Do not fear, only believe!

“But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” Mark‬ ‭5:36‬ Even the most outwardly confident of us sometimes need to hear this command of Jesus. He tells us the same as he told the ruler of the synagogue: do not to be anxious, but instead trust him. Trust is a choice which can dispel fear.This is not an instruction for us to simply by human effort force ourselves not to fear, or to deny the reality and cover up our anxiety. Like … [Read more...]

How reasonable are you? (Philippians 4:5 & Titus 3:1-3)

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” ‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬)Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:1-3) Reasonableness. The same Greek word elsewhere translated gentleness. Surely also related to meekness. Not righteous indication. Not aggressive forcefulness. Not irritation. Not self a … [Read more...]

A surprising answer to the “Why Me?” question

I am continuing my Mental Health Series by focusing in on things which the Bible has to say to all of us that are perhaps of particular relevance to those with mental health.  I urge us to let the church be the church and offer everyone the help the Bible offers, whilst simultaneously encouraging seeking medical help.Today I want to address a question most of us have asked from time to time when facing suffering, the "Why me?" question.  Certainly many who have experienced the devastation a m … [Read more...]

What Mark Driscoll likes about Joel Osteen

In the middle of an interview about Driscolls new book (which I reviewed here) is a fascinating aside from Driscoll, never one to pull his punches, about America's most prominent pastor, Joel Osteen, who many like to criticise:  "I am aware of the theological differences that exist between our tribe and Pastor Joel. I also know my Reformed brothers like to treat Pastor Joel like a piñata, but there are worse things than being happy and encouraging at a time when the most common prescription m … [Read more...]

We grieve, but not in the same way as those who have no hope

This is going to be a very personal post, full of reflections on the death just yesterday of my Father-in-Law. But before I get into that, being me, I have to begin with a very important point of Bible understanding.  For I know that many Christians feel secretly guilty for the fact they are grieving.  They ask themselves, "why am I crying when I know that my loved one has gone to a better place?"I hope to reassure all of my readers who are currently in mourning, and every single one of you w … [Read more...]

The Glory Revealed – Part Two of a Sermon on John 2

This is the second part of my notes from which I preached the above sermon.2. Glory revealed / Active Glory: When the glory is present and powerful. A moment comes. A crisis in their lives. They know Jesus. And yet does something amazing. Provides wine. Takes away their shame before it really happens. Powerful thing when glory is active. Doing signs and wonders Still does them today.How does it happen? How do we connect to glory? Lets see how it happened this time, and we will see a … [Read more...]

A Sentence can change your life

This post will explain why I am so keen to invite you to join us to hear John Piper live on 26th and/or 27th June, especially if you are already a leader or are thinking that God might be calling you to some leadership role in the church. The reason is very simple:  A single phrase anointed by the Holy Spirit might transform your life, and hence the life of the church you are in.  Tickets are disappearing fast, so book now!  The following is an excerpt from a John Piper sermon: I have often he … [Read more...]

How to stop theological study ruining you

Francis Chan was asked for some advice by someone about to start a theological course. He began by explaining some of the hazards common to seminary students (and perhaps to all of us as we get serious about studying the Bible): 1. Making God into a topic we study2. Pride3. Having a full head, and an empty heart And then showed us some ways to avoid them:1. A consistent devotional life2. Engaging with people through evangelismFrom 5 MINUTES WITH FRANCIS CHAN « THE BREFO'S // OUR BLOG. … [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...]

Terry Virgo on Elijah’s Despair

Elijah really was a man just like us. Despite seeming like a superman in much of the Scripture, in 1 Kings 19 we see a man who is burnt-out and yet somehow clings onto God. Regular readers of my blog will remember a fantastic sermon preached by Terry Virgo on Elijah's prayer. It was one of the most popular things I linked to this year.The sermon below is the next in Terry's long-running series from when he preaches at CCK. Terry has several decades of experience of leading a growing family … [Read more...]