what He has done, our Royal identity in Him and Rejoicing in all he accomplished. In Jesus, we are made alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ, raised up together with Him and are seated together in the heavenly realms by virtue of our being in Christ Jesus.
The Cross of Christ must be understood within the wider perspective of God’s eternal plan, and in this message Roger shows us how God stripped His enemies bare, displayed His power in the supernatural realm, and dealt with human sin – in order to use us in His purpose. The Father sowed His Son, in order to reap a family of sons.
Our revelation and appreciation of all that Jesus achieved for us through the work of the Cross must have a very practical outworking. What does it mean for us here and now and how does it affect the kind of church we are building in our locality? In this message, we consider some of these things including the way we love and care for the lost, our experience of healing and the way we relate together as God’s family.
Far too often we feel the need to see something before we will believe it. As Christians God wants us to believe in Him even though we don’t see Him….
In the latest in our ‘School of Ministry’ series, Arne Skagen describes the heart and burden of an Ephesians 4:11 “evangelist”. Drawing from the Scriptures, and from his own experiences…