Preached on 26 January 2020 by Lance Lawton
Ordinary Sunday 3, Yr A
Psalm 27 was written by a man (most likely King David himself) possessed by two driving urges: to live all of his life in the presence of the living God knowing that there lies his most real security; and to seek God’s ‘face’, which means God himself, his person, his close presence, his lovely character. But where could such a longing truly be met? Finally only in Jesus, who by his coming us, made God known.
The long hike
Preached on 5 January 2020 by Lance Lawton
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. It does matter where you end up. So in 2020, will you worship Jesus as your King, and offer him whatever it is that signifies what a priceless treasure it is to you to worship Him with all you are and all you have.
A new government
Preached on 25 December 2019 by Lance Lawton
The UN can’t bring about peace. The President of the US can’t command peace. The military muscle of several nations can’t make peace happen. But Jesus, the one whom today we declare was born a child for us — he is the Prince of Peace. That’s the peace that can be yours today. It can transform your life, heal your broken relationships, bring you a clean conscience, forgiveness for your sins and failures – every one of them, turn a nation around .. it can do all of that and much much more — provided it can first reign in your heart. And that can happen today, right now; if you will allow it, if you will invite Jesus to form a new government over your life, to be your source of wisdom, to be your God of power, to nurture you as no earthly father can, to bring you Peace with God for ever by the blood he shed for you on the Cross.
Jesus can do all of that. That’s why there needed to be a child born for us. That’s why God’s Son has been given to us. That’s why there’s Christmas. May yours be filled with light, joy and peace as you welcome him as your ruler today.
God with us
Preached on 22 December 2019 by Lance Lawton
Advent 4, Yr A
A prophecy spoken to a fearful king 800 hundred years previous now speaks a word of more glorious hope to a world in greater danger. The child born in Isaiah’s time would signal God’s presence with and rescue of his people from great physical danger. The baby born centuries later to a virgin was named ‘Jesus’ because he would save his people from their sins. As we celebrate the Saviour’s birth this year, let’s say to ourselves: “Immanuel – God was with us, God is with is, God will be with us in 2020 and always.”
The reshaping of Peter
Preached on 8 December 2019 by Lance Lawton
The Peter of the post-resurrection, post-ascension period is a man utterly transformed by the Holy Spirit. Today we reflect on Peter in the Acts of the Apostles. We watch as Peter promises healing through the name of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, and the healing takes place just as he declared, in the sight of crowds of people at the temple. Then again we see Peter the faithful Jew changed by God’s revelation, to accept gentiles as recipients of God’s gospel mercy, and even to become the first to preach Christ to a gentile audience at the home of a Roman centurion. May we too be changed, shaped and grown to be faithful and effective servants of the Gospel.
Note: Sermon #4 in this series about Peter was preached last Sunday 1st December by the Rev’d Dr Guerin Tueno, in my absence. It is not included in this podcast.
The failure of Peter
Preached on 24 November 2019 by Lance Lawton
Just as Jesus had warned, Peter did fail. The man who’d walked closely with Christ for 3 years, grasping and confessing Jesus’ true identity as God’s Messiah, now denies his Lord three times. Peter must learn, as must each of the Lord’s disciples today, that the only true and lasting basis for discipleship is not our dignity, capacity or achievement, but the grace and mercy of God in Christ.
Preached on 17 November 2019 by Lance Lawton
Most people in our culture believe instinctively that a place in God’s kingdom (roughly equals ‘heaven’), something they desperately want for themselves and for their loved ones, is something a person must qualify for on their merits. Heaven, in other words, is awarded on interview. Jesus’ illustrative story of two people who went to God’s temple destroys that deadly myth in a few lines. It’s not your merits; it’s God’s mercy, freely given to those who seek
The sifting of Peter
Preached on 10 November 2019 by Lance Lawton
if Peter was going to be a rock on which the church could be built, a bearer of news about Jesus, and one who would grow and strengthen others in following Jesus, then he needed sifting so that in future years of service and responsibility, his faith would not fail. So Jesus allowed Satan to ‘sift’ him, to expose his weaknesses and failures and purify his trust in Jesus rather than himself. Perhaps you too might need to be sifted for the same reason. If so, may you enter the time of ‘sifting’ even through great failure, assured of Jesus’ words, “I have prayed for you”.
The calling of Peter
Preached on 3 November 2019 by Lance Lawton
Beginning a short series tracing the personal development of Peter – fisherman, disciple, apostle. Today we observe the Lord’s calling of Peter to his people-fishing mission. It starts with the simple logistic of Jesus borrowing Peter’s boat to serve as a ‘pulpit’. But it continues with Jesus shaping Peter for a mission of fishing for people, through learning to trust Jesus’ authoritative word, and learning that Jesus uses even very frail people, sinners such as himself.
Praying for true power
Preached on 27 October 2019 by Lance Lawton
Final in a short series on the prayers of the Apostle Paul. A prayer for hearts empowered by the Spirit, transformed by love, and filled with God.
All Bible Talk Series
- colossians 1
- colossians 2
- colossians 3
- exodus 2
- exodus 3
- exodus 4
- exodus 20
- good friday
- invitations to faith
- luke 18
- luke 22
- peter (apostle)
- prayers of paul
- ten commandments
- the cross
- the lost