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is to worship God, and to glorify Him, through caring, equipping and mobilising people for mission.

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Living God's Story Together

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Cnr Rothesay Ave and Dorene St
St.Marys SA 5042

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    Fasting & Praying this Lenten Season

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012


    I am aware, as I write this, that today is Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time when many Christians and churches begin to think about and prepare for Easter. It is a forty-day period of fasting and prayer intended to encourage Christians to think about sin and forgiveness through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While for some it may be a vain attempt to follow a set of rules and regulations to be pious enough to find acceptance with God for many others it can be a genuine time of personal discipline and denial to encourage a greater awareness of God and devotion to Him.

    This Lenten season as we head toward Easter we thought it might be a good idea to encourage our church family to be focusing on the Lord Jesus and draw near to Him through fasting and prayer. We have alerted our Lifegroup Shepherds about this and asked them to encourage their groups to consider fasting and praying. Fasting can take many forms such as fasting from; food, sweet things (sugar, cakes, ice-cream, especially chocolate!), meat, alcohol, caffeine, entertainment, television, technology, facebook, shopping, an attitude or bad habit. You name it, there are any number of things that we can deny ourselves as a form of spiritual self-discipline in order to prompt us to pray and read more of the Scriptures.

    Currently our E100 is seeing great support in the church and is encouraging many so how about adding fasting and increased prayer to the spiritual discipline of reading the Word of God everyday?

    It is significant that Lent is a period of 40 days in preparation for Easter as 40 day and year periods have great significance in Scripture, consider the following; God sent rain upon the earth in the great flood for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:4), Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai with God (Exodus 34:28), Elijah spent 40 days and nights walking to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8), the 12 spies spent 40 days exploring the Promised Land (Numbers 13:25), the Hebrew people spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness (Numbers 32:13), they also ate manna for 40 years (Exodus 16:35), Jonah told the people of Nineveh they had 40 days to repent or face God’s judgement (Jonah 3:4), Israel was oppressed by the Philistines for 40 years (Judges 13:1), for 40 days Goliath taunted Israel (1 Samuel 17:16), David reigned over Israel for 40 years (2 Samuel 5:4), Solomon also reigned over Israel for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42), Saul reigned for 40 years  (Acts 13:21), and perhaps most well known is Jesus spending 40 days fasting in the wilderness at the beginning of His earthly ministry (Matt 4:1-2).

    What can you pray for during the next 40 days? Your spiritual growth, your attitudes, words, actions, your family, your marriage, your work, your health, your unsaved friends, the church, the pastors and elders, missionaries both local and overseas, marriages, churches in Adelaide and throughout Australia, government, political leaders, our nation. There are many things we can be in prayer for, how about taking the time to write a list and then pray through it? Perhaps Lent and a dedicated time of fasting and prayer could encourage you spiritually to go to a new level of growth and vibrancy in your walk with the Lord. Your life could increasingly become a source of spiritual influence and encouragement to Christians and non-Christians.

    Remember God wants to walk with you, He wants you to fellowship and commune with Him through prayer, listening to Him, reading the Scriptures and obeying His will in your life. He wants to bless you that you in turn might be a blessing and an inspiration to others.






    Remembering Sacrifice

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011


    This year’s Easter long weekend is particularly long due to Easter coinciding with ANZAC day.

    Australia is sometimes known as the land of the long weekend, but over the years ANZAC day has helped shape a national identity of a different sort; equating courage, discipline, and sacrifice as qualities intrinsically Australian.  It’s a day that reminds us of the sacrifice made by our countrymen and women in years past; and in particular that of those who went to war and didn’t return.

    My grandfather used to tell me the story of fighting along the Kokoda track, the battle at Shaggy ridge; and as a battalion intelligence officer, being a part of the Japanese surrender ceremony at Kendari in the Celebes (now Sulawesi in Indonesia) in 1945 – at which his Japanese counterpart gave my granddad his family Samurai sword as a sign of surrender. (Also my father having fought in 2 wars, and my great grandfather having been in the artillery, may have influenced my decision to join the army at 17!)

    I certainly don’t want to glorify war, but as a country, we do have a history of great sacrifice on the battlefield, and I can’t reflect on ANZAC day, and the sacrifice of men and women who have laid down their lives for the freedom of others, without also thinking about Jesus’ words, “greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends”(John 15).

    This is what we remember on ANZAC day; not celebrating war, but remembering and honouring sacrifice.  This is also what we remember at Easter; but on this occasion we also celebrate!  Jesus’ perfect sacrifice – laying down his life for us – restoring us to relationship with God, didn’t come about by treaty or mutual decision, but by taking our sin upon Himself.

    For those of us in Christ, this is the most amazing news!  Once we were dead in our transgressions, but now we’re alive in Jesus!  He died in our place, and rose again to take the place of glory at the right hand of the Father.  So, this extended long weekend, as you eat hot cross buns, consume chocolate, participate in church services, or wake up early for a dawn service, remember the ultimate sacrifice… God’s son.


    Don.






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