Monday, 20 April 2015

A Herald of Wisdom

I probably should not be saying this publicly, but I am quite poor at reading most things that come in hard copy! The main reason is that I have so many things to read so I usually restrict myself to things in easily digestable electronic format. Plus I have always thought that information that I need to know will somehow get to me. Perhaps I have swallowed the notion of "consumer sovereignity" too much that I forget that there are are many barriers to information flowing in my direction.

Unfortunately, my failure to read hard copy means that I often miss out on good stuff that is genuinely worth knowing. Which is why I am grateful to God that atleast this month, I managed to read a copy of the GBM Herald. I have only just found out that some of the articles are available in pdf here.  But I would definitely recommend picking up the hard copy. It is very readable on a bus / train ride because of its A3 sizing. Most important it has some great stuff. Here are three quotes that struck me in the current edition :

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Jesus on the move

Three interesting news stories struck me over the last month that shows that shows the Lord Jesus is on the move overcoming opposition to the spread of the gospel. 

After a half-century of continuous civil war in Colombia guerrillas in half of the fronts of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), can now be openly Christian and not killed for it. According to World Watch Monitor FARC leadership is allowing its militants to listen to Christian radio stations operated by the Bogota-based ministry, Colombia for Christ.


In early March over 220 Iranians and Afghans were been baptised in two cities in the Iran region. Elam Ministries says: 'Please join us in praying for these new believers, and for the churches as they disciple them.' The baptisms were joyful day-long occasions, full of worship and fellowship over meals. One new believer at one of the ceremonies recalled how finding a New Testament by accident had started him on his journey to Christ. Remarkable stories of the Lord's providence abounded during both days. 

Some signs of increased religious flexibility in Turkey. SAT-7 TÜRK has become the first and only Christian channel on the government-regulated Türksat 4A satellite. It announced that, "we are overwhelmed and truly believe it is a miracle that we can finally broadcast on Türksat. We have hoped, dreamed and prayerfully anticipated this launch since the station began airing on SAT-7 ARABIC in 2006. It is really a miracle and we are very thankful to God for what he has been doing".

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A Holy Charade

An interesting observation in Tim Chester's book A Meal with Jesus suggests that many churches have a charade of a Holy Communion :
Holy Communion should be a feast of friends shared with laughter, tears, prayers, and stories. We celebrate the community life that God gives us through the cross and in the Spirit. We can’t celebrate it with heads bowed and eyes closed, alone in our private thoughts and strangely solitary even as we’re surrounded by other people.
To be sure Chester is not ruling out that Holy Communion can have periods of quite reflection, though such quite reflection is not found in the gospel accounts or Paul's letters. But any such reflection is better practiced within the context of what Chester rightly notes as "laughter, tears, prayers and stories".  I would add songs because there would have been much singing in the Upper Room! 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Big Questions, Bigger Jesus

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him  (Colossians 1:16)
I have always had a strange relationship with these few words in the Bible. They generate a weird combination of comfort and concern. The comforting comes from their reminder that Jesus is a Big God! In a world where we appear at the mercy of aircraft pilots, morally bankrupt politicians and Jihadism, it is important to remember that Jesus is actually the one who is truly in charge!


Friday, 10 April 2015

God wants you to party!

We are living in the great age of God’s message! Many people can now access the Bible for free in many languages through internet, apps, etc. This is great because the Bible is God speaking to us in our time and place. It reveals His character and master plan to reconcile all things to himself through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sadly, for many Christians the Bible is like an antique. It is treasured but never used!  We have fallen in the error of equating possession of the Bible with knowing and living its message! It is a dangerous temptation that people in every age have faced. Perhaps it’s the serious need to avoiding this danger that lies behind this beautiful message that God gave the nation of Judah :