About Me


Master in Ministry (Otago) Bachelor in Applied Theology (Carey) Diploma in Mission (Carey) Pastoring Eastside Baptist since 2002

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Romans 5:3

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, January 14, 2018,

Romans 5:3-5

 

We continue our summer series on favourite verses from the congregation. Today Karlene is going to share her verse.

 

Romans 5:3 … we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

 

[Karlene shares]

 

There are four key words in these Scri...


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Proverbs 3:5

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, January 14, 2018,

Proverbs 3:5-8

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Eva has recommended this scripture as the basis of today’s sermon. It is her favourite verse.

She will now tell us why. [EVA]

Self-sufficiency and self-dependence have been the ruin of...


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Advent 3 insignificance

Posted by Chris Lee on Wednesday, December 20, 2017,

Advent 3 2017 the fear of insignificance

Today on this 3rd Sunday of Advent that presented themselves to the people in the Christmas story. We have looked at Joseph and the fear of decision making; we have looked at Zechariah and the fear of inadequacy. Today we are going to talk about the fear of insignificance.

Significance is described as the quality of being worthy of attention; importance; and insignificance is the exact opposite.

People populate the Gospels and Acts, yet ‘most of...


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Advent 2 - fear of inadequacy

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, December 10, 2017,

Advent 2 2017 – Fear of Inadequacy

This is the second Sunday of Advent

Last week we started a series looking at the feelings of fear expressed by those in the Christmas Bible story and God’s solution to that fear

The Christmas carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” has the line “The hopes and fears of all the years” and that is the basis of this series. 

I want to talk about 4 basic fears of the key people in the Christmas story and the solution to those fears that is Christ.  ...


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Advent 1 Fear of decision making

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, December 3, 2017,

Advent 1 2017 Fear of Indecision

In the old hymn “O little town of Bethlehem” the first verse goes:

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

<play clip>

The line “The hopes and fears of all the years” is going to form the basis of my leadup to Christmas in this time of Advent

I want to talk abou...


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Welcoming the Holy Spirit

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, November 27, 2017,

Welcoming God into our lives

I want today to tell a story from the Old Testament, from 2 Kings; one of the stories about the prophet Elisha.

2 Kings 4:8 One day Elisha was passing through Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to have a meal. So, whenever he passed that way, he would stop there for a meal.

The first question this story raises for us is to ask: how welcoming are we to have God in our lives?

Elisha, the man of God was passing through the town of Shunem north o...


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Freedom or slavery

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, November 12, 2017,

Freedom or slavery

Often, to a new Christian it may seem that this thing called Christianity is filled with rules, particularly “don’t do that” rules; it seems to them that there are unwritten rules around worship services and how and when to pray and many other aspects of Christian life both in the church building and in their life outside the building.

Today I want to dispel that rumour. That is not the case.  Christianity is about freedom. It is not about slavery.

In Matthew 11:...


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Think on these things

Posted by Chris Lee on Tuesday, November 7, 2017,

Think on these things

Last Tuesday night was 31 October, now more commonly known as Halloween, and a non-NZ custom that is gaining popularity due to the promotion by businesses looking at yet another way of making money from punters.

Halloween originated from the ancient Druid celebration of Samhain. The day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and they believed that the change of seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. It was considered a ‘thin plac...


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Awareness of God

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, October 29, 2017,

Awareness of God

 

One of the things that many people comment on when they have been visiting Eastside is our God @ Work segment where people say how God is involved in their lives this week.

 

Of course, all Christians know that the presence of God is always with us, because Scripture tells us that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). 

 

And we take comfort from Jesus’ statement that he will be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20), but when we see...


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Chocolate Jesus

Posted by Chris Lee on Wednesday, October 25, 2017,

Chocolate Jesus

 

I want to introduce you to a song from my favourite singer Tom Waits. My wife refers to my singer choices as moaner-groaners – Tom Waits, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.

 

I do not believe that Tom is Christian but a lot of his songs have Christian focus and perhaps he is. Only God and Tom know.

 

When this song first came out on his 1999 album, I was offended, I thought it was blasphemous but the concepts keep drawing me back.

 

Listen to it and we will think about ...


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Looking back with rose coloured glasses

Posted by Chris Lee on Wednesday, October 25, 2017,

Looking backwards with rose coloured glasses.

Karlene and I went with our youngest son Kyle and his wife Jess on the first anniversary of their marriage for a road trip through the North Island last week. Jess had not been to the North Island before other than to fly through Auckland, so Kyle wanted to show her the great places that he remembered: the town he was born in (Tokoroa), the place of his youth (Tauranga) and great places visited (the Auckland Zoo and the hot pools in Rotorua and...


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"Way Down In The Hole"

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, October 1, 2017,

"Way Down In The Hole"

When you walk through the garden
you gotta watch your back
well I beg your pardon
walk the straight and narrow track
if you walk with Jesus
he's gonna save your soul
you gotta keep the devil
way down in the hole


he's got the fire and the fury
at his command
well you don't have to worry
if you hold on to Jesus hand
we'll all be safe from Satan
when the thunder rolls
just gotta help me keep the devil
way down in the hole


All the angels sing about Jesus' mighty swor...


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The Big Picture

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, October 1, 2017,

The big picture

Last Sunday night there was a combined church service at the Civic Theatre headed up by Tak Bhana of Church Unlimited from Auckland.  The ground floor of the theatre was filled with Christians of all manner of denominations.

And it reminded me that so often we get so busy doing our own thing for the Kingdom of God in our own little patch that we forget the bigger picture: within our city, region and nation.

Sometimes we get so focused on the ministries and issues that we ...


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Kingdom of God or kingdom of the world

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, September 24, 2017,

Kingdom of God or kingdom of the world

Yesterday we voted in the General Election to choose the people and parties that will lead us for the next 3 years. Some of us will be happy with the outcome, some will be disappointed.

Our task in the next 3 years is to see how the promises and commitments made in the campaigns will be enacted.

There will be policies that will be brought into law (or at least make it to the Bill stage of legislation) that we as followers of Jesus will disagree with...


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Elections and the kingdom of God 4

Posted by Chris Lee on Wednesday, September 13, 2017,

Elections and the Kingdom of God (4)

 

In 2 weeks time we have the democratic right to vote for those who lead us in this country for the next 3 years.  Don’t miss out on your right – a right that was not always available for every person, not women, not Maori, not commoners like ourselves.  Do not let this opportunity slide by.

 

Over the past month I have been taking Jesus’ statements made at the start of his ministry, so that we can lay what Jesus says against the policies and ...


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Elections and the Kingdom of God 3

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 27, 2017,

Elections and the Kingdom of God 3

 

Luke 4:18

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 

The content of the Good news of the kingdom of God is set out in those 5 statements.

 

And because we are about to vote in the General Elections in 3 weeks’ time, I have been...


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Ekections and the Kingdom 2

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 20, 2017,

Elections and the Kingdom 2

Luke 4:18

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 

The content of the Good news of the kingdom of God is set out in 5 statements.

 

And because we are about to vote in the General Elections in 5 weeks time, I am going to take one  of tho...


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Elections and the Kingdom 1

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 13, 2017,

Elections and the Kingdom

 

In 6 weeks’ time, we have the right and privilege to vote in the General Elections to choose the people we want to lead this country for the next 3 years. We have a chance to indicate to those people seeking power and seeking to be the decision makers for the country what we value and what we would like them to do on our behalf.

 

I have included in your newsletter a statement from the Equality Network, which is 37 Christian and non-Christian agencies that ...


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God pursues us relentlessly

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 6, 2017,

God relentlessly pursuing us

We have just heard a song by Hillsong called Relentless. The chorus

You carry us
Carry us
When the world gives way
You cover us
Cover us
With Your endless grace

Your love is relentless
Your love is relentless
Your love is relentless
Your love is relentless

I woke up the other morning singing that chorus

We often read about how “someone found God”; usually after a life event that caused them to evaluate things. But did you know that God pursues us? Becau...


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Flee the devil

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 6, 2017,

Flee the Devil

 

The idea of the Kingdom of God is a hard concept to get our heads around. There are two places in the Bible where the Kingdom of God is fully expressed. One is at the very end- in the Revelation of John and the other is at the start in the first 2 chapters of Genesis. The bits in the middle, particularly in the New Testament show glimpses of it, through a mirror darkly. Let’s go to Genesis

 

Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to w...


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Kingdom stories

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 30, 2017,

Story time:

 

Numbers 13 The Lord said to Moses, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites….” So Moses sent them …. 4 [Included in the 12 were]… Caleb son of Jephunneh  …[and] Hoshea son of Nun  16 Moses changed the name of Hoshea son of Nun to Joshua.

17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up there into the Negeb, and go up into the hill country, 18 and see what the land is like, and whether the ...


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Abide in the Kingdom

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 23, 2017,

Abide in the Kingdom

 

John 15:1-11

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in...


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Life application of thr Kingdom of God

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 16, 2017,

 

Life application of the Kingdom of God

 

The reign of God is not over one part of our lives but over life in totality. So last week we started looking at what it looks like to be in the Kingdom of God. We recognised that if we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, there is a culture in that Kingdom that is different to that of the kingdom of this world. We started by looking at the Beatitudes about breathing in and breathing out.

 

Today we take as our verse:

 

Luke 12:29 And do not ...


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Kingdom of God in the Beatitudes

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, July 10, 2017,

Kingdom of God in the Beatitudes

 

We have been talking about the kingdom of God being here and now, as well as future realised and today I want to start thinking about how we act in this kingdom that we are resident in.

 

To start with I want to look at a piece of the most famous sermon of Jesus’ – the Sermon on the Mount

 

MaTTHEW 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Ble...


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How big is your view of the kingdom of God

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 2, 2017,

How big is your view of the kingdom of God?

How big is your God?

Tony Campolo, Christian writer and lecturer, was once confronted by an atheist who was one of his students. The young man told Campolo, "For me to believe in God, I have to have a God that I can understand.” And Campolo replied, "God refuses to be that small!"

 

When Henry Norris Russell, a university astronomer, had finished a lecture on the Milky Way, a woman came to him and asked, "If our world is so little, and the u...


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Kingdom of God is like...

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, June 25, 2017,

The Kingdom of God is like…

 

The Kingdom of God is here and now but not completely here yet.  So how do we explain the kingdom to people in this world which seems to be so without the Kingdom of God and a world so engrossed in values that are opposed to the Kingdom of God?

 

Nowhere in Scripture is the Kingdom of God as such, clearly defined for us.

 

Jesus explained the Kingdom as he did for many other teaching, by using parables, stories used to demonstrate a point. By using comm...


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Trying harder vs kingdom of God

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, June 18, 2017,

Gospel of “try harder” vs the Gospel of the Kingdom

 

Last week we started looking at the Kingdom of God in the here and now, recognising of course that there is also a future component of the kingdom.

 

As we spoke, I asked why we do not see the behaviour changes in us as individuals and as a church that would show that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God.

 

The danger of that question is that we could get the impression that we have to try harder and today I want to dispel tha...


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Kingdom of God - intro

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, June 11, 2017,

The Kingdom of God – introduction

The kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God is the central theme of Jesus’ preaching, according to the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke).

Kingdom of God and Kingdom of heaven are synonymous terms.

While Matthew, who addresses himself to the Jews, speaks for the most part of the ‘kingdom of heaven’, Mark and Luke speak of the ‘kingdom of God’, which has the same meaning as the ‘kingdom of heaven’, but was more intelligible to non-Jews.[1...


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Pentecost

Posted by Chris Lee on Tuesday, June 6, 2017,

Pentecost 2017

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven l...


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Glorious Riches

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, May 29, 2017,


PURSUING JESUS

The story of King Solomon’s reign and fall is a story jam-packed with glitz and glamor, and by the end of the story the wheels had fallen off his life.  A true boom and bust story.

It’s a story that shows a strong start to your spiritual life does not guarantee a strong finish. So in that regard, it’s a story that is still relevant today.

The story of King Solomon speaks into our materialistic culture. A culture where so often God is pushed aside as we chase the ...


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Restoring the broken treasures of God

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, May 21, 2017,

Restoring the Broken Treasures of God

What are the treasures of God? They are perhaps summarised in the Maori proverb:

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Today we are talking about THE VALUE OF PEOPLE

1 John 4:21 (MSG) “If anyone boasts, “I love God”, and goes right on hating his brother and sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love t...


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Gospel as Treasure

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, May 15, 2017,

Gospel as treasure

The story of the birth of Jesus is often brought out of the attic along with the tinsel and Christmas trees and nativity scene figurines at Christmas time. But it is so much more than that! It is a story of God’s redemptive plan to save His people, set into motion. It is a story of God in all His glory, coming to Earth for the benefit of us- a sinful people.

Some people may have heard this story so many times that they have become numb to its significance; numb to th...


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Baptism

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, April 30, 2017,

Acts 8:27

 

Today we are baptizing Moeroa and that is neat.

 

Let us go back to a baptism that occurred in the first century and some truths that come out of this incident:

 

Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and...


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Easter Sunday

Posted by Chris Lee on Tuesday, April 18, 2017,

Today is Sunday, Easter Sunday. 

On Friday we looked at Jesus as the paschal lamb who died as a sacrifice, who died to free us from death.

Today is another picture, this time from the end of the Bible, in the Revelation by God to John.

Revelation 5:5

Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break i...


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Good Friday

Posted by Chris Lee on Tuesday, April 18, 2017,


Let us go back in time, well before the birth of Christ, to a time when the Israelites were slaves to the empire of the Egyptians, to the time known as the Exodus, to a time when God through a series of plagues and miracles set his chosen people free from the oppression and tyranny that stood over them like a dark cloud.

 

It was not the miracles that set the captives free but it was blood that set them free.  Let me explain:

 

Exodus 12:21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel...


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GIVING OUR BEST WITH OUR WHOLE LIVES

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, April 10, 2017,

We know of the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland between Roman Catholic and Protestants. Evil is not defeated by evil.

We know of the violence between Palestinians and Israel. Evil is not defeated by evil.

Not only between people groups but also between families.

Think of the long lasting feud between the two neighbouring families, the Hatfields and McCoys in West Virginia. Between 1880 and 1891, the feud claimed more than a dozen members of the two families. Truce was only agreed...


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Giving our best when it hurts

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, April 2, 2017,

Romans 12: 17 - 20

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head....


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Giving our best despite our feelings

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, March 26, 2017,

During this period of Lent we have focused not of giving up something but offering something of ourselves to others, and we have used as a our focus for those thoughts, the passage from Romans 12. We’ve looked previously at what it means to treat other members of the church as our Christian brothers and sisters, and with this week’s passage Paul gets even more counter-cultural.

Romans 1 2: 14 - 16 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice;...


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Giving our best when serving others

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, March 19, 2017,

Romans 12:9 - 13

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality.

In this period of Lent we have looked at what each of us has to offer and how we can use the gifts God’s given us to bless ot...


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Lent 2

Posted by Chris Lee on Tuesday, March 14, 2017,

Lent 2: GIVING OUR BEST TO OTHERS IN THE CHURCH

Romans 12: 3 - 5

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

The wor...


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Lent 1

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, March 5, 2017,

Lent: WEEK ONE: PREPARING TO GIVE OUR VERY BEST

Wednesday marked the start of 40acts: a 40-day challenge during Lent to transform our generosity. The passage that we’re going to be looking at alongside the challenge is Romans 12, a turning point in Paul’s letter to the Romans. The whole chapter is concerned with the way that we live, in the light of everything that Paul has expressed about our salvation in the previous 11 chapters.  

Romans 12:1 - 2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers...


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Grace Embodied

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, February 26, 2017,

Grace Embodied

The final of the grace strategies of the Baptist Union is Grace Embodied.

The description they provide is:

Because it is by grace that we have been called into life together in Christ we shall seek to embody the grace of God in our communities of faith, drawing on our Baptist heritage of attentiveness together to Christ as the Head of His Body and mutuality of love and service as members of that Body.  

Let us remind ourselves of the Good News that Jesus preached that go...


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Grace Unleashed

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, February 19, 2017,

The fourth in our series on the Grace priorities of the Baptist Union is: grace unleashed.

The explanation of the term is:

“Because the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all, we shall offer ourselves and our resources for the unleashing of that grace into every aspect of our local, national and global contexts through authentic grace-trained lives, courageous witness, and creative expressions of mission and community.”

One of the expressions of Christianity from the...


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Grace Nurtured

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, February 11, 2017,

Grace Nurtured

Over the past few weeks we have already looked at some of the 5 strategic priorities of the Baptist Union of NZ, of which we are a member church. The list of them is on the back page of the latest Baptist mag. We have already discussed Grace Shared and Grace Discerned.

Today we are looking at Grace nurtured.

In the goal, the preamble is: Because gifts of God’s grace have been bestowed on every member of the Body we shall value and nurture all of those gifts as we seek ...


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"Share" Bicultural partnership

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, February 6, 2017,

In 2016 The Baptist Union set 5 strategic priorities focusing on the word Grace.  The first we discussed last week with the heading “Discern”.

Today we tackle another, with the title “Share”

It says: We will celebrate and develop our bi-cultural partnership and ethnic diversity, valuing that we are made in the image of God

It is fitting to discuss this so close to the day celebrating the birth of our bicultural nation, even though it has become an object of division in some qua...


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Discern

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, January 28, 2017,

Strategic Priority – Discernment

Let me read to you a statement from Craig Vernall our Baptist National Leader…

Over the next few weeks I want to look at those priorities and consider how they relate to us here at Eastside and how we can implement them.

The first one is “Discern: We will be a movement that passionately seeks God’s kingdom on earth. By seeking his will and seeing his activity in our communities we will be given the confidence and direction we need to engage in his...


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Ruth 4

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, January 28, 2017,

Ruth 4

 

Today we conclude our journey through the book of Ruth, in which we have focussed on the ebb and flow of blessing and good fortune in life.

Remember Naomi and her husband Elimelech and their 2 sons Mahlon and Chilion went from the place of prosperity – Bethlehem and went to the land of their enemy the Moabites because of famine. They became refugees.

Remember that the two sons Mahlon and Chilion took Moabite wives, contrary to Jewish law.

Remember that calamity struck – al...


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Ruth 3

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, January 15, 2017,
Ruth 3 
Today we continue with the story of Naomi and Ruth in the book of Ruth as we consider the tidal flow of blessings and troubles in our lives.
Remember Naomi, her husband Elimelech and their 2 boys had gone to live in the foreign land of Moab when there was a drought in Judah. And remember that Elimelech died there, and so did their 2 sons, leaving Naomi, their foreign wives Orpah and Ruth destitute. Remember that Naomi came home bitter and broken and only one of the Moabite daughters in ...

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Ruth 2

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, January 8, 2017,
Ruth 2
This month we are talking about the ebb and flow of blessing  and to that end last week we started reading the book of Ruth in the Old Testament.  We learned in Chapter One of the demise of fortunes for Naomi, how the tide of life had gone from her, but we finished last week with Naomi and her Moabite daughter in law Ruth returning to Bethlehem, and there was a hint that the tide of good fortune could be coming back in for Naomi.
We continue in Chapter 2: it starts with an aside, known o...

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Ruth 1

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, January 7, 2017,
This month I want to talk on the theme of the ebb and flow of life – the fullness at times and the emptiness at times.  

The pattern of the sea tides is a predictable 6 ½ hours in and out due to the power and pull of the moon, but life’s ebbing and flowing is less predictable. 

However we have a hope built on the rock of Jesus that our tide will not stay out and that times of blessing will come.

For this 4 part series we will be looking at the book of Ruth from the Old Testament

As we read t...

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Hope

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, December 17, 2016,

Bringing the community Hope

When beauty contestants are interviewed on stage, the quintessential answer is that they hope for world peace., yet the world remains in turmoil and wars rage.

At this time of the year we are reminded that the one who came in peace – in fact the prince of peace – broke into our world 2000 years ago.

Today I am not talking about peace, but focussing on the concept of hope. I am not talking about some hope in the never-never – not the misuse of the word hope...


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Be doers of the Word

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, December 11, 2016,
Be doers of the Word
Matthew 7:24-27 
 ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house,...

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Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, December 4, 2016,
Not Ashamed of Jesus
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.
What has this wonderful declaration got to do with preparation for Christmas in this time of Advent?  Normally we have themes of Hope, Peace, Love, Joy. Another less common one is: Watch, ...

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Dreams and Visions

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, November 19, 2016,

Dreams and Visions

Last week we were part of the Southern Fire Tent revival meetings here in Invercargill.  This was as a result of a vision from God to John Watson. 

In 1981, John Watson, currently pastor of Abundant Life Centre, Dunedin, but at the time pastor at Tokanui, was caught up by the Holy Spirit and had a vision of the Lord's fire being kindled and spread throughout New Zealand. In 2013, John felt led through the Holy Spirit that the time had come for this vision to be fulfilled. [Bu...

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Baptist flavour

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, November 12, 2016,
Exploring What It Means to be Baptist 

Last week I spoke of the need for unity between churches and between individual Christians and the need to focus on the important things that bind us together rather than the things which divide us. But I also said that we are not to be identical and that our differences enhance the flavour of the Christian community, to make us vibrant and not all boringly cookie cutters and beige coloured.
Today I want to ask: what does it mean to be a Baptist.  What is ...

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Unity

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, November 6, 2016,
Unity

Psalm 133 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.  It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the LORD ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

One of the real sadnesses that I have is about how we as Christians (denominations and individual fellowships, as well as individual people) do not ...

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Justified by grace

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, October 30, 2016,
Justified 
Let me start by reading part of a Baptist creed to you. A creed is a statement of beliefs. This one is an American Baptist one but its statements are true for us here too:
We believe that [humanity] was created in holiness, but, by voluntary transgression, fell; in consequence of which all [humanity] are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice, and are under just condemnation of eternal death without defense or excuse; 
that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, thro...

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Remember

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, October 22, 2016,
Remember
54 years ago, on the 25th August 1962 this building was officially opened.  According to reports of the time: “glorious sunny weather, large attendances, inspirational messages in song and from God’s word – these were highlights of a memorable weekend.”  The writer concluded: “we do sincerely trust that the witness of Glengarry [church] to this new and growing area will be the lighthouse and new life-bringer to many in that district.”
In 2012 we as a church celebrated being...

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God of Abundance

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, October 2, 2016,

God of abundance

The Holy Spirit provides all our needs and abundantly more that we could ever ask for or imagine.

The story we are focusing on is from 2 Kings and speaks of the time of the prophet Elisha.

2 Kings 4 Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves.” Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what...


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Pillar of cloud and fire

Posted by Chris Lee on Saturday, September 24, 2016,

The Pillar of Cloud and Fire

When we focus on the Holy Spirit, we so often disregard anything from the Old Testament because the focus through that Testament is on God the Father and not the Spirit or the Son; and the occasions where the Holy Spirit is mentioned, it is about certain extraordinary individuals receiving the Holy Spirit, or operating under the Spirit.

But when we have that mindset, we are too narrow thinking. The Holy Spirit was present and involved and active right through th...


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Standards for living

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, September 18, 2016,

Colossians 1:10 standard for Christian Living

 

Today we talk about the journey that we have started in our Christian journey. We are not yet finished, we are not there yet. We are being transformed, or at least we should be or could be. 

 

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: fo...


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Revive Us

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, September 11, 2016,

We need reviving

 

We need reviving. In this I am not just talking about the much anticipated revival of Christianity prophesied to start in Invercargill; I am not talking only about the Big Tent Revival in Gala Street in November; I am not only talking about the need for revival in this city or nation. I am talking about revival within us.

 

The first need in the church today is not a widespread revival which will produce more Christians, but an inward revival which will produce better C...


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Fatherhood of God

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, September 4, 2016,

Fatherhood of God

 

Today is Father’s Day.  It should be a day of celebration, more often though it is a day of lament.

 

Hallmark, the greeting card company hit on an idea of giving inmates in prisons cards to send to their mothers on mother’s day.  Most prisoners took them so they did the same on father’s day for dads.  Few were interested.

 

Someone else reported that when he worked for a phone company, Mother's Day was the busiest calling day of the year. Busier than Christmas...


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Who are you hearing? God or someone else?

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 28, 2016,
Whose voice are we hearing?

Last weekend, a bunch of us went to Omaui camp to spend the day listening to God.  And all of us reported back at the end of the day that they had heard from God and chose to share what they had heard.  This is the same process the Leadership team uses at its annual Vision retreats.  But the question is always asked: who am I hearing?  Is it just me, is it God, is it the devil?

The great evangelist Smith Wigglesworth wrote: “If God definitely tells you to do anythi...

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Do not quench the Holy Spirit

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 21, 2016,

Do not quench the fire of the Spirit

It is awesome that God chooses to come down and reside in us through his Spirit. But our involvement with the Holy Spirit can be dealt a body blow by our actions.

Dr Campbell Morgan identifies 3 such dangerous actions.[1] Resistance to the Holy Spirit, Greiving the Holy Spirit. We have spoken of those over the past month. Today I want to address the other way: quenching the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:19  Do not quench the Spirit.

Last week we spok...


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Baptism

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, August 15, 2016,

Baptism

 

Luke 3:16 John [the Baptist] said, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

 Baptism is a key step of obedience in our walk with God.  It is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual experience.  Baptism follows confession, repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Saviour, not the other way round.

 Baptism is something done to you, n...


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Marriage 70 years on

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, August 7, 2016,
Marriage

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/-seven-decades-marital-bliss-southern-97-year-olds

George and Brenda today have reached a milestone most of us will not reach. 70 years married. I would have to be 110 years old to achieve that milestone and Karlene would have to agree to still be with me.
 
Last year 8463 married couples in NZ decided to call time on their marriages .  9.3 divorces for every 1,000 estimated existing marriages and civil unions in this country.

It is timely to as...

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Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 31, 2016,

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

 

Last week I spoke of ways in which we resist the Holy Spirit and how we resist his work in our lives and in the world.  I said mostly that was because we were blind to him and his work.

 

Today I want to speak of another way that we thwart the Holy Spirit.  First it was resisting and now we are going to talk about grieving.

 

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.

 

Grie...


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Do Not resist the Holy Spirit

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 24, 2016,

Do not resist the Holy Spirit

Recently we have been talking about the Holy Spirit – who he/she is and the function of the Holy Spirit in the God head and in us.

It is awesome that God deigns to come down and reside in us through his Spirit. But with those new privileges comes new responsibilities. And when there are responsibilities there are dangers to watch out for concerning those responsibilities.

Dr Campbell Morgan identifies 3 such dangers. Today I want to talk about the first one....


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Recognition of Christ through the Spirit

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 17, 2016,
Recognition of Christ Through the Spirit

Let me start today with a bold statement:

“The Christian faith stands or falls with the confession of Jesus as Son of God.” 

That was an issue in the day of Paul, and it is an issue today.  Who is Jesus? 

There were groups in the first century called Gnostics who believed in the deity (the God-ness) of Christ but not the humanity of Christ. They rejected the idea of God becoming incarnate (God becoming a man), dying and rising bodily. 

There are groups ...

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Impossible things are achieved through the Holy Spirit

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 10, 2016,
Impossible things are achieved through the Holy Spirit

Do you ever feel defeated?  Have you tried and tried and still you cannot beat your addiction or your thought framework; have you kept falling into the bad behaviours that you thought were dead?  And when the day does not go well, have you reverted to old habits, and then felt bad and guilty.  Is it that your life is not going where you thought it should? Maybe you had a prophesy over your life and it seemed an impossible dream, and no mat...

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Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, July 3, 2016,
 Be Filled with the Spirit

Ephesians 5:15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and f...

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Holy Spirit Comforter

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, June 26, 2016,
Holy Spirit – the comforter

The Holy Spirit has many names and descriptors. He is known as the Spirit of Jesus, “the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Witness, the Spirit of Conviction, the Spirit of Power, the Spirit of Holiness, the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Help, the Spirit of Liberty, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Revelation, the Spirit of Promise, the Spirit of Love, the Spirit of Meekness, the Spirit of Sound Mind, the Spirit of Grace...

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Holy Spirit - roles in Gospel of John

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, June 19, 2016,
Today we continue on our theme of the Holy Spirit – the third of the three in the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

Samuel Chadwick writing back in the 1920s reminds us that “The gift of the Spirit is a distinguishing feature of the Christian religion. It is a very soul of our faith”.   Or at least it should be.  For a very long time in the mainstream church we have sidelined the Spirit in favour of the other 2 in the Trinity, despite the fact that the Holy Sp...

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Jonathan's friendship with David

Posted by Chris Lee on Monday, June 6, 2016,

JONATHAN AND HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH DAVID

1 Samuel 18:1-5 When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.  Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.  Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armour, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. David...


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Holy Spirit and forgiveness

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, May 22, 2016,

Holy Spirit and forgiveness

Today we continue learning more about the Holy Spirit – the 3rd person of the Trinity. Today we look at his role in forgiveness. Forgiveness is a hard thing to do; some would say it is an impossibility. Our most common response is that “I do not want to forgive that person, I do not want to let the person off the hook, I want my Pound of flesh.” The usual response to an injustice done against us is to seek revenge. That was the pound of flesh reference to Sh...


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Ascension of Jesus

Posted by Chris Lee on Sunday, May 8, 2016,

Ascension Day was last Thursday, the 5th.  That is 40 days after the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter. The theologian R C Sproul could write of this event: “If we underestimate the significance of the ascension, we sail in perilous waters. What could be more important than the cross? Without it we have no atonement, no redemption. Paul resolved to preach Christ and Him crucified. Yet without the resurrection, we would be left with a dead Savior. Crucifixion and resurrection go together, each...


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