25/03/2020

Are you rejecting God because of x,y,z reasons, read on...

Forgiveness is available to everyone 
Chris Sparkes reflects on Hosea
When I was a child my Dad’s word was law.  I don’t mean he was dictatorial, unkind or unfair, but back then Dads were the head of the household, that’s just how it was.  I was always sure I was deeply loved and if I had a problem I could tell Dad about it. If, however, I had done something wrong I was equally sure Dad would be angry, he would tell me exactly what he thought of what I had done/not done and probably impose some sort of punishment as a reminder not to do it again! Through this process I was never ever in any doubt I would be forgiven and restored to dad’s  good opinion.
To own up and face embarrassment and the consequences of my actions, or not? That was the question. Would the punishment be worse than the guilty secret?  Would Dad love me anymore if I owned up? Point 1:Secrecy – Dad probably already knew what I had done and sorted it out in his mind before I ever plucked up courage to admit it, so there was no secrecy. Point 2: Love – I don’t know what it would have taken for Dad to stop loving me, but childhood mistakes probably weren’t among the most heinous crimes. I also knew in the back of my mind, that Dad would think better of me if I admitted the mistake, rather than keep it from him. 
The whole of the book of Hosea is seemingly a very strange story. God is trying to get the prophet Hosea to understand what the people of Israel have done in rejecting or forgetting God. Also, what then happens when they persist in going their own way.  By chapter 6 of Hosea the people of Israel were beginning to see that to own up and say sorry to God couldn’t be any worse than where they were.
They knew they couldn’t continue as they were.  They also knew they had to own up to God, and face the consequences of his anger. They did know that God would restore their relationship once they were back on the right path.
When I talk with people who won’t acknowledge God, the conversation sometimes turns on the fact that they feel they cannot turn to God because they are not ‘good enough’ They believe that because of something they have done wrong they cannot be forgiven by God. It is a hugely liberating discovery that God doesn’t work like that. 

Forgiveness was paid for in the blood that Jesus shed. Today anyone can be forgiven, no matter where they've been or what they've done. Amazing grace!

19/03/2020

There is no one like You!


Everybody wanna be like you they Want power and praise like you but See there is no god like our God There's no one like you Who gave their life like you and Who paid our price like you see There's only one god that's our God There's no one like you. Who can touch like you Or heal us like you do We stumble and we stray Til' you always get us through Who makes all things new And comes to our rescue Death, hell, and the grave They could not conquer You became just like me To unlock and set free This prisoner that was deeply wounded and redeemed The me I could not see Everybody wanna be like you they Want power and praise like you but See there is no god like our God There's no one like Who gave their life like you and Who payed our price like you see There's only one god that's our God There's no one like you. Some may worship things But what joy do they bring? They try and hide the stains But can they set us free See where would we be Without Calvary A king upon a tree So the whole world can see You became just like me To unlock and set free This prisoner that was deeply wounded and redeemed The me I could not see Everybody wanna be like you they Want power and praise like you but See there is no god like our God There's no one like Who gave their life like you and Who payed our price like you see There's only one god that's our God There's no one like you. Healer, father, saviour Counsellor, friend, provider Was, is and forever That's why I just wanna be where you are I'll travel life with you no matter how far [x2] ... Became just like me To unlock and set free This prisoner that was deeply wounded and redeemed The me I could not see Everybody wanna be like you they Want power and praise like you but See there is no god like our God There's no one like You Who gave their life You and Who paid our price like you see There's only one god that's our God There's no one like you. There's no one like you, there's no one like you, there's no god like our God There's no one like you. [8x]



06/03/2020

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight

Last Sunday on the 1st March 2020, 
we enjoyed hearing a series of mini-talks on Hebrews 4:12-16

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Hebrews 4:12
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Talk on Hebrews 4:12 by Roy Carter



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Talk on Hebrews 4:13 by Caroline Carter 


Hebrews 4:14
Therefore, since we have such a great high priest
 who has passed through the heavens, 
Jesus the Son of God, 
let us hold firmly to what we profess. 
Talk on Hebrews 4:14 by Catherine Chambers


Hebrews 4:15 
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
Talk on Hebrews 4:15 by Derek Chittick


Hebrews 4:16
16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Talk on Hebrews 4:16 by Steven Abram


02/03/2020

Church DNA

Church DNA

Acts 2:42–47

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
(ESV)
Preached by Yannick Christos-Wahab on Sunday, February 2, 2020



I was reminded of a story that happened in the book of Ezechiel. 
God showed him a valley full of dry bones. God asks Ezechiel, 'can these dry bones, can they live?
Acts  2:42-47 is going to say a lot about what the church ought to be, and how we ought to be and the danger could be that we can be pessimistic about this kind of church. I was reminded about this question can those dry bones came to life. And those dry bones can live because God gave us his Word. 

Let's pray!
Heavenly father Lord, we thank you for your church whom you love whom you gave your Son because this is the plan for the world. As we hear about the early church, that you would change us, 
We pray that  your Word give us life
For your glory, in Jesus'name

The series in the book of Acts

What is the mission of the church? What are the methods of the church ?...
Last week, we heard that the mission of the church is to get the gospel to people, to be witnesses to him,
This week let us focus on the methods of the church? how is the Church the Church

The beauty 
What does it look like to be the church? There are only 6 verses there
1st heading
The church is the church by being God-centered and others centered.
2
The church is also others centered

The heart of the church is that are centered around God
v 32 continue steadfastly God's doctrine
The early church was devoted to teaching
The church came too much on doctrine, theology, we need to get too bogged down
doctrine, theologies divide us, we need to de-emphasize doctrines because it gets in the way
filled by the spirit, 
The early church is committed to teaching
Pentecoast has just happened, not committed to any teaching but the apostles teaching 
The book of Jude reminds us that all we need to know about who God is

We live in a world with an abundance of teaching thanks to the internet. You do church by being centered on God. Luke tells us that v 42, v 43
We spoke a lot about prayers
This is not individual prayer, Luke is talking about corporate prayer. A group of people gathered together to pray. God need to work
Signs and wonders worked by the apostles.
God gave those miracles to the apostles to authenticate them.
The message that they are teaching is truly from God
Also a reminder that the early chruch was very aware that
merely 
v 47
They are praising Lord, those people were people of praise. They were filled with gladness, not sad and dour
The world ...much by complaint
The church is much by praise, you know all what God has done in Jesus Christ
At the heart of the church was this joy and glory of God
reminded all that God has done through Jesus-Christ
It was centred
The early church focused on loving the neighbour
fellowship, a word that means sharing, you have got something called 
something distinctive about the community
several things that characterise this fellowship v 44
together
They gathered together
The truth 
how are you doing? I'm ok, tired and busy
Maybe in London, we are caught up in different things but not   so busy as not gathered together
They rearranged their life in order to .....together
They didn't have savings but they recognised how important it was to gather together It's a commitment, there are time when you can't be at church
You need to
God did that miraculous thing  when people open their house, people open their homes, they must be committed to hospitality, it happens because people  together
focused on the needs of others.
If we think of our needs, it will not be for others
They sold possessions
We don't know what we need
and to be focused on what others need
distinction and significance...sacrifice Easy does not exist
It will require sacrifice..
They had to sell stuff
It will mean less personal time, on social media, or less finance to focus on themselves
we achieve on this community, by focusing on the needs of others, we are will to care for others financially, emotionally, we are committed to others need

At the very heart there is the Lord's supper, verse 46, sharing food, but in verse 42, the breaking of the bread, Luke has the mind of communion.
Communion was part of a larger meal, in the book of acts, there is this reference to the Lord supper. Communion is about community. We think primarily about the Lord supper as a celebration because Jesus did on the cross, we have peace with one another
People who ordinarily would never eat together
we nowadays see it as individual





Cast the nets!

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Let me get this right....

spiritually.safe

Good morning!

Image result for christian humourHumour to start your day!

01/03/2020

Fellowship treat!


Method for chocolate brownie hearts!



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 6. 
  2. Put the butter and the dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and let everything melt together gently. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool a little.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the eggs and both sugars together until thick.
  4. Next, add the chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs mixture and fold together. Be gentle so the mixture stays airy.
  5. Add the flour and baking powder and fold once more.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. You want it to stay quite soft and moist in the middle, so they should be springy to the touch and set on top, but if you insert a skewer into the centre, it should come out sticky.
  7. Take out of the oven and cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out and cutting into hearts with a heart-shaped cutter. This is best done while the brownies are still warm.
Ingredients

175g salted butter
175g good dark chocolate (at least 70%)
2 eggs
85g caster sugar
65g demerara sugar
100g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder


Put the kettle on and enjoy after the service !!

27/02/2020

Don't be distracted!


Don't be distracted

Talk by Pastor Derek Chittick.
Champagne Mouton Chaplaincy Poitou-Charentes

Sunday 17th November 2019

26/02/2020

What has God called you to?

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One of my favorite things about the persecuted Church is the amazing people we get to meet along the way, out in the field. Nowhere else do you see such examples of faithfulness, extreme devotion, and sacrifice for the faith.  
Pastor Argelio (pseudonym) is one such man whom I met in Cuba.
Boyhood Church Closed
Argelio was just a boy when the communists started locking up and torturing pastors. As a result, his little boyhood church scattered; it simply ceased to exist.
He doubted the church would ever grow there again, but he had this recurring feeling that one day, he would worship there again. So years later, as an adult, he felt God’s call to start a church back in his hometown.
A Fleece
So he laid out a fleece. He said, “God, if I can find one believer who attended my old church 24 years ago, I will start up the church again.” 
While visiting his boyhood home, as he’s walking down the street, he over­heard a woman talking openly about God.
He stopped and asked her if she had attended the Pentecostal church in town two decades prior. She nodded and said that she was the only believer left in the area who had attended that church. 
He began to pray fervently for the birth of a church there and prayed non-stop for the next seven years. 
The New Church Birthed
While he waited, he started several other churches in various places. The government would close them and he would start them up again. Finally, though, he started the church in his hometown. 
As the church began to grow, pressure from the secret police intensified. They wouldn’t let him build a church and constantly threat­ened to imprison him. The communists eventually closed the church. The doors of the church were locked and sealed. Anybody who broke the seal would immediately go to prison.
His flock of 60 scattered and two weeks later, he only had eight people left. That included him and his wife!
Argelio simply moved the remaining congregation to a new location. Then, the secret police closed down his church for the second time. 
“You Have Sacrificed Enough”
In despair, he met with the president of his denomination, who told him, “Argelio, you have sacrificed enough. Don’t sacrifice any­more. I will give you another church.”
Although the leader’s words were meant to comfort him, they didn’t. 
He felt that God had clearly called him to this church. He could only trust that this crossroad was a part of the plan. He rejected the offer to go to another church, regardless of the cost. He decided to press on with the work God had given him.
From Small Beginnings…
Argelio’s relentlessness and determination eventually caused the government to realize that he wouldn’t give up. After many years of persecution, they finally left him alone, and his church was left to grow.
After 16 years, when I met him, Argelio’s church had 700 members. The one church he started grew into 22 others, with a total membership of 3,000 believers. All of this hap­pened over decades of constant harassment and pressure from the secret police.
Looking back on his life, Argelio told me, “When you are faithful in the midst of adversities of life, God will be faithful to you and will bless you more. We were middle-class citizens before we started the ministry, but we forsook all the comforts of life for the glory of God. We must obey the Lord, even in difficult circumstances.”
What Has God Called You To?
Think about Argelio’s words and think about the parallel in your own life. What has God called you to? 
Whatever your calling is, you need to realize that it must be opposed by the evil one. That’s what he does!
Look at David, Abraham, and so many others. There is the calling, and then there is the struggle. 
Tooth and Nail
You will suffer struggle, setbacks, and pain. It is inevitable. But if the Lord has given you a calling, it will come to fruition despite all the setbacks and struggles you currently face. 
So even if you don’t trust yourself, trust God’s character and remember Argelio’s words: “We must obey the Lord, even in difficult circumstances.”
If you would like to help us as we support and train underground pastors and ministry workers, consider giving today.
Be Blessed,
Jeff King
Host of Into the Deep Podcast

Why the fleece? Here is where it comes from in the Bible!
Faith and Fleeces
Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised--look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said." 
And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew--a bowlful of water.
 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew." 
That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.


22/02/2020

Warning against unbelief!

Molnár Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt 1861
Moses Leading the Israelites Out of Egypt by József Molnár,1861
Hebrews 3:7–19

Warning against unbelief

So, as the Holy Spirit says:
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, “Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.”
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    “They shall never enter my rest.”’
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.’
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
Hebrews is famous for its warning passages. This is one of them (others are 6:4–8; 10:26–31). The warning here is: don’t repeat the mistake that the Israelites made. They had begun OK – they had followed Moses out of Egypt (v 16). But when things got difficult, even the God who had parted the sea to save them, couldn’t be trusted to give them water to drink! So God was angry with them (vs 10,11,17). In the end, they perished in the wilderness (v 17) and did not enter God’s ‘rest’ (v 18). These verses warn us: don’t be like them. Or you too risk not entering God’s ‘rest’ (v 19). 
The Israelites’ problem was they thought they knew a better way to satisfy their thirst than trusting in God’s provision. ‘Why did you bring us here? We had water back in Egypt’ (see Exodus 17:3)! Don’t make the same mistake. Instead, remember that this is the living God (v 12), who speaks to you (vs 7,15), who wants you to share in Christ (v 14), who wants you with him now and in the forever rest of eternal life. Sin cannot satisfy, only God can quench the thirst in our souls. Believe in him. He can be trusted. Keep a soft heart towards God.
Author
Angus Moyes

Dear friends, I hope that you enjoyed reading this bible reading for today that can be found on this site Wordlive.org. Keeping you all in my prayers that the love of our Lord Jesus-Christ be abundant in your life. In the name of Jesus-Christ. Amen Blessings and love. Nicky A.