The excitement of Christmas is near. The build up and preparations is a busy part of the year. It becomes so busy that we forget why we are celebrating this time of the year. But let us pause, at the two simple words seen in John 1.11, “He came.” These two simple words are at the root of all truth.
Before Christ came in the incarnation, there had been only the eternal past. Then, from the time of creation, we have hints such as, “In the beginning He was God,” and “In Him was light,” and “all things were made by Him.”Now it says, “He came.”
All the mercy, love and grace, God is capable of showing is seen in those two simple words, “He Came.”
That’s why we celebrate Christmas, it’s as special this year as it always has been, because 2022 years ago, He came as fully God, fully man, to, “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1.21).
Because He is the true light, man’s long night of darkness is dispelled, we celebrate with Milton the delight that, “This is the happy morn wherein the son of heaven’s eternal King, of wedded maid and virgin other born, our great redemption from above did bring.”
I hope you will all have a blessed and happy Christmas, as we celebrate our Saviour’s coming.
Yours in Christ,
We live in a world where things seem to go against us. The law of the land make rules that are so contrary to God's word. This makes our tasks as Christians very difficult. Decisions are made in our secular workplaces which seems designed to oppose our testimony.
Then there are things in our personal lives which seem to go against us. Let's never forget that we are engaged in spiritual warfare, where Satan will oppose us from every angle.
Let's also never forget that we have the scriptures to turn to, and remind ourselves of the great statement made by the Apostle Paul when he says in Romans 8.31 "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
Here is a wonderful truth, who can hope to possibly succeed against the creator and maker of the universe? Who can, with success, oppose those for whom God is engaged? As Martin Luther said, "Of whom shall I be afraid? One with God is a majority."
Here is the assurance that we have; God is for us. He has demonstrated that for us in the saving works of Christ. If he has saved us, why would he go against us?
He has demonstrated this by his electing power and love. He is working all things together for good. Everything in the universe is being put together and manipulated by God to accomplish good for his people. Nothing shall work against God's people.
He has demonstrated this by all his provisions for us. When there has been times in our lives, that we may have been despairing, God intervenes in the very last minute and he has provided.
As a Church, we may have times when things seem to go against us, but we take heart, that God is for us.
May we all be encouraged by that,
Yours in Christ,
On the 6th February this year, the Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. As a result of this, there have been 4 days of celebration, including public events and activities.
This is a remarkable achievement. Especially as she has been through an awful lot. She has faced national crisis, threats to the Monarchy, personal trials, as well as family problems. On top of that, problems with the media, people who oppose her, and yet she has always been dedicated to her role, taking her vows with a great deal of seriousness. She has always remained dignified and true to her role as Queen.
I personally thank God for her because she has taken her responsibility to the highest
level. Whether you hold that view or not, we as Christians have a responsibility to her. The Bible makes it very clear that we are to pray for all our leaders who are in authority over us.
1 Timothy 2. v1-2: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
What do we pray for when we pray for our leaders? Well, first, we pray that all
leaders will have their eyes opened, and that they will receive salvation. This is not just for the good of their souls, or for the glory of God, but it’s then that they will see that it’s righteous ness that exalts a nation. I am told that the Queen is a Christian, whether this is true or not, we should continue to pray for her soul.
Secondly, when we pray for our leaders, think of the burdens they must go through.
Some may argue that they are privileged people. And while this maybe, they still must
go through burdens.
Thirdly, pray for their protection, that God will guide them and help them to see, that their role is to uphold and maintain justice, that we may continue to live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
God save the Queen.
Yours in Christ,
Promises can mean very little these days. We
hear promises by our politicians and advertising
companies that might sound appealing, yet
they all amount to nothing.
The promises given to us in the Bible are
concrete, reliable and trustworthy. Never once
does God make a promise and let us down. He
makes promises of predictions, provisions and
personal promises that give to us the blessing
The believer’s assurance does not depend upon
outward circumstances nor inward feelings. It
depends on the concrete foundation of His
One of the greatest passages of assurance is
the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 8:31 ‘If
God is for us, who can be against us?’ How
right Martin Luther is when he says “One with
God is a majority”.
Is there an enemy that can defeat us? No,
because God is for us.
Evidence for this is seen in the way God gave
us His Son. With such promises God has given
to us in His Word, we need to take heart and
be uplifted because there is nothing in this
world that can take us away from the
assurance that we are His children.
Yours in Christ
I am sure that we all know Psalm 11:10
‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’.
But what is the fear of the Lord? Is it to be afraid of God? No, to be afraid in this sense is slavish fear or apprehension, or fear to do with punishment. The fear of the Lord is the fear of a loving child or a dutiful servant. It is to show respect and reverence for God, that the one who fears Him is gripped by a holy desire to please Him. So why is it the beginning of wisdom?
Well, the answer is, simply, that when a man fears the Lord it implies he has started to know God. It’s a healthy balance of knowing what God is capable of doing and what God is. God is holy, God is pure, God judges, but God is a God of love, gracious, kind and tender. For that reason, a man who fears the Lord will turn from his sin and live a godly life as he aims to always please the Lord.
Let there’s tremendous blessing in fearing the Lord. When a person fears the Lord he is filled with deep assurance. He knows his sins are forgiven. He knows his provision is from the Lord. He knows the truth and he knows eternal life. This produces true joy and satisfaction. Remember how God has promised great reward to those who fear Him, seen in Proverbs 22:4
‘Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honour and life’.
May we as Christians contrive to live in fearing the Lord with godly wisdom.
Yours in Christ,
Dear friends, When I was young, making New Year resolutions was always a given for just about everyone I knew. They said that it was a good time to look to the New Year, kicking the bad habits of the past and starting new habits. Often these habits related to health - like more exercise or less eating.
The Bible talks about the importance of keeping check on one’s spiritual health, where we need to kick bad habits and start good ones. Let me suggest some of them:
First, the habit of starting the day building your relationship with Christ. The tools God has given us for building our relationship with the Lord are prayer and Bible reading. Bible reading is God talking to us, prayer is talking to the Lord.
I know prayer is very challenging. Concentration, time making and living busy lives are battles we have to overcome. Let me suggest some practical ideas. Go out for a walk and speak aloud to the Lord. Write down your requests, things that are bothering you, even your sins (of course don’t let anyone else see them!)
Bible reading is God speaking to you and you build that relationship as you hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit and let Him guide, comfort, teach, rebuke, counsel and convict.
When this happens, our relationship will deepen and we will grow.
Secondly, see the importance of Church life and keep in the habit of worship, corporate prayer, activities and fellowship. Again, these are tools that God has given us for growth. Remember the Hebrew writer was concerned that some Christians had given up on the habit of meeting together Hebrews 10v25.
A third resolution is simply put away any undesirable habit, sin or addiction you have. Too many of us start here with our resolutions. We try to treat the symptom without addressing the root cause. The only way that this can be done is by the power of Christ’s blood. That’s why we ask for Christ’s blood to wash us by confession and repentance and then we pray for grace and strength to overcome all sin.
The fourth and final habit. Always have it in your heart to tell others about Christ and the gospel. I believe this is not only biblical and good for the unconverted to hear, but its good to keep ourselves alert and always be prepared to give an answer of hope 1Pet 3v15. As we contrive our walk with the Lord, pray that we may continue to dedicate ourselves to live more for the glory of the Master.
Happy New Year,