mgpcpastor's blog


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New City Catechism Question and Answer 24

Question 24
Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer, to die?

Answer
Since death is the punishment for sin, Christ died willingly in our place to deliver us from the power and penalty of sin and bring us back to God. By his substitutionary atoning death, he alone redeems us from hell and gains for us forgiveness of sin, righteousness, and everlasting life.

This song covers questions 22 and 23.


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Preaching Unsuccess (via Chad Bird)

The church will gather together tomorrow to hear the news of the unsuccessful life.

From Upside-Down Spirituality:

Christianity has a God who knows that if the church runs the way of success, we’ll eventually tumble headfirst into the grave of irrelevance. That’s where the quest for success leads us – into a kind of death, into a toothless message of empty platitudes with a mirage of hope at the end.
Our churches, in fact, preach a kind of unsuccess. We succeed at nothing to which the world aspires. Power? No, we boast in weakness. Fame? No, we revel in anonymity. Beauty? No, our God hung on an ugly cross. Winning? No, we confess that the first are actually last. Riches? No, for the love of them is the root of all kinds of evil. the church is a place for losers. for those who hands have been emptied, so that – as we sing – “nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.”

Chad Bird, Upside-Down Spirituality: The Nine Essential Failures Of A Faithful Life, Baker, 2019, pgs 189.


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Sour Grapes (preparing for MGPC 16/6/19)

Song: Saviour Of The World
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: Saved My Soul
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Father Of Heaven, Whose Love Profound
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 24
Song: Worship, Honour, Glory, Blessing
Bible Reading: Luke 5: 1-26 – Jesus continues teaching and healing in Galilee, and calls His disciples to be “fishers of men.”
Bible Memorisation: Matthew 6: 6-7
Song: Glory Be To God The Father
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 21: 1-29
Sermon: Sour Grapes
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Never Alone


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The Ache Is Not A Desire To Escape, It’s Homesickness (via Rebecca K Reynolds)

Rebecca K Reynolds explains the the desire to be with Christ is not something for which the disciple needs to feel guilty as if its an avoidance of the realities of life, rather the desire to be with Christ is a natural feeling to experience more of the belonging which union with Jesus brings to our lives:

Paul’s use of the words with Christ clued me in to something big. His ache was relational, not just geographic. He didn’t simply want to get to heaven; he wanted to get further up and further in to community with Jesus. Before catching that, I’d always felt sort of guilty for wanting to escape my earthly life to be closer to the Lord—after all, the Holy Spirit lived inside me. Why couldn’t I just be content with what I had already been given? Yet, Paul understood the indwelling of the Holy Spirit better than you or I ever will, and he still longed to experience divine fellowship in a way that was more intimate than anything he could encounter on earth. His story helps me rejoice in all things while admitting the cramp in my side. It gives me permission to live a little homesick.

Rebecca K Reynolds, Courage, Dear Heart, NavPress, 2018, pg 8.


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How Avengers Endgame Should Have Ended

This epic instalment of How It Should Have Ended is a most enjoyable romp through the mind-boggling plot contrivances and inconsistencies of recent block-buster Avengers Endgame.
It’s one thing to adopt your own idiosyncratic version of time travel.
It’s another thing altogether not to particularly bother to apply that version with any pretence of internal consistency.


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Hurry Up And Do Nothing (via Chad Bird)

The Bible is an ongoing narrative of God’s capacity and desire to do everything that his people need, only for people to keep wanting to do what they can’t achieve in his place.

From Chad Bird:

Doing nothing is the hardest thing for us to do. we’d rather talk nonstop for hours than be utterly silent for a few minutes. We’d rather be told to plan this, accomplish that, busy ourselves with these goals, than simply to receive the work the Lord does for us. It all seems too easy. Too childish. Too much like we have no part to play in our own defence, recovery, and ultimate salvation.
But we don’t. And that’s the best of news! We are the recipients of the Lord’s labour. The Lord will see you and you have only to be trapped. The Lord will forgive you and you have only to be a sinner. The Lord with give you a new identity, cleanse you of every spot of shame, and fill you with an inner peace that this world cannot give. And you have only to do nothing. The new person we are in Christ, says author and pastor R.J. Grunewald, “has empty hands, clinging to nothing but the work of Jesus.” Our empty, outstretched hands of faith filled with the gracious work of Jesus.

Chad Bird, Your God Is Too Glorious, Baker Books, 2018, 96-97.


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Footy Tipping 2019 – NRL Round 14 / AFL Round 13

Sometimes I wonder if my tipping would improve if I watched any games or followed much of what goes on with selections.
Probably not.
Brisbane got done over by Carton’s sack the coach ploy. It’s been a winner for North Melbourne, but I don’t know whether Carlton will really get too many more weeks out of it.

Anyway, apparently next weekend there’ll be no NRL because State of Origin is a stand-alone game.
And I’ll tip Queensland. I don’t think it was conceivable that they’d start any games as favourite this year, but these are weird times.

NRL (last round 4/8; season tally 60/100)
Canberra
New Zealand
North Queensland
Melbourne
Souths
Paramatta
Manly
Easts

AFL (last round 3/6; season tally 63/105)
Adelaide
Hawthorn
Saint Kilda
Port Adelaide
Greater Western Sydney
Western Bulldogs