A wise person once stated – ‘The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history!’ Mankind makes the same mistakes over and over again. Just read the history books, or as Christians, read the Bible, the record of man’s relationship with God and his fellow men.

We read of God’s amazing faithfulness to His chosen people, the Jews, because of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the fathers of that nation. One of the most amazing books which clearly shows man’s faithlessness and God’s merciful patience, is the book of Judges. After Joshua died and the land God had given them was mostly settled, the new generations forgot about the wonders of God’s provision for their young nation. They deserted the God of their fathers and worshipped the gods of the peoples around them, so God judged them – which He had promised to do if they left Him out of their lives. One of the neighbouring nations would invade and make them worship their gods and serve them.

Eventually the people realised their sin and would ‘cry out to God in their distress and He heard them’ and sent a judge to deliver them who then led them until he died. You remember some of them – Gideon, Deborah and Samson. The 10 – 14 year old boys in my Sunday School class many years ago loved the story of Ehud!

This up and down life fills the book of Judges – following God, sinning and suffering by deserting Him, crying out for His help and then God hearing and rescuing them. We would think they should have learnt their lesson, but they didn’t, because as we read the rest of the Old Testament, we find they continued to do their own thing and forget about their loving God, resulting in the leaders eventually rejecting their Promised Deliverer, the Lord Jesus, God the Son.
I would suggest each one of us is in a similar situation – instead of a nation, we, as individuals, are responsible for the way we respond to God’s faithfulness to us. We need to look back, as the Jews were reminded to often, and remember all He has done for us and then trust Him for what lies ahead. David wrote in Psalm 139:17, ‘How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them.’
‘The past is full of His miracles and the future is full of His plans for us.’ Kidner.

As we meet together to worship Him this morning, may our hearts be full of praise and thankfulness and may we determine to trust Him for what He has planned for the week and months ahead.


Lerwin Service tomorrow

Our regular church service at the Lerwin Nursing Home will be held tomorrow. Come along for a time of singing and worship with the residents.

When: 10:30am Thursday May 22nd

Where: Lerwin Nursing Home, Joyce street, Murray Bridge.

All welcome.

Murraylands service tomorrow

Our regular monthly service at the Murraylands Homes for the Aged will be held tomorrow. Come along for a time of singing, worship and communion, followed by afternoon tea.

When: 2pm Tuesday May 20th

Where: Jean Jarvis Centre, Pugh Avenue, Murray Bridge.

All welcome.

Believing in what?

We recently sang that lovely hymn ‘I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day’ 1 Timothy 1:12. How do we come to believe in our Lord Jesus – Who He is, what He has done and is doing for us?
The only way is in studying the Bible and so to get to know the Living Word (Jesus Christ) is through getting to know the written word (our Bible). Many folk have been misled by wrong teaching, so it is vital for us to know, for ourselves, what our God is saying to us. It is very encouraging to see so many being a part of the various Bible studies which are held during the week.

The Lord Jesus believed all of the Bible (our Old Testament) and used portions of it in His messages. There are those theologians today who say we cannot believe the first 11 chapters of Genesis, because it doesn’t agree with science. If we take those passages away, there is no necessity to believe in an higher authority than man, there is no such thing as sin and therefore we have the lawlessness and immorality, etc, which we see around us today as we wonder, where is all this going to end? We will never understand all of God’s word, but there is plenty that we do and if we will obey those instructions, God will help us to understand more and more of His will for us as individuals and as His church.

The story is told of a dear older Christian lady who was unable to attend church anymore. The young minister visited her and, before he left, asked if she would like him to read a passage of Scripture to her. She said, “That would be lovely” and handed him her Bible which was on the table next to her armchair. As he took it, he looked at her with surprise and said, “It’s very thin, what has happened to it?”  “Well”, she said, “Each time you mentioned in your sermon that we needn’t believe that part because it doesn’t agree with modern knowledge, I came home and tore those pages out. There is not much left to comfort me except what my Heavenly Father has helped me to remember.”

I pray each of us believe all of God’s Word, not just those parts which are appealing to you. Paul went on to remind Timothy, in chapter 3 verse 16, that ‘ALL Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for making us thoroughly equipped for our service for Him.’ May this be the desire in our hearts this morning as we come to learn of Him and then go out to obey Him in the week ahead.


Mother’s Day

A special welcome to all mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers to our service this morning. We hope your time of worship this morning will be very special, despite how this special occasion is trivialised and commercialised in today’s world.

Most of us realise that our mother has an extra special place in our lives – and especially in our hearts. For others, Mothers Day is a bitter-sweet day because she may live far away, or the relationship is strained for some reason or she may no longer be alive. I know this only too well, having lived most of my life since my early 20s without the guiding hand of my mother.

Mothers have a special place in God’s heart too. There are many accounts in the Bible of the influence of God-honouring mothers. Consider the example of: Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel, the mother of Moses, Hannah the mother of Samuel, Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice, and Mary, the mother of Jesus.

We have just celebrated Easter. Can you remember who was at the foot of the Cross, watching the awful proceedings on that terrible day? Jesus’ own mother was in the midst of the grieving crowd. How her heart must have broken to see her wonderful son being treated so cruelly. We can only begin to imagine what she went through.

One of the most touching scenes in all of scripture is recorded by John in chapter 19. As the suffering, dying Saviour hung on the cross, in the midst of his agony, his last thoughts were for the welfare of his mother. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

On this day of remembering our Lord and Saviour as we worship, and as we join in fellowship around the Lord’s Table, I am sure there is plenty of room in our thoughts to also remember our mother, and her influence on our life, as well as appreciating all that she has done and continues to do for us.


Our resources

As I read F B Meyer’s devotional book, Our Daily Walk, I was challenged by what he wrote about being content, based on Heb 13:5 – “keep your lives free from the love of money – including greed, lust and a craving for earthly possessions – and be satisfied, or content, with what you have, because He (God) has said, ‘I will never leave you, never fail you or forsake you.’”

Are you like those who wish that they had more money, or more brains, or more influence? They dream of the lives they would live, of the deeds they would do, if only they were better equipped. God asked Moses, “What do you have in your hand?” It was only his shepherd’s rod, and yet that is what God used to demonstrate His power to Pharaoh.

David only had five small stones, but these, with God, brought down Goliath. The woman had only a pot of oil, but that pot of oil, with God, paid all her debts. The poor widow was scraping the barrel, but with God, the handful of meal kept her child, herself and the prophet until the rain came. The boy had only five tiny loaves and two small fish but with Jesus they were enough to feed 5000 men, beside women and children.

Find out what you have and then count God into the bargain. He never lets go of your hand. He will never leave nor forsake those that trust in Him.

Our Lord had none of this world’s wealth; the apostles had neither silver nor gold; Carey, the first missionary to India, was only a poor boot maker; Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, was a travelling tinker; John Wesley left 2 silver spoons when he died and went to glory.

It is not money, but human love, plus God, that is needed. Therefore, do not covet or hoard, but give, of yourself and of what God has already given you, back to Him.

Frances Havergal challenges us with these words:
I gave My life for you, My precious blood I shed,
That you might ransomed be and quickened from the dead.
I gave My life for you, what have you given for Me?