ANZAC Day: “Lest we forget..”

Today is ANZAC day in Australia. It’s the day we set aside to honour the Australian war veterans and acknowledge their contribution to Australia, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s a day where Australians celebrate their identity as Australian citizens—what it means to be a part of the country. The ideas of mateship, sacrifice, courage and everything that the ANZAC soldiers have stood for. In many ways it’s a more important day to Australians than Australia Day (our national holiday) because it was on April 25th 1915 that many people believe Australia really found its identity as a nation rather than looking to England for that identity.

On this day where we think about our citizenship here on earth, it’s a good reminder that we also have a citizenship in heaven. As Paul says in Phil 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does this heavenly citizenship mean? When you accepted Jesus as your Lord, you no longer find your identity only in your culture, but even more so in Jesus. So, in the same way that our Australian citizenship is reflected in the values we have and the way we live, our heavenly citizenship and identity should be reflected in the values we have and the way we live for the Lord.

What does that look like? Well, Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow. He is the example that God sent to show us how to live our lives—the way he related to others and therefore the way he wants us to relate to others, the way he modelled how he wants us to treat others, the way he was all about his Father and his Father’s agenda in every situation rather than his own agenda, and how that should show up in our lives too.

Think about how he used every encounter he had to draw people closer to his Father. How he was constantly in prayer asking the Father to use him in the lives of people around him. How he constantly spent time with those who needed God, not just with those who already knew God.

Jesus was ALL about his Father’s agenda here on earth. Everything he did and every encounter he had with people he had that uppermost in his mind. Can you say the same? As you go about your daily life, are you ALL about God’s agenda?

What do we mean when we say this?

As you interact with people—whether it be one of your friends at a BBQ, or your neighbour as you mow the lawn, or even at the checkout at your local grocery store—be aware that God has a plan for that person. He has put you into that person’s life right at that moment for a reason. You are part of God’s plan to draw that person closer to him. It may be just to give them a smile and say thank you, but it may be to start a conversation that will lead to them joining God’s family.

So today on ANZAC day, remember that we are no longer just citizens of our countries, but as Paul says, “…our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

10 Common misconceptions about Christianity and Christians: #10 Christianity is a cop-out for people who need help or don’t want to take responsibility for their own lives

“Christianity is a crutch.” This statement is something that you would hear used by atheists, the most famous of which in modern times is Richard Dawkins.  He said such things as, “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.” In other words, Christians don’t want to think for themselves, so we just explain creation and other things that we don’t understand as of divine origin. Dawkins insults the intelligence of every Christian and completely discounts the possibility of God or there being something in the world that cannot be explained by “science.”

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10 Common misconceptions about Christianity and Christians: #5 Christians are no fun!

“You’re no fun!” Haven’t we all heard that or something like it? For me, it’s usually been in response to not going to a strip club after an office Christmas party, or stopping drinking before getting drunk when at your mate’s place or at the pub. In society, there is this pervasive perception that if you are a Christian, that means you cannot have fun.

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Why should a person consider Christianity? Because of Christianity’s central figure, Jesus Christ!

How often have we all heard a variation of “Jesus was a good person with fantastic morals and he was a great teacher, but that’s all he was.”? It’s a very common thought for a lot of people, isn’t it? People realise that Jesus was real, but they are not willing to accept his claims that he is God. They can see that the values he taught are really good values that we should all aspire to, but don’t want to engage in the other truths that he teaches such as “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

However, when you look at the life of Jesus and the claims he makes, he could not be a good person if a good person and a great teacher was all he was. So, when someone talks to you and says expresses those doubts about Jesus being God, you could ask if they have heard of the 4 L’s.

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God’s patience and love for the lost

God’s way of communicating his heart to us is through his word. It’s his way of talking to us. When we are finding it tough to connect with non-Christians, what better way to renew our passion for sharing Christ than to go back to the Bible and find out anew God’s heart for the lost? There are so many passages we could talk about, but here are just a few.

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Connecting with non-Christians makes you care about sharing Christ with them

It’s human nature to connect and hang out with like-minded people isn’t it? As a result, all too often in our Christian lives we find ourselves connecting and hanging out only with other Christians. It’s our comfortable place. We can pray together, support each other and talk about things on a personal level. But when you think about it, that’s not only what Jesus did, was it? Jesus was constantly surrounding himself with people who didn’t believe in him. Even when it led to ridicule.

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How to answer: I don’t need to respond to the gospel—I’m not good enough/I’m already good

You might wonder why we put these two objections in the same blog when they seem so opposite to one another. One person thinks they are good enough for God and the other thinks they are so bad that God wouldn’t accept them.

But in reality, both of these objections have the same problem. They both assume that being right with God comes from how good we are. One person assumes that they are already good enough and the other that they could never be good enough, but both people think being good enough is what matters!

The answer for both is God’s grace.

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