Cleared for Take Off

23 February, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

You are sitting at the end of the runway. Your seat belt is done up tightly, your personal items secured. It’s about to happen. The engine power increases. Do you close your eyes? Grab the seat rest or the person next to you? Look out the window? Say a prayer? The plane is cleared for take-off. It’s time to go. As full take off power is applied, the aircraft on which you are seated begins hurtling down the runway, and with a small bump, you leave the ground, are airborne, and the adventure begins. Today Jesus clears us for take-off. It’s time to go, to begin this next stage of the adventure, to get airborne as a Church and fly; to go beyond the limits of what we consider possible and see how far his love takes us! The control tower has given the all clear for take-off. So go, with the full power of the Spirit and let’s leave the ground and fly!

# 4 and final in Vision Series: Take Off

THEME VERSE:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

Don't discard the "Go" of Jesus' commission! It's a call that requires simple obedience. We are made to be like Jesus, to do what Jesus did and participate in his mission to the world. It's time to go!

FAITH TALK

1. What do you do when the plane is about to take off down the runway and get airborne?

2. How willing are you to go and participate in God's mission to the world? What stops you from going?

3. What limits do you place on yourself that stops you being bold for Jesus?

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Finding the Right Gate

16 February, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

It's that moment that you take a deep breath and slowly walk through the narrow door that will lead you to another world on the airside of the airport. The security screening process. Even if you are all prepared, there is still that moment as you wonder whether you will get through without beeping, pick up your hand luggage or carry on without anything being detected or an explosive test being conducted! But get through that and the possibilities are endless. From shops, to bars, to food courts, to prayer rooms, to airline clubs, there are so many things to help you prepare and get ready to board your flight or to distract you from getting to your gate!! But gates there are…plenty of them in an international terminal or city airport…gates which lead to exciting journeys and new places. Today Jesus speaks of security screening, of safety and fullness of life on the airside of grace as he calls us to find the right gate to board the right flight he has prepared for us.

#3 in vision series: "Take Off"

THEME VERSE:

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture." John 10:9

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

Listen to the voice of Jesus. He may announce a last minute gate change that will get you moving quickly to a new gate that will send you on an journey requiring great trust and obedience in him. Don't be afraid - he will both equip you and empower you with the gifts you need for the journey.

FAITH TALK

1. Who in your family is most likely to be stopped at airport security screening. Why?

2. What are the keys to a fulfilling life?

3. What spiritual gifts has God given you and how are you using them to serve God's vision in this place?

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Check In

9 February, 2020 Pastor Mat von Stanke

For many, the airport Check-in is the most stressful part of the journey. Making sure your bags are not overweight. Ensuring the right tag and right destination are placed on your bags before they head off on the conveyor belt. Knowing what you have to check-in and what you can carry-on. Remembering to remove any prohibited items. Having the right documentation for the destination you are journeying to. All so you can get your Boarding Pass to get on the right plane. Whether we realise it or not, most of us carry excess baggage – it’s not just physical, but emotional, relational and spiritual. Baggage that trips us up, wears us out and boxes us in and makes us anxious about the journey on which we embark. Today Jesus invites us to 'Check in' all of our baggage at the counter of his grace and receive a boarding pass that will lead to places we never imagined. We hope you’re packed and ready to go!

#2 in Series: Take Off (Vision Series)

THEME VERSE:

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

Whatever excess baggage you are carrying around, Jesus invites you to check it through to its final destination. He has already paid for it so you are free to use both hands to receive the love, the life and the blessings he has for you. For Jesus knows that you will love fullest, travel fastest and live lightest when you drop off all your baggage to him.

FAITH TAlK

1. When you travel somewhere, who in your family packs the most and who travels the lightest?

2. What kind of baggage can Christians be accused of carrying around?

3. What excess baggage are you carrying around that you need to check in and let go of?

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Planning the Itinerary

2 February, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

The Spirit of Adventure lies in each one of us. We may ignore it for a while, we may even suppress it but there comes a time where there is a yearning for something more, where a dreaming about new horizons fills us with a restlessness to take-off of an exciting, unusual or daring adventure. There has always been a sense of adventure in our journey as LifeWay, and God is calling us again to Take-Off on a decade long journey toward the vision he has for us. The vision hasn't changed but the journeys we take together to get there….well they are up to you and your appetite to visit new waypoints, embark on new experiences and embrace new opportunities. So as we prepare to Take-Off on the next leg of our adventure, God invites us to sit down with the best travel agent going around, who has been there, done that and has all the insider tips to guide us it getting to our destination and Planning the Itinerary on a journey that will be life-transforming and eternity shaping for ourselves and others.

#1 in Vision Series: Take Off

THEME VERSE:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

Jesus knows both the vision and destination he has called us to as his people. Let him plan and surprise you with a bespoke discipleship itinerary that takes into account your gifts, your interests, your personality and challenges you in living, sharing and growing in ways that will terrify, surprise, thrill and lead all of us together as one Church on a continuous adventure of grace.

FAITH TALK

1. What is the most adventurous thing you have done in your life so far?

2. What has been the greatest faith adventure God has led you on?

3. What excites you/scares you most about the vision God has called LifeWay to?

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Light Reigns

26 January, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

It's called the Second Coming Type and it's the largest display type used by newspaper editors around the world and saved for headlines of extreme importance; news that is earth-shattering, world changing and life-defining. If Isaiah was a newspaper editor, Isaiah 9 would be written in 'Second Coming Type' for there is no greater news that needs to be told and the world needs to see. It's news that is world changing, life-defining and eternity shaping. To miss this news is to be trapped in darkness and despair. Isaiah goes all out, placing the spotlight on this message so that the whole world can see it, hear it, celebrate it and pass it on. We'll also shine the spotlight on that today as we continue to celebrate the coming of Christ…the light of the world…The Light that Reigns over every darkness and drives out every shadow. Light that reigns now and for all eternity

#4 in series: Everyday Epiphany

THEME VERSE:

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever. Isaiah 9:7

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

Beyond Bethlehem

Beyond Calvary

The light will reign in every heart that opens the door of darkness and allows Christ to break in and break through bringing new hope, endless beginnings and eternal life.

FAITH TAlK

1. What do you love most about Australia and being a part of it?

2. If you could reign over Australia or the Church for a year, what would be the first thing that you would do?

3. Who or what are you allowing to reign in your life at this time? What is the result of that?

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Light Strengthens

12 January, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

It’s called SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a form of depression common in places with prolonged dark winters, where for days on end you experience little to no natural sunlight. The darkness literally wears you out…drains you…sucks the life right out of you. Prolonged darkness makes you sick. The only cure is more light. But even more than our mental health…intense light also has physical health benefits. Researchers at the University of Colorado have discovered that Intense light amplifies a specific gene that strengthens blood vessels and offers protection against heart attacks. Exposure to the light of Christ also has health benefits that protect from dark times. Prolonged exposure to Christ, through his Word, among his people turns our lives more and more toward him like a plant to the sun. It conforms us to his image and reveals our true identity. It gives us a clear vision for each day and unfailing hope and strength to live out our calling in this world. The Light of Christ strengthens and we will explore how it does that today personally for each one of us.

#2 in series: Everyday Epiphany

THEME VERSE:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen one in whom I delight;

I will put my Spirit on him,

and he will bring justice to the nations. Isaiah 42:1

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

In every moment you are chosen, loved and upheld by God and anointed with his Spirit to fulfil his will and bring his light and blessing to the world.

FAITH TAlK

1. On a scale of 1-10, how compasionate are you?

1...I'm a rock you can't squeeze any out of me to 10... when I see someone suffering, I hurt so much for them

2. In what area of your life do you need God's strength as you step out into 2020?

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Light Shines

5 January, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

A-ha!...Eureka!...By jove I think she’s got it! However we say it…it’s that moment we finally get it! We finally see our way through a homework problem. We finally see how to put the puzzle together. We finally get that last thing to fit in the suitcase or cupboard. We have that breakthrough moment. It’s called an Epiphany…the light clicks on, the penny drops…We see with clarity & insight…There’s a sudden recognition/realization/revelation…and everything is clear, reoriented & transformed. What if that could happen for you every day? What if you could live 2020 with 20/20 vision? What if you really could live 365 days with sheer purpose…on purpose? What would it take for you to live every moment with intention, as if you just had an epiphany? What would it take for you to be an epiphany…a revelation of the light & life & love of Christ to those around you? It's possible when the light shines. And that's what we’ll explore and experience today as we continue to celebrate the coming of Christ…the light of the world…God’s love for the world…who shines on you today.

#1 in series: "Everyday Epiphany"

THEME VERSE:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

You are called to shine! When the light of Christ emanates brightly from your life, people will come!

That's a divine guarantee.

FAITH TAlK

1. Who has been a light in your life, shining brightly with the love of Jesus?

2. Where in your life do you feel in the dark and needing light?

3. What's one thing you could do to begin intentionally letting Jesus' light shine through more brightly in 2020?

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