September 17th – Les Kovacs
Last week, Rev. Kim stated that it was the Lord who raised up the prophets of old and anointed them to carry out His work in calling the people of Israel back into a righteous relationship with Himself as they struggled with the temptations of the pagan cultures around them. Rev Kim pointedly affirmed that these select individuals were not self-appointed prophets. In my sermon from this past Sunday, I asked a rhetorical question about who the modern-day prophets were that could speak to God’s people in today’s culture, and I indicated that we as Christians, we can all be prophets. Notice that I was careful to say that we can all be prophets, not that we are all prophets. These two assertions, that the Biblical prophets of old were not self-appointed but anointed by God, and that we (modern Christians) can be prophets, are both correct.
In the Old Testament, God would send His Holy Spirit on specific individuals whom He had called to prophecy to His people. They would communicate His will, His warnings, and His promises to His people. We are familiar with these prophets through the various recorded writings in Scripture attributed to them and about them. The Old Testament also mentions numerous false prophets who were not anointed by God and did not speak for Him, such as Noadiah found in Nehemiah 6:14, or Hananiah found in Jeremiah 28, and several others. They were proven wrong by the actual anointed prophets of God.
In the Gospel according to John, we read about Jesus telling His disciples that He after He left, He would ask the Father to send them another advocate. He would send the Spirit of truth, which is the Holy Spirit who would dwell with them and in them (John 14:16-17). All those who know and love the Lord Jesus have the Holy Spirit within them. The Holy Spirit is a direct connection to the Father, and He can speak to you just as He did with the prophets of old, except now He doesn’t need to “come upon” you as He did in the Old Testament, he is already within you. And being God, He will always speak the truth – always.
I also said that just because someone says they have a word from the Lord, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are right, or that they are being prophetic. Sometimes our thoughts are just that, our thoughts. Just as in days gone by, if you or someone else thinks they have a word from the Lord, it must be tested. All the prophecies from the Biblical prophets listed in the Old Testament were proved correct and were scripturally sound. If you believe you have a message from God, you must test it thoroughly (1 Thessalonians 5). Pray for confirmation; ensure it aligns with scripture; seek advice from mature Christians. The Holy Spirit who lives within you will not lead you into sin; He will not contradict Scripture; He will not promote division; He will not glorify Himself; and He will not lead to confusion. If the message fails any of these tests, it is not from God, and we are not being prophetic in that instance. However, just because one message might prove to be not from God, doesn’t mean that the next one might not be either. Any message you believe is from God must be tested and if it passes, it may be prophetic, and you could share it with your Pastor or with whomever God leads you.
Questions: Have you ever felt a message from God that proved to be prophetic? How did you prove it? Did you act on it? What was the result?
1. Read Deuteronomy 18:14-22. In popular culture, “prophet” and “prophecy” mean predicting the future. In the Bible prophets do much more. Name at least three other things prophets in the Old Testament do besides predict future events.
2. From Deuteronomy 18:14-22, we can build a “working definition” from what Moses says about prophets. As you read this, are there any surprises, or aspects of prophecy you didn’t know about?
• God raises up prophets, as he did Moses. Prophets are not self appointed.
• God puts his own words in the prophet’s mouth. Our own human words do not count as prophecy.
• The prophet will tell Israel everything that the Lord God commands them to say. Therefore, the prophet must be heeded.
• Those who do not heed the prophet’s message will be held to account by God.
• Anyone who presumes to speak a word that God has not commanded, or has spoken in the name of other gods, will be put to death.
• One test of a prophet is whether or not what the prophet says actually happens or not.
• If a prophet says such and such will happen, but it does not, that is a false prophet, and we need not be alarmed about it.
(Optional question: which of these apply to New Testament prophets, or Christian prophecy today? Which don’t?)
3. Why were pagans gods/idols/cults such a threat to Israel? Why couldn’t Israel just “live and let live”?
4. Read I Kings 19:9b-18. Elijah is in crisis. He is on the run for his life from Jezebel, whose prophets he has killed. He flees deep into the desert, to Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai). God asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Since God already knows, why does God ask him that? Why is it a good question for God to ask us in a crisis? What do you think of Elijah’s repeated answer?
5. In Exodus 19, God met Moses and Israel at Mt. Sinai, and spoke to them from the mountaintop out of thunder, lightning, thick cloud and smoke, the mountain trembled and a great trumpet sounded, as he gave Moses the Ten Commandments. When Elijah is at the same mountain, at I Kings 19:11-13, God was not in the mighty wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Instead came a still small voice, a gentle whisper. Why are these so different? What can we learn from this about how God reveals himself to us?
6. When God spoke to Elijah, God gave the prophet 3 new tasks, to anoint two kings and to anoint his own successor, Elisha, as prophet. But before he is swept up to heaven, Elijah only accomplishes the 3rd one. Why did God do this? Personal question: has God given you a “life task” to complete?
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1: 7 (KJV)
“For as a he thinketh in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 23: 7a (KJV)
Last Sunday we resumed our focus on our Triune God, specifically upon the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life. I detailed the following characteristics of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is God – 2 Cor. 3: 17-18, Is. 40: 13, Gen. 1: 2; He is a Person –John 16: 13-14; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son – John 14: 16-17a & 16: 14 – 15; and the Holy Spirit gives life – Job 33: 4 & John 6: 63, 3: 5-8. It was my focus upon how the Holy Spirit empowers our life as His children that seems to have connected most with you and that I will build upon today.
The Holy Spirit Empowers Life
Once we acknowledge our need of God in our hearts the opportunity is there for us to repent and put our trust in Him through faith in Jesus Christ and God’s grace. Repentance leads to re-birth and re-entry into God’s Kingdom. This brings about the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 38) who then enters our hearts and makes His dwelling within us (1 Cor. 3: 16); we become a new creation (2 Cor. 5: 17). I then explained how the Holy Spirit takes from God and makes His truth and thoughts known in our hearts; we can begin to think like Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 2: 12 & 16). The Holy Spirit then imparts God’s wisdom and understanding to us which helps us know His will (Col. 1: 9). God then causes us to act and will in line with His purposes (Phil. 2:13).
How does this work in practice and reality? The more time we spend in His Word, in prayer and with our brothers and sisters the more we grow. God calls us His children (1 John 3: 1) and we begin our new life in Him as spiritual babes; we need to grow (1 Peter 2: 2). It is in these spiritual practices that we get to know God more and grow in Him – like any other relationship. The more we think about what is right, pure, noble and praiseworthy (Phil. 4: 8), the more we have a mind of peace (Roms. 8: 6), the more we have the mind of Christ. This changes us to be more like Jesus and impacts what we do in a cycle of blessing.
The Proverb listed above tells us that what we think about ourselves, so we are. This can range from positive to negative, from arrogance to humility, from love to hate. God is calling us to see our true selves as His children, our identity in Him. He has given us His Holy Spirit, and in so doing enables us to have His empowerment, love and sound mind (2 Tim. 1: 7). So, how do you think about yourself? How might you take these thoughts under control until they are obedient to Christ so that they bless you and give you peace (2 Cor. 10: 5)? God loves us deeply and desires to have peace with us and to impart His peace to us. Let’s learn to think like Jesus.
Sound Mind – Melissa Helser
June 28th - Rev. Deacon Chris Barnes
Over the last ten weeks, we have focused on our Lord Jesus Christ. These ten weeks have also coincided with a time of discernment for our church. Our sermon topics have connected with our prayer themes, and we have reflected on several questions along the way. These reflection questions have encouraged us to examine ourselves, while also challenging us to expand our understanding of Christ’s call to His church.
Now that we have reached the end of this sermon series, let us re-visit some of those reflection questions.
Please always feel encouraged to share any reflections/revelations you have with a ministry leader at St. Aidan’s.
Note: The blogs will take a break during the summer months and will resume at the beginning of September.
June 21st - Rev. Deacon Chris
Last Sunday we heard about the difference between “Saturday people” and “Sunday people”. The lives of Jesus’ followers on the Saturday before the Resurrection, were very different with how they lived following the Resurrection.
Without the Resurrection, we may understand Christ to have done a heroic act on the cross. We may even see it as the ultimate act of love in the universe. But there is no power in that thinking or knowledge.
“He Is Risen” is a one-word sentence in the original. This one brief word announced the greatest miracle ever realized on earth. It is the door to understanding Jesus Christ. It is the gateway to move from the mundane existence of a Saturday person to the abundant life of a Sunday person.
The Resurrection of Jesus is the only truth that matters, and it makes all the difference to our lives. When we live like Sunday people, we live as authentic followers of Christ. This then makes all the difference to those that the Lord Jesus brings us in contact with.
Sunday people live in the historical, intellectual, and emotional reality of the resurrection. Alongside the empty tomb and the witness of God’s Word, it is Sunday people who form the greatest argument for the Resurrection with the way we live.
Sunday people are arguments the world can understand and desperately needs.
June 7th – Les Kovacs
Scripture Verses: Revelation 19:11-16
I’d like to delve a little deeper into Jesus’ victory in the Final Conflict. In the book of Revelation, we catch a glimpse of the final conflict between good and evil, between the forces of darkness and the victorious Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The imagery used by St. John in the Book of Revelation 19:11-16 is awe-inspiring and powerful. He presents Jesus as the conquering King, riding on a white horse, ready to bring ultimate victory and establish His eternal reign. In these few verses, he reveals three facets of Jesus’ identity.
The Warrior King: John portrays Jesus as a mighty warrior, called Faithful and True. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood and leading the armies of heaven. He is described as having eyes like a flame of fire and wearing many crowns on His head. This imagery highlights His authority, power, and sovereignty over all creation. We are reminded that Jesus is not only the gentle Savior and loving Shepherd but also the triumphant Warrior-King who will put an end to all evil and establish perfect justice.
The Word of God: John reiterates that Jesus is called the "Word of God." He uses that same description for Jesus in the opening verses of his Gospel account of Jesus' life on earth. It is a title reminds us that Jesus is the living embodiment of God's truth, power, and wisdom. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke with authority and performed miracles that demonstrated His divine identity. As the Word of God, Jesus is the final and ultimate revelation of God to humanity. In the final conflict, it is through His powerful word that victory is achieved.
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords: John declares that Jesus has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: "King of kings and Lord of lords." This proclamation affirms that Jesus is the supreme ruler over all other powers and authorities. No ruler or dominion can stand against Him. His victory is not just for a moment or a season but is eternal and everlasting. Jesus' reign is absolute, and His authority is unmatched.
When we reflect on these verses, we can take great comfort and hope in the fact that Jesus' victory in the final conflict is guaranteed. The battle has already been won by His sacrificial death on the cross and His triumphant resurrection. The forces of evil may seem strong and intimidating at times, but they are no match for the power and authority of our victorious Savior.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to live in the reality of His victory in the final conflict. We do not need to fear or be anxious about the battles we face in this world, because we serve a victorious Savior. We can take hold of the truth that Jesus is the Conqueror, that His victory is rooted in His Word, and that His triumph has eternal importance. As we align our lives with Him and His Word, we can walk in confidence, knowing that the ultimate victory belongs to our Lord. We can live as people of victory, shining His light in a dark world and proclaiming the triumphant name of Jesus to all who will hear.
Does Jesus’ victory over death and sin impact the way you live your life every day? How?
How do you reconcile John’s description of Jesus as the Warrior King with His title as the Lamb of God?
May 31 - Rev. Susan Salo
What an adventure! To preach about the coming of the Holy Spirit at this time in St. Aidan's history is to identify ourselves with Jesus' disciples anxiously waiting in the Upper Room for soldiers who will take them away to be crucified like Jesus, or for the promised "power from on high."
At this time in our church's history, when we are seeking God's direction for the future, when we are waiting for word on our pastor's health, and when our world seems heading for more moral decline than ever - we know how very much we need Jesus.
The Bible tells us that no one can see the face of God and live - until we see him in the face of his son, Jesus. We can't even imagine what the Father in heaven looks like - until we see him in the face of Jesus. Likewise, we can't see the Holy Spirit, or imagine what he (she, it) looks like until we see him in the face of Jesus, as Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus.
Every day at the Feast of Tabernacles water would be poured out as a symbol of thanks for God's provision. Jesus said that those who believe in him will have "streams of living water" flow from within them, referring to the Holy Spirit (John 7.37-39).
*Describe how the Spirit flows through you like Living Water? Does he flow like a trickle, like a stream, or like a mighty gush? What seems to determine this?
*What is the relationship between believing the promises of Christ and experiencing the Holy Spirit?
Later, after Jesus' death, the disciples were gathered in fear of being arrested. (John 20.19-23)
*Why does John record "peace be with you" 3 times? How does this relate to their fears?
*Where could you use Jesus' peace right now?
*How has receiving the Holy Spirit changed you?
May 24, 2023 - Rev Kim Salo
Luke 18:31 to 19:10 is a series of encounters between Jesus and his
disciples, a blind beggar, and a rich tax collector named Zacchaeus.
Looking at these three encounters, we see different aspects of what
“save” and “salvation” means.
In the New Testament, nearly a third of the uses of save and salvation
refer to present deliverance from disease, demonic possession, or
physical death. Save and salvation often refer to a future deliverance in
the end time. In the gospel of John, eternal life is offered by Jesus in the
present as a continuing gift into the future.
So, save and salvation can have a present meaning, as well as a future
meaning. They can refer to physical circumstances, a moral change, or
1. Read Luke 18:35-43. At verse 42, when Jesus speaks to him, how
does your Bible translate the verse? Does it say healed, saved, or
made you well? How do you explain the differences in wording
2. Read 19:1-6. Why did Zacchaeus want to so badly to see Jesus?
Why is it important that Jesus should be at Zacchaeus’ home that
day? How is that a change in Zacchaeus normal life in Jericho?
3. Read 19:7-10. Why do the neighbors complain about Zacchaeus?
About Jesus? What does Zacchaeus public announcement mean
for him? For his neighbors? For Jesus?
4. Read verse 9-10. Why does Jesus mean by saying ‘Today salvation
has come to this house? In the case of Zacchaeus, what does Jesus
mean by saying, ‘For the Son of Man came to seek and save the
5. Now read Romans 10:9-10 and 10:13. Does Paul mean ‘save’ in
the present sense, or in the future sense?
6. Generally, we can be saved from many things. Name 5 things from
which we can be saved. What are we saved for?
Optional submitted question: “As God cares about our bodies, and I
believe we get a new one in heaven, should I fear cremation?”
Answer: This question is about the intermediate state between our own
physical death, and the final resurrection into eternal life.
The Bible does not go into detail into our existence between our death
and the resurrection. However, if we start with what happened to Jesus, we may gain some insight. Jesus died on the cross; the gospels give us ample evidence that
his death was real physical death. And the whole New Testament gives
us ample evidence that he was resurrected. In between, he was in the
The only difference between what happened to Jesus, and our own
physical death and resurrection, is the amount of time. Whether we are
dead three days, or 3000 years, is of no importance to God.
Also, just as God raised Jesus with a new body, the resurrection body,
rather than resuscitating the old corpse, so with us. Does it matter to
God whether we died in a house fire or cremation? Does it matter to
God whether we died in old age or young? Does it matter to God
whether we are buried in the ground or lost at sea? The answer is no.
Just as God first created us, God can easily recreate us.
As for any conscious awareness after physical death of our human body
being destroyed, as in cremation, that is not possible if we are in fact
dead. So we need not fear what happens.
The best answer I know for those who wonder about these things is to
think, ‘What happened to Jesus will happen to me.’ As for the
intermediate state between death and resurrection, we are ‘with the
Lord.’ Sometimes the New Testament uses the word ‘sleep’ to describe
See 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I Corinthians 15.
Read Luke 10: 1-20
We can learn a lot from the travelling journeys of the Lord Jesus. For as followers of Jesus, our walk with the Lord from beginning to end is a journey that involves much travel. This travel includes going places (both new and familiar), growing in places in our lives, and often leaving our comfort zones (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).
And this journey is meant to be filled with joy. As we travel the journey to the cross, we should be growing in our knowledge and intimacy with the Triune God which will lead to greater joy. After all, Jesus is where the joy is!
The gospel account in Luke chapter 10, is a great story that helps us relate with the early followers of Jesus. This account can easily be applied to our journey with the Lord and help us in our current discernment as a church.
Our gospel reading today provides some very helpful direction and guidance, to help us discern where God is calling us to go. This would include (but not limited to):
“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
John 6: 29&35
Readings – Luke 5: 1-11 John 21: 1-14
On Sunday I built upon the blog that I wrote on the 28th April considering the imagery that comes from the above Gospel passages that we prayed on at our first Corporate prayer meeting. The Shore representing the Body of Christ with the presence of His Holy Spirit, the Shallows being where the Church meets the World and the Seas being the World. It could be worth refreshing your memory of this by re-reading that blog.
The purpose of Sunday’s sermon was to look at the signs that confirm Jesus is the Bread of Life and to then look at our context to determine the signs that we are witnessing today; how does the Bread of life connect?
Our belief in Jesus as the Bread of Life brings us life in and through Him (John 20: 30-31); this belief is our ‘work’ in God (John 6: 29). As one body we are to share in this bread and to take it to the world (1 Cor. 10: 17). Jesus called us to follow Him and be ‘fishers of men (people),’ (Luke 5: 10-11).
It has been very encouraging to receive your requests for prayer, your questions and the words & images the Holy Spirit has given you. In light of this ‘work of God,’ I simply encourage you to keep on discerning in prayer on the following matters:
There is much happening in the Diocese (Clergy Retreat, General Synod, the Discipleship Development Officer role and Faith Horizons). Our partnership with One Body is growing and in One Heart there is much evidence of the move of the Holy Spirit. So, where does St. Aidan’s fit into all of this, where can God’s Kingdom be best furthered, where is Jesus calling us into fellowship?
As individuals we go out from the Body (Shore) each day into the Shallows (the World). This is where we welcome people into the Body of Christ most of all, where we build relationships and share the love of Christ. Therefore the role of Small Groups is essential. Are you in a Group, how is your Group, what is God calling your Group to be and do?
We are reaching out as individuals and a Church in many ways. There is ministry with the Youth Centre, Leaf Rapids, Naomi House, Feed my Sheep and in the neighbourhood. There is also real evidence of movement in the younger generations; at St. Aidan’s we often struggle to meet the demands in that ministry. So, where is God calling us to cast our nets, where can the greatest haul of souls be made?
Please pray for individual callings and the Church’s as a whole. Please support the Corporate Prayer events and pray in your Groups and on your own. Keep passing on to us your questions, feedback and words from the Lord.
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
You’re Beautiful by Phil Wickham
Further Bible Study Options:
Manna from Heaven
Re-read our Scriptures from Exodus 16: 2-4, 13-15 and John 6: 29-33.
Compare the Manna from Heaven with the Bread of Life. What differences do you see and how is the Lord Jesus supremely better than simply physical food?
Signs of the Time
Read one of the below Gospel passages and consider how many of these signs have taken place, are taking place and have yet to take place. What does this tell us about Jesus’ return; how should this impact our lives today?
Mark 13; Luke 21: 5-33
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.