home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > November 25th > Amazing Access

Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.

 

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:13

Nothing is, or can be hidden from our Lord despite what we would like to believe. When we erect idols (anything that we put ahead of God) in our lives we create shadows. These shadows reduce the amount of light that reach us. They may also give us a sense that these shadows are areas that we can operate in, hidden from view.

However, that view is a bit ‘mixed up.’ When we are in the shadow of our idols, it is our view of God that is obstructed by the blind spot created by the idol. God’s view remains perfect.

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light
Luke 8:17

Adapting To Darkness

Shadows are not a total absence of light. There is light in darkness.
On a ship, watchkeepers work on a dark bridge at night. Why would they do such a thing?
After about 15-20 minutes a watchmakers night vision develops. This allows them to see faintly lit objects that would not initially be seen. What they are doing is adjusting to their environment so as to become more receptive to the low levels of light that are available.

Light in Darkness Is Our Source of Comfort

God knows us and our struggle with sin. Jesus has ‘skin in the game’ in this area of challenge. He was born into a time of military occupation. He was born into strife, taken in to hiding as a refugee in Egypt and crucified despite His sinless life; the miraculous evidences of His divinity. The good news is God knows what we struggle with every day and has put in place a plan to illuminate the shadows we inevitably find ourselves in.

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
John 12:46

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8

Paul also reminds us that it is possible to resist temptation. Because of this we have hope.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
First Corinthians 10:13

We also have an ‘all access’ card

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:14-17

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Galatians 4:6

ABBA is the Aramaic term for Father. This Father loves us and sets the example for what true fatherhood should be like. If God is our Father, we are heirs through the saving work of Jesus.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Galatians 4:4-7

Our adoption as sons and daughters provides direct access to our heavenly Father who fills the shadows in our lives with the light of His love and mercy. The result of this is that we are sons and daughters of the most high God. The God who created the universe in all its complexity and its immense size and beauty. As a result, we do not need to conform to the mindset of the world. We can move out of the shadows.

Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?
Isaiah 2:22

Although the pressure to conform is still a reality, we have access to God, our Father and we can talk with Him. That is where another type of access card comes into play, the Prayer Volunteer Card.

Because are ambassadors for Christ, we need to maintain regular communication with the King. We can achieve this through reading His word and via direct communication through prayer. Time spent in the presence of our Father strengthens us. It keeps us close to Jesus who described himself as ‘The Good Shepherd’ who laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:11).

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
John 10:27-30

Jesus has Sheep in Many Places

As Janette and I have been preparing relocate to NSW, we have been able to reflect on our 15 years as a part of the Legana Christian Church Community. It is hard to put our experiences into words, but the Apostle Paul gives summarises it nicely.

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Romans 15:5-7

We have had the privilege of being a part of one body with each part supporting the others. This has been a blessing to both of us which has allowed us to learn, serve and to experience growth in our walk with Christ.

Legana, we thank you for your warm welcome. We thank you for providing opportunities to develop relationships and trust. We thank you for the encouragement, teaching and mentoring received. Thank you for the opportunities we have had to serve and to grow. We look forward to seeing Legana Christian Church continue to grow as a true community of believers that will continue to reach out and bring the love of Jesus into the community of Legana and beyond.

God is good.

Your Executive pastor,

Tony

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

5 Comments

  1. LYDIA

    Hi Tony, thank you for this beautiful piece of writing. God bless you and Janette in all you do as you leave this beautiful island.

    Reply
  2. Norman Macdonald Macdonald

    All so true and never ceases to challenge.

    Reply
  3. TEX SPAIN

    Hi Tony, May you and Janette continue to be blessed and prosper, even as your soul prospers. The anointing goes with you, that you go in peace and that the fields and the trees will clap their hands —
    Blessings flow 🙂

    Reply
  4. Gladys Parry

    Thank you Tony for your ministry, caring and all do did behind the scene. Will miss you. God bless you and your family

    Reply
  5. Richard and Jean

    Thank you, Tony, for this message and all your teachings; always so clear, we have benefited from them.
    We will miss you and Janette and the knowledge and wisdom both of you brought to our home group and bible studies. We pray for God’s best in the next season of your lives.

    Reply

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WHY FINDING TRUTH MATTERS

How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).

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Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.

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