… 20-second Bible teachings for everyday believers.
LifeSpots are excellent for personal inspiration and for church bulletins & newsletters. 

The following LifeSpot were written by various people and were featured in the email PLUGIN newsletter in 2019.


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 16 November 2019

Hebrews 4:12 – How sharp is your sword?

I used to be proud of my good eyesight.  Some of my siblings needed glasses, but my parents were well into their 50’s before needing reading glasses and I seemed to be taking after them.  I had excellent vision in my 20’s, and 30’s and well into my 40’s and then it started!  At first, I got by with enlarging all print and extending my arm into brightly lit areas, to read ever increasingly smaller print!  And then in my 50’s I not only took after my parents but exceeded them in not only needing glasses but being heavily dependent on them to read anything at all.

I feel as though so many of us rely similarly on our ‘family history’ of Bible knowledge.  As a child, I memorized scripture weekly and was good at it, but in my 20’s and 30’s I relied on my earlier knowledge of Bible Stories and didn’t put in too much ‘fresh’ time studying God’s words.  By my 40’s and 50’s my ‘vision’ of God’s words, and ultimately His truths, was waning and I needed to find ways and tools to restore my ‘Biblical eyesight’ to 20/20.  When you lose the sharp edge to the ‘Sword of the Spirit’- God’s word, you can find it again by spending time with God, reading, worshipping, seeking – for yourself, to maintain good personal ‘eye health’ – 20/20 God vision.

– Lynelle Laws – Partners in Ministry Coordinator / Women’s Ministry Coordinator


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 2 November 2019

Humble yet? – Basking in beauty

Pride is a problem, but simulated humility is not the solution. Simulated—it looks like the real thing, but it’s a sham. Examples? Fumbling fearfully through life, too “humble” to believe in God’s power and my potential. Inability to accept a simple compliment sincerely given. Reluctance to step in and help because others can do it better. Viewing myself relentlessly through the eyes of someone who despises me, rather than through the eyes of the Savior who respects me. Ironically, simulated humility is actually pride—preferring my perspective over God’s promise! Real humility brings us to Jesus in tears, takes him at his word, accepts his blessing, and enjoys a life that basks in his beauty. James 4:5–10.

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(This is the final instalment of an 12 week re-run of Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 26 October 2019

Humble yet? – Glorious solution

For those of us who fail to learn humility through most of our lives, there remains one glorious solution—old age. Perhaps the main purpose of old age is to bring the virtue of humility. If pride is nourished through physical stamina, superb talent, strenuous pursuit, empire building and sex appeal, then old age is perfectly suited to take care of it all. Not to worry—things lost mean better things gained, things missed along the way. Like simplicity, contentment, intimacy, generosity. The better plan, of course, is not to wait until senior years for these superior blessings. Long before you reach old age, pray “God, make a fresh start in me. . . . Put a fresh wind in my sails!” Psalm 51:10, 12 (MSG).

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 2 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 19 October 2019

Humble yet? – Four ways

How can we stay humble? Self-deprecating humor helps. When John F Kennedy was asked how he became a war hero, he replied “It was involuntary. They sank my boat.” Relentless acknowledgement helps. J S Bach began his music compositions with “Jesus help me,” and ended them with “To God alone be the glory.” A third way is to embrace and learn from sorrows. Bach is an example here, too, as he patiently bore a cross in the loss of family members, and in struggles with church and society. Here’s a fourth way—go opposite to society in your connections. “Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important.” Romans 12:16 (NIRV). On this one, let’s fill our minds with the example of Jesus!

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 3 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 12 October 2019

Humble yet? – Lifted up

Jesus said a lot about humility. Joy in meekness. Becoming like children. Choosing a modest place at the table. Praying in simplicity. See Matthew 5, 18, and 23; Luke 14 and 18. Humble dependence on God—in Jesus’ teachings, miracles, and actions, this is a driving theme. “The most important person among you will be your servant. Anyone who lifts himself up will be brought down. And anyone who is brought down will be lifted up.” Matthew 23:11–12 (NIRV). Are you learning to serve faithfully, instead of craving applause? Do you desire to be unknown, except to God? If so, you are a child of the Kingdom. You have no need to lift yourself up, because Christ is doing that for you.

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 4 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 5 October 2019

Humble yet? – Jesus only

Superstars. Idolatry on parade. Talent and success are not sinful, but the arrogance and amorality they often generate are the opposite of Christ. Among the famous, few are known for humility. It’s hard to know who’s most at fault—superstars themselves, or the people who worship them. Christianity breeds its own superstars. “Did you see. . . ? Did you hear. . . ?” When we quote our spiritual superstars and recommend them more than we quote and recommend Christ, we need to repent. Sooner or later, our heroes will fade, disappoint, or die. What we need is transfiguration, Matthew 17:1–8. On the mountain-top, Moses and Elijah disappeared, and the disciples were left with a solitary focus: Jesus only.

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 5 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 28 September 2019

Humble yet? – Totally forgiven

When Jesus was born, church leaders didn’t notice. Why? They were too busy running something—the church. When John the Baptizer preached truth, religion scholars rejected it. Why? They were already “the proud owners of God’s revelation.” See Jeremiah 8:8 (MSG). When Jesus taught fresh faith through humility and compassion, people objected. Why? The upstart teacher was a threat to sacred tradition. At last, when they succeeded in nailing Jesus, people congratulated themselves for a job well done. This is the face of pride. Pride is the ultimate sin for which Jesus died, and for which he stands ready to extend forgiveness—full and free. “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (NIRV).

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 6 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 21 September 2019

Humble yet? – Thoughts on Jesus

I must be alert to the symptoms of my pride. The desire to express myself on every subject. The impulse to defend or hit back when criticism comes. A feeling of grandeur when I think I perform better than somebody else. Self-admiration for my status and accomplishments. The urge to question and criticise. A desire to control. Slowness to acknowledge when I’m wrong. Spending money I don’t have to impress friends I’ll never retain. Reluctance to step in and help with lowly tasks. This is the short list. Then there’s Jesus. “Think of yourselves the way Jesus Christ thought of himself. . . . He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave.” Philippians 2:5–7 (MSG).

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 7 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 14 September 2019

Humble yet? – Eyes directed

The proud have unidirectional vision. They look down on people. As C S Lewis pointed out, when you’re always looking down, you can’t see what’s above you. When you’re eight years old, you look down on the little kids and feel great to be no longer one of them. But superiority vanishes when the shadow of an overgrown 15-year-old looms over you. How can we realize a balance of healthy self-esteem and constructive humility? By looking up, way up. Beyond ourselves. Beyond the bigger person who looms over us. Jesus knelt to serve humble people, and stood tall to confront intimidators. When our vision is fixed on him, we can do the same. “Keep your eyes on Jesus.” Hebrews 12:2 (MSG).

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 8 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 7 September 2019

Humble yet? – In Christ alone

Here’s good news—when I believe, I stand 100 per cent holy in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1. In Christ! It’s a description that occurs about 240 times in the New Testament, with good reason. “We owe it all to Christ.” Romans 8:37 (NIRV). As for my holiness, it’s never enough to be worthy of Heaven. If I ever suggest I’ve got enough obedience for God to accept me, please alert me that the halo around my head must have slipped, because it’s looking like a noose around my neck. Every step of my Christian walk must be in humble knowledge that the power and the glory belong to God, and not to me. “So be careful. When you think you are standing firm, you might fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIRV).

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 9 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 31 August 2019

Humble yet? – Choice for God

In Lucifer, it was pride that got sin up and running. In Napoleon, pride cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians in one campaign. Napoleon was a brilliant commander, a national hero. But pride drove him to demand the title of emperor. At his coronation, he took the crown from the pontiff, and placed it on his own head. At age 51, he died in exile with stomach cancer. What’s left of his body lies in a fabulous tomb in Paris. What remains of his soul is sealed in its destiny before God. This is a reminder that self‐importance dies with the world itself. But when we’re humble before God, he lifts us up—and gives us life beyond any simple or fabulous tomb! Matthew 23:12; 1 John 2:16–17.

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 10 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 24 August 2019

Humble yet? – Positive focus

To feel pride is not necessarily to commit a sin of pride. There is positive pride—appreciation for something good, and praise to God for it. Paul took pleasure in ministry. “I think the work I do for God and others is very important.” Romans 11:13 (NIRV). Paul was proud of believers. He wanted believers to be able to be proud of him. He was proud of the Cross of Jesus. James reassures us it’s good to take pleasure in the success God gives to ordinary people. James 1:9. This Bible teaching should keep us from slithering through life in the shadows, too “humble” to enjoy the light of day. It’s a matter of focus. “God, I’m proud of you! I’m taking pleasure in the excellent things you’re doing in my life, and in the lives of people around me.”

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 11 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 17 August 2019

Humble yet? – Poison of pride

“Proud humanity,” Isaiah 13:12 (MSG). History in two words. Politics, academics, sports, business—we might start out in any of these with good motives. But give us a good gulp of success, and see how quickly we’re intoxicated with pride. With pride’s poison in our bloodstream, each success swells up self and diminishes God. Finally, self is all, and self is worshiped. “Look at this. . . . And I built it all by myself!” Daniel 4:30 (MSG). When we set ourselves up as gods, a few might worship us, but most will perceive our pride and retreat from us. This second group is a God‐send. They drive us to Jesus for healing. “Come to me. . . . I am gentle and free of pride.” Matthew 11:28–29 (NIRV).

– Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 12 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 10 August 2019

“Shoes” – Part 6

This entire series was sparked by my daughter challenging me to do a message about shoes. Famous footwear brand, Nike, tells us to “Just Do It” and there is much we can learn from this message. As I started searching “shoes” in BibleGateway.com I was reminded of the many insights about shoes and God. I’ll leave this series with a powerful reminder found in Ephesians 6:15 “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” And there it is: being ready to share the gospel. This is, hands down, the greatest commission for all believers: to share the story of God’s love and deliverance. Remove anything in the way from hearing God, then get out there and share His love.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 3 August 2019

“Shoes” – Part 5

More about shoes! The new Israelite leader, Joshua, encounters a mighty Angel, Leader of the Lord’s Army, just before approaching the walls of Jericho. Joshua 5:15 tells us “The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.” I find two riveting things. Firstly, the Lord is always speaking to us, we just need to listen. And secondly, Joshua listened. Linking back to the launch of Moses leadership, the Commander speaks the same words and Joshua listens. I am left asking the Lord what needs removing from my life. Technology and social media? Busyness? Religious obligations? Trying to please everyone? I invite you to ask the Lord. And listen.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 27 July 2019

“Shoes” – Part 4

Remove what comes between you and Yahweh (Exodus 3:5), leave on what is required to embark on mission (Exodus 11:12) and God will do the rest (Deuteronomy 26:5). I believe there was a strong message not only to the Israelite refugees but us as well. What do you need to remove to make room for God? Exodus 3 reminds us that a burning bush awaits. What are the “shoes” you need to strap on for a mission from God? Exodus 11 reminds us to be ready to hear God’s Word and move when the time comes. Deuteronomy 26 tells a story of care and protection. And God will always provide. Which story resonates in your life?

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 20 July 2019

“Shoes” – Part 3

“Remove your shoes,” “put on your shoes” and “your shoes will last.” In Deuteronomy 26 the Israelite refugees are being reminded of the Lord’s care and protection…even down to their clothes and sandals not wearing out. “Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet” (v5). Imagine that? God caring so deeply about your wellbeing to extend the longevity of your sneakers? For forty years Yahweh extended the “life” of accessories so He could work on the heart of His people. So what’s so important about shoes? Remove, leave on or just let God lead?

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 13 July 2019

“Shoes” – Part 2

Moses and shoes. As Yahweh invites Moses to enter His presence, Moses is asked to remove his shoes. Eight chapters later, after powerful displays of Yahweh’s Might and Power, Moses instructs the Israelite, soon-to-be-refugees, to take the very first Passover with sandals firmly on their feet. Exodus 11:12 “This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.” Quite different to the Exodus 3:5 message of the burning bush, Yahweh is now saying “Be ready to move. I have a plan and you need to be ready.” Which shoe story connects to your own journey?

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 6 July 2019

“Shoes” – Part 1

A few weeks ago, after taking the message at church, my daughter offered some advice, “Mum, you need to do a message about shoes. Like how God asks us to remove our shoes in His presence.” A conversation ensued about shoes, God’s presence and holiness. My Gwen was referring to Exodus 3:5, “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” The fiery bush story develops into Moses embarking on the greatest evacuation of refugees in Biblical history. Moses was told to remove his sandals, his protective footwear and stand in Yahweh’s presence. Not long after this, he strapped on his sandals and began a mission of deliverance.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 29 June 2019

Be Still

Before you read any further, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and be still.  What was that like for you?  How easy or hard was it?

Clear reflections reveal themselves upon still waters. Quiet and deep truths are whispered in silence. God’s works are magnified in our stillness. The Bible gives us many examples of the blessings that await us in stillness.

Be still and see the salvation of the Lord. – Exodus 14:13-14
Be still by the side of the Lord. – Exodus 33:21
Be still so you won’t miss the great things God is doing. – 1 Samuel 12:16, Job 37:14
Stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord. – 2 Chronicles 20:17
Be still. It’s the antidote to fretting. – Psalm 37:7
Be still and know He is God. – Psalm 46:10
Let Jesus rebuke your storms, “Peace, be still.”- Mark 4:39

What does your soul long for most right now? Be still before God and see how He answers this longing.

– Hana Greenfield, EA/Communications


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 22 June 2019

You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

“We love because he first loved us” – John 4:19

Each time I read the Bible or an inspiring book, within the first few minutes I am tempted to IG a scripture image or quote that moves me.  And I do!  As I keep reading though, I begin to realise the grander and richer depths of revelation that God opens up before me that are more potent and life-giving than the original quote or text.

‘Be Still’ (Psalm 46:10), ‘Feast At My Table’ (Luke 13:29), ‘Drink Deeply’ (Ephesians 5:19), ‘Implicit Trust’ (Job 13:14), ‘Greatest Love’ (Mark 12:31)  – all through Scripture, God calls us into simple yet deep, life-giving, and extraordinary experiences with Him.  These experiences require time with Him and for us to be fully present.  It is here that God fills us completely so we can share His love with others.  What life-giving experience is God calling you to today?

– Hana Greenfield, EA/Communications


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 15 June 2019

Radiant Faces

Our faces reveal a lot about who we are, including what we think and how we feel. They often reflect a lot more than we may realise, as Moses once discovered. After spending over a month up Mt Sinai, Moses returned to the people camped below and we read that ‘his face was radiant’ (Exodus 34:29). This wasn’t because he had a good facial or got too much sun while he was up there. His face was glowing because he had been with of God. By spending time with him he received a fresh revelation of his character and glory, which was reflected in his face. Whatever you spend your time looking at and thinking about is what you’ll become. So, what are you staring at? Who have you been with? Maybe our faces won’t quite shine like Moses’, but people can still see more than we know. Will they be able to recognise that we have been with God?

– Ben Reynolds, Pastor, East Auckland City Church & Chaplain, Balmoral School


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 8 June 2019

Coming and Going

Early in his ministry, Jesus went up a mountain with his disciples and ‘appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out’ (Mark 3:14). Right here we find the formula of true discipleship – coming and going. Jesus wants us to come and be with him so that we can go for him. The order is important. We can’t go for him and spread the everlasting gospel enthusiastically and effectively if we don’t personally know him. This is why Jesus calls us to first spend time in his presence so that we can learn from him, and that our hearts can become more like his. As a result, a deep desire will begin to well up within us that will compel us to go and proclaim his infinite love through our words and actions to those we meet. Jesus wants us to be with him, so that we can go for him, inviting others to come to him, so that they can go for him. And so it goes.

– Ben Reynolds, Pastor, East Auckland City Church & Chaplain, Balmoral School


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 1 June 2019

The Right Thing

One day, two sisters had Jesus over for lunch. After he arrived at their home in Bethany, Martha made herself busy in the kitchen getting everything ready, while her sister Mary chose to stay out in the living room with Jesus. You can imagine how frustrated Martha was with her – she should be in here helping me! But Jesus said something that caught her by surprise. ‘Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing’, which was being with him (Luke 10:41-42). In this brief but memorable story, we see how easy it is to be so busy doing good things forJesus that we can miss being with Jesus. Which of these sisters do you identify with most? If you’re more like Martha, as I usually am, why don’t we set aside some time today to stop being busy and choose the right thing – being with Jesus.

– Ben Reynolds, Pastor, East Auckland City Church & Chaplain, Balmoral School


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 25 May 2019

Drawing Love

Throughout the Bible, God is presented as a lover in search of his earthly beloved. And though we have wandered away from him again and again, he says ‘I am going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her’ (Hosea 2:14). He knows that love can only exist where there is freedom, so he intends to save us by alluring us – by winning our affections. He’s never going to control us or force us. He wants us to love him for who he is. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said ‘And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself (John 12:32). At the cross, God revealed his infinite love for us in the person of Jesus Christ. And by beholding this selfsacrificial display of love, we can’t help but find ourselves being drawn into a relationship with him.

– Ben Reynolds, Pastor, East Auckland City Church & Chaplain, Balmoral School


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 18 May 2019

Discipleship & Elijah – Part 2

2 Kings 2 describes the journey just before Elijah was taken in a fiery chariot, leaving Elisha to continue his work. The Lord is calls Elijah to Bethel, Jericho then Jordan. Each time Elijah fare-welled Elisha, Elisha said “I will not leave you.” Finally Elisha asked for a double portion of the Spirit that Elijah had. Imagine asking for someone else’s spiritual power and gifts? That is exactly what Elisha did, and he received. Knowing his mentor would be taken from him, Elisha wanted to continue in his footsteps. Not content to witness miracles, he wished to demonstrate the power of the Most High. What do you think felt so exciting and tangible that Elisha wanted everything Elijah had?

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 11 May 2019

Discipleship & Elijah – Part 1

“…Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left…and ran after Elijah…” 1 Kings 17:19b-20a

So Elisha followed Elijah. He became his servant, going with Elijah wherever he went. I can only imagine the incredible miracles he witnessed. What would it be like to be so close to Elijah who was also so close to Yahweh?

This is discipleship. Walking and talking, listening and watching, being in the full embrace of the journey of learning. I want to point out two things: 1) Elijah chose Elisha and 2) Elisha ran after Elijah. What can this show us about discipleship?

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 4 May 2019

Living as a disciple – Fruit

“When you bear a lot of fruit, it brings glory to my Father. It shows that you are my disciples.” John 15:8 (NIRV). What is the fruit? Jesus describes it as a crop of new followers throughout the world. Disciples find and make other disciples. Matthew 13:23, 38. Jesus further describes the fruit in terms of blessing people simply for the sake of blessing them. Feed the hungry. Give water to the thirsty. Provide hospitality to strangers. Clothe the needy. Care for the sick. Visit prisoners. Announce freedom. This is what Jesus did. So it’s what Jesus’ disciples will do. “Everyone who is completely trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40 (NIRV). Let’s do it! Let’s be completely trained by Jesus. In his power, we can produce the fruit of discipleship.

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(This is the final instalment of an 8 week re-run of Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 27 April 2019

Living as a disciple – Love

“You must love one another, just as I have loved you. If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” John 13:34–35 (NIRV). It’s a non-negotiable command—the strongest evidence that we follow Jesus. The opposite truth must also be acknowledged. If we don’t love one another, everyone will know we are not Jesus’ disciples. Arguments, bickering, division, fighting. When congregations become known for these characteristics, discipleship has been eradicated. How often we fail Jesus on this! Sometimes with the best motives— defending truth, preserving the church, advancing a cause. Let’s strike a pose—on our knees, with humility, confessing our sins and creating a new pattern of loving one another as Christ loves us.

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 2 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 20 April 2019

Living as a disciple – Joy

Jesus is not a rock star leading a fan club. He is a self-sacrificing general who is leading an army. His goal is not to dispense passing pleasure, but to secure and provide ultimate joy. Hebrews 12:2. Our General tells it like it is: “You will cry and be full of sorrow while the world is full of joy. . . . Now is your time to be sad. But I will see you again. Then you will be full of joy. And no one will take your joy away.” John 16:20, 22 (NIRV). As a disciple of Jesus, how’s your joy today? Right now, you might experience sorrow and tears. But we can still ask, How’s your joy? Christians don’t escape the world’s heartache—but they look beyond it, to the pure joy of Jesus’ return, and to the comfort this brings right now.

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 3 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 13 April 2019

Living as a disciple – Pain

The 12 disciples are excited. Get rid of the Romans. Set up a new authority. Make us the 12 rulers. Bring it on! But Jesus will not bring it on. He’s not talking glory, he’s talking crucifixion. Jesus is not into public relations and marketing. He speaks plainly about the pain of discipleship. He explains the cost of following him wherever he leads. Family, marriage, business, money, and life itself must be submitted to the Kingdom of God. “If anyone wants to follow me, he must say no to himself. He must pick up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 (NIRV). The things most precious in life come with pain—children, relationships, character. Are you willing to see Jesus as worth the most in your life?

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 4 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 6 April 2019

Living as a disciple – Sinner

What’s notable about the invitation from Jesus is that he does not select the right people. “I have not come to get those who think they are right with God to follow me. I have come to get sinners to follow me.” Matthew 9:13 (NIRV). Sinners. As commonly used, it’s a disparaging word. It refers to people on the outside of the church, or at least on its fringes—like the crude fishermen and callous tax collectors Jesus calls first. People who see themselves as unaccepted and unacceptable. Right now, if you are feeling on the fringe—unworthy, not “right”—you are just the one Jesus is looking for. You know your need, and Christ will meet it. All that’s called for now is your acceptance speech, and it’s an easy one—“Yes, Lord! I choose to follow you.”

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 5 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 30 March 2019

Living as a disciple – Listener

What is the mysterious force that leads people to follow Jesus? It’s the voice of the Shepherd, connecting to instinctive recognition in the minds of his listening sheep. “His sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger. . . . My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:4–5, 27 (NIRV). Jesus’ disciples follow him everywhere. They follow him in the daytime and the night-time, the heat and the cold, the times of popularity and the times of threat. They are not following a stranger. They have learned to know and trust their leader, so they are willing to follow him wherever he goes. Is the reality for you today?

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 6 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 23 March 2019

Living as a disciple – Follower

Discipleship begins with an invitation from Jesus—“Come, follow me.” Follow me. Disciples don’t follow a system, an institution, a theory, an idea, a philosophy, or a collection of truths. They follow a Person. “I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6 (NIRV). “Follow me.” The first disciples are all busy working, with no unusual plans for the day. But a strange energy stirs them. Not for one minute do they discuss, argue, or hesitate. Drawn mysteriously by Heaven, they leave the normalcy of their lives and follow the Lord of life into a new reality. It’s the beginning of a tremendous adventure! Are you ready for a new adventure as you hear Jesus say to you, “Follow me”?

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 7 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 16 March 2019

Living as a disciple – Learner

Disciples. They are mentioned over 200 times in the gospels. About half of the New Testament is directly about disciples! Learner … pupil … student. That’s the core meaning of the Greek word mathetes, the word translated “disciple”. If you’re a disciple, your chief characteristic is that you are here to learn. Not to instruct. Not to take command. Not to display your knowledge. But to learn. You are not a scholar—but you are becoming a scholar, because you are following and studying a master. “Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (NIRV). For today, do you choose to learn directly from Jesus?

Pr Ed Gallagher – Resting in Jesus
(For the next 8 weeks we are doing a re-run on Pr Ed’s LifeSpots from his early years with us.)


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 9 March 2019

Willingness To Grow

Recently I read four very different books, all chosen for what I could learn and grow through by reading the book. I was not disappointed. Reading is like our relationship with Jesus. Each “book” provides a viewpoint of Jesus and an opportunity for us to look more deeply at ourselves The diverse experiences and opportunities we are faced with, provide ongoing spaces to grow in being discipled by Jesus. Ephesians 3 supports the importance of the opportunities ahead of us, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (v 17-19).

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 2 March 2019

When Disciples Don’t Agree…

They continue being united in serving God. Paul and Silas are probably the most well known disciples who disagreed (Acts 15:36-41).  However there is Euodia and I urge Syntyche (Phil 4:2), the disciples (Luke 9:46), Aaron, Miriam and Moses (Num 12) and many more. The reality is, humans will disagree because we are each wired to see and experience the world, and God, in unique ways. Being discipled by Jesus can grow our understanding and appreciation of others. As we deepen our relationship – thus ourselves as disciples – with the Father, we will more clearly see where He is leading. We will also see how our diverse viewpoints and experiences can bless those around us for His glory.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 23 February 2019

Prayer & Hearing His Voice

I have always been intrigued, and sometimes confused, about prayer and people’s unique perspective on methods of prayer. An older church member encouraged me to get a prayer mat, another told me I must play appropriate music and still another talked about the words I needed to use when speaking with God. It is refreshing that prayer connects a believer and buildS relationship with the Father regardless of the method. I have always experienced that regardless of the method, where there is an earnest heart, relationship flourishes. Communion with the Lord is unique to you and your journey. Moses exemplifies the open communion we can have with The Lord, “Please, show me Your glory” Exodus 33:18. Talk to Him and ask Him to show you His glory.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 16 February 2019

Children As Disciples…

When does someone become a disciple of Jesus? Is there the best age? No. Jesus encouraged all to come to Him, especially children. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” Matthew 19:14. I can imagine the joy that flowed through Jesus as He saw mothers, fathers, grandparents and others bringing children to see Him. And not just to look at Him but for Him to bless them and invite them into relationship with Him. The word disciple means follower, so how awesome is it that Jesus invites children to follow Him? There is no age too young or too old. There is no requirement other than willingness.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 9 February 2019

Walking with Jesus

Being discipled by Jesus means walking with Him. Isaiah 2:5 says “Come…let us walk in the light of the Lord”. Where do you walk? Your house, work, the supermarket, with your family and friends, church, everywhere. How do you walk? What ripples do you create? What wake do you leave behind? Being discipled by Jesus means that you walk with Jesus. Everywhere. It doesn’t mean you always get it right. But it means you have a partner on the journey. Outline your daily/weekly walk. Note where you go, who you see and how the pathway bends and turns. Now note where you see Jesus along the way. Highlight where you most clearly see His presence and hear His voice.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao


PLUGIN for Sabbath, 2 February 2019

Discipling…

The last words of Christ in Mark 16 are a command, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (v 15). These words, and those that follow, are highlighted red in my Bible somehow adding power to the gentle command and promise. He goes on to describe what His disciples will do and the Powerthey will proclaim: miracles, healings, believing and more! What does being a disciple of Jesus look like? A fantastic adventure filled with power when connected to Jesus. I love the Mark account as it includes the evidence of being a disciple and believing in Jesus Christ. Rewrite the words of Mark 16:15-18 as if they were spoken to you.

– Julene Duerksen-Kapao