“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us…”

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us

One of the questions we struggle with is: Why? Why did this happen to me? There are many things in life that we don’t understand. But in Romans 8 we begin to see some of the outlines of our situation in a fallen world. We see that God is still in control, “working” events for the good of his children. And we see a future glory beyond our present struggles.

The Christian life is not easy. Fighting sin is not easy. Enduring persecution is not easy. Coping with day-to-day life in a fallen world, with corruptible bodies, has its difficulties. Nevertheless, just as there was for Jesus, there is joy set before us — a future so wonderful that our current trials will seem minor. Paul wrote about this 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 

But we are not the only ones who will benefit. Paul says that there is a cosmic significance to God’s plan being worked out in us: “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (verse 19). The creation not only wants to see us in glory — the creation itself will also be blessed with change when God’s plan is brought to completion, as Paul says in the next verses: “For the creation was subjected to frustration…in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (verses 20-21). 

Even despite our trials, our weakness and our sins, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (verse 28). God does not cause all things, but he allows them, and works with them for his purpose. He has a plan for us, and we can be confident that he will complete his work in us (Philippians 1:6).

God planned in advance that we should become like his Son, Jesus Christ. So he called us through the gospel, justified us through his Son, and united us with him in his glory: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

I Want To Grow But How? By Building Three Core Habits

I think it’s fair to say that most of us want to grow. A quick glance at popular podcasts, best-selling books, and websites will reveal a common theme: we want to become better versions of ourselves. If your goal is to grow in your Christian spirituality – if you want to love God and others more – you should focus on three core habits. I want to encourage you to do ordinary things that will make an extraordinary difference, not just in your life but in the lives of others. I don’t know anyone who’s grown spiritually who isn’t practising these three habits. Spiritual growth isn’t about reaching a new level spirituality or “levelling up” as they sometimes say. Spiritual growth means to constantly return to the ABC’s of the gospel and grow in them and their applications. 

  1. Prayer. Continually speaking to God about all that’s on our minds (Philippians 4:6-7)
  2. Reading Or Listening To The Bible. Hiding God’s Word in our hearts, and knowing God better through his revealed Word (Psalm 119:9-16)
  3. Pursuing Growth In Community. We were designed to grow in community. We need others to encourage us, admonish us, spur us on, and to practice all the one-another commands of Scripture.

Habits can be life-changing, either for good or for bad. When habits are formed that help you to grow spiritually, the results will pay off exponentially in every other area of your life, as well. Spiritual maturity isn’t about white-knuckling it to sainthood. It’s about becoming a person who is fully alive. It means enjoying God and life in deeper and more abundant ways even in the middle of difficulty. It transforms our desires rather than denying them. Spiritual growth is the pursuit of God, and the pursuit of joy. No matter what stage we’re at right now, God is at work. There’s hope at every stage. We just need to know where we are, and what we need to do to continue to progress. 

Spring Fair 2020

It’s been 100 years since the mission chapel was gifted to the Norfolk Island community. This years Spring Fair will celebrate this important island precinct and the many significant memories and ministries of the last hundred years. 

The 2020 spring fair has been modified in order to be “Covid Safe” but will still feature the Water Slide • Wettls • Organ Recitals • Picnic Lunch • White Elephant Stall • And More…

All are welcome to join us at our Spring Fair as we celebrate 100 years at the Chapel and then again on Sunday as we give thanks for the last 100 years enjoying the Willis Organ and a sing-along of island hymns.

We  also invite you to share your own photographs and memories of baptisms, weddings and church events over the weekend.    

Watch The Church Of England Sunday Service For Sunday March 22nd Here

This Sunday Morning On TVNI Channel 350 From 9am 

This week, in the space of only a few hours, everything has changed. Things will eventually return to normal, but life will look different for the next few months at the very least. I don’t know exactly how to respond when a pandemic hits. But I do know this:

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90).

There’s never been a time that God has not been there for his people. He’s never taken a break. And now is not an exception. He is still our King and our shelter no matter what happens. God is on his throne, everything is going his way, and he loves me.

Join us on TNVI at 9am on Sunday morning as we look at Psalm 90,  a psalm of lament written by Moses in response to a huge national crisis. 

"Church @ Home" A Resource Prepared By Jono Thomas For The Church Of England On Norfolk Island

Jono writes: It’s sad that we’ve stopped meeting on Sundays as God’s people. But church doesn’t need to stop for any of us. Jesus said,

“For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them”

We know that church isn’t a building, it’s a people – God’s people who meet together. And when we meet together – even two or three of
us – we know that Jesus is with us through his Spirit.

Meeting together as church is important for so many reasons:

  • When we’re saved, we are adopted into God’s family, and not left as individuals
  • We’re told to love and encourage each other. We can’t do this alone!
  • We’re called the body of Christ. We need each other to function effectively
  • Our hearts are deceptive. We need others to keep us true in our spiritual walk

As you and your family can no longer come together as a bigger church, I would encourage you to spend time regularly with your family in God’s Word and in prayer. And in fact, your family functions as a little-church, doing everything that a bigger church does, but on a lower scale. Jonathan Edwards writes:

“Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules…”

And in fact, one thing that God might be wanting to remind us is that we can easily forget the parent’s role is to be the head-discipler of our children – not the Kids Church leaders, not even Jono! Paul writes:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right… Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6.1, 4)

This has been the case from the very beginning. Although there is definitely a place for a larger gathering of God’s people (Ezra 10.1), Moses writes:

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6.6-7)

In the Bible, discipleship begins at home. With this in mind, this booklet has been written to give you some ideas about how you can use this time to help your young people to continue to flourish in the Lord. While the Church of England suspends its regular meetings, I would encourage you to set aside time to have your own “family church” – along with what you normally do. This booklet begins with ideas to disciple your children in normal life. Next, there is a basic plan for running a “family church” service.

Chaplain’s Chat: Fear And The Peace Of God

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere”

When we’re afraid, we often try to keep busy.

When we’re “doing something” we feel as if we’re in control. Like when we “panic buy” at the supermarket.

Yet I think it’s critical at the moment that simply stop and take stock. Can I encourage you to take the time to think through the fears that are at work in your heart (and in our community). Write them down, talk to the Lord about them, and prayerfully think through how best to respond in ways that are constructive and glorifying to God. Worry can either make things worse, or worry can lead us toward the peace of God which surpasses all understanding…

Indeed, Paul encourages us to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

So much of the battle against fear comes down to where we are looking.

Over the next couple of weeks, our minds will be constantly drawn to the next article, or the next update about where the virus is and what we need to do. There will be an endless stream of content ready to feed our fear and it will be critical for us to combat this by turning again and again to our hope in Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke against this kind of fear: 

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on…Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:25,27). 

This is an opportunity to exercise our faith – to show that our feet are planted on solid rock. If being a Christian doesn’t mean something to us in the face of a deadly disease, then it doesn’t really mean anything. As our world is confronting their mortality, some for the first time, we have the choice to either place our faith in the hope of Christ or to mirror the fear of those who do not share this hope.

CS Lewis captures this choice well in his 1948 essay on the atomic bomb…

CLICK HERE TO READ

“On Living in an Atomic Age”

C. S. Lewis’s words – written 72 years ago – ring with some relevance for us. Just replace “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus”:

“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us are going to die in unpleasant ways.

We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anaesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds”.

“On Living in an Atomic Age” (pages 73-80) by C. S. Lewis from the book, Present Concerns.

Open House | Public Lectures On Early Church History

Open House is free, open to the public and visitors are most welcome to attend.

We hope these series of public lectures will be suitable for longtime church goers, brand-new Christians, wounded-by-other-traditions Christians, people filled with spiritual questions and lovers of history alike.

12-Feb-20 The Intertestamental Period And Its Influence On Christianity 

26-Feb-20 The Early Church (AD70-312)  “Growth”

4-Mar-20 The Early Church (AD70-312)  “Persecution”

18-Mar-20 The Early Church (AD70-312) “False Teaching Part 1”

1-Apr-20 The Early Church (AD70-312) “False Teaching Part 2”

If you’ve ever flipped from the last page of the Old Testament to the first page of the new – you’ve just skipped over 400 years of history with that single page turn.

Have you ever wondered what happened between the Old and New Testaments?What exactly happened during these 400 years? Who was in control? What people groups shaped the experience of the earliest Christians?

In those four hundred years, the Pharisees and Sadducees, synagogues, Roman governors, and the family of Herod emerged onto the scene. None were present in the Old Testament. Where did they come from?

And countless events not mentioned in the New Testament had a profound impact on the world of Jesus, such as the Maccabean revolt, the rise of the Essenes, the dominance of the Greek language, and the rise of the Roman Empire.

So what happened between the Old and New Testaments?

Open House is held every second Wednesday in the Parish Centre

Open House

We are a community with a cause: to love Jesus, to love Each Other and to love Norfolk Island. The Open House ministry is designed to help us become wholehearted, fully engaged followers of Jesus Christ.

We hope these series of public lectures will be suitable for longtime church goers, brand-new Christians, wounded-by-other-traditions Christians and people filled with spiritual questions.

There are three great reasons for studying church history: Instruction – the difficulties we face today are not new and we can look to the past to learn from where believers have acted wisely in these situations and where believers have acted foolishly. “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” (Deuteronomy 32:7). Worship – when we see all God has done through His church it should lead us to praise Him for His faithfulness. “Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.” (Psalm 150:1-2). Confidence – Jesus is keeping His promise to build His church. “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)

12-Feb-20 The Intertestamental Period And Its Influence On Christianity 

26-Feb-20 The Early Church (AD70-312)  “Growth”

4-Mar-20 The Early Church (AD70-312)  “Persecution”

18-Mar-20 The Early Church (AD70-312) “False Teaching Part 1”

1-Apr-20 The Early Church (AD70-312) “False Teaching Part 2”