Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Spreading the Word – MCF 2016 review

We thank God and give Him all the glory for everything He has done in 2016 and we look forward to 2017 in anticipation of the next stage of our journey

Source: Pinterest
At the beginning of 2016 MCF Life Church received a word of Growth from God. Throughout 2016 God has done some amazing things with the wonderful people He has put into the fellowship, each with there array of different personalities and gifts. Although we are a reasonably small fellowship the number of ministries and the work that God uses the fellowship for is truly amazing and the growth we have experienced has not been so much in numbers, but in the way that God has grown us spiritually, both individually and collectively as a fellowship. We thank God and give Him all the glory for everything He has done in 2016 and we look forward to 2017 in anticipation of the next stage of our journey.

As 2016 draws to a close we thought it would be a real blessing to share a selection of popular blog articles that members of our congregation have posted throughout the year. We have been publishing a new article each Sunday for just under eighteen months and God has blessed the blog to receive over 120,000 views from all over the World. Psalm 96:3 'Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples'. As a fellowship, we pray that God's Word speaks into the hearts and minds of those who read and receive it and that lives are changed forever as a result. We give all Glory to God and pray that people Make Christ First in their lives. Amen.

The blog articles below are not listed in any order of popularity.  If you click on the article title you will be directed to the relevant article. Why not also take the time to listen to some of the fantastic worship songs which you will find at the end of each article. You will also find other Words of God, Teachings and Testimonies in our blog archive at the right-hand side of the main blog page and if you would prefer to listen to our 2016 online sermons then follow this (link) and scroll through. Be blessed.

Lord I need you

Living Fearlessly

Is it time to trade our sorrows

How God gives us our heart's desire

The Three Crosses

God’s Word of Encouragement

‘The Attic’ – A vision from God

Standing in the gap - Strengthening the body of Christ

It's time to grow up!

God is in control

How forgiveness can set you free

Transforming our lives starts with examining ourselves

Are we attentive to that ‘still quiet voice?

Our Christian walk - Don’t forget lessons from the past

Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas and a happy and blessed New Year from everyone at MCF Life Church. Matthew 6:33 ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’.

Author: MCF Blog Editor

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Sunday, 25 December 2016

Believe and be saved

God is never late and his time keeping is perfect. Praise God

Source: Pinterest
One day I arranged to see my friend as we had planned to go shopping together. After we had a good look around the shops we came home. My friend suddenly remembered that she had made an agreement with a blind neighbour to spend some time with him. She had given him a specific time for the visit and she was already over an hour late, my friend knew the blind neighbour would be upset and disappointed because he was very excited about the visit at the time the arrangement was made.

My friend invited me to go with her on the visit and as we set off she explained to me that her blind neighbour was a very nice man who had carers looking after him. We arrived much later than expected and when we rang the doorbell there was no reply. At that point a scripture came to my mind; Revelation 3:20 ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me’. We were just about to leave when the man suddenly appeared at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. The man had a large smile on his face when his carer told him that we were waiting at the door. 

Source: Pinterest
We were invited into the house and when we sat down he explained how sad he felt when my friend did not arrive for the visit and after waiting for a while he decided to take a stroll with his carer to see if he would bump into her. He said his heart skipped a beat with joy when his carer had told him that we were at the front door.  When the carer went into the kitchen to make us all a cup of tea I asked the blind man if he believed in God and he said yes he did. He then went on to say that ‘Jesus died on a cross for us many years ago’ to which I replied ‘yes he certainly did and Jesus did this for you and for me and for everyone in the whole world’. When his carer returned with the tea I asked him (the carer) the same question ‘do you believe in God?' He replied ‘of course I do, I am a born again Christian’, to which I was pleasantly surprised. I then shared my testimony with everyone while we drank our cup of tea.

After hearing my testimony the blind man started to pray. During the prayer he asked Jesus to come into his life as his Lord and Saviour and he repented of all his sins.  I was so excited to have witnessed the blind man give his life to the Lord, Amen. Although we were late for the visit, God is never late and his time keeping is perfect. Psalm 27:14 ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord'. Praise God.

We spent the remainder of evening Praising God, discussing his Word and listening to Christian radio. We had just an amazing evening of fellowship. Praise God.


Author: Juliet Jones 

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Sunday, 18 December 2016

Love and Forgiveness

MCF Life Church - Christmas Message 2016

…if we refuse to forgive, even our enemies, then they will always have a hold on us and continue to hurt us even after they have passed from this earth. But if we choose to forgive them with God's help, then they lose their stronghold over us and we receive God's peace….

Source: www.pinterest
In October this year I finished a series of talks on the 'Fruit of the Spirit'. I looked at each fruit starting in reverse order. I therefore started with 'self-control' and then worked my way backwards until I got to the first fruit in the list which is 'love'. I'd prepared and preached on each of the other eight parts of the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’, but when I came to Love I realised that this couldn't be preached in one message as it was too big a subject. After all, the bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that ‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love’. As I prayed about this I felt led to prepare not just one but three messages on Love; one from the viewpoint of the Father, one from the viewpoint of Jesus and one from the viewpoint of the Holy Spirit. (You can listen to the Fruits of the Spirit messages by clicking on this link, you may need to scroll down to find the start of the series). 

I soon realised that Love was the greatest virtue and the part of the Fruit that binds all of the rest together. Colossians 3:12-14 ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity’. The bible also tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13 'And now these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love’. Jesus also commands us to love one another in John 13:34-35 ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another’.

Source: www.pinterest
As we look back at 2016, some major events have happened around the world. Some good, some bad, but I wonder; do we actually see much of this love, if any at all, in these events?  For instance we had a great 'gold rush' in the Olympic games, with Great Britain winning 27 Gold medals, 23 Silver and 17 bronze, coming 2nd in the overall medal table to USA. Then came the Paralympic games where team GB won 64 Gold medals, 39 Silver and 44 Bronze again coming second in the overall medal table, but this time to China. The 'Brexit' vote followed soon after which resulted in the UK deciding to leave the European Union. In addition to all of this we've had the horrors of the war in Syria, with the mindless bombings of hospitals, civilians and aid convoys and around the rest of the world we've had terrorist bombings, shooting of children and young people in schools across America and the loss of life at sea as desperate people flee war torn countries in the hope of a safer future, only to be met with more hostility.  

In the newspapers and on the TV we continually hear about the depravity of this world and its people. So I ask again, 'do we see much, if any, of the love described above?’ It does not seem so does it?  But there is however 'good news'we can make a difference! Why don't we start to make a change and to make a choice today to show God's love to one another? In Mark 12:28-31 Jesus didn't just command us to love one another He also reminds us of the command to firstly Love God and then to Love our neighbour as our self; 'One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important? The most important one’, answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these’

In Luke 6:27-36 Jesus goes one step further and tells us to love our enemies. To love your enemies’ means you have to forgive your enemies, and this for many is a major stumbling block. How can you forgive someone who has hurt you, abused you, or has devastated your life? Well, on your own this is very difficult and may seem impossible, but with God all things are possible. When you want to forgive and find you're unable to do so, ask God to help you, and He will. We don't have to do this under our own strength, Jesus promised us a helper. In John 14:15-17 Jesus says; ‘If you love Me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of truth’. God gives us the Holy Spirit not only to guide us through life, but also to help us in the hard times and in the difficult decisions we sometimes have to make.

When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 part of the prayer in Matthew 6:12 tells us; 'Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us' (Good News Translation).  He finishes in Matthew 6:14 by telling us; ‘If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done' (Good News Translation). This may seem harsh but Jesus knows that if we refuse to forgive, even our enemies, then they will always have a hold on us and continue to hurt us even after they have passed from this earth. But if we choose to forgive them with God's help, then they lose their stronghold over us and we receive God's peace and His forgiveness towards the things we've done wrong as we repent of them.

If we start to love our enemies and forgive them we really can impact the world. So let's not think about it, let's make a decision to put others before ourselves, and see what transformation we can effect in other people's lives in the areas where we live who knows, we may even start to see transformation in our own lives as we love and forgive one another in 2017.


Author: Kevin Hunt

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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

The world is one of seemingly endless crises; war, terrorism, floods, earthquakes etc. It is important to keep things in perspective and we need to understand that in some situations God uses these things to further His purpose and plans in others

Source: Topsy.fr
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?; is an important question that we as Christians are sometimes asked. Over the years, I have come to accept, that God is God, and has a higher understanding of things than us. This is a question that we should have an answer for because it would be easy for non-believers to come to the conclusion that God is cruel or enjoys watching people suffer. However, this perspective couldn't be further from what the Bible tells us about God. Psalm 103:13-14 explains how God treats His children; ‘Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust’

The world is one of seemingly endless crises; war, terrorism, floods, earthquakes etc. It is important to keep things in perspective and we need to understand that in some situations God uses these things to further His purpose and plans in others. God allows us to go through ‘the fire’; which is used to test us as people. Are we truly a people worthy to be called of God? The only way to find out is to test our faith and see which way we turn. Do we become closer to God, leaning on Him to get us through tough times and difficult situations or do we become bitter and resentful? I would say that it is easier, and a characteristic of human nature to become hard hearted and to blame God at these times. However, for those who choose to become closer to God there is a real deep peace that can be found in any situation. James 1:3-4 tells us; ‘For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing’ and 1 Peter 1:6-7 also tells us; ‘In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ’.

Source: Lent Scripture
There is another important dimension to consider when faced with the question of; why does God allows bad things to happen to good people? That is; ‘the situations of our own making’. If we as humans bring about situations that affect others in a negative way, then the responsibility for that lies firmly with us and not God. If we think about the current situation in Syria and Iraq with millions of people displaced by War, I wonder whether this misery was God inflicted or caused by man. I have no doubt that God is in control of these situations and that there is real salvation and mercy on the ground in the midst of turmoil.

Finally, I want to finish with the example of Job who we read in the Bible is a servant of God who is tested severely but still holds fast to his faith. He is a man that has bad things happen in his life but the ending of the book of Job is an amazing restoration. Job 42:12-17 ‘The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years’.

Do we have the faith and will-power to trust God in all situations in our lives, both good and bad? Perhaps it is worth taking a few moments to ask ourselves this very question.


Author: Anonymous

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

God's creation - 'to die is to live'

The world’s philosophy would tell us to ‘live for self’ but God’s Word tells us that in order to receive eternal life we actually need to ‘die to self’

Source: www.Pinterest
God’s creation is truly amazing and perfect. When we read the story of creation in Genesis 1 it is clear that God wanted His creation to thrive and flourish. After God had created day (light) and darkness (night), followed by land separated by water, on the third day we are shown in Genesis 1:11-12 that God created vegetation and significantly, seed bearing plants; ‘Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds’. And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good’. God then goes onto to create living creatures including birds, wild animals, livestock and creatures to fill the earth and then in Genesis 1:26-27 He makes man to have dominion over everything He has created on earth.  What I find really interesting is that on two occasions (Genesis 1:22 and Genesis 1:28) God says ‘Be fruitful and increase in number.’

At the point of creation God did not only make heaven and earth and everything in it but He also provided a means of reproduction which was necessary for His creation to not only survive but to also thrive. In fact when God decided to destroy the earth because of its wickedness in Genesis 6 & 7 He still considers a way in which His creation can be replenished after the great flood; Genesis 6:18:19 ‘But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you’. In fact the story of the flood is a really good example of how God saw death as necessary to create new life. The ultimate example of this is that God loved us so much that He gave His one and only son in sacrifice to die so that we may live. We know that Jesus rose again, amen, and the bible tells us that when we receive Christ we become a new creation; 2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! If we know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we have died to our old self and we are a new creation, a new birth, a new life! Amen.

Source: www.Pinterest
In the Gospel of John we see another example of where death is necessary to produce life; John 12:24 ‘Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’. I see this on a regular basis at my allotment where I collect seeds for the following year from many of the vegetables on my plot. Whilst the vegetables are growing and healthy I can harvest for food, however in order to collect the seeds for the following year I have to let the plants continue to grow and to eventually die. It is only at this point that the seeds can be collected. When I look at a seed I see a small dry object in my hand for which it is hard to believe that any life can come from. This is the miracle of God’s creation because from a single small dried up seed, which to all intent and purposes appears dead, comes a healthy vibrant plant which in some cases can grow higher than me (I am six feet tall), and produce an abundance of fruit or vegetables. This brings to mind the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32 ‘He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches’.

God’s intention is clearly to provide life after death. The journey of human earthly life is an interesting one.  We too are born from a seed, we develop and grow, most of us are strong and healthy for the majority of our lives, but as we get older we start to slow down, our bodies start to deteriorate and at some point we will eventually die to this earth. This is the reality of human life; however, although our earthly lives are short our Father in heaven has provided us with a means of eternal life; John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. Jesus died so that we may live. Amen. Our Father loves us so much that He provided us with a way of spending eternity with Him, a way that requires us to die to the world and in doing so provides us with a new life in eternity.  How amazing is that?! The world’s philosophy would tell us to ‘live for self’ but God’s Word tells us that in order to receive eternal life we actually need to ‘die to self’; Galatians 2:20 ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’. Amen.

I will leave you with one final thought; when I was young I had few thoughts about the morbid subject of dying, but as I got older time just seemed to go much faster and I started to realise what those ‘old people’ (Sadly, I think I am now in that category!) were saying when I was younger that ‘life is short’. This is quite true, life on earth really is short, but know this; eternity is forever and forever is a very long time! Through the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ our Father in Heaven showed us how much He loves us and how much He wants us to join Him in Heaven and to live with Him for eternity. What does He want from us?  Well the answer is simply to accept a free gift, the gift of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and to love and to serve Him: Revelation 22:17; ‘The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life’ and Mark 12:30 ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. Accepting a free gift does not seem like a bad deal to secure your eternity does it?  Your Father in heaven is calling you right now to come to him. Is it time for you to secure your place in eternity?

Thank you Heavenly Father for your wonderful creation and your amazing provision of creating new life out of death. Thank you that my new life in eternity is secure. Amen.


Author: Gary O’Neill

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Store up treasures in Heaven

Money should never get in the way of our love for God. Everything we have has come as a blessing from God and it all belongs to him, our relationships, education, family, jobs, and possessions, absolutely everything is His. Amen.

Source: Turning the Word
True wealth and real riches in God is not measured by how much money a person may have. Money is just an energy that if used correctly should be used to bless those in need, in fact when we use money to give and to bless others then we become truly wealthy. The Kingdom of Christ’s constitutional order tells us in Matthew 6:19 ‘do not store up for yourself treasures on earth’; meaning it’s not these things that make you rich or poor; (Luke 12:15-21 and Hebrews 13:5). Jesus Christ tells us not to be concerned by what we will eat or drink or what we will wear because God will provide and bless His Children (Matthew 6:25-29, 31, 34; Matthew 13:22; 1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6). Romans 14:17 also tells us ‘the kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat and drink, but living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’. Amen.

The greatest royal command given to God’s people is written in Matthew 6:33 ‘Seek his kingdom above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need’. God’s Kingdom, according to the Gospel of Matthew, can be found in the poor who realise their need for Him (Matthew 5:3). Further, in Matthew 5:6 God tells us ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled’ and God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right (Matthew 5:10 & 20). Therefore the Word of God is showing us that true wealth is intimacy with God, our creator of heaven and earth and in fact it is love that makes us wealthy. Matthew 6:10 tells us that we bless God when we bring His kingdom on earth, when we help the orphans and the widows (James 1:27) and when we help a brother in need (1 John 3:17). Money should never get in the way of our love for God. Everything we have has come as a blessing from God and it all belongs to him, our relationships, education, family, jobs, and possessions, absolutely everything is His, Amen.

Source: heisourstrongtower 
Money is not evil or bad but just a tool to express. The more we bless others in wisdom the more we grow in God’s amazing love however the more we live for money and worry about money the more we become poor in God’s love. God is looking for our hearts to be sold out for him. We are told in Mark 12:30 to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ which means that He is first in everything, ‘our first love’ (Revelation 2:4). No-one and nothing can or should come before Him. He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). We should never allow our loyalty to be divided between God and the World (James 4:8). The Word of God warns us that we cannot serve two masters; Matthew 6:24 ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money’.

Peter was so rich in love that when in Acts 3:3-6 he was asked for money by a lame man; ‘Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’. Jesus Christ is the name above all names, the name at which every knee shall bow (Philippians 2:9-10) Amen. The gift of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour is a free gift and when Simon in Acts 8:18-23 offered money to buy the power of the Holy Spirit he was rebuked by Peter; ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!’

As already stated, money is neither good nor evil, however 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that it is ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’, in fact the chilling account of the sudden deaths of Ananais and his wife Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 should be a warning to us all. Ananais and Sapphira had sold property and gave the proceeds to the apostles, but in collusion they kept back part of the money for themselves. It was Ananias’s free will, his own choice to sell his property and to give the money to God but it was also his choice to lie and keep some of the money back. The sin committed was a sin against God and God’s people. Sin often blinds us to choose short-term gains in this life, heedless of the long term loss in the next; Luke 9: 24-25 ‘For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

This journey of life is full of temptation and we know our great enemy the devil roams around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). We must fight every day as Christian soldiers with God’s full armour of protection on us (Ephesians 6). We have to set our face like flint (Isaiah 50:7) and know that Jesus has defeated Satan once and for all time and we are covered and protected under the covering of the Blood of the Lamb; (Revelation 12:11) Amen. In order to further protect ourselves we should seek after the things of God and pray for wisdom, knowledge and understanding Proverb 8:10-11 ‘Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her’.

The book of Ecclesiastes is a deep reflection on human life and can read a little on the negative side as the author struggles to find any real purpose for his being here on earth, however he triumphantly sums the book up beautifully with his final statement in Ecclesiastes 12:13 ‘Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind’. Obeying God and having reverence means being generous with all that God has blessed us with, both physically and spiritually. Amen


Author: Errol Gibbs

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Spiritual Growth – Individual, Intentional and Essential

Christians must learn: It’s God’s job to save you but it’s your job to grow you! The Church can’t grow you – others can’t grow you – each of us is the steward and custodian of our own spiritual life. We can’t blame anyone else for our spiritual condition

Source:Patheos
The last recorded words of the apostle Peter, who reputedly was crucified upside down in Rome were; 2 Peter 3:18 ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen’. Peter’s last words serve as a summons to every Christian to grow. In fact, last words are always of great interest and importance as the examples below show:


Churchill: ‘I’m bored with it all’
Karl Marx: ‘Go on, get out, last words are for fools’
Harry Houdini: ‘I’m tired of fighting’
Humphrey Bogarde: ‘I should never have switched from scotch to martinis’
Frank Sinatra: ‘I’m losing it’
George Best: ‘Don’t die like me’
…and interestingly, the last words of the Emperor Julian after resisting and opposing Christianity in the Roman Empire were ‘You have won O Galilean’ (He always will!)

Spiritual growth is an individual activity - Some Christians never grow; some grow a little, whilst some grow enormously. The reason for the variation is that spiritual growth is the product of individual activity. There is an enormous difference between growing old in the Lord and growing up in Him. One is automatic and requires no effort at all, it’s just ageing. But the other is never automatic or easy. It calls for personal discipline, continual determination, and spiritual desire. Christians must learn: It’s God’s job to save you but it’s your job to grow you! The Church can’t grow you – others can’t grow you – each of us is the steward and custodian of our own spiritual life. We can’t blame anyone else for our spiritual condition. Listen to these words from Paul in Philippians 3 and note the ‘I’... ‘I have discarded everything else’; ‘I no longer count on my own righteousness’; ‘I want to know Christ’; ‘I focus on this one thing’; ‘I press on to reach; Paul is not relying on anyone else to steward his Christian life.

Source: New Boston Church of Christ
Spiritual growth is an intentional activity - Each of us is responsible for whether we run the Christian race or simply take up space on the track. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:25 ‘Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training’.  Those who win races are those who are intentional because growth starts with desire. This begs the question; ‘What kind of a Christian do you want to be?’  It should be the intention of every person who has experienced ‘the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ’ to grow in it. There’s a good reason why I can’t play the piano – I gave up lessons! There’s a good reason (or bad reason) why many Christians never grow – they give up the daily call to follow Christ and often become intentional about lesser things!

Spiritual growth is an essential activity - The word ‘grow’ that Peter used is in the present imperative, in Greek meaning ‘it’s a lifestyle not a one-off seminar or conference!’ If we don't grow we shrivel and there is a huge cost to not growing! If growth doesn’t happen then we are left with an inferior, inadequate grasp of something of crucial importance. The more you grow ‘in grace’ the more you have assurance, which expels insecurity and produces praise & great joy. Growing in grace liberates you from legalism & self-condemnation. The Christian life will be ordinary and average unless you discover, grow and revel in grace! The more this happens, the more abundant our life becomes. Simon Ponsonby writes, ‘Many Christians have become dozy and the enemy has subtly sown weeds in their soul’. What an awful phrase – ‘weeds in the soul’. That’s what happens when we neglect our great salvation!


Author: Alan Hewitt - AOG UK National Leadership Team

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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Christ is enough

Jesus has defeated Satan once and for all and just like David we have a bag of stones and a sling shot. Stones of worship, the Word of God are those stones that we use every day to encourage us

Source: Knowing Jesus
On Sunday September 18th 2016 we had the blessing of a guest speaker and his wife at MCF Life Church in Meriden. This service is available to listen to free on our website (Link). The service began with the guest speaker’s wife blessing the Body of Christ by declaring that ‘Christ is enough’ Amen. She talked about being effective for God’s kingdom and about our contribution in harvesting lost souls for God. This confirmed for me the importance of getting to know Christ more deeply every single day. I can draw closer to God by studying His Word and to have the Word of God on my lips like honey; Psalm 119:103 ‘How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!’ Amen.

The guest speaker began the service by looking at the giant Nephilim and the wickedness on the earth at that time; Genesis 6:4 ‘The Nephilim were on the earth in those days - and also afterward - when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown’. I choose to read on a little further to Genesis 6:6 where God’s Word tells that as human beings we broke God’s heart; ‘The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled’. For me this is such a sad scripture, it is painful for me to think about breaking the heart of God Almighty. The guest speaker then went on to consider Noah, who had found favour with the Lord because he was a righteous man; Genesis 6:8 ‘But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD’. The story of Noah was very briefly touched upon where it was explained that those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Saviour represent those inside the boat, those who are saved. Amen.

Source: St. Timothy Lutheran Church
For me the service became really exciting when the speaker spoke about the Nephilim giants being destroyed at the time of the flood and yet 1000 years later they re-appeared in the land of Canaan (God’s promised land to Abraham); A little earlier in Numbers 13:1-3 twelve scouts had been sent out to survey the land who later returned with a report of giants (Nephilim); Numbers 13:28 ‘But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there’. Out of the twelve scouts only two, Joshua and Caleb gave a good report and in Numbers 13:30 claimed, ‘We can certainly conquer the land’ and confirmed this in Numbers 14:9 ...the Lord is with us so don’t be afraid of them….’.   The other ten scouts disagreed; Numbers 13:31 ‘We cannot go against them! They are stronger than we are’ and as a result of the Israelite's disobedience and lack of faith they had to remain in the wilderness for forty years instead of forty days. Numbers 14:29-30 explains how God punished the Israelite's, telling them that they would not enter the land that God had promised, with the exception of anyone younger than 20 years old and Joshua and Caleb; ‘You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun'. The ten men who incited the rebellion against the Lord with their bad report were stuck down with a plague;  Numbers 14:36-38 ‘The ten men Moses had sent to explore the land—the ones who incited rebellion against the LORD with their bad report — were struck dead with a plague before the LORD. Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Joshua and Caleb remained alive’.

The speaker then went on to discuss David’s victory over the giant Goliath. I am going to assume that readers of this blog know of this incredible victory and I will therefore move on to discuss the mighty blessing of the ministry, but please take the time to read this well know scripture again in 1 Samuel 17. Firstly David (like Celeb and Joshua the two scouts mentioned earlier) had absolutely no doubt that God would win the victory and he (David) would be used as an obedient vessel by God to kill Goliath. David speaks boldly to Goliath, full of confidence and authority; 1 Samuel 17:45 ‘You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies’. Secondly David had to use his slingshot, he had to take action, and then God directed the stone. Thirdly, David had to finish the job and cut off the head of Goliath who was from Gath and then take it to Jerusalem.

The speaker went on to explain that the head of Goliath was then taken and buried on Calvary (also known as Golgotha which translates to ’the place of the skull’ (Matthew 27:33) and the significance of Jesus being crucified on Calvary was to show His ultimate victory over the enemy, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 ‘..He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel’. As the nail was being driven through the one being crucified the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 was partially being fulfilled; ‘strike his heel’. The remainder of the prophecy was fulfilled as Jesus was lifted above the ground, the place of the skull, crushing the head of Satan. Jesus was literally in a position over his enemies, over the giants of evil. Amen. Doesn’t that just make you want to shout ‘Hallelujah’ and get up and dance?

Jesus has defeated Satan once and for all and like David we have a bag of stones and a sling shot. Stones of worship, the Word of God are those stones that we use every day to encourage us and remind us that God is the:

          Shepherd that guides us,
          The Lord who provides,
          The Voice that brings peace to the storm,
          The Physician to the sick,
          The Banner that guides us in battle,
          He is our loving Father who adores each one of us. Amen

Come on brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, just like Joshua, Caleb and David let us claim in all authority that; 1 John 4:4 ‘the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’ and Romans 8:31 ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’

Remember the devil roams around us like a roaring lion just waiting to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). We are at war so prepare for the battle and always keep God’s full armour of protection on (Ephesians 6:13-17). Always remember that the battle is already won. Amen.

The title of this blog claims that Christ is enough, but like the Samaritan woman who ran to tell the people (John 4:28) I also want to run to tell the whole world that Christ is more than enough, He is my everything and I adore him. Amen.

Peace be with you all and God Bless.


Author: Christina O’Neill

May God bless and enrich your life

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Love of Jesus is for you

What God did at the cross with Jesus was an irrevocable covenant between man and God, demonstrating unconditional love. Once you surrender your life to Jesus, the irrevocable, unconditional contract is in place for eternity

Source: CPO
Love is a powerful force that creates dynamic consequences. There appears to be a desire for love in all of God’s creation where emotion is present. Amongst all animals human beings show the greatest desire for love. The need for love is so powerful that a person’s character is shaped by the amount of love or the lack of love that the person has received. Love, as essential as it is, can be fickle; it is far too often given conditionally which can carry serious emotional consequences.

Is there such a thing as unconditional love? If there is, how can I find it? The answer; at the time of creation, God made a provision: Jesus was sacrificed by God to provide the blood to cover our sins so that we could be presented pure and holy before Him, our God. The blood of Jesus was offered to cover our sins. For God to offer the blood of Jesus, Jesus had to die. The way God chose the death of Jesus was not an easy and painless death. God allowed all of the sin and hatred that Satan has in store for those who choose the way of the world, to be unleashed onto Jesus. His death was a brutal death unlike any other man could offer. What God did at the cross with Jesus was an irrevocable covenant between man and God, demonstrating unconditional love. Once you surrender your life to Jesus, the irrevocable, unconditional contract is in place for eternity. God loves you and He showed that love at the cross.

Source:Haiku Deck
The Love of Jesus – Jesus demonstrated His love for you and all of us by choosing to go to the cross for us. Jesus foreknew the pain and suffering He would go through at the cross, He foreknew the pain of every piece of flesh that would be torn from His body.  He foreknew the hurt of the whips and the rods that would pulverize His flesh, He foreknew the agony of the cross before it happened and He foreknew the personal hurt and the anguish of being temporarily separated from His Father. I know He foreknew it because He anguished close to death in the Garden of Gethsemane; Matthew 26:38 ‘Then He said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’. I know He foreknew it because He anguished to the point of sweating drops of blood. Luke 22:44 ‘And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground’.

Yet, though He had the option to not go to the Cross He chose to do it to demonstrate His love for you. Wow. What can I say?  What can I do but to worship Him? He sacrificed His life for you and me and all of mankind. Love, the love of Jesus, is a powerful force that will have a dynamic force in your life.  Let this love of Jesus come into your life and see what will happen. Amen.


Author: David Leatherman

May God bless and enrich your life

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Faith filled Christianity

God’s plan for our lives will always be better than any of our own, even though we won’t always see or understand this at the time. It is God’s ability to see things that we can’t see that reassures us that He is in all Control.

Source: Pinterest
I recently went to the 2016 Hillsong Conference in London and it was here in one sermon, by one preacher, among thousands of people that God literally spoke to me. Amongst these thousands of people it felt that there was a spotlight just on me and that the preacher and was speaking directly to me. The preacher was talking about faith and the power that we possess as Christians in the precious name of Jesus, which we are told throughout the bible. One example is Matthew 17:20 ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you’.

What specifically resonated with me was when the preacher said one simple thing; ‘the world is so full of need filled Christians and we need to be more faith filled Christians’. This got me thinking about how many times I have asked God for something but I never received it or the times when my prayers were not answered. I realized that it’s not that God is not there or that He doesn’t love me, in fact it’s the opposite. It is actually that He loves me so much and He knows that the thing I wanted or thought I needed is actually not in His plan or purpose for my life. This is awesome because the bible tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. Amen.

Source: Nurturing Body Mind & Spirit
You see God works on a different time frame to us, what seems like years to us is a blink of an eye to Him; 2 Peter 3:8 ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day’.  As I get closer to God and become even more of a ‘faith filled’ Christian I have learned to not be dismayed or disheartened when I don’t get the thing I really want or achieve an aspiration, or life doesn’t go the way I planned. Instead I rejoice because I know that God has ‘got my back’ and while ‘Humans plan their course, the LORD establishes their steps’ (Proverbs 16:9). Amen. God’s plan for our lives will always be better than any of our own, even though we won’t always see or understand this at the time. It is God’s ability to see things that we can’t see that reassures us that He is in all Control; Isaiah 41:13-14 ‘For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you, declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel’.

Have you ever noticed the amount of times the bible tells us to not be afraid and how we can find strength in the Lord?  If you haven’t realized this already this highlights to me that life is not easy!  We will fall, we will get tempted, we will clash with people, we will struggle at work and we will go through painful situations. Being a Christian does not prevent us from experiencing these situations and dilemmas, in fact the closer to God we are the more satan will try to attack us. This is why being ‘faith filled’ is so important. A perfect example of this is Peter in Matthew 14:27-30 who had complete faith and began walking on the water but then when he saw the wind he looked back and started to sink to which Jesus says ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ How many times does our faith waiver just like Peter’s? How many times do we doubt and prevent God from fulfilling His full purpose in us?  These are really good questions for us to think about.

Luke 17:5 ‘The apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith!’ Let us pray these very words, to seek Him, to wholly trust in Him and to have complete faith that He is in control and not try to live our lives our own way. May we realise the power we possess and that we would be completely lost without Him. Our faith and trust in God reassures us that although it is tough at times we are on the winning team, and He will never ever let us down and we will soar on wings like eagles; Isaiah 40:31 ‘but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’. Amen.


Author: Joleana O’Neill

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