To truly succeed with the crowd we must learn to also withdraw to the quiet place 

“And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.”‭‭(Mark‬ ‭6:46‬) Yesterday we spoke about Jesus' love for the crowds. But Jesus also often withdrew from the crowds. Some of us, myself definitely included, often forget the vital place of such withdrawal from the business of life, not always just to enjoy recreation, but to reconnect with the source of all power through prayer.  Lord, teach me to pray!  … [Read more...]

How do you feel about crowds? Jesus loved them.

“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:34‬) When you see a crowd how do you feel? Some of us find large numbers of people overwhelming. some feel afraid when they are surrounded by  them. Others are just exhausted by crowds. When we are traveling on a busy train we certainly dont want to talk to anyone. We see the crowd as a unit. Almost as though it is is one … [Read more...]

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...]

Evangelism made simple 

“And he ... said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.””‭‭(Mark‬ ‭5:19‬) Oh how complicated we make evangelism sometimes. Or how put off we are of it because we know we will not be the next Billy Graham! Here Jesus gives a simple command. The challenge to you and me is how much do we actually do this. We live in a world that is largely disinterested in Jesus. But, when the time is right, simply telling our stor … [Read more...]

How to not be driven by what everyone else wants from you (Mark 1:33-38)

That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door . . . And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I c … [Read more...]

When God commands, do we immediately follow?

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:17-18) Bible Gateway.One of the features of Mark's gospel is the phrase 'And immediately.' Despite Mark's brevity, his gospel contains more than 70% of the uses of this Greek Word in the New Testament (Source: Logos). He uses the same word so often that some translations decide not to translated it to avoid the constant repetition. The ESV is not one … [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...]

And so my nest begins to empty…

Mixture of emotions this morning as we will be taking my eldest daughter Tamasin Warnock to the airport later today for her to go to South Africa as a volunteer for six months! I am obviously a bit sad as we will miss her, and this is really our first experience of the nest beginning to empty. Of course she is part of the boomerang generation so I fully expect her to come back home afterwards! But I am massively proud of my eldest daughter. This project is something Tamasin found, applied for, a … [Read more...]

Praise, Pray, and Party into the New Year from London

You can join us in person at Lee Valley Athletics stadium from 10pm UK time (5pm ET).  Or, you can watch live right here!  We will be celebrating the change of the year together as one family, giving thanks to God for 2015, and looking forward to 2016! … [Read more...]

The simple sermon that saved Charles Spurgeon

An unknown, unheralded, unremembered, unlearned substitute preacher impacted Victorian London, and the English speaking world beyond it more than he could ever have imagined.A young man, who happened into a small chapel, was arrested. These simple truths, spoken by a simple man who was never acclaimed during Spurgeon's life (several men claimed to be the preacher, but were not recognized, and it seems the real preacher was content to remain unacknowledged). These same words which … [Read more...]