Wednesday 25 April 2018


We need to exercise discernment like never before. Christians can often be naive which we cannot afford to be. We need to weigh up what we hear, read and see.

Source: Bill Muehlenberg
We live in a time where not only the things of the world infiltrate the church but also false teaching is on the increase and often social media is used to disseminate it. We need to exercise discernment like never before. Christians can often be naive which we cannot afford to be. We need to weigh up what we hear, read and see. We need to ask ourselves some questions; Does it conform to the whole body of scripture? Does it sit right with your spirit? Does it accept the risen Christ and everything that that embraces? Not only is there a large amount of material on the web that is 'dodgy', you can find it on Christian TV channels as well.

God gave me a warning dream many years ago which said that I must not rush off to Christian events/meetings unless I have prayed about it and found out about the person or ministry leading the meeting. The dream warned about the severe effect on a person that deception can have even to the point of causing spiritual illness and spiritual death. In Matthew 7:15-16 Jesus himself said: ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them’. In Luke 21:8 He also warns us to ‘watch out that you are not deceived’. There are further warnings in 2 Peter 2:1‘There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord’. 2 Peter 2:10 calls them ‘bold and arrogant’

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ‘For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve’.

Source: Inspirational Bible Verse Images - Knowing Jesus
The second area where we can be gullible and naive is about prophecy which again is important to weigh up and discern. 1 John 4:1 tells us; ‘do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world’ and remember that in 1 Corinthians 14, we are told that prophecy is to be weighed up by other prophets in the body. We don't live our lives in isolation; we have brothers and sisters in Christ and we can go to those who exercise gifts of wisdom and discernment, who hear God clearly. Finally, we should not forget what the Bible says about wolves in sheep's clothing which still applies today. We will always have wolves in sheep's clothing coming into our churches with one aim and that is to destroy the church, so be vigilant.

We cannot afford to be unquestioning and unobservant, accepting of everything. We have to spend time in prayer and be grounded in scripture and we have to be in relationship within the body of Christ.  As the days darken, we need to be aware of what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.

Author: Muriel Allen

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Sunday 22 April 2018

The Heart of Jesus is with the Lost

All we need to do is to make ourselves available for God to work through us and to be obedient to Him

Source: PInterest
Many of the homeless and destitute on our streets suffer from mental illnesses, can be aggressive, have alcohol and drug dependencies and these are reasons why we often don't pay much attention to them. Next time you are in your City Centre or walking down the High Street just take a while to watch how many people will cross over the road or walk right past a homeless person without a second thought. The vast majority of us are guilty of this however it is necessary for us to sometimes take a step of faith and to push through the barriers of fear, embarrassment, scepticism and cold heartedness; Isaiah 58:10 ‘and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday’.

It was a great privilege for me to be part of a team of Street Pastors in my City and I will always remember an encounter I had with a homeless man that I still keep close to my Heart even today. One cold winter’s night myself and a colleague were patrolling the dark streets in the early hours of a Saturday morning. We approached an elderly man who was sheltering with his dog in a doorway, as we approached him he was quite aggressive and told us to go away. A few hours later we came across him again in an underpass where there were usually quite a few people in this underpass at that time, but on this occasion it was nearly empty. There were five entrances in this particular underpass. As we walked past him I casually asked him if he would like some dog biscuits for his dog as I usually carried some in my bag. On this occasion he was pleased to receive them and his whole demeanour changed, and he even asked if we could spend some time with him, which we were more than happy to do. He talked a lot about his father in quite a bad way but later admitted his father wasn't so bad. Now my colleague had a good ear to God’s promptings and sure enough he felt God prompting him to tell this man about the importance of honoring your parents and the importance of the commandment the God gave us in Exodus 20:12 ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you’.

This appeared to affect him quite deeply and he started to share some personal things about how he got his life into such a mess, and he talked about his deep love for his mother and the last time he saw her before she died which was when she came to visit him in prison!!  Through the tears he asked us to pray for him, he said he was afraid to pray to God himself because of the terrible life he had lived and the many years of pain and grief he had caused his parents. We shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him and helped him to pray to the God he feared. We explained that God loved a repentant heart and that if he was the only person on the earth his saviour, Jesus Christ would have died for him alone. We helped him to understand that nobody would be excluded from the love of God because we were all part of His creation;

John 15:9 ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love’

Romans 8:38-39 ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’.

As our time together was coming to an end an amazing thing happened. People started coming into the underpass from most of the entrances. We realised that God had given us a window of opportunity and given us some private moments with Him, where time seemed to have stood still. Almighty God Himself had set the whole thing up just for this man who may have been seen as worthless by society’s standards however this was not the way God saw him. God had moved heaven and Earth for him and used us as His vessels to do His work. All Glory to God. All we need to do is to make ourselves available for God to work through us and to be obedient to Him; Matthew 25:35-36 ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’.

Remember this; the poor and destitute are still with us, they are still part of society, they are all loved by God who does not love them any less than you or I. How can God use us to show His love to them?  It is something to think about. God bless.

Author: Eileen Greaves

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Sunday 15 April 2018

The Author and Finisher of our lives

God really is the author and finisher of our lives, directing each step however small or difficult that step might be.

Source: Troy Brewer Ministries
For some time, a number of us in our Fellowship have been reading three chapters a day of the Bible. It’s amazing when you think that it is only three chapters, which should be easy to fit in a day, but I found it really hard to do every day, and honestly, I abandoned doing it after not very long. However, when the readings got around to the book of Genesis again I felt I really should discipline myself and give it a go, so I have endeavoured to try and read three chapters every day. I must admit that I still sometimes skim read and occasionally miss a day. Recently we have been reading through the book of Numbers. Well it’s been a bit hard going especially having ploughed through Leviticus and with the prospect of Deuteronomy ahead there were lots of reasons to ‘miss bits out’ after all it’s all about laws and directions for sacrifice and just keeps repeating itself doesn’t it?  However, when I got to Numbers 30 God decided to teach me a lesson. The title of the Chapter in my Bible was; ‘Laws Concerning Vows’; great! I thought, 'yet another chapter on Laws, like there hadn’t been enough already!' Its only a small chapter of only 16 verses, and honestly, I was tempted to just skip it but for some reason I decided to go ahead and read it, thereby giving God the opportunity to firstly teach me a lesson and to also minister healing and revelation into my life.

When I got to Numbers 30:3-5 it reads; ‘If a young woman makes a vow to the Lord or a pledge under oath while she is still living at her father`s home, and her father hears of the vow or pledge and does not object to it, then all her vows and pledges will stand. But if her father refuses to let her fulfil the vow or pledge on the day he hears of it, then all her vows and pledges will become invalid. The Lord will forgive her because her father would not let her fulfil them’. I was stopped in my tracks and transported back to where my life with the Lord began, the more I heard and read the more I wanted to obey. I started to go to church when I was 15 and eventually asked Jesus to come into my life and forgive all my sins while at a church in Weymouth where I was holidaying with two friends. I was 16 at the time and I was not sure about what I wanted to do with my life. I then heard about water baptism and really felt called to be baptised as I felt it was the next step of obedience for me. My Pastor was happy for me to do this but when I mentioned it to my mom and dad (who were not Christians) they refused to give me their permission and asked that I wait until I was 18 as by then I would ‘know my own mind’. I was devastated, I really felt it was right to be baptised as soon as I could and I didn't want to live in disobedience to the Lord, however my parents were dead against it. I prayed and sought advice from the wonderful lady who had led me to the Lord in the Church in Weymouth and who I had been corresponding with. She was a very wise woman and advised me that although it was very important to be baptised it was also important to follow the commandment in Exodus 20:12 ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you’. So that is exactly what I decided to do, and I committed the decision to the Lord asking him to spare my life until such a time as I could be baptised. Of course, He did and furthermore when I was finally baptised when I was 18 I did so with my parents blessing and they both came along to the baptismal service.

Source: A Little Perspective
So, when I read the verse in Numbers 30:3 (a verse I had never read before in my life) the faithfulness of the Lord really came home to me. I had pledged in my heart to be baptised which I had not been allowed to for two years. Through those years I had worried that if something had happened to me I would die without fulfilling something I had promised the Lord I would do. But this verse showed me that the Lord had released me from that promise because my Mom and Dad would not consent to me being baptised at that time.

So why am I sharing this small personal revelation? Well, I was amazed at the intricacy of the Word of the Lord in His directions to Moses, that the law should not only make provision for young girls who wanted to fulfil God’s purpose but also who were under the authority of their parents. God understood that even in the most loving households there would be times of conflict and separation of ideas and wills however how He had made provision for both parties to be at peace and blessed. The young girl could peacefully be released from the promise until such a time as she was independent and could fulfil it. By the way, the chapter goes on to provide the same provision for married women who wish to fulfil a vow to the Lord but in this case, her husband objects. She also is released from that promise and the Lord forgives the fact that she cannot carry it out at that time.

That this little gem had lay hidden to me for 42 years and why God had chosen that day to reveal it to me is still a mystery. It demonstrated to me that God really is the author and finisher of our lives, directing each step however small or difficult that step might be. That sometimes He calls us to trust Him even when the way ahead is not clear and what we believe would seem to be impossible at that moment. He chose to show me that He was in control of my life then and He is in control of my life now and that His Word really does hold the answer to every issue we may face. It is full of encouragement, direction, assurance and sometimes discipline, it is all we need, and time is no barrier to Him. He reveals the things we need to know, when we need to know them, and not a moment before. 

If you would like to join us on our journey as we read three chapters of the Bible everyday then you will find a reminder for our readings updated daily on our website; or on this blog

Author: Jan Pearson

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Sunday 8 April 2018

Open the eyes of my heart Lord

It is not the act of study that activates God’s heart towards us but the motive of our hearts. If we look into God’s Word to discover how to please, obey and honour Him, then the Lord opens up His heart to us and we start to see His will and glory.

Source: 新浪博客
Luke 19:41-44 says; ‘As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you. Jesus is saying that Jerusalem had missed out on peace and was now in real danger because its people did not understand God’s Word and the time when the Lord would come to them. He went further and said that these things were ‘now hidden from their eyes’they couldn’t see even if they wanted to. These poignant verses have sparked a number of thoughts for me in the past few days. One of these is about seeing/hearing and understanding.

In John 17:3 Jesus says; ‘Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’ and in Matthew 11:25-26 and Luke 10:21; ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do’. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 remarks for you see your calling; ‘Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong’ and in Isaiah 33:6, Isaiah prophesies’; Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; (but) the fear of the Lord is His treasure’. Jesus (quoting Isaiah) in Mark 4:11-12 said to the disciples: ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never perceiving and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!

So, what are we to make of this? It seems from these scriptures that God has determined that people will never find Him by knowledge and cleverness. In these scriptures this determination blocks men from finding Him or understanding warnings, prophesy, direction, salvation or the forgiveness of sins through their own intelligence, wisdom or knowledge. This determination is an active one – Matthew records clearly that the reason that Jesus spoke in parables was so that people would not understand (not even the disciples – but He explained everything later to them when they were on their own). Jesus even spoke directly to the Jews saying that they, through their searching of scripture thought that they would arrive at a knowledge of God – and clearly, they knew something – but it was not enough – in fact as so often is the case, when we feel we have attained some knowledge it turns out to be nothing at all that God is interested in. About six years ago we left our home church and thought that our searching for a new one was to do with us finding a new spiritual home. In fact, it was to do with God taking us back to basics and redirecting much of our thinking. I found out that many of the things that I thought were important were of no significance to the Lord whatsoever but that returning to a state of vulnerability, dependence and obedience to Him were really high on His agenda.

Source: We Heart It
When Nicodemus came to Him in John 3 Jesus said; 'are you a teacher in Israel and don’t know these things' (about being born again). This is something that He may well be telling us today – but how to know God and what God wants if even searching the scriptures doesn’t work?  I believe that the answer is clearly there for us to see. In the story of the men who built their houses on sand and rock, the man who built His house upon the rock was the man who heard what Jesus had to say and did what He said. In John 14:23-24 Jesus tells the disciples: ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me’. So, then it is not the act of study that activates God’s heart towards us but the motive of our hearts. If we look into God’s Word to discover how to please, obey and honour Him, then the Lord opens up His heart to us and we start to see His will and glory.

The first step of obedience that we take towards God always leads us to give our lives away – we are not our own but bought with a price – but many stumble at this and as in the parable of the sower the seed, is taken or choked or parched and doesn’t lead to eternal life. So often it seems that rather than go the hard way where the Lord breaks us to get rid of the things that will rob us of His true liberty, people prefer an easier way which can lead to dead religion and religious service (no matter what church background we are from).

Returning to our first scripture about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and applying it to us – not hearing the Lord and not understanding what He is saying leads to us not being prepared and not obeying as we should. The dangers of not being prepared include missing God’s opportunities and falling into danger. The people in Jerusalem had the wrong motive. They did not treasure being God’s special people and they did not eagerly seek Him to find out what to do. They wanted to take control of their lives back; Luke 19:14 ‘We will not have this man to reign over us’ and they saw knowledge of God’s Word, not as the way of life but as the way to power and control the lives of others within their culture. Contrast this with the people in Jerusalem in Jehoshaphat’s time who, when threatened with an army worshipped and prayed. They prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:12 ‘we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you’. They were fully dependent upon the Lord for their salvation and wellbeing.

It is possible that part of our problem is that we don’t know how precarious our position is without the Lord or how soon His return could be – Like Jesus said, ‘everything just carries on the same, so we are not careful or watchful’. Jehoshaphat knew because he could see the enemy and also knew that God was His only hope. This message is for us today, for us right now. Are we hearing from the Lord? Do we know what things will give us peace? Or is the Lord crying over our lives saying; ‘if only you had known… but you have ignored the message for so long that now it is hidden from your eyes’. Jesus is coming soon and all of the implications for the world are already happening or at the doors. If we don’t know Jesus we need to turn our hearts (not heads) to know Him and obey Him, and if we do we need to ensure that we heed messages about being awake and with oil (and some to spare) – and warning others.

Author: Chris Pearson

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