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

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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

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