Transformational Disciplines

Sermon 1 of 5 in a series exploring Spiritual Disciplines (or practices), preached 21st October, Read Romans 12 especially verses 1-2


I’m returning today to a passage that is one of my favourites: I find that God is often bringing these words to my mind – probably because I need to hear and apply them.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.   (Romans 12:1-2, NIV) Continue reading

Lessons from Joseph: Prison to Power

From a sermon delivered 26 August, read Genesis 41.

When we look at this episode in Joseph’s life it’s as if his break comes when he had stopped striving for it.  As a youngster he had always tried to be the best, the most popular, the brightest, yet all his striving only caused disappointment, division, and rejection.

In prison he’d hoped that the right connections would help him – but as we recall his ‘connections’ forgot him.

Now two years later – we imagine he’d resigned himself to his fate when unexpectedly – a lifeline – he is called upon to help Pharaoh. Hope restored. Continue reading

Lessons from Joseph: Stand!

From the sermon Sunday 19th July. Read Genesis 39 & 40

When life is tough, when temptations come our way, when all seems lost, some stand – some fall. There are some that stand out with incredible strength to maintain what they believe – to resist the pressure of the crowd, to resist greed of money, or status, to resist moral temptation.

I don’t know all the details but my recollection of Sir John Marshall, former Prime Minister of New Zealand was that he was a good example of a man who stood firm throughout his career. Over 29 years in parliament, 20 years as a minister and 17 as deputy leader or leader of the National Party Sir John was renowned for his strength of character, and deep Christian faith.  Sir John I am sure had many opportunities to stumble but he remained centred on Jesus Christ to the day he died en route to a meeting of the United Bible Society. Continue reading