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Pastor Chris Miller's weekly newsletter, listed by date.  After each Daily Bible Reading is a direct download of the full newsletter. 
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Matthew 20:28    

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to
give his life a ransom for many.  

When we do our daily reading as a family, one of the first things I ask after we finish the reading is, "What did God bring to your mind as we were reading through this passage?" We share with each other our devotional thoughts for the day and then fill out our prayer journal and pray together. I love this time together with my family. 

The thing that I noticed in our reading today was that some who had worked in the vineyard all day, expected more than what they had originally agreed to, because some who had worked only a short time were receiving the same pay as those who had been working all day. One of the lessons that can take away from this is, that a sense of entitlement and what most might consider fair,is more in line with the world than the kingdom of heaven. Like so many other things, the teachings of Jesus for becoming great the exact opposite of worldly thinking. Jesus said to become great you should become a humble servant. 

This Saturday, we celebrate Australia day, it has been 225 years since the first fleet arrived in Sydney cove in 1788. A lot has happened since then. The good things that have happened are mainly because many were willing to give their life as humble servants to something they deemed to be bigger and more important than themselves. Today we enjoy the fruits of those who have served to make Australia what it is today. 

Today it is still our responsibility to be humble servants on God's kingdom and that is certainly in harmony with being servants to our nation. As soon as we lose the attitude of a humble servant and begin to have a sense of entitlement, bad things start happen. Let's set the example as servants of God and be the best servants we can be. Even Jesus, the greatest of all, came to be a servant and gave his life as a ransom for many. 
27 January, 2013
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Matthew 26:33    

Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.  

I am sure Peter meant what he said when he told Jesus that he would never deny Him. Jesus obviously knew what was going to happen, in the next verse He tells Peter that he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed the next morning. 

You can imagine how Peter felt as he swore that he didn’t know who Jesus was for the third time and then He heard that rooster crow. What Jesus had said flooded back into his mind and the Bible says that Peter went out and He wept bitterly. This wasn’t the end of Peter, he had a lot of growing up to do, but he did eventually go on to become a useful servant for Jesus.

I don’t doubt Peter’s intentions, but the fact is He denied Jesus when He said He wouldn’t. How many times have we said, “I will be in church on Sunday, I am going to read my Bible, pray, quit being a drunk, stop using drugs, stop looking at rubbish on the internet, etc...” only to find ourselves doing exactly what we said we wouldn’t? 

It usually continues to happen because we won’t confess sin and ask for help and prayer. We are afraid of what people might think, say or do. The reason we are afraid is because the love of most is conditional. The love of Jesus however is unconditional. Even though Peter denied Him, Jesus still loved him and that is the only reason He went on to become a useful servant. We can always confess sin to Jesus, His love is unconditional. 

The fact is that we all sin, even when we don’t want to or don’t intend to. Jesus loves us anyway. It is because of the unconditional love of Jesus that we can confess those sins to Him and be freely forgiven. Believing that I have to be “good enough” to be forgiven is also believing that the love of Jesus is only conditional. Fortunately, for us all, it is unconditional. We can all learn from that. Think about the love you have for others, do they have to be “good enough” to be loved by you? 

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Luke 22:28-31    

Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;.  

Simeon was a man who had been eagerly awaiting the birth of the Messiah. God had revealed to him that he would not die until he saw Jesus, the promised Saviour. He was led by God to go to the temple the same day that Mary and Joseph were there to present baby Jesus to the Lord as was required by the law. Then you can read what happened next in the passage above.

There is a message in the word’s of Simeon that is for all of us, every person, in every part of the world. Simeon says, “I have seen your salvation Lord, that you have prepared for all people, now I can die in peace.” I like the fact that Simeon can say, “now I can die in peace.” If you were faced with death and eternity today would you be able to say, “now I can die in peace?” That question deserves some serious consideration because one day we will all have our “today” when we are faced with death and eternity.

Every one of us. We don’t think about it much, but everyone one of us will come to that day. I have been privileged to walk with many people when they have faced a death in their family. Unfortunately, I have yet to officiate at a funeral for someone that I knew while they were living. I don’t know if  they were able to say, “now I can die in peace.”

We don’t have to worry about that day. Not because of anything we can do to change it, matter of fact trying to change it probably just produces more worry. The reason we don’t have to worry is the same reason Simeon was able to say, “now I can die in peace.” He had seen the salvation of the Lord. Have you? There is nothing we can do to change the fact that the day will come when we face death. On that day, what matters is if we have the salvation that can only come through Jesus Christ.

3 February, 2013
3 March, 2013
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2012-2014 © Hinterland Baptist Church founded in 1990
John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 
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