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Prayer Book English Service

A modern prayer book service, with well known hymns and the Lord's Supper

Family English Service

A contemporary, family friendly service with a creche, kid’s & youth program.

Family Mandarin Service

A contemporary, family friendly service in Mandarin, with an English speaking kid’s & youth program.

Cantonese Service

A service in Cantonese, with a friendly group of around 70 adults.

Korean Service

A contemporary, family friendly service in Korean.

Modern Mandarin Service

A service mostly in Mandarin, with some English, especially for young adults whose main language is Mandarin, and second language is English.

Indonesian Service

A contemporary service in bahasa Indonesia.

Modern English Service

A contemporary evening service with modern music and worship band.

Sermons

Come along to our annual combined Thanks Giving service on Sunday September 4!

Devotion

Weekly Lift

#113. Love you. Hate you.

Bruce Stanley

August 1, 2022


Love you. Hate you.

We keep seeing the news these past months about our hospital crisis. Shortage of doctors, nurses on strike, and patients waiting long times to receive urgent medical attention. Can you just imagine if someone was to walk through our hospital wards healing patients with a single word or a single touch of the hand? Imagine how quickly things could turn around if something like that happened! And how would society see that healer? I imagine they would probably be idolised.

Back in the days of the early church, this was happening. But the response is a little unusual...

Acts 14:8-13

8In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.11When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

As you could imagine, the disciples are given god-like status. And it would have been easy to accept that glory. But they do not.

Acts 14:14-18

14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15“Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

They give all the glory to God, yet still, people try to sacrifice to them as if they are gods. It seems crazy that people would not listen to the words of their heroes. Instead, they listen to the next guys who come along...

Acts 14:19-20

19Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.

Just like that, the crowd turns against them. Just like that, they go from being heroes to facing death by stoning.

People can turn quickly. The world wants miracles but they don't always want a ruler over them. This is the core of sin. We want to rule our own lives. Miracles are great unless they interfere with us ruling our own lives.

While we might long for a miracle worker to walk through our hospitals bringing healing to every patient and emptying every hospital bed, this will not solve the greatest problem: people love to rule their own lives and push God to the side.

The greatest miracle will always be when a human surrenders the rule of their own life to Jesus. This is the greatest change we can ever see in someone's life, as it is the only change that has eternal consequences.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we do pray for the current crisis in our hospitals. We pray for those working hard to meet the growing needs and pressures of health care. We pray for those struggling with their health, and for those grieving loss.

Amidst this great need, help us to also remember the great and eternal need we all have for the life-giving gospel of Jesus. May this be a time where our world might see beyond the physical needs and challenges of life to the eternal need we all have to be under the rule of a great and loving God.

Amen.

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    St Philip's Eastwood Anglican Church

    Cnr. Shaftsbury Rd & Clanalpine St, Eastwood NSW 2122

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