Apr 262012
 

From time to time, while I’m surfing the internet or looking at twitter, I happen upon some articles that I find interesting and I consider worth sharing, so I thought “Why not share them with my readers……both of them”

I will probably do this on a regular basis (unless you beg me to stop!)

I hope you enjoy them… Continue reading »

 April 26, 2012  Posted by at 11:33 am Uncategorized 1 Response »
Apr 252012
 

2_men_talking_silouette-300x231In my last blog I talked about the importance of accountability questions in Discipleship. We looked at a number of honest questions we could ask each other regularly to become accountable to one another.

Last time I looked briefly at James 5:16 which says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” In this blog I want to look at what it means to confess our sins to one another.

When we talk about confession you might, if you have a Roman Catholic background, think of the confessional booth and having to recount the weeks’ wrongdoings to the priest. Should we do this? Do we confess to each other and then to God, or the other way round? It can all get very confusing. We can sometimes come to some wrong conclusions which I will address later. Continue reading »

 April 25, 2012  Posted by at 9:58 pm Accountability, Confession, Discipleship 1 Response »
Apr 232012
 

2people_talking_375x253In my post about discipleship and accountability, I stated how important it is that we become accountable to other Christians to help us in our Christian lives.

I have listed below a number of bible passages that speak about this subject. To save you even getting your bible out, you can click on (or hover over) each verse and read the passage. Why not have a little study of these verses….?

Proverbs 25:12                                                    Proverbs 27:17

Ecclesiastes 4:8-12                                             Galatians 6:1-6

Colossians 3:16                                                    1 Thessalonians 5:14

James 5:15-16                                                       Hebrews 3:13

Accountability involves being honest, asking honest questions of each other. I have recently been reading about John and Charles Wesley, famous evangelists and preachers of the Eighteenth century and the founders of Methodism. When they were at Oxford University they started what was called “The Holy club” with other students, as they were determined to live a Holy life. They were so keen to help each other that they set out 22 questions that they hoped would help them in their quest. I have listed these below: Continue reading »

 April 23, 2012  Posted by at 7:21 pm Accountability, Discipleship 3 Responses »
Apr 182012
 

marathon13As it’s the London marathon on Sunday I thought I would send out my notes from the first preach I ever gave a few years ago at my church. It was on the day of the Hastings Half marathon and I wanted to remind all those watching the race that all Christians are in a race, whether you are a sporty person or not. It is based on the passage in Hebrews 12 v 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

(1) Encouragement

Let’s look at the first part of the verse; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses” so what does that mean?

When we see the word ‘Therefore’ it means that a lot has been said before. We are in the middle of a point the writer is making. In Hebrews 11 the writer has been talking about faith. He goes through a list of the great men and women of faith who have gone before. These people have run their races and have proved that God is faithful and reliable. They are encouraging us through their example and perseverance.

It’s great to receive encouragement and you can see in a race how the runners are encouraged by a lot of people cheering for them.

In Hebrews 10:24-25 it says; “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

There are a number of ways we can give encouragement through our church community; Continue reading »

 April 18, 2012  Posted by at 6:32 pm Uncategorized 1 Response »
Apr 162012
 

AccountabilityDiscipleship is hard work, there are no shortcuts. We cannot just complete a course or read a book on the subject. It’s not knowledge, its action.

Discipleship is true community, getting into each others lives, no skirting around issues or disagreements. If someone asks, “How are you?” do you say fine” quickly asking back “how are you?” to deflect the focus back onto them so you don’t have to tell them what a rotten week you’ve had? (They didn’t REALLY want to know anyway, did they?).

It’s about digging a little deeper and going beneath the surface and getting behind the mask.

Last time we looked at 7 pointers that will help us to get closer to and be disciples of Jesus, things such as; understanding grace and salvation, prayer, bible study, witnessing etc. These are all excellent, but is anyone close enough to you to check you are doing these things? Somebody that, as proverbs 18 v 24 says “sticks closer than a brother”? Someone you can count on to be honest with you? Continue reading »

 April 16, 2012  Posted by at 9:39 pm Discipleship 12 Responses »
Apr 142012
 

I recently wrote about why discipleship is so important and why we need to be a follower of Jesus before we can disciple others.

Following on from that I have listed out below 7 points which will help make us disciples of Jesus;

(1) Understanding Grace – I have put this first because if we do not get this, the following points will be a tick list of things we ‘have’ to do and if that’s the way you are thinking, then you will have missed the point. Grace means unmerited favour, something we get that we don’t deserve, everything we get is a gift and everything we pass on is a gift. We don’t deserve any of it. For instance, we don’t do good works in order for God to save us, they come out of our desire to follow Him. Our discipleship is based on our desire to follow Him not because we have to out of a sense of duty but because we love Him and want our lives to please Him. Continue reading »

 April 14, 2012  Posted by at 7:52 pm Discipleship 2 Responses »
Apr 132012
 

I love to download sermons onto my MP3 player and listen to them while shopping or on lunch breaks etc. I call it ‘redeeming my time.’ Well I was very excited when I discovered that the trust set up to distribute Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones recordings has now decided to release 1600 sermons by the ‘good doctor’ for download free of charge! This is an opportunity not to be missed. I cannot vouch for the recording quality yet, but they are free, so why not click on this link, sign up and have a listen and you will hear what all the fuss is about.

http://www.mlj-usa.com/audiolibrary

For those that haven’t heard of him, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was considered one of the greatest preachers of the last century. He lived between 1899 and 1981, he was a medical doctor as well as a preacher and his main ministry was at a very famous church in London called Westminster Chapel where he ministered for almost 30 years. He was so famous in Christian circles that I bet if you went up to someone in your church, say, over the age of 40 (and has been a Christian for a while) and talked about ‘The doctor’ they would know exactly who you were talking about!

His ministry was characterised by clear, systematic teaching and preaching of the Bible, and it was this that earned him the respect and affection of many throughout the world.

If you hear any sermons of his that speak to you, why not leave a comment in the box below and share what you have learned.

 April 13, 2012  Posted by at 3:19 pm Sermons 1 Response »
Apr 112012
 

Apart from our personal relationship with Jesus, our primary calling as Christians is to make disciples, but do we know what that means and more importantly have we ever done it?

I am referring of course to ‘The great commission’ which Jesus gives to His disciples right at the end of His ministry as recorded in Matthew 28 v 18-20

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This is clearly a command to all of us because the act of making a disciple is passing on what you have learned. Jesus’ disciples passed on what they learned from Jesus down to their disciples and so on down to us. If you are a Christian and you are alive today (and I assume you are alive because you are reading this!) then the baton is squarely in your hand.

So what happens now? Continue reading »

 April 11, 2012  Posted by at 3:18 pm Discipleship No Responses »
Apr 072012
 

Easter Sunday – the day we celebrate the greatest event in human history! I have set out below some reasons as to why the resurrection is such good news. We celebrate the cross and rightly so, but if Jesus had not been resurrected, our faith would be useless, we would be hopeless. But praise God JESUS IS ALIVE!!

Some benefits of Christ’s resurrection are as follows:

1. Jesus proves He does what He says He is going to do!

Because of the resurrection we can be sure that what he said about Himself and His claims are true
When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” (Matthew 17:22-23) Continue reading »

 April 7, 2012  Posted by at 12:51 pm Resurrection, Uncategorized 1 Response »
Apr 062012
 

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is it called ‘Good’ Friday?”

Reading what happened on ‘Good Friday’ it seems far from good. An innocent man has just been declared guilty in front of a baying mob, he is dragged before two further courts who insult him, and beat him up in a really violent manner. He is abandoned by all of his friends who he has lived in community with for the last 3 years and one of his closest friends even denies him vehemently with an expletive ridden denial. He is then tortured further and made to carry the cross he will be nailed to, naked, in full public view.

But despite all the horror of that day, for us, this is really good news. Continue reading »

 April 6, 2012  Posted by at 6:44 am Salvation, The gospel 2 Responses »