Ministry Reflection: Sunday 26 June 2022
The Set Apart Heart: The Pure in Heart.
Good morning everybody! On Sunday Jordan continued with our theme The Set Apart Heart. It’s been a great series so far and this Sunday was no exception. Jordan spoke on The Set Apart Heart: The Pure in Heart.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this, ‘are our hearts healthy’? We live in a world where the pursuit of purity in our world is an alien concept, in fact it is laughed at but the Bible in Matthew 5:8 says ‘Blessed are the pure heart for they shall see God…’. It is very simple, as Christ followers we are to pursue purity. Check out Psalm 51. This is David’s Psalm of repentance after committing adultery… in verse 7-12 David says these words:
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Jordan gave us three points to think about when we consider the issue of purity.
- The Pure Heart starts with repentance.
Did you know this ‘we all fall short’! We all have sinned, we all need forgiveness. 1John 1:8 says these words ‘If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us’. However, 1 John 1:9 continues with these incredible words ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’. Isn’t that incredible! Forgiveness is the other side of repentance… we are made pure when we repent!
Question: What is it in our lives we need to repent from and bring under the authority of God?
- The Pure Heart needs His presence.
The reality is this, we need His presence we cannot do it on our own. There are many things in our lives that we need to say ‘no’ to if we are to ‘know’ Jesus. Only Jesus keeps us pure and only Jesus keeps us right. In John 15:1-5 Jesus says these well know words:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me”.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
We need to remain in Jesus. Purity is our new identity. We need His presence.
- The Pure Heart Overflows
Luke 6:45 says these words, ‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of’.
As followers of Christ we need to have a pure heart and a pure heart overflows! We need to produce good things from a treasures of a good heart.
Question: What is overflowing in my life? What is in our hearts tends to overflow in how we speak, how we act. What is overflowing from our hearts? Let’s put it a different way ‘what do you want to overflow in the future?’
If impurity is overflowing – we need God the Holy Spirit to work on our hearts. The pursuit of purity has to overflow to change our behaviour.
- What are we watching?
- What are we listening to?
- Who are we allowing to influence us?
- Who are we doing life with?
The pursuit of purity has to change our heart. How can we stay pure? Psalm 119:9 puts it like this (by the way this applies to all people not just young people!):
‘How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word’.
To watch the service in full click on the link
Be blessed and have a great rest of your week.
Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 19 June 2022
Father’s Day: The Father’s Heart.
This Sunday we had the absolute joy of hearing from three amazing fathers of the house, Shandor, Terry and Daniel. We heard some incredible Dad stories – epic fails and Dad highlights (not to be missed!) and much great wisdom.
These great men of God shared how being fathers has changed their outlook and mindsets; where everything done is about putting yourself second to those around you so that others may grow. That there is a fulfilment in knowing that what you are doing is impacting others. They shared six lessons from being a father:
- Spend time together, share hobbies and talk
- Be encouraging, always find something good to say
- Have parameters, let your yes mean yes and your no mean no
- Demonstrate your life to your kids, be a shining example and do what you say as they will be watching
- You won’t always get it right, learn to say sorry to your kids
- You will never stop being a Dad and you will never stop learning
They continued to share how the role of the father has an incredible opportunity to shape the minds and characters of the next generation. The role of the father is to protect and defend the family, we see God do this for us as we are his children. Fathers are to point children in the right direction and when they are old, they will not be lost. The father is to stand up against the wrongs of the world and lead by example by making your life a demonstration to others. God is our heavenly father, he loves us unconditionally and this is the model we follow.
God is our heavenly father, our source of hope and who we look up to. The world does not give us much to hope for but, as Christians, we have a hope for the future, that is the promise of God for us. Our earthly image of fatherhood is not always perfect but God can meet with us, as a father, who loves us for who we are, despite failings or walking away, God steps into our mess to meet with us, simply because he loves us.
Following on from our theme, the Set Apart Heart, Jordan shared: The Set Apart Heart – The Fathers Heart
The Fathers Hear t- A Loving Heart
The father’s heart is a loving heart, 1 John 4: 7-8 tells us that God is love. He doesn’t just love us, he is love. This verse shares how, if there is no God in your love, you do not love, because love is God. True love can only be found in God. He is the definition of love. He can love us like no other human being, in our most weakest, shameful, fearful moments, when others abuse us, abandon us, or leave trauma in our lives, when people hate us, or reject us. HE IS LOVE.
Humans love from a feeling or a choice, but the love of God will never walk away from us because he is love. God loved us first before we loved him, long before we even acknowledged him. This love, God our father, looks beyond every mistake, failure and regret and still in full knowledge, wants to embrace us and love us. No one is too messed up, far gone or broken for the love of God today. Today you can experience true love.
He says to you, “I love you. I am proud of you.”
The Fathers Heart – A Disciplining Heart
Our fallen nature wants to rebel against discipline but Proverbs 3: 11-12 shows us how we have to change the lie that discipline is bad, we have to stop resenting and running away from discipline because it looks hard work. It is because God loves us that disciplines are there, he wants us to grow and change.
In Luke 9:23 we see Jesus speak to his disciples saying, “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”. There is a cross we have to pick up every day, there are things we have to put down every day. If we are to be his disciples, we are to deny ourselves and pick up the cross every day.
Jesus is the prize of a disciplined life. A disciplined life means we can grab hold of and gain an understanding of Christ – he is the prize! What are we holding onto that we need to let go of? What is God requiring greater discipline of, because he loves us?
The Fathers Heart – A Protecting Heart
2 Thessalonians 3: 3 shows us that when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable, he is protecting us, when our enemies are surrounding us, he is keeping us safe, when we feel that everything is falling apart, he is guarding us, when we are ignorant or have full knowledge of the dangers around us, he is protecting us. He has kept us safe until this day and the promise is that he will keep us safe until our final breath. There are dangers that we have never faced in our lives, because he protected us. Before the enemy gets close, he fought off the dangers around us.
Psalm 23 speaks about the good Shepard using the rod and staff to protect and comfort. The heavenly father’s heart is a protecting and comforting heart. The Shepard carries a rod for protection, it was used to fight off and protect the sheep against predators. Our heavenly father has a rod that he is using to fight off predators and protect you. Things may be tough right now, but he IS protecting you. He is defending you, fighting for you, you will not lose, you will not be taken out, because our good sheppard and heavenly father is fighting for you. The rod was used by the sheppard to protect and defend because he loves his sheep. The good Sheppard also used the rod to count the flock. If one sheep went missing, he would go and find it, if one was hurt, he would bring care to it. The heavenly father has a rod over you – he will not take his eye off you, over the darkest moments of our lives he is watching over you , in the greatest moments of our lives, he is watching over you and in the most shameful, hurtful and regretful times in your life, he was watching you, he never took his eye off you. Right now, he wants to protect you, care for you, and heal the wounds of any predator that wanted to take you out. He has guided you to this moment and will continue to guide you for the rest of your days.
Michelle Addai, Riviera Life Church.
To watch the service in full check out: https://youtu.be/RxzC-Gg89w0
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 12 June 2022
On Sunday Jordan continued our preaching theme of The Set Apart Heart by taking about the ‘Obedient Heart’.
Proverbs 4:23 in the NIV Bible Version says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Jordan eloquently described how the obedient heart is a guarded heart. He stated that obedience will save us from more trouble than any self help motivational talk!
Jordan outlined what obedience looks like:-
- Willing to comply with or to authority – instruction and authority of heaven. He said an obedient heart aligns itself to the word of God.
- Surrendered to the will and plan of God.
- Listens and acts upon the voice of God.
It was my privilege to share with my church family about my obedience journey over past couple of years.
I shared 10 steps that I believe God took me through over a number of years. Here are my thoughts on my ‘obedience’ journey:-
- I had a word from God. For me it was that God would someday have me involved in church planting in Europe. I didn’t have any more detail than apart from one day I would go! I described it being like a pile of jigsaw pieces all upside and back to front, no big picture but lots of pieces and not really knowing how they fit together. You may feel this too. You have a word from God but can’t see the bigger picture can I encourage you with point 2!
- I kept believing even though I went through a wilderness period where I felt overlooked and wondered how the word would come to pass. Rather than just wait I decided to do something
- I decided to prepare myself for when God did open the door. – I trained as a minister with the AOG (Assemblies of God).
- I kept believing. I believed that God told me when I completed my course he would open up the doors. This is exactly what happened as a month before I finished my paths crossed with missionary and church planter Angela Gaeta from Austria and our hearts aligned.
- I sowed financially – I heard someone once say ‘sow where you want to go’ This stuck with me so I knew I had to give into the vision for Austria.
- I prayed! I joined a monthly prayer meeting for Europe don’t under estimate the need to pray and consistently seek God.
- I said yes – After a period of praying and relationship building with Angela the offer finally came to move to Austria to help plant churches.
- I trusted in Gods timing. The invitation came at the worst time with difficult family situations. Once I said yes things came together. Maybe God is waiting for you to say yes!
- I went and investigated – like a spy looking at the promised land (Numbers ch 13). I went and saw what Austria was like and I felt that God show me the good and the potential of the land.
- I’m going in September!
Obedience really is the only way and if we keep taking each step of faith God reveals more of the picture and you will see see the bigger picture come into focus.
Run the race marked out for you!
Hebrews 12 says:
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…
It might not be going to another country, but it might be reaching your work colleagues or family or a people group, it may be setting up a business to generate income for the Kingdom of God. The important thing is to know what God wants you to and be obedient in each step. If you don’t know what God is leading you into the psalmist says:
Psalm 45:1 ‘my heart is stirred by a noble theme…’
Ask yourself what stirs my heart and secondly what is God wanting me to do about it? Be obedient and see what God will do!
Bless you church! I love our church family so much and I am so grateful for the love and support shown me since Sunday.
To listen to the service in full click here.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 05 June 2022
What a weekend! We had four days off (well, some of us lucky ones) to celebrate and honour a wonderful woman, our dear Queen. She has faithfully served our nation and God in her sovereign role for 70 years. What an achievement. And what a special moment in the history of our country. God save our gracious Queen!
The Set Apart Heart:
If we are planning to be a set apart church in 2022, we’ll need to consider matters of the heart. Physically the heart brings us life, as it pumps nutrient-rich blood to our tissues. But also spiritually we think of the heart as a major organ. If we are going to become the people God has called us to be then we are going to have to examine our hearts. We also need to open our hearts and submit to God’s scrutiny.
In Psalm 139:23 it says ‘Search me O God and know my heart’.
In honour of the Royal Bank holiday, Jon kicked off this new theme on Sunday with the title:
The Set Apart Heart: A Royal Heart
Did you know that as a child of God, an heir to the King of Kings, that you are now royalty!
‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light’
This is something we can get excited about. A Royal heart!
What is the heart of a king? Kings of old were famed because of their bravery; their courage in battle. They were powerful leaders and dispensers of justice. If you’ve watched any Robin Hood films, you’ll know that King Richard I was a legendary Lionheart. But if you have any knowledge of history you’ll also know that earthly monarchs have not always lived up to their titles. We’ve had the great, good, bad and just plain evil. Kings and Queens, good or bad, come and go. They’re temporary. Presidents and Prime Ministers, good or bad are only temporary. The bible tells us not to trust in princes, in chariots and horses but to put our trust in the name of the Lord!
I’m grateful for her majesty’s long life and leadership in our country. But I’m delighted there is a King in heaven ruling over us all. He sits on his throne in power and authority, and his heart burns with a passion for all people, everywhere. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. He is not just a lion but the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
‘Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed’. Revelation 5:5
The Lion of the tribe of Judah is roaring with power, He is fighting our battles, He is fighting your battles so you don’t have to. He is reigning in power and one day we will reign with him. You have the heart of a Lion inside you! Psalm 28:1 says ‘The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.’ The righteous are ‘lionhearted’.
A Royal Heart
What is this heart like, the heart of God?
- Its burns with love for us
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s Holy people, to grasp how long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 16-19.
- It breaks for us
The King’s heart breaks for his people and his broken world. God’s heart breaks where there is sin, where there is division in nation or family or church. God’s heart breaks at injustice. If you carry his heart, what is your heart breaking for?
- It forgives us
He forgives us. Are we able to forgive others?
- It wants the best for us
God wants more for you than you do! God is good.
For I know the plans I have for you, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ Jeremiah 29:11
- It is merciful towards us
Kings of old were sometimes merciful and sometimes ruthless. But our God is unchanging and unfailingly merciful. He is inexhaustibly, actively compassionate. And we don’t even deserve it. The bible insists we all fall short of the glory of God and yet we are granted life through faith in Jesus Christ.
- It is gracious towards us
Max Lucado said ‘Grace is God’s best idea. His decision to ravage a people by love, to rescue passionately, and to restore justly – what rivals it? Of all His wondrous works, grace, in my estimation, is the magnum opus’ (a great work).
There is no other King like Him!
Erica Brown, Riviera Life Church.
To catch the service in full check out:
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 30 May 2022
Good morning everybody! Who loves worshipping God?! On Sunday our key focus for ministry was RLC Our Set Apart Community: A Worshipping Church. I am so glad that I am part of a Worshipping Church. There is nothing quite like it! I am glad and appreciative that in the times that we live, we have the ability, we have the opportunity to meet together to worship. The Bible has a lot to say on the subject and importance of corporate public worship, in other words what we do when we gather together as a community, as friends, as family, as the church, as the body of Christ. Our desire at Riviera Life Church is to be an ever increasing worshipping church, we will never stop worshipping.
Did you know this, there is a joy and a freedom to be had when we come together to worship and lift up the name of Jesus. God loves the sound of people singing his praises, I believe God loves the sight of hands lifted in totalled abandonment and surrender to Him, God loves the clapping, the dancing, the freedom! Psalm 47:1-2 says:
Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the LORD Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.
God loves it when the generations are worshipping together, the old with the young, the mums and dads with the kids. It is a beautiful sight. I love it when God moves during our worship times and our plan goes out the window, I love it when God speaks and when revelation is shared. I am glad I am part of a worshipping church!
Psalm 34:4 says these words:
Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
We were made, we were created to worship God not just individually but together, as a group, as a body. Psalm 122:1 says ‘I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the House of the Lord!’ I believe that when we are together in worship there is a supernatural dynamic that takes place. When we come together to worship, determined, expectant, faith filled, with grateful hearts; when we come together with no other agenda than to focus our love, our worship on the ‘triune’ God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit then anything can happen. The opening lines of Acts 2 says: On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly there was a sound from heaven and it filled the house where they were sitting. Something spectacularly supernatural can take place when we are altogether!
I don’t want our worship to be superficial in any way shape or form, it can’t be about us… me, myself, and I… it must be about Jesus, to Jesus, for Jesus, His glory, His splendour, His majesty, His sacrifice. I don’t even want our worship to be a spectacular show, go the West End if you want that. Our worship must be sacrificial where we have to worship through the pain, give when we have little to give, worship costs, whatever your’e going through keep going and keep worshipping.
Our worship must be supernatural. In His presence there is freedom, there is joy, there is peace, there is healing, there is encouragement to be had. In His presence lives get changed and transformed. When we worship Him we want to encounter Him. I want our worship to be such that it lays a platform for the Word of God. I also want our worship to go beyond Sunday’s where we as the body of Christ determine ourselves to worship individually, in our homes, in our everyday lives. That is what we long for here… have we arrived… no not yet, perhaps we never will… but there will come a time when we will enjoy ultimate, never ending, perfect worship in Heaven and we will join the chorus of ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty, the one who always was, who is and who is still to come’.
Let’s become worshippers both in the public setting and the private setting. Let me encourage you in your worship. Let’s determine ourselves to worship God with everything we have when we come together. God lives and moves in the praises of His people.
Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.
To catch Sunday’s service in full plus a great interview with the Worship Team at RLC, click on the following link:
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 22 May 2022
On Sunday 22 May, the wonderful Tim Funnell continued our current preaching theme, ‘Riviera Life Church A Set Apart Community: A Spirit Filled Church! You can click on the link to check out the full sermon as Tim didn’t just teach and encourage us but he offered some practical help and support into how we can engage with prayer and the prophetic. We truly want to be a church who engage in prayer in all its forms and live prophetic lives. Below are some highlights from the ministry!
- So far, we’ve been reminded that we strongly believe that we are a SENT church, committed to a mission to reach and love people with the good news of Jesus!
- We have been reminded that we are a family that celebrates every age group, and we are committed to giving something of ourselves to INVEST IN THE NEXT GENERATION.
- We have been reminded that we are committed to becoming a GROWING church… not necessarily in numbers, but definitely in character, in our love for Jesus and for one another!
A Spirit Filled Church.
Did you know this, the early church was started by a move of the Holy Spirit, in Acts 2 we read that it was only through the power of the Holy Spirit that Peter found the right words to say, and those listening actually understood it and felt compelled to respond! While it’s really good to talk about Jesus, we can shout about Jesus all we want, but revelation only comes through the power of the Spirit… so we need to be in step with the Spirit of God to know HOW and WHERE to sow. Andy Hawthorne said it like this:
All Scripture and you DRY up
All Spirit and you BLOW up
But with Scripture and Spirit you GROW up
We are a church that desires to Grow! Which means we are a church that seeks to know His Spirit and be filled by His Spirit daily! Did you know this, God has already told us in his Word that He wants to bless us, and to give us gifts, let’s welcome the gifts and the works of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 is normally used to drive home the truth that we’re all different, but let’s take notice of where these gifts come from!
4There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. 5 There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. 6 There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. 7 The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. 8 The Spirit gives one person a message full of wisdom, while to another person the same Spirit gives a message full of knowledge. 9 One and the same Spirit gives faith to one person, while to another person he gives the power to heal. 10 The Spirit gives one person the power to work miracles; to another, the gift of speaking God’s message; and to yet another, the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not. To one person he gives the ability to speak in strange tongues, and to another he gives the ability to explain what is said. 11 But it is one and the same Spirit who does all this; as he wishes, he gives a different gift to each person.
The Spirit gives… The Spirit gives… The Spirit gives… The Spirit gives! Let’s be open to the Holy Spirit, He wants to pour out His spirit on us and give each and everyone of us supernatural gifts which we can use for his glory and fame!
A Prophetic People
Prophecy and the prophetic is not just reserved for some people, it’s for everyone! “When we think ‘prophetic’, we need not think about grand public tasks. The prophetic task is to be done wherever there are men and women who will surrender to a planned future, offered by the King.” Walter Brueggemann
Normally, when people hear the word prophetic, they think ‘words of prophecy’, they think prophet. The Bible clearly talks about the important role, status and function of a prophet but we can all be ‘prophetic’.
Our worship can be prophetic… consider the words of this song:
Come awaken Your people, come awaken Your city / Oh God of revival, pour it out, pour it out / Every stronghold will crumble and I hear the chains hit the ground / Oh God of revival, pour it out, pour it out
Oh, the darkest night, You can light it up / You can light it up, oh God of revival / Let hope arise, death is overcome / You’ve already won, oh God of revival
Our prayers can be prophetic… ‘YOUR kingdom come, YOUR will be done’
The Bible also tells us that a Prophetic people are able to ‘see’ prophetically. Throughout the Bible God asks his people ‘what do you see?’ or God says ‘Go and see’ or ‘tell of what you see’.
So, what do you see ?
We need to be training our curiosity, in the power of the Spirit, to begin noticing more things in the world around us that God wants us to engage with!
- RLC Storehouse is a prophetic statement from this family. It is not right that people are hungry, so we align ourselves with the Spirit and actively DO something to make it look a bit more like the Kingdom of God would look.
- RLC Babybank is a prophetic statement from this family. It is not right that people can’t afford to clothe or care for their children, so we align ourselves with the Spirit and actively DO something to make it look a bit more like the Kingdom of God.
- Many of our young people in our community need help, with our ‘physical sight’ their context tells us they are going to mess up again and that it is ‘too late to help’.However, because we are aligned with the Spirit of God, because we are part of His family, we can look them in the eye and say ‘I believe in you, things can get better, you can build a better future for yourself!’.
What do you see?! Our singing, our speaking and our actions are all prophetic responses to a broken world that demonstrate the Kingdom of God.
Let’s pray like never before! Let’s be open to the Holy Spirit everyday of our lives, responsive to His leading, His nudging, His voice. Let’s use the gifts that He has given us and be open to receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let’s live out our lives prophetically, in our singing, in our speaking and through our actions!
Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader Riviera Life Church.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 15 May 2022
On Sunday I continued our theme of RLC Our Set Apart Community by speaking on our third focus Pastoral Care and Discipleship with the title ‘A Growing Church’. We need to be a ‘Growing’ Church, a ‘Glowing’ Church and a ‘Going’ Church!
We believe in church growth and maturity in all aspects of our Christian walk and life, both personally and corporately. Who wants to become more like Jesus? Who wants to live like Jesus? Who wants do the things that Jesus did? If the answer is yes [which I hope it is] then let us all desire to grow spiritually and emotionally healthy lives with Jesus at the centre. To that end discipleship and pastoral care is essential in the life of any growing church. In the Book of Acts we read about the early church, they truly were a growing church, how did they disciple each other, how did they look out for each other, what was the early church’s secret sauce to church growth? Check out what Acts 2:42-47.
As you can see there are a number of key ingredients to church growth from this passage that the early church got right and the majority if not all these ingredients come under the banner of pastoral care and discipleship.
- The enthusiasm of new followers of Christ who wanted to serve.
- Sound teaching
- Doing life together
- Encouraging each other
- Working together
- Growing in relationships by eating food together
- Praying together
- Desire to grow mature and healthy relationships with each other
- Creating spiritual disciplines, both public and private, of word, worship, meeting together
The early church was Growing, Glowing, Going
At RLC we are committed to the disciplines of Pastoral Care and Discipleship. There is so much to celebrate (and a lot more we want to do!):
- Life Groups are being enjoyed by all. This is where the majority of Pastoral Care takes place. If you want to be part of a Life Group then please do let us know.
- RLC Prayer Group – this meets every other Tuesday at the church. All our welcome to pray for RLC and the RLC Community.
- Online devotionals on both FaceBook and You Tube every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Online Bible Course – at its peak 70 people attended. Get a desire for the Word of God.
- Mens and Ladies groups are in development.
- Kids and Youth have wonderful discipleship programmes.
- Individual pastoral care is taking place throughout the church. Thankyou to all involved!
God is building his church!
Here are a few more thoughts on Pastoral Care and Discipleship:
- Real discipleship and pastoral care takes time and patience. There is no time limit to discipleship and pastoral care, everybody is different, everybody grows and matures differently – but I can promise you this, real discipleship and pastoral care takes patience, it takes grace, it takes friendship. Are we prepared to walk with people, are we prepared to journey with people? Who is that person you are walking with, who is that person you are talking with?
- Real discipleship and pastoral care takes effort and determination. You can ask Paul the Apostle – who travelled the Roman world preaching, teaching the good news of Jesus Christ, raising leaders, building churches, solving church issues, solving disputes that arose… along the way he faced imprisonment, ill health, persecution, he was let down along the way, he was hurt physically, emotionally, his mental health suffered yet he never gave up, there were times when he wanted to, but he didn’t, he did it all for the cause of Jesus Christ!
- Real discipleship and pastoral care can be messy.No one said following Jesus would be easy. Are you willing to get messy? When we choose to follow Christ, when we choose to disciple, when we choose to walk with those who are just beginning their journey of following Christ things do get messy! Real discipleship and pastoral care involves dirt and mess… and that is absolutely fine… Real discipleship and pastoral care involves setbacks, patience, and a belief in the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to overcome every sin, struggle, and trial. Are you willing to walk with someone through their mess?
- Real discipleship and pastoral care can be costly and painful. The process and journey of Discipleship can be costly and painful for both the ‘discipled’ and the ‘discipler’. The one leading the way and the one following. Throughout his letters Paul uses words like “labour,” “agony,” and “suffering” to describe pastoral care and discipleship. When we engage other humans on this level, we’re dealing with nature’s most unstable force. People are not easy to deal with. Discipleship costs. There can be pain when you are helping the discipled out of their mess and you are journeying life’s trials and traumas with them. Are you ready for the cost? Are you ready for the pain?
- Real discipleship and pastoral care is rewarding. There is nothing like seeing the one you are discipling grow and mature in the faith. There is joy, there is reward when we see the disciple in turn become a disciple maker, when we that young person lead worship after years of training, developing, walking with that person, tears and tantrums! There is nothing quite like seeing the next generation take hold of what God has for them, grow in maturity and lead from the front. There is nothing quite like watching and observing someone who themselves not so long ago was in a mess but now they are sharing the love of Christ with those who themselves are in a mess. Real discipleship is rewarding!
Today there is so much to thank God for and think about. We are called to be disciple makers! Are you in? Are you ready?
God Bless and have a great day
Associate Leader Riviera Life Church
To watch the service in full please click on the following link.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 08 May 2022.
We have just had a great Sunday of celebration at Riviera Life Church! We celebrated Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We celebrated 27 years of Riviera Life Church! We celebrated with Caz who received her ordination at our recent National Leaders Conference. We celebrated Jordan’s 30th birthday! (Happy Birthday Mr Williams) and we celebrated Children and Young people. It was a great joy to see some of our young people take part in the service, the next generation are vital to the success, growth, vitality and longevity of any local church. To that end our wonderful Youth Pastor Gabe shared a few thoughts to encourage us, to challenge us when it comes to believing, supporting and encouraging the next generation.
Gabe took us to 2 Kings 2:1-15. This is the wonderful story and transaction that took place between the prophet Elijah and his protege Elisha! Elijah is going to be taken to heaven and Elisha asks Elijah for a double portion, a double blessing of everything Elijah has! The double portion of Elijah rests on Elisha. Elisha is now able to do what Elijah did but now he had double of God’s spirit and power on his life!
Have you got the audacity to ask God for ‘more’? More of his spirit, more of his blessing and provision on your life. The next generation ask for ‘more’!
Here are a few questions that we need to consider if we are to release the next generation.
What is inside of you?
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit dwells within us. Can people see that the Holy Spirit lives within us?
1 Corinthians 11:1. Is your imitation of Christ worth imitating? Live a life of example to the next generation, in our conduct, in our speech, in our manner. Can people tell that you live a life following Christ, imitating Christ? Am I acting like a Christ follower?
Are we willing to give what we have even at our own expense?
What are we willing to give to the next generation at your own expense? Check out, Luke 11:5-8 – The Parable of the Persistent Neighbour. Are you wiling to give your time, money, vision to the next generation if they are audacious enough to ask? Are you willing to give to the next generation? Are you willing to invest in the next generation?
Let’s believe that the next generation will do greater things than we ever can or will because of the investment that we have laid. Let’s encourage them as they go into the world and show the world who truly lives inside them!
Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader Riviera Life Church.
To watch the service in full check out: https://youtu.be/lwc6KUpTWkg
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 01 May 2022.
On Sunday, members of our church family, Florence and Paula, shared with us their enjoyment of serving every week at the food bank, baby bank and home store. Paula has been attending our church for 27 years and Florence for five. Both think they are part of a smashing team. It’s great to get to know people by working together and lovely to be able to welcome others to acknowledge their needs. The majority of food packages go out to single people with limited cooking facilities. Can you imagine trying to prepare all your meals using only a kettle or a microwave? How rewarding and what a blessing to be able to help. Already this year Florence and Paula have joined others to bless others with 380 food parcels, 94 baby bank referrals and 27 home store referrals. What a way to share the love of Christ!
Joshua told the people, consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you. Joshua 3:5
This promise is the truth. Signs, wonders and miracles will become the norm if we learn to live in obedience to God’s word.
This week Jordan launched a new theme:
Riviera Life Church: Our set-apart community.
What sets us apart?
1. Mission and evangelism
2. Pastoral love and discipleship
3. Children and youth
4. Prayer, promise and the prophetic.
These are all important to building a church. And in a growing church, the health of its members is more important than numbers. We should be healthy in our lives and our walk with God; healthy physically, spiritually, emotionally and socially. Health is the true measure of growth in our church.
First, we look at evangelism and mission. What does vibrant health look like in this area?
We are …
1. A sent out church
Charles Spurgeon said, ‘every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter’
We can’t keep the truth to ourselves.
In Acts 1 Jesus speaks. He talks to his disciples. They watched his burial and witnessed his resurrection. The angels say he will return. The bible says he will return. He is alive, we know it in our hearts! We see it through his works. Everything that was promised is now a reality. And Jesus leaves us with these final words before returning to his father, ‘You shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’
2. Sent in power
We step out in new power and anointing. We have an authority that isn’t manufactured or empowered by man but given by God himself. This is the power that changes meaningless words on a page into life-changing truth. It turns our weakness into victory. As believers, we carry the power and authority of heaven within us wherever we go. You may have been saved but still feel inadequate and insecure: you have been placed with power and authority!
Luke 10:17-18 ‘The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.’ So he told them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.’
This was a rebuke. Jesus was correcting their attitude. He reminded them. If you witness mighty acts it’s not about what you do for God but what God does for you.
The power that comes from God is the power that allows someone to stand on the edge of the sea and part it to save a nation. It is a power that enables us to declare salvation and revival across our community. It is the power that drives a missional life.
Jesus said, ‘You will tell people about me everywhere’. God’s truth was never meant to be contained but shared freely. The truth is that we all are loved, forgiven and can have freedom. All lives have plans and purposes from their creator. This is an all-inclusive offer of hope.
‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.’ Romans 1:16
Jesus came, died and rose again for everyone who believes. There is not one person that he undervalues or doesn’t care about. He has watched you every day of your life. He thought about you as he hung on the cross. Don’t forget, that someone shared the gospel message with each of us. It is because of their courage and obedience that we are here. Just imagine who will join us if we decide to be bold and share our faith? We have not been saved to hoard but to share. We have been saved to live a life of mission and evangelism. This is why we partner with other organisations: because we want the message of truth to go to the ends of the Earth.
3. Focus on what we know
‘So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by his authority.’ Acts 1:6-7
The Father alone has the authority to set dates and times. He tells us to mind the business that is ours. Don’t become fixated on things that may not matter. Focus on what you know and don’t be distracted. Jesus tells us: I’ve already told you, commissioned you, to go out. Stop waiting for the time, worrying about being rejected or ignored. Focus on Him and his message of forgiveness. Share what you do know. Tell your story of how God has changed your life with everyone, everywhere. There is no need to fake it. Authentic lives win people over every time.
4. Stop looking up and waiting It’s time to look out and go.
‘And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’ Acts 1:10-11
The disciples had recently been with their risen saviour, their friend that they had followed for three years, who performed miracles and preached a life-changing message. They watched him be buried in a tomb and rise from the dead. Now, they watch as he leaves Earth and ascends to heaven before their eyes.
If it were me, I’d want a moment to process.
But no, angels appeared to the disciple immediately, telling them to stop wasting time. Don’t dwell on the past when there is purpose in your future.
Jesus has told you what to do. Get on with it!
Stop focussing on your own needs and wants. We are to baptise others in the name of the Father. Don’t wait for a sign. The sign couldn’t be clearer. We are called to live missional and evangelistic lives. We have a responsibility and opportunity to tell everyone the message we’ve heard. Be obedient. If we don’t go who will? The last word Jesus ever said on Earth was a command. ‘Go!’
Erica Brown, Riviera Life Church
To hear the message in full please check out Sunday’s sermon at: https://youtu.be/XXh4fzTR0eo
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 24 April 2022.
On Sunday we were blessed with the visit of Andy and Rachel David. Andy and Rachel are the directors of an amazing organisation called World of Worth, and Riviera Life Church has been part of their journey from day one. It was so encouraging to hear the stories and testimonies of what God is doing in the lives of women and children all across the world from India to Uganda, Bulgaria to Ethiopia and Mozambique, lives are being changed and transformed. The impact of our giving, sponsorship and prayers into a number of different projects including income generation, perma gardens, business opportunities is truly making a life changing difference to the lives of so many. The tag line Andy and Rachel use is ‘we can’t change the world but we can change someones world’.
World of Worth’s values are:
We believe that everyone has value and worth, and people should be treated with dignity, equality and respect.
We believe in honesty, transparency and in being trustworthy. We aim to manage the resources entrusted to us in a way that best supports those living in poverty.
We believe in showing kindness, love and compassion.
We believe in justice and treating people fairly, regardless of background, race or religion.
World of Worth is a Christian charity; our prayer is that the love of God and the message of hope is reflected in everything we do.
If you would like to find out more about World of Worth, who they are, what they do then please do check out: https://www.wowuk.org
If you would like to support World of Worth financially then please contact the office at Office@wowuk.org or tel: 03003020191
To check out the full service from Sunday please follow the link:
God Bless and have a great day!
Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 17 April 2022.
What a great morning we had with a great sense of praise and celebration as amazing members of our church family testified of the power of a risen Saviour.
I had the privilege to share a few thoughts around the resurrection. The resurrection sets us apart from any other religion or faith, we have a living Saviour! We may have doubts about the resurrection as it is beyond our human understanding. We are not alone as the disciples had the same doubts and questions. Jesus was very patient and explained again and again that he had to die and rise again but they didn’t believe it. But Jesus did rise again and did exactly what he said he would! Luke 24:1-11. It’s not over and everyday is The Third Day when Jesus is risen!
I shared four ways of how we can be sure of the resurrection taken from Luke 24:13-24, why don’t you take some time to read this account.
1. He walks with us.
Jesus joins two disciples who had thought it was all over. They were walking the 7 mile journey back home from Jerusalem to Emmaus, having witnessed the events of Jesus death and burial but not resurrection as they had left for home too early. They had hoped Jesus was the Messiah to rescue them. (Luke 24:21) They were downcast and disappointed. We can go through all kinds of ups and downs in our life’s journey. Maybe you’ve had an ‘I had hoped’ moment where you thought that something would be a solution to your problem but it hadn’t turned out that way. But despite those moments Jesus is still risen and is the only answer, we may not recognise it in these time but Jesus is still on the journey with us and waiting for us to recognise he is with us.
2. He talks to us.
In Luke 24:25-27 Jesus teaches them what happened by going through the whole of the scriptures. After Jesus left them the disciples noted how when Jesus spoke how their ‘hearts burned within them’ (Luke 24:32).The word of God(the bible) is proof of the resurrection and is living and active! Hebrews 4:12
3. He goes before us.
Check out Matthew 28:7. Jesus goes ahead of you. He is already in your tomorrow. He’s already in that difficult situation you have to face this week. He’s already in your next job. He’s already at your wedding, the birth of your child, your retirement and even at your last moments. We don’t have to worry and can trust him completely as he is already there!
4. He has a plan for us. (Luke 24:44-49)
Jesus died and rose again not just for those living at the time but for all of humanity and his plan was that the disciples equipped with the Holy Spirit would be the witness of the resurrection to all nations. That commission is given to us today to share the risen saviour with our worlds.
The disciples didn’t get the resurrection at first and during a discussion about it they got it wrong and Jesus said to them in Matt 22:29 that their mistake was that they didn’t know the scriptures or the power of God. But they did eventually understand and were filled with the Holy Spirit and started the movement of the Early church which spread across the globe.
We too can change and believe. Knowing the scriptures can take time and commitment but it is worth it for our understanding. But we can be filled with the Holy Spirit anytime! I finished with the verse, Romans 8:11:
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
The same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead is living in you! Praying you experience the power of his resurrection this week!
Riviera Life Church.
To catch Sunday’s service in full check out:
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 10 April 2022.
“Jesus son of David, all inclusive saviour”
Jon started with a reminder of the message the previous week brought by our Senior Leader Jordan of “Jesus son of David, Set Apart Savior”. This message was a continuation of the theme focused on Jesus Christ.
We looked at Isaiah 11:1 which was a prophecy given through Isaiah by the Holy Spirit, A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a branch will bear fruit. This prophecy was given 250 years after David was born and 700 years before Jesus Christ. The promise is Jesus Christ as Isaiah looks 700 years forward in time.
Isaiah prophesied new hope, new life and revival. From the verse above we find that out of the stump will grow shoot, new life and new hope. This reminded us of God’s promises that they are true and amen.
Jesus Christ (our hope) came into this world for all, for the marginalized, the poor, the needy, the rich and the privileged. He is our All Inclusive Saviour.
Matthew identifies six groups in his Gospel that identifies Jesus as son of David…
Jesus came for:
- His own tribe (Matthew 1:1)
- He came for the blind (Matthew 9:27)- He is also here for the spiritually blind as well as the physically blind (Matthew 4:16)
- He came for the troubled and the curious (Matthew 12:22-23)- There’s power in the name of Jesus and He sets people free and gives hope.
- He came for the women and gentiles (Matthew 15:21-28) – He breaks the norm in those times and speaks to life to women and gentiles.
- Jesus came for the misplaced political expectations (Matthew 21:9)- The people assumed he was going to overthrow the Romans but didn’t know he was going to die for them, as a shepherd King. They crucified Him but regardless of our viewpoint and political class Jesus came for them all!
- Jesus came for children (Matthew 21:14-15)- God loves to hear praises of children, Jesus wants us to walk in childlike faith. Let’s never stop the next generation from praising God!
He’s the All Inclusive Saviour, His arms are open wide for everybody. There’s an invitation to come to Him today and allow Him to rule in your life. Will you yield to Him?
Kobe Addai, Riviera Life Church.
To catch the message in full please check out:
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 3rd April 2022.
Jesus Son of David, Set Apart Saviour.
The day before Joshua crossed the river and finally led the nation of Israel into the land God promised them, Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow God will do amazing things’. God’s desire is that we be God’s set-apart people, a consecrated community. And who better to teach us what it means to be set apart than Jesus Christ himself? This Sunday Jordan delved far into the past to help us understand who Jesus has always been.
Jesus Son of David: The Promised Set Apart Saviour
In the first chapter of the first book of the New Testament, we can read (if we resist the temptation to skip the list of names bit) the genealogy of Jesus, following the generations all the way from Abraham. David was the 26th great grandfather of Jesus! And so Jesus is known as the Son of David. This name for Jesus occurs in many places throughout the bible. There is a thread linking David to Jesus. And this link is important. David was a great king, a man after God’s own heart. David was a forefather of Jesus. Son of David. It’s like saying, if you think David is great, just wait till you see what Jesus can do!
‘When your days are over and you rest with the fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. I declare, the Lord will build a house for my Name and I will secure the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father and he will be my son.’ 2 Samuel 7:12-13
David’s friend Nathan heard this in a vision from God and he told David about it.
Our saviour was promised. It has always been God’s dream for humanity to be reunited with Himself. It says the same thing in 1 Chronicles 17: 12-13. Jesus’s life on Earth was not a last-minute idea but planned and promised for thousands of years, from the beginning of time. He was promised to us: the set-apart saviour.
He will come to you.
He will be your companion.
In Isaiah 11 we hear that he grows from the roots of Jesse (David’s father). It says ‘the spirit of the Lord will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. He will be quick to understand and shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. He will wear the truth like an undergarment.’
What can we learn from this?
Our heart-searching, set-apart saviour, Jesus Christ, doesn’t care about our outward image or appearance. He doesn’t care about our material possessions or accomplishments. He is focused on greater things. His focus is our hearts. He looks beyond our failure and shame. His intention is to captivate our hearts. God sees hearts as we see faces. And he discerns between them, noticing every detail. Our God cares about the condition of our hearts.
- Jesus Son of David: The Justice Delivering Set Apart Saviour
God is passionate about justice. If injustice is the norm in a place, this is the absence of God.
In Amos 5:24 it says, ‘Let justice roll on like a river.’
Where there is justice we are accepted, we are treated with respect and we are not discriminated against. We are all children of God. Justice for all is the heartbeat of God. Life can seem so unfair, but when you cry out to him for justice he will hear you and he will answer in his time.
- Jesus Son of David: The All-Powerful Set Apart Saviour
He only has to speak to shake the Earth. He only has to say it and miracles happen. His authority is the greatest. Nothing can stop his will.
After all the suffering Job experienced he acknowledged: ‘these are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who can comprehend the thunder of his power?’ Job 26:14
God created the world with a word. He filled it with life with only his breath. All we have seen is just the beginning. The power so far is merely his whisper. There is no limitation when we are protected by God’s power. No challenge can overwhelm him.
- Truth Telling Set Apart Saviour
Nothing can change the nature of God. ‘If we are faithless he remains faithful because he cannot deny himself.’ 2 Timothy 2:13
He doesn’t just tell the truth: He is Truth. What he has spoken over us is the truth. Whether you agree or believe it or not. So stop listening to the lies of the world that say you are not good enough. If he’s told you he has a plan for you then things will change. It’s the truth. Hold onto the promises of God. If he started something in your life he’s going to finish it. We must always remind ourselves that we are who he says we are. Our true identity is revealed:
Jesus is the only solid foundation. Eternal security is in what Christ has done for you.
Realise who you’ve been and what God has spoken over your life since the beginning of time.
The truth sets us free. It frees our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our spirits. Be free, it changes everything!
To catch all of Sunday’s service check out:
Erica Brown, Riviera Life Church.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 27th March 2022.
This Sunday we were absolutely blessed to have the wonderful, Angela Gaeta from Life Church in Austria!
Angela shared with us the amazing power of the little word, YES! It is a little word with a lot of power: The power of “Yes!”. Yes has the potential to shape us and position us for the future with God.
A little background for those who do not know Angela, she grew up in a Cornish Farmhouse in Launceston. Angela grew up in a Christian family and gave her life to Jesus at age of 10 years. She had a desire to do her bit for Jesus, so she started with leading assemblies at school with the help of Grandparents. At the age of 17 she went on a mission trip, to Vilac in Austria. When she returned from Austria, during her prayer, her heart grew for Austria and she began to pray for the nation.
Following this season, Angela felt God calling her to Austria. She was hesitant as first but in the end God gave her the understanding that He will do things through her in Austria! That was her “Yes!” that put a story in motion of her living out her response. Once Angela had decided to say “Yes!” she was stubborn and determined to follow her decision, sometimes this meant going against the grain and expectations around her. At the age of 19, Angela took on the journey of training with the Assemblies of God.
Angela believed God and He gave her a little insight. Angela met her husband and married at the age of 22. Moving to Austria and needing to learn German was part of a tough 3 years but during this time, Angela continued to say, “Yes!” to God. Despite their circumstances, they continued to declare, “Yes Lord, I believe!”.
At that time, in Austria, there were only 2000 believers out of 8 million people. But God promised her, if she stays in Austria people will be spiritually birthed. Angela and her husband planted a church and began to see conversions. For 40 years, they have continued to say “Yes!”, establishing churches in Austria, bringing people to faith, nurturing them to grow in Christ.
We can see the consequences of saying “Yes!” in John 6: 5-14. This is where we find the story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes.
In this passage of the Bible, we can see the Jesus came to feed the hungry. Jesus made a decision to say “Yes!” and partner with God. Similarly, the boy in the story also said “Yes!” when he gave his lunch box to the disciples.
It is in this way that Jesus is revealed in the midst of our “Yes!”, as we choose to partner with him, however we can give ourselves, whatever we have to give, say “Yes!”, to His call to see His kingdom come onto the earth as it is in heaven.
Where are we investing our energy and time? Continue to say “Yes!” to the Lord. Be a person who can resource others, a person of prayer, be hope for someone, give financially, there are many different ways that we can say “Yes!” to God.
The ripple effect of Angela’s “Yes!”, has seen 14 churches planted, 3 schools, and many other influences. The journey continues for us all. Continue to say “Yes!” to the Lord with whatever you have and wherever He takes you.
Kobe and Michelle Addai, Riviera Life Church
To hear the service in full check out:
For more information about the Impact Europe – please do contact:
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 20th March 2022.
Good afternoon RLC!
On Sunday Jordan rounded up our ‘Set Apart Life’ series looking into the life of David. Over recent weeks we have looked at how David was chosen and anointed, servant hearted, a giant killer, overcame opposition, formed Godly partnerships and made mistakes.
This week Jordan focused on how David was a ‘Sacrificial Servant’ and how we are all called to be those who now make sacrifices for God.
The passage of scripture he read from was 2 Samuel 24 vs 10-25. Jordan unpacked the lessons we can learn from these moments of sacrifice in David’s life.
- Sacrifice is a choice.
David is in a difficult situation and is poised with three choices. None of these choices are on paper good but it is David’s choice. God gives us free will to decide whether or not we sacrifice. He also throughout the Bible models to us the importance of sacrifice. John 3 vs 16 and Ephesians 5 vs 2 show us that God choice the ultimate sacrifice to bring us freedom.
- Our sacrifice highlights our master.
David made the choice to sacrifice to God rather than man. We all make sacrifices and to a master. If we refuse to sacrifice to God we will compromise and sacrifice to the world. In Matthew 6 vs 24 Jesus is clear that we cannot serve two masters.
Who is our true master?
Who will we sacrifice to today?
- Sacrifice starts with me.
The sacrifice God requires from us is our responsibility. We cannot delegate what God is requiring from us. It is our duty to sacrifice the things we desire to follow the call of God. For too long the majority have enjoyed the sacrifice of the minority in both the world and the Church.
Are you willing to take responsibility and live a life of sacrifice today?
- Sacrifice shifts us from being buried to building.
We read how David at the beginning of this passage is feeling guilty. He could easily become buried and overwhelmed by guilt. What is it in our lives that has the potential to bury and overwhelm us?
God instructed David to build an altar, a place of sacrifice. God’s desire for us is to shift from feeling buried to building. We are called to build a life and place of sacrifice!
- Sacrifice carries a cost.
David refused to take the land for free and instead paid the price. Sacrifice carries a cost the question is are we willing to pay the price?
Romans 12 vs 1
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of Gods mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
The cost to follow Gods call is EVERYTHING!
To lay our lives down as a living sacrifice.
Are we willing to pay the price to follow the call and example of God?
Have a great week RLC!
To listen to this message in full check out: https://youtu.be/kvA-ZCYgVhE
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 13 March 2022.
This Sunday Jordan continued our theme: The Set Apart Life: God’s Mistake Maker
David was set apart; a giant killer and anointed king who was a man after God’s own heart. But today’s story does not relate one of David’s best moments. David was one of God’s mistake makers, and we can be too. Have you ever made a mistake? Perhaps you’re currently living out the consequences of some of those mistakes? Then this message is for you.
In Samuel 11 we read about King David’s less-than-finest hour:
He saw a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, bathing. He knew she was married but sent for her anyway. Although her husband, Uriah was away at war, the affair left Bathsheba pregnant. David couldn’t convince Uriah to visit his wife so he sent him to the battle lines to be killed. Bethsheba had a son and, unsurprisingly, the Lord was displeased with what David had done.
- Lusts over a man’s wife;
- Commits adultery;
- Makes her pregnant;
- Tries and fails to cover it up;
- Sanctions a man’s death.
And yet, our God calls him a man after his own heart!
We may sit in judgement, but in reality we are no better than David. We are no better than the people around us. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are all in desperate need of God’s saving grace.
And one of God’s graces is that we can learn from mistakes. We can even learn from other people’s mistakes. What can we learn from the way David messed things up for himself and others?
- Neglecting the call of God will make us vulnerable
When his people were at war, David stayed in Jerusalem. He should have been leading his army in their fight against the Amonites. His soldiers were busy taking ground for God, but David neglected his responsibility and took it easy.
What talents and responsibilities am I neglecting? Because, in reality, I do not love Jesus when I neglect the call of his gifting.
- Wandering eyes lead to mistakes
David saw a beautiful, naked woman. And look what happened next! He eventually killed a man.
ALL MEN: If you see a naked woman, and she is not your wife, look away! Seriously, do not look at that naked lady.
Eyes wandering away from Jesus lead to something or someone else which will cause us to focus on ourselves and our own desires. Hebrews 12 tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
- Failure isn’t final
Our world tells us that the moment we make a mistake we are cancelled; excluded from further opportunity. We fail to live up to the unattainable standards this world dictates and are pushed aside. We are reminded over and over again about the ways in which we have failed.
Kingdom culture is so different. It always gives us another chance. No matter how many people we have hurt or how far we have wandered away from God. We are made right the moment we invite Jesus into our lives, because of the sacrifice He has made. We might mess up. But because of Jesus we can rise right back up again! We may stumble over and over but the kingdom of God says there is another chance for us. Through faith in Him our lives are being redeemed.
It is time for us to rise again!
God is a merciful God. He isn’t angry. He wipes our slate clean. Mercy is His speciality. We can be loved again because failure isn’t final. How do we know?
Because of David. After all he did he was the father of Solomon! After David’s greatest mistake he went on to father possibly the wisest man who ever lived. Soloman built the temple, a glorious thing to honour God. Solomom was the son of a mistake maker.
And there’s more. Fast forward a 1000 years. Jesus the messiah, King, and descendant of David. Jesus himself is in in the family line of a mistake maker!
We might have rejected David and pushed him aside. But God said ‘through your family the saviour of all humanity will be born.’
Let’s allow God’s spirit to break our mind-set of failure. Shame is not from God. He wants to take it away. He sets us free. He knows what you’ve done, but he loves you anyway and he still wants to use you.
Be defined by who God says you are.
Erica Brown, Riviera Life Church.
To hear this sermon in full check out: https://youtu.be/kW4jiIXacWQ
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 8 March 2022.
Good morning everybody!
What a great Sunday we have just had! I love the family of God! Once again it was so good that we could worship God together, encourage each other, and be challenged and inspired through the ministry!
On Sunday we had a visit from Linx. Linx is a wonderful Christian schools and youth work organisation that we support as a local church and in fact our very own Tim Funnell heads up Linx and Jordan Williams was a member of the team for a number of years. We were also joined by Philip Eley who works for Linx and he shared his passion and his heart for working with young people, it was so encouraging. Linx are doing a phenomenal job in reaching young people in our schools right across the Bay, sharing the love of Christ and being light and life to our young people. Linx deliver classroom lessons, they run various groups and clubs within the school, hundreds of young people are impacted by this ministry on a weekly basis. The impact that they are having is so good.
Did you know you can get involved!
- Pray for the team! Pray for our young people in Torbay. Pray for the secondary schools of Torbay.
- Give financially to the organisation so that it can fulfil the mission that it is called to.
- Join the Linx mentoring programme! You can get trained up as a volunteer and be released to spend 1 hour a week in schools giving quality time, attention to some of our young people who need your time and attention.
If you want to find out more about this mentoring scheme then please do check out: http://www.linxyouth.net
Our young people and children need you! Pray for them, love them!
Tim Funnell then continued our theme on the Set Apart Life and Godly Partnerships. It is so important that we have Godly Partnerships in our lives.
Question: Who are your key partners in life?
David had Jonathan. 1 Samuel 18:1 says there was an immediate bond between the two men ‘for Jonathan loved David’. You can really understand the story of Jonathan and David if you check out 1 Samuel 20.
Here are the take home points from Tim’s message on Sunday:
- Godly Partnerships Keep Us Going.
- Godly Partnerships Pay The Price.
- Godly Partnerships Create A Legacy.
Come on, let’s do our best to form ‘Godly Partnerships’ – we always need Godly partners who keep us going, who champion us, who hold us to account and vice versa! Who have you got? We need Godly partners who are willing to pay the price for each other, take risks for each other, who give their lives to and for each other. We need Godly partners who believe in the generations to come! Godly partners who create a great legacy!
You can catch the full message here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwrGneVXRto
Be blessed and encouraged.
Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 27 February 2022
Good morning everybody! On Sunday I had the joy of continuing our theme on the Set Apart Life and the title of the message was The Set Apart Life: David, God’s Man of Praise. Did you know this God is looking for men and women and boys and girls of ‘praise’! I believe this – when the praise goes ‘up’, blessings come down. When the praise goes ‘up’ – walls come down. When the praise goes ‘up’ – miracles happen. When the praise goes ‘up’ – the enemy shuts up. When the praise goes ‘up’ the atmosphere of faith increases. When the praise goes ‘up’ we are transported from the courts of praise into his presence. When the praise goes ‘up’ anything can happen. We were, we are created to praise.
Unlike our English definition of praise which means the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something, the Bible, particularly the Old Testament describes at least 7 different ways to praise. Check these out:
- Halel – means to praise Jehovah, it means to be boastful, to be excited, to enjoy. It is where we get the word ‘Hallelujah’. It involves the raising of hands. 2 Samuel 6:14, Psalm 149:3
- Yadah – which means to acknowledge in public and to extend the hand. Exodus 17:11; Psalm 28:7.
- Barak – means to ‘bless’ and with it to ‘bow down’. Exodus 34:8;Psalm 68:19
- Zamar expresses the idea of making music. Psalm 59:16-17
- Shabach means to address in a loud tone. Psalm 63:3; Isaiah 12:6
- Towdah means to bring a sacrifice of praise. Exodus 27:6-7; Psalm 50:23.
- Tehillah means to sing. Psalm 22:3; Isaiah 61:1-3
Bottom line there are so many ways which we can praise the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – we were created to praise. Let’s get our praise ‘on’. Here are three principles of praise that we learn from David and the Psalms:
- Turn your problems into praise. In Psalm 57 David finds himself in the Cave of Adullam, in the hills of Judah. (Judah means ‘praise’). He is on the run from King Saul. He is scared. He is frightened. He is lonely. Check out this Psalm because although he pours out his problems to the Lord, although he gives his complaint to the Lord (which we all should do) – he turns it all into praise. When he turns his problems into praise – his perspective also changes.
- Your praise is not restricted to a place. I am so glad that we can praise God anywhere! David knew this. As a young teenage boy on the fields looking after sheep, he learnt the art of praising God; he knew how to praise God before, during and after a battle, he could praise God in the Kings Court, he knew how to praise God when he was on the run, when he was hiding in a cave – he praised God… he knew how to praise God, with his whole body, totally undignified, without shame, without regard to himself in front of the whole nation as he celebrated the return of the Ark of God to Jerusalem. David demonstrated that our praise is not restricted to a place.
- Your praise is a weapon. I believe with my whole heart that Praise is a spiritual weapon. When we praise God, when we lift up his name, when we proclaim his greatness the enemy is silenced, demons flee, walls and strongholds come down. When we praise Him fear cannot survive. When we praise Him and give Him glory, He fights our battles, so we don’t have to. When the enemy reminds you of your problems, when the enemy reminds you of your position, your response needs to be praise. I believe that the enemy, the devil hates our praise… he hates the fact that despite the circumstances we find ourselves in, we will determine ourselves to praise God. Praise is a spiritual weapon that we have at our disposal. Praise helps us to focus on God and realize our need for Him, so turn the battle over to Him. Your praise is a weapon.
To hear the sermon in full check out – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTmt-Q4GakE&t=3584s
Be blessed and encouraged.
Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 20 February 2022
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 13 February 2022
‘Breakthrough’ with special guest Ps Tim Robertson.
The main passage studied was Luke 5:1-11.
In this passage Simon needed a breakthrough after a long night of work but no success. You might be in need of a breakthrough in finance, marriage, work, relationship with the Lord and other aspects of life. God can breakthrough any situation but most of the time He wants to involve us!
There were five principles that Tim drew out of the passage of Luke 5:1-11
Principle 1: It’s God’s will for you to have a breakthrough. God wants us to be successful, He has a plan, a hope and a future for us all in Him.
Time of reflection: What is your view of God? What is your perception of Him in your life?
We all want to be successful in the world and our life to have a meaning.
Word of wisdom: Significance is better than success. The greatest success is finding out what God wants for your life and been obedient to the call. God is looking for obedience, faith and trust in Him.
Principle 2: When Jesus asks you to do something or act, JUST DO IT! From verse 3 Jesus asks Simon to use his boat and gave him a set of instructions after teaching the people. We realise that every decision we make causes a chain reaction, a domino effect and Simon’s obedience to Jesus request led to a consequence.
Word of wisdom: Destiny is made up of lots of little things (decisions or acts) which leads to bigger decisions or acts. An example is the life of Joseph and his story from Genesis 37-48. Joseph had a glimpse of his future in a dream but he didn’t know how it was going to come to pass. Joseph has a domino effect to reach his destiny of what God showed him in his dream.
You may be much closer to your destiny than you think, perhaps you are going through a dark time but God is with you.
Question to reflect: Have you been obedient to the last thing Jesus asked you?
Be faithful in the small things and God will trust you with big things.
Principle 3: When life or situations get tough, “keep cleaning the net”.
Keep advancing even though situations might be difficult, stay in love, faithfulness, serving one another and the body, giving, prayer etc.
Hold fast unto Jesus Christ and be persistent even through failures and disappointments. “Keep maintaining the net”
Word of reflection: Are you maintaining the nets in your life?
Keep persevering and doing the right thing. Embrace the process and not just look out for the outcome.
Principle 4: A word from Jesus can make all the difference.
We find in the passage that Simon heard Jesus instructions and even though he didn’t comprehend it, he was obedient.
Word of reflection: Has God spoken a “deep water” word to you? What has been your response?
Sometimes God ‘s word challenges us in our ways. God can stretch your faith in what He is saying. “Breakthrough comes through obedience”
Principle 5: Don’t dwell on the past.
Simon initially gave excuses of working through the night and did not catch any fish but he was obedient in the end to Jesus call to cast the net. Don’t dwell on your past hurts to stop progressing into your future. Don’t get comfortable in you past but move forward into your breakthrough.
Step out, get involved in your miracle for His mercies are new every morning, God is doing a new thing, you need to move from your past hurts and allow healing from Christ.
Respond to God today in obedience, participate in what He is doing and see your breakthrough come forth in Him. Amen.
Kobe Addai, Riviera Life Church.
To catch on the service in full click on the following link.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 6 February 2022
The Set Apart Life – God’s Giant Killer.
Good morning everybody! On Sunday Caz spoke from 1 Samuel 17 about David and Goliath. It’s a great story and one that many people are familiar with. It is well worth the read. Click on the link above and check it out. There is so much we can learn from this story.
Setting the scene!
Pause for thought: Does it sometimes feel that day and night the devil is taunting and tempting us?
Stone 1: Preparation
Stone 2: Attitude
Stone 3: Perspective
Stone 4: Conviction
Stone 5: Victory
- What’s in your bag
- Are you ready to be a giant killer?
- What do we come ready and armed with?
- What Giant’s are in our lives that we need to strike down with a sling shot? It may be one of the below, or you/we may have a different kind of giant…
Be encouraged church that any of these can be knocked down by the best Giant Killer we know, and it’s in His name, JESUS, that we knock them down. He is the chief cornerstone. Let us also remember to cheer and clap together in VICTORY when we have knocked the head off/removed a giant from our lives.
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 30 January 2022
The Set Apart Life – God’s Servant
This Sunday we heard from the amazing Jonny B who continued with our theme of The Set Apart Life! Last week, Jordan introduced us to the Bible hero, David. David was set apart, chosen, anointed, he had a heart for God, he messed up but God loved him and used him.
This week, Jonny B took us on a deep dive into some of the life of David, looking at David, the servant. In our lives we can often have goals to not be a servant but to ‘rise to the top’. But, in God’s topsy turvey, upside down kingdom, the only requirement is servant hood. In Matthew 25:23, we find the words, “well done, good and faithful servant”, these are the words of approval we are living to hear.
David, our Bible hero, is referred to 16 times as “my servant, David” by God. Jonny B walked us through just some of the lessons we can draw from his remarkable example.
- Servants represent all ages
Age is not a barrier or an excuse to serve God. If we are old or young, or somewhere in the middle, we can serve God with the capacity we have. In 1 Samuel 16, we find David serving his father as a young boy. We can see many examples in the Bible of different ages serving God, often alongside each other. Mary, Jesus’ mother was a teenager while Caleb in his 80 was climbing mountains to kill sheep. Psalm 100:2 tells us to “serve the Lord with gladness”.
- Servants are humble
David loved God, loved his people, loved pouring something of himself back into others and bringing the marginalised back into the community, he was humble. Proverbs 11:2 states, “when pride comes then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom”.
David enters into some prideful circumstances. The nation of Israel, through its priestly and political leaders, had fallen into pride to the extent that the Ark of the Covenant, the very presence of God, is stolen in battle. In time, Samuel, a Prophet of the Lord, hears from God and speaks to the people. But they demand a king to lead the nation. Despite Samuel’s warnings, the people demand and Samuel relents. Saul is anointed King of Israel and despite a good start, arrogance, ego and position soon lead to pride. Saul is consumed with pride and God disowns him.
But God chooses David as the new King of Israel and David does not care about prominence or position! David was content looking after the sheep! David was not looking to be king, he was content serving his father. Servants of God are content.
- Servants keep sheep
Zechariah 4:10 – “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” David looked after sheep – it was the lowest position, a most humble position.
For David, keeping sheep was a training ground. It was a time when he learnt to care, tend and protect the flock, it was often thankless, hard-work, smelly and messy. But God gave David this time to learn and prepare. David teaches us that we are not to look down on the little things or despise them. God rejoices in the small things you do for him, so keep on doing these things to the best of your ability. It was out of this time, David wrote Psalm 24, “the Lord is my Sheppard”. Keeping sheep meant that David was not scared of danger, he wasn’t afraid of giants. It was in this training ground that David became known as a “brave warrior, a man of war who has good judgements” (1 Samuel 16:18).
What sheep are you keeping? Where is God giving you time? Where is your training ground?
David also shows us that true servants ever forget their sheep. When David was not required in the courts, he kept sheep. Never forget and always be prepared to return to your sheep.
- Servants serve
While David was out in the fields keeping sheep, he was out of the family loop and trust. He served faithfully those in authority and leadership. David was called to serve Saul, King of Israel, even though he had already been anointed as the next king. But he waited for Gods timing.
Ephesians 6:5-8: Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
Servants serve. Wherever you are, at work, at home and at church, with your family and with your friends, serve your leaders and those in positions of authority as if your are serving God himself. Pastor Bill Johnson put it this way, “Royalty is my identity, servant hood is my assignment. Intimacy with God is my life source”.
Are you signing up for a life set apart today? Are you signing up to servant hood today? Here I am, God! Use me.
To hear the full sermon click on this link.
Michelle Addai, Riviera Life Church
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 24 January 2022
Good morning everybody!
On Sunday morning Jordan continued with our theme The Set Apart Life and he introduced us to the Bible hero David. During the course of the next few weeks as a church we are going to delve into the life of David, you may know him as the giant slayer, you may know him as a great warrior king, you may have read his wonderful poetry and songs of worship in the Psalms but there is so much more that we can learn from this man. David had his faults and his failings, he was an adulterer, a murderer yet it was God who called David ‘a man after his own heart’. It was God, who despite all this, still set David apart from the rest. Acts 13:22 (MSG) reads like this:
He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him’.
The Set Apart Life: God’s Chosen and Anointed One!
Check out 1 Samuel 16 vs 1-13, it is well worth the read because this chapter details and allows us to read about the significant moment when David receives his ordination for a life of service to God! David’s brothers and father also witnessed the events that took place and they too realise that their youngest brother, the ‘forgotten’ son has been chosen by God. This is the moment where the boy becomes the man of God! This is the moment of David’s personal growth and expansion! The moment David is chosen and anointed! There are a few things that we can learn from this chapter:
1) God chooses the overlooked and forgotten about!
You may have been overlooked and forgotten about by people but God has never taken his eye off you! God hasn’t stopped watching your faithfulness. God hasn’t stopped guiding your life. God hasn’t forgotten about you. He sees the hurt, the pain, the insecurity and the frustration of constantly being overlooked and He will never overlook you or forget you.
2) God looks for motive over material success!
We live in a world that celebrates, promotes and idolises material success. We live in a world that recognises material success as the only success worth attaining. We live in a world where there is so much pressure to have the newest, fastest, strongest, most expensive things and if we don’t have material success there is something wrong and we have failed! The truth is this is a backwards and a wrong measure of success!Success has nothing to do with our material gain and it is all do to with our motive. God has no care for our outward appearance and He will only ever look at our heart!
3) The chosen and anointed are filled with the Holy Spirit!
David only became recognised as one of the greatest Kings in the history of Israel because he was empowered by the Holy Spirit! The only way we can live set apart is by the power of the Holy Spirit! The only way we can impact a community and nation is by the power pf the Holy Spirit! The only way marriages and families can be set apart is by the power of the Holy Spirit! The only way the Church can be set apart is when we are filled with the Holy Spirit! Are our lives full of the Holy Spirit?
4) We are now the chosen and anointed ones!
There are so many lessons to learn from David’s life and faith! God has now chosen and anointed us for a new season! God has chosen us and anointed us for a new day! God has chosen and anointed us for a specific task!
Be blessed and have a great week!
Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church
To hear the sermon in full check out this link.
Ministry Reflection: Saturday 15 January and Sunday 16 January 2022
Good morning everybody!
We have just experienced an awesome weekend at Riviera Life Church. As you will know by now Pastors Ian and Jackie Williams passed the baton of Senior Leadership to Jordan and Naomi Williams in what can only be described as a ‘significant’ weekend in the life of Riviera Life Church which marked the culmination of a 2 year transition process. God is on the move! God is working! God is doing something brand new in the life of this great church and the challenge to us is – are we going to step up? Are we going to run the race that is set out before us? It is time to run our best lap yet.
As we reflect on this past weekend there is so much to consider, so much to act on. Why don’t you re watch Saturday’s Induction and Commissioning Service of Jordan and Naomi and our Sunday service which we entitled the ‘Set Apart Legacy’, this service was ‘gold’.
On Saturday – we were blessed to have Ps. Misheck Manahana from Riverside Family Church in Southampton. Ps. Misheck is a longstanding friend of the Ministry Team here at RLC and he is also the South West Leader for Assemblies of God, the group of churches of which we are a part. In his address to the church on Saturday, Misheck read from Acts1:4-8 on the outpouring and promise of the Holy Spirit.
In this season, God is leading us to a place where we need to produce ‘evidence’. In short, a disciple of Jesus needs to become a witness. As Christ followers, as the church, are we willing to move from being just a disciple, to a disciple that is also a witness? Are we willing to take the stand and give evidence? Misheck challenged us with three points:
- When we walk with the Holy Spirit this journey becomes a lot easier. We are able ‘to do’.
- The Holy Spirit gives us the provision to ‘grow’.
- The Holy Spirit gives us the ‘purpose to go’.
We can’t just stay – we must ‘go’. We are called to become witnesses and produce evidence.
You can catch Saturday’s induction service in full here.
Sunday: The Set Apart Legacy.
(Thanks to Kobe Addai for making some great notes in this service!).
In Sunday’s service we set aside time to interview and honour Ian and Jackie for over 27 years of incredible service to RLC. To that end, we did something different and interviewed Ian and Jackie to ‘tap into’ and learn from their story as we move forwards into this new season. The questions we asked included:
- How did you end up planting a Church in Torquay?
- What have been some of the challenging moments of the past 27 years?
- What have been some great moments over the last 27 years that have caused great joy for you?
- What lessons have you learnt in life and Christian ministry to pass on to the next generation?
- What are you looking forward to in the future?
Following are a few of the ‘takeaway’ points from question no:4 (see above), these answers were ‘gold’.
- You will always make mistakes, learn from them.
- You are human.
- Know that sometimes people will let you down but learn to forgive,
- Do not harbour resentment and hurt.
- Remember to love always.
- Hold on to things God gives you but don’t let it define you. Let go when God says to let go! Always remember it’s God and when it is done, let go!
- In the good and in the bad, God is always faithful.
- Men in leadership: Love your bride, more than you love the bride of Christ.
- Love and also invest in your family more than you love and invest into the church.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously, take your role seriously but not yourself or you lose yourself and your joy!
You can check out the whole interview here.
Please continue to pray for and thank God for Ian and Jackie as they step into a new and exciting season of serving God, the community and the Church.
Pray for Jordan and Naomi as they take on the Senior Leadership of RLC.
Pray for RLC and our community. God is on the move!
It’s time to run our best lap yet!
Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader.
Riviera Life Church
If you would like to contribute to these written devotionals or to our video devotionals throughout the week then please do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 9 January 2022
2022: Set Apart
Good morning everybody!
I am writing this devotional on the back of what only can be described as an outstanding Sunday of Worship and Word. On Sunday 9 January our new Senior Leader, Jordan Williams, fresh out of isolation (!) delivered some phenomenal ministry as he outlined our theme ‘Set Apart’ for 2022. I would encourage you to check out the full sermon, you can access it here, but following are some of the key headlines and take home points that I would encourage us to chew on as we press forward into all that God has got for us!
2022: Set Apart
At the beginning of the Book of Joshua we discover that Moses the great leader of Israel has died and Joshua has succeeded him. Joshua is and certainly becomes a great leader but initially and understandably he is daunted by the size of the task ahead of him. During the course of the first few chapters of this incredible book God speaks with Joshua filling him with confidence, hope, vision and that all important sense of mission and purpose that he needs to lead the people of God from the wilderness into the Promised Land.
By the time we get to Joshua chapter 3, Joshua is poised and prepared to cross the River Jordan and from there to take Jericho and in so doing he has to prepare the people of Israel for what is to come. He says these words:
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5
The word ‘consecrate’ means to ‘make holy, to sanctify, to make clean, to dedicate towards!’ It means to be ‘Set Apart’.
Joshua commands the people of God to be set apart! To set apart their thoughts from the world! To set apart their conversations from the world! To set apart their actions from the world! To set apart their habits from the world! To set apart their behaviours from the world! To set apart their marriages from the world! To set apart their families from the world! To set apart their community from the world!
Joshua’s challenge was to set a new standard. To create a new normal!
To forge a new path! To ignore the way of the world and to set themselves apart!
What a challenge to us today!
What are we aiming for this year?
What are you aiming for in 2022?
Our aim determines our destination! If we aim for what the world aims for we will get what the world gets! We will end up selfish, greedy, broken, lost, hurting, messed up, material focused, a dysfunctional mess!
But… if we set ourselves apart, if we aim for Heaven we will be a people full peace, love, joy, hope, faith. We will be a generous, kind, loyal, forgiving and found people! We will shift from striving to thriving! We will shift from pain to purpose! We will shift from backstabbing to building up! We will shift from hurting to helping! This only happens when we set ourselves apart and aim for heaven!
In 2022, let’s follow His presence, let’s get into His presence. Just like the children of Israel followed the Ark of God. It is in His presence where lives are changed and transformed, it is in His presence where we receive revelation.
Let’s chase His presence and set ourselves apart in 2022!
Be blessed and encouraged.
Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader.
Riviera Life Church.
If you would like to contribute to these written devotionals or our video devotionals throughout the week then please do let us know at email@example.com
Ministry Reflection: Sunday 2 January 2022
Good morning Riviera Life Church! Happy New Year!
Every Wednesday as part of our 2022 Devotional and Discipleship plan we aim to take a moment to reflect on the ministry that has taken place on the previous Sunday through a written devotional. You can access these devotionals via our website (https://rivieralife.co.uk/resources/blog); through your inbox or via our Face Book page. You can then use these thoughts and reflections for your own study and devotions or they can be used as part of our wider Life Group set up. By the way if you are not part of a Life Group please do let us know and we would love to get you plugged in!
On Sunday Ps Ian Williams spoke a great encouraging yet challenging message to us about our expectations for 2022. Do you have ‘Great Expectations’ for 2022? What is the level of your expectation?
Ephesians 3: 20 says these incredible words:
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
This verse helps us to have Great Expectations. So, with all that in mind here are 4 points that we were challenged with:
1. What do you see in 2022?
It’s time to embrace a new mentality. In Genesis Abram stepped outside the limitations of his tent and he ‘looked out’ and he ‘looked up’ at what God had in store. It’s time to ‘look out’ and it’s time to ‘look up’.
So what do we see as a church for 2022?
- The fields are ripe unto harvest.
- The church reaching out.
- The new leadership breaking new ground!
2. Don’t just survive in 2022, thrive and flourish!
Let’s thrive and flourish throughout the year. Check out Psalm 1! If you want to thrive and flourish be like the man who ‘delights in the law of the Lord, meditates on it day and night, like trees planted along the river bank, bearing fruit each season’. If you plant yourself in Him, you will thrive and flourish.
3. Raise the bar!
It’s time to raise the bar of our expectation. It’s time to raise the bar in prayer. It’s time to raise the bar in our public worship, come on – let’s lean in – together. Let’s determine ourselves that we will raise the bar in our commitment to God, in our devotion to Him, let’s be determined to lean in when we meet together to worship Him and hear and receive from His Word.
4. Look to the horizon.
With the eyes of faith let’s look to the horizon! There is a cloud on the horizon filled with ‘rain and blessing’. To take hold of all that God has got for us this year we need to let gossip go, let negativity go and make sure our declarations, our confessions and our proclamations are edifying and worthy of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
2022 is going to be a great year. We have ‘Great Expectations’!
To access Sunday’s message in full, please do click on this link:
Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.