Biblical Messages

Teamwork

In this worship broadcast, we hear a message called “Teamwork” that takes a list of greetings sent by the apostle Paul, as he begins to close his letter to the church in Rome, and applies it in our context. It’s based on Romans 16.1-16. The big idea is that ‘church is better when we do it together’ – not just for the people who are present in the building, but for all of us, including online viewers. How will you respond? Comment here, or go to stpaulsnobleton.ca/connect and let us know how you will engage.

You can watch the whole broadcast below, or just the message below that.

Encouragement From The Word

Visio Divina

If your experience is anything like mine, you might have found that even the pandemic and its restrictions have not slowed you down all that much.

Sometimes, we find that if we stop doing something, we get restless, thinking that the time could be used more productively.  (For some, playing a video game or watching television might feel like productivity!)

But if just sitting in silence, alone with your thoughts, seems daunting, try this:  sit with an image.

You might have heard of the ancient practice of lectio divina, or holy reading, where we take a short passage of Scripture and read it over a few times, meditating as we go to grasp what God may be saying to us through it.  But have you heard of visio divina?  That’s a practice where we take an image and look at it intently for a period of time, to discern whether the Lord may have a word for us through that.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a sacred image; it could be any piece of art.  For instance, consider this image.  Take a few minutes just to look at it, with no other distractions.  Does God have a word for you in that image?

MP 113, Laggan Subdivision, CPR, near Lake Louise, Alta.; © 2015 Jeff Loach.

If anything came to you, write it down on a piece of paper, or in your journal, and talk to the Lord about it.  Maybe this could be a new way of engaging with him.

Encouragement From The Word

God Most High

Today, we have a guest post from my friend, Adelle Lauchlan, who is on staff at Uxbridge Baptist Church.  She is well known to many people of St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton, as a regular guest preacher when I’m not around.  Amid all that’s still going on, receive some comfort!   – Jeff+

Before I became a Christian, I lived, for a short time, in Banff, Alberta, a small town surrounded by six mountains. While this town was never quiet (although it might be now), I always found it very peaceful. There was something about living in the shadow of a mountain that I found comforting. 

As an image, think about it as living inside a hug from the earth; or, as living under the watchful and protective care of the earth. And, as protected and cared for as people are by those mountains in all their glory and splendor, all that pales in comparison to the care and protection that we have when we rest in the shadow of God Almighty, God Most High. 

As God Most High, our God is Sovereign. He reigns supreme. He will never crumble into the sea. He will never lose His power and might. He has conquered death and sin. As God Almighty, He is all-powerful, and He protects and cares for us. He offers us shelter and rest. The assurance of His love and His might is greater than anything the world can offer. 

Psalm 91 begins with these two names of God as a reminder of His might and His protection; a reminder that when we are faced with the unknown, faced with struggles, when we feel unsafe or uncertain, God forever remains in control. With God as our dwelling place, we can have confidence and comfort. He is our shelter and our rest. 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2, NIV).

Biblical Messages

The Mission

How does God’s mission get accomplished? The apostle Paul, in writing to the church at Rome in the first century, gave a clear picture of what that looked like for him, and there are things we can learn from his experience as we seek to undertake the work of God in our time. Based on Romans 15.14-22, you can watch the entire worship broadcast below, or just the message below that.

Encouragement From The Word

The gift of time

February 5 has always been a special day for me.  It’s the birthday of the woman who gave birth to me!  I wish I could be with her to celebrate the completion of her 82nd trip around the sun, but the stay-at-home order we’re experiencing here in Ontario prevents that from happening.  So if you know my mom, feel free to phone her or inbox her with your own greeting!

I’m finding as I age that birthdays seem to get closer and closer together:  time passes quickly.  That may or may not be everyone’s experience, but that reality, for me, is a reminder of the precious nature of time.

God understands this; he is, after all, the Author of time.

There is much in the Bible that speaks to how we best may steward the time allotted to us in this world, even as we prepare for the world to come.  Consider these:

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3.11, NLT).

Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring” (Proverbs 27.1, NLT).

And this one – this one really stands out:

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90.12, NLT).

There are hundreds of others, but these give you the idea.  

How are you being a steward of the time God has given you?  With every breath, we acknowledge our Creator, whether we realize it or not.  Let’s choose to realize that, giving God praise with every breath we take.  Let’s choose to see time as a precious gift, enjoying the moments we have with those we love, and living in relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection are what gain us eternity.