Sunday, 31 May 2009

Very good news...

It's been a great weekend, at least for me. Well Chelsea won the FA cup, I got my first sail of the season, and Saturday evening it was the King's Ball - Brilliant! Mind you it wasn't easy to work out who everyone was, dressed up in ball dresses and DJ's.

To cap it all, preaching on forgiveness from Luke 7 deeply moved me as I came face to face once again with the outrage of the Gospel, TOTALLY ACCEPTED & FORGIVEN solely on the basis of what Jesus accomplished for me, and not one jot of help from my efforts. Amazing - and that's what the woman who annointed Jesus' feet in Luke 7 was :amazed and grateful. Psalm 32 says that the only really happy (blessed) people are those whose sins have been forgiven. Absolutely right, but let me just add that the happiest are those who keep a keen awareness of just how much they needed (and continue to need!) to be forgiven.

Stay Grateful,


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Our future hope...

What a great time we had last Sunday. Don’t let anyone tell you that church is boring! Jonathan Conrathe was speaking and he provoked my faith with his expectation for God to change lives and heal people. God has certainly used Jon over the years and he has some wonderful accounts to recall of missions in various parts of the world where he has seen many come to Christ and witnessed some wonderful healings. The Gospel IS good news to the poor. Jesus DID come to set captives free and give recovery of sight to the blind and our broken world stands in need of this life-changing gospel.(Luke ch4)

So if that’s true that Jesus came not only to die for our sins but also, as the Suffering Servant, to bear our pains and sickness – by his stripes we are healed Isaiah 53 – how come Christians don’t always enjoy perfect health and still die?
Well, theologians talk about us presently living in the overlap of two ages, the present age and the age to come. The Kingdom reign of Christ has, with His death and resurrection begun! My sin has been dealt with on the cross! Death has been defeated, guaranteeing me life beyond the grave! I have been made new in Christ! Now although we rightly speak of the ‘finished work of Christ’, meaning that we don’t have to add anything, in fact can’t add anything to what Christ has done, nevertheless we don’t yet see the full realisation of what He has accomplished for us. We are still living in a world where evil exists. Every day we have to contend for our faith, and sometimes suffer injustice and endure suffering. The New Testament writers wrote in terms of us enjoying the first down payment of an inheritance that is stored up for us in the future (1Peter ch1). We have a great future hope!

Meanwhile, we are urged to pray “Your Kingdom come!” And that means engaging in the proclaiming of the Gospel and praying for the healing of the sick and the setting free of people held captive to all sorts of enslavements.
So thank you Jon for provoking me to pray and believe God to heal, bless and set people free. The Kingdom is here! Your Kingdom come!


Sunday, 10 May 2009

Life in Scotland...

Last weekend Angie and I were away in Scotland, where I was speaking at the Dundee City Church weekend away – and we had a great time. Scotland was awesome and the church was a delight. Angie & I haven’t been to Scotland for 30 years, and never further north than Edinburgh, so it was a new experience for us, and we loved it – mountains, lochs and a lot of weather!
We were also introduced to the ‘Ceilidh’, that hugely entertaining from of Scottish dancing where you basically get swung around until totally exhausted, clad in a kilt. Now that was a first – me in a kilt! I’m hoping that the lighting in the barn prevented any recognisable photos!?!

I was speaking on the subject ‘The Spirit-filled Community’ from the book of Acts. This theme has been with me for some time now and has challenged me about the way we do church; the way we worship, the way we preach, the way we treat each other, the things that are important to us, the way we lead, and so on. As I travel I have the privilege of seeing Churches like City Church, vibrant, Spirit-filled, built on New Testament foundations, and hugely enjoyable to be a part of. It is churches like this and, I trust Kings, that our nation needs to see and feel the impact of. The Church really is God’s instrument in the world.

Thanks Craig, Anne and all at City Church; it was a privilege being with you. Just keep those kilt photos under lock & key!