Faith Formed Relationships

26 July, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

It was a spectacle that was filled with awe and wonder. Fifteen dolphins, riding down waves in perfect formation, mirroring each other's moves, working as a team, living life together, speaking one another's language. If you are a dolphin, your community is vital. You rely on them for companionship and fun, for protection and provision. Scientists have found that these synchronized actions and interactive relationships can lead to bonding, close cooperation and even reduce stress. If it is that way for dolphins, how much more for humans. God has created us for relationships. We are formed to be engaged in the lives of others. We are shaped to relate, share and care for others, especially in Christian community. To be isolated for any reason for any extended period of time causes a person to lose touch with reality -you suffer physically and emotionally. To be isolated from the Christian community damages your spirit - you lose touch with the reality of the Father’s love and your neighbour’s need. The results are disastrous; your soul begins to wither and harden. The longer the separation the more lasting the damage. That's why faith formed relationships are vital to our ongoing health and vitality in life. The Holy Spirit uses these relationships to transform and shape us in God's image and reveal the power of God's love in us and through us to the world. Only in faith formed relationships do we find life in its fullest and a joy that never ends.

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“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35


Lives connected by the unbreakable bond of Jesus’ love…

Lives united by the eternal power of the Spirit…

Hearts transformed together and living in sync with the Father's will…

are God's living billboard of grace to the world that draws others more closely to fullness of life in Jesus Christ.


Faith Formed Listening

19 July, 2020 Pastor Mat von Stanke

35,000 – that’s a big number. 35,000 No it's not the number of new COVID cases in Victoria this week, or the businesses that closed in NSW over the last 4 months. It's not even the number of people allowed to go to an NRL match this past weekend. It’s the number of choices scientists say the average adult makes in a day: 35,000. From the mundane – what to wear or have for breakfast - to the infinitely more complex and life-altering – when to merge into busy traffic, treatment or care options, vocation, spouse, parenting, home-buying. Every choice shapes or forms our life either leading to peace and contentment or second guessing and regret. Who or what are you listening to in the choices you make and how is that affecting your life, your relationships, your emotions and your future? Today we explore faith-formed listening - a posture that leads to life in its fullest and a joy that never ends.

#2 in series: Faith Formed

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You make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore Psalm 16:11


Only one thing is needed in life - a relationship with Jesus. Time in his presence and listening to his Word will direct your life, shape your mind, form your attitudes, fuel your emotions and inspire your actions, bringing peace, contentment and joy in every choice.


1. In the choices you are making at the moment, how much of it is guided by listening to God's Word?


Faith Formed Prayer

12 July, 2020 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

'“Hotspots” – they are places of exceptional connection or reception or as we are discovering in Melbourne at this time, places of increased transmission. What if you could become a “hotspot” for the gospel? What would make your life exceptionally connected or receptive to God’s working in your world or increase your capacity to transmit the good news of Jesus to someone else? Discipleship is an intentional journey in grace where we seek to walk Jesus’ way and become more like him each day. The behaviours of faith: prayer, reading the Bible, relating to & serving others, and generosity are more than just rote rituals, but are shaped by the depth of love we have received & the breadth of trust we offer in return. The practice of these behaviours is how the Holy Spirit transforms you into a “hotspot” for the gospel. Faith formed prayer opens your life not to more “answers” from God but more intimacy with him and more obedience in return. As Jesus prayed and immediately turned his life to the Father’s will, you too become more aligned with God’s work in this world through you. We’ll explore and experience Faith Formed Prayer today.

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“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9b-10


Prayer brings us into the presence of a loving Father who aligns us with his will and involves us in his life-shaping purposes. There is nothing more important, dangerous, or strengthening than prayer. For it is both life forming and life transforming.


Move Together in the Spirit

31 May, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

Everything we set our hand to gets old. Working from home and home-schooling was a new adventure to begin with but now has become draining. The social isolation measures are no longer fun. The endless Zoom meetings have lost their appeal. The TikTok videos of people fooling around in lockdown or the watching of countless films has started to grow wearisome. Everything new becomes old. Fad after fad, challenge after challenge leaves us thirsty and wanting more, as the epidemic of boredom and routine sets in. To those caught in this cycle, who keep finding themselves back where they started with no meaning, no power, no life, Jesus offers an invitation to come to him and receive his life. It's a life that never gets old - renewing, restoring, revitalising and recreating day after day, satisfying your heart and empowering you to move together in the Spirit to bring his life-transforming grace to the world.

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#7 in series: Move Together


“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37b-38


Jesus did not promise just a trickle or a stream, he promised a river. The Holy Spirit is like a mighty rushing river in us…that strengthens, gifts and sends us out into a dangerous world together to be a powerful force; bringing God’s life, God’s grace and forgiveness and God’s empowering Spirit to all who are thirsty.