Riviera Life Church: Sunday Reflections 2022.

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 11th December 2022

Jesus Is… Hope

Good morning everybody! On Sunday Tim Funnell brought us a timely and much needed message that Jesus is Hope. To fully appreciate the message and service in its entirety please do check out https://youtu.be/cV00gQHLO90

Following are some excerpts and thoughts from Tim’s powerful message:

Hope is so significant.

Hope is needed in a world that is ‘lacking’ in hope.

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.

Here’s the question:  What do you hope in? What do you hope for? What stirs hope in you? Who do you put your hope in? Is your hope in Jesus? Very often we get it wrong and although there is nothing necessarily wrong with these things we very often misplace our hope in people, events, things. How we need to put our hope in Jesus.

Isaiah 40:31 says these incredible words, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’.

Our hope is found in the Lord, our hope is found in Jesus. It’s knowing Jesus that must motivate God’s people to gather. It’s knowing Jesus that must be our reason to sing. It’s knowing Jesus himself that must drive us to share the VERY Good News of a real living Jesus… because only Jesus can truly give us something to hope for no matter what! No matter what this life throws at us, no matter what hand we get dealt, no matter how much we succeed or how much we fail, Jesus is Hope, everyday! Jesus is my hope in every moment, on every dark day.

Hebrews 10:23 gives us this encouragement:

‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.’

Furthermore 1 Peter 1:3-4 says:

‘Praise be to God! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade’.

I am so glad that my hope is in Jesus. The reality is that sometimes our world crumbles around us and collapse around us. Life is tough. We all have dark days. Did you know this – it is ok to ‘lament’ to God, to pour out your grief and sorrow to Him. The Psalmist did this time and time again. His hope in God never diminished but he gave it all to God. In the Old Testament Jeremiah, a prophet, wrote a book called Lamentations – where he ‘laments’, where he passionately expressed and pours out his grief, his sorrow, his complaint whilst maintaining his hope, his belief in God. We need to get better at ‘lament’. Lamentations 3:17-24 reads like this:

17Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I cry out, “My splendour is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” 19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Let’s take encouragement today – our hope is in Jesus Christ. This Christmas let’s live out lives that scream ‘Jesus is… hope’.

God Bless

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 4th December 2022

Jesus Is…Life

Good morning everybody, on Sunday I had the privilege of continuing our Christmas theme, Jesus Is… My title for Sunday’s message was Jesus Is Life! Before we go any further let’s read John 1:1- 18(you can click on the link).

What we have just read here is powerful and we could spend weeks upon weeks taking these few revelatory verses apart – you see contained in these few verses is the whole Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. You may have some questions about the opening statements of John’s Gospel. Who is The Word that is being talked about? Is The Wordanother name, another reference to the baby that was born in a manger? Is The Wordanother name for the 12 year old lad who was found talking and teaching in the temple, astounding the teachers of the law with his words and wisdom… and who later told his mother that he is about His fathers business? Is The Word a reference to the rabbi who said to a group of fisherman ‘Come and follow me’? Is The Word a reference to the man who went into a temple and shouted ‘My house will be called a house of prayer…’? Is The Worda reference to the man who with the power of His Words could heal the sick, raise the dead, calm the storm, drive out demons? Is The Word a reference to the man who made statements such as ‘I am the bread of Life’, ‘I give eternal Life’, ‘I am the messiah’… ‘I am the way, the truth and the life…’? Is The Word speaking about a man who was betrayed and arrested, questioned, tortured and hung to death on a cross for all of mankind? Is The Worda reference to Him on the cross whose last words were victorious and filled with power… ‘It is finished’? Is The Word a reference to the Him who declared ‘I am the resurrection and the Life?’ The Word that the author of John’s Gospel is referring to… is Jesus! The Word is Jesus.

Jesus is called the Word because when He speaks, Life is created. When He speaks, light enters and darkness flees. When He speaks, demons tremble. When He speaks, peace is restored. When He speaks miracles happen. When He speaks the sick are healed. When He speaks the dead are raised. When He speaks Hope is imparted. When He speaks lives are changed and transformed. When He speaks everybody listens. When He speaks the deepest questions of life are answered. He is called the Word because He wants to communicate something special and something powerful to us. He is The Word from God to us.

Jesus is not only the Word but he is the Light (vs 9); He is Love and Faithfulness (vs 14); He is the unique one (vs18). The description of Jesus, the statement about Jesus, the truth about Jesus, that we are focusing on is Jesus is Life. When I say the word ‘Life’ what do you think of? What is your view of Life? How do you see Life? How do you define Life? We all have different definitions and views on life depending upon our experience and our circumstance. This Christmas why not check out the film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, a beautiful Christmas film about a man, George Bailey who feels that ‘life’ has failed him, so much so he decides to give up on life until he is persuaded otherwise by an angel.

Whilst the film It’s a Wonderful Life is fictional – the sentiments contained are all too familiar. This year I have heard too many comments ‘about Life’ that sadden me. For lots of reasons too many people are simply existing and surviving. Here is my promise. When you meet Jesus, when you encounter Jesus, when you make him Lord of your life, your life will change forever! You will experience a freedom that you never knew. John 8:36 says this ‘so if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed…’. Disillusionment will be turned into joyous hope. Hurts and pains of the heart will be lifted. Anxiety will be dissolved in a moment. Your mourning will be turned into dancing. Discouragement will be replaced with encouragement. Sadness with laughter. Your view of life will change, your view of people will change, your view of God will change. Instead of impossibilities you will see possibilities, a smile will start to erupt on your face, joy in your heart, a spring in your step because this morning Jesus is Life. How do I know – because The Word of Life said it and I believe it. In John 14:6, Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the Life’. Life is more than just existing, it is more than just breathing… it is about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, it is about knowing freedom that can only be found in him, my Bible says ‘in Him we live and move and have our being’. Our hope is found in Him, our joy, is found in Him, our peace is found in Him Jesus is Life.

  1. Jesus is… The Beginning of Life

We exist because of Him. John the author of this gospel who is writing in old age has had divine revelation. Jesus you were there at the beginning of time, you created the world, you formed the stars, you made the sea, you made animals, plants, vegetation, your design was phenomenal – when you spoke creation happened. Not one thing was made without your personal involvement. We exist because of Jesus!!!

  1. Jesus is… The Giver of New Life

John 1:4 says ‘the Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone…’.

John 1:10 says He came into the world He created and to those who believed in Him and accepted Him He gave the right to become children of God.

John 3:5 – Jesus is talking with an inquisitive teacher of the law, Nicodemus and he says ‘I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life…’.  Later on Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3:16, For God so loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son…’.

  1. Jesus is… Life Eternal

Jesus is the Word at the beginning and he is also The Word at the end. John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life…’. Many people would say that when you die – that is it, nothing… but I believe this, my unfailing hope is this, that God has put eternity in the hearts of men, there is something more, there is something greater, we are just passing through from this life to eternity, and when we die, when He calls us home, we get to be with Him, The Word, Jesus forever. We carry on living! We get to fully experience, fully encounter, fully know his presence, his abundance in ways we only experience in part on this earth no wonder the Psalmist says in Psalm 23… ‘that I may dwell in the House of the Lord forever’. I love what the Lamb of God says in Revelation 1:17-18 ‘Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look – I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave!’ Jesus Is… Life Eternal.

To watch the service in full you can check out: https://youtu.be/lEQYlJ0ymjE

God Bless

Jon Baldwin

Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church 

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 27th November 2022

Jesus Is…

Good morning everybody. This year we as a team were discussing and praying what our theme should be and we landed on a theme and title that almost feels unanswered but actually is the answer to every question we will ever have! ‘Jesus is…’

This Christmas we unashamedly declare Jesus! This Christmas our only focus is Jesus! This Christmas our only pursuit is Jesus!

Jesus fully man and fully God! Jesus the one at the beginning and end of time. Jesus our redeemer, Lord, creator. Jesus the bread of life, son of the living God, Only begotten son, beloved son. Jesus the holy one of Israel, wonderful counsellor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace. Jesus the King of kings, Lord of lords, Head of the Church, the almighty one! Jesus the alpha and omega, the master, King of Jews. Jesus the High priest, prophet, teacher, Immanuel. Jesus our advocate, mediator, judge! Jesus the chief cornerstone, author and finisher of our faith! Jesus the lamb of God, good shepherd, the rock, the true vine. Jesus the bridegroom, the lion of Judah, the bright and morning star.Jesus the son of man, the great I am, the way, the truth, the life. Jesus the healer, provider, deliverer. Jesus the Christ and Messiah. Jesus King who has come and is coming again!JESUS OUR LIVING SAVIOUR!

Jesus has to be the centre of everything we do! We make the decision that at RLC Jesus is the centre! He is and will always be the most important person! He is and will always be our only focus! He is and will always be our only pursuit! He is and will always be the centre!

Pope Benedict XVI said these words:

“Jesus, the Word incarnate, is always the centre of our announcement, the point of reference for our evangelising mission and for its methodology, because He is the human face of God, who wishes to meet all men and women so as to bring them into communion with Him, in His love.”

When we truly make him the centre everything changes! When we truly submit and surrender to his love and Lordship our perspective changes, our hearts change, our lives radically change! Jesus is and has to be the centre!

1) Jesus the centre of the Church.

Jesus has to be the centre of the Church. When everyone is pointing to themselves lets follow the example of John the Baptist and point to the greater one! Point to the one who its truly all about! He doesn’t belong on the fringe, He doesn’t belong on the circumference but he belongs in the centre! It is His church. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “I will build MY Church and the gates of hell will not overcome it.”

This Church is His! He started it, he’s building it and he’s coming to reclaim it! This Church belongs to Jesus and Jesus alone! He is central, He is our focus, and He is building it!

Check out what Ephesians 2:19-22 about His church!

Our family, the body of Christ, the Church is built around the true cornerstone! The cornerstone that is central. The cornerstone that is laid first and every other stones aligns towards! The true cornerstone that is Jesus! Jesus is the centre, the cornerstone and the head of the Church!
Jesus is all that matters! We decide today that Jesus is and will always be the centre of the Church!

2) Jesus is the centre of our Worship and Message!

Too many times I have been at conferences where we are worshipping and singing songs that are focused on us! Too many times I have sat through messages that are nice and good but all about us! Can I be honest? I’m bored of worship that isn’t Jesus centred! I’m bored of messages that don’t shout about Jesus! Lets not waste time focusing on things other than Jesus! I thank God for our worship team that lead us into the presence of God every week with eyes fixed on Jesus. I thank God for leadership teams that hear from God and plan everything around Jesus! I thank God for everyone who stands on this platform and preaches Jesus! Worship and the Gospel is all about Jesus!

3) Jesus is the centre of our Hearts!

Above all else Jesus wants our hearts! Proverbs 4: 23 says, Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Whatever is the centre of our hearts impacts every other area of our lives! What we love we worship, what we love we serve, what we love we follow! We’re instructed to guard and be vigilant with our hearts!
The greatest way to guard your heart is to place it in the hands of God! To place it in the hands of our protector and defender! To place it in the hands of the one who died in our place! To place it in the hands of our father who sees us as his greatest creation! When Jesus is the centre of our hearts we live a life consumed with Gods love! In John 21:15 says: ‘When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’

In 2000 years the question hasn’t changed! Jesus is asking do you love me? Do you love me more than anything and anyone? Our love for him is far greater than our call from him!Today’s love is more important than yesterday’s call! This Christmas all He wants is to be the centre! The centre of the Church! The centre of our worship! The centre or our message! The centre of our hearts!

God Bless, Jordan Williams

Senior Leader, Riviera Life Church.

To watch the service in full, you can click on the following link:




Ministry Reflection: Sunday 20th November 2022

Interview with Hannah Aske.

Good morning everybody! On Sunday it was so good to be together, I love the family of God, there is no place like home. On Sunday we were able to enjoy a great interview between Jordan and our newly appointed Children’s and Family worker, Hannah Aske. It was great to be able to get to know Hannah further, how and why she became a Christian and to hear her speak about her heart for children and young people, her heart for outreach and investment into the next generation. To hear the full conversation you can click on the following link: https://youtu.be/zFqpH9on9LI

Here are a few highlights from the conversation between Jordan (J) and Hannah (H):


J: What is your passion for the next generation?

H: The next generation is Generation Alpha! It’s an amazing generation, there is so much potential yet there is so much challenge, how does God fit in?  Kids need a solid foundation. How are we as a church discipling our kids, how as parents are we daily discipling our children? How are we bringing Jesus into the everyday life of our children. Our children need a solid foundation to build their lives on. Let’s invest, let’s disciple and let’s invest in the next generation.

J. This generation is ‘pre Christian’, the generation coming through have no understanding of Jesus, we have a great opportunity to tell them about Jesus. These children and young people can change the world.

J. What is your vision for the children and young people here in Torbay?

H. I have a passion to pioneer, to start something new. Children’s and youth ministry does not have to be complicated. Children and young people want you to be there! My heart is outreach, to get out there and tell kids about Jesus, provide a good environment for them to hear the good news. I also have a heart for discipleship, our kids and young people need a solid foundation. Let’s see our kids full of the Holy Spirit and released in their God given gifts. I also want to set up a junior leadership programme, lets equip our kids and young people. Further afield lets be a resource to churches who need help with their children and young peoples ministries. Let’s help to make that change.

J.How can we help?

H. Please pray! Get involved – volunteer and support for our children’s ministry. Talk to me (Hannah) about what you as parents are doing in the home regarding the discipling of children in the home. If you need help and support please come and talk to me!

God Bless, Jon Baldwin,

Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 13th November 2022

Let It Go

On Sunday we had another incredible Sunday and joining us was special guest speaker Ps. Roy Morely. Roy is the England leader for Assemblies of God and Senior Leader of NET Church in Dartford, Kent. Roy’s title for his message was ‘Letting Go’. Did you know this, we have to let go of things that hold us back! Check out Philippians 3.

It is quite clear in this passage that as followers of Jesus Christ we are to live a life where our confidence is not in our own ability, but our confidence is in Christ Jesus. All of our achievements are nothing compared to what God wants to do in us and through us. What God has got for each and everyone of us will take more than our own achievements. Don’t rely on yourself, don’t rely on your talents and skills but instead step out in faith, put your trust in God, He has got something great in store for you. Put your reliance on God. What God has got for you – you can’t make it happen.

Did you know this, we have to let go of the past. The past holds us back. We look back at our past and sometimes we wish the past was different. The trouble is all that stuff can hold us back. We can be so fearful sometimes that we may make the same mistake again that we can’t move forward. It is possible we can build up a fear of things that don’t even exist and these things can hold us back from being everything God wants us to be. Let go of fear, let go of rejection, let go of the fear of making mistakes! We have also got to let go of unforgiveness and we must stop holding grudges!

Paul says ‘let go’ so you can move forward. We are not designed to carry everything that went wrong in the past. We must forgive. The Lords Prayer puts it like this ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us’.  Psalm 103 says ‘As far as East is from West how far as He removed our sins from us’. Did you know this, the known universe is 95 billion light years in any direction… this is amazing, our sin is gone, we can’t find it… as far as the east is from the west, He has removed our sin from us!

Pause for thought.

What do we need to ‘Let Go’ of so we can be used by God in a mighty way? What is stopping us, what is robbing us from stepping into all that God has got for us? What do we need to do?

Can I encourage us all to re watch the sermon, Roy shared so much ‘gold’ with us, it is worth another watch! You can catch the sermon and the whole service here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay4TfUAbg84

God Bless Jon Baldwin

Associate Leader Riviera Life Church

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 6th November 2022

Praise, Prayer, Prophetic

Good morning Riviera Life Church!

Sunday was something else! On Sunday as a leadership team we purposefully decided that there would be no 25 min preaches to a particular theme but instead we would worship, praise and be totally open to what God wanted to say and do. We are a praying, praising and prophetic people. Sunday did not disappoint. An hour and a half flew by – we could have continued for another hour, two hours even! During the course of our time there were so many precious moments and God spoke to us through different people, we were blessed, we were encouraged, we were challenged. During the course of the service one thing was apparent – people want more of God, people are hungry, people are thirsty. Here’s the challenge, God wants to do it all over again, today, in your life! When we worship and praise God with passion and intentionality, when we allow God to ‘have it all’, when we surrender to God, when we empty ourselves of ‘ourselves’, when we pause, when we stop and drop everything then God will speak, move and act by His Spirit. The Bible says that God inhabits or lives or dwells in the praises of His people.

Following are some of the themes and an overview of what was shared on Sunday, to watch the whole service in context you can click on the following link:

Gary Korpas, our worship leader off the back of the beautiful song ‘Goodness of God’ shared the poem ‘Footprints’. God is always there. God is carrying you.

Jordan Williams, Senior Leader – led us into communion by sharing from Mark 14. Sometimes Jesus asks us to do things that don’t make sense. When we obey the voice of Jesus, we will find things just as Jesus said. Don’t underestimate the power of the cross. Don’t become complacent with the cross and the One who hung on it.

Claire Funnell – shared a testimony of her friend who had a tumour and who has come out of the operation better than expected. The real story is that Claire’s friend has an overwhelming sense of ‘Peace’ even with everything she is going through. Whatever you are going through you can know and experience His Peace. Philippians 4 ‘Be anxious for nothing… the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts… the God of Peace will be with you.

Angela HamilitonLuke 7:11 – Jesus said to the woman whose son had died ‘don’t cry’. When the saviour says ‘don’t cry’ your breakthrough is coming. He has got you, He has got your situation. Your breakthrough is coming.

James – God wants to give you all his goodness and his love. Empty our hands before Him, empty our hands of our stuff so we can receive all the Father has got for us. He wants to give you His Peace.

Ian Williams – In the year 2022 / 2023 Country there are a myriad of voices speaking crisis, confusion, frustration, anger. These voices are not shedding light but casting shadows into a wilderness of uncertainty. Isaiah 40 and John 1 – talks about a voice in the wilderness, ‘shouting out’, making a way where there appears to be no way. Why? So the glory of the Lord to be revealed, His infinite perfection, prominence and presence.

What is God saying to us as a church?

We have enjoyed 11 months of excitement, high energy and preparation.
God is preparing and positioning us for expansion. Expansion means to extend, enlarge, increase, multiply, shift, stretch and expand. Just as Naomi (and Jordan) are expecting a baby in the natural, the Holy Spirit has for the past months been weaving something supernatural in the hearts of the leaders at Riviera Life Church, the end date is drawing near. 2023 is going to be a time of increase, expansion and extension.

1. RLC will expand numerically.
2. RLC will expand spiritually.
3. RLC will expand in favour.
4. RLC will expand in blessing.

Let’s pray the prayer of Jabez found in 1 Chronicles 4:10

There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. 
His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, 

Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain! Amen.
And God granted him his request.

What an amazing morning! God spoke. Let’s respond to God’s Word and lean into all that He is saying. If you felt you had a word from God, or God has been speaking to you why not write it out and share it with us. You can email: info@rivieralife.co.uk

God Bless

Jon Baldwin Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 30th October 2022

Set Apart Relationship Goals: Friendships

On Sunday Caroline concluded our theme of Set Apart Relationship Goals by talking to us on the theme of friendships and the different types of friendships we can have in the work place. We all have different types of friendships:

  • Life long friends
  • People known a long time
  • Best friends
  • Close friends
  • Social group friends
  • Activity friends
  • Friends of convenience 
  • Acquaintances  

The dictionary definition of friendship is:  

‘Friendship, a state of enduring affection, esteem, intimacy and trust between two people’.

The reality is this you really will only have a small number of best friends.  The Bible shows us an example of a great friendship between David and Jonathan. You can read about this very special friendship in 1 Samuel 18 and there are a number of lessons that we can learn from this relationship.

  1. Recognise the type of friendship. 

Jonathan was King Saul’s son and set to be the next King.  However, he would have been watching David, he would have been aware that every time his Dad was in a rage that he called for David to play the harp.  David had been Saul’s armour bearer and he had now killed Goliath. Jonathan was not jealous of the favour that David had with Saul and instead recognised their special friendship.

1 Samuel 18:1-3 says these words:

‘After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David and he loved him as himself.  From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself’

  1. Friendships means giving of yourself. 

Have you ever noticed that the people with the least friends are the most unfriendly people! Proverbs 18:24 puts it like this: ‘A man who has friends must himself be friendly’.

Jonathan gave of himself to David. He saw something in him and as a sign of their friendship he gave of himself to David.  

  1. Friendship require wisdom.  

We need wisdom when we make our friends. Proverbs 22:24 -25 says ‘Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may  learn their ways and get yourself ensnared’. In short, we become who we hang around. Friendship is about wisdom, friendship needs wisdom. Galations 6:2 tells us to ‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.’

There are some burdens in friendship that are great to bear and you have to have wisdom. How do we get wisdom? The Bible says to ask God for it!

  1. Friendships can bring influence. 

John Maxwell a Christian leader and recognised leadership guru in the business world describes how our influence can be 360 degrees.  We can influence those below us, those on the same level as us and those who are above us.

Jonathan encouraged his friend in God who in turn would become his leader as King. He then offered to support him! But notice how the two of them renewed their commitment to each other.  Sometimes when we go though hard times it’s good to renew those key friendships to affirm again how important certain friendships are for the way ahead.   

Friendships or associates can influence for good or bad, Proverbs 27:17 says ‘As Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another’. 

Ultimately as Christians we want to build friendships that can help each other grow in God. Equally we need to build friendships with those who aren’t Christians too.  You need non-Christian friends.   Look at the friends Jesus had! He was the friend of sinners, he made friends with everyone. That is an example to us all. Here are a few questions:

  • How friendly are you to your work colleagues?
  • Do your colleagues like you?
  • How well do you speak of your boss?
  • How do you speak about your boss?
  • Do you ever tell your boss you are praying for them?  
  • What sort of reputation do you have at work are you known for your kindness and generosity? 
  • Do you support your colleagues and genuinely show and interest in them? 
  1. Friendships should leave a legacy 

Many years later David inquires about descendants of Saul and Jonathan. It would have been normal to have killed all the descendants of the enemy.  But David spared one. Jonathan’s son. Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was 5 years old at the time of his fathers death and he was accidentally dropped by his nurse and left lame for life. David heard about Mephibosheth. 2 Samuel 9:7 reads like this:

‘Don’t be afraid, David said, I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your Grandfather Saul and you will eat here with me at the Kings table’. 

Friendships leave a legacy.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • You need friends – Be one!
  • You need wisdom in the friendships your involved in.
  • You need to be more friendly at work. 
  • You need to renew some key covenant relationships and realise the divine significance they can have for you and them. 

To hear the sermon in full please check out https://youtu.be/PmV8hDg4t20

God Bless Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church



Ministry Reflection: Sunday 23rd October 2022

Set Apart Relationship Goals: Family

On Sunday we continued our theme of Set Apart Relationship Goals. It has been a great theme of teaching and application so far and this week was no different. On Sunday it was a joy to spend some time interviewing and having a conversation with Ian and Jackie Williams about all things family and parenting, the importance of family and the lessons they have learned along the way. This conversation was certainly thought provoking, challenging and encouraging. To catch the interview, the ministry and the full service you can click on this link: https://youtu.be/O-8PamlWtrU

After the interview with Ian and Jackie, Ian then took some time to share with us some Biblical principles and truths about the family. He started off by reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, to many of us this is affectionally known as the ‘Love chapter’. ‘Love is patient, love is kind…’. Here is some food for thought. What if we replaced the word ‘Love’ with the word ‘Family’? ‘Family is patient, family is kind…’. How true is that of your family? How is true is that of the Church family at large?

Family is important to God. As we look across society and the world in which we live we can see the erosion of family values. Across society (for many different reasons) there are many broken families. Family for many has become complex and confusing. Perhaps we should take an ‘Eastern perspective of family’. The ‘Eastern perspective’ is communal. Did you know this, our family is bigger than what we think. Family does not have to be connected through ‘blood’, instead family is a grouping of people who want you in their lives… they love you no matter what.  The word ‘family’ can refer to household. Did you know this, we belong to the Household of God. In Joshua 24:15, Joshua says these incredible words ‘as for me and my household we will serve the Lord’. As a church family and as ‘families’ within our church family let us determine ourselves to ‘serve the Lord’. Here are a few points that we can apply to both our natural families and our church family:

  1. Family is a place where identity and security is established. You can discover who you are, develop who you are, deploy who you are.
  2. Family is the place we teach and transmit values. Set the example. Values are like a fragrance that permeate the house.
  3. Family is the place where you can make stories and life long memories. Let’s have an adventure / let’s make memories.
  4. Family is a place to develop talents and potential. Parent’s speak to the champion inside your children. Awaken the giant inside of them. Speak the ‘bigness’ of God into people. Speak greatness into people. We have a responsibility to fan the flame or otherwise smother the flame. What do we choose to do?
  5. Family is a place where we can learn, love, and forgive.
  6. Family a place to experience the Kingdom of God in action… in our lives. Let’s allow scripture to become a reality.

This morning I am so thankful that God is for family. I am thankful for my own family, both close and extended. I am glad that I am part of the worldwide family of God! I am so glad that I am part of the wonderful family at Riviera Life Church. There is nothing quite like family.

God Bless

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 17th October 2022

Compassion Sunday


Hello everybody! On Sunday we had a visit from our friend, church leader and representative for Compassion UK, Tim Robertson. During the course of the morning Tim challenged us, encouraged us and inspired us to sponsor children and ‘release children from poverty in Jesus name’. As a church we have chosen to sponsor children from Brazil and during the course of the service 25+ children were sponsored by Riviera Life Church. This is amazing and guess what it is not too late to sponsor a child, details will follow at the end of this blog.

With all this in mind Tim brought us a message taken from Exodus 2:1-10, this is the well known story of the birth of Moses. Exodus 2:6 in the Authorized version says these words:

And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children. 

This is a story of delivery in the middle of captivity, it is also a beautiful picture of Gods plan for salvation and the world. In Exodus 1 we read all about the rise of the Hebrew people but we also read that Pharaoh wants to keep the people down, he is ruthless with them. Moses therefore was born into captivity, he was born in the wrong part of town. Moses was born into the wrong post code. Very often a persons life opportunity is linked to the area, the post code they are living in. Did you know this across the world 370 million children are born into poverty, abuse and slavery, simply put they are born in the wrong postcode. Child mortality across the world is also very high. Every day 14000 kids will die of easily preventable causes. This is a sobering thought. In the West and comparatively speaking, we are blessed. The care available and the infrastructure is better, resources are better, access to better health and facilities are better. The trouble is we tend to see things through ‘western eyes’ but how we need to open our eyes to what is going on right across our world.

We also need to thank God for mums all over the world who will do whatever they can for their children. When we read the story in Exodus 2 we see that Moses’ mum Jochobed places the three month old little boy in a basket. She wants to protect the baby, she wants to give him the best chance. The best opportunity. She has heard the stories of old that God is a faithful God. She does what she thinks is right. Don’t let the enemy take from you what God has invested in your life. In verse 5 the Bible says that Pharaohs daughter came down to the river to bathe and she sees the basket. Somehow the basket has travelled upstream to the area where the princess bathes… God has moved the basket upstream. God moved against the expectation of what was the norm. Moses ‘postcode’ changed. Did you know that God wants to send you upstream! You may be at the bottom of the pile but God can break that power over your life. God is the God of the upstream. He wants to move you to a higher place. Why does God do this? He does it for your breakthrough and the breakthrough of others!

  1. The princess she hears the baby crying.

Will you hear the cry of the poor and the broken?

  1. The princess saw a baby not a deliverer.

All the princess saw was a baby. She saw the vulnerability of a baby. Don’t forget Jesus was a baby. What do you see in the sponsored child? Do you see a great future? See beyond what they can become.  

  1. She identified a child at risk.

Allow God to connect your heart to a child.

The Princess needed someone to nurse the baby. Miriam, Moses’ older sister runs and gets Jochobed Moses actual mother! Keeping the child in the family unit is so important!  The local church can help. The children that we look after and invest in are participants not sponsored children. Jochobed gets her child back and someone takes the financial burden for child care! By sponsoring a child we can invest in their health, education, spiritual and social development and they can still be part of their family unit!

  1. The princess took Moses from a river to a palace.

The boy was moving from upstream. His postcode changed!

If you would like to get involved with Compassion and sponsor a child from Brazil please do contact us at info@rivieralife.co.uk and we will send you all the details necessary. Please also check out Compassion UK to read about all the important and life changing work that they do.

God Bless

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church

To watch the full Sunday service and to hear the message in full please check out:


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 9th October 2022

Set Apart Relationship Goals: Marriage.

On Sunday Jordan continued our theme of Set Apart Relationship Goals and he brought our attention to the subject of marriage. Author and Pastor Mike Todd says:

“Marriage is meant to be a reflection on earth of God’s relationship with the church”

Marriage is God’s idea and his desire is for marriage to be healthy. Marriage is meant to reflect Jesus and the Church, the bride. In today’s world this seems counter cultural. There are no experts in marriage, and all of us should be learning to be and do marriage better.  The vows we make when we get married before God are… ‘until death do us part…’.

During the service we heard from Peter and Jennifer Hewitt who shared with us some lessons and testimony from their marriage. They have been married for 51 years. They were friends and got to know each other before they were married. 

They were asked:

  1. What are the keys to a good healthy relationship? (Pete and Jennifer talked around the following answers).
  • Friendship
  • Enjoying each other’s company
  • Having a sense of humour
  • Have fun together 
  • Loyalty
  • Faithfulness
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Never take each other for granted.
  • Thankfulness to & for each other. 
  • Gratefulness for each others gifts.
  • Their marriage was based on their love for God and the church.
  • They committed to praying together every morning.
  1. What advice would you give others who are thinking of marriage?
  • Discuss with your partner important points, such as, having children, money and financial matters, where you want to live, talk to and listen to each other to share ideas and potential differences or concerns.
  • It is wonderful if there is that external attraction to each other but are there common things that connect you.
  • Be prepared for different opinions, not arguments but always be ready to listen to the other view point and not always want the last word.

After the interview with the wonderful Peter and Jennifer, Jordan shared some points for us to reflect on:

Healthy Marriages are never just between two people.

Marriage was and still is God’s idea. God made everything, He made us, and formed us. Genesis 2:18 says: “It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a suitable helper for him”. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Every marriage should be intwined with Jesus in the centre. Jesus ‘binds’ us together with his love.  Without Jesus in our marriage, relationships can and will become fickle, fraught and broken. Is Jesus the 1st, centre and most important person in our marriage and relationships?

Healthy Marriages Require Sacrifice.

It is not always ‘Happy Ever After’! Marriages require sacrifice. Check out Ephesians 5:21-25.This is a Biblical view of how not to abuse our husbands and wives but how God empowers both men and women to live together healthily. It is Biblical that men should be the ‘leader’ of his house and that men should be a worthyleader / husband / father to follow. Men should aim to be a good example of a spiritual leader just as Jesus loves and leads His Church. Men should be prepared to die for their wives, as in dying to their self, pride, immaturity, etc. John Seldon says:

“The happiness of married life depends upon making small sacrifices with readiness and cheerfulness.”

Healthy Marriages Never Stop Pursuing Each Other.

Never let familiarity become the norm, or let complacency set in. Never undervalue each other, or take each other for granted. Instead, pursue and chase each other with kindness just as Jesus is always chasing and pursuing us, His Bride the Church. God never stops working on us or the people He has put in our lives. Check out Psalm 139:1-10. God stepped in our place, He does and will always run after us, so let Him catch and pursue us with His passionate love.

Love to you all Lindy Dyson (Riviera Life Church).


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 2 October 2022

Set Apart Relationship Goals: Single, Secure and Set Apart.

Hello everybody! What a great Sunday we have just experienced here at Riviera Life Church! It was a jam packed service! We worshipped, we celebrated and we had fun! We heard from Andy David who encouraged us to get involved with the ‘Christmas Appeal Bulgaria’. ‘Home for Good’ were with us to powerfully promote the need for Churches everywhere to get involved in the important gift and task of fostering. I was also able to interview Caroline Hickley on Sunday’s theme ‘Single, Secure and Set Apart’. Caroline shared with us what this theme means to her. Why not take some time out to watch or re watch the service in full – you can access the link here: https://youtu.be/OVOFLbteSEc

Did you know about 40% of church attendees in the UK are single. Did you know that there are just as many over 40’s as under 40’s who are single. Very often in church life and ministry we will hear messages on Marriage, we will hear messages on Family life – those are all important messages, but it is rare that we receive ministry on how to live Set Apart for God whilst living a single life, or whilst living on our own. The church as a whole has tended to shy away from this topic of conversation and if it has delved into this area – it has all too often got it wrong. Rich Wilkinson jnr in his book Single and Secure talks about an ‘unhealthy, unbiblical and unrealistic’ mindset regarding singleness that has permeated the church for far too long.

The Bible frequently speaks to us about the subject of ‘singleness’. The Bible gives us many examples of those who loved God, served God and did great things for God and yet they were not defined by their relationship status as a ‘single’. God used them. I think of the story in the Old Testament Book of Ruth of Naomi, Orpah and Ruth. Three women who through tragic circumstances were made single. In The New Testament John the Baptist was not married – his calling was clear – it was to prepare the way of the Lord, for many singleness is a calling; Jesus Christ was not married – yet he modelled to us a way of living, a way of serving, a way of devotion, a way of doing relationships that was not dependent or defined by romance and marriage. In Luke 2 we read about a wonderful lady called Anna who prophesised over Jesus as a baby… She had lost her husband after 7 years of marriage and she was now 84 years old… but the Bible records that she never left the temple and she worshiped God with fasting and prayer… she devoted herself to worship and prayer and she devoted her life purely and solely to God… Many of the disciples were single, many of the apostles were single. God wants to use you and use you now regardless of your relationship status.

In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul the Apostle is writing to the church at Corinth and in this chapter he writes about sex, sex within marriage, sex outside the bounds of marriage, he writes about marriage, he writes to married couples and he writes to those who are single. He writes to those who are in the middle of a struggle. He talks about divorce, he talks about widowhood and a whole load of other topics… Paul goes there! It’s all in this chapter! His overriding message is this… Whatever your relationship status – married, single, divorced, widowed you must live Set Apart for God. Here are some important truths to help us:

  1. You can definitely be Single and secure. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise! The most important relationship we can ever have – is with Jesus Christ. When we acknowledge Jesus as Lord of our lives, regardless of our status, regardless of our situation we can know His strength and we can know His security. Psalm 46:1 says God is our refuge and our strength… Our security is found in Jesus. Completeness is found in Jesus. Jesus is more than enough for any need, any stage, any frustration, any failure. That’s not just a lesson for singleness: it’s a lesson for life.
  2. You can definitely be Single and satisfied. When Jesus is at the centre of our lives, we can be perfectly satisfied and content in Him. Our contentment, our sense of belonging and our satisfaction are once again found in Jesus Christ. Psalm 23 ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need’.
  3. You can be Single to serve. In 1 Corinthians 7:32 Paul writes ‘I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the master’. The single life should not stop you from serving God, from loving Him, from taking huge steps of faith and doing great things for Him… serve Him, love Him, step out in faith, use your gifts for Him, go on an adventure with Him… accomplish great things for Him!  
  4. Single for a season. Ecclesiastes 3 says ‘For everything there is a season’; Daniel 2:21says ‘He changes times and seasons…’. A key principle to learn when we go through the seasons of life, especially the tough ones is this… ‘A waiting season does not have to be a wasted season…’. Craig Groeschel once put it, ‘A waiting season is never a wasted season. Sometimes God may want to do something in you before he does something for you…! God is working, he is growing you, developing you… God is listening, God has a bespoke plan for your life… God knows the desires of your heart and I believe in His time, God will bring his purposes to pass in your life.
  5. Single and Set Apart. The most important relationship that you can have in your life regardless of any other type of relationship… is a relationship with Jesus Christ… He is the lover of our souls… He wants a meaningful, deep intimate, genuine, authentic relationship with you. He wants to talk with you, He wants to walk with you. He wants to whisper words of love to you, words of peace to you, words of hope to you, words of affirmation to you. He wants you to whisper back to Him and say Jesus I love you, Jesus I need you.

God Bless, Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 25 September 2022

Set Apart Relationship Goals: The Church Family.

Good morning everybody! On Sunday Jordan launched our new series entitled ‘Set Apart Relationship Goals’. Did you know this – our lives are full of relationships! Robert Dunbar a professor who studied human relationships and inter actions suggested that the average person can have up to 150 meaningful relationships in their life time. Our lives are surrounded by and filled with relationships! Whether those relationships last a life time or a moment we have relationship after relationship after relationship! God created us for community and relationship.

As a church family we have a wonderful opportunity to establish and develop a beautiful relationship that is the Church. We are the body and army of Christ! We are connected and joined for eternity by our love for Jesus! Here are a few questions:


  • How can we build healthy relationships with each other together as one body?
  • How can we build a culture and environment where healthy relationships can thrive?


The only way we can learn what a healthy Church family relationship looks like is to go back to the first century Church! Acts 2 vs 42-47 is entitled ‘The Believers Form a Community’ (click on the link and check it out). The early church certainly had all the right ingredients for a healthy, dynamic community. Ingredients that today’s Church needs!


“All the believers devoted themselves…”. Devotion is required from all! The early Church devoted themselves purposely to a few things! Acts 2 vs 42 says: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer.”

1. The Apostles teaching!

The apostles have just spent everyday for 3 years listening to, walking with, talking to, eating with Jesus! They sat listening to sermon on the mount. They’ve witnessed miracles, signs and wonders. They’ve witnessed their friend and leader brutally murdered only for 3 days later to miraculously raise from the dead. So what were the apostles teaching?

JESUS! Jesus is worth my full devotion! Did you know this, a culture fully devoted to Jesus is the only culture where true, authentic, healthy relationships can grow!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “No, God and the world, God and its goods are incompatible, because the world and its goods make a bid for our hearts, and only when they have won them do they become what they really are. That is how they thrive, and that is why they are incompatible with allegiance to God. Our hearts have room only for one all embracing devotion, and we can only cleave to one Lord.”

When we make Jesus our greatest devotion it changes the way to treat and love one another!

2. They devoted themselves to prayer

Martin Luther said “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Prayer is the oxygen of our faith! Without it our faith slowly dies but with it our faith grows healthy and strong! Without prayer we will accomplish nothing! Without prayer the potential we carry dies as potential! But with prayer potential turns into purpose! The early Church devoted themselves to prayer! The Church today needs a renewed devotion to prayer! To pray and seek God every day of our lives! 1 John 5 vs 14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” When our prayers, requests, desires align with the will of God – his ear is opened to us!

3. The early church was committed to Radically Generous Hospitality.

Acts 2 shows us that the early church’s devotion led to a radically generous spirit of hospitality! If we are truly devoted to God and each other it has to change what we do with our time, money and resources! The early Church were so devoted they sold all they had and gave it to those in need. They sold their homes, possessions, everything and anything to bless each other! They opened their homes to others, shared meals together, showed true hospitality as an overflow of their devotion!

Who are you invited around for dinner?

Who are you organising to meet and buy them coffee?

What team are you joining to serve and show hospitality to those around you?

1 Peter 4 vs 8-9 says
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Throughout the Bible, it is clear that the heart of God is for all to experience hospitality!

4) Devotion and Generous Hospitality leads to Expansion

Acts 2 vs 47 says “And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Gods desire is to see his Church grow! God is still growing His Church today!

God Bless,

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church

To hear the sermon in full check out the following link:



Ministry Reflection: Sunday 18th September 2022

Look Up, Look Out and Look Beyond

This week, Jon Baldwin brought us an encouraging and comforting word from Isaiah 6:1 about king Uzziah. Uzziah was 16 years when he became king and ruled in Judah for 52 years. His name means the Lord is my strength! Uzziah died a leper due to his disobedience to the Lord. The nation was downcast and in turmoil.  For some, he was the only king they knew.

  1. Look Up

    In the book of Isaiah, Isaiah speaks and declares hope to the nation, in a time of transition and turmoil. Isaiah could see that the Lord was sitting on the throne and his robe filled the temple.  The Lord sits on the throne today too. The throne of kings and queens represents power and authority. Where the thrones of earth see kings and queens come and go, the throne of heaven is always occupied! We must look up with the eyes of faith. 

    The robes of kings and queens can symbolise the weight of authority on the monarch and the length of the robes can represent the victories of the monarch. In Isaiah, the robe of the Lord fills the temple, the victories of the Lord are many, the battles you are going through have already been won!

    When the world is downcast and broken, with eyes looking down, you need to look up! Look up in faith to Jesus Christ! You can approach His throne with confidence. 

  2. Look Out

Look out to the world around you, to the broken, the hungry, the orphan, the misunderstood, the weeping and speak peace and joy into other people’s lives, we need to point people to Jesus!

Our nation needs God people’s to look out and speak peace and salvation to people. Let them know the King is on the throne!

John 4:35… Its harvest time! Let’s look out and reach people with the love of Jesus. Opportunities are everywhere! We all have our part to play!

  1. Look Beyond

Isaiah didn’t just see what was in front of him with his natural eyes. He looked beyond the physical and into the future! He also saw a nation repent and turn back to God.

Isaiah looks with the eyes of faith. What do you see, what do you need to pray and intercede for?

Psalm 27:13 “I remain confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”

We will see His kingdom come and His will be done. Remain full of faith and hope and see the nation turn back to God!

Kobe Addai, Riviera Life Church.

To hear the full service you can click on the link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yqDhdFg-_s


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 11th September 2022

A Life That Leaves a Legacy

Good morning everybody! On Sunday Jordan brought a powerful message to us on ‘A Life That Leaves a Legacy’. As we are all aware Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday 8 September. What a life! What a legacy! What a leader! 70 years of Royal rule, through the ups and downs of British life the Queen has led and has been the figurehead of the nation. She has left an incredible legacy. Shannon Alder said these words about legacy:

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

Here’s the question: What legacy are we prepared to leave?

Let’s leave an eternal legacy.

Ephesians 4:1 says these incredible words:

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

We need to live lives that are worthy of the calling we have received.

Legacies are left because of consistency.

1 Corinthians 15:58 says these powerful words:

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

If we are going to leave behind great legacies, let those legacies be based on the consistency of our lives. The work we do for Christ is never in vain.Queen Elizabeth modelled this, in fact she once said:

It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”

We have a consistent steadfast God. Are our lives consistently following Jesus?


Lets talk about integrity. Are our lives are being guided by our principles? We live in a world of ‘many different truths’ but there is only one truth! Jesus said ‘I am the way the truth the life’!

Our integrity and principles need to be birthed with our relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to live for and with Jesus. We need to live close to Jesus. There is no other truth than Jesus.

Proverbs 10:9 says these words ‘People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed’.

Proverbs 11:3 says these words ‘Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people’.

Question: Where in our lives do we need to realign ourselves with the truth…?

Queen Elizabeth II led with integrity. Her faith in Christ was sure.

Legacies are left because of a surrendered life.

Did you know this, the moment of surrender is when your life begins. Surrender is the most powerful thing we could ever do. In life take the posture of surrender! Queen Elizabeth was once quoted as saying Oh! how I wish that the Lord would come in my lifetime! ” ” Why,” asked the chaplain, ” does your Majesty feel this very earnest desire? The Queen replied with quivering lips, and her whole countenance lighted up by deep emotion- “I should so love to lay my crown at His feet.”

What an attitude of surrender! Jesus Christ himself is the perfect model of surrender. The Bible says in Philippians 2:5 and onwards says:

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.Instead, he gave up his divine privileges he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus surrendered his position. Let’s lead surrendered lives to Him.

God Bless

Jon Baldwin

Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church

To hear the sermon full please click on the following link:


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 4 September 2022

Set Apart Secret Servants: Priscila and Aquila

This week Jon concluded our fantastic summer series on God’s Set Apart Secret Servants by talking to us about a dynamic duo, a very special partnership, a husband and wife team. Their names are Priscila and Aquila. They are mentioned only six times in the New Testament, yet their impact was huge. Together they were vital to the growth and expansion of the early church across Europe and modern-day Turkey. This couple supported Paul the Apostle. This couple loved Jesus. This couple loved His Word. They loved His church. They loved telling people about Jesus and of course, they loved one another. They are introduced to us in Acts 18. 

So what are some of the lessons that we can learn from Priscila and Aquila?

  1. They were a powerful partnership.

Aquila and Priscila do life together. They adventure together. They travel together. They build a business together. They serve God together. The Bible always refers to them together. You never have one without the other. You never get Aquila without Priscila. They completed each other. In terms of church and what we are building together, there is nothing quite like being family, being team – being together. As 1 Corinthians 12 says we are one body with many parts. We are designed to be in partnership together. Aquila and Priscila were a powerful partnership and they complemented each other in terms of their gifting and characteristics.

Names in the Bible often relate to the named one’s role in the narrative. Aquila means ‘eagle’. Eagles soar high. Eagles have great vision. The eyes of an eagle are specially designed for long-distance focus with clarity. Could it be that Aquila was a man of vision? Maybe Aquila, a well-travelled man, had a God view and also a world view. He had an awareness of language and customs across cultures. He’s an eagle with excellent flight and excellent vision. Maybe Aquila, while he was flying high was also able to hone in on an individual who needed help, who needed support and investment; a man of vision, a man of clarity, a man of action.

Priscila on the other hand was the brains of the operation. Priscila was grounded, totally supportive of her husband’s vision. Her name means ‘venerable’ which refers to wisdom. She was wise, she was probably the teacher and the leader out of the two of them.

Whilst they seem like opposite characteristics Priscila and Aquila harnessed themselves together. Wisdom and vision operated hand in hand. What a powerful partnership!

And a unique partnership. Four out of the six times they are mentioned in the New Testament, Priscilla’s name comes first. The first-century Roman Greek culture was patriarchal but the culture of the Kingdom of Heaven is different. Women take the lead as well.

Building a life together, building a church together means we have to partner together, work together, understand each other, love each other. Priscila and Aquila show us how this is done.

  1. They were positioned to make a difference.

Priscila and Aquila seem to be everywhere! We read from Acts 18 that they start off in Pontus, they get married in Rome and now they are in Corinth. Corinth was the largest city in Greece, a cosmopolitan port at the intersection of trade routes between Asia to the east and Rome to the west, a thriving sea port. The culture was open, worship to Roman gods was rife and it was here that Priscila and Aquila based themselves. They set up a tent-making business together and it was here that they welcomed Paul the Apostle to their business and to their home. He was with them for a year and a half. During this time Paul plants a church at Corinth. That possibly wouldn’t have happened without the positioning, the encouragement, the support of Priscila and Aquila. Every church needs Priscila’s and Aquila’s with open homes, open hearts and open hands.

Later on in Acts 18 we learn that Priscila and Aquila join Paul on mission and they are involved in setting up the church in Ephesus. While they are there they go to the synagogue and hear a young Egyptian Jewish man called Apollos preach the word of God. Apollos is young, passionate and enthusiastic. He speaks a good message and Priscila and Aquila decide to take him under their wing to disciple him. They are positioned to spot potential and they pastored. Every young person, every young married couple, every young leader, every new Christian needs Aquila’s and Priscila’s in their lives.

  1. They were motivated to serve God.

Just like Priscila and Aquila, serving God wherever, however we find ourselves must be our primary motivation. How can we use our skills, our gifting’s to honour God? Who can we encourage? Who can we invest in? Is there a church that needs to be planted? Is there a ministry that needs supporting? Can our home be used to further God’s Kingdom?  Can we set up a church, host a life group?

In 2 Timothy 4:19 Paul finishes his letter to Timothy by asking for his greetings to be passed on to Priscila and Aquila. It is poignant that Paul is probably completing his ministry. He is possibly in prison, awaiting trial and execution. In what may have been a dark hour he remembers his two friends, Priscila and Aquila, wisdom and vision, co-workers in Christ, friends, servants, influencers, Kingdom builders, world changers. How the Priscila’s and Aquila’s of this world need to be honoured. They clearly deserve to be in the foreground, they clearly deserve to be top billing in any church, any conference. They deserve it all. Yet, they willingly served God in the background because that was their primary motivation.

God’s Set Apart Secret Servants. Priscila and Aquila: amazing examples in their marriage, their team work and their partnership. Amazing examples in their love for God, His word, His people, His church. Every couple, every ministry, every leader needs Priscila’s and Aquila’s in their lives!

Erica Brown, Riviera Life Church.

To hear the sermon in full please click the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skxmb2uDLhM&t=1s


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 28 August 2022

Set Apart Secret Servants.

Good morning everybody. We had a wonderful bank holiday Sunday service  with special guest speaker [my dad], Dr Rob Baldwin. On Sunday, Rob continued with our theme of God’s Set Apart Secret Servants by focusing on a wonderful character in the Bible Epaphroditus. You can find out all about him in Philippians 2:25-30.

The New Testament describes church in many different ways – one of them is as a building. 1 Peter 2:5 describes the church as living stones being built together. Imagine, if you will a dry stone wall. Upon looking at the wall you may first notice the larger stones, but actually, the important stones are the small stones, supporting and locking the large stones in position. Without them, in a storm, the large stone would rock and soon the wall would fall down. Following are some notes and thoughts about Epaphroditus:

Epaphroditus was a small yet vital stone to the large stone Paul the Apostle.

Did you know this Epaphroditus’ name means lovely or fascinating. Lovely – imagine Epaphroditus in worship – loving Jesus, radiant, joyful – lovely. In his workplace and in his community – non Christians noticed that he was different – they were fascinated by him – ‘What makes you different?’

Epaphroditus was also passionate. He was so keen to carry out God’s work that he put his life on the line to the point of death. The Bible does not say what that meant – perhaps it was sickness or heat stroke from travelling in heat of day. Perhaps he drank contaminated water or fought bandits. That does not matter – what does matter is that he was passionate for Christ to the point of death. Are we passionate about the work of God? What wakes us up in the morning?

In Philippians 2:25 Paul says 4 things about Epaphroditus.

  1. My brother. When we’re born again, we become part of a family. Wherever you are in the world you become part of the family of God.
  2. Co worker. We are all to be involved in the Great Harvest.
  3. Fellow soldier. We are all soldiers. What do you think of when you think of a soldier? Eph 6:10-12 saysBe strong in the Lord’ know who you are in Christ. ‘In the power of His might’ – be filled with the Spirit. ‘Put on armour of God’. ‘Take weapons’ – word of God. Name of Jesus, blood of Jesus. Activate weapons through praise, prayer and proclamation. Wage war on behalf of our families, church, community, nation.
  4. A messenger. Epaphroditus was sent from Philippi to Paul with greetings and a gift. Sent from Paul to Philippi with a letter. We are sent – messengers to our respective worlds of work / community / leisure with the Good News of Jesus. We are uniquely placed in our ‘worlds’.

Finally, Paul says such a man as Epaphroditus is to be esteemed and honoured. Can that be said of us? Will Jesus say, ‘Well done you good and faithful servant.’

To hear the sermon in full please check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQhpBli1Xrw

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 21 August 2022

Set Apart Secret Servants.

On Sunday Tim continued our theme of Gods Set Apart Secret Servants by focusing on a wonderful woman who went by two names – she was known in Aramaic as Tabitha or as Dorcas in Greek. She certainly was Gods secret servant. What else do we know about her?

  • She lived in Joppa
  • She was a member of the early church.
  • She was a dress maker.
  • She did good things and helped the poor.
  • She was a loved and respected woman.

You can pick up her story in Acts 9:32-42 and there are a number of lessons we can learn from this account.

In Acts 9:37 we read that Tabitha became ill and died and as per custom her body was washed and put in an upstairs room. We also read that Peter was close by in the surrounding area. Peter was visiting God’s people and seeing wonderful miracles of healing taking place.  Some disciples urged Peter to come at once to see Tabitha… It was quite clear that the community were in mourning, Tabitha had left such a legacy, she had invested herself into community and her life had made a big difference to those who were poor and those who were widowed. Tabitha understands that widows have a huge place in God’s heart. A hole had been left in the community. When Peter arrived he witnessed the widows were mourning.

Question: Why did the widows mourn?

In all cultures it is not easy being a widow. In some cultures if the husband dies then the widow is at risk of losing everything – her home, her finance, her possessions. It is quite clear from this account that Tabitha was a woman who had a heart for the widows. She provided for them when no one else could. She made them clothes so they had something to wear, so they had a sense of dignity. Tabitha made a difference. She was missed, she was mourned.

As we continue to read the story it is quite clear that Peter sees the impact this woman has had on the community and the local church in Joppa. Perhaps he gets a sense that God has not finished with this woman so he sends mourners out of the room.

Peter changes the environment so he can pray. He changes the focus from mourning to prayer. As faith filled, spirit filled believers we can change the environment. Sometimes we need to get on our knees and pray. Create the space, create the time, create the environment. Peter prays for Tabitha, the Holy Spirit is at work and Peter with Holy Spirit authority calls out ‘Tabitha, get up’. Tabitha rises from her death bed, alive, whole and healed. A phenomenal miracle has taken place.

This miracle is very similar to the story of Jairus daughter in Luke 8:40-56. Peter as a disciple of Jesus had a front row seat to this miracle. He watched what Jesus did. He watched how Jesus dealt with people. He watched how Jesus operated. He watched how Jesus prayed. He imitated Christ and now replicates a similar miracle with Tabitha. Let’s replicate Christ. Let’s do what Christ did. Romans 8 says ‘the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you!’

Did you know this, Tabitha was not raised from the dead for her benefit. The Bible says as a result of this miracle – many believed!A community received back a secret servant who would have continued to make a difference. Many believed in Jesus, the church grew, the Kingdom of God grew. Thankyou Jesus.

Let’s be like Tabitha – we need a heart for the poor, the widows and the orphan. Let’s determine ourselves to make a difference in the community. Leave a legacy. Let’s be like Peter. A man full of faith. A man who chose to imitate Christ. A man who was not afraid to pray big prayers. A man who was not afraid to pray for the dead to be raised.

Loads to think about, loads to consider! To watch the full service – click on the following link:

God Bless

Jon Baldwin

Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 14 August 2022

Set Apart Secret Servants.

On Sunday we once again continued our theme of God’s Secret Servants and we were blessed to receive ministry from both Michelle Addai and Gabe Akintunde who both spoke on a special group of characters in the Bible who are unnamed, ‘insignificant’ and who are very much in the background. The characters that they focused on are the generic ‘servants’ of the Bible. Throughout the Bible ‘servants’ ie those who ‘serve’ a master, those who ‘wait on’ a master are constantly mentioned, they are significant, yet, because of their status they won’t ever get the credit they deserve. True servants never want the credit or the applause of man. Servants are often nameless, they work in the background of the story, they don’t get the limelight, they are often forgotten about, yet, they are so significant. Many of the servants of the Bible are hero’s! Servants are the greatest in the Kingdom of God. When we get to heaven the greatest honour will be to hear the words ‘well done my good and faithful servant’. Jesus himself ‘the servant of all’ had a lot to say about ‘servants’, ‘servanthood’ – the Biblical concept of ‘servanthood’ is key to how we live out our lives in the Kingdom of God. So, with all that in mind Michelle and Gabe both spoke about two groups of servants that are mentioned in the Bible and the lessons they teach us about the importance of servanthood.

Michelle took us to John’s Gospel and the account of the Wedding at Cana in John 2, click here to read the full account. Michelle unpacked so much about the context to the wedding, John’s Gospel and of course Jesus, but one group of people that she particularly focused on of course were the servants!

Jesus and his family have turned up to a wedding in Cana but there is a problem, the wine has run out at the wedding, this is not only a problem, this is a social catastrophe! Mary (Jesus’ mother) pleads with Jesus and says [paraphrased] ‘you have to do something, you need to bring about a miracle – you cannot allow the wine to run out, not at a wedding’. Jesus responds by saying ‘my time has not yet come’ but at the same time Mary, his mother, knows that he is the Son of God, she knows what he can do and in obedience to his mother, Jesus sets about with his first miracle. Mary tells the servants ‘do what he tells you’. There are a few things that we need to understand:

  1. Servants are obedient. Servants do what they are told, even if the request seems ludicrous! Jesus tells the servants to fill the wine jars up with water… The servants do this without any hesitation, they just do it.

Are we willing to whatever ‘He tells us’? Are we obedient to the words of Jesus?

  1. The servants at the wedding of Cana, through their collaborative obedience to Jesus launch his miraculous ministry on earth. It wasn’t a benefactor that launched the ministry of Jesus, it was the humble, obedient servants. Through their actions, through their servitude a miracle unfolded, the unexpected took place, the wedding was saved and Jesus public ministry began.
  2. It is the men and women of God, obedient to the voice of God and the requests of Jesus that can change the world. God is looking for those that are fully his to be obedient in heart and in action. At the wedding of Cana the servants were obedient in heart and in action. Come on let’s do like wise!

Following Michelle, Gabe took us to the story of Naaman the leper in 2 Kings 5 and once again the role of servants is key to the story. You can read the full account by clicking on the link here. Naaman is a proud commander of the army of the King of Aram, he commands forces, holds a lot of power and authority yet he has contracted leprosy. Namaan has tried all the cures, he has access to the best doctors but the reality is he is not getting any better. Namaan’s unnamed servant girl from Israel is concerned about her master and she points him to the prophet Elisha, who tells Namaan to wash 7 times in the filthy Jordan river. As you can imagine Namaan is reluctant, he is a proud man, this is so degrading but encouraged by his servants who travelled to Israel with him he eventually does what the prophet asks and received his healing. It was an unnamed servant girl who pointed Namaan towards his healing. Here are a few takeaway points that Gabe gave us

  1. It’s okay to be nameless but don’t be SILENT!! Sometimes we need may need to be the nameless but persistent individuals in the background that are the catalysts for change. Are we willing to be nameless if it brings Glory to the most high?
  2. The humble heart can quieten the anger of the proud.
  3. Be the intercessors in a world full of people who think the way of God is a waste of time or those who are waiting on their breakthrough and miracle. Who is around you that needs your intercession, friends family, coworkers or neighbours? Are they in need of a miracle or a touch from God.

You can check out the full ministry from Sunday by clicking on this link.

God Bless and have a great week.

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 7 August 2022

Set Apart Secret Servants.

What an amazing Sunday service we have just had at Riviera Life Church! Powerful worship, great testimonies, phenomenal preaching from Reuben Williams, capped off with baptisms and a church picnic at Meadfoot Green. God is so good!

On Sunday Reuben carried on our theme of Set Apart Secret Servants with a focus on John the Baptist. John the Baptist was an incredible, unconventional and ‘controversial man’. He was the cousin of Jesus Christ, the ‘preacher’, the ‘baptiser’, a man who spoke uncomfortable truth to power, a man who paved the way for Jesus Christ yet paradoxically John the Baptist was also the ‘least’, a man who was not destined to be the hero of the story, a man who had his doubts and fears and a man who died at the hands of Herod. A true secret servant.

We can split the Biblical account of John the Baptist into three parts or stories. Why not check out these stories in your own time. In the first story in Luke 1: 39- 45 we read about John in the ‘womb’ just before he was born… ‘the baby leapt inside the womb of Elizabeth upon encountering the also pregnant Mary [with Jesus Christ]. In the second story we learn about John in the wilderness and the baptism of Jesus (Luke 3: 1-20) – it is at this encounter we read about John who declares Jesus as the ‘Lamb of God’ and finally [Reuben’s focus on Sunday] we read about John in the prison cell (Luke 7:18-35) and it is this story in particular, in the context of all the others that is very powerful and challenging.

At the tail end of Luke 3 John finds himself in prison for speaking out against the immorality of Herod and his family, John did not mince his words, spoke the truth but ended up in prison. In Luke 7 John is in prison and Jesus has begun his ministry throughout Galilee. John is having his doubts and anxieties, he is disillusioned – this is not the John of the womb or the faith inspired preacher man of the wilderness, John has his doubts, he has his questions. Did you know, it is ok to have doubts and ask questions?!

[What follows are highlights and notes from Reuben’s preach – you can check out the full sermon here].

In Luke 7:20 In his moment of disillusionment John has sent his followers to find Jesus to see what he is all about! They ask him if he truly is the Son of God. Sometimes we need people to go to Jesus on our behalf!

Are you the kind of friend that can be relied on?

In Luke 7:21 the disciples of John ask Jesus if he is the ‘one’. Jesus does not answer but he carries on curing the sick. Even though it appeared Jesus was silent… he was still working. Never mistake the silence of God for his absence… God is working!

In Luke 7:22: Jesus in his reply to John’s disciples – shows that what he is doing is mirroring the Old Testament scripture of Isaiah 35 and Isaiah 61. These scriptures point to the activities of the Messiah, God’s superhero. Jesus, through his actions, through reference to scripture (which John is all too familiar with) is saying he is the Messiah! However In this list Jesus includes one extra thing… the dead will be raised…! He is the God who supersedes our expectations! It’s time to expect the unexpected… What are you expecting from God?

Jesus in this dialogue also excludes something very significant.Isaiah 61 says ‘prisoners will be released…’ but he doesn’t quote this for John. John is in prison, if there is something he wants to hear from the Messiah, it is this verse! This is the verse John needs. It is clear that Jesus knows John’s fate. Jesus knows that John will stay in prison and will be beheaded by Herod.

I wonder what is going through John’s mind? He is in prison, he has had confirmation that Jesus is truly the Messiah! Yet he also knows that he will meet his end in prison. However – John has a promise! The promise is that ‘the dead will be raised’. Thankyou God for your promises! I will live again! Jesus always keeps his promises. He is Lord of all and he knows the end from the beginning!

In Luke 7:24-28 Jesus says of John, ‘of all who have ever lived none is greater than John the Baptist’.

Jesus boasts of us.

John is not the hero of the story. He never wanted to be, in fact, in John 3

John exalts Jesus – he must increase I must decrease… John the Baptist is not the hero of the story… Jesus is the hero!

Is Jesus the hero of your story?

Be blessed and encouraged!

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 31st July 2022

Set Apart Secret Servants.

Good Morning RLC Family! This is your Wednesday devotional to help us reflect on Sundays service.

What an amazing time of worship we had with Reuben leading us so well. This was followed by Jordan start our new series ‘Set Apart Secret Servants‘ over the next 6 weeks we will be looking at some of the hidden heroes of the Bible. Those who don’t get shouted about, some nameless, others ignored but all used by God. These men and women are just as much heroes as those we know so well. They are heroes because of their faithfulness. God is not looking for fame hungry servants but those who will faithfully follow and serve him. Faithfulness trumps fame in the Kingdom of God.

Jordan began to unpack the story of Ehud, you can read Ehud’s story in Judges 3 vs 12-30. Ehud was raised up by God in a time Gods people were under the oppression and authority of an evil king. The Bible gives the account of Ehud going to give a tribute to the king which ends with Ehud killing the fat evil king and restoring the freedom of God’s people. 

Some key lessons from this story that Jordan brought:

1) The Secret Servants are Prepared to Fight!

Even though Ehud was going to give a tribute he made a double edged sword and strapped it to his thigh. Ehud was prepared to fight if he had to. Ehud was ready to fight for his God and his people. 

Are we prepared to fight?

So often it is our lack of preparation that trips us up, misses the opportunity and slows down the advancement of Gods kingdom. In 1 Peter 3 vs 15 it says ‘always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.’ RLC we need to be prepared!

God has given us our own double edged sword – the word of God (Hebrews 4 vs 12) to prepare ourselves for the fight we are apart of. Lets get ready for God has planned. Lets prepare ourselves with the word of God!

2) The Secret Servants Remember where they’ve come from and know where they are going!

We read how Ehud presents the tribute to the king and is on his way home. On his way he comes across the stones of Gilgal and turns back to fight and kill the king. What is it about these stones that made him return to fight?

In Joshua 4 vs 1-7 we read how Gods people have just left slavery for the first time in generations. They have left Egypt and miraculously crossed the parted sea when God speaks to Joshua and tells him to collect 12 stones from the Jordan and build a memorial for future generations. These are those stones in Ehud’s story. 

Maybe Ehud on his way back to oppression came across the stones and was reminded of the stories he was told as a child. Maybe he remembered his God was their deliverer and STILL IS! 

Ehud turns back, kills the king and restores Gods peoples freedom. 

RLC never forget God is our deliver. He doesn’t want us to return to our brokenness, addictions, oppression he has already freed us!

3) The Secret Servants Bring Peace!

Judges 3 vs 30 describes how the land became quiet for 80 years. We as secret servants in Torbay and South Devon have an opportunity and responsibility to bring peace. We can be the pursuers and makers of peace in our community today! 

Our traumatised world needs peace!

Not peace that man makes through the elimination of challenges but from the Prince of Peace himself. The peace that surpasses human understanding. The peace that is given by Jesus. 

Let us today be peace makers and pursuers of peace wherever we go and whoever we are with!

You can see the full message here  RLC Sunday Service – YouTube

Jordan Williams, Senior Leader, Riviera Life Church.

Ministry Reflection: Sunday 24th July 2022

The Set Apart Heart: The Thankful and Joyful Heart.

Good morning everybody! On Sunday we had the best day at our annual church outdoors event. It was great to see over 200 people come together on the grounds of St Cuthbert Mayne school playing fields to worship Jesus, hear from his Word and have loads of fun! Sunday was church at it’s best! Instead of the usual blog – click on the link below and watch a 7 minute Church Outdoors highlights video to experience what happened and what went on. Watch to the end of the video to to hear summaries from both Tim and Jordan on the ministry and the day as a whole.

God Bless 

Jon Baldwin

Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.



Ministry Reflection: Sunday 17th July 2022

The Set Apart Heart: The Broken and Wounded Heart.


On Sunday Jordan and Naomi continued our series on The Set Apart Heart by looking at the difficult issue of the wounded and broken heart. The Bible is full of examples of people who had their hearts wounded or broken. You may wish to read up on them further: – 

Genesis 21 Hagars heartbreak.

1 Samuel 1 – Hannah grieving not being able to have a child. 

2 Samuel 12 – David mourned loss of child.

Ruth and Noami in Book of Ruth experience grief.

Job (lost everything).

John 11: 33-36 Mary and Martha lose their brother and Jesus his friend. 

Jesus himself wept as he lost a friend and God himself gave his only son and Jesus died broken for us 

Noami went on to show three ways God responds to a wounded or broken heart

1. God draws close to the broken hearted. Psalm 34:18.

People want to know someone loves them even in the toughest of times. 

‘Blessed are the broken hearted’, Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 ‘for they will be comforted’.

James 4:8 promises us that if we draw near to God he draws near to us 

2. God keeps an eye on the broken hearted.  

In Genesis 16:13 we read the account of Hagar a shamed mistress who was out on her own  in the wilderness or so she thought but God’s eye was on her. God’s eye is on your heart too. God’s counsel is the best because his eye is continually on us Psalm 32:8. 

3. God heals the broken hearted. Psalm 147:3. 

God can bring us healing without our help but often He asks us to be involved in our own healing. Naomi shared three ways 

  • Through forgiveness – God helps us to heal even though it is hard at the time. Forgiveness releases us. Unforgiveness can often hurt more. Bitterness can cause us to miss all that God has for us.
  • Through being grateful. Counting our blessings can help us gain perspective on our hurt.                                             
  • By being in His presence, by taking the time to pause – true healing starts here. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says  ‘There is freedom in his presence’. 

Jordan then concluded by talking about what God does to our heart and how he makes all things new. Why don’t you read about these promises in Revelation 21:1-5.

Jordan made the statement:

‘All you need to know is the promise and know the promise giver’. Jordan explained that if we trust the promise giver and give him all the pieces of our broken heart then he will and can heal us completely 

Finally I loved how Jordan described the church as being like a hospital where you can receive healing. Of course you can receive healing right where you are but if you can be in church make it a priority as a place to find your healing. 

As a church leadership and ministry team we pray for all those who have a broken and wounded heart that you may know the complete healing of Jesus and that he will make you whole. 

God bless you, Caroline.

To catch the whole service why not click on the link:

Sunday 10th July 2022

The Set Apart Heart: The Generous Heart.

On Sunday I had the privilege of continuing our series on the Set Apart Heart – A Generous Heart.
I hung my message on Proverbs 11:24 from The Message version ‘The world of the generous gets larger and larger, the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller’
I gave three ways that we can be generous and how this can make our world larger. Of course, it does work both ways and the Bible is clear that with the measure we use it is measured to us – (Luke 6:38). In other words, the more we put in, the more we get out.

1. Generous with money

We can find it hard to talk about money but actually there are four times as many verses on money and possessions in the Bible than there are verses on prayer and faith! This shows the importance that God places on how we handle our money – not for God’s benefit as He doesn’t need our money but for our benefit. We don’t give to get as Christians but when we give God’s blessing is a supernatural by-product because He can’t help but bless us.

At RLC we believe in tithing which is to give back to God the first 10% of our income. Jesus says that ‘Yes’ we should tithe in Matthew 23:23 and it is not an Old Testament Law. God even says to test him in this area in Malachi 3:10.

We also believe in giving on top of our tithe which is out of how God has blessed us.

How can tithing enlarge our world?
God will open up the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing that there will not be room to contain itMalachi 3:10.

Our gift can make a way for us and lead us into opportunities we might not think were possible. Proverbs 18:16

Remember the feeding of the 5000 – a small children’s lunch in the hands of the Jesus satisfied over 5000 people and there were even leftovers! (Matthew 14:13-21)

2. Generous with your time and attitude

Time is our most precious commodity and something we can never get back. Jesus makes it clear that we should make time for others. In Matthew 5:41 Jesus is very direct when He says – ‘If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile carry it two’. Jesus is basically saying here be prepared to go the extra mile. It is never crowded on the extra mile because it takes effort, and it can be painful or hard work especially when carrying someone else’s baggage in life. There are many in our community who need us to go over and above to help them. Why don’t we as a church create some traffic jams on that extra mile!!

How can it enlarge your world?

It can help build your confidence and self esteem. It can improve your mood and well being. You can meet new people and increase your social connections. You can even reap back elsewhere the time you’ve given because the Bible says ‘You reap what you sow’ (Gal 6:7)

3. Generous with encouragement.

We all want to be encouraged but do we actually think about actively encouraging others.
There was a man in the early church called Joseph who was actually given the nick name of Barnabus which means ‘Son of encouragement’ what a nick name to have! (Acts 4:36)
To encourage means literally to put courage into someone. Barnabus put courage into the early church by encouraging them to accept that murdering, Christian hating Saul had become a radically saved Christian who was now preaching the gospel. Because of his encouragement Saul was accepted and he was able to preach widely and many were saved as a result.
How can it enlarge your world?
The power of encouragement is immense and it can leave a legacy. Anyone of us can encourage someone and it can have long lasting consequences on others. It may even be putting your hands on someone’s shoulders so they know you believe in them.
Saul who later became Paul said in Hebrews 10:25 (The Message)

‘Let us see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big day approaching (The return of Jesus)’.

Let’s be inventive in our encouragement to each other. One of the many benefits of physically being in church is that we can encourage each other. When we are encouraged, we can feel bigger as we have more courage.
So, church lets be people who are committed to living big lives through our generosity.
Can I personally thank everyone who has given or pledged to give money for my venture to Austria I know that God will enlarge your life because of your generosity!
Live big! Caroline!
To catch the sermon in full check out: https://youtu.be/4Prfk-IeKLQ 


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 3rd July 2022

The Set Apart Heart: The Forgiving and Gracious Heart.


Forgiveness is tough. But it’s also an unavoidable central message to Christian teaching and living. Unforgiveness is sin. As difficult as it is, as painful as it is, as frustrating and unfair it feels to let go, the sin of unforgiveness has no place in our lives.

Col 3:13 says ‘Bear with each other and forgive one another. If any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’

We can love because God loved us first. And we can forgive only because He forgave us first.

Ephesians 1:7 says ‘He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding’.

Sin tethers us. It places restrictions on our lives. It keeps us in a place of shame and blame, separated from the loving arms of our Father. It’s so hard to forgive, but the power of God’s spirit can release us from the control it has over our lives and it will, in God’s good time, free us from the unforgiveness that has a strangle-hold on our lives. But we need faith in God’s grace for this to happen. We need to believe that we can be forgiven ourselves. If we accept this, we can begin to forgive others too.

In Luke 17: 3-5 Jesus is teaching his disciples and he says these words to them: ‘Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him. The apostles came up and said to the Master, ‘Give us more faith.’

The apostles realise straight away this won’t be an easy thing to do.

  1. Forgiveness is not always forgetting

Did you know that the phrase ‘forgive and forget’ is not found in the Bible? We’ve been hurt by the actions of others. And we don’t need to erase this from our memories. We learn from our experiences. The trials we’ve been through can help shape us for the ministry we’ve been called to. Our past experiences are not wasted. And they shouldn’t be forgotten. We can learn from them. Use what’s happened to you to inform your future actions. We may be able to protect ourselves, or others, from future suffering. We can do all this amid forgiveness. We leave judgement to God. When we forgive, something wonderful happens in our own spirits. And when another person realises they are forgiven by you, it will have a powerful impact. What a witness we are to Christ when we forgive.

Forgiveness is not fair.

This is the whole point! We don’t deserve God’s mercy, but he offers it anyway. We all fall short of the glory of God. We don’t deserve eternal life with him. The wages of sin are death and yet he invites us to live with him. If we were treated fairly by our standards, we would never stand a chance. If we were treated fairly, actions from our lives would condemn us, make us unforgivable. But He forgives us anyway, if we are willing to receive it. Thank God we are not the ones to judge, with our bitterness and distrust, our unwillingness to accept the failings of others. If it were up to us, no one would make it into heaven. How wonderful His justice is that he makes it possible for us to be with Him.

Deuteronomy 32:4 Moses sings a song to the people of Israel and he says, ‘He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything He does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright He is’.

Forgiveness is giving to others what God gave to us.

Psalm 103:10- 12: ‘He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.’

He’s let us get away with so much. How much unkindness and thoughtlessness and selfishness has he overlooked? We frame every wrong from our own perspectives, not thinking of the motivations, needs and difficulties of others. Other people are struggling. It’s not all about us and yet, still He puts us first.

There is freedom in forgiveness

God wants us to be free. And He knows that forgiveness keeps us shackled to the past. It’s a weight we carry that affects us so much more than the person we retain resentment for. Bitterness poisons our lives. God loves us so much. He wants us to know the lightness of living without that burden.

The Bible says in Romans 8:1-2 ‘So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.’

It takes faith to forgive

We can’t do it on our own strength. We need His help, and He hears us when we ask for it. We’ve all had different experiences in life. The hurt inflicted by others can leave deep scars that can take years to heal. But God is our healer, He is our redeemer and He is alive and working in our lives.

Why don’t you pray the prayer of the disciples ‘God give me the faith to forgive…’?

There is no place in God’s kingdom for an unforgiving spirit.

Mark 11:26:But if you do not forgive, neither will your father who is in heaven forgive you.’

There’s no place in God’s kingdom for the unforgiven, too. Because you can be forgiven. You will be forgiven. No matter what you’ve done. Paul the apostle describes himself as the worst of sinners, yet God turned his life around. His story helped bring people to Jesus. And Jesus can turn your life around too!

Jesus came to this world for me and you. We have all sinned and fall short of His glory, but if we repent of our sins, if we turn away from what we know to be wrong, the Bible says Jesus forgives us. He gives us a new life and a new hope. Jesus died for us. On the cross He cried out, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ It was our sins that put Him there. Jesus cried out for us to be forgiven anyway.

Let’s follow His lead.

Erica Brown, Riviera Life Church.

To catch the service in full, check out: https://youtu.be/VxAa_-c84aU


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.

  1. 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?

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Jon Baldwin

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:- 

  1. Willing to comply with or to authority – instruction and authority of heaven. He said an obedient heart aligns itself to the word of God. 
  2. Surrendered to the will and plan of God.
  3. 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:-

  1. 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! 
  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 
  3. I decided to prepare myself for when God did open the door. – I trained as a minister with the AOG (Assemblies of God). 
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. I prayed! I joined a monthly prayer meeting for Europe don’t under estimate the need to pray and consistently seek God. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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! 
  9. 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. 
  10. 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?

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

  1. It forgives us

He forgives us. Are we able to forgive others?

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

ComeeveryoneClap 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. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. The Spirit gives one person a message full of wisdom, while to another person the same Spirit gives a message full of knowledge. 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!

God Bless

Jon Baldwin, Associate Leader Riviera Life Church.


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 15 May 2022

We have had some great ministry over the last couple of weeks haven’t we? 2 weeks ago Jordan launched our new Set Apart theme called ‘RLC Our Set Apart Community’ and we started to talk about our key focuses that we believe God has laid on our hearts for this church as we step forward into all that God has for us. 2 weeks ago Jordan spoke on Mission and Evangelism, with the title ‘A Sent Out Church’ and last week Gabe spoke on our focus Children and Young people, his title was Raising and Releasing The Next Generation.

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:

  1. 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? 
  2. 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!
  3. 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? 
  4. 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?
  5. 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

Jon Baldwin 

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.’

We are…

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.

We should…

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.

We must…

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’. 

The incredible vision and mission of World of Worth is to ‘liberate families and communities from poverty’ and to ‘restore dignity, worth and hope to women, girls and communities marginalised by society’. On top of all of that World of Worth are passionate about telling every man, woman and child that God loves them! 

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!

Jon Baldwin

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!

God bless,

Caz Hickley,

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:

  1. His own tribe (Matthew 1:1)
  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)
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. 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?

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Jon Baldwin

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Good morning everybody! On Sunday we had another great Sunday of worship and ministry and Jordan picked up once again our theme of ‘The Set Apart Life’ where as a church we are focussing on the life of King David. This Sunday Jordan took us to 1 Samuel 18:5-30. These verses of scripture detail the interactions between Saul and David. David is favoured by both man and God and King Saul (the current king of Israel) becomes insecure and jealous of all the favour bestowed on David. David now becomes the ‘opposed one’. Have you ever felt opposed? Well the title of this message was The Set Apart Life: God’s Opposed one.
1. Opposition comes even when we don’t deserve it. 
The Bible says everytime Saul gave something to David to do – David did it well. He didn’t deserve the opposition that was to come to him from King Saul. Everything David did for Saul he was successful in it. Yet he was opposed! He was hated by King Saul. Do you ever feel like David? Do you face opposition when you don’t even deserve it? Opposition comes when we don’t even deserve it! Perhaps it is not what you did which is the problem,  maybe you face opposition because of all the potential on your life. The enemy does not like who you are becoming! Jesus teaches us that when opposition comes our way, we should count ourselves as blessed! It is the opposite of our natural viewpoint… at the end of every opposition there is a new opportunity! For David – beyond the opposition was the opportunity to become King. There is a new day on the horizon! 
2. When opposition comes, position yourself in God’s presence.
Despite all the opposition and all the tension that he faced, David chose to worship God over living in fear. David played his harp as he usually did in such times! David the worshipper. David chose to position himself in the presence of God. Psalm 43 David says, ‘Declare me innocent oh God… you are God my only safe haven…’. David knew that the best place to be was in the presence of God! When you face relentless opposition it can be lonely, fearful – the answer to the opposition we face is found in the presence of God. When we come to God – he will give us rest. Let’s take up the invitation to find rest for ourselves in the presence of God. 
3. Opposition misses!
King Saul in his jealousy tried to kill David by throwing a spear at him! But he missed. When the enemy tries to take you out, he will miss because we stand under the authority and protection of Heaven. The enemy will not take us out, the enemy will not end us. God is in control. Until God speaks opposition will always miss the mark. Remember ‘no weapon formed against you will stand’ (Is 54:17). We are under the authority and protection of Heaven. The enemy will miss! 
4. The Opposed have company.
God was with David! We are never alone in the opposition we face. We have a friend, a brother, an ally. In our opposition we have the companionship of God. We have the company of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We have the company of the Prince of Peace! In 1 Corinthians 3:16 – the spirit of God dwells with us. Let’s draw from the One who dwells within us. He will never leave us. 
As you go through the rest of this week, remember ‘no weapon formed against you will stand’.
God bless and take encouragement this week.
To watch the message in full check out this link.
Jon Baldwin
Associate Leader Riviera Life Church.


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. 

So what can we learn from this seemingly young shepherd boy who became a giant slayer and ultimately a great King?  How was he set apart?
Setting the scene!
In 1 Samuel 17 we read that the Israelites were at war with the Philistines. The Philistines had a champion, a giant of a man called Goliath who would stride out into the valley where the two armies faced each other. Goliath was from Gad, he was suited and booted, ready for battle. Each day he would stride out and taunt and threaten the Israelites. They were filled with terror and they were greatly afraid.


Pause for thought: Does it sometimes feel that day and night the devil is taunting and tempting us?

It is into this scene that David arrives. He has been tasked by his father to bring food to his brothers who are soldiers in the Isralite army and in 1 Samuel 17:32 David, the young shepherd boy, says to King Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him (meaning Goliath). Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine”.  
Pause for thought: What convicted David to be set apart at this point? Do we ever get to a position where the Holy Spirit convicts us and says” It’s time to take a stand”?
In 1 Samuel 17:40 we read that David got himself ready to fight Goliath. A threatening giant did not phase him.  He took his staff in his hand and chose for himself 5 ‘smooth’ stones out of the brook. Here are 5 ‘stones’ or 5 instructions that we can apply to our lives if we want to become Giant Slayers in God’s Kingdom.

Stone 1: Preparation 

They say ‘everything is in the preparation’. David was prepared to fight Goliath. Goliath wasn’t the only giant, he also had 4 other brothers who were also giants! Perhaps David in his preparation picked a stone for each giant! Perhaps, in the picking of stones David also thought about previous  generations who had picked up stones from the river Jordan, and as he too picked up stones from the brook he reminded himself of how God had protected them and in the same way he would protect David. Bottom line, David was prepared. 

Stone 2: Attitude

David displayed a godly attitude through this whole experience, his attitude and character was important to him. This shines through in the whole dialogue of 1 Samuel 17.

Stone 3: Perspective 

David had and kept his perspective in check. He knew who he was and He knew his God and what God could do through him.
He was a proven past champion. He had taken on the lion and the bear in the fields where he looked after sheep. He was a giant in God. He was well armoured. He had confidence in God. He had ability. He had God behind him. His perspective and praise was on his God.

Stone 4: Conviction

David had a Righteous Anger. He was not prepared to let armies attack and come against him. His conviction was about who his God was. In 1 Samuel 17:45 – 46 David tells Goliath… ‘I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,the God of the armies of Israel, this day will the Lord deliver you I to my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head”.
What conviction and boldness David had! We too as the church today can be set apart to be the same. Stand up for a cause. Speak up for justice. Be a voice for the unheard.
How well do we know our God?

Stone 5: Victory

David had victory.  He triumphed with a sling and stone! In 1 Samuel 17: 48-49 notice how David ‘ran’ TOWARD (not away from) his enemy, put his hand in his bag and took a stone, and he ‘slung’ it and struck the Philistine (enemy) in his forehead. Goliath fell upon his face to the ground.
In summary, here are a few questions to think about:
  1. What’s in your bag
  2. Are you ready to be a giant killer?
  3. What do we come ready and armed with?
  4. 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…
  • Health
  • Finance 
  • Addiction
  • Work
  • Family
  • Relationship 
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Future

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.

Let’s remember to suit up and as Ephesians 6 says to be ready and prepared in the Armour of God.
Be blessed!
Lindy Dyson
Riviera Life Church
To hear the sermon in full check out this link.

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. 

  1. 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”. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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!

Jon Baldwin

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:

  1. How did you end up planting a Church in Torquay?
  2. What have been some of the challenging moments of the past 27 years?
  3. What have been some great moments over the last 27 years that have caused great joy for you?
  4. What lessons have you learnt in life and Christian ministry to pass on to the next generation?
  5. 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.

Prayer points:

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!

God Bless,

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 info@rivieralife.co.uk


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 info@rivieralife.co.uk


Ministry Reflection: Sunday 2 January 2022

Great Expectations


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:


God Bless. 

Jon Baldwin                                                       

Associate Leader, Riviera Life Church.