Sunday, 8th March, 2015.

Welcome to everyone sharing in our Op-Shop Community Sunday. If you’re visiting our church for the first time you’ll notice that we are quite different to other churches. Please relax, introduce yourself and enjoy the fellowship over coffee & cake and then, if you’re brave enough, join in the discussion too!

What a fun time we had last Sunday with the children! Aaron’s 2-year-old-laughter was priceless and good for the soul too. I love having the children help us with our gathered worship. At the end of the service when I gave the blessing, one of the boys asked me, “How did you read that prayer without turning to look at it?” I told him I had eyes in the back of my head!

I don’t know if you noticed in last week’s reading; there was a very clear but sobering message about the role of the devil in the midst of gospel work.

Luke 8:11-12  "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. (12)  Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

It is clear that Jesus understood that the devil does not want people to believe and be saved. It should therefore come as no surprise when we meet opposition to our gospel work. It comes in all shapes and sizes ranging from unreasonable opposition to circumstances beyond our control getting in the way of our ministry.

I mention this because we need to pray and ready ourselves, especially with the Alpha course commencing soon. I urge us all to pray and cover this course: the preparations; those leading; those participating; and each evening that it is run. James says this: (James 4:7 ) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Examine what’s in your heart and mind – submit it all to God. If the devil tests you, resist him. Ignore his barbs and accusations – there is no condemnation for those who in Christ Jesus. Drive him out in the name of Jesus!

Meanwhile next week Jospeh Pilon will affirm his Baptismal Vows which he made last year (but which his parents were unable to attend). If there is anyone else who would like to affirm their own baptism, please see me after the service today or during the week so that we can chat it over.

God bless,  Ian.