Suggested Reading ...

As requested by a number of you, herewith a few books that I strongly recommend.

The Case for the Psalms:Why they are Essential - N.T.Wright

Journey to the Common Good - Walter Brueggemann

Gagging Jesus: Things Jesus said we wish he hadn't - Phil Moore

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God - Bob Kauflin

The Writings of the New Testament : An Interpretation - Luke Timothy Johnson

These titles I have been able to source through happy reading!

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Daily Devotions by Grant Nuss
Love one Another. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Saturday, 17 September 2016 15:42

1 John 4:12, 16; “If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ... Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."

“See how these Christians love one another” (Tertullian). God shares His heart with His people; in fact, His will is drawn like a magnet to a heart that beats with His. I have preached on the 1 John 4: 12 – 16 passage often and as I write this I am reminded of an occasion a few years ago when a young man who was over from Holland came over afterwards stating that he finally understood what the faith was all about, and that God is love. Perhaps the reason why is that, in the text, we discover what God had in mind when He devised the great plan of salvation. What seems clear is that God is not satisfied simply to tell us that He loves us or even show us that He does, His desire is to live in us. Love is who He is; it is part of His nature and a valid test of our relationship with Him. If we are united to God through faith in Christ, we share His nature, and love is the test of the reality of our spiritual life. I don’t know about you but for me it is relatively easy to see who the followers of Christ (the believers) are. How? Well, a person who knows God and has been born of God will respond to God’s nature and naturally practice love without fail. Love is a valid test of true Christian faith. This love will not be a forced thing; for the heart that is synchronised with God's heart, love will be a natural response, the outflow. As I look around me, much which is called “love” in modern society bears no resemblance or relationship to the holy, spiritual love of God. When we see how people treat other people as employers, in business, within their family units, with those in their circles, and, also, what comes out of their mouths in these relationships, the two are literally worlds apart. So what about the Christian? Well, since God is love, and we have claimed a personal relationship with Him, we must of necessity reveal His love in how we live. We should love one another naturally (why) because God loves us and that's what He does. Think about this with me: if God loves one of your enemies and you don't, here’s the reality; yours and God's heart haven't connected at that point and are not aligned. Throughout Scripture we see God aligning our hearts with His. Why? Because that's His character and attitude and is "the room temperature of heaven" (Tiegreen). This is how our hearts align with His.

#UnitythroughCommunity! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Saturday, 10 September 2016 16:25

Ephesians 4: 16;"From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work".

“God is busy making you someone no one else has ever been” (Beth Moore). I am having a great time putting together what I am going to be sharing and ministering in Kimberley between the 30th September and the 2nd October. #UnitythroughCommunity. Our being uniquely different together is the strength of community. In fact, the key to having a spirit of unity is not so that we will all think, speak, feel and act the same, but it is to have the mind of Christ so that we can lovingly agree to disagree with one another. Often we wonder how unity can ever be possible. Think about it: What do we do with the fact that God has created us uniquely different in His image? None of us has the same DNA, we don’t think or act the same, we have different interests, backgrounds, talents, gifting, we like different things, do things differently, so how on earth is this all going to work together in unity, and how can it be called a ‘family’? They were asking the same questions in the church in Rome, also not understanding how it all was going to work. So Paul writes; "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:5-6). Being different together is what it is all about. God is into being creative and “we were not meant to match, we were meant to fit. Two identical puzzle pieces don’t fit” (Moore). That’s the deal: God’s desire is that His people walk in unity, but we are usually more interested in being right than in being one. Likewise, many, if not most of us, have not been faithful to reconcile ourselves one to the other when we disagree. So, as I go back to working this amazing teaching together for the end of the month, may we, today, determine to make right in our communities and choose to be more interested in being one in Jesus, because, at the end of the day, that is ultimately what is right? "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me" (John 17:23).

Silence and Solitude. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 09 September 2016 17:46

Psalm 46:10 (AMP); “Be still and know (recognise, understand) that I am God.”

“God didn't say, 'Be still and feel that I am God,' He said, 'Be still and know' (Louie Giglio). But how can we ‘know’ that He is God, if we cannot hear Him above the noise? Yesterday we spoke about how frenetic, chaotic, and even toxic the world around us has become. Today we speak about the constant din and excessive noise that is everywhere around us. From cellphones, to iPods, to the television and more, we are bombarded with so-called ‘audio-stimulation’ and, if that isn’t enough, well, we just continue to ‘pump-up-the-volume’ until we cannot hear ourselves think. One thing is certain – this is definitely not natural. The human brain needs rest and silence. But, as has become the reality, we are so used to constant noise that we, quite literally, do not have a clue of how to live and function without it. So what about silence and solitude? The truth is that we fear silence and solitude, and will be the first to say; “I never hear from God; He is so distant!” The fact is this; the Holy Spirit, besides being at the core of our being, is trying to speak to us but, because of the din, we cannot hear Him. Think about this: We have all watched war movies in our lives. In most of them, if the enemy can infiltrate, destroy, or take-out your lines of communication, chances are good that you will be defeated. Why? Because you are unable to be kept updated by those in command who have a view of what the enemy is doing and can warn you of imminent danger. None different to our lives here in the 21st century. So what do we do about it, if anything? We need to be intentional and take every opportunity to ‘unplug’ and just listen and, in the silence, hear the voice of God. Henri Nouwen wrote that; “Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life. Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and for him alone. If we really believe not only that God exists but also that he is actively present in our lives – healing, teaching, and guiding – we need to set aside a time and space to give him our undivided attention.” May you determine to take the time (note that I didn’t say ‘make time’) to integrate times of solitude, silence, and retreat into your personal life?

Don't give up. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 06:48

Luke 11:9; "Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."

Charles Spurgeon once asked a student who was training for ministry to preach a sermon with no preparation. The result merits an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for the shortest sermon ever. Appropriately, it was on the subject of Zacchaeus, and this is how it went; “First, Zacchaeus was a man of very small stature; so am I. Second, Zacchaeus was very much up a tree; so am I. Third, Zacchaeus made haste and came down; so will I.” With that, the student sat down to shouts of “more” from his fellow students. Spurgeon stated he could not improve on that if he tried! One thing that Scripture seems pretty clear of is that God's best rewards go to those who are persistent. Here we think of the woman with the issue of blood who continued to press through her own insecurities as well as a huge crowd of people and Jesus healed her (Mark 5:25-34). As the shortest sermon in the world illustrated succinctly, Zacchaeus, who determined to press through his own ethical and physical shortcomings as well as a crowd of people (interesting that both had to 'press through a crowd of people who were intent on blocking their progress) to get to see Jesus, and Jesus changed his life forever (Luke 19:1-10). God seems drawn to people who refuse to give up. What about you? What is it that you need to ‘press through’ in your life? Could it perhaps be a crowd of people who are intent on blocking your progress? It happens, but what are you going to do about it? May you determine today, just like the folk mentioned above here, to not give up and be persistent? God welcomes persistence, He expects faith, and He sympathises with those who know their desperate need.

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