The Bible Jesus Read + study q's

Published: Monday, 16 April 2018

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at ABC on 15 April 2018. ‘The Bible Jesus Read’ is the second in a series entitled ‘Eat This Book’ on reading the Scriptures. This sermon manuscript concludes with questions for Personal Reflection and Group Study.

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 3: 16-17

Several years ago, a Baptist minister friend told me that his wife was away at a conference for the week. I asked whether he was cooking up a storm in the kitchen. He said, “I don’t do cooking.” I asked, “What are you eating?” He said, “I’m eating Weetbix—Six for breakfast. Six for lunch and six for dinner.”[1]

Sanitarium had certainly done their advertising well. He was a Weetbix-kid that couldn’t break the habit.

Only this week a woman told me that when she goes away, her husband, who she said was a good cook, only cooks noodles. Noodles for breakfast. Noodles for lunch. Noodles for dinner. He cooks the noodles for his children and he even serves noodles to their two Staffordshire terriers.

Last week when we commenced our series entitled ‘Eat this Book’, we examined the passage in the last book of the Bible, from which this title springs.[2]

The text likens the reading of the Scripture to taking food into our bodies. We thought of the way that the Bible, like food, energises us. It sustains us. It builds bones and muscles. Biblical food is essential to our growth.

This made us think of a daily, regular intake of the Scriptures. Not fast food and fast eating but the slow, nourishing intake, whereby the food becomes part of us.

Read more: The Bible Jesus Read + study q's

Eat this Book + study q's

Published: Monday, 09 April 2018

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at ABC on 8 April 2018. It is the first in a series on reading the Bible entitled, ‘Eat this Book’. The sermon manuscript concludes with some questions for personal reflection and group discussion.

Scripture Reading: Revelation 10: 8 - 11

Walking through Italy last year we entered into the town of Pavia, 35 kilometres south west of Milan.

We headed for a church called ‘St Peter in the Golden Sky’,[1] which houses the body of Augustine, the fourth century teacher and theologian. The relics and memorabilia refreshed the story of how this North African playboy left his homeland (modern day Algeria) to head for the bright party lights of Italy. But in his new country he came under the influence of Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan.

Augustine later writes in his Confessions, “The evil in me was foul but I loved it.” He said: “I prayed, ‘Lord, give me chastity but not yet’.”

One afternoon when he was wrestling with his thoughts and walking in a garden he heard the sing-song voice of a child saying, “Take up and read. Take up and read.” On a table he saw a copy of the Scriptures. He picked it up and his eyes fell on these verses from Paul’s letter to the Romans (13: 13-14):

“Let us live honorably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

He later wrote, "No further did I read; nor did I need to: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infusing my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away."[2]

The rest they say is history. This conversion sent shockwaves through his being. Augustine went on to be one of the most influential thinkers and teachers in the early church.

Read more: Eat this Book + study q's

Mark's mystery prophet priest

Published: Monday, 26 March 2018

This sermon was delivered by Keren McClelland on Palm/Passion Sunday 2018, and includes questions for group/personal reflection.

Mark 14: 1 - 11

Take a look at this video on privilege… ($100 race)

This one is about ethnic based  privilege that has been established in the college system in the USA…

What other privileges are not listed?

In the video line up…where would Jesus be? (unwed mother, rural, carpenter, male…) 

Where would the woman be? Would she even be in the race?

$100 doesn’t even matter.

The first thing for us to do is understand our privilege in the main games (ATAR, income, property, sport team) (where are you privileged?)

Read more: Mark's mystery prophet priest

Good News of Jesus in a Nutshell

Published: Monday, 12 March 2018

PeanutThis sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 11 March 2018. This occasion was only one week after the funeral of the Rev Dr. Billy Graham so the service and the sermon had several references to his life and ministry. The sermon manuscript is followed by questions for personal reflection and group study.

Scripture Reading: John 3: 14-21

After last Sunday’s Vietnam-flavoured service, we went into Melbourne’s inner city. Watching people flow into Flinders Street station, it seemed a United Nations. People dressed in burqas, saris and turbans. Diners eating Japanese sushi, croissants from the French-styled café, Baguettes, people snacking on Spanish donuts and two Indian guys sharing some French fries.

Read more: Good News of Jesus in a Nutshell

Taking up the Cross

Published: Monday, 26 February 2018

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at ABC on 25 February 2018. It is part of the ‘Journey with Mark’ series following the lectionary readings. Questions for personal reflection and group study are posted at the conclusion of this manuscript.

Reading: Mark 8:31-38

In 2004 Frank Warren had a crazy idea.[1] He printed 3,000 self-addressed postcards. They were blank on one side and had instructions on the other. He asked people to anonymously share a secret they’d never told anyone before. He handed these out randomly, not knowing what to expect. But soon the idea went viral. People from all over the world bought their own postcards and sent them to Frank. He posted them on his web site called PostSecret.com. It’s become one of the most visited blogs in the world. Frank has received more than half a million secrets.

Read more: Taking up the Cross

The heavens are torn apart

Published: Friday, 23 February 2018

This sermon was delivered by Keren McClelland on 18 February 2018. It is part of the 'Journey with Mark' series towards the cross.

The sermon contains text with images, and is followed by questions for personal/group reflection. 

Up and Down the Mountain

Published: Monday, 12 February 2018

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at ABC on 11 February 2018. It is the first in the ‘Journey in Mark’ series. Following the lectionary readings, the occasion was Transfiguration Sunday. The service contained reports on Small Groups and included a commissioning of some of our young adults departing for overseas. With Ash Wednesday happening on 14 February, this sermon concludes with an invitation to take the sign of a dusty cross on the forehead or arm.

At the end of the sermon manuscript there are some questions for Personal Reflection and Group Study.

Reading: Mark 9:2 - 9 

If you’ve ever visited an IKEA store you’ll know the IKEA experience. You may go only to get some tea lights and they’re probably in a room close to the entrance but by ropes and signs you’re led for a couple of hours on a wild goose chase through this never-ending building. They take you from one floor to the next through curated rooms. From the kitchenware rooms, to bathrooms, everything is all decked out with the latest furnishings, and then you’re taken through bedrooms, lounge rooms, balconies, the lot!

Read more: Up and Down the Mountain

For Such a Time as This

Published: Monday, 29 January 2018

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound on 28 January, 2018.

Reading: Esther 4: 1-17

Study Guide

Today’s study comes from a book of the Bible that we seldom dip into. This little book is sandwiched between the popular books of Nehemiah and Job. There was controversy over whether this book should be included in the canon of Scripture. Christian leaders like Martin Luther argued that this book should be snipped from the Scriptures. Their argument was that the book of Esther is the only book in the Bible that never mentions the word ‘God’. It doesn’t contain any prayers or hymns so how can such a godless book have any spiritual nourishment?

Read more: For Such a Time as This