Suffering Saviour

EasterWhen we consider the many attributes of God, we often think of his awesomeness and grandeur. And so we should. However, perhaps the most powerful characteristic of our God is that of a suffering saviour.

This is significant because even though we live in a world filled with suffering, pain and injustice, the God of all creation did not stand outside of the human condition to judge a lost humanity. Instead the scriptures tell us that God became a man and as a man he endured the worst that the world could impose on a person, including the torturous death of the cross.

As a man our Lord Jesus experienced that gamut of human misery; in that he was homeless (Matt 8:20), rejected by society (Isa 53:3), suffered hunger and thirst (Matt 21:18, Jn 19:28), He was falsely accused, abandoned, tempted, stressed, He was beaten and tortured (Jn 19). His suffering ultimately culminating on the malevolent, Roman instrument of killing, the Cross.

While God has not removed suffering and pain from our existence, He stands with us in our suffering with nail scarred hands and feet, and a pierced side. He lets us know that he has suffered with us and that suffering and death has brought redemption to us, that regardless of what our lot is in this life, we can live with him in eternal joy.

He proved this by being resurrected after being dead for three days. He demonstrated that He is indeed who He said He is, the Lord of Glory, the Word made flesh. When you live your life in Christ, you too shall live again because He died for all humanity. This is God’s great love.

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.       1 John 4:14-16

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

Living in His Presence

practice-Gods-presence-1024x768-770x577Every child of God believes that God is with them because He is everywhere. This characteristic of God is known as His omnipresence. In the church we experience the manifest presence of God, where during the services we are touched and inspired and convicted by a powerful moving of the Holy Spirit.

Then there is the personalised presence of God that is the felt/realised, actual presence of God’s Spirit that moves us, molds us and keeps us. Is it possible to live in that kind of dimension? The Apostle Paul tells us that in “in him we live and move and have our very being.” Acts 17:28. It is definitely possible for us to have an abiding and living relationship with God through His Spirit within us.

Men and women of God in scripture attest to this intimacy regardless of circumstance; Abraham was the friend of God, Moses communed with God face to face, David was a man after God’s own heart, Samuel heard the audible voice of God. In the New Testament however, God poured out his Spirit to dwell within the very hearts of men.

Sometimes even Christians live their entire lives with a long distance relationship with God; aloof and afar off when God has promised to live in close proximity with us. His presence goes with us.

This is what 2 Corinthians 6:16 has to say, “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Remember to live ‘Magnanimously’ and that means to live in His presence.

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

Welcome to 2014

shutterstock_152627735The General Conference in Melbourne was just outstanding. You need to make sure that you will not miss the next one which is in Sydney next year, so book the 2 – 7 Jan 2015 for you to attend. In closing the door to last year, it is important to leave the mistakes, disappointments and any other negativity there. However, we ought to value the lessons that we picked up and to rejoice in what God had accomplished through the Church.

Last year we saw an increase of souls being born again with 70 Baptisms and even more receiving the Holy Spirit. This is a significant rise from last year and we take heart from God’s great blessings. This year, we want to reach more souls for Jesus and we believe we can see even more conversions in our city and beyond.

Another highlight was how the Church willingly gave in times of need. When the Bundaberg church building was destroyed by flood, the saints of POS gave. We sent a couple of young men to help with the repairs. The spirit of compassion was evident through giving for other appeals such as the Philippines Typhoon victims and as per usual the consistent giving for our Home and Overseas Mission programs. The unity of the Brethren was never more evident than when we began our ReBuild project to renovate the Church. Many pledged their commitment to their Church. This year we believe for greater commitments as we see our renovations completed and our building re-opened later this year.

What did you learn from last year? How are you a little more mature and stronger as a Christian since the last 12 months? It’s been over a week since we started our BREAD Bible reading program. Along with the commitment to pray, drawing closer to God and being more involved, I am convinced that God will honour our efforts for Him by rewarding us with revival and the salvation of souls. So take up the challenge for this new year, there are endless possibilities that await our realisation.

God told Joshua, in essence, that as far as you are willing to walk, that’s how much land you can have. How much of God you are willing to have this year, depends on how much you want. Greater things for 2014!

Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. Josh 1:3 (KJV)

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

The Season of Hope

PrintAs we enter into the final month of the year and a period of holidays and celebrations, we do so with a sense of sadness. Particularly in light of the recent bush fires around Sydney and of course how can we erase the confronting images of the aftermath of the devastating typhoons in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, natural disasters have become the norm in our world and I’m afraid it may get worse. In fact the Bible tells us that in the last days there will be earthquakes in diverse places and that the earth shall be shaken one final time. While this may be a frightening prospect, it is also an exciting one, in that it is preparing for the imminent return of Christ.

56-Bird-Look-up-22x27cm-2011Just as Christ was born in a period of political turmoil, poverty and ecclesiastical legalism, in this age of similar conditions we can have hope that the Lord will return for his church and establish His Kingdom. We can have hope however, because the Holy Spirit is poured out already in this world and regardless of our circumstances, we always have hope. So look up and walk in the grace that God has given us and let hope give you strength.

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  - Heb 6:19-20

 

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