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A God-Shaped Heart by Pastor Pablo Lillo

I believe the French mathematician-philosopher Blaise Pascal was correct when he stated that all human beings have a God-shaped hole within them that they naturally attempt to fill—and that only a genuine relationship with the living God is capable of satisfying that emptiness.

The reason is simple: Every human being was created by God primarily to know Him, love Him, serve Him, and Honour Him with their lives.

All other activity is superfluous. 

In the past I’ve proclaimed, “The local church is the hope of the world.” As a church what we do is essential in bringing people closer to Jesus. We teach, inspire, encourage, and bring hope to a broken world. We do it individually and corporately. We do the best we can online once a week on <castlehillsda.online.church>, and we encourage you to get into the community and make a difference. I hope you are.

The other day I caught up with a single dad who is struggling with major health issues and needs our help. We chatted for over two hours. I could sense his pain. Loneliness. Despair and grief with all he’s facing. I delivered food to him—donated by a generous church member. 

During our time together, we shared a meal, discussed life, and prayed together. I poured out my heart to Jesus—seeking healing, peace, renewal, and wisdom for my friend. I asked Jesus to heal his broken body and mind—allowing him to be able to serve his family as a sole parent and provider.

If you'd like to help, please contact me.

Today, I want to remind you—Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the hope of the world. As a local church, we’re one mechanism that can be instrumental in bringing us closer to Him and helping us to be more like Him. 

Paul describes Jesus Christ as “our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1) and “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). Jesus not only came to bring hope. He is our hope.

We have hope because Jesus forgave us. Knowing Jesus brings contentment regardless of material possessions and joy despite difficult circumstances. Nothing can destroy this hope because it’s stored in heaven where no earthly power can touch it.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

We have received new hearts and minds—a living hope that’s real every day. It’s living because Jesus is alive and offers to transform our hearts, minds, desires, and actions daily. As we understand God’s forgiveness, we start forgiving others. 

As the reality of Christ’s sacrifice penetrates our hearts, we lay down our selfish desires. We begin to serve our families, our neighbours, our church, and even strangers on the street. 

Although mundane, painful, and stressful events threaten to diminish our hope, Jesus renews our hope whenever we seek Him.

The world lacks hope. Human beings are clamouring to fill their God-shaped hole—empty lives—with empty stuff. Abuse, addiction, illness, and broken relationships surround us. 

People need to know that Jesus came to bring hope, that He is our hope, and that our hope is alive.

Is the hope of Jesus real and alive in you?

Yours—because of Jesus.
Pastor Pablo Lillo 


eGiving: 

As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, the Bible is clear throughout its pages that we’re called to give generously. Even in the book of Exodus chapter 35, we see the Israelites all generously giving the materials and time to build the tabernacle. If any of those people decided to withhold the materials they owned or the skills they had, the tabernacle wouldn’t have come together.

Move forward in the Bible, to Malachi 3:10-12, giving is the one thing God tells us to test him in.

In the New Testament, God himself gave His only Son because he loves us so much, God's Son died on a cross for you and me. It sets a model that generosity in God’s people should be sacrificial. Please support the Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist church as it continues to serve the Hills Community and the wider-church.

Please go to eGiving—click on the link and give generously.: eGiving 

Richard Hurrell will be at church next Thursday, August 27, from 3:00pm onwards to receive your tithes and offerings and help with Sabbath School lessons, Record, Adventist World, and Intrasyd.
 


Offering: Mamarapha College

Nestled in bushland on the outskirts of Perth is an oasis of peace, a wellspring of knowledge that is refreshing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. Mamarapha College has a life-changing impact on the work of ATSIM (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministries), which may only be fully realised in years to come.

“Mamarapha is key to much of the success and growth of ATSIM,” says Mamarapha principal Pastor David Garrard. “The college provides an opportunity for spiritual transformation,” he continues. “Countless students have come with broken lives and leave healed, equipped and empowered.”

Several health students are now working in their communities while Mamarapha pastoral students are currently employed in roles such as chaplain at Karalundi, North NSW ATSIM director and Bible work.

Henry Dunn is a Bible worker in the Redfern/Waterloo area of inner Sydney (see more of his story on the next page). Involved in feeding the homeless, starting social groups and even a prayer room and juice bar, Mr Dunn is heavily involved in ministering to the community.

“We’re empowering the local community to grow the kingdom in Redfern,” he says. He preaches at The Way and the Mt Druitt Indigenous group once or twice a month. “I’m a product of Mamarapha College,” he says. “I wouldn’t be in ministry today if it wasn’t for Mamarapha.” Read more of Henry’s story here.

Such is Mamarapha’s reputation that many students come from communities where there is currently no Adventist presence.

From 1997 to 2019 Mamarapha students have come from all of these locations around Australia.

Mamarapha staff have used the student-free time to work on fine-tuning administration, finance and student management systems, updating OH&S policies and procedures, and exploring options for developing new courses covering topics such as Indigenous mental health and permaculture/horticulture/bush tucker and bush medicine.

Mamarapha’s impact reaches right across Australia, educating more than 1400 enrolled students since its establishment in 1997.

“Considering our networking capacity and with the right support, Mamarapha has the potential to diversify and increase ministry impact and be known as a leading Indigenous institution throughout Australia,” says Pastor Garrard.

The Australian Union Conference offering for Mamarapha (Sabbath, August 22) will help the college to provide the services and ministry that is so integral to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ministry.

“The offering is important because our external funding has been cut the past three years and we are yet to replace it,” shares Pastor Garrard.

“If the wider church body was aware of the incredible ministry impact of Mamarapha right across Australia, they would understand how crucial the college is to the Adventist Church regarding ministry to Indigenous people.”

There are other ways to support the college beyond financially.

“The main areas of support that we need are financial assistance, helping students with their studies and practical ministry requirements at home, volunteering skills such as tutoring, marketing and IT, and of course prayer.”

Mamarapha hopes to reopen for classes by September.


 

Preaching Roster: August "Letting Go of..."
22. Dr Bryan Craig "Letting Go of Control"
      Offering: AUC—Mamarapha College

29. Zen Wijeyesinghe "Letting Go of Your Past"
      Offering: Adventist Education



Our Church Vision:
The vision of Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist church is to be the most loving church.
 
Our mission is for us to take the good of Jesus Christ to every place we can, in every way possible. Whatever the means, we want to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our School, friends, family, neighbours, and the wider community.
 
We exist:
1. To honour God through worship.
2. To share the Gospel message of Jesus with others.
3. To connect with others in meaningful relationships.
4. To prepare disciples to fulfill their purpose.
5. To encourage leaders in their God-given destiny.
 
 
Senior Pastor – Pablo Lillo
E: pastor.pablo@icloud.com
M: 0412 588 827
 
Associate Pastor – Nick Kross
E: nicholaskross@adventist.edu.au
M: 0423 107 766
 
Youth Pastor – Jessica Laws
E: jessica@castlehillchurch.org.au
M: 0424 370 294
 
Senior Elder - Marvin Malcolm
E: marvin_malcolm@yahoo.co.uk
M: 0414 430 688

Copyright © 2020 Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church

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