Monday, 13 August 2012
I found myself weeping in the opening ceremony when "Jerusalem" and "Bread of heaven" was sang in the first few minutes. However the closing ceremony had a profound closure about it. George Michael sang his new song "White light." The lyrics reflect his near death experience last year.
"Something divine, oh divine, brought me back to you," "So I just Kept breathing my friends. Was it music that saved me ? Or the way that you prayed for me ? Cause either way I thank you I'm alive."
Entering the stage singing freedom, wearing a diamante encrusted scull on his belt and a crucifix around his neck one wonders whether he is closer to the truth than he realises. "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus" Romans 6:23.
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:6. "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8. So get connected today. Repent, change your mind about living your life without God, and believe Jesus paid the price for your sin upon the cross at Calvary. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved" Acts 4:12.
Monday, 9 July 2012
Imagine the scene in this picture. For 120 years God warned the people of the Old World they could not continue as they where and escape judgement. All around was a spirit of indifference, unconcern and apathy. Jesus said people were just carrying on as normal, eating, drinking and marrying. Despite this he offered a means of escape to a man named Noah, along with his family. Everday as Noah was building the ark passers by scoffed and ridiculed him. But Noah stood strong. You see he trusted God. He knew if God said it, it would come to pass. When the time had fully come God invited Noah and his family into the ark through the only way in. It was God who shut the door, but not until everyone he was saving had entered in safely. God knows to secure understanding humans need messages to be repeated. In the New World he sent his Son the new ark, a new a living way. Jesus said "I am the door, if any man enters in by me he shall be saved" John 10:9. What a glorious and great Salvation Jesus secures for all those who will eventually trust in him.
Friday, 15 June 2012
One of the arguments for Gay Marriage continually being put forward is that if two people love eachother, regardless of gender, why shouldn't they marry? Yet we all understand that love is not the only legal consideration when deciding to marry. For instance a brother and sister are not permitted to marry no matter how much they love eachother. Neither is a adult allowed to marry a child. Someone who is already married is not permitted to marry another. If love is the only grounds for allowing marriage then paedophiles and bigamists would have a very good legal case. In America a man made a (unsuccessful) legal challenge because he wanted to marry his horse. You can see where all this may lead.
Free love was birthed in the sixties when the motto of the age was "If it feels good do it." Many would agree our culture is Hedonistic where pleasure and personal happiness are the rule by which all things are measured. My grandmother taught me that God is watching all that I do. And I believe that. I also believe that the greatest free love of all was demonstrated by Gods only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary. It was there my sin was paid for. He saw my sin and yet his love for me compelled him to endure the cross.
We use the word love cheaply without truly understanding what it means. The majority of love we see is selfish love. When we look at the cross of Christ we see Gods unselfish love displayed in the sacrificial work of his Son. "While we where yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Righteousness is more important than love. Righteousness mean being right with God. If all God did was love us and not find a way for us to be cleansed of our sin and be reconciled to him could we really say that was love. Gods love and righteousness go hand in hand. And because we love him we want to live righteous lives. Lives that reflect and obey his created order.
Love is never free. It always costs something. For the unrepentant the sinful pleasures of this life will be paid for in the next. Selfishness is ugly, selfishness demands its way at the cost of others. However true love lays down all for its beloved. Only in Christ do we see a true representation of love. Only in Christ can we experience love as God had always intended. Anything else is just a cheap imitation.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
The extraordinary picture of the clock split in two belonging to the bell tower in northern Italy was interesting. Only one person has ever split history into two and thats our Lord Jesus Christ. I also remember the New Zealand earthquake in which the Christchurch Cathedral withstook tremendous damage to its main tower. Jesus taught that any effort to reach God in the heavens through man made means would eventually fall. The Chillean miners trapped underground in the blackest hell as the world watched with baited breath hoping that that one of the four drills would eventually secure their salvation. Eventually they were all lifted up to safety through a tight space. Jesus said narrow is the way to life and few will find it. Who could forget the 1992 Windsor Castle fire which began in the Queens private chapel
shortly after she attended her first multi-faith service. The fire began when a curtain ignited on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month. Jesus said his servants must not become lazy thinking he will not return. He warned he might come quickly when they least expect it at the eleventh hour.
Sometimes the signs are loud and clear, other times more subtle. Whichever may you view the world God is a living God who wishes to commune with his people. It is his will that no-one should perish but come to repentance and a saving knowledge of him. Let he who has eyes to see, see and he who has ears to hear, hear.
Friday, 13 April 2012
Someone said a picture paints a thousand words and they were right. Sometimes God speaks to people through pictures. He probally is the greatest picture maker of all time...move over Warner Brothers! He certainly speaks to me in pictures. He famously spoke to William Booth founder of the Salvation Army on one of his many train journeys. He called it the vision of the lost. In it lost people are drowning in the sea sorrounding an island in which saved people were engaged in various activities, none evangelical! The central message of the vision was God saves people to save people. Last night while counting sheep I saw a great sea with many ships on it, ships of all shapes and sizes. Close by was a safe harbour. Coming out from the safe harbour was a radio call for all ships to return. All the ships received the message but the majority looked around, saw the calm sea, the blue sky and decided to ignore it. A few decided to take head of the warning and enter the safe harbour. The safe harbour is of course Our Lord Jesus Christ, the boats unsaved people and the radio call the Gospel Message. That unfortunatly has been my experience...the majority ignore it. Heres another picture that got me...Its a qoute from a Rabbi.."If a man shot an arrow how far would it travel? One or two feilds? However repentance is so powerful when released it reaches the very throne of God." I can picture the arrow flying through the sky. Release yours and see how far it will travel. You might be suprised!
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
As another big name in the world unexpectedly dies I couldn't help but notice the publics need to deify celebrities. Heather small from the 80s band the M People said on the Jeremy Vine show "Whitney was the Messiah." Kevin Costner co-star in the film The Bodyguard said in his funeral address that she was being taken to heaven by hundreds of angels. It reminds me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 26:53 "Do you think I cannot call on my Father and he will at once put at my disposal 12 legions of angels?" So Whitney gets hundreds coming to her side just like Jesus! Sarcasm aside it is clear when looking at Whitney's life she was a troubled human being. She was a recognised drug addict from her late teens. A newspaper heading reads "Just another dead drug addict.'' Sad but true. What unsettled me greatly was the 'performance' at her 'going home' party. I say performance because 'God fearing' funeral service it was not. If Whitney was trusting in Christ then she was not a good advert for Christianity or the power of the cross. Can a drug addict become a Christian? A resounding yes! But they wont be able to stay that way. If they do they are denying the power of the cross and the shed blood of Christ to overcome the power of sin. It my well be that Whitney began as a gospel singer in her church choir but we know that going into a bakery does not make you a baker neither does attending 'church' make you a Christian. What we heard from the leaders of the church she once attended was nothing less than good old fashioned 'rhetoric.' It sounded good but was lacking any real biblical substance of truth.
Salvation is a free gift which is found through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. It cannot be won by good works which includes singing in a church choir. A friend told me about the time she attended a funeral service for a known 'Spiritualist' in a Anglican church (Yes you read correctly). She said she expected the deceased to jump up from the coffin at any moment because of the pure fancy of the things being said. I wonder if Whitney would have felt the same?
Saturday, 11 February 2012
Yesterday was a day of interest for all UK Christians. My friend Michael Overd was found not guilty of causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress to two homosexual passers-by as he preached from 1Corinthians 6:9-10. I was there when it turned nasty and was a witness for the defence. Stephen Green from Christian Voice came to support and has a very good article about the case on his web-site. Michaels defence lawyer Paul Diamond was a pleasure to watch. In his closing comments he talked about free speech and the right of every Christian to proselytize all people groups including homosexuals. The truth of the matter is the two homosexuals who made the complaint did not like what the Bible said about them and wished to silence Mike Overd and mistakingly thought they could use the law to do it. On the back of this two guesthouse owners lost their appeal against a ruling and fine for only letting married couples rent a double room and Bideford Town Council were told in another hearing that holding prayers before a meeting was in fact illegal. The next round will be David Camerons attempt to redifine marriage and allow homosexuals to marry in church. Out of the three cases heard yesterday I believe God was showing his priority and his continued blessing for the preaching of the gospel in the UK. God is interested in the salvation of souls. It is the sacrificial death of Christ upon the cross for the redeeming of lost sinners which is the greatest message for mankind. This is what God wants Christians to proclaim and concentrate on. When we do, His Son is gloryfied and so is He, and His righteousness shines forth. Perhaps if the established Church had not lossed this focus the other two cases would never have arisen.
Monday, 2 January 2012
I was thinking yesterday about my thought life. Thoughts are important because they are powerful. They begin as small sparks but can go on to start huge forest fires. Thoughts in themselves are not necessarly wrong but a wrong thought 'exercised' can lead to sin. The greatest freedom comes when we realise or can identify the source of a thought. Some thoughts originate with us and some are fired at us from Satan and his hordes. Others are God ordained and are designed to steer us in the right direction similar to how a small rudder moves a great ship. Its the seemingly insignifiant thought which can sometimes have the greatest impact. Why am I here? What is life about? Can kickstart the quest for God and meaning in life. Other thoughts if harboured can lead to jelousy, hatred, revenge even murder. A circumstance comes along and the hordes of hell will play it for all its worth. They will bombard with feiry darts to bring the reeling soul into bondage. If recognised early they can be fought off but its a life long battle. King Davids fall began with a wrong thought about another mans wife. Time and time again in the gospels Jesus is recognised as knowing the thoughts of men. Jesus knew what men dwelt upon and the thoughts 'exercised' that shaped them. Wouldn't it be interesting to actually calculate the types of thought we have in just one day. How many would be acceptable to God? How many did we dwell on that we should have flung out right at the start? Practically when a wrong thought comes we can call it as such and reject it. On the other hand when a good thought comes we can meditate opon it and yeld a harvest for the Lord. Paul uderstood the battle is in the mind and gave believers this excellent advice "Take every thought captive to make it (the mind) obedient to Christ"2Corinthians 10:5. Not always easy but a must if we are to make true progress with God and those around us.