How Are Your Quiet Times?

Last week we finished our sermon series in 1 John, where John encouraged us to have 100% confidence of our belief and trust in Jesus, and warned us to flee from anything that will turn our hearts away from Him. In response to this, I am convinced that daily time set aside with God to be nourished and spiritually fed is one of the most important things Christians can do.

In his book, ‘Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry’, Paul Tripp says:

“When I daily admit how needy I am, daily meditate on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and daily feed on the restorative wisdom of his Word,I am propelled to share with others the grace that I am daily receiving at the hands of my Savior.”

How are your quiet times? Are they strong? Are they shaky? Are they non-existent? We ought to be striving to set aside time with God daily. If you do, I am convinced you will not help but notice the joy in your identity in Christ, causing you to want to spur others on to live in Christ too.

I use Rev. Michael Fry’s daily office lectionary for my personal quiet times, and it is an excellent bible reading plan. I encourage you to find something that works for you so we can grow in the Word through our quiet times together.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be leasing your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

Reece Kelly
Assistant Minister

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The Lord’s Prayer

Bishop Paul Barker is visiting BAC soon… and traditionally young people have prepared to meet the Bishop in confirmation class where they memorise and learn to explain three key Christian documents; the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. We thought it would be good for all of us to have a refresh – continuing this week with the Lord’s Prayer.

Why should you pray the Lord’s Prayer?
When his disciples asked him how to pray Jesus taught them the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4). It is a pattern of prayer that trains us in how to have fellowship with God.

Why Pray ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’?
I begin praying by acknowledging who I am praying to, and remember that we are adopted as God’s children through faith in Christ. To ‘hallow’ God’s name is to honour him as holy, and desire that all people everywhere may truly revere and worship him.

Why pray ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven’?
I ask that the rightful reign of God would be restored over all the world and in the hearts of his people through the operation of his Holy Spirit. I also pray for God to extend his grace to others and society through me and through the church.

Why pray ‘Give us today our daily bread’?
I ask that God would supply everything that I need for my personal well-being, such as food and clothing, homes and families, work and health, friends and neighbours, and peace and godly governance. I also pray for the needs of others and the church.

Why pray ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’?
Here I examine my life, and ask God to forgive all my sins through Jesus Christ. And I forgive others, by choosing to extend to them the love of Christ, and by not to holding against them any hurts they have inflicted, whether they ask forgiveness or not.

Why pray ‘Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil’?
Here I ask that God would protect me against temptation, or the ‘trials’ of the world, our sinful hearts, and the Devil, all of which are enemies of God and of our spiritual well-being. I also ask God to protect and deliver me and others from all earthly dangers, sorrows and sicknesses.

Ben Soderlund – Assistant Minister

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The Apostle’s Creed

Bishop Paul Barker is visiting BAC soon… and traditionally young people have prepared to meet the Bishop in confirmation class where they memorise and learn to explain three key Christian documents; the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. We thought it would be good for all of us to have a refresh – continuing this week with the Apostle’s Creed.

What is a Creed?
A creed is a statement of faith. The word ‘creed’ comes from the Latin credo, which means ‘I believe’. Creeds are meant to declare and safeguard God’s truth that is revealed in the Bible about himself, us, and creation.

Why is the Apostles’ Creed important?
The Apostles’ Creed states the essential beliefs of the Christian faith in a simple and concise way. It summarises what the Bible teaches about who God is and what he has done for us in Jesus Christ. It has become the declaration of faith that is used at our baptisms.

What does the Creed mean when we call Jesus ‘Lord’?
When we call Jesus Lord we acknowledge his authority as King of the world, the church, society and over every aspect of our lives. In calling Jesus Lord we submit our whole lives to him and seek to live every part of our lives for his praise, glory and honour.

Why does the Creed say that Jesus died and rose again?
These are two of the most important events in history! Jesus died a real, bodily death because of our sin. He really was dead from the first till third day, not simply resuscitated after a few hours. And Jesus was restored completely from death to life, never to die again.

Why does the Creed call the Church ‘catholic’? (I thought we were Anglican!)
Although the word ‘catholic’ is often recognised with the Roman Catholic Church, this is not where the word originally belongs. The word ‘catholic’ means universal. So the church is catholic because all churches are universally connected as a body of believers. So an Anglican Church is ‘catholic’, because it is part of the universal church of Jesus Christ.

Ben Soderlund – Assistant Minister

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The Ten Commandments

Bishop Paul Barker is visiting BAC soon… and traditionally young people have prepared to meet the Bishop in confirmation class where they memorise and learn to explain three key Christian documents; the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. We thought it would be good for all of us to have a refresh – starting this week with the Ten Commandments.

What do we learn in the 10 Commandments? (NIV Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5)

After saving his people Israel from slavery in Egypt, God gave them the Ten Commandments as covenant obligations to live by. They reveal God’s character and outline our duty towards God and towards our neighbours.

What is our duty towards God? Commandments 1 to 4

We are to believe in him, to respect and love him, with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength; to worship him alone, to give him thanks, to put our whole trust in him, to call upon him, to honour his holy Name and his Word, and to serve him truly all the days of our lives.

What is our duty towards our neighbour? Commandments 5 to 10

We are to love them as ourselves, and to do unto others what we would wish they would do to us; we are to honour my parents and others in positions of responsibility, show respect and courtesy to all; to hurt no one by word or deed; to bear no ill-will nor hatred in our hearts; to keep our body pure, and be true and fair in all we say and do; and not to desire things that belong to others, but to work honestly, and do our duty as God guides us.

Is it humanly possible to keep all the Commandments?

No! We fail to fulfill them perfectly however hard we try. But one purpose of God’s Law is to show us our utter inability to obey God perfectly, and so to point to our need for Christ’s atoning death on our behalf.

Ben Soderlund – Assistant Minister

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Who is Berwick Anglican Church?

BAC is a network of four Christian congregations meeting at 55 Peel Street Berwick. Three of them are large enough to be their own parishes. Together we are a changing church and a growing church. We endeavour to stay faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Bible as the Word of God. Growth always brings change and it is helpful to reflect on how BAC is changing.

In 2011 and 2016 BAC participated in the National Church Life Survey. On one particular Sunday that year we took the time in every service to ask every adult in the service to fill out a survey.

Some interesting results from the NCLS report about those who did the survey at BAC:

  • 51% were born overseas
  • 20% speak a language other than English at home
  • 38% of us are new attendees in the last 5 years
  • 3% of those surveyed identified as ‘visitors’, 8% as ‘newcomers’. So about 1 in 10 people on a Sunday are those new or looking for a church.
  • 91% said they felt a strong sense of belonging to BAC
  • 76% of attenders said they always/usually experience inspiration during services

If you would like to see the NCLS report, I will send out a link to those on the weekly BAC newsletter email list. You can subscribe via leaving your email address in the “Communication Cards” in the pews. I praise God for every person he has sent and is sending into our church network!

Your Pastor,
Wayne

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