Sunday, 23 November 2014

Is there a God?

“The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good”
Psalm 14:1 & 53:1
In the book of Judges the people of Israel turn their back on God, they go after the gods of the people that live around them. Today there has been a significant change, while there are still many who seek after others gods many are saying there are no gods.
We live in a world where there is a growing number of aggressive atheists who seek to push their position. This is impacting many people and I am seeing far more people pulling our of SRE at school. There is a growing number of people who no longer believe in any god.
Two of the Psalms start with the verse above, it is a theme that the scriptures take for granted that there is a God! At the beginning of my ministry one of the purposes of SRE was to help people have a proper understanding of who God is. Today I need to start many SRE classes helping children to believe that there is a God. Sometimes even in the churches we find people who want to take the supernatural out of who God is, they want to diminish God.
The God as revealed in the Scriptures is a real God, He has to be taken notice of, God cannot be ignored. There will come a time when we all need to face God, and he will not be in our image, he will not be the way we want him to be. We do need to take God seriously.

Chris

Sunday, 16 November 2014

What do we need to do?

‘So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy’s life and work?”’
Judges 13:12
Wouldn’t it be good if God told us what to do?
At the beginning of the story of Samson there is the account of his birth, an angel of the Lord appears to Manoah’s sterile wife with the news that she is to have a special baby who will have special conditions placed on him (See Judges 13:2-5)
Manoah wanted to meet the man of God again so that he could ask for more detailed instructions of just what he needed to do. The angel basically reiterated what he had already said. (Judges 13:6-14)
So often we want the Lord to be very specific about what he wants us to do. Jesus has told us to obey his commands, he has clearly told us that his commands can be summed up in loving God and loving others. Yet so often we want Him to be more specific, when what we need to do is to just get on with
loving God and loving others.
Jesus Christ is the Way the Truth and the Life, we do need to follow him. But knowing exactly what he wants us to do in every situation is not what the Bible teaches. Even when the prophets advised the leaders what they should do – they wouldn’t obey. As you read the scriptures you will not find detailed instructions of how to live – you will find Jesus Christ the Way, follow Him!

Chris

Sunday, 9 November 2014

What does communion mean to you?

“Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?”
1 Corinthians 10: 16
Our Church celebrates communion twice a month, on the morning of the fourth Sunday and the evening of the second Sunday. This is a significant part of our worship a time to renew our commitment to the Lord, a time when we celebrate the grace, mercy and love that God has poured out for us in his Son Jesus Christ.
The death and resurrection is central to our faith, central to who we are as a Church. Sharing in the bread and the cup is to participate in the body of Christ. It is also a reminder that we are one in Christ. Communion is to be celebrated in community, to be celebrated with others in the body of Christ, we are truly one in Christ.
Tonight the whole service will be a time to reflect on just what communion is about. Rather than our normal service we will be sitting around table sharing coffee and dessert. During this time we will share in communion in a different format, we will also reflect on just what communion is about, and how it impacts us.
Just how does communion impact you? What does it mean to you to partake of the bread and the cup? Even if you are not joining us this evening these are good questions to reflect on at all times.
May your experience of communion be a time to draw closer to the Lord.

Chris

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Be encouraged in the Lord!

“Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.”
Judges 7:11
We all need encouragement from time to time. The Bible is full of encouragements.
Even after God had shown him with the dew on the fleece / not on the fleece that he wanted him to defeat the Midianites, Gideon still needed encouragement.
So the Lord sent him to the edge of the enemy camp. There he heard the dream of some of the Midianites in which they saw Gideon defeating them.
Gideon immediately went back to his people and with this encouragement fresh in his mind roused his people to a wonderful victory.
There are many verses from the Bible that Christians have used to encourage them throughout the centuries. Sometimes these encouragements are taken out of context. As he departed Jesus promised the disciples “A nd surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20).
The encouragement is not that everything will go well all the time, rather it is that God will always with us not matter what happens.
As well as needing encouragement we need to give encouragement to others, it is part of loving others. One of the ways that God shows encouragement to people is through other people.
This week take encouragement from the Lord through his word. Also give encouragement to others, that they too might know that encouragement.

Chris