Sunday, 22 February 2009

There is great value in serving!

I really enjoy baptisms and this morning was no exception. Seven people with seven different stories of how their lives have been wonderfully impacted and changed. This is what it is all about – people coming into a living, personal faith in Jesus!
What also really encouraged me this morning was the frequently repeated testimony of how the church family at Kings had played a very significant part through their love, friendship and encouragement. Who says that larger churches are impersonal?! Actually, I am convinced that larger churches like Kings actually have the opportunity of welcoming and receiving a wider spectrum of people who in turn feel much less conspicuous than in a smaller church. OK, I’m biased, and feel hugely privileged to be able to play a part in a church family like Kings with so many wonderful people so committed to love and serve people & God’s purposes.

Serving is a major part of life of Kings, it’s something we value highly and encourage widely, not only because we believe it to be very rewarding and a great way to quickly get connected, but more importantly, because it is what Jesus urged us to do. The apostle Paul recalls: remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35 The Message puts it like this: You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said “You’re far happier giving than getting.”

So I’d like to take this opportunity of appreciating and thanking all the outstanding people at Kings who serve so brilliantly week in and week out, and help make Kings the special church family that it is.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

"Your Kingdom come!"

Right now, we at Kings are very alert to the pressing illness of a number of dear friends. We feel something of their pain and we are provoked to pray, and call on God for their healing. That horrible ‘C’ word just makes us cross! It’s a word that has the ability to strike fear into the toughest human heart in microseconds.
So we pray!
After all, didn’t Jesus heal all the sick that were presented to him? And didn’t he say that his disciples would do greater things? And are we not his disciples?
So we pray!
And we long to see the wonderful result of what happens when the Kingdom, the Royal Activity of God, breaks out NOW, TODAY, bringing healing and restoration and Glory to Jesus. Because that’s what the Kingdom of God is all about, and Jesus taught his disciples to pray those words often: when you pray, pray ‘Our Father….. Your Kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven..!”
And so we pray!
The interesting thing is that Jesus also taught that the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of heaven as it is sometimes called) is at hand, already among us, NOW, and so it is. (Luke 10:9 Heal the sick .. and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

So it’s already here, but we’re told to pray it in?? Yes, you see it has begun but it is not yet complete. The Kingdom, the Royal Activity of God came into our world when Jesus came, and his death and resurrection won a great victory whereby his Kingdom is now an unstoppable force that is advancing, taking ground every day with fresh breakouts in and around the lives of ordinary people, saving, healing, restoring and so on.
One of these days King Jesus will appear in great majesty and glory, and on that day his Kingdom will be complete, and will hold total sway over all things, all people and all places. Then there will be no more evil, sickness or suffering! Wonderful!
Meanwhile we pray: “Your Kingdom come!” and we call on the God of all grace for a breakout of his wonderful Kingdom power NOW in the lives of these dear people that we love.


PS Angie & I travel to Copenhagen this weekend to spend time with the church there. If you have a moment, we’d appreciate your prayers too! Thanks!