Fully Surrendered

To walk somewhere you need legs. Faith in itself doesn’t accomplish much, it requires you putting your faith into action, essentially giving your faith legs.

Imagine a tightrope stretched across 400m spanning the breath of Niagara Falls. The thundering sound of the pounding water drowning out all other sounds as you watch a man step onto the rope and walk across!

This stunning feat was made by Charles Blondin, a French tightrope walker and acrobat, in 1859.  He walked 50m above the falls several times back and forth between Canada and the United States as huge crowds on both sides looked on with shock and awe.  Once he crossed in a sack, once on stilts, another time on a bicycle, and once he even carried a stove and cooked an omelette!

On July 15, Blondin walked backward across the tightrope to Canada and returned pushing a wheelbarrow. All had witnessed that amazing feat, there was no question in anyone’s mind that he could do it.

He turned to the crowd and asked, “How many of you believe that I can roll a man across in this wheelbarrow?” Everybody shouted! He had put out a challenge to his viewing audience that tested their belief that he could do it (head knowledge) and true faith (putting that belief into action, heart knowledge).

In response to the question, one man in the front row was very excited in his professed belief. Blondin pointed to this excited spectator and said, “You’re next, jump in!” You couldn’t see that man for dust, he high-tailed it out of there! He thought he believed it—but he was not willing to get in the wheelbarrow and put that belief to the test.

Just so with Christ. Many people say they believe on Him, they say they follow Him. But when our belief is put to the test and our faith requires action to step into the wheelbarrow – we run away from it. My challenge to you today is…do you believe? And if you believe, commit and surrender yourself 100 percent to Christ, to your local church, and to those around you that need to know Him – be fully surrendered!

 Ps. Adrian

Adrian Olney
New Life

I have been thinking lately about the life we could live…or should be living as Christians, particularly because we held a baptismal service last Sunday and spoke about what it means to be water baptised.

I am sure that if we were offered a second chance to many of the things we have done, we would accept it with open arms.

For you to be saved, you need to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart what Jesus has done…and that is provided you with a second chance. Will you accept it?

Rom 10:9 - that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Acts 2:21 - And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Whilst water baptism is not a requisite to being saved, it is however a step of obedience to be taken following salvation. It is a public declaration of our belief and surrender to a new life in Christ. Baptism by full immersion provides that dying to self, baptised into Christ’s death, leaving the old life and sinful nature behind and being raised from the water to walk a new life, like that of His resurrection.

Rom 6:1-4

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

What sort of life could we, should we, live then if Christ was raised from the dead? A new life! Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can partake in the new life that He is offering.

Can you imagine all your past sins being wiped clean and be given a second chance? That imagination can become a reality by accepting Jesus. My hope and prayer is that you know Jesus and that you are experiencing and walking in the ‘newness of life’ we have been promised through being baptised into His death.

Ps. Adrian

Adrian Olney
A One-Way Street

We heard a great message on Sunday from Dennis Gilles on how important it is to forgive and not hold on to bitterness.

Forgiveness is often a one-way street, but one that is well worth travelling.

Have you ever been wronged by someone? It would have happened to most of us several times in our lives. Our natural human reactions can be revenge, anger, bitterness, or even disillusionment.

At some point in our lives, we’ve all had to forgive someone. The ache of these injuries, the pain caused by others, can linger for years, decades, even a lifetime. Forgiving someone can be one of the most difficult things to do in your life. Yet, it’s through forgiveness that God heals our deepest wounds, and frees us from our prisons of anger, hate, self-pity, and bitterness.

Luke 23:34 says…Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith, with our Saviour, Jesus Christ, extending forgiveness even when He was dying on the cross. Jesus loved those who had nailed Him there, uttering a prayer asking His Father to forgive them. He didn’t hang on to bitterness or anger, but showed grace and love to those who had wronged Him.

When Jesus forgave those who crucified Him, they had not asked for forgiveness. Jesus would have never forgiven them if their asking were the prerequisite.  Not only did He forgive them, He also did not hold it to their account. Forgiveness can be a one-way street.

As forgiveness is released, a remarkable thing happens. The hurt, anger, and bitterness is released as well. You can be freed from the hurt that is eating you up. Though most of the people that hurt us never ask for our forgiveness, as they are forgiven, we are freed and released.

Forgiveness isn’t always an easy thing to do, and feeling that release could take some time.  But, you may be surprised at how good it does feels travelling down that road. Jesus didn’t expect anything in return as He forgave those who put Him to death.  We need to forgive with those same expectations. Remember, forgiveness can be a one-way street!

Ps. Adrian

Adrian Olney
Believe In Miracles

“I have always believed in miracles!” These were the words declared by our newly elected Prime Minister, Scott Morrison in his acceptance speech on Saturday night.

Many people would have taken this as him being surprised at winning the election, against all the polls. You and I know that there was a lot more meaning behind these words.

Psalm 19:1-3 says…The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.

There is a language in nature that speaks of the existence of God. It is the language of order, beauty, perfection, and intelligence. Some scientists that have given serious thought to the majestic order of the universe and its obedience to unchanging law, cannot help but believe in God. They become aware that God speaks through nature.

God speaks in the certainty and regularity of the four seasons; in the precision of the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars; in the coming of night and day; in the balance between man’s consumption of life-giving oxygen and its production by the plant life of the earth; and even in the cry of a newborn child with the miracle of life.

As the heavens declare God’s glory, may we also continue to declare the good news of the gospel, without fear or trepidation. People need to know that God is still in the business of miracles.

God is in control of this world - down to the smallest detail.  He is interested in having a personal relationship with you and I. He loves every part of you, He created you, and longs to be with you.

If you are struggling in your walk with God today - believe in miracles. Miracles still happen!!

Ps. Adrian

Adrian Olney
Mary - The Mother Of Jesus

Mother’s Day is a special day, a great time to remember, celebrate and honour our Mother. It was great to be able to honour all the women in our church with a small flower because each one is loved and special in God’s eyes.

As we reflected on Sunday about Mary, the Mother of Jesus, we can understand that this day isn’t always that simple. For some it is a day of joy, but for others it can be a day of pain. It's a day of celebration, but also a day of longing and of grief. But one thing is for sure, all women are daughters, so have or had a mother, and should be honoured and celebrated.

Some people and religions elevate Mary to a position that is not taught in the Bible, others have gone to the extreme of almost ignoring her. But Mary deserves better than either of those extremes. Mary was one of the noblest characters in the entire Bible. She is a wonderful role model for mothers, and deserves to be honoured as such. She gave birth to the Messiah, Son of God, He alone is to be worshipped. Mary is to be honoured and remembered - not worshipped.

Luke 1:26-28 says…Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

Mary was highly favoured and blessed among women. The Lord was with her. What was it about Mary that made her so special, and chosen by God?

1.      She was pure in heart and character. Mary was not divine - she was a mere mortal – no different to you and me. She lived with the same temptations but kept herself pure. Her pure character, physically and spiritually, shines though as a wonderful example and reason why she was highly favoured and blessed, chosen by God.

2.      She was surrendered to God. Mary didn’t fully comprehend what God’s angel had said to her. She understood it in part, but yet she couldn’t completely grasp what was in store for her. Yet her life was so surrendered to God that she said, in effect: “Lord, whatever your will for my life is, so be it - whether I understand it or not.”

3.      She was a woman of prayer.  Mary was part of a small group of faithful believers that prayed long and fervently prior to the Day of Pentecost (Mary is named in Acts 1:14). Thank the Lord for praying mothers who have surrendered their lives to God and hold their children in prayer before Him, day and night.

Let us consider today, our own response to God and what He has called us to do. Have we yielded and surrendered ourselves, in repentance and faith, to the Lord Jesus Christ? My call to you is that you be the right kind of person today, as Mary was, full of faith, pure in heart and character, surrendered to God, loving, caring and obedient. She was highly favoured and blessed!

Ps. Adrian

Adrian Olney