thanksgiving-pictures-4To say that Australian culture is constantly evolving is understated. Especially since Australia is a multicultural society with the influence of migrant peoples as well as the influence of popular cultures through various media from all over the world. One example that’s been evident over the last several years is the observance by many Aussie kids of ‘Trick-or-Treating’ during the American celebration of Halloween. This was not part of Australian culture in yesteryear but I myself have recently been subjected to door knocking children wearing fancy dress.

While I am not against adopting and borrowing certain customs from others (provided they don’t contradict Christianity), if I had to choose one in particular, I would opt for ‘Thanksgiving Day’. I think this special day would not only bring families and friends together but it serves a reminder of the timeless and Biblical principle of Gratefulness.

Gratitude, or Thankfulness, was so important that God instituted a ‘Thanksgiving Offering’ in the Old Testament which involved a sacrifice (Lev 7:12-15). The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to abound in Thanksgiving and that our prayers should be accompanied with it. He further reveals that we are not to be filled with worry but instead a better substitute is gratefulness.

Philippians 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Matthew Henry 6 croppedGet into the habit of whenever you feel discouraged about your situation and feel as though you are lacking, begin to think about the things that you do possess and thank God for it. When you do, it’s amazing how your perspective and even your feelings start to change. When Matthew Henry was robbed, he was quoted as saying these words; “I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”

That’s a great perspective and a winning outlook – while some may be able to find the negative in every situation and criticise somebody’s faults, the greater option is to find the good in everyone and everything and be thankful for it.

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.

The Return of Jesus

jesuscomingJust a couple of days ago on 7 October 2015, we heard of another prediction by a so called Christian group from the U.S. for the end of the world on that day. As we read this, we know that this was a false prophecy and any Bible knowing Christian would have, from the outset dismissed any claims as false. Since we know from Mat 24:36 regarding the return of Jesus that; “… of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

Whilst such false predictions may cause some to consider eternity, I believe it brings greater detriment to the cause of God’s Kingdom with unbelievers and atheists bringing a mockery not only to such predictions but it’s non-fulfilment which further reinforces their misguided notions that such things could not and would happen. This brings a challenge also to the Christian that can shake his belief, to think that perhaps it may never happen.

Let me just encourage you by reminding you that the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth for his saints, in what we call the rapture, is our glorious hope!

How can we know this to be true? We can take heart in that it is an established fact that Jesus Christ came to this earth, lived and died, and it is with overwhelming evidence that He was resurrected. Jesus’ existence is now no longer a matter of scholarly debate but is accepted by the majority of historians as truth. What is also amazing is that Jesus fulfilled over 100 Old Testament prophecies as the Messiah. Here is the kicker, for every Biblical prophecy of the first coming of Christ, there are EIGHT for the second coming of Christ.

May this be a reminder and admonishment to us that the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is imminent. Don’t be distracted by false prophecies and cynical perspectives of the world. Keep your eyes on Jesus, serve him with ALL of your heart and remember the words of the angel in Acts 1:11 when Jesus ascended up into heaven.

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.

Turning Point

It is hard to believe that we’ve been back in our newly renovated Church building for almost a year now. What a blessing it has been over that time but here we are again at this juncture.

Perhaps one of the concepts that we often fail to fully appreciate is God’s relationship with ‘Time’ or how He willingly yields to and utilises time, particularly in his dealings with man. Many have asked the question as to why God took so long to bring redemption to the world through Jesus Christ. Why did God not send him the moment that Adam and Eve sinned but waited a couple of thousand years to send Abraham, then waited another 500 years to bring the law through Moses, then another 1,500 years till Jesus Christ finally came? Even with that, God allowed Jesus to grow through the normal progression of life from infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood to where, after thirty three years, He fulfilled his work of redemption for all mankind. While He is always at work throughout history and time, yet these acts of God’s grace seemed to be spaced out over extended periods.

There are many possible explanations for this question of God’s time, none of which stand out to me as an absolutely definitive one since they all seem to point back to the same agonising truth that can sometimes engender more questions than answers. The agonising truth may be: that for reasons only God knows. Some may call this a ‘cop out’, a crux, or a default answer to anything unanswerable, yet it remains entirely possible and in my conviction true.

One thing is certain, God works in time both in the Kronos, or chronology of time, and Kairos, God’s appointed time. He created the universe and nature with time in mind. Plants, animals, the earth with seasons and days are designed to grow and change in a procession locked within this inextricable dimension. God’s dealings with us are no different. Perhaps God is allowing time to bring maturity in our lives. Maybe that is why we haven’t received the answers to our prayers yet or perhaps why things haven’t turned out the way we want yet, for reasons that only the All-Knowing and Wise God knows.

So trust in Him during periods of delay and make use of the time that God has given you right now, to know what He wants for you and expects of you. At Turning Point this year, don’t see this as just another date on the calendar but this could be God’s appointed time for your breakthrough, deliverance and transformation. It could be your family or friends’ time for salvation. Be ready, for now, it is high time.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.


Upstream SeriesWe are living in a culture that is headed in the wrong direction; who’s values and perspectives are in opposition to the laws and principles of God’s Word. As the world’s inhabitants are flowing with the current of this prevailing culture, we, as Christians, are called to live a life that is ‘counter-cultural’ to that. This is a difficult and taxing prospect but is nonetheless mandatory for the child of God.

This can be compared to the Atlantic salmon that when it comes time to spawn it’s offspring, it finds it’s way from the ocean to a river and begins to swim ‘upstream’ in an effort to get to it’s destination. It swims, jumps and struggles with all of it’s energy against the strong currents moving rapidly in the opposite direction. When it has reached it’s spawning waters, releases it’s eggs and then out of sheer exhaustion, it dies.

Christianity is fraught with immense struggles, particularly against the tide of the post-modern world, where spiritual truth is considered relative, sin is merely an alternative lifestyle and to stand for the teachings of Scripture is condemned and ridiculed. However, we must ‘swim upstream’ and be determined to use all of our efforts and resources to ensure that we get to our destination.

Not only do we have to endure the world but we also wrestle against our own flesh that again is inclined to go towards only one direction, sin. Paul tells us in Romans 7:18 that in our flesh dwells no good thing, but it is inclined to do evil. Our spirit must walk against this natural tendency in order to live a life free from the bondage of sin. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory.

So swim upstream saints of God, even though at times it seems there’s little progress and you feel like your swimming on the spot. Give it everything you’ve got, knowing that your God will never allow you to go through that which you can not handle. We will get to our destination.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.