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Sermons

Sun, May 24, 2020

Testimonies and Communion

Welcome video:

Songs:

Duration:35 mins 36 secs

Introduction

Good morning everyone and welcome to today’s Medway community church service, thanks for joining with us and sharing in this time together. We trust that you will be encouraged and challenged this morning as you listen, and then reflect on your relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope you enjoy the music that is on the play list this morning, and that it helps you praise and worship God as you listen to the words​​ and maybe sing along.

We are going to hear 3 testimonies this morning, ​firstly from Derek Hiscock​,​ and then Bradley Erasmus. We going to take communion together​,​ and then Lawrence with share his testimony with us.

Let’s listen to Derek and Bradley.

Derek Hiscock

Good morning brothers and sisters, I count it a great honour and pleasure to share my Testimony today especially at this difficult time we are all going through.

As a youngster I attended Church with my siblings every Sunday morning and most evenings but I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

In 1976 at a Evangelistic outreach at St. John’s Anglican Church in Wynberg, the Minister David Pryor, preached on persons who attend Church as an intellectual meeting, but have never given their hearts to the Lord by entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as reflected in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

That scripture touched my heart and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal saviour. Also the following scriptures have always meant so much to me and “came alive” at that time.

Romans 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved"

Romans 5:8 "God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us".

I then joined the Church’s weekly cell group meeting which was is so important in my growth as a Christian and knowledge of the Bible as reflected in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Shortly after my conversion, I met Diane, my lovely wife who by the way is at present with Anthony and Belinda and grandchildren in Pietermaritzburg and I have been informed that she will be there till September unless the “lockdown is relaxed before then”. Diane was on a train trip from Newlands to Cape Town where she worked and I got on at Rondebosch Station. Within a few weeks we met for lunch at which I told that I just given my heart to the Lord and she told me that she was already a believer. Isn’t this incredible, that God had used SA Railways to bring us together? I doubt whether this would have happened today!

We were married on the 1 October 1977 and have 2 wonderful children and grandchildren and I have always been encouraged by Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." I have had problems/difficulties like any other person, 2 of them that stand out the most are:

  1. Death of our first child (Steven) in 1983, 2 weeks after birth, after contracting a virus. Despite this tragedy, we are looking forward to seeing him in heaven one day.
  2. My head injury as a result of a motor car accident in 2001 which would have been fatal but due to the fact that the accident occurred within a kilometre of Constantiaberg MediClinic, they were able to operate swiftly to remove the blood clot. It was only due to God’s grace that I’m alive today!
  3. That scripture that really encouraged me especially at that time was Romans 8:38-39 "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

To conclude living each day for Jesus is what life is all about and to be a faithful servant/follower of His until the Lord takes me Home.

Bradley Erasmus

Good Morning Medway Church.

I hope you all are doing well, and your keeping safe. My name is Bradley Erasmus.

I just want to take the opportunity to share my testimony with you all and thank you for listening to me.

My journey started when I was still young my grandparents adopted me when I was 2 years old and as I got older I started to join the NG Kerk in Wellington we use to follow the Christian formalities as a family but personally being so young I did not really know Jesus or understand the whole Christian religion I simply follow what my family did, with the unfortunate when I was 7 my father past away and we moved to Hopefield , so for the folk that’s 60 and above it’s a great town to retire and your will definitely have a lot of tea parties, my relationship with Jesus started when I went to high school. when my pastor Jurianne Schreuder mentored me on a personal journey with the word of God and I use to join there family on the farm and he also guided me by teaching me some lessons by using the word of God , I really was a rebel of a teenager and had so much questions as I had always wonder why I was adopted , why I have a lazy eye , why must I be without a father , but my paster had a man to man talk with me and gave the verse from Isaiah 43:2.

He told me that God has a promise for us that we will experience suffering on this earth but when we stay focused on God , suffering not only refines our personally but brings honor and glory to God.

That touched my heart and when I feel like I had a difficult day I I read the motivational message he gave to me.

I fully committed my heart to Jesus at MMC 2009 and decided to walk a journey with God.

With me leaving school and leaving our church i moved to Cape Town and live was really different I  have relied on the wrong people and trusted people that disappointed me at the end.

I went to the Hillsong church just to ensure my relationship with Jesus still remains strong but it I experienced personally that the church was to big for me and I felled lost and my commitment to church got less.

I have joined the Linkway church and the pastor from that church  Gavin Van Heerden spoke about trust in the lord.

His sermon was about trust and faith and he ask the questions at the end of the sermon  who wants to give his life to Jesus and I raised my hand and renewed my commitment with Jesus because there was many times I trusted in man and not Jesus

Psalm 9:10 says "those who trust in you for you o lord do not abandon those who search for you".

Jeremiah 17:7-8 "But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

To conclude, as a young person growing up you always rely on the adult in the house to protect you in difficult situations but the reality to me was when I moved to Cape Town on my own I needed Jesus more than ever as he is my daily bread and he quins my first and without him on my journey the road ahead looks dark.

Communion

I am going to share some thoughts before we take communion.

I believe God​ ​created the heavens and earth by His word, and also created man and woman in His image. God designed and created faith hope and love. Somehow we know that after this life there is another life, and deep inside of us we wonder what it will be like and how our life now influences our future life. When someone close to us dies, we realize that death is only a breath away and it can come so quickly, even unexpectedly - life is so short. While life is going along fine most people don’t think about God too much, but when their life is threatened by the Corona virus, as it is now, or a sudden cancer diagnosis, a heart attack, or a car accident, suddenly they think about God or even pray to God, until the crisis passes and everything is fine again and things returns to normal.

What questions have I asked myself along life’s journey, and what are the right answers.

What is this life all about anyway?

For me, I have always struggled to manage how I spend my time and find the right balance. I know that it should be in this order of priority, God, Family, Others, Work, but sadly it is often the other way around when measured in time. However, as far as importance in life and real value, I have no doubt that the priority order is correct. This life is temporary and mortal and the next life for me has already begun, because I already have eternal life and God’s Holy Spirit in me through faith in Jesus Christ my Saviour.

Why did I trust Jesus?

I trusted Jesus when I realized that He was the only one who could save me from my sins and that my sins separated me from God.  The only way back to God was through faith and trust in Jesus, and His sacrifice when he died for me on the cross just over 2000 years ago.

So what is life all about for me?

It is about knowing God through His Son Jesus, whom God sent to this earth to demonstrate His love for us.  We learn about God through the Bible and our life experiences as God walks our life’s path with us.  Our character is shaped and molded by difficult experiences and super tough times, like when my mom died when I was only 15, or when I was 45 our business was in crisis and then my dad died, but also by the good times, like being married for 40 years and having a great family with 5 energetic grandsons.

How do I live a fulfilled life with no regrets?

By knowing that I have a personal relationship with God that can never be taken away, and learning to live a life that is content, whether I have a little in life or a lot.

What does the Bible teach me about: -
God and Satan?

God is everything that is Holy and perfect and good, and Satan is everything that is evil and devious and bad. That God is the Creator and the Satan is the destroyer, and since man was tempted and listened to Satan rather than God, he was separated from God, but because of God’s love for us, Jesus made a way back to God by dying for us.

Do I know God personally?

Yes I do and it is possible, it is the most humbling experience we can ever have, when we understand who God is, and yes, it is difficult to comprehend and appreciate.  But it is only possible to know God when we accept by faith that Jesus is the only way.  Sorry but that is the way God designed our way back to Him, and it is not about to change any time soon.  The future hope of life in heaven in a place Jesus has gone to prepare for me is beyond my wildest dreams, if only I understood fully the wonder of my future, I would love this life less.

Why do I go to Church?

Because it is great to meet with Christians, who are bound by the same Holy Spirit, in God’s church to worship and praise God together.  It also gives me the opportunity to remember what Jesus did for me on the cross when he died to redeem me.  We remember Jesus death by doing what He asked us to do in 1 Corinthians 11 Vs 23 to 26.

"The Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, This is My body, which is for you, do this in remembrance of Me."

Today we are in lockdown and meeting virtually and not physically in the church building,  but that doesn’t mean we are not able to have communion together. For those that are able we are going to take our piece of bread and remember that our Lord Jesus Christ gave his body for us, and died on the cross to purchase our redemption. So we take this

bread as a symbol of Christ’s body given for us.  Thank you God for sending Jesus, thank you Jesus that you came, Holy Spirit teach us more about His lovely name.

Take a minute to thank the Lord for your salvation in Jesus.

Vs 25 "In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood, do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lords death until He comes."

We take the grape juice or wine as a symbol of Jesus blood shed for us, to forgive our sins and make us right with God so that we can call Him Father.

Thank you Lord that you died in our place so that we can be forgiven and brought into your family and be called your children, we are such a privileged people.

Take a moment to give thanks and praise to our God and Father for His marvellous gift.

Lawrence Payne is going to share a testimony with us now.

Lawrence Payne

  • For most people a first time experience is frightening...
    • E.G... Doing a half hour presentation in front of 150 people.
    • The 18th April started a 4 day ... first time journey for me ...
      • And I was less than happy.
  • Symptoms experienced...
    • Experienced for quite some time ...
      • Occasional chest pain while cycling ...
      • What I thought was reflux at night.
      • Pain in my teeth and jaw.
  • But all of them discounted because of the belief that I ...
    • Was fitter than most
    • Weight totally under control
    • Eat well/healthy
  • Neither Grietjie or I needed to take any medication ...
    • A source of real pride.
  • Message prepared ...
    • Managing fear ... Psalm 46:1
      • God is our refuge and strength ... therefore we will not fear.
      • Be still and know I am God.
  • Problem was as the message was being relayed ...
    • I had been rushed into emergency and
    • I was lying in ICU on all the monitors.
  • My response ...
    • So how was I responding ...
    • After 60 years as a follower of Jesus surely ...
      • Full of faith
      • A beacon of confidence in Christ
      • A true example of faith in Jesus.
    • But ...
      • I hate hospitals and suffering.
      • Fear, anxiety set in.
        • Surrounded by sick people with monitors beeping and alarms going
        • Just one little stent was required they said.
        • On tablets for the rest of life ... side effects
      • A bit angry
        • Why this disruption in my life.
          • This was not in the plan
      • Lonely
        • If only Grietje could be there.
        • Just sitting there ... with her re-assuring presence.
  • The operation did not last 20 minutes but 120 minutes ...
    • Not one stent but four ...
      • But 3 days later I was happy to be released from the hospital induced lockdown.
      • With an assurance all was well.
  • Second bout...
    • Unfortunately that is not the end of the story ...
      • Because last week Thursday Grietje and I went for an hour walk
        • After that whilst having a cup of tea my heart rate jumped to 127bpm.
          • And stayed there for some time.
  • Once again anxiety raised its ugly head ...
    • So back to the specialist we go for more blood tests.
      • Then we discovered that the blood thinning tablets that we received was only enough for 10 days and should have been for 12 months.
        • This could have resulted in further narrowing of the artery.
          • Which could have been disastrous.
      • But the blood tests show that that did not happen.
        • We believe that this is an answer to our prayers ...
          • So by the grace of God disaster was avoided
  • Changed specialist
    • An ultrasound  has also been done and they assure me that everything is normal.
      • No arrytyhmia
      • The heart is perfect
      • Reduced medication
      • and I can resume cycling asap.
    • Anxiety ... well that has also been sorted out... for now.
  • My point is this ...
    • There was blessing in the darkness ...
  • Psalmist says ...
    • Be still ...
      • That is not my style but ...
      • I had no option ... in ICU... no visitors.
    • And know ...
      • Lots of time to think ...
        • I had never been confronted by the possibility of my own death before.
          • Biggest stent in the widow maker artery
    • Time to think about ...
      • Lord Jesus claim on my very existence.
        • Who am I to question his decisions ...
      • His promise to me ...
        • Certain salvation ... no judgement... just well done.
        • Promised home in heaven ... a better place
        • To be with me at all times ... even in these circumstances
        • Happening for good and not harm... lessons to be learned ... I'm learning ... slowly
    • He is ...
      • My refuge and strength ... encouragement in the most dire situations.
  • It is easy to preach ... not so easy to let go and trust.
    • But the Lord is faithful ...
      • Despite my shortcomings ... the God of the second chance.
      • In our darkest hours he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother ...
      • When anxiety would deny you sleep ... he brings rest.
      • When fear overwhelms you ... he gives you strength
    • We must not dishonour him by doubting his promises.
      • We are invited to trust, believe, cast all our burdens on him ... because he cares.
  • What a friend we have in Jesus ... what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
    • That is what I testify to today ..
      • He is my refuge, strength, my friend.
  • Question ...
    • Are you listening today ...
      • Maybe you have medical problem that is overwhelming you ... panic
      • Maybe a relationship problem is tearing you down
      • Maybe this corona virus is causing panic in your life.
    • Question is ...
      • Why don't you turn to Jesus.