1/5/2020 – False teachers and the Grace of God



I remember the day I got my driver’s licence. When I was able to drive all alone, no need for supervision and nothing else to learn. Just me, my old worn-out car, endless roads and a licence to put them all together and do what I wanted. 

There are those in the world who think this way about the grace of God. It’s a licence to do what I want and get away with it. Just like a driver’s license doesn’t give us the ability to drive, however, and wherever we want, God’s grace is not a licence to live a sinful and rebellious life against God and his good will. 

This is the context that Jude writes his letter. 

Jude was one of Jesus’ earthly brothers, (Jude 1.1 Matt 13.55) who became a disciple of Jesus. Jude was a leader in the early church and was known to be a travelling missionary. 

It’s clear from the opening verses that Jude cared deeply for all Christians—having a firm grasp of the sovereignty of God. Jude has no doubt that those who Jesus had saved would be sustained by God grace despite the situation he addresses in the letter. Indeed, Jude is writing so that God’s blessings increase in believers because of what’s happening.

Jude was planning to write a long letter to the churches all about the salvation they share in. Although his attention was drawn away and Jude wrote a shorter letter to tell the churches, they must contend for the faith. At this early stage of his letter, Jude does not say how those he is writing to must contend for the faith. Instead, he clearly spells out the reason why they must.  

Christian must be contending for the faith in response to the false teachers that were appearing throughout the church. 

Jude knew that the death of Jesus paid the price for the sin of all believers. But he is all too aware that we still live in a sinful, broken world, as sinful, broken people, until the day Jesus returns. Therefore, as Christians, we will continue to sin and turn away for God, yet Jesus’ death and resurrection covers the cost of our sinful hearts and deeds.

With this truth in mind, Jude gives this solemn warning, that false teachers will enter into churches and distort the grace of God. These false teachers will join our church without raising any red flags of drawing any attention to themselves – ‘they have come in by stealth’ (v4). Which means we must be diligent in looking at how people live their lives, making sure how they live lines up with what the Bible teaches. 

We must diligently watch the actions of people because these false teachers are using the grace of God as a license to sin. Specifically, they are using the grace of God as an opportunity to commit sexual sin, and they argue that there should be no repercussions from it, because such sin has been paid for and forgiven at the cross of Christ. Thinking this way about God’s grace is a perversion of the truth handed down to the saints once and for all time (v3). Jude tells his readers that these teachers will perish in their sin and be destroyed.

Jude will end his letter by helping his readers think about how they are to contend for the faith. Before he does that Jude gives examples of what happens to those who distort God’s grace and mercy in this way.

We must understand the power of the cross for the forgiveness of all our sins and the sins of all those who believe. We must always be on guard and ready to contend for the faith because false teachers will come, who will distort the grace of God to have a licence to sin. 

Yet as Christian we know that Christ is able to protect us from stumbling and to make us stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

Author: Matt Borg


Prayer of the Day

Our Lord and God,

You are worthy to receive glory and power, because you have created all things and by your will they exist and were created. 

Thank you that there is nothing outside your power and control, because you alone are God. 

We beg that you would bring an end to the spread of the Coronavirus. Please bring an end to the sickness, suffering and death. Please bring healing and full health to all who are unwell. Please use this time, to let all the world know that you alone are God and you alone can save us. Amen

30/4/2020 – Identity in Christ

Prayer of the Day

Merciful Father, who delights to give his children good gifts, we thank you for supplying our every need today. We are conscious of those who have much less than us, and pause to thank you for the immense privileges you have granted us in this life, and above all for the blessing and privilege of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

27/4/2020 – Life BC… Before Corona


Prayer of the Day

Heavenly Father, who knows the difficulties, stresses, and pressures of life under the sun and this side of our heavenly home: please grant grace; extra grace which will be sufficient for our needs, so that we might live for you and follow in the footsteps of Christ who endured and persevered for our sake. Lord have mercy and come back soon. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

25/4/2020 – ANZAC DAY


Prayer of the Day

Merciful Father, I am asking that I may be filled with the knowledge of your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that I may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to you: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power, according to your glorious might, so that I may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to you, my Father, who has enabled me to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. You have rescued me from the domain of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Amen.

23/4/2020 – In God We Trust


Three months ago, none of us could have ever imagined the situation we are in today. COVID-19 has shaken the grounds under our feet. No one could have grasped social distancing or social isolation and the impacts on our economy and livelihoods.

We cannot do the things we have taken for granted – visiting friends, no cricket, no football, no sports, holidays, picnic in the park, etc. Who could have predicted oil prices would drop to $1 a barrel!!

What COVID-19 has done for us is to strip life down to its basic motivations and fears. It makes us examine our security in life. Our security and retirement plans have been greatly shaken like an earthquake. We are disorientated, uncertain, anxious and fearful.

Yet, it is particularly important during these times for us to reflect and focus on what is important and precious to us. Despite all the upheavals and changes around us, our pillars of faith in Jesus Christ cannot be shaken. They cannot and will never change. More than ever, we proclaim: On Christ the solid rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand

Our God is holy and sovereign. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13.8). He is our Creator God.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
or weighed the mountains on a balance
and the hills on the scales?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
or who gave him counsel?
14 Who did he consult?
Who gave him understanding
and taught him the paths of justice?
Who taught him knowledge
and showed him the way of understanding?
Isaiah 40.12-14

Our Sovereign God is in charge and in control, “For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt 5.45). God’s Word Has Not Changed COVID-19 has resulted in drastic changes in our lives. Yet, our confidence in His Word is as sure and firm as it has ever been. God’s Word comforts and assures us that He will see us through this pandemic.

The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever. (Isa 40.8). Romans 8.38 assures that nothing, not even COVID-19, can separate us from the love of God and in all things, we are more than conquerors in Jesus. God’s Word is living, imperishable and endures forever (1 Pet 1.23). Keep up with your Bible reading.

COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, but God’s plan and purpose remain the same – ​to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him (Eph 1.10) and people from every nation, tribe, people and language will stand before His throne and praise Him (Rev. 7:9). COVID-19 is a metaphoric storm in our lives, just like the storm in Mark 4.35ff. Just like the disciples, we are fearful of the storm. But God is in charge and there is no storm too great for Him that He cannot silence.

Ephesians 2 tells us that we have been saved by grace through faith, and created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. (Eph 2. 9-10). The world – our friends, families, neighbours and community – need to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They need to hear the Good News that Jesus brings to a world in need of His mercy and grace.

We have an opportunity to speak of the real hope we have in Jesus. To speak of the security and confidence we have in a world that is struggling to find security. To speak of the assurance of eternal life in Christ amidst the fear of death.

Christ is truly our one sure foundation. No matter what the future holds, we can be certain of our future in Christ. He is our great high priest who understands our predicaments. Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Heb 4.14 – 16). In our Sovereign and Holy God, we trust.

Prayer of the Day

Heavenly Father, I pray this: that my love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that I may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of you. Amen.

22/4/2020 – Mark 4.35-41


Prayer of the Day

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are the God of all compassion and comfort. We thank you that you listen to our prayers. We pray today for our world, our nation, our city and our church as the Coronavirus spreads.

Please bring help to all our communities according to their needs. Heal those afflicted and strengthen all who have the responsibility for care. In your mercy, please provide a cure and give wisdom to those seeking to develop a vaccine for this condition.

We pray, too, for ourselves. Enable us to walk by faith. Help us to be careful and wise in taking whatever precautions are necessary to limit and contain the spread of this virus. Strengthen us to remain calm while vigilant; responsible citizens seeking the welfare of others above ourselves.

At times of uncertainty and anxiety, help our world to look to security in your Son, Jesus Christ. And give courage to Christians as we point others to the One in whom there is always hope.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

21/4/2020 – What is Love?


It can be easy to throw around a word like ‘love’ and think that the nice, positive vibes it produces are all that it conveys. But, if we do that, it can easily lose its significance and become little more than other happy words we might put on a birthday card, words that sound good, but have very little concrete meaning.

So what does it mean that the aim of the gospel is love? And what does it look like for the people of God to be to be defined by this word and reality?

Timothy is a young pastor in Ephesus. Paul describes him as true son in the faith (1 Tim 1.2) and is the apostle’s ministry apprentice. Paul has charged him with task of fighting for gospel truth in the city and making sure that the church in Ephesus truly understands the nature of gospel-shaped love i.e. God’s love for his people and our love for one another.

God’s Love for Us

‘But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!’ (Eph 2.4-5)

God’s love is displayed and given to sinful, broken, spiritually dead and corrupt people who really, really don’t deserve it. If we were left to our own devices we would chose anything or anyone but the true and living God; we chase after the things of this world, exchanging the truth for a lie (Rom 1.23) and are as dead in our sins. In fact, by ourselves, we can’t do anything to merit God’s love, even our best efforts are describe as fitfully rags and our hearts as places from which wickedness and corruption flow (Mark 7.21-23). It’s a bleak and grim picture of the human condition.

But God’s kindness towards us is so overflowing that is in ‘immeasurable’ in Christ (Eph 2.7). God’s love for his lost sheep is immense, spectacular and all encompassing.

And this love is shown to us definitively in his Son’s death for us on a cross. Jesus’ blood is what brings us redemption, forgiveness, adoption, inheritance, salvation, peace, unity, purpose, joy and satisfaction.

God’s love which came at the greatest cost, the death of his one and only Son, bears the greatest blessings. It truly is love that surpasses all knowledge (Eph 3.19)

Our love for each other

‘Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us…’ (Eph 5.1-2)

The radical nature of God’s love for us – overflowing in mercy and grace towards people who don’t deserve it – that truth shapes our love for each other.

Love is more than a feeling.

In the letter to the Ephesians, it is marked by action. And those actions are not occasional, movie-moment, big dramatic gestures. Active-love gets involved in the minutiae of daily life. In the way I speak to you when I’m tired and grumpy. In the way a husband loves his wife, in a daily, Christ-like way. In the way we strive for sexual purity in a world enveloped in darkness. In the way we bear with one another in our shortcomings. In the way we show humility, gentleness and patience at every opportunity.

It’s love that will feel costly, and often undeserved. It is love that seeks the good of other people. It is love that reflects the Father’s love for us.

Prayer of the Day

Heavenly Father,

Please plant into the heart of every Australian the spirit to love our neighbours as ourselves, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in caring for those around us—friends and strangers alike—as you draw our community together in love.

Please, loving God, draw especially close to those who are alone or troubled at this difficult time. Calm their troubled hearts, and move their friends, family and acquaintances to call them to encourage and support them.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

20/4/2020 – I am the Resurrection

Prayer of the Day

Please, loving Heavenly Father, draw especially close to those who are alone or troubled at this difficult time. Calm their troubled hearts, and move their friends, family and acquaintances to call them to encourage and support them.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, that you understand our suffering for you too have suffered—you have seen your beloved Son suffer rejection, humiliation and death on the cross to rescue us from the powers of darkness.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


17/4/2020 – Waiting for the Lord


As a society we’re generally terrible at waiting for things.  We look for the quickest moving aisle at the supermarket, we want new products and new releases now, and we can’t stand having to wait for slow internet to download a game or movie or song. So many decisions we make as individuals and as a society express this impatience, and this desire for everything to be now reveals superficial, short term thinking. Even some churches make the mistake of believing you can have every blessing of success and health and fulfilment right now. People are drawn powerfully to this message partly because they don’t want to have to wait, but the danger is when things are tough they are led to believe God has somehow abandoned or forgotten them. Our God is so good, he is perfect and kind and loving. He knows us, he cares infinitely for us, and he is in complete control. Because of who he is, we can always trust him and very often our trust in him will be expressed as patience and waiting. Trusting God means trusting his timing. We know his promises are sure, we know our hope is secure, so we can “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer” (Romans 12.12).

Our willingness to wait, to be patient, and remain confident in the Lord, even in the face of uncertainty, trial, and suffering, is the outworking of our faith in his loving rule. James 5.7-8 says

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.”

The amazing thing that we know is coming, and is definitely worth waiting for, is the Lord’s return. And so we wait for him, with his words reassuring us that:

“The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.” (Lamentations 3.25-26)

It’s hard to be patient right now when we don’t know when things will go back to normal, we don’t know when schools will return, if we will keep our job, if we will be able to find a new job. It’s hard to be patient when we haven’t seen friends and family and loved ones and won’t be able to for some time more. Our circumstances are truly challenging.

But no matter what, we can be patient and wait for God, because God is kind and patient with us, and he has a spectacular plan to bless us for eternity. As David writes in Psalm 40:

I waited patiently for the LORD,
and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.

He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and they will trust in the LORD.

So we don’t know when coronavirus will end, we don’t know how bad the economy will be, or what will happen to our society. But we do know God is in control, we do know the future he has in store for us is glorious and guaranteed in Jesus Christ, and so we trust him, we wait for him, and we are patient.

Author: Adrian Russell 

Prayer of the Day

Heavenly Father,

Please use this virus, and all the circumstances surrounding it, to bring people to their knees. Turn people’s hearts and minds back to you in repentance and faith. Enable us all to see that, for too long, we’ve based on our life on shifting sand. Bring people all over the world – whether for the first time, or in a fresh way – to turn to the Lord Jesus as their Rock, and to put their hope and trust in him.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

16/4/2020 – Coping with Changes


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about quite a lot of changes to our lives – social isolation, inability to gather with friends and families, road trips and holiday plans are disrupted. We long for the day when life will return to normal and we pray constantly that the crisis will end soon. We hope that a vaccine will be successfully developed soon.

Our daily routines, our schedules and plans are disrupted, and we cannot plan too far ahead. As Christians, we put our trust in Jesus. We may not know what the future holds, but we have a sure and certain hope in Christ.

Amidst all the changes in our lives, Christ is the one certainty. The pandemic is temporal and will end. We want it to end immediately but we need to recognise that God is in charge. Our trust and our hope in Christ is eternal. Nothing in this world can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38). We are created for relationships – with God and with each other (Gen. 2.15 – 25). God wants us to gather – to encourage and to watch out for each other (Heb. 10.24f). Social isolation means that we cannot continue with our usual work and social activities. Our abilities to connect with each other are curtailed and we have to figure out new ways of doing that. Technology has enabled us to keep in touch and we must work hard to maintain our social interactions and connect with each other.

Through all the upheavals, we have our God who never changes (Heb. 13.8). He is our constant Rock and Refuge. Psalm 18.30 – 33 encourages us to focus on God; to take refuge in Him during all the uncertainties.

God ​— ​his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is pure.
He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is a rock? Only our God.
God ​— ​he clothes me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer
and sets me securely on the heights.

Check out Staying at Home During COVID-19 for a good article on how to cope with social isolation.

Author: Peter Chin

Prayer of the Day

Our Father in heaven,

We pray for people in our church and community who are affected by COVID-19. Help us, O Lord, to show compassionate to those around us who are struggling.

Help us to reach out and care for them and to point them to you. Teach us to share our lives and our relationship with you to comfort our friends, our families and our neighbours. Help us to be Christ-like to them.

Grant us your peace that surpasses all understanding. Help us to rest confidently in you and to continue to commit all things to you in prayer. May we rest under the shade of your protection as we wait for your relief from this pandemic.

You alone are our sure foundation and our true hope.