A year on, and a return to the other country

I have had the pleasure of traveling fairly widely thanks to my job. I travel so often, and at times for such short periods, that I don't always mention on the blog when I am away. But there is one country that I tend to look forward to visiting more than almost any other. I am of course talking about the USA, often referred to affectionately by us Brits as "the other country".I look forward to my trips to the USA because I feel so at home there. I have so many friends there, and so many … [Read more...]

"Jesus was dead what's your excuse?" Guest Post from Mrs Warnock

When reading the story of the resurrection in the gospel of John, my friends and I (all ladies) noticed a small detail which showed yet another way in which Jesus is our ultimate example.  Jesus, having been crucified, spent three days dead in the tomb, was resurrected, and did not think twice about neatly folding his grave clothes before departing the tomb.  He didn't just step out of them like some men do with their trousers!  Jesus didn't make any excuses but tidied up after himself.Now, Ad … [Read more...]

Check your motives

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." Philippians 2:3Stop. Whatever you are doing right now, just stop. I know you are probably busy but you can spare five minutes can't you?  Ask God the following question "am I doing anything out of rivalry or concept? Please show me."What about that promotion you applied for at work?  Are you thinking of the good of the company? Do you honestly feel you can contribute at that level? Or are y … [Read more...]

Gratitude vs Greed

My friend Jamie Munson over at Resurgence has posted an excellent article on the difference between two controlling motives in our lives. I wanted to share his table with you here, and encourage you to go read the whole post.GratitudeGreedAttitudeHumility (Phil. 2:3)Grumbling (Phil. 2:15)PerspectiveGrace: “I am a sinner who deserves death but Jesus paid the price andgave me his perfect righteousness.”Entitlement: “I am a good person who deserves heaven—plus a com … [Read more...]

Conclusion of the Barnabas serialization

One aspect that we haven’t talked much about is this: Barnabas may well have single-handedly prevented a damaging split in the early church between Antioch and Jerusalem. If you go back and read it, you will see that he was the ‘go-between’ for Peter and Paul-between Antioch and Jerusalem. It wasn’t always easy in that relationship but Barnabas had a foot in both camps. He was a blessing and was described as the ‘chief-mediator’ between those two great centers of the early church by one com … [Read more...]

Barnabas Part Five – Mistakes turned round for good

Barnabas is an encouragement to us in another way: Like so many heroes of the Bible, he wasn’t perfect. Don’t you find that encouraging? God is in the business of using servants who are not perfect, people who blow it, people who make mistakes. Maybe you’re sitting here this morning and you’ve mentally disqualified yourself from being used by God because of mistakes you’ve made in the past, sins you’ve committed in the past. I want to say to you, “There’s another chance for you!” We see in Galati … [Read more...]

Barnabas Part Four– Receiving prophetic encouragement that propels

The Gift of Encouragement from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.In Acts 13 Barnabas himself was encouraged by others. Remember the purpose of prophecy is encouragement. Remember when we say encouragement, we’re not just talking about a warm fuzzy feeling. We’re talking about sometimes being thrust out, our passage begins "and in the church of Antioch, there were prophets and teachers." (Barnabas is at the lead of this list, he seems to be the church leader there.) “Barnabas, Simeon, who was called Nig … [Read more...]

Barnabas Part Three – Encouraging a baby church and an emerging leader

Very soon, Barnabas’ encouragement finds another outlet, another opportunity. We see, in Acts 11, that Barnabas begins to encourage a baby church. A few people don’t wait for the apostles to send them or tell them what to do, they run because of persecution and when they arrive in Antioch they begin to share the Gospel. They don’t wait for headquarters to instruct them, they get on with it. Then, in verse 22 the apostles hear of what’s been happening, people are becoming Christians and a church i … [Read more...]

Barnabas: The Prophetic Gift of Encouragement Part Two

 Downloads: HiDef.  LowDef , DVD Quality or AudioHere is the continuation of an edited transcript of the above sermon which began yesterday:Who did Barnabas Encourage?First of all, and it may seem like a slightly funny place to start, he encouraged his leaders. Have you ever thought about that, that leaders need encouragement too? I know one or two of you are sitting here this morning thinking: “I want to be a leader?” Are you so sure? Leadership can be a real challenge. … [Read more...]

Barnabas: The Prophetic Gift of Encouragement Part One

I have not forgotten my series on Feelings and Faith and will be returning to it shortly. But in the meantime, I want to share with you a sermon I preached over the summer. Video is available to watch online here or you can download both video and audio.  But thanks to the work of Kristen Keating I can share an edited transcript with you over the next few days  http://kekeating.wordpress.com/This sermon is one that meant a lot to me, and to a number of listeners. It addresses a very i … [Read more...]