LifeCity Church Canberra - Making It Real

The official Blog of LifeCity Church, Canberra a young, dynamic church now meeting in Civic, in the heart of Canberra.

Welcome Home - The Code Series Wk 1

LifeCity Church - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

WELCOME||HOME

The way Jesus describes God in prayer and thus relationship is as 'Father'. It seems simple enough and particularly in the west we then position ourselves rightly as sons or daughters of God. Unusually though, many then proceed in their faith in a place of isolation forgetting that Jesus starts the Lord's prayer with 'Our'.


Though God wants you individually, the scarier element for most is that God's primary affection, God's direction, and yes even God's 'election' (I swear that was not supposed to sound alliterated) is not upon the individual it is upon his chosen people.

In the Old Covenant, Israel was 'chosen' (or elected) by God because “they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.” (Rom 11:28). Deuteronomy 4:37 tells us that "Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them".


Romans 9:11 – 12 tells us that... "though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him, who calls, it was said to her, 'The older will serve the younger'".

Some misunderstand this verse (and passage in general) because we are obsessively individually focused, however it is not individual election God is primarily talking of in Romans 9 but the election of a nation for his purposes. Genesis, giving a fuller background tell us "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23)

God chose Israel in the forefathers. Each individual was 'chosen' because they were born into Israel by birth and participated in the covenant through faith (yes, even in the in the OT). In the exact same way, we are told in Ephesians 1:4 tells us “For he chose us in him...” The Church is chosen as a new covenant community in Christ, through Christ and for Christ. Repetitively throughout Ephesians 1 and 2 we are told that our salvation, our identity, our sufficiency is in Christ.

BUT... what does this matter to us?

The Short answer is that the call of God, the direction of God and the affection of God is unconditionally towards his Church, Christ's bride. The Church has been unconditionally elected not you as an individual. This is important because such an understanding readjusts the way we consider our place in the world.

You cannot be walking in the will of God and be practically apart from the body. It is inconsistent with the community call of God in Christ. No where in the New Testament do we even get a glimmer of the idea that one might be a disciple and in a casual relationship with the Church or indeed practically and relationally not part of it. Baptism was the initiation and declaration of a repentant person coming into a new family, a new way, a new identity, a new community.


God is NOT about building your dream, God is about building his.


Psalm 37:4 tells us “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Unfortunately we frequently approach this completely opposite. We say to God (and to the Church for that matter) 'give me the desires of my heart and I will delight in you'.

God is about building a home defined by him.


a) Home is WHO we are (as defined by our father in heaven)

The good, the bad and the ugly. Christ is beautifying his Church and she is loved even when not perfect.

1 Cor 3:9 starts For we are God's fellow-workers; you are God's field, God's building.

For we are GOD'S...!!! We seem to continue to forget this little detail, we are his.

This is not about God blessing what we do, but about us standing in what he is blessing. 

This is not about us creating a monument to our comfort but a home that positions for the ultimate fight.

Psalm 127:1  says...

"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

More important then strategy, vision or style is our Identity, an identity found in Christ, expressed and shaped consistently in, through and because of the local community we are dedicated to because it is home.

b) Home is about our place of grace

The Apostle Paul continues talking of his call and the Church in saying...

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 3:10 – 11

What is the grace on your life?

What is the Grace on the house?

The local expression of the Church is as diverse as the grace of God that he puts on our lives.

So often, individual's, Churches and Ministries get caught in a comparison trap. We get 'home' envy because the grace of God on another has built something unique to the call of God on that person or community.

When we try to live in a place of comparison rather than grace, we get intimidation.

The key sign of health in Church community is not simply growth or size (that could easily be obesity or a tumour), it is maturity expressed in healthy reproductivity.

c) Home is about our hopes & dreams


I remember drawing my dream home as a child, it looked remarkably similar to family friends of ours. Have you ever had home envy? As you grow in life and mature you discover another persons home is not your home.

When we shape a home we shape it in expectation and anticipation of a preferred future.

The expectant parent prepares the new babies room, the couple creates a home with quiet dreams of a child filling the empty room. God is not building us for where we are but where he is taking us

1 Cor 3:12 continues...

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.” 1 Cor 3:12 – 13

We build in expectation, anticipation and hope that what is built lasts in eternity.

We build not for the life that sits just in front of us but for eternity that extends this life.

We build for the vision of Rev 7:9 – 12, a vision of people from every nation tribe and tongue standing before the throne of God clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

In the Message Paraphrase of Ephesians 2:16 – 22 it says...


“Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father. That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.”

The direct recipients of this passage were largely Gentile believers, feeling rejected at times because they were not 'chosen' like Israel. Paul however stresses in Ephesians that we now have been 'chosen in Christ' and he is building a home. He is not building a full service restaurant where we can come and go, where we can demand service and treat it like a consumer treats a business rather he is building a home.

So often people have become consumers of a spiritual product and seek more and better service, picking and choosing from different providers. Going from Church to Church to get their fix.

Are you a Spiritual Consumer relating to the Church as a provider? Or are you part of community on mission?


Listen to  'WELCOME HOME' from our sermon Series 'The Code' (note: the recording is initially not great before improving)

NEXT BLOG – ARE YOU A SPIRITUAL CONSUMER?

WATER WARS & BBQ

LifeCity Church - Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hey all, 

on the 3rd of Feb in the South at Kambah and the 10th of Feb in the North at Kaleen we are

having "Water Wars" and BBQ after church. There will be plenty of fun

for everyone. So bring your water pistols and water bombs (though

we will provide plenty) and get ready to be atleast a little wet.

There will also be a BBQ so bring some food to share and make some new friends. 

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE!!! 


LifeCity Church//South (Tuggeranong/Woden) relaunching on the 3rd of Feb

LifeCity Church - Monday, January 21, 2013

Hey all, 

just a quick reminder to everyone that //South kicks off for 2013 on the 3rd of Feb back at the 

Namadgi School, 141 O'Halloran Cct, Kambah @ 9:27am. Looking forward to seeing everyone then. 

4Life, 

JOSH

Breakthrough Sermon Series

LifeCity Church - Friday, November 16, 2012

Hey all, 

this coming Sunday we are kicking off our new Sermon Series "Breakthrough" focusing on the grace of of God to bring down walls, change circumstances, to reorient our lives, open new opportunities and ignite our hearts for the Glory of his name through prayer, fasting and giving. 

In Matt 6, building on the flow of Matt 5 Jesus speaks of a new way of living, a Kingdom way of living that is not always in the 'whats' but in the 'Why's. He speaks to three areas, Giving, Fasting & Praying. He never presumes that these activities are possible activities in our lives but 'givens'. 

Importantly, he says "When you do a charitable deed" (V3) and "when you pray..." (v6) and "when you fast..." (v 16) 

Living kingdom centred lives is the answer to worry and fear. 

I believe that God is always guiding us, we however are often effectively blind because the Storm dominates our vision rather then the one who is greater. 

Join us this Sunday to continue your journey, to connect to community and most importantly to worship God as one. 

New Series 'One' Kicking off this coming Sun day

LifeCity Church - Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hey, our new series "ONE" will be kicking off this Sunday. So often we in pray ask Jesus to answer our prayers but imagine being in the position to be answering his prayer (weird thought really)

20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." John 17:20 – 26


From being One with God through to being ONE as a community. We will cover ONE of the most powerful realities in the heart of God. ONE which brings him glory and draws people to him.

Join us as we take a journey into the nature and heart of God and the implications in our relationship with God, our relationships with others and even our personal unity.

4 Life,

Josh

LifeCity Church Canberra

LifeCity Church Canberra on Twitter

LifeCity Church - Friday, April 17, 2009
Hey,

just a note to say we are now on Twitter (for better or worse) so if you want to follow us check out our LifeCity Church twitter

or you could follow Josh's twitter



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Service Time: Sun - 10:27am Location: 35 East Row, Canberra City

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ThePoint*

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