Wanting to Respond to the Call

IMG_5840 by Ryan Peter

We had a hugely encouraging time with Hennie Keyter and his motley crew on Sunday night as they shared with us their stories, struggles, and joys of living out the apostolic call of God. I couldn’t help coming away and feeling that, even if I’m not as tough as Hennie, God has a plan and purpose for us all and, perhaps, I just need to “get over myself” and go for it.

Hennie launched his book His Call, My All at the event. Janet Batchelor has been reading the book and here’s what she thinks:

“His Call, My All” has inspired me about God’s call for our lives in a very big way. As you read it you start saying to yourself, “I want to have a heart like that.” Hennie reflects on many things in this book – and you get to know him, find out more of his background, and how he met Rita and led his family – but one thing that comes up again and again is God’s goodness and that if you trust God, He comes through.  Through all the stories Hennie relates in this book – and it’s been a gripping read – you see the Lord honour Hennie’s determination for the apostolic call in the most amazing situations. Doors open as a result and the Gospel can spread further. I know that anyone who reads this book will, at the end, want to go fulfil God’s purposes for them.

First Impressions (15 March)

First Impressions Slide

Responding to the Call

TITLE: Responding to the Call
PREACHER: Q&A with Hennie Keyter
DATE: 23 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday PM

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The Twelve: Simon and Matthew

TITLE: The Twelve: Simon and Matthew
PREACHER: Mark Meeske
DATE: 23 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday AM at Bedfordview

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Bio: Matthew the tax collector

There is not much information we have on Matthew from reliable sources, outside of a few biblical references.

Name: Levi, then Matthew, after he was called to be a disciple
Marital Status: Unknown
Home town: Galilee
Profession: Tax collector (publican). The tax collectors were as a class, detested not only by the Jews, but by other nations also, both on account of their employment and of the harshness, greed, and deception, with which they did their job. They paid the taxes to the Roman authorities up front, and then extorted from the people way more than was due to them. Rightly so, they were especially despised by their own nation!

Age: 20-30 years old
Relatives: Son of Alpheus (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27)
Social status: A tax collector, despised by his own nation, the Jews, but had a standing amongst the Roman authorities because of his ill-gained wealth
Personality: Because of his profession as a tax collector, Matthew was probably an accurate record keeper and keen observer of people. In today’s terms he was a ‘bean counter’ with sly tendencies. But he became a Christ-follower!
General facts: Matthew left everything to follow Jesus, and threw a party to celebrate his new life. (Matthew 9:9-13)
Position amongst the 12: There are no mentions of Matthew in the Gospels outside of his call and on the list of Jesus’ disciples. But from Jesus choosing opposites on His team, a tax collector and zealot, we infer that there must have been a need to work out their relationships.

Ministry and death: Tradition has Matthew spreading the Gospel in Persia and Ethiopia. Unconfirmed historical sources disagree about Matthew’s martyrdom. One source has him stabbed to death somewhere in Ethiopia, while preaching the Gospel there.

Bio: Simon the zealot

There is even less information about Simon the zealot, except for his mention in the list of apostles.

Name: Simon the zealot
Marital Status: Unknown
Home town: he is referred to as Simon the zealot (Luke 6:15; Act1:13), or Simon the Canaanite (Matthew 10; Mark3:18). He probably stayed somewhere in Galilee, because the Zealot movement was based there.

Profession: Unknown, but he was a political activist, wanting to see Israel restored to its own rule. This obviously ceased after he was called by Jesus.
Age: Upper teens or lower twenties
Relatives: None mentioned.
Social status: According to traditional accounts and drawing inference from his name, we believe he was probably a member of the Zealot sect which was alive in Galilee and Judea around the time of Christ. The Zealots were a fanatical religious sect, very similar to the Pharisees (religiously conservative and literal) but absolutely radical in their opposition to Roman rule to the point of terrorism. Therefore, there was potential for conflict between him and Matthew! He probably initially had a fairly conservative and literal religious outlook, having been a member of the Zealots – Pharisaical in nature. He would have been a ‘Pharisee’ in his religious views before coming to follow Jesus.

Personality: Presumably radical and an extremist – zealous. His name, ‘Zealot’ possibly referred to both his personality and his membership in the Zealot sect.
General facts: We know nothing of Simon’s interaction with Jesus or the other disciples. We infer certain things, and rely heavily on inaccurate history!
Position amongst the 12: No significance. He is mentioned 11th in the Matthew and Mark lists of the apostles, and 10th in Luke and Acts. It’s not clear whether the order of these lists have any significance although they are very similar in all accounts.

Ministry and death: Initially in Jerusalem and then we have no sure Biblical account. Tradition puts him in various places, including having traveled north to reach the British Isles, in Egypt, in Asia Minor (Turkey), and in Persia. It is unlikely that any of these accounts are probable. There are no reliable accounts of his death. He possibly died in Pella, Armenia or Suanir, Persia or Edessa, Caistor or Babylon, Iraq. Probably martyred, possibly crucified.

MEET MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR AND SIMON THE ZEALOT

We’ve put Simon and Matthew together because they couldn’t be more different. They were at opposite ends of the spectrum in their ideologies, value systems, and much more.

Matthew was a tax-collector and therefore worked for Rome, Simon was a zealot and therefore hated Rome. Matthew was hated by the Jews and Pharisees, Simon was loved by the Jews and Pharisees. Simon was a political freedom fighter (that’s what the zealots were) while Matthew was seen as a traitor – so much so that the words “tax-collector” and “sinner” were synonymous terms. Simon wouldn’t mind putting a dagger into someone’s back while Matthew was sneaky and underhanded.

So, knowing this, how could two men from such opposite dispositions and loyalties be found serving and working on the same team? In our modern day scenario, you could think of one being a hardcore socialist and the other a hardcore capitalist. How is it possible that they could work together? Read more

The Exchange: Partnership

TITLE: The Exchange: Partnership
PREACHER: Marcus Herbert
DATE: 7 FEBRUARY – Friday AM

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Spiritual Gifts

TITLE: Spiritual Gifts
PREACHER: Mark Meeske
DATE: 16 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday PM

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Gifts of the Spirit on Mission

TITLE: Gifts of the Spirit on Mission
PREACHER: Waldo Kruger
DATE: 16 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday PM

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The Twelve: James and John

TITLE: The Twelve: James and John
PREACHER: Marcus Herbert
DATE: 16 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday AM at Bedfordview

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James_John_end_slide

Name(s): James and John. Jesus nicknamed them ‘Boanerges’, the sons of thunder.

Marital Status: Unknown

Home town: Zebedee, (the father of James & John), was a fisherman of Lake of Galilee, who probably lived in or near Bethsaida, perhaps in Capernaum

Profession: Fisherman

Age(s): James 30 years old, John 16-18 years old

Relatives: Zebedee was their father, Salome was their mother.

Social status: Uneducated and had a fishing business with their father, and in partnership with Peter and Andrew. The fishing business was considerable as they owned several boats and employed servants (Luke 5:11; Mark 1:20).

Personality: Both brothers were loud, passionate (at times over the top), eager, fervent, forceful, self-centred.

General facts: We know little of James’s interaction with Jesus, except those incidents with his brother. John was intimately associated with Jesus; he was the disciple whom Jesus loves John 13:23-2, John leaning on Jesus John 21:20. When Jesus was on the cross, He committed His mother to the disciple He loved, John (Luke 19:26-27). John is also credited with five books of the bible, the Gospel of John, 1,2 and 3 John and Revelation. These brothers, like with Peter and Andrew, left everything to follow Jesus!

Position amongst the twelve: Along with Peter, the brothers were part of Jesus’ smaller ministry team. He would select this smaller group to accompany Him, exposing them to more than the rest of the disciples, because later they would play leading roles in the church. The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29), at the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5:37), at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1; Mark 9:2; Luke 9:28), with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:37; Mark 14:33). Jesus prepares these three uneducated, but passionate fishermen for three very different leadership roles in the church.

Death: James became the first to be martyred amongst the twelve, and the only one recorded in scripture. Acts 12:1-3 – “1 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3 and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.”

Herod wanted to destroy the church, he would not have gone after James if he wasn’t a threat. The influence he had was known by the Jews, so much so that it pleased them when Herod killed him. It seems like James had a prominent leadership role amongst the twelve.

James was the first to die, John the last. John was never martyred, he died as an old man in Ephesus around 98AD, after having being exiled to the island of Patmos, because of his faith.

MEET THE BROTHERS

In this series, we’re learning how to be Christ-followers by looking at the lives of Jesus’ twelve disciples. We integrate into a local church to become Christ-followers. It would be sad if we would become followers of the leaders here and not followers of Christ. You might recall that Paul rebuked the Corinthians for being followers of Apollos and Paul and forgetting about Jesus. Leaders may have a part of your life but we need to be desperately following Jesus.

We’re looking at the disciples and seeing their humanity and watching how Christ dealt with them and transformed them. This then points to what we can expect and how we can develop the right character, and develop the mission, in our lives.

This time we’re looking at James and John, labelled the Sons of Thunder in the Scripture (or the Sons of Zebedee). See their bio posted above. Why were they called Sons of Thunder? Because they seemed to be loud-mouths, always having an opinion. And look at their age – James was probably around 18 years old! In Cornerstone, we’ve ordained an elder of 19 years old and we got a lot of flack for it. But God is bringing us young guys and girls and we want to release them into ministry! Why should we wait? When God gets hold of a life, it doesn’t matter the age.

We will look at John in detail later in this series, but focusing on these two brothers together provides many lessons. They were both good and not so good for each other. Read more

The Perfect Wave and Ian McCormack – 28 February

Ian McCormack and some of the film-makers of The Perfect Wave will be with us on Friday, 28 February at 6pm at Bedfordview.

We’re looking forward to a great evening with them as Ian shares his story.

Here are details of the movie and a trailer:

wEEK 2

Ian McCormack at Bedfordview
on Friday, 28 February at 6pm
At Cornerstone Church Bedfordview
Click here for a map

Phone: 011-616-4073
Email: info@cornerstonechurch.co.za

1 Corinthians 16:9

TITLE: 1 Corinthians 16:9
PREACHER: Marcus Herbert
DATE: 9 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday PM

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