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Chris Appleby Ministries

Chris Appleby Ministries

 

Christ Our Comforter  audio

2 Cor 1:1-11 

You may have heard of Arch Hart, Professor of Psychology at Fuller Seminary in the US. He visited Australia several times in the 90s to lecture about stress and depression. One of the interesting things he said was a piece of advice he gives to ministers. He said never take your day off on a Monday if you can possibly help it. Why? Because that’s the day you’re most likely to be depressed and instead of being revived by a day off you’ll just waste it. And I can understand what he means. Imagine you’re the pastor of a church that’s wracked by divisions; where people are arguing over theology and how to apply it to their daily lives; where some of the congregation are involved in immoral behaviour and are even boasting about how sophisticated they are and the rest of the congregation just turn a blind eye; where every time you preach someone will complain that it was too long, or too simplistic or too complicated; where they point out that the other preachers are obviously far more gifted than you are; where they object to anything new. Monday would be a pretty depressing time wouldn’t it?

Now, I hope you realise I’m not talking about Steve here. I’m actually thinking about Paul’s experience at Corinth; because that’s the sort of Church he had to deal with there. If you read his first letter to the Corinthians, you’ll get an idea of the issues they faced. They were a very gifted Church but they’d allowed all sorts of problems to emerge.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer   audio

Rom 5:1-8 

(Part of a series based on "A Dangerous Dozen" by C. K. Robertson.

Well today’s superhero isn’t quite the sort of king’s man that we saw in that clip. For a start his background was nothing like that guy’s; nor did he have access to the array of weaponry and technology that that man had. In fact this week’s blockbuster would be more like Smiley’s People than Kingsman. Nevertheless as we’ll see, he truly was a King’s Man and his work had certain parallels with both those fictional characters, as he worked as a secret agent to overcome one of the greatest dangers to the world of the 20th century.

But let’s start at the beginning. Our hero’s name was Dietrich, born in 1906 to Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer. His father was a professor of psychiatry and his mother a teacher. His mother came from a family of musicians and clergymen, well known in high society. Her aunt was taught piano by Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann. Her family was both artistic and intellectual. Similarly his father came from the German nobility through Dietrich’s grandfather. His mother was a strong Christian but his father, being a scientist, was sceptical of such things. There were 8 children including Dietrich and his twin sister, Sabine. Questions and the exploration of ideas were encouraged and loud and energetic debates over ideas were a feature of their home throughout their lives.

audio

2 Cor 8:1-151 Tim 6:17-19 

Today we’re thinking about Generosity but before we talk about that I’d first like to do a little test. I’d like you to put up your hand if you consider yourself to be holy. Anyone?

Well, let’s hear what God says about you being holy: (reader) “9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people. So put up your hands now if you consider yourself to be holy.

Of course there’s a big difference between being holy and acting that way isn’t there? So what does it mean to act as in a holy way?

The Power of God for Salvation   audio

Jonah 3 & Jonah 4

Last week we saw how Jonah had been called by God to go and proclaim the gospel to Nineveh, to the Assyrians, the enemies of the people of God. We saw how he instead went in the opposite direction until God stopped him, and sent a great fish to transport him to the shores of Assyria.

Well, today we come to the next exciting instalment of the story. Jonah is now back on dry land, suitably chastised, and the word of the Lord comes to him again. “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” It’s the same message as before, but this time he’s learnt his lesson. This time he goes.

We’re told that Nineveh is an exceedingly large city, three days' walk across. That makes it sixty or so miles across. That would make it the size of Melbourne. Now in fact Nineveh proper  at this time was probably not much more than 2 kilometres across, so it’s probable that he means Nineveh and the surrounding cities which together formed greater Nineveh, the region that was at the centre of Assyrian life. So let me suggest why this narrative might choose the larger city area.

Trust in the Lord audio

Matt 10:5-34

I wonder if you’ve ever had the experience of suffering for your faith. I think for most of us that would be a rare occurrence. Though of course suffering for your faith can take lots of forms. In Australia it rarely comes in the form of physical suffering, though it certainly does in other parts of the world. In Australia it’s more likely to be in the form of disadvantage in employment, or being shunned by friends, or being mocked for your beliefs. In the public arena it often takes the form of being sidelined or ignored in public discourse in political policy making.

Jonah, The Reluctant Prophet  audio

Jonah 1 & Jonah 2

Well, it’s a familiar story isn’t it? Jonah is told to go and preach to the people of Nineveh, to warn them of God’s judgement and what does he do? He heads off in the opposite direction, to Tarshish in Spain. But he doesn’t get away with it. God knows where he is! He sends a great storm, so that the ship is foundering, until the sailors discover the truth. Jonah’s running away from the Lord who made the sea and the dry land. So they throw him overboard, the storm stops and a great fish comes and swallows up Jonah, only to spit him out on the shore of Assyria three days later.

But you know, there’s a bit more to this story than just a morality tale of someone who brings bad luck to those he travels with because he’s disobeyed God. Jonah is one of those Old Testament books that point forward so clearly to the gospel and its implications for us as Christians.

audio

Heb 4:6-8;    Eph 1: 3-14;   Luke 11:1-13  

I wonder, if you were here last week, how what Steve said about prayer has affected your prayer life, especially what he said about prayer in times of difficulty, when you just can’t find the words to use.

But maybe that isn’t your problem. Maybe you’re happy to pray whatever your circumstances. Or is your problem that you’re not sure if you’re good enough to pray? Are there times when you feel like you’ve been so disobedient that God won’t hear you; or perhaps that your problems are so insignificant that you shouldn’t worry God with them?

Well, as Linus would say good theology can be very reassuring.  

 

Contact Details

Phone: 0422187127
 
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