Be Prepared

Yesterday at Saar Fellowship our text was Hebrews 12.1-11 and we talked about what our life of faith prepares us to do.

We said that our faith in Jesus, so well explained and exampled in chapters 1-11 prepares us for running, for endurance, and for growth in Christ. That is a big lofty goal isn’t it!

Run your race in Christ, endure life in Christ, grow in Christ. They are big lofty goals that can seem a little overwhelming.

Maybe you feel like well, I’m just little old me, how do I go about things that are so big and life-changing as that?

Friends, worry not!

Ephesians 4 tells us,

10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

God wants you to grow, God wants you to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

God wants you to grow here, in the context of church, with others, for others, alongside others, helping others, being helped by others – makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love

So, our faith allows us to run, 

run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus

to endure, 

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

and to grow from Him, and to grow in Him, and to grow with Him,

we may share his holiness…yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Our faith allows us to run, to endure, to grow. Together.

Living In The Tension

Yesterday at Saar Fellowship our text was Hebrews 11.32-40, and we saw those who had victory over circumstance, and those who had victory in circumstance. This can leave us living in tension in between the already and the not yet, between feeling like things ought to be taken care of and done, always, in the here and now. We know we are saved by faith in Jesus, so why are things so tough?

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Despite some of their earthly circumstances being defeated, none of these people here experienced the constant and unbroken fellowship and communion with the Father, they did not receive what was promised.

None of these people here experienced the spiritual awakening and enriching and blessings that come from the finished work of Jesus. None of them. They did not receive what was promised.

But do you know what? You can. 

God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.


For us, seeing and enjoying the completed work of Jesus on the cross gives us much more reason to hold on to faith despite what may be going on in our lives.


Maybe that is what God is saying to you today – look, it doesn’t matter what is going on around you, whether things look like they ought to be fixed and changed, because you have something so much better to look to, to hold on to, to turn to, the finished work of Jesus on the cross, look what I have provided for you.

If you feel like you are caught in between the already saved and not yet sanctified, the already called but not yet delivered, that is ok, you are! But just look at what God has provided for you, look at how you can live in the here and now and in the tension between now and eternity.

So how do we live in this tension? How do we live between the already and not yet?

It is in the finished work of Jesus on the cross that you can live in the tension.

He has already triumphed over sin and death, but not yet come again.

He is already resurrected but not yet come again.

He is the great living example of the already and the not yet.

He is how we live in the tension between, because He is both already and not yet.

Miraculous Faith

Do you have miraculous faith? Yesterday at Saar Fellowship we talked through Hebrews 11.23-31 and saw miraculous faith in action.

I would say that yes, you do, and that you don’t need to get lost in the search for signs and wonders because you are one, you are a sign of the miraculous, you are a miraculous wonder. 

Do you know the biggest and most miraculous example we can possibly see?

The most miraculous and wonderful and exceedingly surprising?

The Word of God taking on flesh and living, dieing, rising, and ascending, and promising to come again.

The person of Jesus, casting aside for a time His heavenly glory and location to take up temporary residence among us to demonstrate to us the way, and the truth, and the life, to show us how to be reconciled to God, to offer us the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit through being in Him in faith to become a new creation, to cast aside our old person and become a new creation in Him…that is exceedingly surprising and wonderful therefore it is miraculous!

If you believe that, if you believe Him, then your faith is absolutely miraculous.

The fact that you are not who you used to be is miraculous, it’s surprising and it’s wonderful.

The fact that you can think, reason, consider, conclude, and confess that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead is an example of your miraculous faith. 

The fact that you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and that you love others as yourself is miraculous, that is exceedingly surprising and wonderful. It is so different to the culture at large, you are so different to the culture at large because you have miraculous faith.

So, take this knowledge, take this understanding, and let your miraculous faith be the engine that drives your life. 

Let your miraculous faith change everything about what you say, what you do, how you feel about yourself and the world. Let your miraculous faith be the central point that your entire life revolves around.

Send Me

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

Then I said,

“Here I am! Send me.” 

In a nutshell, Isaiah announces that God’s judgment will purify Israel and prepare his people to the coming messianic king and new Jerusalem (BP).

He is commissioned, sent, with a very special and specific task. 

He thinks he is not good enough, he thinks he is unworthy, and he thinks that because he is such a sinner God could never use him. We read Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.

Then rather than destroying him, God’s holiness purifies him, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”.

God is so good and pure and holy and just that He can give some of that to Isaiah – and He will give that to you too.

Then, the piece we want to really focus on – 

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

Then I said,

“Here I am! Send me.” 

God is looking for someone to send – “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

God is asking because He wants people to reach people – will you be His people?

Isn’t this amazing – God wants to use you.

God wants to send you.

God is calling you – will you answer His call?

Isaiah answered that call really strongly, didn’t he, 

“Here I am! Send me.”

Isaiah wanted to be the answer to God’s question.

He didn’t say, “Here I am, I will go.”, he wouldn’t go unless he knew he was sent by the LORD. Many are quick to say, “Here I am, I will go” but never wait for the LORD to send them (DG).

“Here I am! Send me.”

Will you say that this year?

Our 2020 focus as a church is on the part of our vision that states that we are willing to serve.

Let us make 2020 the year when we all, individually and collectively, say here I am Lord, send me.

Yes I Will

John Piper wrote this about worship,

“This is the final end of all existence: the worship of God.

God created the universe so that it would display the worth of his glory. And he created us so that we would see this glory and reflect it by knowing and loving it — with all our heart and soul and mind and strength.”

In Revelation 22.9 John receives the simple command, “Worship God!

Elsewhere in God’s Word to us we are told we are created for His glory (Isaiah 43.7). We are made in His image (Genesis 1.27), to display His glory, for His glory, to bring Him glory. Paul writing to the Corinthians says that whatever we do, we are to do it to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10.31).

So far, then, we can say it is in our DNA to worship God, it comes naturally, it’s the natural thing to do. 

But some days, in some experiences, in some seasons of life, do we really want to? It doesn’t feel like the natural thing to do, does it? This is where we need to be so careful; if we live our faith life based on feelings, when those feelings aren’t there, is our faith not there too?

Does God not still deserve the glory due Him?

Is our fundamental purpose as people not present because we don’t have a certain feeling?


Worship of God is natural to us,

but it is also a choice we need to make.


We are not robots; robots made to worship, worship-bots if you will, we are made with the wonderful gift of free will. 

So worship comes natural to us, worship is natural, but worship is also a choice. It’s an attitude, it’s a perspective, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a choice. 

Maybe you have heard a song with lyrics that communicate this truth beautifully well;

Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley

Yes I will, bless Your name

Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy

All my days, oh yes I will

And I choose to praise
To glorify, glorify
The Name of all names
That nothing can stand against

Even when life is difficult, God is working it out for you.

Even when we don’t particularly feel like worshiping God, we must still choose to praise Him.

Even when we don’t think we need to, we must give Him what is rightfully His, fulfil our most fundamental purpose. 

He is never late, always on time, with us all the time, good or bad. He is still there despite our perceived lack of feeling it and for this we can worship Him, glorify Him, trust Him.

See, worship comes naturally, but it is also a choice. When we take to heart the truth of the Word of God, when we put hope, faith, and trust in the name and work of Jesus, when we submit and commit to the Lord, worship becomes the natural choice in all situations. 

Take four minutes now and listen to this, as loud as your current surroundings allow…then have a great day, choosing to praise and glorify God!

The Knowledge of Him

Recently at Saar Fellowship I gave a message titled ‘Thinking Beyond Christmas’ wherein we looked at what happens now Christmas is over; so, Jesus was born, came, took on flesh, lived and walked among us, and what did this bring for you?

One thing we talked about was that this brought everything, drawing from 2 Peter 1.3-4.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
2 Peter‬ ‭1.3-4

We read that through the Divine power of Jesus, He has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, so, in other words, Jesus has available to you everything you need to live life in the way life was intended to be lived and everything you need to live a godly life. 

We see the really important – yet so often overlooked – part right after this, that this happens and is available to us through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence

Right there should be our priority as we approach a new year, a great opportunity to set goals and targets, to grow in the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence

People try so much and spend so much trying to improve their lives, yet this is pretty clear that Jesus has, in His Divine power, given us everything we need to life a wonderful abundant life, and that we grow in this life by growing in the knowledge of Him

Would you join me in this coming year of 2020 in committing to growing in the knowledge of Him?

Thinking Beyond Christmas

What did Christmas bring for you?

Did you get everything you wanted?

Did you get everything you needed?

We said last week that our greatest need as fallen sinful people is forgiveness, and we were given a Saviour, but, what does that mean, what comes with that?

2 Peter 1.3-4 tells us that it comes with everything. Everything to live the life that God made you to live. The life of love. The life focused on others.

Mark 2.17 tells us that it comes with perspective. Christmas, the incarnation, God piercing the space-time journey that we are on to take on flesh and live among us and die to atone for our sins shows us that really, we are not naturally good, we are not naturally strong, we are dependent, we are broken in spirit, depraved in thinking, by nature bound to choose the poor choice left to ourselves, and that we need Him to be, truly, all that we were made to be.

Luke 2.25-35 tells us that it comes with salvation. To receive salvation, all we have to do is take Jesus as Simeon did; personally, with the proper perspective that He is everything we need.

What did Christmas bring for you?

Everything, perspective, and salvation.