Palm Sunday

Pastor Rachel kicks off the start of Holy Week by unpacking the practical implications of Jesus’ triumphant, humble entry into Jerusalem.

Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11

 

Defining Worship

Worship is not a religious thing; worship is a human thing. Everyone worships. The only choice we have is what we worship. According to the Bible (Romans 12:1), our true act of worship is what we do with bodies Sunday-Saturday, not just Sunday mornings in singing songs and listening to a sermon. We can tell what we really worship by examining what we value in our everyday schedules and habits. What do we dream of? What do we long for? What do we sacrifice for in our everyday lives? As Paul urges in Romans 12:1, may we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice — as this is our true and proper worship.

Scripture: Romans 12:1

 

A Different Kind of Prayer

Prayer is an interesting subject. While it is the act of talking and listening to God, most people are still uncomfortable with it. Many people look at God as a cosmic vending machine, and when we say a prayer, sometimes we think God will do what we want, when we want it. Yet in Ephesians, Paul leads by example and gives us a different kind of prayer. Paul seldom, if ever, in Ephesians asks God for a smoother road. Instead, he acknowledges God’s faithfulness among the people, he gives thanks to God for seeing people use their gifts, and he thanks God for who He is as the giver of all good things – all the while reminding us that we are part of God’s bigger story, and therefore teaching us a new way to pray.

Scripture: Ephesian 1:15-23

5th Sunday

Every 5th Sunday, for our regular worship service, we want to intentionally slow down and come together to engage God through music, prayer, personal stories and Scripture reading. For this special ‘5th Sunday’ worship service, we reflected on and celebrated New Life’s 85th anniversary and our New Life Indonesian one year anniversary!

Scripture: Psalm 119:90

5th Sunday Worship Service

Every 5th Sunday, for our regular worship service, we want to intentionally slow down and come together to engage God through music, prayer, personal stories and Scripture reading. This special ‘5th Sunday’ reflective worship service will create a corporate rhythm of coming before God to worship, confess our brokenness, lament, offer thanks and be refueled for Jesus’ redemptive mission.

In His Presence

In a world that glorifies busy schedules, to-do lists, and over achievement we can easily become focused on all that there is to do. Additionally, Christians can easily become stuck in the routine of attending church on Sunday and miss the focus on God’s presence. In Psalm 84 the psalmist reminds us that God’s presence should be our primary priority in life. We can be easily distracted by many things in this world, but surely one day in God’s presence is better than a thousand elsewhere.

Scripture: Psalm 84

Praise: Sing A New Song

We naturally praise our favorite authors, best sport teams, vintage wines, delicious food, great actors, fancy vehicles, our loved ones and the list goes on. CS Lewis says this about praise, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” Psalm 98 reminds us that our praise needs to be to God for the faithfulness and salvation that He alone provides for us.

New Life is a wonderful, intergenerational and diverse gathering of God’s people. We are fortunate that we experience praising God in not just one song or style of expression. As people encounter God for the first time or when a believer experiences God in a fresh way, we can’t help but sing a new song. Maybe for some of us we have taken our faith for granted, and so there is nothing new to sing about. May this message remind us all that God uses us to partner with Him to help others experience Him again for the first time and to remember the natural response is to praise Him. If our nose gets bent out of joint because we ‘don’t like something’ in the church service maybe it’s time to evaluate, “Am I coming to church to please myself or to praise God for all He has done for me?”

Scripture: Psalm 98, Ephesians 5:19, John 3:16