With God on Mission: Inbound Exiles

The book of Isaiah contains some of the most beautiful imagery in all of Scripture, of the unfolding prophecy of a redeemed people. The message of salvation and hope to people at the ends of the Earth affirm the saving nature of our Heavenly Father. Except these words also serve as prelude to the imminent unravelling of Israel. It's exile. The Israelites had forgotten their true calling - the failed to look towards the one true God and failed to be a blessing to all the nations, in doing so, failed to reveal the creator of the Universe to all...

 With God on Mission: Faithful Exiles

Accounts in the scriptures like the ones we find in Daniel, show us the faithfulness of our God. They reveal a lot about the nature of our ancestors and how they viewed the world, and even more, about the saving, redemptive nature of God. The Israelites who are in exile, chose to disobey the Kings orders and bow down to an idol - who are then are thrown into a fire, and SURVIVE the flames, all because of their faith in the God, Yahweh. However, this account is in stark contrast to the stories we find in the New Testament....

 With God on Mission: Unfaithful Israel

There are some stories in the Bible that are easier to remember than others. Stories about Floods & Arks, Towers that reach to the heavens, divinely sent Fish to swallow men - it’s these stories that we pass down to our kids and teach with affection because of the attachment that we’ve had with them growing up. We pass them down because of their redeeming values and the way it helps shift our child-like understanding of who God is, to a bigger, more inclusive awareness of the Divine. If, however, we only look at these stories as nothing more than...

 With God on mission: Faithful Gentiles

The story of Jericho is often fondly remembered as one of those stories that we’ve grown up with as children - a story about how a God provides to his faithful, wandering children. Trumpets, fanfare, hype, drama, battles, sieges - what’s not to like? Except, if you read this story on a parallax - from outside of it’s original culture and intended audience, distancing yourself from the child-like bias that we have grown up with - it can be a little unnerving, even barbaric. If you are reading this story for the first time, you could ask what type of...

 With God on mission: Set Free to Live Free

The early Hebrews, living as slaves in Egypt, had known only a life of hardship, abuse, persecution and oppression. For four hundred years they were forced to build and prop up the Egyptian empire, working as slaves for more than 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. The severity of this persecution and maltreatment was so in-ground in their very being, that their worth was measured in their ability, (or lack thereof), to work - indelibly scarring the psyche of the people. The distant memory of a life in freedom was nothing more than a story. To liberate a...

 With God on Mission: Holy Promise

The people of the ancient world lived in the awareness that you were dependant on the “forces”. Your crops, health, well-being, tribe and family were all reliant on whether you were in favour of the gods - or not. This constant need to appease the gods came with a deep seeded sense of apprehension, uncertainness and anxiety, because how do you ever know where you stand with the gods? This is the story of humanity in the ancient world - an anxiety induced, cyclical world view that each generation lived in, generation after generation. Lead Pastor Stuart Starr takes us...

 With God in mission: The Language of The Kingdom

If you look carefully through the Bible, there are certain stories and themes that crop up again and again. The Israelites had preserved and passed down these stories through their generations, to speak pictures and insight about who their God was and why they worshipped Him. They used beautiful imagery and metaphors to talk of a God who was for the powerless, on the side of the oppressed and was faithful to the faithful. So when our modern culture examines some of these stories, its good to have some understanding and acumen into what was going on at the time...

 With God On Mission: Sin’s Curse

How do we begin to comprehend and understand what sin really is? How do you measure its affects? How do you, in a world of military and political and humanitarian unrest, comprehend a world that is turning in on itself, a world that is feeling the very real pressure of the abuse of its natural resources, a world that accuses and doesn't accept? Genesis starts with the unmistakable truth - that it is all a gift. Then something happened. But a story about a talking snake, a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, a Tree of perpetually sustaining life?...

 With God On Mission: Planted

The people of the ancient world believed that the creation of the Universe had occurred after a violent battle between two gods. The male god kills the female god, then tore her body apart and used half of her to create the heavens and half to create the earth. The driving engine of this story is violence, carnage, and destruction. Not a children’s bedtime story. The Jews on the other hand, who were in exile at the time, had a different story - a story that had lived in their bones - a story that had been passed down from...

 Johns Gospel: The Son & Believers

Jesus’ disciples were the first to see him revealed as who he really was - The Christ. They lived with him, they ate with him, they walked the same dusty roads from city to city as he taught, ministered and performed miracles. They lived in the assurance that God was real, that God cared for the sick, that He fed the hungry and that He was ever present in their midst. But what happens when that assurance is taken away? Where do you find purpose and mission? The disciples had experienced the “Oneness” of the Divine and man personally over...

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