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Light of the World

25 Feb

Golau sydd yn y byd

I Know God’s Will for my Life!!!

7 Feb

Sounds great doesn’t it!? To know God’s will for your life, what could be better? We all want to find direction; direction from the almighty is the ultimate. But I think the reality is probably less appealing than the concept.

Jonah and the Whale

Last week I started preaching Jonah in church. Straight from the off we get God giving Jonah His will for Jonah’s life. If I may paraphrase God says, “Jonah boy, I want you to be a prophet to Nineveh, teach them about me.” For a believer this should probably be an encouraging call, especially as Jonah was already used to life as a prophet to God’s own people in Israel. Yet God’s will for Jonah’s life contradicted Jonah’s own will for his life.

Instead of grasping this wonderful revelation with both hands he legs it, literally he tries to flee from God. God’s will is that Jonah would be a part of saving the city of Nineveh  Israel’s enemies. Jonah’s will for his life is that he’d build up, encourage and protect his own people, not those outside.

I imagine the same is true for you, it certainly is for me. The idea of knowing God’s will for our lives is very appealing, yet it’s likely that His will might call us somewhere we don’t want to go, to stand up for something we don’t want to stand up for, to pay a price we are unwilling to pay.

Our church’s verse for the year comes from Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” And in a sense that is God’s will for all our lives, that we would be His witnesses. In the remainder of the book of Acts we see the great cost this comes at. Jail time, stonings, executions. Not a path we’d choose for ourselves.

Yet in that verse there’s a promise too, that God would equip, that God would go with us.

For Jonah, going to Nineveh, as unappealing as that sounded, was a call to go where God was going. Likewise our call, God’s will for all of our lives, is to go with Him. Sometimes it may be unappealing but ultimately it is as great as it sounds! To go with God, on His mission, what a privilege. To be part of Christ’s church as He Himself builds it. What a joy!

Jonah continued to struggle with the call and that’s okay. God’s mercy was far vaster than Jonah’s rebellion. And we may still struggle to go with God as He leads us to be witnesses to the lost, but the Grace we have in Jesus is so much more than that too.

We’ll go, in His strength not our own.

7 Tips (and apologies for silence)

24 Jan

First of all, an apology for the appalling infrequency that I’ve managed to blog over the past month. Sorry. In part this has been as a result of us starting a new blog on our church website, one which all the elders and one or two guests will contribute.  This is obviously aimed at people in our church, but hopefully now and again there’ll be content there that will be applicable to a wider audience.

Today I posted “7 tips to help preach the Gospel to yourself.” They’re not exhaustive, they aren’t the result of hours of study. They are just a few ways I’ve found helpful in the past. You can read the post on the new church blog…here.

And here’s a funny picture:

Christmas Come and Gone

27 Dec

Christmas. Come and gone. But it will be back.

Why?

Because we are so slow to learn and so prone to forget.

I for one am fully aware of my need to be taught anew and reminded of the magnificent incarnation. God became man. God visited His enemy. Jesus came down.

Christmas may be slowly waning, but the significance and impact of The Word taking flesh isn’t.

Christmas 2012 can’t come fast enough for this forgetful blogger.

If God Loves Us…So What?

11 Nov

When God created the day and the night, it was good. When God created the sky above, it was good. When God created the land and the oceans, it was good. When God created the Sun and the moon, it was good. When God created everything in the seas and everything in the skies, it was good. When God created everything that lives on land, it was good.

When God created man, and he was alone, it was not good.

When God created them, man and women, it wasn’t just good any more, it was very good.

God, since the beginning, has created mankind to be part of a community, reflecting the very nature of God who as community did all the creating that was done. More than this, since He created mankind as a community, He’s been crafting for Himself a new community, a new people. We see it in the Old Testament as He saves not only Noah, but his family also. We see it as He calls Abram and all his household. We see it as Moses says to Pharaoh on God’s behalf, “Let my people go.”

Supremely Christ created (or re-created) for Himself a people in the church, a new community. Titus 2 “…Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

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Some Interesting (if not conclusive) thoughts on engagement with Halloween.

31 Oct

Justin Holcomb, author of Rid of my Dsigrace and regular contributer to theResurgence, today posted some thoughts on Christians recieving, rejecting and redeeming Halloween. The article is by no means conclusive but provides some interesting insights.

Read it here.

Recieve, Reject or Redeem?

I wonder what your thoughts are on the matter? If you have any feel free to post them in the comments.

Undertakers, Caretakers or Risk Takers?

21 Oct
Eifion Watkins at Ammanford Evangelical ChurchLast Sunday it was our joy in Ammanford Evangelical Church to welcome another local pastor into our pulpit. Eifion Watkins is a man who planted a church in his retirement. And they say church planting is a young mans game!
We were encouraged and challenged by his message (which you can get from the church website). Here’s my notes from his sermon:
Fundamentally there are 3 types of churches:
The Undertaker church. This church lives entirely in the past. You’ll often hear these churches speak of the ‘glory days’.What a shame. It’s wrong to spend too much time dwelling on what’s gone before or what’s worked before. Rather we should wake up and realise that we live in the today. Our message must remain the same as in those glory days, but it needs to be relevant to the days we
live in. I.e. it’s the same thing but in a new way. This is also true for individual Christians. We can’t live in our spiritual past, instead there is always new stuff to learn about God…for eternity. Ultimately it’s impossible to serve God yesterday. Rather we serve God in the present and plan to serve Him in the future. Continue reading