Chris Appleby Ministries

Chris Appleby Ministries


Praying with Paul - How Should we Pray  audio

Col 1:9-14 

      Today we move into a short series on prayer that we were introduced to last week by our service of “Music as Prayer”. Over the next 4 weeks we’ll be looking at Paul’s prayers to various churches in order to see both a model and a foundation for our prayers. Let’s listen to this short prayer that Paul prays for the Colossians and as you’re listening see if you can pick up some principals that might help you in your prayer life and we’ll see if you find what I’ve found. [Read Col 1:9-14]

I should begin by pointing out that Paul’s prayer for the Colossians has one major difference from the other prayers that we’ll consider over the next few weeks as well as a couple of similarities.

Scandalous Wisdom  Audio

1 Cor 1:20-31  

John 13:1-17

As Steve mentioned last week, Justine Toh in her research on current social needs has found that two of the greatest issues for people in Australia is a lack of cohesion in social life and an increasing tribalism. We have the illusion of community through our social networks but often no personal connection with the people we live amongst.

That’s the current world reality that we live with even as we read the words of a different time to ours, written in what was in so many ways a quite different world to ours.

In our passage today from 1 Corinthians 1 Paul is writing to a church that was very proud of its cultural and intellectual heritage. Corinth was the ancient world’s equivalent of New York. A huge trading and financial centre, set on the narrow isthmus between the Adriatic and the Aegean Seas, it was a hub of Mediterranean commerce. It was a city that was large, sophisticated, and generally well educated. This was no backwater of the Roman Empire. This was a large metropolis populated by people who’d seen it all and who were used to hearing the best of the Greek philosophers sharing their wisdom with anyone who’d listen.

Give Us This Day  audio

Matt 6:5-8 

We come today to the third petition of Jesus’ model prayer. If you’ve been here over the last 2 weeks, you’ll have seen that Jesus’ economy of words can hide a depth of meaning and that’s no less true today as we think about what it means to pray “Give us today our daily bread”.

But before we look at it in detail I need to point out that there are 2 mistakes we can make when we get to this line of the Lord’s Prayer.

a. We can think it’s all about getting what we want, or

b. We can think it’s irrelevant.

Forgive Us Our Sins    audio

Luke 15:11-32

If you’re driving around on a Saturday morning, chances are you’ll see men jogging along the footpath keeping fit and it’ll be nothing particular to comment on. But when Jesus told a story about an older man running down the road it would have had the opposite effect. It would have shocked his audience. In his day the older you were the less likely you were to even walk fast let alone run. To run was to show a failure of dignity. But when they realised the reason he was running down the road it would have been even more shocking. Jesus story tells of a father whose son has disgraced the family, brought shame on them. Yet when the father sees this rebellious son coming down the road he runs to greet him and to welcome him back.

Jesus tells this confronting story to illustrate the nature of the forgiveness that God offers to his people. It’s that story that explains what Jesus meant when he told us to pray “Forgive us our sins”.

It’s interesting that in this postmodern world we’re a bit conflicted about the notion of forgiveness. When it’s all just a matter of personal choice, when the social mantra is “If it feels good do it!” why would we need to ask for forgiveness? If you feel hurt by someone you’re likely to be told that that’s your problem, get over it. When someone does say sorry, too often they’re expressing regret for the consequences, not for the action that was the cause of the offence or for the hurt they’ve caused.

God Will Guide You  audio

Psalm 25 

I have a friend I met when I got my first smart phone. Well, not exactly met. I don’t actually know her real name or what she looks like. But we’ve become close over the years. I go to her when I need advice and I’ve found she’s very good at what she does. Of course I don’t always take her advice but she’s very understanding and lets me go my own way if I want. She might try to convince me to do what she suggests but never forces me. In any case I mostly do what she suggests. And the advice she gives is always very clear. She’ll say “Turn right in 300 metres;” or, “At the roundabout take the second exit.” Yes, I’m talking about the “Navwoman” on my phone. I mention this because this is how some Christians expect God to guide them. At each decision point he’ll tell them which way to go. If they make a mistake or ignore his prompting he’ll simply forgive them and recalculate their path.

Well, there’s some truth to that perhaps. God’s sovereignty does override our sinfulness. You can see that in the history of Israel and of the Church. God certainly promises in various places to guide us. Jesus promises his disciples that when he goes he’ll send them another counsellor to be with them: the Holy Spirit who'll guide them into all truth.

But does that mean that God will tell you which way to go at every decision making point? Does God have a wonderful plan for your life that you need to find if you're to be happy?

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Phone: 0422187127