The Excel Church, South Croydon

12th March 2023

John 18:1-11 – Jesus Our Great Example (part 2)

Pastor David builds upon last week's lesson in John 18, noting that Jesus refused to deviate from His practice of prayer, even in the face of peril. Just as Jesus persevered, we too should remain steadfast and impervious to the obstacles thrown our way by the devil. We must also heed Jesus' example and not involve others in our personal gripes. Jesus protected his disciples from harm, a precedent we should follow. Additionally, we observe how Judas, along with those attempting to capture Jesus, fell to the ground. Despite falling and seeing Jesus' power, Judas remained resolute in his misguided choice due to his love of money, displaying a hardened heart. To avoid this, we must not be enticed by greed and have the wisdom to turn away from wrongdoing. God has already promised us that if we seek Him first everything we need will come to us.

12th March 2023

1 Peter 4:11 – Speak As Oracles Of God

Minister Emelia highlights how a great deal of "knowledge" accumulates in our minds as we go through life. However, 1 Peter 4:11 urges us to speak God's word, regardless of what we believe we know. We are advised to use the word of God in a constructive manner, avoiding manipulation, slander or negative criticism. Instead, we are encouraged to draw from the Holy Spirit and share the truth of God's word, in a way that uplifts and corrects others with love. In doing so, we can inspire positive changes in people's lives. The words we speak and the counsel we seek hold power, and when we use the word of God with sincerity, it brings solutions and encouragement. However, it's not enough to only articulate the word of God effectively; we must also live it out in our daily lives. The living and powerful word of God has the ability to change lives, so let's lean on the Holy Spirit and speak as oracles of God.

5th March 2023

John 18:1-11 – Jesus Our Great Example (part 1)

n John 18:1-11, Pastor David guides us through the events that took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus and his followers found themselves before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Taking note of a few particular points, Pastor David shares that legitimate actions can sometimes lead us to become calloused towards God, but through Jesus' example, we can avoid this pitfall by prioritizing our relationship with God, even in the midst of our daily responsibilities. Furthermore, Pastor David highlights Jesus' boldness in presenting himself to those who wished to capture him, despite having fled those who sought to make him an earthly king. Jesus' knowledge of God's will for his life allowed him to stay focused on his true purpose - to be a saviour and not a political leader. Pastor David encourages us to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who will help us stay aligned with our own purpose. We also see Jesus' concern for his disciples, as he does not want them to be apprehended alongside him. This display of selflessness is yet another example of Jesus putting the needs of others above his own.

5th March 2023

Living for Christ

Pastor David encourages us to live our lives for Christ. Living for Christ means putting God's will above one's own desires and seeking to glorify Him in all aspects of life, including relationships, work, and daily decisions. This should be the life of everyone who is born again and should be evident in deed as well as our word. Let us who call ourselves born-again believers call ourselves to order and start a new page of truly living for Christ and not ourselves.

5th March 2023

Phil 1:21 – Death Is Not The End

Apostle Paul expressed his thoughts on life and death, saying that for him, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Minister Danielle, helps us to identify how we really view death. Do we see it as a gain? Our perception of death is based on our mindset and to be able to have the same view as the Apostle we would really have to know God intimately. Paul was Christ-centred and his ultimate goal which he was single-minded towards, was to pursue Christ. No possession or position could change this or beat the union he enjoyed with Jesus. Despite going through many hardships nothing caused him to stumble from his spiritual race. Is Paul's statement an aspirational one? If so brethren, let us aim to get to the same place as Paul in this regard.

26th February 2023

Matt 26:31 – 41 – Watch & Pray

In Matthew 26, Pastor David highlights how Peter intended to remain by Jesus' side through thick and thin, yet Jesus had knowledge that Peter would betray him. However, Jesus did not display any negative emotions or actions towards Peter despite being aware of his impending denial. We are encouraged to follow Jesus' example and react appropriately towards individuals who may harbour hostile feelings or intentions towards us. Moreover, Peter's downfall was part of a greater scheme to interrupt his destiny, but Jesus had interceded for him through prayer. We should also engage in a similar practice, and pray against any detrimental plans that the enemy has in store for us. We also see that Jesus fulfilled his purpose by remaining awake and praying, whereas Peter failed to do so and ultimately denied Jesus. Let us be Christians who watch and pray and succeed in our purpose, if we have done what we need to do, God is with us to do what only He can do.

26th February 2023

Phil 4:8 – Think On These Things…

Minister Yinka encourages us in the correct way to think. Philippians 4:8 teaches us to think about true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy things. As followers of Christ, we are commanded to fill our minds with positive and uplifting thoughts that reflect God's nature. We can guard our hearts and minds against negativity, fear, and anxiety by focusing on these things. Brethren, let us take Paul's directive and cultivate a positive and godly mindset by dwelling on things that will promote a healthy and joyful life.

19th February 2023

Matt 26:36-46 – Cry Out!

Pastor David continued his teaching in Matthew 26 when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. We learn that there are times when we need to cry out in prayer. Jesus was not passive in His prayer; the knowledge that he would be separated from the Father for a moment was unbearable, so he cried out with strong tears. Even though it was unpleasant to Him, Jesus submitted and said, "nevertheless let thy will be done". Brethren, will you still do God's will in your challenging situations? Will you cry out to God for help to do his will? When we do this, we are behaving as sons of God. Let us surrender to God's will, walk in love and cry out to Him for help to do the elements of His will that we find difficult.

19th February 2023

1 Peter 3:12 – He Sees And Hears His Righteous Ones

Minister Emelia encourages and comforts us through 1 Peter 3:12. We are reminded that we are spirit beings, which is how God relates to us. We have become righteous because of what Jesus has done, and because of this, we are blessed that God favourably sees us and listens to our prayers. Under the new covenant, God's face is not. Against anyone, but this is not an excuse to sin. We know that sin brings things into our lives that contradict God and his word. Instead, brethren, let us focus on the truth that we are Spirit beings and learn to see ourselves how God sees us.

12th February 2023

Matt 26:36-46 – Face Your Fear

Continuing our month of prayer, Pastor David takes us through Matthew 26:36-46 where Jesus asks three disciples to join him in prayer. This was the first time that Jesus needed prayer support or expressed fear. We see Jesus take his fear to God, fall on his knees, face down and ask if there is any way that the impending situation could be changed. Many have mistaken Jesus's prayer for an attempt to avert the cross, but this is not the reason. Jesus, more than anyone, knew that His purpose was to be the sacrificial lamb of God to save humanity. Jesus's fear was based on knowing that when all sin was laid on Him, He would experience something he had never experienced before - being unclean and separated from God. The very thought of this brought anxiety to Him, but once He knew that there was no other way to save humanity, Jesus faced his fear! We should praise this excellent Jesus for what he has done for us.

12th February 2023

Phil 3:14-15 – Put Jesus First

Minister Patricia shows us in Phil 3: 14-15 how Paul uses running a race to describe his attitude towards his spiritual goal. Paul was giving his very best to win the prize. But what was this prize? God's love or righteousness? No, because we already have those things. Paul was giving his best for the rewards for his service to Christ. In the natural, we strive for work bonuses and better pay, but these "rewards" are nothing compared to the rewards from Jesus. Paul urges us to be single-minded towards Jesus, putting Him as our focus, and God will tell us when we are making an error! We don't need to be self-analytical or introspective, wondering if we are doing and acting right. Instead, let us focus on Jesus; the rest will be taken care of.

5th February 2023

1 Cor 6:17 – How To Enjoy Life

Pastor David reminds us through 1 Cor 6:17 that when we are born again, we become one with God, twisted and bound with him. This oneness is in the Spirit, God's Spirit merges with ours, and we become one. This means we have every quality God has, whether we express it or not. We have everything in our Spirit to secure success and peace for our physical lives. 1 Pet 3:10 tells us that if we want a long and enjoyable life, we must refrain from speaking evil (gossip, slander, lying etc.). This takes more than physical effort, so we must allow what God has deposited inside us to be drawn out. Let us learn how to draw out all the goodness within us to have that wonderful life.