Sunday, 20 September 2009

Living with Jesus today...

I got back from holiday this week in time to hear Mike Betts preach at Kings this morning on the subject: “The surrendered life”. Basing his message on the response of king Hezekiah when faced with intimidation and potential invasion, Mike used a wonderfully graphic verse from Isaiah chapter 37, describing Hezekiah’s action on receiving a threatening, fear-inducing letter: Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; , and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD. .

Mike made the point that actually, living a life surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus is, in fact, the only authentic way to live the Christian life. In a world that is so insistent on “my rights”, even our presentation of the Gospel can be affected and distorted.
Over the summer I read an interesting book by Jean Vanier in which he graciously challenges our selfish agendas and the need for Jesus to take pre-eminence in our daily lives. I quote: The gospel begins with two disciples following Jesus and it ends with Jesus saying to Peter, “Follow me”… They do not always know where he is leading them but they trust him and walk with him. We, too, are called to follow Jesus day by day, not always knowing where he will lead us but trusting him, seeking to become like him…. Our journey in faith will be a growth in trust in Jesus as he gradually leads us to live in the Father. Just as we are called to grow in human maturity, goodness and wisdom, we are called to grow in union with God, dying more and more to our self-centred needs.

I sincerely believe that what Mike shared this morning is key both for our joy and the effectiveness of our witness as followers of Jesus in these urgent days. Speaking of urgent days, Thomas Kelly put it much more starkly: The times are too tragic, God’s sorrow is too great, man’s night is too dark, the Cross is too glorious for us to live as we have lived, in anything short of holy obedience.

So let me urge us all, as followers and friends of Jesus, to daily seek to dwell in him, seeking his agenda over our own, and discovering the joy and fruitfulness that it brings.

Have a great week!


Friday, 4 September 2009

Call to Action!

I am really looking forward to this weekend. Angie & I set off for Copenhagen today, to be with our very dear friends in Copenhagen Community Church, there in the heart of that beautiful city. I am particularly happy about going because just a while ago I thought I might have to pull out and miss being there at the beginning of this new season for CCC. God is very good!

Setting off on a visit like this reminds me how much I love & value the church, the Body of Christ across the nations; the friends, the fun and joy of meeting up again, the sense of anticipation of what God is doing, the privilege of being on this great mission together. This is, after all, the greatest mission on planet earth – in the universe in fact - Jesus’ plan & intention to gather a people from across every nation to belong to Him.

One writer put it like this: His supreme design in this world is to bring together a people. He saves & redeems & rescues & cleans, and so makes his saved and purified people to be ‘the church’….The kingdom – the royal activity of God – uses the church as it’s channel of influence out into the world. M Eaton

And we are a part of that! This weekend we will be launching a new preaching series entitled: Call To Action! based on that great passage about our warfare as Christians, in Ephesians ch6.
Paul said that he thanked the Lord Jesus that he considered him faithful, appointing him to his service. Yes, what a privilege! This is the highest cause we can live for, living for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world!