The Spirit of Rebekah

I have been studying the story of Abraham’s eldest servant and Rebekah from Genesis 24. Isaac was not yet married and Abraham was very old. So Abraham sent his servant to find Isaac a wife from his home country.

What a task that servant had! Can you imagine being asked to go find someone else a wife? I laugh to think of how that would go in our day and age. Hmm…come to think of it, it may have some advantages!

The servant is clearly overwhelmed with this request from Abraham but in obedience, takes 10 camels and sets out on his journey. He gets to Nahor just in time for the women to come and draw water from the well. The servant has the right idea and asked the God of Abraham for some inside help.

He prayed and asked God to be the matchmaker and send him the right woman for Isaac. To draw water for a journeying stranger was custom in Bible days so the servant went a step further to separate the ‘do what I have to do’ woman from the ‘do beyond what I have to do’ woman.

Along came Rebekah and offered not only to draw water for the servant but also for his ten camels. Ten camels!!! A camel can drink a serious amount of water…and that would be ten times over! She proceeded to give the camels water and all through this time, the servant said nothing to her….hmmm…’can I help you?’ or ‘I really appreciate you doing this’ or any word would have been appropriate I think…but nothing…not until she had finished.

We know the end of the story…Rebekah becomes Isaac’s wife. She became the mother of Jacob and Esau. The grandmother of Joseph who, in his own time and destiny, would save millions of lives through his obedience to God and the grandmother of the twelve of the tribes of Israel.

I haven’t heard too often Rebekah being referred to as the woman with a servant’s heart but that is exactly what she had. Rebekah didn’t know who the servant was. Her motives were pure in giving the camels water yet God honoured her willingness to serve and lifted her to a place of honour.

I wonder how many times we have missed the opportunity to a greater destiny because the request for serving seemed too menial or too much hard work? I need to search my heart’s motive for serving others. This is what the Bible says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another (Romans 12:10) and, “…but by love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).

Can I give your camels water?

 

This is a blog post from Jena Grech, the Assistant Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney and the President of National Women’s Ministries of the UPCA.

The Silent Killer

There is no greater overstatement of terms than the words; “Silent Killer”. In every facet of the health and medical fields there is a myriad of silent killers in our world. From ovarian cancer to the levels of mercury in the water that the fish we eat come from. From all kinds of pollutants to undetectable diseases, we are surrounded by elements that have a detrimental effect on the human body. However, not only are our physical compositions in danger of subtle poisons from everywhere but our spirits are also faced with silent killers that may not be as blatantly obvious as some of the majors sins that the Bible lists.

We understand from scripture that sin is the killer of men’s souls for the wages of sin is death. As believers, we need little help in understanding the gross sins like murder, adultery, stealing, etc. And as such many Christians may confidently assert that they have little difficulty in abstaining from them. But there is a silent killer to our souls that poisons our internal lives slowly but surely. The Bible has a somewhat ancient but still very pertinent word for it; Covetousness.

Exodus 20:17 is the last of the famous 10 Commandments given by God to his people that says; “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s”.  The instruction is clear, emphatic and specific, warning against coveting our neighbour’s stuff. And what is remarkable about this commandment is that it is not a sanction against something that a person commits with his actions but it addresses the condition before something is committed, within the inner sanctum of the human heart/soul. It addresses the very heart of a person where no man can see, even though it is a sin that is aimed at things belonging to other people, it is still a violation against God.

To covet means simply to desire something that belongs to someone else motivated by jealousy, envy and/or greed. Although we may not have stolen our neighbour’s car, this commandment convicts us of sin if we desire or crave it with envy. This may be a totally foreign concept in a world that celebrates competition and one-upmanship but in the eyes of God it is sin. This is why I believe this to be a silent killer because no one can see this sin in others necessarily and we can deceive ourselves into thinking that it’s ok to covet as long as we don’t touch.

The scriptures once again are replete with the understanding that coveting is detrimental to the soul. Jesus said in his parable of the The Sower, that the deceitfulness of riches chokes the Word from growing in our hearts (Matt 13:22). It is the love for riches or covetousness that keeps us from receiving God’s Word.

In Psalm 73:2-5, the writer confesses how it nearly snared him when he began to look upon the prosperity of the rich with envy. This is covetousness and though it may seem harmless yet it can poison the soul. Fortunately, the psalmist saw the truth when he said; “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” (Ps 73:16-17). Then he declares all that he needs by way of possessions is God – Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee (Ps 73:25).

When Jesus revealed to the rich, young ruler about how he needed to sell all that he had and give to the poor, the Bible says that he went away sorrowful because he was very rich. Coveting can leave your soul sorrowful and depressed. Though you may have a healthy bank account, an unhealthy perspective of possessions can silently kill your inner man.

No wonder Luke wrote in Acts 20:35 that it is ‘more blessed to give than to receive’. There is something incredibly liberating and life-giving to the human soul & spirit when we do the opposite of coveting and that is to give.  Finally, Jesus reaffirms in Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth

Don’t allow the silent killer of covetousness to poison you but bring some inner freedom and healing by giving of yourself with your service, resources and heart.

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

POSydney App Reborn

It has been a busy few weeks as we decided to completely overhaul the POSydney App that you have grown to love. Since we first released the app we have done some minor changes to the content within the app but it looks basically the same, that is not the case with this update. We have redesigned the layout of the app as well as added many really cool new features.

(Warning: You need to have the iOS 5 update on your phone to use this new update. If you do not have iOS 5 do not update your POSydney App. It won’t work.)

New Look

To the left is the new home screen once you open the app. You will be able to access our Facebook page, the POS Blog, our Podcast, Youtube Channel, and Photos straight from the Home Screen just as in previous versions. But unlike previous versions you will be able to find info about the our church and the app by using the “i” button at the top right on the screen, and you will to access Visit Us, Contact Us and Share with your friends all on the Home Screen.

New Features 

Podcast: One of the coolest new features on this update can be found within the “Podcast” tab. In previous versions of the app you could only listen to archived audio sermons but that has all changed. With this new update you will be able watch and listen to archived sermons within the app but the coolest development is that on Sundays at 10:30am and 7:00pm AEST you will be able to watch the services LIVE! Previously you needed to download a second app to watch live-stream services but not anymore. How exciting is that?

Visit Us: Besides being able to watch the POS live within the app I think the ‘Visit Us’ tab is the most exciting addition in this update. This tab contains a map that shows the location of The POS along with our two daughter works in Liverpool and Campbelltown. All you have to do is tap the red pin of the location you want to attend and press the ‘i’ button. Once you have done that your Maps App will open showing you the route you need to take from where you are located to the Church. It’s pretty awesome!

Contact Us: In this new tab you will be able to email us directly or visit our website to find out more about our church.

Share: The last of the new features for this update is located in the ‘Share’ tab. Once you have accessed this tab you will be able to share the POSydney App with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, you can even email it to them or text it. This makes it easy for you to spread the word about our app.

So those are all the new features on this version of the POSydney App. We hope that you enjoy them and we promise to continue to improve on it. If you have any ideas on how we can make it better please email us or leave us a comment below. We are also in the process of creating a POSydney iPad App for all of you iPad users so keep your peeled for that, should be out in a couple months time. God bless

The POS Podcast: Top 5 Downloaded Sermons

Today we are celebrating 2 years since the beginning of our weekly podcast. On Nov 1, 2009 when we started the podcast we couldn’t have imagined the impact it would have. Over the last two years we have over 29,000 downloads of sermons preached at The Pentecostals of Sydney. We started out with just audio uploads, now we have selected video sermons as well and every service it streamed LIVE in audio and video.

It has never been easier to access the POS Podcast. You can download sermons through iTunes, listen and watch online, or view them through the POSydney App. We have weekly listeners all around Australia and the World. It is our desire to continue to spread the Gospel by whatever means necessary.

To celebrate the first 2 years of the POS Podcast we wanted to share with you the Top 5 most downloaded sermons….so far:

5. Serve The Lord With Gladness – Loammi Diaz

This was the culminating sermon of an incredible Transfusion weekend with Evangelist Loammi Diaz. The church was absolutely electric and God moved and ministered to those who were there. Youtube video (594 downloads)

4. Faith Is The Evidence – Jeffery Goodman

Rev Jeffery Goodman had just shared at the National Youth Camp and we were blessed to have him minister to us on a Wednesday evening. He preached an incredible message that night on faith. Youtube video (931 downloads)

3. What To Take Into The New Decade – Pastor Stanley Harvey

This was a great message preached by Pastor at the beginning of this year. He challenged the church to allow the Spirit to lead them and to hang onto the Apostolic message. Youtube video (960 downloads)

2. Don’t Hold Back From Fear – Jena Grech

Our Assistant Pastor preached this wonderful message on how we must face and overcome fear. It is a must listen for the Christian believer. The first 15 minutes is a message shared by Greg Willmott on trials. (1,076 downloads)

1. Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? – Pastor Stanley Harvey

This was a message Pastor preached in response to the floods in Queensland, the cyclone in Japan and the earthquakes in Christchurch. Not only was this message timely but it was powerful and spoke to broken hearts of the people that make up the POS. (1,278 downloads)

Well there you have it, those are the Top 5 most downloaded sermons over the past 2 years. We thank you for making the podcast such a success and we pray that you continue to listen and share it with others. We hope to make it even better in the future! God bless.