Down but not out: encouragement from the Apostle Paul

Do you ever feel down? Do you ever feel at a low point? I have had a few months myself recently where things have been quite tough. Thankfully the corner is now turning for me.  But even at my lowest point, I have never got as low as the Apostle Paul did. The following verses from 2 Corinthians are very encouraging. We learn three critical points:Even a great Christian like the Apostle Paul is NOT immune to suffering, and not immune to feeling low when in the middle of difficulty.  This sho … [Read more...]

Regarding faith: Lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater

'All things are possible for one who believes' (Mark 9:23) It is an ongoing scandal and provocation to the Almighty that certain preachers are getting rich from distorted and deceptive preaching on 'faith.'  The idea that God can be turned into a slot machine, serving up ever increasing riches and health if we just do certain things, like send money to the preacher, is an abomination.However, we must not allow ourselves to reject or downplay genuine faith in our concern to reject the false … [Read more...]

Some biblical resolutions for 2014 from Psalm 115

I was directed in a personal email to read Psalm 115:1, and found myself keeping on reading. May this passage be a motto for us all as we enter 2014.  I see in this passage some resolutions we do well to make at the turn of this year.a. A resolution to put God first and seek his gloryIn an age of being encouraged to "build your platform" how about we determine that we will build God's platform this next year. If you tweet, run a blog, or post to Facebook, determine that you will increase … [Read more...]

To live is Christ, to die is gain

I am very grateful to God that, despite Mat Chandler's brain cancer diagnosis, God has spared him for the sake of his family, and for more service.I will never forget him preaching at Jubilee Church still with a closely cropped head of hair because of chemotherapy.He explained to us then that he will never be free of what is effectively a sword hanging over his head. He lives each day as a man who may die tomorrow. Yet with a steely gaze, staring down the congregation as though we were … [Read more...]

Desperate women required (1 Samuel 1)

I was reading 1 Samuel 1 and it struck me first of all how what is perhaps one of the greatest books in the Bible begins with a woman with difficult family issues and a desperate desire for a child.God does often use women in very significant ways at key points of redemption history: not least at the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible is very far from being anti-woman.I do wonder wherever you or I might choose to stand on the complementarian / egalitarian spectrum if we … [Read more...]

Three Phases of Faith 2 Kings 4

This past Sunday I preached on Faith from 2 Kings 4 at Jubilee Church London's Wood Green site. Here is the audio, the notes follow.In some circles today we can over-react to certain extreme teachings and feel nervous about even talking about faith, but as Hebrews 11 tells us, without faith it is impossible to please God! We must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. So, if you are eager to please God, finding out about and pursuing faith is a vital thing to … [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...]

Is writing "God can heal today" on this website now illegal in the UK?

This week, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint against a Christian group who's leaflet claimed God can heal today. To be fair, their adjudications do not represent a legal judgement as such, and nobody is going to be sent to prison. But they apparently do have the power not only to stop people advertising in the printed press, but to command someone to take down a website advert.  I suppose potentially, even, they could criticize this post.  If they do, my defense would be t … [Read more...]

God really does want to bless you!

I know, some of my readers will have read a headline like that and panicked. Has Warnie slipped into "Health wealth and prosperity" or "Word of Faith" ?Nope, not at all.But I do feel that it is so easy for us to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I remember at one point a few years ago I even began to wonder if we would be better off to stop talking about faith. Perhaps, I argued, we should simply talk about "trust" in God.Trust is a much more passive thing, and it is a component of … [Read more...]

How to move the immovable God

Christians in the West are often quite good at trusting in God as our rock. We are taught doctrine, told that God is sovereign. We are taught that he stands behind every event that happens and is working for our good (Romans 8:28). Even when other people do things to us from a bad motive, we may respond like Joseph and say "you meant that for my harm, but God meant it for good."God, we learn, is unmovable. He is like a fortress we can hide in. He is unshakeable and faithful. "Ascribe … [Read more...]