Thursday, 11 July 2013

I Peter 2:2-3 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby: 3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is
    I have recently developed a love for chocolate. I have always heard
people rave about how great chocolate is, but for most of my life I was
never really that interested in it. Recently, I have developed a taste for
chocolate and now sometimes even crave it. In a sense I guess you could
say I have been converted to being a chocolate lover. I think it probably
happened when I received some chocolate as a gift. It may sound strange
to some people, but I was never very interested in chocolate until recently.
Once I paid attention to it and tasted that is was good, I wanted more of it.
We only have so much time and we are going to fill it with something. On
Sunday we talked a fair bit about how there are a lot of things that are in
competition to be that something. We can look at how we spend our time
and learn what our priorities are. It is a great exercise to sit down and write
out everything that you do with your time, then write down how much time
you spend doing each thing. Once you have done that, order those things
according to how much time you spend doing each one from the largest
amount of time to the least amount of time. Now you have a list of your
priorities from most important to least important. Where did God and His
Word fall in the list?
    If we are going to fill ourselves with good spiritual food, we have to start
somewhere. Salvation is obviously the first step. When you have salvation
you have tasted that the Lord is good. The Lord is good and His word is full
of joy. The more we are around Him, the more we want to be with Him, the
more we are in His Word the more we desire it. If you want to know the
Lord and His word more, the way to do that is to move Him up your priority

list. -PC

Sunday, 13 January 2013


 “ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
Genesis 6:8

Today is the 9th day of our 90 days of Bible reading. It is my prayer that we will approach our reading together, not to just read The Book, but to see ourselves changed though God’s grace.

The story of Noah is one that many people are familiar with. I always enjoy reading it. It is a popular one to share with children. There have been many fun children’s books and games published around the theme of Noah and the ark. I had a look through the App store on my iPad and was presently  surprised by the number of Apps that are related to Noah and the Ark. Sometimes we talk about the animals on the ark and how they could all fit. Other times we may think about how there could have been enough water to cover the whole surface of the earth. Sometimes our thoughts may even focus on Noah following God and building the ark. Those are all interesting things to think and talk about but they are all secondary to the foundational point of the story of Noah and the ark.

So what is the point of the story of Noah and the ark? Earlier in the chapter the Bible explains that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. Our verse for today tells us that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is a story of God’s grace. God’s grace is the point. God’s grace is God’s unmerited favour. It was because of God’s grace that Noah and His family were spared from God’s judgement. 

The story of Noah and the Ark is a foreshadowing of God’s grace shown to us through His Son Jesus Christ. God, just as he did for Noah with the ark, has provided us with a place of safety from judgement in Jesus Christ. It is because of what Jesus has done on the cross that we can be spared from God’s judgement. Only those who were closed up safely inside the ark survived the flood. Only those who are are resting safely in Jesus will escape the coming judgement.

Pastor Chris Miller

Friday, 4 January 2013


Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Matthew 5:24 

As committed followers of Jesus one of the our first and most basic understandings should be reconciliation. Jesus says, “first be reconciled.” In the context that Jesus uses this, He puts reconciliation above religious ritual. The bible tells us that before being reconciled with God we are His enemies separated from Him by our evil thoughts and actions. As His enemies, we are hostile towards God because we reject Him. God is righteous and holy and intolerant of sin. When we are reconciled to God through Jesus Chris, we concede that we break God’s law and need a saviour. When we do that Jesus becomes our reconciliation. That reconciliation with God is the first thing we need to understand as followers of Jesus.

For a committed follower of Jesus we are supposed to also be reconciled with other followers of Jesus. One thing we can learn is that there WILL be a need for reconciliation with other believers. When you read verse 23 you will see that it says, “you remember that your brother has something against you.” “Has something against you” probably implies a just claim. That means that you have offended someone else, not that they have offended you. We naturally worry about the times we are offended, but Jesus says that isn’t what we should be worried about. We should be worried about offending others, and when we realise that we have done so, we should make the effort to reconcile with that person.

Have you ever been offended by someone and had them make the effort to reconcile with you? Have you ever knowingly offended someone and then made the effort to reconcile with them? God’s way of doing things works. Not everyone we attempt to reconcile with will always want to be reconciled, but if we have tried we have done what we are supposed to do.

Pastor Chris Miller

MATTHEW 5:23-24

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Matthew 5:23-24 

Here is a question for you, “When I come to worship God and give my offering, am I responsible for the ill feelings others might have towards me?” One thing I have learned as a pastor is that when I speak in front of a group of people or lead the church in one way or another someone is probably going to be offended. I don’t set out to offend people, but unfortunately it happens. We have all offended someone at one time or another.

Jesus says in Matthew 24:9 that basically if you are his committed follower someone is always going to have something against you. Earlier in this chapter in verse 9 Jesus has also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Peacemaking is important. So, back to that original question, “When I come to worship God and give my offering am I responsible for the ill feeling others might have toward me?” The simplest answer is... maybe.

There were a lot of people who had ill feelings towards Jesus that he never attempted to reconcile with, but Jesus never sinned. I believe therein lies the answer to the question. Jesus never wronged anyone but that didn’t stop people from having ill feeling towards Him. Because Jesus never sinned and never wronged anyone, he had no need to be reconciled. When answering our original question, ask, “Does a person have ill feelings toward me because I have sinned and wronged them in some way, or is it because of something I have done as a committed follower of Jesus?” If I have sinned and wronged them, I need to go to them and be reconciled. If they are offended because I am doing what I am supposed to be doing as a follower of Jesus then there isn’t much I can do about it. Just don’t get the two mixed up.

Pastor Chris Miller

MATTHEW 5:27-28

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Matthew 5:27-28 

“Thou shall not commit adultery” is one of the 10 commandments. Jesus says that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart. There were obviously some people at the time Jesus was teaching this that viewed this topic the same way many people view it today, in a “it’s ok to look, but don’t touch” kind of way. Jesus clarifies that this is not the case.

When I go through a premarital course with couples who want to get married, a large portion of our time together is dedicated to learning to communicate and to meet their future spouse’s needs. When needs go unmet and communication breaks down the chances of adultery increase dramatically. I admit that I am not an expert, but I believe that adultery generally begins slowly and develops over a period of time. I believe that adultery begins with some sort of premeditation, or as Jesus says a lustful look. That is one of the reasons why Jesus clarifying this commandment is so important. Without the premeditation of the lustful look, adultery doesn’t happen.

The family unit is the bedrock of any culture or nation. The family is God’s institution for teaching and raising the next generation, much more so than school and church. What happens when adultery happens? A family is often destroyed or at the very least, left hurting for a very long time. If adultery happens in a family, it resonates throughout society. If families crumble, society crumbles. It all starts with a lustful look. We probably don’t usually think it through to that degree, but you can see the magnitude of what Jesus is teaching. Be careful with what your mind does with what your eyes see. Society is depending on it.

Pastor Chris Miller

MATTHEW 5:10-12

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Matthew 5:10-12 

On Sunday we talked about how being in contrast with the world has a little bit to do with how we look, a little more to do with how we act and a whole lot to do with how we react to poor treatment. 

Most of the time we turn these things upside down, we worry a lot about how followers of Jesus “look.” We worry a little less about how we act, and when it comes to reacting to poor treatment, we don’t look any different than the followers of the world. Matter of fact, if we were to judge solely by reactions to poor treatment it would be difficult to determine who is following what. It is easy to police the way we look and act, but it is much more difficult to control our reaction to poor treatment. Our reactions are often fueled by arrogant pride, which is the reason followers of Jesus often don’t look any different than followers of the world. That shouldn’t be the case.

Jesus says that you are blessed if you are abused, persecuted and people make false accusations against you for righteousness sake. When referring to persecution Jesus says we should rejoice and be really happy. Rejoicing because of that kind of treatment is truly in direct contrast with the world. Part of the reason for that poor treatment is because you are doing the right thing and it can be seen that you are doing the right thing. But, make sure you are doing the “righteous thing.” 

I have seen followers of Jesus, pridefully poke the proverbial “hornets nest” and then cry “Persecution!” when they get stung. Persecution, must be the result of righteous living, not the result of prideful sin or tactlessness. At least that is what Jesus says

Pastor Chris Miller