Saturday, 22 December 2007

It's time to get excited!

Yup it is time to get very excited. Why? Well actually not because of Christmas. Actually it's because tomorrow is Sunday. And Sunday for Christians should be the best day of the week!

Tomorrow is a day when we can give our whole selves (heart, soul, mind and strength) to worshipping and adoring God. Now don't get me wrong-even if we eat or drink we're worshipping Him; but Sunday is a time to be in His immediate presence.

Let me clarify: We can worship God though what is carnal (physical/temporary). 1 Corinthians 10v31 states this: 'whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God'.
This means that fajitas and filter coffee are worship!

So out of something carnal comes the worship. The worship is always spiritual though. It should be done in Spirit and in Truth (John 4v24) like our prayers should be' in the Holy Spirit' (Jude 20) true prayer is always in th Holy Spirit becuase God is spirit.

Sunday is a day for worship that is not based on the carnal (ie secular jobs, food etc)-it's just us adoring God through the Bible, Prayer, communion and fellowship with each other. Sunday should be the destination and climax of the Christian week. We should wish for a month of Sundays! Sundays are golden.

How can you encourage someone in your Church tomorrow? Do you need to exhort or rebuke someone who is back sliding? Who can you give comforting scriptures to? Can you challenge an un-believer? Why don't you offer to pray with someone after the service to build them up? Why don't you ask them about their soul? Don't be satisifed with small-talk:

'Hi, how are you?'
'Well thanks, you?'
'Yeah good thanks, see you next week.'
'See you, bye'

How about something like this:

'Hey! How are you doing?'
'Good thanks'
'How did God speak to you through the service?'
'Well he reminded me about grace and how all I need to do is to trust in the cross and not work my way to Him'
'That's really cool! God is amazing he loves to bless us!'

The 2nd is so much better and more encouraging!!

What is Sunday worship to us? Can we spend long amounts of time around the word of God and prayer? If Sunday worship doesn't thrill us then Heaven wont either. The seventh day will be turned into an eternal seventh day or sabbath soon.

'There remains therefore a rest for the people of God' (Hebrews 4v9)

Rest from what...worship? No way! A rest from worship would be a seeking to find happiness in everything apart from God. It's a rest from carnal work. From a sin diseased world. From a corrupted heart. Rest from imperfect obedience and imperfect servant hood. A rest from faith because it will be turned to sight. A rest from picturing Jesus through the scriptures....we will see him face to face. A rest from worry and grief. A rest from the devil hounding us to temptation. A rest from worldliness trying to pollute our mind with anti-Jesus thoughts. A rest from Chrsitians who are luke-warm and half-hearted. A rest from the deception and stalking of the devil. A rest from 'contending earnestly for the faith' (Jude 3). A rest from false prophets and decievers. A rest from tears over our sin. A rest from evangelism (although it's our joy). A rest in Jesus arms-complete comfort and adoration to King Jesus. The rest is in Heaven.

Meditate on this verse for 10 minutes

'Their Redeemer is strong;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
He will thoroughly plead their case,
The He may give rest to the land,
And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon' (Jeremiah 50v34)

If this verse doesnt make you praise God then you need to seek God either for salvation or a greater filling of the Holy Spirit.

“God hath made it our duty, by his institution, to set apart this day [the Sabbath] for special seeking of his grace and blessing. From which we may argue, that he will be especially ready to confer his grace on those who thus seek it… The Sabbath day is an accepted time, a day of salvation, a time wherein God especially loves to be sought, and loves to be found…”
Jonathan Edwards

Get excited about tomorrow!

Christmas is rapidly approaching

You know it's the festive time of year when HB, Carve and myself put aside our theological differences and become slighly 'un-clenched' (still not really sure what this means) dressing up in our dusty elf outfits to put on a show.
After many rehersals and mince pies we got our dance just right. The full version is here.

Merry Christmas everybody

Friday, 21 December 2007

Christ Revealed

One of my favourite parts of the Bible has to be the first chapter of Revelation. It is amazing!!

Take a glance at verse 5:

'from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth'

What is 'from Jesus Christ'? It's Grace and peace. All grace actually comes from Him. He is our channel of blessings so that we can receive everything spiritual that blesses us. Jesus my King and Lord showers blessings on me when I trample on them in a lack of thankfulness.
When should we stop asking for grace and peace? When Christ stops offering it to us. We can taste and see that the Lord is good. He NEVER holds back anything from those who seek after him. We are rich in Jesus. Rich because of grace, and the grace itself is rich. His blessings are new every morning, great is His faithfulness!

Jesus is our faithful witness. He came to serve not to be served. He lives to make intercession for us. He is faithful: if we have repented of sin and trusted his blood as our only hope he will not deny us before the Father. Then he promises to never ever EVER leave us! Jesus stood in our place-our priest to God so that he can present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Yup God gets exceeding joy from his service to us....why? Because it glorifies him. Don't get some idolatrous man-centered theology from this He works for our good because it is His glory. (No I'm not going to quote Piper!!)

Jesus is also the faithful witness of the Father. He is the exact representation of God in human form, the image of the invisible God. And so is a perfect witness to who God is in nature by the way he lived. His will was to do the will of the Father to proclaim and preach repentance, faith and forgiveness of sins and then purchase that salvation. Faithful to his Fathers decrees and commands, faithful in submitting to death, even death on the cross out of obedience to the Fathers will. Jesus was an exact replication of the will of the Father acted out. The Godhead is united they all work together and never have disagreements. Hence Jesus is the faithful witness to the Father.

He is the firstborn from the dead. This talks about his power over death. Death could not hold Him. He subjected himself to it and no death has no consequence. It is our door to Heaven!! Nothing to be afraid of because to be absent form the body is to be present with the Lord! Catholic doctrine wants to still our joy with heresy that we need to be refined and made perfect in a spiritual waiting room called purgatory. If this is true then Christ lied to the thief on the cross when he said 'Today you will be with me in paradise'.

Christ is revealed as the ruler over the kings of the earth. Christ is sovereign and all powerful. He rules over any earthly kingdom. Every one will give an account to Christ of every action good or evil. The media who pollute minds with lust. The politicians who allow laws that God hates. Pastors who are compromised, compromised because they have slipped from a biblical standard of preaching. They preach for fame, fortune and respect. The disciples motives were the exact opposite.
Christ reigns over all of this and he orders all of this in infinite wisdom. If anyone else were reigning supremely I'd be in despair. Knowing that Christ is in control is one of the most comforting things my heart will ever receive.

Just think about what we would be doing if Christ hadn't revealed his light to us. We would be walking around ignorant in the pattern of the world following the desires of our depraved heart under the delusion that life is meaningful without Christ.

Praise God that He has opened our eyes to see the truth and then allowed us to experience the truth through Jesus!