Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27 (NIV)

Leading up to Easter this year I have had the privilege to share the Easter story with a number of kids with my work at school and church And one of the questions that keep coming up, for both me and the kids, is how could this all happen? Was God really in control?

From the surface it looked like Jesus' death was just a dark, dark in the Jewish and Roman systems. An Innocent man was framed and killed, all because the Jewish leaders jealous of him and were scared that he their followers away from thew. Jesus seemed to be a pawn in a political game of chess. For both the Jewish leaders and for Pilate, at the end of the day his death if it meant stability and keeping political power, then it was worth it.

Yet, as I spent more time thinking about the Easter story, the more and more it struck me that Jesus died, not because he was the innocent victim of political power games but because it was all part of God's glorious plan for salvation.

As Jesus walked along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus with two of his followers on that first Easter Sunday evening, he opened their eyes and showed them exactly that, that his death and resurrection were part of God's great plan.

This Easter, as we remember and celebrate how Jesus death and resurrection enables us to come into a perfect relationship with God, let us also remember that God is always in control. Just as God was in control at that first Easter. He has a plan, a good and perfect plan, which will never be defeated.

Grace and peace from Marcus

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

The purpose of Bible study is to be challenged and encouraged by studying and applying God's Word to our everyday lives. Here's a practical approach to apply Scripture to life:

Verse: Write out the verse or passage

Truth: Use your own words to state the truth of the verse

Need: Honestly assess your own life in relation to the truth of Scripture. What area of need does God's Word expose in your life?  

Intent: State a specific change you want to implement in your area of need. Keep the action simple.

Checkup: State how you will accomplish the goal you have set. You may want to put a reminder on your calendar or share your application with a trusted friend who will hold you accountable.

Let God use this tool in your life; this is not a self effort project. Have confidence that God is conforming you to Christ's image and He will complete what He has started.

(Taken from Navigators Facebook article on Bible Study)

Grace and peace from Marcus 

The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.
- C.S. Lewis

Have you ever thought" what is the purpose of church?" Maybe church is just a social group of like minded people who get along with each other? There has got to be more to church than that doesn't there?

C.S. Lewis was right in saying the real reason the church exists is to draw us to Christ and make us little Christs in our world. And we, the church, do that through for main areas: glorifying God; building up each other; sharing the good news of Jesus; and doing good. Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:6-11 Jesus' primary purpose, in his life death and resurrection was to bring glory to God, and likewise in all we do, we too should seek to glorify God. Paul also reminds us throughout his letters that God has equipped each member of the church differently in order that we may use our gifts to build each other up. Jesus' last command to his followers in both Matthew and Acts is to make sure that the good news of Jesus is shared not just in their own area, but all over the earth. As the church we are also meant to be doing good. Concern for the fatherless, the widow, and those who suffer is appropriate for those who worship a God who himself shows such concern.

So let's glorify God; build up each other; share the good news of Jesus; and do good in order that we may continue to help make more little Christs!

- Ben Dixon

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. - Colossians 3:23-24

So we believe that part of being a disciple of Jesus is to be marked by love. But what does that mean at work? How can I be marked by love in that context and particularly in relation to a difficult boss? Well author of Peace wise Ken Sande suggests that in all our relationships what we need to do is to follow our GPS. (I know right, corny). What do we mean by it? Well we are to seek to 1. Glorify God, 2 Pursue God and 3. Serve God.

One testimony that he received from someone who had a difficult, discouraging and bossy, well um, boss was that over years he had been worn down. And so he settled into a low lying discontent. Joining in on gossip and generally having a negative attitude. But when he heard about GPS, he decided that I had to apply these principles to that relationship. “So I did a search on work and discovered God really cared about that relationship; Lk 6:27-36, Rom. 12:17-21, Eph 6:5-8, Col 3:22-24, 1 Tim 6:1-2 & Tit. 2:9-14. I never realised that the bible had so much to say about a difficult work environment. It took a while for me to change bad habits but over time by God’s grace- my attitude changed. Sadly it hasn’t changed my boss but it has had an impact on my co-workers. They keep asking me what had happened to me. It turns out- having a bad boss can create opportunities for witnessing!

So go be good news glorify, pursue & seek God in your workplace.

Grace and peace from Marcus

This testimony can be seen on the relational wisdom 360 website under his great articles.

A great deal more failure is the result of excess caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution. – Oswald Chambers

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my own expression of Christian faith can be boring and domesticated- safe, predictable and routine. But as I read the scriptures I see a God that often advanced his cause on the backs of people that he entrusted to go out beyond the edges of their own sense of safety and comfort into a place of “uncertain trust.” “Uncertain trust”- what does that mean? Well just this- has your expression of Christian discipleship taken you to place recently were- “unless God comes through, your done.” This I think is how we are to live- banking on the provision of God- resting on his promises so their truth becomes our only hope. This is the heart of being a part of the mission of God- unless God does it- we wont make it. I have this picture of frightened disciples behind closed doors- still processing Jesus death and resurrection- then the Spirit comes- the wind comes and they throw caution to the wind. There is a job to be done- and if God is for us then who cares what comes against us. Lets recapture the adventure embedded in our faith because as CS Lewis said:

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death.”

Grace and peace from Marcus