Monday, 1 December 2014

What's the meaning of all of this?

It's that time of year again when everything seems to go crazy. Last week on the news were pictures of people fighting for the best bargain, trampling over one another to get the latest TV. 
In Northallerton yesterday we celebrated what our town is calling 'Santa Sunday'. Have we become so consumer orientated that we will celebrate Santa and completely forget about the one reason that we have Christmas in the first place. 
Christmas has become about shopping until your arms drop off, eating so much food that we can't physically move, and worshipping a man dressed in a red suit while queuing for hours to meet him.
Just over 2000 years ago, a baby was born in a place fit for animals. He was born in a small town in the chaos of a census. He was visited by the humblest of shepherds and the grandest of wise men. And here we are all those years later celebrating the birth of this baby, without even a thought for him, but instead by wanting more for ourselves and consuming as much as we can in the shortest space of time.
When God sent his Son to this earth, it wasn't so that we could all have a party, it was so that we can know him. Jesus, as a man taught us about God and how to pray, he taught us to love one another and how we are meant to be. But instead we celebrate his birth so often without a thought for him.
If you want to celebrate Christmas the way that God intended then it's really easy to do. All you need to do is STOP. Stop and think, stop and wait, stop and allow God to speak to you through the Christmas message. The real meaning of Christmas is simple...God loved the world so much that He sent his Son to the world as a baby, to love the world, to guide the world and to ultimately die for the world. Receive him today, and know that there will be the greatest party you will ever know when you do. As it says in the Bible, 

'I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent - Luke 15:7 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

It's Easter - HE IS RISEN!

While contemplating the Easter message this morning I felt that I should write my blog for the first time in ages, so here we go...
In John's account of the first Easter, we find the story of Mary Magdalene who goes to the tomb of Jesus and finds the tomb EMPTY! While crying because of the loss of Jesus' and worried about the whereabouts of Jesus' body, Christ speaks to Mary and calls her by name. He knows her and she knows him. 
The reason for setting the scene is this...the UK has a holiday around Easter, the schools are closed, the shops are closed, everything comes to a grinding halt around Easter the same as it does at Christmas. My question is WHY?
I understand why Christians want to celebrate the greatest events in human history, but what about everyone else? I meet people on a daily basis that proclaim that God is not real, that Jesus was just a good man, that they don't believe in God, that they don't believe in any of the stories I speak of, even that they are good people and so don't need God, however they celebrate Jesus' birth and death EVERY YEAR!
Let's go back to Mary and Jesus. As I've already said, Jesus knew her by name and through this conversation she recognised him as her Saviour. Jesus knows everyone by name, BUT are we willing to recognise him? Are we willing to hear the sound of his voice? Are we willing to call him Lord?
The UK used to be a Christian country. Many of our laws are based around Biblical truths. Christian Religious Education and Collective worship are legal requirements in every school. Two of our main public holidays are because of Christian beliefs, in fact the ONLY time that the UK comes to a stop is for these two holidays! THINK ABOUT THIS! If you are not a Christian you are celebrating the person you don't believe in - how weird is that?
Well there is GREAT news for those who are reading this that don't believe! You can change that right now! Jesus is real! Jesus is Lord! Jesus did die for the whole of mankind and that means YOU! All you have to do is this...
1. Tell Jesus you believe in him!
2. Thank him for dying for you!
3. Ask him to forgive you for all the bad things and to help you to stop doing them!
4. Ask him to be Lord of your life!
5. Receive Jesus as your Saviour
Say this prayer...
Lord I believe that you died on the cross for my sin. I believe that God raised you from the dead. Please will you come and be Saviour and Lord of my life. Thank you Lord for saving me...AMEN
NOW GO! Find a church & worship your King! Your life is about to begin! 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Blessings of God shared!

I know I'm a little late today, but late is better than not at all. Today's reading for me was Galatians 3 continuing with Paul's letter.
Quite often I find that when I read the word of God it's one verse that jumps out at me and today that is what happened. The verse that impacted my thoughts today was verse 8 which says this,
'Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: 'All nations will be blessed through you.'
Paul announces that the gentiles are blessed through Abraham. This got me thinking today about how God has blessed me, but also how I bless others because of that blessing.
This also challenged me, as it made me question whether or not I do bless people as I should?
As Christians we are blessed and so therefore should be blessed to be a blessing. I want to make sure that I am that person. I want to make sure that I am a blessed person that shares that blessing nature of Jesus wherever I go!
If you know the Lord and have just read this, then challenge yourself today to bless those around you, even those that irritate you!
If you don't know the Lord then I want to tell you that you too can know him as Lord and Saviour. It's as easy as this...
1. Believe...Tell Jesus that you believe that he died for you
2. Ask...Ask Jesus to forgive you for all the sin in your life
3. Accept...Jesus and receive him as your Saviour and King of your life.
4. Share...Jesus wants to part of your life, join a church that will encourage you in your faith and help you to understand how to follow him in your daily life.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Who am I?

Today I've been reading Galatians 2. In this chapter Paul gets really angry at Peter for pretending to be someone else. Peter is behaving differently around the Jewish people and so Paul calls him a hypocrite.
This got me thinking about how people see me. Do people see me as a Christ follower, or do people see me as a church goer? In other words, do people see Jesus in me or do people just see someone that goes to church and acts no different to those who don't?
This is a huge challenge for all of us. We need to make sure that we practice what we preach. 
Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations, but we are not going to do this if we are two faced. We need to be true to him and true to ourselves. We must allow God to be the very centre of our lives and so live for him. Let's show the love of God to those we meet today. Let's bless those people in our path and allow them to see Jesus through our words, actions and deeds!

'Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.' Matthew 5:16

Praise God!

As I was reading my Bible this morning I realised that I hadn't written my blog for a long time. I think it might be time to start this back up again as it really helped me to focus on God's word and on what I was reading. Today I read Galatians 1 and the verse that jumped out at me was this, 

"And they praised God because of me." Galatians 1:24

This got me thinking, does anyone praise God because of me? Does anyone want to know God because of me? These are huge questions. My job is to share Jesus with children, therefore I should radiate the presence of God, but do I? I don't think I do as much as I could; therefore this means I have some work to do.I guess the answer is this...I must invite more of God into my life so that I that others are attracted to the Holy Spirit in me.The only way that others will see Jesus in us and therefore 'praise God' because of us is if we look to him and invite him into every part of our lives. Let's do that today...let's invite God into everything!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


My Bible reading today is from John 5. Jesus is talking about how he relies on God to guide him and that everything he does comes from following God's lead.
This is brilliant. The Son of God totally relying on his Father to be able to complete anything. In fact he says this in verse 30... 
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."
This is something that we as Christians need to take notice of. If Jesus himself says he can't do anything without God, then who are we to think we can go it alone? We need to make sure that everything we do is committed to God.
I have learnt many things over the last 10 years of knowing the Lord, but one of the most important things that I always try to remember is this...
                         'If it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me'
Basically, if Jesus did it then we should do it too. One of my favourite verses emphasises this point, 'Follow God's example, therefore as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.' Ephesians 5:1-2
We need to be holy, we need to follow Christ's example. When we follow Christ's example we follow God's example, when we follow the example of God we lead others to Christ!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Tempted? PRAY!

In my Bible reading today, Jesus and his disciples are at the Mount of Olives. Jesus is preparing himself for what is about to happen  but before going to be alone with God, Jesus says to this to his disciples, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."
This statement from Jesus got me thinking this morning; Do I pray that I will not be tempted to do something that I shouldn't? Do I pray for protection against temptation on a daily basis, or only when I remember?
In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus instructs his followers to pray exactly that, to pray that God will help them when they are in temptation. 
We live in a dark and sinful world. We accept this as OK because its the 'NORM'. We allow ourselves to be tempted to do things that look fine because it doesn't harm anyone, but in the eyes of God we are NOT doing what is righteous.
If you are a regular reader to my blog you will know that I believe the Bible with all my heart. You will also know that I will not compromise the things of God intentionally. You might even think that I am a fundamentalist - well I am!
When I look around me I see people that profess to be Christian that do compromise the things of God. I see people that do not understand that the things that they are doing are not in line with what God has called them to be. Come on Church! We are God's people! We need to be what HE'S called us to be! We must pray that God will help us fight the temptations of this world. It is so easy to become apathetic and complacent with our way of thinking. 
Jesus didn't go to the cross so that we could pay at being Christians; he didn't die so that we could compromise his word or do things just because they feel good! He went to the cross so that we could have life in ALL its fullness!
My prayer for today is that we all ask God to help us not fall into temptation. That we trust in him and turn away from our evil ways following him and him alone!Say goodbye today to apathy and complacency. Say goodbye today to compromise and temptation - live the life that God has called you for...a life in all its fullness...John 10:10