Many things have two parts to make a whole.  A candle needs wax and a wick to make light.  A bow needs an arrow to hit the target.  A CD needs a CD-player to make beautiful music.  A BBQ will not cook without gas or coals.  And a hose is just a pipe without water.  

So many things need a counterpart before they can become truly effective.

God designed man and woman as two parts that come together to work as an effective whole.  Quite often, we will only start functioning when we are connected to our counterpart.  What one lacks, the other has in abundance and vice versa.  Only as a whole do we start realizing our purpose and full potential.  God created marriage so greater things could be accomplished.  However, we must remember, in order for this to happen both parts must be in working order.  (See Ecclesiastics 4:9 and Ephesians 5:31)

It is the same with us and God.

Only as we connect with Him can we realise our FULL potential in life. After all, He created us with this very thing in mind. To live in relationship with Him and together to accomplish many good, beneficial and worthy works in life. (See Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:9)

Early in the morning of April 15, 1912, the SS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, taking with her 1513 passengers.  It was a tragedy that should never have occurred.  The Titanic had received many warnings but failed to heed them all.

As with the Titanic, we are on our maiden voyage (life) and tragedies are often the result of not heeding warning signs.  When we get into bad habits of over or under eating, too much or too little exercise or too little sleep, our body gives signals of pain and discomfort, warning us to change our direction.  Likewise, the soul also sends out warning signs of depression, despondency, bitterness, fear, jealousy, pride - all signals that something is not right in our spiritual life and we need to change course.  Unfortunately, we often ignore these signs of impending danger, thinking we are unsinkable.  

Individually and nationally we set a course that will either sink us or steer us to our destination.  Being a perfect gentleman, God lets us choose our own course in life.  God, also being all-knowing, sees the icebergs that lie ahead of our choices and sends many signals so we can adjust our course.  If we choose to ignore His warnings, we must also take responsibility for the outcome.  God is not to blame for life’s tragedies, but if we call He is always there with a lifeboat ready to rescue us. (See Proverbs 3:5-6).

At Encourage Church we love the Word of God because it is our relevant “Directory” to Life.

Why not join us on Sundays at 10:00am for relatable and applicable messages or attend one of our fortnightly Life Groups where your questions, difficulties and issues about life matter to us.

Pastor Marilyn Hunter

The absence of water makes a desert.  The absence of land makes an ocean.  The absence of warmth makes the polar caps.  The absence of light makes darkness.  The absence of God's unconditional love and abundant provision makes Hell.

 Hell, for want of a better word, is simply a place where God and all of His goodness is absent. 

 In life, God sustains us with oxygen, gravity, water, sunshine and all the universal laws of order - even when we make it quite clear that we want nothing to do with Him.  

However, there will come a day (death) when God must respect our decision to live apart from Him - His perfection demands it.  On that day He may say to those who rejected salvation, ‘It saddens Me that you have refused all My gracious offers of salvation and shown on all occasions that you want nothing to do with Me.  I must respect your decision (free-will) and leave you in a place that has been set aside where My provision of healing, joy, love, kindness, goodness, mercy, forgiveness, patience and peace, shall be absent, where I will not sustain the environment or the universal laws of order, where My light will be nowhere to be seen and where you are beyond the reach of My comfort.  It is a place where I shall respect your wish and remain absent from you for eternity.’ (See 2 Thessalonians 1:9)

It is foolish to say we don’t need God in our lives.  Hell is the void created when God’s providence is absent.  It is a place of absolute darkness, chaos and everlasting discomfort.  Let us not eternally regret being separated from God when Heaven is simply ours for the asking. The Bible clearly states: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). CHOOSE God for your LIFE - TODAY.

Pastor Marilyn Hunter

In our busy lives it is easy to lose contact with family or friends.  If we don’t make the effort to keep in regular contact, close relationships can eventually slip away.  In time, they rarely come into our thoughts and soon become a distant memory.

Many Mothers’ hearts are breaking today because their children are so busy with various other friends, and so involved in social media, that their children feel they have no time to put into their relationship with their Mother.

How quickly children forget, or don’t even realise, the place that their Mother has in her heart for them and the huge sacrifice that she made for them when they were only young children and in some cases still does. 

No matter how long ago since we last spoke to her she doesn’t hold a grudge.  When we finally call, she happily picks up the relationship where we last left off.  Such is her love for her children.

Christianity too is not about religion – it’s about a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  God is all around us and will never forsake us.  But friendship with God can also be lost on our part in the busyness of our lives.

At first we may have had a meaningful and personal relationship with God, but if we don’t keep in regular contact (through prayer and reading His words to us) we inevitably lose contact with Him.  He will cease to be a reality in our daily life and we may begin to wonder if He exists at all.

He waits patiently – continually giving us little reminders to call home.  No matter how much time since you last spoke to Him, God doesn’t hold a grudge.  When we finally call, God happily picks up our friendship where we last left off. 

God says to us in His Word: “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20) and “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.” Jeremiah 31:3

This Mother’s Day, can we remember our Mothers and make it a very special occasion for her, where we not only pick up the phone, spend some quality time with her or even tell her special she is to us, but let it become the ‘norm’ in our everyday relationship with her. That would be the best Mother’s Day gift that she will receive.

We can also do this today with God and make it a very special occasion for Him.

Pastor Marilyn Hunter

We will all eventually die.  If the Bible is correct, there is an afterlife with judgement, heaven and hell.  What is our plan to reach heaven?  

Many say: ‘Well, I’m a relatively good person – when I die I’ll just hope for the best.  Others add: ‘I’ve been baptised, had communion, plus I give regularly to the church and charities – I think I’ve ticked all the boxes.’

It’s ironic that many people, including many Christians, think getting to heaven depends on what they do.  When asked about the relevance of Jesus Christ and the Cross, most scratch their heads; they don’t see a connection between their going to heaven and what Christ did on the Cross.

Many people consider the cross simply a symbol of Christianity – a story told at Easter how a good man was wrongly crucified and miraculously rose from the dead.  

Fact is, if we could earn our way to heaven by good deeds or religious rituals, Christ died needlessly on the Cross.  If we could save ourselves by our works, there would be no point for Jesus to die for our salvation (John 3:16). 

The Bible states: we can never be good enough to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9) – our works are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6) – that we need to be born-again (John 3:3) – and become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  

To enter the kingdom of heaven we need to have God’s PERFECT uprightness, decency, integrity and morality.  This is the whole point of Jesus being crucified on our behalf.  If we accept the gift of salvation by believing in Christ we receive His PERFECT GOODNESS and are instantly adopted into the family of God.  Alternately, if we are hoping our good deeds or religious rituals will save us; sadly, we are in for a very rude shock.  

We need the Cross.  Christ is our salvation – He is the only door and way into heaven.  

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.  

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.

 Pastor Marilyn Hunter

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