Beginning with God

As we begin the New Year, why not return to basics.  Does God exist?  Really?  Of course he does.  Allow Prof John Lennox, speaking at the Oxford Union, help you see the persuasive evidence…

Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)

As we plough on into the new year, it may be worth taking a moment to reflect on the life of someone who went to be with the Lord last year.  Ellisabeth Elliot lived an extraordinary life.  This short article by Justin Taylor from The Gospel Coalition website is worth your time to read through.

Defending Christmas

Just before Christmas is entirely lost from our memories as we head to the new term, here’s an amusing defence of the authentic Christian message of Christmas against modern-day arguments created by Lutheran Satire:

Why I Love Him

I noticed this beautiful poem by Emma Scrivner:

He loved me first.

He’s never too busy.

He treated men and women equally in a time when no-one else did.

Everything I love was made by Him.

He invited me into His family.

He will never abandon me or leave me or hurt me.

He knows me inside-out and still, He stays.

He hates injustice and abuse.

He is Lord over all creation – yet He made Himself a tiny dependent baby.

When the soldiers said, “If you’re God’s son, come down from the cross,” He stayed. For me.

He practised what He preached.

There is no-one like Him.

He was exhausted and persecuted yet He still had compassion on the people who crowded around Him.

Everything He has, He shares with us.

He loves His Dad and tells everyone how much.

He sees what we try to keep hidden and He says, “come into the light.”

He gives everything; including Himself.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

Rugby World Cup

Do take a look at the following video from Roger Carswell.  We are pleased to have a number of these evangelistic tracts for our congregation to distribute to friends, neighbours and co-workers.

 

Summer Celebration – Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Summer Celebration such a wonderful success.  It took an enormous amount of work and we are particularly grateful to our coordinating team – Heather, Nat and Naomi.

The whole event is a reminder that working for Christ is a (super-) natural consequence of being saved by Christ.   Our efforts as Christians are described as ‘your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Thess 1v3).

This working for Christ is a uniquely and distinctly Christian characteristic.  As Horatio Bonar puts it:

It is forgiveness that sets a man working for God.  He does not work in order to be forgiven, but because he has been forgiven, and the consciousness of his sin being pardoned makes him long more for its entire removal than ever he did before.
An unforgiven man cannot work.  He has not the will, nor the power, nor the liberty.  He is in chains.  Israel in Egypt could not serve Jehovah.  “Let my people go, that they may serve Me,” was God’s message to Pharaoh (Exodus 8:1):  first liberty, then service.
A forgiven man is the true worker, the true Law-keeper.  He can, he will, he must work for God.  He has come into contact with that part of God’s character which warms his cold heart.  Forgiving love constrains him.  He cannot but work for Him who has removed his sins from him as far as the east is from the west.  Forgiveness has made him a free man, and given him a new and most loving Master.  Forgiveness, received freely from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, acts as a spring, an impulse, a stimulus of divine potency.  It is more irresistible than law, or terror, or threat.  (Horatio Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness, 1864)

 

Christians and Fasting

We considered Nehemiah’s response to the news of the devastation of Jerusalem recently in our Sunday preaching series:

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Neh 1v4)

Which of course prompted us to consider the place of fasting in the Christian life.

I was directed to this short article by Tim Challies that was very helpful entitled ‘How Should Christians Fast?