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Accessing the Bible

For most of us, we take for granted the fact that we can access a Bible in our own language.  We probably have many Bibles on our bookshelves, not to mention the many electronic Bibles accessible online.  Now we all know that the Bible is important. The Bible tells us the story of the Creator and his creation. It shares about the highs and lows of the human race. It shows us how much the Creator cares for each one of us and what he has done to save us.  The Bible shares how Jesus,...

May 11, 2022

Loving God

Recently I was in conversation with a young man who was lamenting the struggle that he felt in loving God. His understanding and appreciation of what God had done for him through the acts of grace was clear. Equally his appreciation of the power and sovereignty of God was an area of clear conviction for him, but is there something more? The lament was sincere. To experience God is a worthy desire. To know God’s love and to love God is of first importance as revealed by God in Deuteronomy 6:4, ...

May 6, 2022

100 People

Last week, we touched on the distribution of global wealth.  I was challenged to dig a little more and think about the world around us. There are nearly 8 billion people in the world but ... If the World were 100 PEOPLE: 50 would be female50 would be male30 aged under 18 years8 over 65 years of age There would be: 60 Asians including 18 in China and 17 in India16 Africans14 people from the Americas10 Europeans 31 Christians23 Muslims16 people who would not be aligned with a religion15 ...

May 4, 2022

Missions Source - The Sovereignty of God

God’s sovereignty is defined by his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence (all knowing, present everywhere, all powerful). Nothing that happens within our world is hidden from God's view or outside of God's provision for rescue for those who would call on Him. The world’s upheaval that includes pandemics and devastating wars, economic upheaval and our personal suffering, struggles or brokenness have not escaped God's attention and can only be answered by His presence, knowledge and powe...

April 30, 2022

Global Wealth

Over recent weeks, it has been impossible to see the news without being confronted with the significant inflation that we are experiencing in New Zealand. This has impacted our spending and many of us are having to make tough decisions about how we use our money. For some, this is the first time that we have had to deal with inflation of this magnitude, and we are struggling to cope with the implications on our day-to-day spending. So, let's put our wealth into perspective. While we ma...

April 27, 2022

The Greatest Day in History!

The centre of our Christian faith is the story of Jesus’s death, burial, and triumphant resurrection.  Each year Christians around the world gather together to remember the greatest day in history: Easter Sunday.  The importance of Jesus’ resurrection cannot be overstated.  The Apostle Paul boldly states "If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it - if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everyth...

April 16, 2022

Freedom?

The debate on what is freedom has gained a level of intensity in recent times.  The Oxford dictionary’s definition of freedom is condition of being free or unrestrictedpersonal or civic libertyliberty of action. To have an appreciation of why freedom Is desired and so fiercely fought for we need to take a look the root cause of humanity’s loss of freedom. In Genesis Chapter 2, in the story of God’s creation, we are introduced to a scene of perfect freedom. Then, catastrophically, we s...

March 25, 2022

The Church beyond Covid

During the past two years of Covid disruption to the life of our church family, some have asked, “Doesn't the church just add a further complication to the already complex life and can’t I just be a stay-at-home Christian?...

March 19, 2022

The Power That Saves

Romans 1 v 16“I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes first for the Jew then for the Gentile.” The question one may ask is what is the gospel designed to save us from? The answer is found in the word salvation in this text with its wide-reaching implications. The definition of salvation refers to being rescued from God’s anger and judgment that we deserve because of our sin. It means being delivered from the penalty of sin, w...

March 11, 2022

Why I Have Faith

As I move to this final quarter of life, I have cause to reflect on the motive for my life's journey as a Christian. The Bible makes it clear that to live as a Christian is not a call to easy living. Mark 3: 34 reads “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.  It is clear that a life based on Christian perspective and teaching is affronting to our human nature. It should not surprise us that a level of hostility will be experienced...

March 4, 2022

Mission and Your Mind

Mission’s priority has for many, lost its primary focus as the world we live in contends to win our minds through media ladened with choices for quick self-gratification. Romans 12: 2 understood this conflict. God speaks to his family of faith with sound advice, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” What does it mean to ...

February 26, 2022

It was Thursday morning...

It was Thursday morning - Isaac and I were helping to rearrange the staff in the outpatient clinic as a number of staff informed us the day before that they were leaving. Isaac had been helping in triage, I was in the ward, recording the weights of the eight tiny neonates that I had just measured. A staff member came in and asked me to weigh another tiny baby who had just arrived at the clinic (they were too small for our digital scales in triage). The baby was 21 days old, born premature at an ...

February 18, 2022

Who then is willing … to give?

Ian McBride is a church elder, Christian businessman and leader, and a trustee on the GC3 Board.  What follows is a summary of a devotion he brought to the Board late last year. 1 Chron 29:5 says, “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?” (NIV) or “And now, how about you? Who among you is ready and willing to join in the giving?” (The Message) King David is approaching the twilight of his life and reign over Israel.  In his final days he (and indeed the ...

February 4, 2022

Perseverance, a Key to Mission

GC3’s journey of providing service to our churches and their mission partners has always demanded perseverance. In 2021 new mission fields have engaged workers even during these troubling times. Many of these mission partners are committing to difficult and sometimes hostile environments that require determined perseverance. My arrival in D R Congo in 1982 was relatively easy as the mission had been operating for more than 96 years when we first arrived. However, the history of this mission in...

January 28, 2022

Have a Happy New Year in Mission with God.

For as long as I can remember, New Year's Day has been a day of good will. Greetings from family, friends, neighbours and even strangers within community, joyfully invite us to a “happy new year”. So, what does a happy new year look like for a Christian? The Bible declares that God wants us to be happy. I love God’s practical invitation to live, as seen in Ecclesiastes 2:24.  Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labo...

January 3, 2022

Christmas Our Reset For Missions

The choice is ours. Will we be participants in a secular view of the Christmas season, or will we allow Christmas to be an opportunity for mission reset? Perhaps unlike any other period of western history, the message of Christmas has almost disappeared into the desperate pursuit of material excesses that give little or no recognition to God. In our all-consuming pursuit of escape from Covid’s restrictions, the message of Christmas is at risk of being lost more than ever! Through the clammer o...

December 10, 2021

An Important Announcement

9th December, 2021Public Release Over the last two years, the GC3 Board has been working through a process to ensure the organisation not only has a clear direction for the future but is appropriately resourced and staffed so that it can continue to serve New Zealand churches and our global mission partners effectively. We are therefore pleased to advise that Michael Hanson has been appointed to take on the leadership of GC3.  In mid-2022, Sefton Marshall will retire from his full-time rol...

December 9, 2021

The Unique and Unchanging Message

The intellectual credentials of Christianity’s message are very strong, much stronger than is often acknowledged. When Christians are troubled by doubts, they only need to look at rival conventional systems in our world to see they are far less credible than faith in God. As I witness humanity’s desperate pursuit to find reason for life, I am saddened by the rejection of Christian contribution to the discussion. For example, our world’s new social experimentation of ‘cancel culture’ re...

November 26, 2021

Children Of The World

One hundred and forty million babies are born each year. The world is home to around 2.3 billion under-18s, and this figure will stay broadly the same for the rest of the century. (Over the same period, the number of over 65s will grow from half a bil­lion now to 2.5 billion in 2100.) Improvements in children’s physical wellbe­ing have accelerated since the UN adopted its Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. Mortality for under-5s has more than halved, and primary education, clean ...

November 22, 2021

It Was Thursday Morning

It was Thursday morning - Isaac and I were helping to rearrange the staff in the outpatient clinic as a number of staff informed us the day before that they were leaving. Isaac had been helping in triage, I was in the ward, recording the weights of the eight tiny neonates that I had just measured. A staff member came in and asked me to weigh another tiny baby who had just arrived at the clinic (they were too small for our digital scales in triage). The baby was 21 days old, born premature at an ...

November 12, 2021

Has Covid Stopped GC3 Missions?

From where we sit in our New Zealand context it would appear that mission has changed forever with the COVID pandemic isolating us from the wider world and the opportunities for travel and return to New Zealand. This context reminds me of a quote that suggests, “Where you stand is how you perceive the world”. In our New Zealand context with its strict isolation policy and with a conviction that the virus can be eliminated, we risk having a limited view of what is and can be done in mission a...

October 29, 2021

Technology saves lives

Each month Sefton Marshall sends out “Office Matters.” And without fail he receives a response from Steve, a Kiwi field worker with a Christian not-for-profit who is based in the USA. The two men speak into each other’s callings, sharing their lives and faith across the miles. Here are some excerpts of their exchanges to encourage you the way they encourage each other. “‘Technology saves lives’ – I used to think this was a gross exaggeration and prideful stretch,” Steve Peacock w...

October 15, 2021

Big Goals In Russia

After the chaotic collapse of Communism in the 1990s, life for the 144 million people who call Russia home is now materially better. But freedoms remain stifled, the business climate is challenging, and millions still struggle against poverty and ill-health. A whole, wasted, educated generation is opting out of political or civic participation.   The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) survived Communism and remains the major symbol of Russian identity. However, along with smaller Christian ...

October 11, 2021

Effective Mission Equals Teams

More than any other time in our history the Covid pandemic has demanded an unnatural change in society that has shaken the norms of life. That change has required that we socially isolate and retract into our bubbles. The loss of social team networks and support such as workplaces, mission action, and church gatherings has radically changed our life. This is surely not what God had in mind for his people! No, it’s not. In fact, we see in the Bible’s first example of teamwork, God the Father,...

September 24, 2021

When the Bible Speaks

The first result of a closed Bible in the church is almost always the promotion or elevation of man and the replacing of God’s instructions with human reason! It is to this error that the apostle Paul cast a warning in which he even names himself! 1 Corinthians 3:3 – 4 “For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men”? In verse 5, ...

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