The Bible is very comfortable with the idea that you can talk to God. Depending on the Bible version you look at ‘prayer’ is referenced over six hundred and fifty times!
Sickness and death hurt.
Last week, a member of 5pm Church unexpectedly passed away. Brian started attending 5pm at the beginning of last year and for a brief time was a member of one of our small groups. He passed away in his home of as yet unknown causes. He was a son, a brother, a friend, a doctor and a Christian. Thank God.
Christians are word people. I don’t mean simply that ‘Christians are people of the WORD of God’, although that is true. I mean, that Christians need to listen, read, think and speak words with great intention and purpose.
Let me see if I can explain, starting with some background.
Sermon on the ‘Crown Of Suffering’ (James 1:1-18) by Ken Noakes is now available to stream or download: http://bit.ly/2bd6XI8
Read the Bible text: http://bit.ly/2bxD9qK
Download the English Corner PDF: http://bit.ly/2bkdyD1
Friends it has been a while since the last 5pm Update (a good indication that things have been a bit full on!) – in fact there has not been an update since I returned from Study Leave for Easter. Thanks for allowing me time to get away.
Study Leave meant that I could attend a series of Conferences, visit a series of Churches and check-out some theological colleges. Refreshing? – Yes! Challenging? – At times! Educational? – Mostly! Beneficial? – I hope so, but you will need to be the judge of that.
There were so many times that I just felt immensely thankful to God for Trinity City and for 5pm Church and for the leaders we have and for the ministry that we do – and thankful because I could see other examples in the States of similar ministries or conversely I could see examples of things that were not done half as well as how Trinity does it (under God of course).
Here are 5 reflections with 5 corresponding challenges which may be of benefit for us.
Your ‘testimony’ is the testimony of Christ and what he has done in your life. As such for your christian testimony to be worth anything, it should be a testimony to Jesus using you as the example!
The Apostle Peter helpfully challenges Christians to be ready to speak about Jesus when he says:
‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’ – 1 Peter 3:15
So some tips for writing your testimony…
Another horror week.
Suicide bombings in Beirut have killed 43 people and left 238 wounded. A suicide bombing at a funeral in Baghdad killed 19 people and left 31 wounded. And coordinated attacks in Paris have killed 129 people and left 352 wounded.
We are appalled, grieved and saddened.
‘I came to Christ kicking and screaming! Well, I put up a fight.
‘By the time I was 20 I had been told what “sin” was numerous times, but I hadn’t yet realised I was guilty of it!
‘“Sin”, my mate said, “is when you think you are better than God.”
How would you answer ?
Humbly, I am not sure I am the one to determine what the biggest misconception may be, but let me offer this thought. I wonder if a key misconception that unbelievers have about Jesus is that he is dead!
To be a Christian is to be someone who recognizes, more sharply and clearly than our world, that the creation story is not the end.
As early as Genesis 4 we are introduced to Lamech who took more than one wife, even the great Abraham had more than one wife and also had concubines.The Old Testament accounts report polygamy but they never hold it up as an example to be imitated. By the end of Genesis we’ve seen adultery, incest, rape, homosexual rape, prostitution – quite a bit more than we really were bargaining on.
The fall has damaged all of our relationships, especially and profoundly the marriage relationship.