Welcome to everyone this morning and a special welcome to those joining us again after many years. We are very happy to see you!
Psalm 48 is a hymn praising God for Jerusalem. Some of its thoughts could also extend to PBC today. In it the Psalmist looks around Jerusalem and he admires its land, its buildings and its people. He is very pleased with what he sees. The city has developed and grown over the years. It has matured and much good has come from it, but he recognizes that it is only because God is in the city that it has survived and blossomed to be what it is today.
There have been times of challenge in the past when the enemy came against the city and God has rescued them. There have been times when God has acted sovereignly to build the city up. Within the Temple they constantly praise God for His faithfulness. They are genuinely grateful for God's loving and kind character.
The Psalmist says consider well what you see and what God has done that you may tell the next generation (v14), "For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end."
Today one in three new businesses fail, but 50 years ago God planted Pakuranga Baptist in the soil of East Auckland and through the hard work, faithfulness, giving and prayer of each one of you Jesus is being lifted up for others to see and the Holy Spirit is changing lives and touching our community today.
God's work and presence in our past is our promise and confidence as we look to the future. Thank you for being a part of God's mission in New Zealand.
Bless you. Pastor Andrew