469 Posts By Hans Kristensen

  • Please Support This Great Charity

    One of the main ways Christians show that they are saved by grace is by showing love to those less fortunate. Two of our members of Resolved, Tatenda and Sarah Manduku are part of a non profit organisation called Orchard Projects.

    They describe their work like this:

    “Orchard House Projects is a collection of minds and hearts that believe in using our providence to facilitate change around us.

    We believe that we are part of a generation that takes responsibility in addressing social issues in our communities. We believe in starting small, building strong structures. Our ideas are trees planted in the world.

    By using our creative talents and abilities we image an Orchard full of fruit, a lasting change and to inspire others.

    We strongly believe in transparency and strive to ensure the intended recipients of funds raised, receive as much of the funds as possible. We aim to do this by employing a simple but effective structure.”

    Their first project is with the Shammah Children’s Home. You can read about what they are trying to achieve with this project here:  http://www.theorchardprojects.org/#!shammah-childrens-home/cnuc

    Please check out their website: http://www.theorchardprojects.org/

    And follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrchardProjects/

    You may also like:

    Where Should Christian Generosity Come From?

    What You Need To Know About The Mission Of The Church

    Would The World Be Better Off Without Christians?

  • How Satan Attacks Us and How Jesus Has Defeated him!

    Sometimes the Bible talks about the spiritual world in terms of warfare. It pictures Jesus who is the ruler of all creation and Satan who opposes him. The battle is fierce and the prize is humanity. But when Jesus died on the cross he defeated Satan and the war is over (Colossians 2:13-15)

    But it is weird don’t you think? How can you say the painful death of Jesus defeated anyone or anything, especially Satan? It comes back to how Satan works. Satan’s primary way of hurting people is not by possessing people and making their heads turn around 360 degrees and making them talk in weird voices and spew green junk out. Throughout the Bible he is called the accuser (Revelation 12:10). One of the things Satan does is he parades your guilt and shame before you and God. Satan tempts us to despair by reminding us of sin and guilt and shame.  Guilt and shame are his biggest and most notable weapons and one he uses them very effectively. But when Jesus died he paid the penalty for your sin, he took away your guilt and your shame. So that if you trust in Jesus he sees you as guilt free, without spot or blemish or stain. Therefore the very game that Satan is playing is over because the very thing that he uses as his chief weapon has been taken from him. If you are a Christian you have no guilt or sin on you. Jesus has taken it away. Completely.

    She was sitting across from me tears streaming down her face.  She was telling me how in a moment of desperate loneliness she gave into the pursuit of a certain man in her life. They started going out and after a few months they moved in together. The relationship quickly disintegrated and they broke up and then, because of her loneliness, she started sleeping around. Sometime with guys she knew, sometimes it was with guys she didn’t. All the while she was calling herself a Christian and because she was a Christian she tried so many times to stop.  But something would remind her of what she had done and she felt like a terrible Christian and person so she ran to the arms of another guy for comfort. One of her Christian friends said to her that she had a Jezebel demon in her and she needed an exorcism. She was scared and alone and so she came to me and asked me “Do you think I have a demon?” I told her I didn’t think so but Satan is warring against her.  I told her that Satan is tempting her to despair in her guilt and shame. I told her that Satan is the accuser who wars against her. He wants you to forget who you really are. He wants you to be crippled by guilt and shame and walk away from Jesus. I asked her if she trusted Jesus? She said yes she did. I told her that her guilt has been taken away. Her shame has been taken away Satan has been defeated and she is now guilt free. She stands forgiven all by grace!

    I dare say some of you guys are struggling with guilt and shame. You are doing things right now or you have done things in your past that you are ashamed of. You feel like you don’t meet God’s approval. I feel like that too when I think of the shameful things I have done. What am I meant to do in those situations when I am reminded of my sin and my guilt is overwhelming? I remind myself of the cross of how God in his great love for me took away all my guilt and shame.

    The great hymn writer said it best. When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within. Upward I look and see him there who made an end to all my sin.

    When God made and end to all our sin he defeated Satan once and for all!

    Let us rejoice in that!

    You may also like:

    Spiritual warfare is more boring than you think

    The Most Persistent Sin in This Pastor’s Life

    How should Christians respond to sin in their own life?

  • What Rating Would Jesus Give You?

    Out of ten, ten being awesome and 1 being terrible, rate yourself as a Christian.

    Go on, you don’t have to tell anyone, just keep it to yourself.

    Some of you are thinking “I havent read my Bible in ages I am around 3 if that!”

    Some of you are thinking “I am going terribly. I am I am struggling with a particular sin. I will give myself a 1!”

    If Jesus was going to give you a score out of ten what would he give you?

    Here is the answer:

    If you trust him he would score you 10 our of 10!

    Yes, that is right 10 our of 10!

    See when Jesus looks at you he sees you as perfect because he has taken the punishment you and I deserve and he has taken away all our guilt and shame. And he gives you and I his righteousness. This is grace. It is a free gift we don’t deserve.

    Don’t base whether you think you are right with God on how you are doing. Because that in confusing your justification (being right with God) with your sanctification (growth in holiness).

    You are right with God through through faith in Jesus alone by grace alone.

    As Bryan Chapell says:

    “The natural tendency of all believers is to base our estimation of our justification on our personal progress in sanctification. We estimate whether we are okay with God on the basis of how we did today. Were we good enough? Did we fail to honor our ideals? Did we hurt anyone or break any commandments? Because Jesus died and rose again on our behalf, we are cleansed of our sin and reconciled to God. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1), and we progressively live for God in the confidence that we are in union with his life and power solely on the basis of what he has fully and finally accomplished on the cross (Gal 2:20). Our experience of his blessings, pleasure, and nearness still relies on our obedience, but the reality of our relationship is not and never was based on our goodness.”

    Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, 291-292

    You may also like:

    Grace Means You’ve Got Nothing to Prove

    An Interview with Jared Wilson Author of The Pastor’s Justification

    An Interview With Tom Wright on Paul, Justification, Critics and New Books

  • The Driscoll Situation Has Left Me Heartbroken and Yet Hopeful

    I thank God for the way he has used Mark Driscoll.

    A few years ago I was in a meeting with a number of guys who either have planted a church or were going to plant one in Sydney. We went around the room and shared what was the inspiration behind us planting a church and Driscoll, in different ways and to different extents, inspired us all to plant a church.

    Through Driscoll’s preaching and writing he inspired a generation of young men to plant churches, adopt Reformed Theology and grow up. Whether you agree with everything he says or not, if you are a christian, you have to admit that God used him powerfully to shape a lot of lives for his glory!

    God used Driscoll’s preaching to invigorate many young men who were bored with Christianity and church and make them passionate for Jesus again. And through his preaching he saw thousands of people become Christians.

    God has used Driscoll powerfully and I hope he will continue to use him powerfully in the future.

    But this whole situation has left me heartbroken.

    It breaks my heart to hear of a brother in Christ and a fellow minister of the gospel doing some of the things that Driscoll did.

    It breaks my heart that another prominent Christian pastor has fallen from grace.

    It breaks my heart that some Christians are rejoicing in this situation.

    It breaks my heart that an unbelieving world is seeing the church of Jesus’ dirty laundry being aired for all to see.

    It breaks my heart to think of Driscoll’s children and how this may be adversely effecting them.

    It breaks my heart that the character of God and the gospel has been brought into question

    And yet I remain hopeful.

    I remain hopeful that the grace of God can reign in Mark Driscoll’s life, his family and his church and he can repent where he needs to and that God will use this season to shape Driscoll into the man he wants him to be.

    I remain hopeful because the same Gospel that Driscoll so powerfully preached is still true, it still saves and sanctfies and through the gospel, God is powerfully working in large and small churches right across the world to call people to know and love and serve him.

    I remain hopeful because even though Driscoll has stepped down for a season God is still on his throne reigning and ruling.

    I remain hopeful because the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes. (Daniel 5:21) This whole situation hasn’t taken God by surprise in fact he is sovereign over it!

    I remain hopeful that some how and in some way God will be glorified through all this because he works all things for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

    I am heartbroken and I am praying for our brother in Christ whose ministry has profoundly impacted me but I am hopeful because we serve a God gives hope to those who need it!

    You may also like:

    I’ve Given up Hope as a Pastor

    9 Leadership Lessons from Church Planting

    Is Church Planting Really the Answer?

  • Book Reviews July 2014

    I haven’t posted any reviews of books in too long and I have been told that the short reviews I posted were helpful so I will get back to posting a few lines about the books I read each month.

    Here are the books I read in July. I was on holidays so I didn’t read much theology.

    The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex Is Too Important to Define Who We Are – Jenell Paris Williams

    This is a very provocative book where Williams, who is a Christian professor of Sociology, argues that sexual identity is a very recent phenomenon and is one that is very western. She explores what would it be like to minister to people with differing sexual experiences and talk about sex, sexuality and sin without being trapped into our current sexual identity categories. A very thought provoking read!

    Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink

    This book talks about how the system of rewards and punishments used in motivating people is breaking down and explores why this is. Pink argues that people need autonomy, mastery of their work and to purposeful work to be not only motivated but feel like they are making a difference. This is a thought provoking book to read for pastors and any other church leaders.

    1984 – George Orwell

    This is the first fiction book I have read in years. I have been challenged of late to start to read some more fiction and I will probably blog about that at a later date. 1984 is a dystopian fantasy that follows a protagonist Winston Smith as he deals with a world where Big Brother rules supreme. In this world things like speaking against Big Brother, thinking the wrong things or having sex can all get you killed. While rewriting history and thought control via mass communication is commonplace. This book shows us what happens when an ideology becomes dominant and oppresses anything that is against it.

    Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever – Jack Macullum

    I am a basketball nut and this book was amazing to read. Not only is it brilliantly written but you get a good grasp of what happened behind the scenes to allow professional American basketball players to play at the Olympics but you get to read of the drama, politics and issues surrounding team selection as well as the story of each game they played. You also read about what each Dream Teamer is doing now. It was interesting that the Dream Teamer that is seen in the best light is David Robinson, a Christian man who is using his wealth and fame to help under privileged kids get an education. A great read for an basketball nuts like me!

    You may also like:

    6 Books That Will Grow You As A Leader

    Great Books on The Holy Spirit

    An Interview With Tom Wright on Paul, Justification, Critics and New Books

  • Make Sure the First Thing You Say Is About God

    I have been challenging our service leaders at Resolved to make their opening words not about us or our church but about God. About who he is and what he has done for us. As people who live busy distracted lives, when we come to church we need to be reminded who God is and what he has done. Then and only then, with our minds at least starting to think of eternal realities, can we start to praise God.

    In this video, the great preacher, Alistair Begg makes this point rather humorously.

    You may also like:

    How to be a really cool worship leader

    I’ve Given up Hope as a Pastor

    An Interview with Jared Wilson Author of The Pastor’s Justification

     

  • The Biggest Opportunity that Moore College is Missing Out On

    I love Moore college. I love what I learnt there and I have so many life long friends that I made while I was there. I pray for Moore college every week and I am thankful to God for it!

    Some people don’t like my Moore College I am not one of them.

    Some people write blogs that are hostile to Moore College but this is not one of them.

    But I do think Moore College is missing out on an amazing opportunity. Moore College is situated in an awesome location. It is 10 minutes (depending on traffic) from the city, just across the road from Sydney uni where 30 thousand student go every day and is located in the suburb of Newtown, a suburb which is in evident need of the gospel of God.

    God has, in his gracious sovereign care, placed Moore College in an amazingly strategic Gospel location.

    But here is my question, are the Moore College Students, Faculty and community taking advantage of this great Gospel opportunity before them? How many students and faculty are actually building relationships and sharing the gospel with the people of Newtown and Sydney uni? It would be an absolute shame if someone could graduate college and never build a relationship with a neighbor in Newtown and share the gospel with that person.

    The biggest opportunity that Moore college is missing is the opportunity for their students to engage in mission in the local community while they study amazing theology and learn great exegetical and pastoral skills.

    Do you agree that Moore College is missing out on this opportunity?

    You may also like:

    9 Leadership Lessons from Church Planting

    Is Church Planting Really the Answer?

    What we are saying when we don’t share the Gospel

     

     

     

  • Use This Prayer as a Powerful Start to Your Day

    I have been using The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions to help me to pray in my quiet times. This prayer has been an inspirational start to my last few days:

    Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Your care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to Your ways. Mould me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay. May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Your praise. Let those around see me living by Your Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clad in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings.  Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands. May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth. Order this day all my communications according to Your wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.

    You may also like:

    No Pastor is Greater Than His Prayer Life

    The Kind of Prayer that Kindles Revival

    A prayer that all Christian leaders need to pray

  • No Pastor is Greater Than His Prayer Life

    I have been convicted of late that, by God’s grace, I need to earnestly and joyfully pray more. My good friend David Freeman, who is the Pastor of Newtown Baptist Church, read me this quote from Leonard Ravenhill on prayer which convicted me to my core!

    “No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.” Leonard Ravenhill

    May we all be people who find it a joy to pray to our heavenly father who loves to hear his people pray. Matthew 7:7-11

    You may also like:

    The Most Persistent Sin in This Pastor’s Life

    I’ve Given up Hope as a Pastor

    An Interview with Jared Wilson Author of The Pastor’s Justification

     

  • Grace Means You’ve Got Nothing to Prove

    We live in a world where you have to be somebody. It matters who you know, what you do, what clothes you wear, how successful you are, what is your career, how fit or hot you look etc.

    The twin results of living in this world are tiredness and a loss of identity. We are tired because keeping up with everyone’s expectations of who we are meant to be takes so much effort and concentration. It is tiring always wondering what “they” are thinking or what you “should” be doing. And in the end we forget who we truly are because we are so caught up in being who we think we should be rather than being who we really are.

    What is the solution to our dilemma?

    Grace

    Yes, that is all.

    Grace.

    Christians believe that when Jesus died on the cross we were given the free gift of a right standing before God. This is what the Bible calls Justification. Justification means that God has declared me righteous. That means I do not have anything to prove or live up to with God because through Jesus I am given a right standing before God. Therefore I am free to be the person God made me to be.

    But grace asks us hard questions like:

    If grace means I don’t have to prove anything to God who is infinitely the most beautiful and magnificent person in the universe why am I trying to prove myself to others?

    If grace means that I am accepted by God why do I so work hard for the acceptance of others?

    If only I got how much I am accepted in Christ than I wouldn’t try to prove myself, I wouldn’t try to be something I am not, I would be comfortable being who God wants me to be.

    Here is the message I need to keep telling myself: I have nothing to prove to anyone because I am justified by grace

    You may also like:

    The Most Persistent Sin in This Pastor’s Life

    The Amazing God of Grace

    The Cross Both Humbles Us and Fills Us With Thanksgiving