‘The ordinary, unusual and extraordinary in the birth of Jesus’ (Luke 2:1-35)

There are those who think that God only works in a big way, through miraculous events. He certainly has in the past and there’s no telling what He will do in the days ahead, but to fill out the whole picture, we need to remember that God also works in the ordinary things of life – birth, census…things like that. Luke 2:1-35 tells us some of these things – even including the extraordinary – by which he has made known to us the path to eternal life – through Jesus, His Son.

‘Loving Jesus more’ (Luke 7:36-50)

Simon was puzzled by Jesus; who was he? Was he from God, a prophet even? So he invited him to eat with him – and Jesus accepted. In Luke 7:36-50, we find that during the meal at his home, a woman Simon knew to be a ‘sinner’ (prostitute) wet Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair and anointed them with perfumed ointment. But Jesus knew who she was, and that she had done this to him because she was a forgiven sinner; faith in Jesus had saved her; she had believed in him, and he had forgiven her, and she had done this to him because, having been forgiven much, she loved him much.

If Jesus has forgiven our sins, we cannot help loving him, and long to show our love for him, for we know our forgiveness cost him death on a cross; we know that the Son of God loved us and gave himself for us. If we love Jesus, we will know our love for him is not yet what it ought to be, and we will long to love him more, and we will nourish our love for him by meditating on his love for us, by the inward working of his Spirit, and by prayer. The proof of our love for him is not feelings, or tears, or costly gifts, but obeying him. Love for him will enable us to obey him and so prove our love, and our obedience with increase our love for him who died for us to save us from our sins.

‘The reality of Easter: Jesus is alive!’ (Luke 24:36-53)

There’s little to account for the amazing change that came over the disciples of Jesus as recorded in Luke 24:1-12 and Luke 24:36-53, apart from the fact that they came face to face with the risen Jesus. The fact that he was and is alive changed everything for them …and does a similar thing to those who likewise believe their testimony.

‘The best way to die’ (Luke 23:32-43)

The story of the dying thief on the cross next to Jesus is recorded in Luke 23:32-43. Given his circumstances (that he was convicted, condemned and dying), the fact that he found grace in the eyes of Jesus (who was also dying), stands as a testimony to the reality of the saving power of the Saviour. The story teaches us many things, but greatest of all is the challenge to all to come to Christ and find that salvation He offers those who do.

‘What does the virgin birth of Jesus have to do with you?’ (Luke 1:1-4, 26-38)

There’s no denying that Jesus born in Bethlehem has had a great impact upon the world. There is no-one like him nor has there ever been. So many things set Jesus apart from ordinary human beings, even aspects surrounding His birth. The gospel writer, Luke, set out to establish these things as fact and tells in Luke 1:26-38 that Jesus was born of a virgin. The virgin conception of Jesus has long been hotly disputed, but is so vital to so many aspects of the Christian faith which stands of falls on the test of truth. If it is true, then it is one of the most amazing events ever to happen and should cause us to view Jesus in a totally different light.

‘The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus’ (Luke 16:19-31)

Rev Dr Jared Hood preached this message from Luke 19:16-31, reminding us that we live in a world where materialism and ‘worldliness’ seems to be everything that people strive after. But Jesus unmasked the whole idea of worldliness through this parable. The Rich Man had everything. He was clothed with purple and fine linen, but treated Lazarus, a beggar at his gate, with contempt. The real nature of worldliness is callous, selfish and idolatrous and it leads to death not life.  Sadly the core of a worldly lifestyle is rebellion. Those who do not want to believe will be not be convinced even if there was the best evidence available – such as someone rising from the dead! The cure for worldliness is to humble yourself and submit to God in repeantance and faith.

‘The surprise of the centurion’s faith’ (Luke 7:1-10) Rev Miles Fagan

Life has many surprises. So do the Scriptures. One of the great surprises in the New Testament is found in the unfolding conversation between the Roman centurion and the Lord Jesus. Although it appears that they never actually met in person, there was a great interaction between them, especially concerning the centurion’s servant’s ill-health.  But while the approach the centurion made to Jesus was surprising, so also and even more was the surprising result of the faith the centurion exercised in Jesus that day. The same holds true for any and all who come to Jesus with the kind of faith the centurion knew.

Also, below are some ‘snapshots’ of our Naval Service 2016!

John O'Shea, Secretary of the Ex-Navalmen's Club, with Chief Petty Officer, Shaun Logan.

John O’Shea, Secretary of the Ex-Navalmen’s Club, with Chief Petty Officer, Shaun Logan.

Chief Petty Officer, Shaun Logan with some of the Cadets of the TS Bendigo and Naval Chaplain, Rev Miles Fagan

Chief Petty Officer, Shaun Logan with some of the Cadets of the TS Bendigo and Naval Chaplain, Rev Miles Fagan

Naval Chaplain, Rev Miles Fagan with Rev Philip Burns and Chief Petty Officer, Shaun Loga

Naval Chaplain, Rev Miles Fagan with Rev Philip Burns and Chief Petty Officer, Shaun Logan

Cadets of the TS Bendigo waiting for the service to begin

Cadets of the TS Bendigo waiting for the service to begin

‘What to think and do about tragedy’ (Luke 13:1-9)

Theories abound as to the link between the suffering that happens on earth and the sin of people. Some say that God always punishes the worst and rewards the best. In Luke 13:1-9, Jesus put this theory to rest. When asked about the aftermath of Pilate’s depravity and the collapse of the Tower of Siloam, Jesus pointed out that the need of the hour was repentance rather than guessing the cause of the tragedy. God does not treat as as our sins deserve. National or personal disasters are a ‘wake up call’ to all, regardless of who is ‘good’ and bad’. Instead we are to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

‘Recognizing Jesus, knowing hope’ (Luke 24:13-35)

Luke 24:13-35 tells of two men who were sad and downcast because they were hoping that Jesus was the one to redeem Israel. But Jesus was handed over to the rulers and crucified. With his death, they lost their hope. But Jesus drew near to them and helped them to see that the plan has always been that the promised Christ must suffer and die, and then enter his glory. All of Scripture points to this, and rather than being the end of hope, His death was the exact opposite and His resurrection from the dead only confirmed the certainty of that hope because He triumphed over death as the risen Lord. Now, in the midst of all the troubles of this life, even with the news of our own impending death, we can know hope, if we come to the one who has died for our sin and risen as our Lord. (no audio available)