Saturday, 14 October 2017

Do Your Best

Do Your Best
It’s almost unbelievable who Christ entrusted with His mission to save the world! This motley bunch of original disciples were the most unlikely candidates for being the founding agents of global redemption. Yet they did it! And along the way, they stumbled, faltered, and probably let Christ down. But they did it! And this should give us, who stumble and falter, great hope, that Christ knows what He’s doing when He chose us
There are some churches around the world that are world’s best practice. Their music is world-class. Their ‘customer’ service is second to none. Their preachers are more inspirational than the best TED talkers. Their facilities are better than the best Westfield shopping centre. They hold international conferences which attract thousands of delegates. As far as churches go, these are the best. But they only comprise less than 1% of all churches around the world. For the rest of us in the 99% of churches around the world, we may not be among the best, but we are generally comprised of those who are doing their best. And it seems that Jesus is still entrusting His mission to people like us – people who stumble and falter.
At Legana we are blessed. We recently opened our new worship centre. Many people have told us that it is among the best in our State. It is a beautiful centre with plenty of room for growth. But it can cause us confuse being the best with doing our best. And this is one of the greatest dangers any church can face because it can lead to an overwhelming sense failure and even despair.

Paul’s Last Letter

The last letter the Apostle Paul wrote, that we know of, was his Second Epistle to Timothy. In it, he uses the expression “do your best” three times to his young protégé.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Second Timothy 2:15
Being the best requires making comparisonsDoing your best simply means working with your availability, abilities, training, experience, and use of available resources. Sometimes each of these qualifiers (time, talent, training, experience, and resources) are limited. In the 99% of local churches scattered around the world, there are usually 20% of the people doing 80% of the work. I wonder if this is because the 80% who sit back don’t feel good enough to be able to serve? Paul’s injunction to young Timothy was to do your best to present yourself to God as a pastor of God’s people whose primary task was teach the Word of God to his congregation. When we do our best, we have need to be ashamed
Shortly after I began pastoring Legana I was nearly overcome with a sense of inadequacy as a preacher. Each Sunday morning before I went to church I would go on a prayer walk and cry out to God for His help. I asked and asked and asked that He might use me more effectively to teach His Word. I begged Him to make me into the kind of preacher who cared deeply for those I ministered to. I pleaded with Him to mould me into a persuasive preacher to rescue those who were wrestling with doubts and to enable me to deliver the antidote to doubt – the truth – in the power of the Holy Spirit. I sought Him for the insight to be able to convince the hardest sceptics and cynics to turn to Christ based on the evidence for the God of the Bible (shortly after this praying I was to discover F.W. Boreham). I have continued to surrender to Him prayerfully asking that He would help me to grow as a pastor, a preacher and a teacher – and I would value your occasional prayer for this as well. I have tried to do my best.
“That’s all any of us can do – our best.”
We may never be the best at anything, but we can do our best in everything. This is why, must to the surprise of many, I’m relatively relaxed about how we are doing as a church. We have an extraordinary percentage of our church who serve and give support. I am deeply grateful for everyone who volunteers to help in the various things that need doing in our church. I am grateful for you who offer yourselves to the Lord and prayerfully ask God to help you to do your best in however you serve. I have noticed that many of our young people have been doing this and have volunteered to help out in various roles. What I am also noticing is that there must be people asking God to help them to do their best. Because, when I began to earnestly seek God those few years back to help me to do my best as a preacher I became hungrier to learn and to grow. My openness to instruction and training increased. And I am seeing a similar thing happen among many in our church.
¶ Do your best to come to me soon.
Second Timothy 4:9 (Also see v.21)

The Best Is Sometimes Just Being There

Paul’s plea for Timothy to come to him (in prison) soon is heart-warming. Paul goes on in this epistle to reveal that he knew he was about to die soon. Indeed, he would. Toward the end of 64AD, shortly after the Apostle Peter was crucified by order of Caesar Nero, the Apostle Paul would be beheaded by order of the same tyrant who executed Peter. His plea to Timothy reminds us that while we can each do our best, sometimes we can be the difference in someone’s life. At this lonely time for Paul, he longed to see Timothy, his son in the faith (1Tim. 1:2). None of us should dismiss the encouragement we are by just being there. Paul longed for Timothy to just be there with him in this trying hour. Coming to worship on Sundays, even if you don’t serve as a volunteer, is being an encouragement to others. Do your best to come to worship on Sundays.

Give Christ Your Best Shot

The beautiful thing about Church is that it is comprised mostly of people who are not the best and we know it. But with the help of the Holy Spirit we are each learning to improve and to spur one another on to even greater effectiveness for Christ. So don’t worry if you’re not as good as someone else, or that many others are better than you at whatever, just keep giving Christ your best shot. And somehow, I suspect, that just as He established the church with faltering, frail, and stumbling servants, He will probably culminate His church’s closing efforts with similarly weak and faltering servants like you and me.
    
Pastor Andrew.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Let's Do The Twist With The English Language

Let's do the twist
Spare a thought for our lexicographers at the moment. They have had to work an enormous amount of overtime lately. Lexicographers are those dear people who fuss about words and their meanings. They are the ones responsible for compiling our dictionaries. Generally they get to work at a leisurely pace and update our dictionaries every decade or so with the addition of those new words which have been adopted into our vocabularies. Of late, this has included such words as, “Google” which was originally added to our dictionaries as the name of a website (a proper noun) and then had to have another entry under it when it became a verb (‘I’ll Google it!”).
But in the last few years, these poor lexicographers have had to work their fingers to the bone trying to keep up. Their overtime hasn’t been devoted to the addition of a few new novel words such as ‘hashtag’ or ‘tweet’, but by overhauling of long-held definitions. Words which have universally been understood and thereby ensured the undemanding workload of lexicographers, have now come to mean something quite different from what they actually mean. This makes the lexicographer’s job very difficult as they flounder to make sense of it all as words now no longer mean what they mean. 
twisted-words
Here’s some examples that have now got lexicographers in a tizz.
WordLexicographical MeaningAttempted Twisted Meaning
hate
verb: feel intense dislike for
noun: feelings of hate and revenge
verb: when someone disagrees with you
noun: differing point of view
discriminationnoun: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sexnoun: the suggestion that distinctions can be made on the basis of capacity, capability, or biology.
logicaladjective: of or according to the rules of logic or formal argument;  characterized by or capable of clear, sound reasoningadjective: it agrees with my opinion
unfairadjective: not based on or behaving according to the principles of equality and justiceadjective: when I don’t get what I want
gendernoun: either of the two sexes (male and female)
noun: whatever a person identifies as; this identity can be fluid and can include –
homosexual male, lesbian female, bi-sexual male or female, transgendered male or female, man-boy attracted, to name a few. 
marriagenoun:  the legally or formally recognized union of a man and woman voluntarily entered into for life to the exclusion of all othersnoun: the legal union of any two people
gender-dysphorianoun: the psychological disorder of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex. noun: the feeling of being trapped in a body which does not correspond to the gender one wishes to identify with.
racismnoun: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superiornoun: the unfair prejudicial treatment of a person based on their lifestyle choices
rainbownoun: an arch of colours visible in the sky, caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere. The colours of the rainbow are generally said to be red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Identified in the Bible as a promise from God that He would never again flood the world of man.noun: representing sexual attraction diversity 
love
noun: a strong feeling of affection, a great interest and pleasure in something
verb [with object]: to show deep affection, unwavering commitment to for another’s highest good
noun: a strong feeling of sexual attraction for someone
verb: to act on feelings of sexual attraction, to eroticise 
sexual-orientation
noun: a mid-twentieth century concept used to describe sexual attraction and grounded in one’s natural gender
noun: something which defines a person’s identity with which they are involuntarily assigned from birth. A key concept developed in the tactical book, After The Ball, where the authors proposed that if they could persuade society that there was such a thing, it would make same-sex attraction appear to be normal and natural.
Of course, these are just samples of some of the key words which have been distorted so severely that their recent usage is virtually the exact opposite of their actual meaning. Unfortunately, this propensity for twisting words into novel meanings is not just confined to our street-vocabulary. It is now increasingly occurring in how people understand the Bible.
twisting-bible-words
Pivotal Bible words such as ‘sin’, ‘love’, ‘Jesus’, ‘God’, ‘Scriptures’, and ‘Hell’, have all been twisted beyond recognition from their actual meanings. Sin means to miss the mark of the acceptable standard (Rom. 3:1023). Yet, word-twisters would have us believe that it means acting contrary to our true feelings. This is despite the Bible declaring that our feelings are subject to corrupted inclinations which – if left untamed – will result in our harm and ultimate demise (Gen. 4:7Gal. 5:16).
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Romans 7:18
The word ‘God‘ has similarly been twisted from its actual meaning – the all-powerful, self-existent, omni-present, omniscient, unchanging, triune, creator of the universe, and final Judge of all mankind; to – a celestial-type being or force whose supreme existence is to ensure my happiness

WORDS HAVE POWER

It has been said that, “He who defines the words used in a debate has already won the debate!” Words have power. I remember when my father in-law died suddenly. I was devastated. I was asked to take the funeral. I wondered how on earth I could say anything to bring any measure of comfort. I found myself saying, “No words can make any difference” to which I felt the sharp and instantaneous rebuke of the Holy Spirit. “Never say that words can never make a difference! Words can heal. Words can comfort. Words can strengthen!” This is why it is so distressing to me to have to endure the butchering of language at the moment. Too many people are going unchallenged with their word twisting. For example, last Saturday night the ABC 7PM TV News reported that a lesbian Uniting Church minister from Goodwood Road, Adelaide, was displaying a rainbow flag with a “YES” across it. They reported that the minister was receiving much “hate mail” as a result. Of the two examples they presented (which had respondents pointing out that such a position was contrary to Scripture) neither expressed any hate whatsoever. But it seems under the twisted words regime being thrust upon us, their disagreement with the lady in question was deemed to be ‘hatred’. How bizarre.  
Little wonder then that the general public who are generally unaware of how language is meant to work has been lured into the trap of accepting that disagreement is hate. The other day, Karen Dickson announced on her Facebook Page that she had just voted “No” in the Same-Sex Marriage Postal survey. One her FB Friends commented on that post that they could no longer be her friend because of Karen’s differing views! How bizarre.
KD-FB-disagreement
The current practice of word twisting is making any possibility of having a sensible debate virtually impossible. When logic, normally grounded in research and reason, is twisted to mean nice feelings, resulting in the acceptance of the nonsensical slogans such as “Love is love” we are in peril as a society. This is so concerning to those of us who understand that words which once meant something have now been kidnapped and held to ransom by word-twisters because this makes the unsuspecting general public susceptible to being willingly persuaded that black is white and night is day. Quite frankly, it’s enough to send any lexicographer around the twist!
I conclude with a comment from James Parker who knows a thing or two about words and their power:
Pastor Andrew

Friday, 29 September 2017

What Noah Webster Did Not Know!

What-Noah-Webster-Did-Not-Know
Do you want to get more done? Would you like to achieve more in your day? Would you like to finish each day with a deep sense of fulfilment for your day’s efforts? I would! If you do as well, then we will both have to face one of the biggest challenges many of us will ever face. This challenge is often difficult to confront because it is so cleverly disguised. The biggest challenge that many of us will face (and embarrassingly, I speak from personal experience and five decades of observation) is how we can confront and overcome this. One of the reasons this is so difficult to deal with is due to its tricky use of disguises. It more often than not disguises itself as busyness. I am referring to laziness.
And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Matthew 5:41
Some of the busiest people I know are also the laziest. Laziness is often confused with idleness. Of course, it can be. But from my perspective, this is its rarest form. The laziness I am blighted with masquerades itself as highly active busyness. And although this will probably upset my fellow lazyites, one of the reasons we lazyites are so prone to laziness is that we rarely do nothing. Naturally, this revelation will confuse those outsiders who presume that laziness always means doing nothing. This is why some of the laziest people I’ve ever known have also been some of the busiest.
¶ Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Colossians 4:5
Dictionaries are wonderful for learning how to spell words, but they are not always similarly helpful for defining words. Websters’ Dictionary defines “lazy” as:  
unwilling to work or use energy; characterized by lack of effort or activity.
Noah Webster mastered 26 ancient languages before writing his famous American-English dictionary
Noah Webster mastered 26 ancient languages before writing his famous American-English dictionary
But (and maybe it was because Noah Webster was one of the hardest working and most diligent men who have ever lived) his definition of lazy only encompassed the above definition. If Dr. Noah Webster had ever met me, he would have had to add to his definition the following:
Laziness is not doing what should be done. 
I have found that when I have to do something that I don’t want to do, I yield too easily to the temptation to doing those things that really could wait but make me look too busy to do the very thing I should have been doing. 
This is why the most effective people are often those who have come to know they are extremely susceptible to laziness and have come to resist the temptation to regard busyness as an excuse for it. Thus, diligence is acting on a commitment to do what should be done – even when we don’t want to do it or even feel like doing it. And here’s the good news for people like me, and all my fellow lazyites- 
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13
Sometimes I’m afraid to do what I should do. Sometimes I feel inadequate to do what I should do. Sometimes I don’t like to admit that I don’t know how to do what I should do. But as I behold Christ I see the answer (2Cor. 3:18). Jesus calls me to take up my cross and follow Him (Matt. 16:24). He calls me to do what I should do and promises to give me the strength and assistance to do it (1Peter 4:10-11). As I have prayed for God’s help in these moments of facing up to the should, I have noticed that God’s answer to my cry for help is to send people whom He has gifted and anointed to fill my lack – just as He uses me to fill up their lack in different ways.
You should commit to the House of God every Sunday. Don’t let busyness tell you otherwise. You should commit to loving those God places in your life. Don’t let busyness keep you from spending time with those you love. You should strive to grow as a follower of Christ by deepening your understanding of God’s Word, enriching your prayer time, and strengthening your fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. You shouldn’t rush off all the time. 
For all Noah Webster’s brilliance and his unparalleled command of language, I’m both amazed and not surprised that he didn’t really have a good understanding of just how cunning laziness can be. But fortunately for me and lazyite comrades, Jesus Christ most certainly does understand it and offers the power to overcome it. In fact, His entire mission is dependent upon it.   

Pastor Andrew

Friday, 22 September 2017

THE ANSWER TO EVERY 'HARD' SCRIPTURE

WHY THE SCRIPTURES WILL SEEM TO GET HARDER

 BibleA ‘hard’ Scripture is a Biblical imperative that seems impossibly outdated, belonging to a by-gone and less-sophisticated era. These are the Scriptures which regulate gender roles, fashion, sexual expression, and respect for authority. 
After explaining the Gospel, the Apostle Paul begins its application in Romans 12. 
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-3
BibleThe Scriptures present the believer with a culture. We might call this, the Kingdom Culture. It is grounded in the teaching of Christ. It governs how we spend our time, use our money, apply our abilities, contribute, and relate to others. It directs us to live as a community of believers where we are taught, led, guarded, and cared for – and even commands us not to neglect this regular time together. It warns us not to be conformed into the thinking or ways of the world. And while I’m proud of our local church for how much we have improved in these Kingdom principles, I’m afraid that the big picture reveals we might be losing ground. 
..our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
Second 3:15b-16
Disney_promoting_LGBT_to_preschoolersThe pressure from the world to conform to its godless standards is relentless. They target the lambs of the Kingdom first. Sometimes those who should be well-grounded in God’s Word and mature in Christ are only so by appearances. Those who succumb to this subtle pressure usually begin their compromising with the world by relegating the Scriptures down the list of their daily priorities. This becomes especially obvious when a Christian makes claims about what the Bible says – which even a novice Bible reader would know is not right. The Apostle Peter described this happening in his day and described it happening by people who were “ignorant and unstable” who were ‘twisting‘ the Scriptures ‘to their own destruction‘. I wonder what he would say today if he heard that some Christian ministers are advocating for what God expressly forbad? I wonder what he would say if he heard some Christians argue that Christ’s commands were only ever intended for Christians and do not apply to non-Christians?
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
Second Timothy 4:3

WHICH SCRIPTURES WILL SEEM TO GET HARDER

LGBT_militantsThe Bible is not an alternate view of reality, rather, it is a clear view of it. It reveals the hard truth about the human condition: that we are rebellious toward our Maker and treacherously self-deifing. This makes our fascination with God quite tense. On the one hand, we each want to know the answers to the great mysteries of life (How did the universe begin? How did we get here? Who am I? What is God like? What happens to me after I die?), while simultaneously objecting to any notion that God can demand our exclusive worship and thereby our utter obedience.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
John 3:19
The Scriptures which will increasing seem ‘hard’ for those believers who have not embraced the culture of Christ’s Kingdom pertain to sexual conduct, gender roles, authority, and the role of the church. 
SEXUAL CONDUCT
The culture of the world is that sexual conduct is a recreational activity. Any resultant unwanted pregnancies should be medically terminated. Any moral boundaries attributed to sexual conduct are purely artificially constructed by a prudish society.
bride-weddingThe culture of the Kingdom upholds marriage between a man and a woman as the only legitimate basis for sexual intimacy. God designed for the maximum sexual fulfilment for anyone to only be found in a loving, covenant of exclusive union with someone of the opposite sex. Sexual activity without this exclusive covenant is identified as fornication, and sexual activity beyond marriage is identified as adultery.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Hebrews 13:4
GENDER ROLES
The culture of the world is that gender roles are not actually assigned and that biology plays no role in a person’s gender. In recent times, attempts have been made to invent novel gender identities along the lines of sexual attraction. This has led to the notion of ‘gender fluidity’ where a person’s perception of their gender (not restricted to either male or female) becomes the standard for how they are to be gender identified.
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Couple-ReconcileThe culture of Christ’s Kingdom maintains that men and women are equal in worth, value, and divine access, but distinct in their roles. Men and women are different. They are at least physically (biologically) different. Men are called, and enabled by God, to assume certain roles within society, and especially their family, of protector, provider, and pastor. While many women often show greater competence than many men in these and other areas, women are generally called and enabled by God to nurture, support and administer. 
¶ Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
First Peter 3:7

AUTHORITY
The culture of the world is that any authority a person has is bestowed upon them by society. This authority is often bestowed on the basis of popularity rather than competence. Therefore it is often legitimate, according to the culture of the world, to be cynical toward those in authority and show them very little respect.
The culture of the Kingdom is that God appoints people to authority and their position should be respected. The introduction to divinely appointed authority is the home. In Kingdom culture, authority is not about power as it is about responsibility. God has ordained parents, pastors, politicians, and police. This is why it is doubly egregious when someone in such a position betrays the trust shown in them by those they are responsible for. 
¶ Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Hebrews 13:17

THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH
Being-a-Safe-Church23The culture of the world regards the church as irrelevant. Its views are inadmissible in the public square due to the principle of ‘separation of church and state’. While it may do some good in providing some social welfare administration, it generally financially extorts people, and often preys upon the vulnerable.
The culture of the Kingdom is that Church is called by God to be the salt and light (Matt. 5:13-14) of society as well the pillar and ground of truth for society (1Tim. 3:15). The Church is called by God to be a prophetic voice to the world (Matt. 28:18-19). It is designed by Christ to reveal His glory to the world. As such, all believers are called to make the weekly assembling together as the church for worship and attention to God’s Word, their highest priority (Heb. 10:24-25).
¶ Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH HARD SCRIPTURES IS WITH A SOFT HEART

Bible-Read_MeIf you want to live in the Kingdom of Christ, then start by adopting its culture. This can only be done as you become familiar with God’s Word. Read it daily to be spiritually renewed. Study it regularly to better behold Christ, its Author (2Cor. 3:18). Worship God with it in the midst of your assembled local church by paying heed to the preached Word. Teach it to others to promote it. Take courses from qualified Bible teachers to enrich your understanding of it. And seek God prayerfully for the power to live it out. By doing this, you will be softening your heart and discovering that rather than the Scriptures being ‘hard’, they are in fact the gentle instrument of your strengthening in the midst of a world that strives to weary us of God and His ways.

Amen.
Pastor Andrew.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Uncomfortable Christ


The-Uncomfortable-JESUS


Jesus is still the most attractive man who has ever walked our planet. He is still, by a long way, the most Googled person on the internet. More books have been written about Him than any other person, and those who have followed Him, including the Apostle Paul, Augustine, and Martin Luther, have only achieved universal and time-less fame ranking books about them in the top most read biographies, because they followed Him and ended up bearing His resemblance.

¶ Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
John 21:25

Jesus-artist-impressionIn His days on earth, He was the object of fascination by ordinary folk, military commanders, religious leaders, and royalty. Thousands of people flocked to hear Him. Women and children longed to be with Him and were usually granted unusual access to Him. Despite Him being on the gravest mission of all time, He took time to play with children and publicly sit with women.

¶ Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:13-14

But Jesus also had some people who didn't like Him! Mostly, these were people who were threatened by them because He condemned their abuse of others. 

¶ Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”
John 11:45-50

 At one stage, Jesus declared these religious hypocrites to be "whitewashed walls" (broken down walls rendered over to hide their true condition). 

¶ “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
Matthew 23:27

Little wonder these people didn't like Jesus! He exposed them and called them to repent. Ultimately, these people whom Jesus condemned would conspire to have Him executed. Despite knowing this (Mark 8:31), Jesus continued fearlessly to declare the truth. Perhaps this is one of the most admirable traits about Christ: He feared no-one. Of those who were closest to Him, His disciples, He continually shocked them with how high His standards were. 

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48

We read in the Gospels that Jesus was just like a caring doctor who had the best interests of his patients at heart. Rather than telling them what they wanted to hear, He always told them what they needed to hear, when they could hear it. The same is true today. As you come closer to Christ, the more uncomfortable you will feel. As a patient comes into the surgeon's rooms to be told their test results, there is great apprehension. The surgeon could lie to them because he fears that they would be distressed by the truth of their actual condition. But a caring surgeon who wants to see his patient healed will always tell his patient the truth. Being confronted by the truth is often uncomfortable. Christ uses His Word, His servants, and even His world to minister His truth to us - and it can be quite uncomfortable to be confronted with our true condition. Those who claim that Jesus never confronts and challenges those He loves to repent and forsake sin are promoting nonsense and a false Jesus. Those who have come to know Jesus and accepted His correction have found that they are beneficiaries. And to their delight, each one has found that Christ not only beckons us to come, He gives us the power to do so.  

for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

Pastor Andrew.