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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I Could Do A Better Job Than That!

We can not avoid in the news today yet another disaster. Another killing. Another case of child abduction or abuse. This can and does put people off the idea of God. It is easy when you see these things to wonder “if there is a God, why is he idly  watching by? letting these things happen?”

The answer to this is Sin.

The effect of sin is bigger than the damage it has on humans, but also its impact on creation. We live in a fallen world. A world which could be perfect but because of sin is marred.

So where did this all start then, well in Genesis 3.

 

Genesis 3: 17-19

17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

In this passage then the key verses are 17-18. Because of the sin of taking from the tree of knowledge which God told Adam and Eve to not take from, God cuts them off from all the potential knowledge and power of the tree but also because of their sin informs them that certain things will not work in creation as well as they had done before “The Fall”. When God created the world he declared it good having made it perfect. But now, “Post Fall” the world is not so good, the word used in verse 17 “Cursed” meant the ground was now not considered good but instead fallen, broken.

The way to imagine all this is that now the world is sick from sin. It needs to be given a cure to the disease of sin.

Sin is the cause of all the pain and suffering, all the natural disasters, Pre-fall there is no sign of hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and suffering and death. It is only after sin entered the world that the world becomes broken, becomes fallen and imperfect. Soon following the first sin is the first murder, so powerful is influence of sin.

So the reason for all the shocking things that we see on the news are because of the fallen world we live in, because of the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve.

But does this mean God has done nothing about it?

No… Quite the opposite.

 

 

Romans 8: 18-23

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

 

God had a plan. A rescue plan for creation and for us. One in which he would give his only son up for us and creation.  God saw the effect and damage that sin had on the world. To tackle the infection of Sin, God sent his only son to be a sacrifice for our sins. He came to make us and the world right with him. Jesus came to take away the power of sin by dying on our behalf.

Jesus came to make us and creation righteous. Righteous meaning right with God.

In the passage above we see that as we look and long for the return of Christ, the one who has taken the punishment for our sins, so does creation, it “waits with eager longing”. Creation looks for a release from the bondage of sin just as much as we do.

Does all this mean then that as soon as you become a Christian there is no suffering in your life and in the world around you. Well no. Until Christ returns again there will be death, and there will be natural disasters and famine. But when Christ comes again and we are taken to Heaven we will be in a place of no more tears and no more sorrow. 

 

 

Revelation 21:1-4

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

This glorious picture of what life will be like when Christ returns, shows us that there is hope. There is hope and an end to suffering. We know that through Christ and only through Christ can the world be healed more importantly only through Christ can we be forgiven “healed” of our sin.

God bless.

G.

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A marriage that glorifies… and a marriage that offends…

Over recent years the gift of marriage has been disregarded or neglected by modern society. This is by either people deciding not to marry, or infidelity, money problems, abuse in the relationship or people rushing into something they don’t fully understand. This statistics say it all really:

Latest statistics (published December 2012) estimate that 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce.

This simply is not the way marriage, a gift from God was meant to be. Marriage was a gift from God to us, a gift which we are to use to glorify God. The key problem lies at the fact more and more the world drifts further away from the God ordained marriage of the Bible.

We are going to look at firstly how it is God ordained and secondly how people have drifted from it.

Genesis 2:18-25

18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 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 the creation of Eve the first woman and 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 based on and are all about marriage, this shows firstly Marriage is between a man and a woman and can only be between a man and a woman, because this is how God created marriage to be. This quashes the opinions that marriage can be between two people of the same sex, that is going against the creational ordinance that God put in place for marriage. So a factor in the destruction of marriage is the people that try to make it something it isn’t and never was intended to be.  But that marriage means more than is sometimes seen in the 21st century, where it might just be the joining of two people who haven’t tested the waters, instead its for two people who feel a deep love for each other. Marriage is the reconnection of a man and a woman together as one. A sign of God’s awesome power in creation and his sovereignty.

So these verses show that marriage is an ordinance put in place by God, at the start of creation. He made man and woman this way, and he made marriage to bring them together as one, and because this is God’s creational order we can not go messing around with it.

Lets now see how in some ways people are drifting from what marriage originally was made for by God.

1 Corinthians 7: 10-11

10To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11(but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

The way that people have drifted in relation to this passage, is that people are to quick to divorce, instead of seeing divorce as a last resort. They instead marry with the thought “well if it doesn’t work out, I can always divorce.” Which is the wrong thought to have when going into marriage, in fact when entering into marriage, divorce should not even be in your mind. Now i know there are perfectly justifiable reasons for divorce I.e. infidelity, abuse. But in all other situations in marriage you need to work through it and let divorce be the last resort not the first port of call. Through perseverance through trials you find you are more suited to marriage than you previously thought, but if you jump ship and divorce you can find yourself having missed the opportunity to solve the problems.

1 Timothy 3: 2-4

2Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,

The reason for quoting this passage, is for part of verse 2. This passage is calling for husbands to be the husband to one wife. Which in this modern culture is seeming to be ignored on a more prolific basis.

25.4% of married men and 18.3% of married women and have cheated on their current partners at least once.

Most affairs start in the work-place – 38.8% of women have an affair with a work colleague in comparison to 30.7% of men.

These statistics are shocking to look at, when you see how high the figures are, you see there is a problem of infidelity in our culture, and it seems to be accepted as life now. It seems to be condoned instead of being condemned. This needs to be cracked down. You need to see that the Bible calls for monogamy from all marriages. The reality is, that this not only offends God, because of the complete disregard for his gift or marriage but also breaks the heart of the people who are cheated on.

To sum up marriage needs to be taken seriously, it needs to be a step taken by people convinced that they have met the person not that they can live with, but the person they cant live without. Marriage should glorify God, it should point people to him in the love that you show for each other. It should be an act of grace which people see the Lord Jesus Christ in. Your marriage should glorify God, not offend him. If you are a Christian i plead that you take this Biblical argument to keep marriage pure seriously. Pray for your countries government that they will keep marriage between a man and a woman, instead of “trying to find equality”.

I hope this post helped clarify a few things for you.

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God bless.

Gareth

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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Marriage is not for me: It’s for Jesus!

I was struck recently by a blog that was trending on social media, about a man who had blogged on his revelation that marriage was not for him but instead it was for his wife and future family.

This seems like a romantic gesture which may make us thing “awww isn’t that sweet”. But the reality of marriage is far greater than romantic gestures. We get a sense in the New Testament that the Love between married couples should be deep and profound, but in looking a little more depth we find that the love involved in marriage is a deeper much more beautiful truth.

We are going to focus on the passage found in Ephesians chapter 5:

22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

This passage which so often can be mistreated, missused or even ignored is a beautiful statement of what marriage should be.  We find in this passage, in Verse 22:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Now how many of you stopped reading right there, because that sounds terrible? Why should a wife submit to her husband? Why should she give into him as the leader?  Well that is looking at it in the negative light as is seen so often because of those who claim to be Christians who misuse this verse as an excuse to abuse their wife’s. Well this verse does not condone violence if anything later on in these verses it basically condemns that sort of behaviour. Instead the explanation of the submission that the wife should have to the husband is explained in these verses:

23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

So verse 23 suggests that the husband is the head of the family, this is a creation institution, pointing back to the time of Adam and Eve, but the key verse that defends the biblical submission of the wife to the husband is mapped out in Verse 24. If the husband is the head, that means he is like Christ (verse 23) so because of the that the wife is like The Church (verse 24). This means the Church seeks to serve and submit to Christ. Any Christian out there part of the Church wants to glorify Jesus and serve him in everyway they can. So the wife should be willing to do this because this is like Paul saying, “Look, what you do for your husband should be a mirror of what you do for Christ in the Church.” You want to serve Christ in the Church and from that should be an overflowing to serve your husband as you serve Christ. All of this is to point people to Jesus. In 1 Corinthians Paul states that if a wife who is a believer has an unbelieving husband and serves him in Biblical submission, it will help point him to Jesus. Now, I am not suggesting for a moment this means the wife does not have to love her husband. That is nonsense. Paul also says in 1 Corinthians that if you do not have Love you are useless, “like a clanging cymbal”. The wife needs to have love for her husband, so through that love she will understand the need to submit to her husband.

So that’s the verses about the wife sorted now we look at the husband.

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

So now having seen the wife’s submitting, the men reading this may think they have it easy. But I assure you the men do not have the easy task of these two commands for marriage. To truly understand the enormity of the husbands tasks we need to go back to the Greek.

25 Οἱ ἄνδρες, ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας, καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς

This may look confusing but trust me this will help explain a lot of things. The word used in this command for love is  αγαπε (ag-a-pae). Two variants of this word come up in this passage. The first is the love that the husband should have for his wife, and the second is the love that Christ has for the Church. Now there are a number of words for love in the Greek language. But here Paul uses the same word. This means that husbands need to love their wife’s in exactly the same way as Christ loves the Church. What does that mean?  Well I’m sure all of you reading this know that means that like Christ who loved the Church so much he came and he died on the cross so that those who believe in him will be forgiven. Which means husbands need to love their wife’s self-sacrificially, being willing to give all they have for their wife’s. This may sound like romantic love, the kind that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside, the kind which makes a good movie. But actually this love, this example of Love that we have for one another can point people to the most amazing, perfect and awesome example of Love that has ever been shown. That is Jesus. Through His sacrifice on The Cross for those who believe in Him. As the well known verse from Johns Gospel says:

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. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

So please let us see that marriage is about love yes! But Love of Biblical proportions. A love that has lead to the salvation of all who trust in Jesus.

My prayer is that your marriage, your future marriage will not only model this but also that you will come to know( if you do not already) the amazing love, the perfect love which Christ has for you!

God Bless

Gareth.

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Do You Love me?

This Week draws an end to my look into the Gospel of John. In this Post I’m going to look at the last passage of the Gospel with you, and hopefully it is food for thought for you too.

Many clever people I have been reading this week have been telling me the significance in this passage of the choice of Greek word that Jesus and Peter use in this passage and what that means. Well I’m not going to go too deep into the Greek really, because I think the point Jesus is getting across, is he is asking Peter “Look do you love me!”….. “I mean do you really Love me”…. and this question is so important! It’s a question we ask new Christians, A question we ask mature Christians. This question is so important. And not because our answer suggests anything of our salvation, that if we Love Jesus enough we will be saved, because we are just great at loving Jesus, No, actually it shows our understanding of the act that does save us, his sacrifice on the cross. I mean the Love that Jesus has for us to come down and die for those who believe in him, is an incredibly passionate self-sacrificing, perfect Love. And why do we love Jesus, because he came down and died for us. And we don’t love him like a warm cuddly your my best friend sort of Love we love him in the same way he loved us, though it will be an imperfect love because our own self-seeking sinful heart may get in the way of us truly loving Jesus in a self-sacrificing way not for our glory but for his.

So having heard of the love for Jesus,

the second thing to notice is the cost of that Love.

Look at what develops from the questioning of Peters Love.

John 21:18-19

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Peter, having just told Jesus He loves him, is greeted with the news that he will die for Christ, to the glory of God. Peters love for Christ, the love that brings Glory to God will lead Peter to his grave. Now this sounds quite bleak. But we all have a call on our lives, the call on what God wants us to do. If we love Christ and want to see Him glorified, then we should show that in Love for him, the fact that we would be willing to do anything for him. This may scare a few of you, I mean feel bad for Peter he has just been told straight out at a BBQ at the beach, yeah well you’re going to die for me. But when you think that Jesus Came and through Love gave his life as a ransom for many, it puts a call on our lives into perspective…. But Jesus I don’t want to go minister to those people over there, they are just to awkward, to difficult, the questions they ask just too hard is what you say…. Well Then Jesus would just point to his hands and his feet. For him his love for us lead him to the cross. So out of love for him we should want to serve his will and see him glorified more and more.

So we Love Jesus because Jesus Loves us so much so that he died for us, there is a cost to this Love but then when it is Put into perspective against Jesus’ sacrifice it makes you think of the cost of your love for Jesus.

Thirdly, the truth of this love.

We Move on to the final few verses of Johns Gospel, look at Verse 24-25

John 21:24-25

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

my question to you having read those verses, have you ever had those times where you just sit there and go you know, I don’t think you Love me!

You couldn’t love me?

why would you love me?

Well John tells us in verse 24 that the testimony given in this Gospel is truth. That means every verse of this Gospel is true, from the baptism of Jesus right the way through all the miracles to the crucifixion of Jesus. Including this passage, let me read it to you  AS THE FATHER HAS LOVED ME SO I HAVE LOVED YOU, NOW REMAIN IN MY LOVE. And following on from that GREATER LOVE’ HAS NO ONE THAN THIS: TO LAY DOWN ONE’S LIFE FOR FRIENDS. YOU ARE MY FRIENDS IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND. That’s taken from John 15: 9-14. That’s truth. JESUS LOVES US! Take comfort from that! So when the questions like: I don’t think you Love me! You couldn’t love me, why would you love me. Delve into the word of God, for it is all true. You will realise Jesus loves you more than you could even begin to imagine, that’s the chain breaking truth of the gospel, the love that Jesus has for us.

So then to conclude:

I do hope you have been able to take something from this talk, that we should Love Jesus, and not in a warm and cuddly sort of way but in a self-sacrificing way, like he did for us. That because of that self-sacrificing love there is a cost, but when we look at the cost, compared to the cost that Jesus undertook on the cross, it puts it into perspective. Then there is the truth of the Love, that when you doubt that Jesus loves you, maybe you have a sin bearing heavy on your life, or you are feeling depressed, run in to the arms of Jesus as, you see in scripture that he loves you so much more than you could comprehend.

Yours In Christ

G.

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So Another Week in Ministry!

Hello all, from my last post you will be able to gather i was preaching at my Home church on The Good Samaritan, which went down very well from the response i got. Certinaly was an encouragement for me, but also it challenged many people which was great. Praying that God works there. So this week ahead of me has been shaped really around a chapter from the John Piper book Pierced by the word. especailly on the disscusion of Assurance. the point that stood out to me was the following:

Assurance is a fight to the day we die.

Fight the good fight of Faith. Take Hold of the Eternal Life. (1 Timothy 6:12)

I have Fought the good fight, i have finished the race, i have kept the Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

 

This is not me telling anyone i am dying, i am (praise God/God willing) a healthy 20 year old, but i will be visting people this week, who are in there 90’s and have fought the good fight and have run the race, so this means they have the assurance that they are safe in Christ. Their Lifes are testimony and as i meet with them, they may be questioning the end, i will encourage them, and i encourage you, that it is not all a mystery, it is Gods will for us to have assurance, as the point is made in Hebrews 6. But that by no means makes it easy for them, or those left behind. Because of that we need to cling to the Cross of Christ, trusting in the sacrifice on the cross, which Saves all who trust in it.

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God Bless

Gareth