My girlfriend wrote this when she was 10.

https://i0.wp.com/eugenieteasley.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/noah.jpg

Recently, my girlfriend stumbled upon an old piece of school work. The piece of work was done by her when she was a 10 year old. Now you may be wondering why I would put a piece of school work up on the Word to Life blog. Well I think if you read it, especially with the context of the release of the new Noah film, and the state of the worlds climate with the recent large amount of smog that hit the United Kingdom, I am sure you can see why this powerful piece written by a 10 year old is so poignant.

I do hope you appreciate some of the truths which fall from it, God created a masterpiece but through the sin of the first humans Adam and Eve we marred the broken world that we live in. God decided to try to stem the flow of the evil and trouble in the world through what he did at the time of Noah, I will leave this piece to talk for itself now:

‘Nature is the art of God’

-Dante

This is the motto that we should all live by. It says that we should respect Gods world. Like we respect Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. No one would drop rubbish on that if people lived on the amazing piece of art work which it is. But God is the greatest artist of all. So why should we spoil his creation. We are polluting the air and sea, we are destroying rain forests so one day we will starve and suffocate in our environment we call home. God creating earth has another similarity to the Mona Lisa, Leonardo first painted her without a smile so then he went through drastic measures to make her better so he gave her a smile, we can relate to these changes in the Bible, the story of Noah. God did not like one part of his creation, how bad people were. So he went to great lengths to get it right, even flooding the whole world saving only Noah and his family. Most of the famous art work of centuries ago that still ‘live’ today are priceless. The earth has been here for millions of years and it needs our respect as it is more than priceless.

Let me know what you thought of this piece of work.

I hope it has had an impact on you, as I felt it was thought provoking.

God bless
Gareth

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Moments to remember- The life of one Perfect man.

 

 

I noticed on Twitter today a daily challenge to write a blog on three memorable moments in your life. I thought,  “I know I could do something like this, but with a slight twist”.

Not my life, but three memorable moments based on three experiences of people from the Bible.

So let’s begin shall we.

We begin our first memory with a young girl called Mary. Her memory begins as a girl soon to be married to a carpenter called Joseph. Both devout Jews, waiting to consummate their marriage. One night in the tiny village of Nazareth, Mary was asleep in her room when all of a sudden she was greeted by an angel in her room. (I promise you it may sound a scary moment but this is a happy memory!) The angel woke her by calling out “O, Favoured one”, Who thinks of a teenage village girl as a favoured one. Confused by this she tried to test the angels greeting. However before she could get a word in the angel interrupted her. “ Do not be afraid” (See told you, not scary) The angel tells her not to be afraid and that she is favoured by God! Quite a thing that! But not just that continued the angel, “But you will have a son! and you will call him Jesus. He will be great and the son of the most high. He will reign over His kingdom forever!” Naturally confused Mary says to the angel “ How can this be, I’m a virgin?” The angel describes how it will come about of how the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of God himself will overshadow you and unto you a child will be born. The angel just before leaving proclaims “That nothing is impossible with God!” So Mary in excitement and happiness proclaims that she will obey, as a servant of the Lord.

So that’s first of these memories a happy one don’t you think? But who does this boy become? Is this the only memory we have of him?

No.

Not by a long shot. Our second memory however you may think is a bit of an anti climax though.

Our second memory is from a guy called John. John was a good friend of this boy mentioned in the first memory. This boy was of course Jesus as the angel had said it would be. John was one of Jesus’ closest followers. Every where Jesus went there was John. Even in this memory. This is the sad one. How can they have arrested him John thought. John had just seen his closest friend be taken away. Taken to the local Roman governor. He hoped that would mean he would just want to get rid of him. John was right, the governor was going to leave it up to the people to decide Jesus’ fate. John though, think of all the good he has done. They won’t want to kill him. Think of the miracles, But no! “Crucify! Crucify!” That was the only cry John heard. Death. That was the only thing ahead of Jesus now. John now had to witness Jesus, his closest friend, his dearest friend be beaten, humiliated made to carry a cross on his shoulder out of the city. Charged for a crime he did not commit. Then as Jesus, his friend made it to an outcrop just outside the city, the one that looks like a skull, he was made to stretch his arms out on the wood. Then John standing next to Jesus’ mother, Mary, had to witness nails be hammered into his hands and his feet, then to see him lifted as he faced them. Darkness covered the land, people continued to mock. John witnessed as he saw his friend take his final breath. “It is finished!” Jesus cried. John did not understand at the time. Then they pierced Jesus’ side, blood and water fell from his side, proofing. Jesus, Johns friend, Johns teacher. Was dead.

Our third and final memory that we will be looking at is another happy/ good one. We have followed one mans journey through these memory’s and we will continue you to with this last one.

Our final memory is from a lady called Mary Magdalene. She like John was a follower of Jesus. In our last memory we saw that Jesus died having been crucified. Now because of Jewish tradition they could not finish all the correct rituals after his death. So Mary went to go and pray and mourn for the loss of her teacher. Jesus. She arrives to a shocking sight! The stone that covered the entrance to the tomb. Has been moved. How? That stone weighed a ton. Mary looked in to see the burial clothes. But they were in a pile who could have done this? She thought? As if all they had put Jesus through, could they not just leave him now he had died? Mary heard a voice behind her. She turned presuming it was the gardener. He asked her why she was crying. She wept saying “they have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they have laid him.” She then asked if he had taken the body. If so where? The man looked at her and said “Mary”. Then as though a blind was lifted from her eyes, she said “Teacher”. Mary was delighted to see that Jesus! He was alive. She didn’t care how, but just that he was. Jesus told her soon he would ascend to heaven soon to be with his father. Mary delighted that Jesus was alive could not contain herself, so she ran to tell the others.

These are the memories of a man called Jesus seen through the experiences of three people. This amazing life, a life that even death could not stop is a perfect life of one man. This man is Jesus Christ. I hope the true memories that you have heard here will make you explore more of the life of this man Jesus.

Feel free to comment below if you want to know more or message the Facebook or Twitter.

God bless

Gareth

The greatest Christmas present.

 

 

 

It’s Christmas time again, it comes around every year, shops are packed with people, Christmas music playing everywhere and TV channels taken up mostly with Christmas films. Then someone comes along and makes a video or writes a blog saying:

Put Christ back into Christmas.

Save Christmas!

In this post I am, in a way, asking for those things… but I am not here to attack the commercialisation of Christmas. Instead, I will try to make clear some truths about Christmas. That, yes indeed we want Christ back in Christmas, but not just little baby Jesus meek and mild. We need to think of Jesus as Lord and saviour, King of kings.

I will base a lot of this post around the verse:

 
 
1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV)

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost

 

Yes Jesus did come as a baby but we cannot and should not stray away or dwell on that which will take us from the real reason of Jesus’ coming and that he was to be a sacrifice, as a sacrifice for our sins, so that in his coming he would save all those who trust in him. We must remember this “oh so familiar story” of a child being born in Bethlehem but see it as the coming of a king, The King of Kings, the coming of The Lord of the Earth, the one who would come and save all those who believe in him. We must stick to this, we must not stray or focus for too long on little baby Jesus, but see what this whole event points to…

It points to the child who is a king.

It points to a child who will become a sacrifice.

If you are reading this and you are a non believer you may be sat there wondering, “What is this guy going on about?” But I am saying that to a non -believer Christmas is a time of a hope, that because we are all sinners and we all mess up, that God did not just sit back and watch us destroy ourselves but instead gave us hope.

Hope in Christ…

 

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This child mentioned in this passage is the hope of our salvation, this child is Jesus, prophesised 400 years before Jesus was born. At Christmas time, at the time of Jesus’ birth he had the expectation of being the messiah/ the saviour resting on his shoulders. 33 years later at the cross Jesus has the sins of the whole world upon his shoulders. So that all those who trust in him will be saved. God gave this the greatest Christmas present, this amazing gift of mercy and forgiveness out of love for us.

 

John 3:16 (ESV)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

So to sum up if you are a believer reading this, stay steadfast and firm to this truth, that Jesus’ coming was the beginning on the steps towards salvation. But don’t sit back this Christmas, tell people about God’s greatest gift, this Christmas share this gift with others, tell others of the love that Christ has for them. If you are a non-believer reading this, please trust in the hope found in Jesus, trust that in him your sins are forgiven. In Jesus you are saved.

Trust the hope of Christ this Christmas.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Gareth

 

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Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Is it out dated?

Over the past 30 years or so, there has been an increase in radical feminism that has grown out of an outrageous time of male chauvinism, this changed with more women choosing to concentrate on their work life, getting higher up the ladder, and one influence of this in England was with Margaret Thatcher being elected Prime Minister. We now seem to have reached a stage in culture where men are trying to one up women and women one up the men. It seems to be the agenda of the day is more I have to prove I am better than that of the opposite sex. This is not helped with programs like loose women on ITV where a group of women moan about life and their husbands, which is not the best place in which to do that.

The sad thing about all of this is that the biblical view of Manhood and Womanhood is seen as ancient, oppressive and almost like slavery especially in the context of marriage.

I believe this to be an incredible shame. I hope in this post to go through why we should return to these ways, a way which many Christians seem to drift from. Sadly.

So to begin we are going to look at where it all began, where Manhood and Womanhood where first found in The Bible. Genesis.

Genesis 2: 15-18

15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

This is a fantastic passage before God creates Eve, where he realises that Adam the first Man, needs a partner, God says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” We were created to love, out of love from God. God did not need our love, but we needed something to love. God notices Adam will need someone with him. Now the word God uses is “helper.” DO NOT BE PUT OF BY THIS! It does not mean God created Eve to be Adam’s slave, but someone to aid Adam in his task which God has given him to do, which is to tend the Garden of Eden. So the role of the woman is to help the man in his tasks.

So a woman should seek to support and help the man in her life, she should seek to be his helper. For those who are single should seek in a man someone she should feel she can help and support. All of this desire to help and support should spring out of love.

Genesis 2: 23-25

23Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

This is shortly after Eve has been created, this is Adam’s reaction to the blessing of Eve’s creation. He rejoices at the fact they came from one. One became two. This fantastic way of creation that God chooses to do, is symbolically put back together in verse 24-25. These verses are marriage based, this shows firstly Marriage is between a man and a woman. But that marriage means more than is sometimes seen in the 21st century. Marriage is the reconnection of a man and a woman together as one.

This is the way men and women were meant to be.

But then the fall…

This is the moment where sin entered the world, it infected it and made everything fallen, as in no longer perfect and how it was created and meant to be.

Genesis 3:16

16To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;

in pain you shall bring forth children.

Your desire shall be for your husband,

and he shall rule over you.”

Verse 16 of Genesis, just after the snake has got Eve, then later Adam, to eat of the tree they were not to eat of, Eve is told that she will desire to be for her husband. This means it will be to dominate and try to overpower his rule. To outdo him. This sounds familiar to the state that we find the world in now. Man and woman trying to one up or overpower the other. This is not how Biblical manhood and womanhood should look like.

In the context of a Christian couple trying to live in this way, as with all things it should point people to Jesus. Always to Jesus. The reason why they should choose to live as a couple according to how the Bible says, is so that in that people see Jesus. In a previous post called Marriage is not for me: it’s for Jesus, I gave the argument from Ephesians 5 for the way a Christian marriage should be with a wife showing biblical submission out of Love and the husband loving self sacrificially. The reason why they do that. Well as it says wife submit like the church does for Christ, and husband love your wife as Christ loved the church. If both parties which in marriage are one work together like this, Jesus will be seen in how you live.

As for all Christians even down to the topic of Biblical manhood and womanhood, which yes may not be like preaching or street evangelism is still an effective tool to help people find Christ, because people watch and see how Christians behave and act with God and with each other and through that they could see Christ, and find salvation through him.

To summarize Biblical manhood and womanhood is not outdated, it should not be cast to the side as “the old ways of doing things” but instead should be seen as a glorious way we can point and show people to Jesus. How people can come to know of his love and his grace through the way we are with each other, people can come to know the love of Christ through our love for each other.

God bless,

Gareth.

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True Love Is the Centre, True Love is at the heart, True Love is Jesus!

Before we begin, thanks for all the support and shares from the previous post. I hope and pray it encouraged you, as seeing people soak up what scripture says on marriage did for me.

After my last post, some people have posted certain comments suggesting that I ‘belittled’ marriage, because it was a biblical view of marriage. This post is not to recant of my previous post, but instead this post is to support it. At the end of my last post I spoke about how love is at the centre of a marriage and how love is the reason the wife is willing to submit to her husband, as the Church is willing to submit to Christ because of love. In this same way a husband is willing to sacrifice all for his wife out of love in the same way Christ did for the Church.

Now we have the context of the post let’s look at love. The dictionary definition is:

1. A strong feeling of affection.

2. A great interest and pleasure in something.

But that just doesn’t quite cut it for me. I have a great interest in rugby and maybe I have occasionally in the past said I loved it, but it’s not love. Not true love.

Some scientists have said that love is just a working of the emotions or an accident of evolution. It just happens. But what a mockery of love!

When you meet the person you know you are going to spend the rest of your life with, you are quite literally “head over heels” in love, you don’t think, ‘what a fantastic evolutionary mistake this is!’ No instead you say things like ‘what a reward, what a blessing!’ This is almost as though love is a gift  or something which is engrained in us. We can’t help but love.

Well let’s look what Scripture says, firstly:

1 Corinthians 13

    1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

 13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

This passage is a famous wedding verse, ‘Love never fails’, it is a great verse for a wedding because this passage should remind couples of one thing, that love is an essential ingredient. You need love in your marriage because otherwise it will fail! This is seen in verse 1 as it says without love you are just a clanging cymbal. Love is important.

Though this love that we have for one another is great and in marriage it is because you have met the person you want to be with forever, what other reason does scripture give for loving?

    1 John 4:19

    19We love because he first loved us.

We should love all. We should love our partners in marriage because Jesus loved us first.

You may be sat there thinking, Jesus doesn’t love me, look at what has gone wrong for me. Well, can I say, Jesus does love you. He loves you so much that when He came to earth, He gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins which we all commit. Jesus was willing to give himself wholeheartedly to be a sacrifice for us. He died so that we may have new life in Him. When God sent Jesus, he looked at you and said “I can see how sinful that person is, and imperfect that person is, BUT I love them! I love them so much I will give my only Son for them!”

THAT’S LOVE!

So when John says we should love because Jesus loved us first, he is right. The love that we show to others, our husbands/wives, boyfriends/girlfriends, our family and our friends should be an outpouring on the unstoppable perfect love that Jesus has for us.

Please understand that Jesus loves you and came and died for you, so that you may have life.

Use that to go and love others.

God bless

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Salvations Certainty

1 Peter 1: 10-12 (ESV)

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and enquired carefully, 11 enquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Do any of you remember the game show, Catchphrase? In this great fun program the contestants competed to guess what the caption is for the picture on the screen, when they got one right they had to choose a block to get rid of to try to work out what the main caption is, but things needed to be revealed piece by piece. In the same way that is what Peter is going on about in this passage in terms of Salvation.

Our first thing to notice is how our Salvation was prophesied.  We are going to look at verse 10:

1 Peter 1: 10-12 (ESV)

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and enquired carefully,

The prophets Peter is talking about here, are the Prophets of the Old Testament, this is your Isiah, Daniels, Micah, Zechariah. All the prophets that were talking of a grace that was coming, well that grace that came was Jesus and his sacrifice. And that grace fell on every generation from his resurrection. The Old Testament is useful to see how our sovereign God has had the plan of our rescue in the works for a long time, since the fall. How speaking through the prophets he assured the People of God that a work of grace greater than any other was coming. So what the Old Testament prophets and people did as it says at the end of verse 10 is they “Searched intently and with the greatest care….” They and others began to search and wait for the saviour, prophesied in the scriptures.

That’s where we move on to our second point to notice.

What would this salvation look like? We see in verse 11 the checklist of what they should expect from this salvation and Saviour this checklist included suffering, glory, grace extending worldwide. Look at Verse 11

1 Peter 1: 10-12 (ESV)

11 enquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.

The problem that a lot of Old Testament prophets had and in fact a problem that existed right until Jesus came and still to this day, this idea of a suffering servant that would be glorious. We have prophets saying he will come on clouds in glory but then others saying he will beaten beyond recognition. How could a saviour be like this? The Old Testament writers and people were looking for the time and context in which the saviour would come, people stepped up claiming they were the messiah, but none stood the Test. Then in the small town of Bethlehem was born Jesus, Both fulfilments of prophecy, who came and died, which everyone probably thought that meant Jesus was just like all the others failed, but going back to our old testament checklist we find Jesus ticking the boxes, he came and suffered on the Cross, he received glory by having risen from the dead, he was ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. And finally Jesus commissioned the disciples to go to all people in Acts having been equipped by the Holy Spirit.

So having worked on what this Salvation would look like, let’s look at our final point.

Salvation Revealed. We have seen today how the old testament prophets spoke of Jesus’ coming, but looking at verse 12 we see some thought provoking sentences:

1 Peter 1: 10-12 (ESV)

12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

The coming messiah was revealed to the prophets but not for their gain but ours, so that we would see how God has worked for our Salvation from the beginning as we have already seen. But now we see how the same Holy Spirit which inspired the Old Testament writers of Jesus’ coming is the same one that spoke through the New Testament books too, that reveal the salvation, the gospels, the epistles the pastorals. And even through the preaching that we have heard, this means one thing, having had this Salvation revealed to us we need to go out and tell others of this salvation, that if it is God’s will they might respond, and know of the salvation of Jesus. What has been revealed to us through scripture alone is an amazing act of grace and love, something which at the end of Verse 12 says “Even Angels long to look into these things” the angels wish they knew of the freedom of salvation that we find in Christ. Which shows that even heavenly creatures do not know the power of this grace that we find in the rescue from sin.

To sum this up then, we have covered quite a lot, in three verses, but what should we take from all this, well confidence and assurance. Confidence that from the beginning God has had a plan, and to encourage us he spoke through the Old Testament prophets, revealing parts of his plan. Assurance, because the Spirit with which God revealed his plan in the Old Testament, he did the same in the New Testament, in telling the true story of how it happened. But the main thing I want you to take away, is that final point that we need to go out tell people about the salvation through Jesus, and trust that God by his Holy Spirit will reveal this salvation to them.

V Festival: A tired Pastor returns.

Image

Hello there, as some of you will have seen from my previous post (V Festival: The Challange) I recently went to V festival, not as a punter but to work there, as something that became known as a Festival Pastor. This is a great experience where we give out water to all those who are thirsty or just drunk senseless. But as well as that we have a Marquee which is set out as a place of calm where we can have the conversations that really matter. The conversations about Jesus.

We each had a shirt to wear and on our shirts we had the line of scripture:

John 4:13-14

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[a] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Which is a great line because it fit in well with what we were doing, in the giving out of free cups of water, but also because we knew they would get thirsty again and that we were also there to quench the thirst that really matters, and that is the spiritual thirst. The need for Christ in their life. A thirst that nothing can quench other than Christ. This for me was a real drive to want to use the oppurtunities to discuss with people about Jesus. By God’s Grace, I was able to have a few conversations with people, the great thing is that you get these amazing conversations sepreated by drunk conversations where you find yourself discussing the Omnipitence of God, which was sprung up by a drunk man not me. But you get the conversations where actually you find that there is more beneath the exterior that they may have walked in to the marquee with. There they find that Christ is the only way. We get to have the great starter conversations, where we discuss the questions they have, but we get the oppurtunity to tell these people the Gospel, which for some of them will be the first time they will have heard it. Then we get to pray with them, for them. Which is a great privalege especially in the enviroment of V festival. My prayer for all the people we met, and everyone who recieved a cup of water from us, that a seed was planted and that God will  by his Holy Spirit make that seed grow, so that they will know the Love of Christ.

Please if you would like to know more about what the festival Pastors do, feel free to get in touch with me.

Please do also check out my Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruoHiYWWvYIdVK6a260xIQ

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Thanks and God bless.

Gareth