Are Christians meant to be the most miserable people on earth? NO! here's why:

Today I continue to serialise an editted transcript of a sermon I preached on joy which you can also watch or listen to. What is this joy? What is this full life? What is it? The joy God gives us is clearly not just a happy feeling, as we will see, but it is a happy feeling. God really does want you to be happy and, as I have said already, many people think of Christians as miserable people. They think that we have given up the pleasures of this world. Perhaps at your work someone will … [Read more...]

God wants you to be really happy – a sermon on joy

Downloads Over the next few days I will be posting an edited version of the transcript of this sermon as a series of posts. See this link for all of them or use the "next post" and "previous post" links below. 1. What Is The Full Life? It is a new term, and at the beginning of a new term it is a good idea to ask ourselves what kind of a life we want, and perhaps even more so, what kind of a life does Jesus want for us?. I entitled the sermon this series of posts are based on ‘Pursuing … [Read more...]

The loving wrath of God

Love is not some insipid woolly emotion offered to everyone in the same way irrespective of their response. Love is passionate. Infinite love is infinitely passionate. God's love has content. He truly cares about us, and more than that he truly cares about the honor of his name and the glory of the trinity. God's love is primarily turned towards himself as the most lovable being in the universe. For all eternity the Father loves and is satisfied in the Son, the Son loves and is satisfied in … [Read more...]

Jack Hayford Video Sermon on Peace and Winsomeness

There is not very many videos of Jack Hayford available for free online. It was a delight therefore to watch this one over the weekend and I really felt that it benefited me. I could hear God speaking to me through his Word. I encourage you to watch the following video and then consider booking in to our next 300 Leaders Conference where he will be speaking. The video is followed by some notes I took when I watched it: Psalm 119:165 Peace is wholeness or completeness. Let God’s … [Read more...]

Faith and Feelings Part Eight – High affections are to be desired

Jonathan Edward's great work Religious Affections was introduced to us in yesterday's quote.  In my mind there is probably no better book written to help us to grasp this vital subject (other than the Bible itself of course!)  We should by now be beginning to understand one of the most fascinating paradoxes, our feelings are meant to be a massive part of our Christian experience, and yet they are not always to be relied upon. This quote is vintage Edwards: Some are ready to condemn all high … [Read more...]

Why burning the candle at both ends is sin

Has it ever struck you that trying to avoid sleep so we can accomplish more is as sinful as it is foolish. For sure we can do it for a short time, and there may be times when it is right to do just that. But for many burned out executives, sleep is something to be rationed so they can be more productive.  Actually, as John Piper tells us, God has designed our bodies so we simply cannot play that game without big cost. He has done this for a reason: Psalm 127:2 says, “It is in vain that you … [Read more...]

NWA10 – Graham Daniels on Psalm 19

I decided to attend the students' event on my first evening at New Word Alive. This was partly because I wanted to pretend I was young again, but largely because I arrived too late for the "Adult" celebration.  Here are some brief notes I took during the session: V1 ff Gods glory in creation Psalms tell us god is enormous though we think he's small, and we are small tho we think we are enormous. God is a God of joy who rejoices in his creation. The message of Psalms is it's God's way or our … [Read more...]

NWA10 – John Stephens on Psalm 42

Yesterday evening I went to the adult celebration.  The student celebration covered the same psalm but by a different speaker.  In both cases the preacher aimed to help us to be overwhelmed in a godly way.  I heard reports of many being moved to tears during the student celebration where Nigel Styles was speaking; my good buddy and normally emotionally stable friend Sam Allberry looked quite moved afterwards when we met up. Here are my notes from the first session: This psalm is not only … [Read more...]

Is Jesus worth it?

To those who never clap in church, I ask, do you ever clap anywhere else? Do you clap at the end of a good play, or maybe even at the cinema as audiences were reported to be doing after Avatar?  If so, why do you do that? Surely because the actors are worth it.  Isn't Jesus worthy of at least as much applause? To those who never shout out with excitement in church, I ask again, do you ever shout anywhere else? Do you shout when your team scores a goal? If so, why do you do that?  Surely … [Read more...]

When Kindness is Rewarded with Accusation

Sometimes those we love turn on us. This is never more true than in any form of church leadership. It never ceases to amaze me how some members of Christ's flock are quick to accuse their pastors. I do not work for a church, but I have an immense amount of respect for those who do so. Why? Because I know some of the pain that is their lot, being involved as I am in our church's leadership team. These men give up a lot. They are not well paid, and for sure no one goes into local church … [Read more...]


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