Have you partnered with Jesus?  

There is no doubt that Jesus was effective in spreading the good news of the kingdom of God here on earth. But have you considered the partnerships Jesus had that enabled him to accomplish the work the Father had given him to do? 

Jesus partnered with his Father and the Holy Spirit. In John 5 we read Jesus saying, “the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing” verse 19. Again, in verse 30 Jesus says, “I can do nothing on my own”. 

Although fully God, Jesus operated only out of his humanity during his time on earth. He recognised his human limitations and his need for the Fathers divine direction and help through the Holy Spirit to accomplish his purpose. We see an example of this so clearly when Jesus began his ministry. In Luke 4 we see Jesus ministering in Capernaum, first in the synagogue and afterwards in Simon’s house. Mass crowds gathered and bought the sick and the demon possessed to be healed. Then, the very next day, we see Jesus finding a quiet place to be alone with the Father. When his disciples come looking for him, Jesus says to them “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well”. He had his instructions from the Father and went in the power of the Spirit. This is a scene we see often in the gospels; in fact, the busier ministry got for Jesus the more we see him taking time out in prayer seeking the Fathers will. Jesus could only achieve his purpose in partnership with his Father and the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus partnered with other people. In Luke 8:1-3 we see Jesus going “through the cities and villagers, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God”. But do you notice who is with Jesus? It may surprise you … he isn’t alone.

“The twelve were with him”. This may seem obvious but they aren’t the only ones. These twelve are the ones Jesus called to follow him. They are the ones he intentionally trained to share in the ministry of the gospel. Jesus knew his human reach was limited, he knew his time here on earth was limited, he knew his ministry as a man was limited, so he identified and equipped others to multiply his ministry across the world. Jesus modelled a team approach. Even when Jesus sent them out he didn’t send them alone but sent them out as a team of pairs. There are no lone rangers in Jesus’ ministry. 

Then we read, “also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities… and many others” were with Jesus. The very people who benefited from Jesus’ ministry were with Jesus. Why? Because they thought he was a nice guy?  I am sure they did think he was a nice guy, but more than that they had come to believe in who Jesus was and shared his kingdom purpose. They followed Jesus and participated in the ministry he had been called to. These people were the ones “who provided for them (Jesus and the 12) out of their means”. These women, and the many others, may not have been given the gift of evangelism, they may not have been trained for ministry, but they did use what God had given them and partnered with Jesus and the twelve to see the good news of the kingdom of God spread and multiply. 

Do you know why I am sincerely grateful Jesus partnered with his Father and the Spirit? Why I am sincerely grateful Jesus partnered with people? Because I am now one of the beneficiaries of his gospel ministry and, if you believe in Jesus, so are you. 

Is evangelism something you do in your own strength, with your own strategy? Jesus is calling you to stop and seek his direction and serve in response to his Spirit. Are you feeling Jesus calling you to follow him and be trained as a minister of the gospel? Today is the day to trust him, respond in obedience and take that step of faith.  Do you believe in Jesus? Then you are a beneficiary of his gospel ministry. He invites you to provide further for his gospel workers out of your means.  

Best Bible verses to use in conversations with non-believers

Ephesians 2:8-9

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”.

Sitting nervously in the car park watching people walk into church one Sunday, Susan said to me, “How can I go in there, I’m not like those other women”.  When I asked her what she meant, Susan explained to me that she didn’t feel as though she was as good as the other women who go to church. In her eyes they seemed to do the right thing and had lived their lives a lot differently to her.

In that moment I saw what was holding Susan back from experiencing a real relationship with Jesus. Susan believed she had to be a good person or do the right thing to be good enough for God and good enough to go to church.

Can you see the lie Susan was believing? This is a lie the enemy wants us to believe because deep down, whether we say it or not, we all know that we have messed up. We know we have sinned and fall short of Gods perfect standard.

Today God wants you to help people understand the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9 that says:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

The truth is that no amount of good works saves us or makes us good enough for God. It’s by his grace and his grace alone we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

The truth is that no amount of good works saves us or makes us good enough for God. It’s by his grace alone we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

I turned to Susan that morning and explained it is most likely that every other woman walking into church has felt like her before. But the good news for us all is that it’s by Gods amazing grace that we have been saved and are made right in his eyes. There is nothing any of us can do to earn Gods love and forgiveness. The good news is God offers us forgiveness as a gift, not because we are good enough or deserve it but because he loves us. All we need to do is receive his gift to us by faith – trusting our lives to him.

I went on to explain to Susan that the women she is judging herself against are no better than she is—they also needed Gods saving grace. They now try to live their lives in response to Gods love for them.

Who in your life feels unworthy to be loved by God?

Who do you know that is striving to live a life that is “good enough”for God?

Maybe the people you know express their belief about being good enough differently to Susan. Maybe they think the roof will cave in if they go to church or think heaven won’t accept them. In any case, they need you to help them understand the truth!

Take time now to memorise Ephesians 2:8-9. Then ask God for an opportunity to share the truth of his grace and our need to respond through faith.

Best Bible verses to use in conversations with non-believers

2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

We don’t often think of time as being relative, do we? I mean, there are only so many hours in a day. But according to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference. Maybe that explains why our good days whiz by, and the bad ones just drag on!

The reality is that if we were to observe time through the lens of velocity or gravity it would dramatically contradict what we assume to be true about the absoluteness of time. That’s why astronauts on the International Space Station age at a slower rate than us here on earth and the GSP systems of our satellites constantly need to be recalibrated. It’s also the reason why your cell phone measures time by the number of vibrations in a stable atom and not the rotation of earth around the sun.

It’s quite mind bending isn’t it? Think of how God sees time. God views time very differently than we do because His frame of reference is far above us. The way God orchestrates our past, present, and future is inexplainable, but it’s important that we remember that God has been, is, and will continue to be, at work in lives of those He is sending us to as witnesses.


As you share the Gospel with your redemptive relationship, you can show them through this Scripture that God will fulfil his promise to judge this world. Share with them that God is patiently holding back his judgment, giving them time to hear his loving invitation and turn to him.


You friend, fellow ambassador for Christ, bear the message that God is working in their life today; and at this very moment in time, God is reaching out to them for relationship if only they would repent of their sin and receive Jesus as their Saviour.

Best Bible verses to use in conversations with non-believers

2 Corinthians 5:21
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

When is it the right time to share this verse in a conversation with someone in your life who doesn’t know Jesus?

This is not the right verse to share when explaining our brokenness and need for God. Nor is it the verse to share when pointing out our guilt before God that separates us from him.

No, the time to share this verse is when you are explaining what the cross is all about. When you are explaining the spiritual connection God makes between the death of Jesus in the past and my faith in Jesus in the present, this is the verse to use.

We need righteousness to be right with God, but what we have is sin (guilt). Since we can’t undo our guilt we have a big problem and face God’s judgement. Jesus, on the other hand, had no guilt; he only had righteousness.

What this verse shares with a person trying to understand the gospel is that Jesus volunteered to take our guilt and give us his righteousness—an incredible exchange that could only come from a heart that loved us, even in our sinfulness, more than himself.

The verse tells us that God the Father accepted this sacrificial trade and “made him [Jesus] who had no sin [guilt] to be sin [guilty] for us, so that in him [because of his death on the cross that paid the penalty for our guilt] we might become the righteousness of God [we receive his righteousness and the good relationship with God that it brings].”

This is gospel, the good news: Christ died for us, in our place, because of his great love for us, and when we receive this gift—this great exchange—by faith, we start a relationship with God that changes our lives forever.

Use 2 Corinthians 5:21 to explain what Jesus did for us at the cross.

Best Bible verses to use in conversations with non-believers

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This blog series aims to help you know the best Bible verses you can use in sharing Christ with non-believers. Craig, Aaron, Josh and Andrew already shared with you the first four Bible verses we can use:

John 14:6

John 10:9-10

Romans 5:8

Today, I would like to share the most straightforward Bible verse I often use when sharing Christ with people, a verse that very simply shares two core truths. I understand that many of us sincere and God-fearing Christians struggle to articulate the core truths of the gospel in few sentences because I once had that struggle too. When we grasp the fullness of what Jesus did for us all at Calvary, we cannot help wanting to share it with everyone. We want everyone to have what we have!

We know that the Bible has a lot of great verses to share, but sometimes we hesitate to start gospel conversations with people because we are not sure which verses to use. We feel like we need to memorise heaps of verses to share the gospel with people, so we hold back.

I encourage you to just memorise Romans 6:23 — “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” When sharing this verse with a non-believer, simply pick out the two core truths of the verse, which are separated by the comma—the first truth is why we desperately need God’s help, and the second is the gospel!

Let me show you what I mean…

Truth 1: “For the wages of sin is death”

Think of a child and a parent. When a child disobeys, the relationship with his parent is strained. The parent’s love remains unchanged; however, the child may experience some consequences like discipline, natural consequences of their behaviour, mistrust and a sense of guilt. So it is with God and us. When we rebel against God’s will, ways and rule in our lives, we earn wages and those wages are “death”—a brokenness that separates us from God, the source of real life!

Truth 2: “But the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”

Only God can bring healing, love and wholeness. When we turn to God, trusting that Jesus paid for our forgiveness when he died on the cross, God forgives us as a gift. The gift comes “through Christ Jesus”. That is, you don’t have to do a lot of good things to earn it because Jesus already paid for it. You just need to thank God for his forgiveness and receive it. That’s called faith.

As you share this verse, make sure to share your own story of how you have met Christ. This is the most powerful thing you can do, as it says in Revelation 12:11. Be honest, and don’t sugarcoat it. People need to hear how your life was and how God changed your life. 

So, if you have someone in your life who doesn’t know Jesus yet, and you want them to experience the fullness of life through Jesus, share your heart and be vulnerable with them. Share your own experience of brokenness and healing that God is bringing. Talk about the way to get right with God, use Romans 6:23 and remember to keep it simple. If you can lock these two core truths in your mind, you will be able to share the gospel with anyone. 

Go BIG in praying for your witness. Remember that the Bible is the story of people who prayed, and God answered!

Why the gospel is relevant in today’s age?—Because spiritualism is still very popular

Many Christians think that no one is interested in religion. But the truth is, while the people who identify as non-religious are a growing minority, the majority of people still believe in religion of some sort. This week I would like to give you some statistics from here in Australia to encourage you as you think about sharing Jesus with those around you. These stats are taken from a 2017 survey conducted by McCrindle research. I want to show you that you don’t need to feel self-conscious about having spiritual discussions with people.

The percentage of people identifying as ‘non-religious’ is growing each year; however, 68% of people in Australia still identify with one religion or another. In addition, 55% of Australians actually talk about spirituality or religion some of the time. So you can see that, for a lot of people, it won’t come as a surprise if you ask them about spiritual things. Many talk about spirituality already, so it would be natural for them to have that conversation with you. Starting or having a spiritual conversation with someone will not necessarily mean that you are seen as weird or ‘old fashioned’.

In addition to this, 92% of Australians know at least one Christian and by far the majority have a positive perception of Christians with the biggest describers of Christians being words such as, “caring, loving, kind, honest and faithful”. Again, as you look to share your faith with the people around you, know that despite what the media or others may make you feel, most people have a positive impression of Christians. On a side note, despite 92% of people knowing a least one Christian, 28% know nothing about Jesus and 56% of people know almost nothing about their local church. As we think about sharing with the people around us, be aware that while people may know Christians, they may know nothing about what it means to be a Christian.

During this survey McCrindle Research asked non-Christians what they thought of Jesus and the Church. When asked about the church, only 9% of people had a negative impression of the church with people saying things like, “When all else fails, the church will be there.” When asked about Jesus, people said things like, “There is nothing negative about him, he was a very moral person. So many good traits there, if he does exist.”

What does all this mean? Well for me it shows me that while we live in an increasingly secular society (only 45% of people identify as Christians and only 7% of people would consider themselves active practisers) that does not mean that people are not interested in spiritual things. There is just a smorgasbord of options for people to choose from. That, in addition to the reality that today people decide on truth by experience, means that people are trying out all the different options to see which one works for them. Wouldn’t it be a shame if, by our silence, the ‘option’ of having a relationship with Jesus was never given to them!

It also means that I can have confidence that telling people around me that I am a Christian does not mean that I will be mocked or ridiculed. I may very well be so, but as I talk to people about Jesus, most people already think positively about him.

As you live your life in the mission field that God has put you in (which is wherever you are), speak out with confidence. Spirituality isn’t dead. It’s still part of the world we live in and discussing spiritual things is still very popular.

People are still searching, in some ways harder than ever. Help them in their search for Jesus!

 

 

 

Jesus is risen!

That statement will be echoed around the world today by millions of people. It’s the culmination of God’s ultimate plan for the human race. What an incredible blessing to be called a son of God as a result of today! Christ died and paid for our sins, and then he rose from the grave and conquered death. He has “the keys of Death and Hades”. (Rev 1:18)

 

For me the sense of joy that occurs on this day makes it one of my favourite of the whole year. As 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Christ’s resurrection means that we are alive with him. I would encourage you to read the whole of 1 Corinthians 15 today.

 

There is a song by Hillsong at the moment that I am loving. It says,

And the morning that You rose
All of Heaven held its breath
‘Til that stone was moved for good
For the Lamb had conquered death
And the dead rose from their tombs
And the angels stood in awe
For the souls of all who’d come
To the Father are restored”

 

I think sometimes we tend to forget the magnitude of what happened that morning. Jesus rose from the dead! Take a moment now and think about that. As the song says, the angels stood in awe. What is our response? Do we stand in awe, or do we sometimes take it for granted?

 

What about those people around us who so desperately need something to cling onto, some sort of hope? In this time that we are living in, now more than ever the world needs hope. What greater hope to share with them than the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and what that means for them?! Share with them that there doesn’t need to be fear or anxiety, but rather hope! And that hope is because on this day almost 2000 years ago Jesus rose from the grave in triumph.

 

We read about the disciples locking themselves in the upper room during this time. Indeed, not unlike what we are going through right now – having to isolate ourselves. While their reasons for being in that room are different to ours, Jesus’ response to us is the same.  We read the story in John 20: 19-21 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

 

Jesus is telling you two things today. Peace be with you. During all the turmoil and worry, peace. But what is the second thing? He is sending you. In amongst all the turmoil and worry, he is sending you. This time of self isolation and fighting this disease hasn’t put his call on your life on hold. Indeed there is no better time to be speaking to those around you about him – the hope of the world.

 

So go with his peace into whatever situation you find yourself. Whether it be just in your home with your family, or speaking to the fuel station attendant, or in the hospital or wherever you are and know that he has sent you into that situation, just as he did the disciples. Speak out with boldness, just as they did, and watch the Holy Spirit work in people’s lives around you!

The message of Good Friday

If there is one symbol that people associate with Christianity what would it be?

 

Wouldn’t you agree that it would be the cross – It sits proud above church buildings, it is the backdrop of many pulpits, it is impressed on the front cover of Christian bibles and it is worn as a jewelry pendant all over the world.

 

And yet, the message of the cross is misunderstood by so many. So, what is the message of the cross? Why is it so important? and what does it mean for you and me?

 

I love the way the Apostle Paul explains it in 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (ESV)

 

“For our sake”… If you ever doubt Gods love for you just look at the cross. The reason our heavenly Father sent Jesus into the world was for our sake, the reason Jesus endured the horror of the cross was for our sake, for our benefit, because we are in need of him. Doesn’t this tell you God loves you? “For our sake…”

 

he made him… God had a purpose in Jesus coming to earth. Jesus was sent on a mission, for a specific purpose. Gods purpose was for Jesus to endure the cross and become something that he never was. “For our sake he made him…”

 

to be sin… At the cross the sin of you and me, and all mankind of all time was poured into Jesus. Everything we have ever done to dishonour God or our fellow man, every thought, every spoken word, every action, every evil intent of our heart, body and mind was poured into Jesus at the cross. In taking on our sin upon himself he also took on the punishment our sin deserves. “For our sake he made him to be sin…”

 

who knew no sin… Unlike the rest of us, Jesus lived in complete obedience to his heavenly Father here on earth. He did face temptation and trials; however, when tempted he chose obedience. While Jesus didn’t deserve to die, he chose to die. Not only that, but he was also the only acceptable substitute to take our punishment upon himself on our behalf. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin…”

 

So that… Why would Jesus do that? “So that…”

 

In him… In the person of Jesus Christ, not in our own efforts, not in our own reputation or by our own intellect or skill, but in Jesus Christ. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him…”

 

we might become… You and I and all of humanity, we might become something we will never be without Jesus Christ. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become…”

 

the righteousness of God… Free from the punishment of our sin, at peace with God our heavenly father and made right in our relationship with him.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

 

So, does this mean that everyone is forgiven and made right in their relationship with God?

 

As we say in Australia – “Yeah… Nah…”

 

God has made a way for mankind to be at peace with him, but he will not force us to accept his gift of love towards us. We all make a choice.

 

All who choose to turn from living sinful lives and surrender their life in obedience to Jesus will “In him… become the righteousness of God.”

 

All who choose not to turn from their sinful lives and continue living life their own way are not in Christ and therefore remain separated from God. They have not received forgiveness and do not have peace with him.

 

The good news is that God wants all mankind to be in right relationship with him, that’s why he went to such great lengths: for our sake!

 

Today, if you want to explore more about the message of the cross and the Christian faith please contact us at [email protected]. We would love to journey with you.

 

 

 

When to talk to someone about God?—when you ask a question and they are responsive

Interacting with Christians from all different places is a joy to me. I love to help Christians learn how to have natural conversations about God with their friends, family and people they meet.

 

I’ve learned that many Christians struggle to know when it’s appropriate to bring God into a conversation with a non-believer. On one hand, Christians enjoy a beautiful and personal relationship with God, who has transformed their life, and they want others to experience God in a personal way too. On the other hand, they respect the personal views and beliefs of others and don’t want to unnecessarily offend people. So… when should you talk about God?

 

There are many circumstances when Christians can openly and naturally talk about God. One of those times is when you ask a question and people are responsive.

 

What do I mean by that? I remember a conversation I had with a tradesman when we were on a job together. We talked about all sorts of topics and what we looked forward to on the weekend coming up. He had a family birthday party on, and I shared I was also heading to a birthday party and then to church on Sunday. I asked him “What’s your spiritual belief?”. He replied, “I’m not into any of that,” and quickly changed the topic. It was obvious he wasn’t open to speaking about God, so I didn’t pursue it.

 

On another occasion I was having a conversation with a lady when I was travelling home from work. She shared how she was heading home for the weekend to take care of her disabled son and how tough life was for them as a family. I shared with her how I was going to spend the weekend and mentioned that I enjoy hanging out with friends at church on Sunday. I asked her “What’s your spiritual belief?”. She began to share with me her experience growing up with religion around her but that she never pursued church. However, she believed that there is more to life than what she was experiencing.

 

This lady was open and responsive to talk about God and for the next hour we spoke back and forth about Gods love, the heartaches of life, the reality of our experiences and the hope we can have when we personally know God, the one who hold the future.

 

You can enjoy natural conversations about God with people who are responsive simply by asking a question. What question could you ask?

 

Take a moment now and ask God to give you questions you can ask. Ask him to help you recognise when someone is responsive. Then trust him with your conversations!

When to talk to someone about God?—when your relationship moves past the surface to personal issues

One of the best opportunities to share the gospel is when you have a friend that you can talk to about personal issues that are happening in your life – it can be a wide-open door. But how can you tell when is a good time? How can you know that you are not going to alienate your friend? What should you talk about?

 

I think you probably know how to tell when a friend moves from the acquaintance zone to the friend zone. It’s when you stop talking about the weather and you start talking about the important things that are going on in your life – whether they be good or bad. It’s when you feel comfortable sharing with them about your struggles and also your triumphs. It’s when you no longer just talk about superficial things, but you really share what’s on your heart.

 

Why is this a good time to talk about Jesus? It’s simple! When you are talking about personal things, a natural part of that will be talking about the person that is most important to you. To talk about what they are doing in your life and how they are helping you. Your friend will expect you to open up and talk about what, and who is precious to you. In fact, if you don’t, they probably won’t open up either and you will never even move to the “friend zone”!

 

I know from experience that it’s almost impossible to talk about difficult or joyful times in your life without talking about your Father in heaven who was with you through them. It is one of the central themes.

 

So we have established that when a relationship has moved past the surface and to the personal level is the perfect time for you to be sharing about Jesus with your friend. But what can you talk about? Well, what has Jesus meant to you? How has he helped you in difficult times? Talk about those times, your struggles and triumphs. Be vulnerable! How did Jesus help you in those times?

 

The most important thing to remember is to be genuine and honest. People in this post-modern society we live in come to truth by way of experience. Show them your relationship with Jesus. Let them see what he means to you and feel what he has done for you. This will be far more powerful than any fact or figure that you can ever tell them.

 

And last but very much not least, pray, pray, pray. Remember that it is not you, nor your fancy words that will convince someone they need Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. Only he can draw someone to himself. So pray that God would use you in your friend’s life, and then open your mouth as his instrument and see what he does!

 

If you don’t have any non-Christian friends, here’s a helpful blog on how to step out of your “Christian Bubble”.  https://afci.com.au/how-do-i-get-out-of-my-christian-bubble/