Archive for the ‘Faith’ category

Not Thy Will, But My Will Be Done!

February 13, 2016

Illustrated bible verse    I had a long chat with a guy who came in for food. He had been to church in Wales as a youngster, but had drifted away as he grew up. He had lost some family members in the last few years and had felt their nearness on their passing away. We discussed God and belief, and he thought there was “something there”, but he was not really interested in pursuing the question in his life. I gave him the gospel basics, and tried to encourage him to reach out to God, but didn’t get very far. Later that day I was thinking over of the phrase: “Not THY will, but MY will be done”. It’s really on that basis that we end up either in Heaven or in Hell – our eternal destination is what we ourselves choose in this life.

I also thought how many are happy to say “I believe in God”, but go no further than a mental assent. It reminds me of the evangelist’s use of the parachute as an illustration of what faith involves. I can say I believe in parachutes, but that belief means nothing until the day I’m in an out of control aircraft, reach for a parachute and put it on. It’s only when I put it on, jump and full the ripcord that I really do believe in parachutes!!  It’s the application of faith that determines whether your faith in “x”means anything at all.

A younger woman came in and I recognised her as “J”, a street drinker I used to see regularly when I did mission work on the streets. At that time she was a vulnerable girl, very self-willed, who wouldn’t listen to our requests to go back home to her Mum, whom she lived with. When she walked in I could see she was intoxicated, so nothing had really changed. As we at down to chat, she told me that she’d had “a 5 month old dead baby” and started to cry. I really felt for her, poor woman. Clearly someone had taken advantage of her, and even that had had a tragic outcome. Eventually the supervisor called a local unit where she was staying for transport, as she needed to get across to the other side of town and clearly couldn’t get there under her own steam.

A young guy turned up later. He told me he had mental health issues and suffered from a type of psychosis. I asked if he’d done drugs in the past. He admitted a long use of cannabis, then latterly a serious heroin habit. He was now on a prescription for Subbutex, a heroin substitute designed to wean you off the drug. He’d been given accommodation by a local charity and was hoping to get back on his feet.

 

 

So – What Is a True Christian Then?

July 6, 2015

 

a brand new life

When you become a Christian you begin a brand new life in Jesus Christ- you are “born again”. Many people today would claim to be a Christian. But how would you know if they were a genuine Christian? What are the hallmarks of the true Christian?

Check out this Youtube video “True Christian” from Pastor Paul at ClearSpring Church in Gloucester,  England, UK:

 

Does Atheism Offer You A Good Deal?

July 1, 2013

Ludwig Wittgenstein, the German philosopher said: “The meaning of the world will not be found within the world”. This short video by Professor John Lennox of Oxford University will warm your heart if you are open to the benefits of a Christian faith. It also highlights the difficulties of atheism in relation to such things as justice and mercy.

Evangelism: the more you do it the more you want to do it!

June 19, 2013

oh no, not evangelism After a hectic weekend sharing Jesus with dozens of County Show visitors who came to our Christian Witness Tent (we offered free refreshments and a seat to rest), I was getting withdrawal symptoms a few days later.

I decided to get the bus into the next town (free, as I’m a Senior Citizen!). I went into the local park and noticed a woman writing on a park bench. Was it a suicide note – who knows? So I went and sat next to her and saw it was some kind of application form. She said hello and kept writing. After she left, I wandered back to the town centre, bought a snack and sat on a bench on the main street. On the bench were a holdall and a flask, but no-one with them. As I ate my snack the owner turned up. I chatted and discovered he was doing some painting nearby and was having a break while the paint dried.

I said to him “I’ve been looking after your belongings for you”. He replied: “God bless you!” I replied “He does!” He clearly wasn’t expecting that, so said “what did you say?” I explained I was a Christian and that God DID bless me all the time.

I asked if he was a man of faith. He replied, very honestly: “only when I’m desperate!” I gave him a Journey Into Life booklet and said: “the next time you’re desperate, have a read of this.” He thanked me and I left him to enjoy his break – tasty looking soup, to which he added  a load of pepper from a shaker he carried with him.   soup in a cup

Website For New Christians

May 22, 2013

a brand new life   If you know of anyone who has become a Christian recently, please point them to the website http://www.newchristian.org.uk  This site has over 280 pages and caters for church leaders too, with several hundred links to church resources for pastors and leaders.

First Steps As a New Christian

January 23, 2013

first steps of a baby  This post follows on from my two previous January 2013 posts (1) “How Do I Become a Christian and (2) “Practical Steps To Follow To Become a Christian”.

Sadly, many churches offer little dedicated teaching for new Christians in any depth. Fortunately, one British website has recognised this and provides many resources for them. The site is “New Christian UK”   and you can  see a list of basic pages here . This site will help you understand how to live as a Christian, gives you advice about the Bible, the Holy Spirit, etc and how to share your faith story with others.  logo of new christian uk website

As you grow as a Christian and mature, this same website will accompany you along the way. Their “What’s New? Page”   has links to over 200 other pages on the same site, including stories of others who have become Christians. One recent testimony added was LD’s story of her tormented life before she became a  Christian. The video “A Man Fell Into a Hole” shows the uniqueness of Jesus Christ amongst other religions that exist.

Practical Steps To Follow To Become a Christian

January 21, 2013

PRACTICAL STEPS IN BECOMING A CHRISTIAN

This is a follow up to my post of 20th January 2013 entitled “How Do I Become a Christian?”

If you haven’t seen that post, please read it first, since it puts this post in context.

So you want to become a Christian and now know the basic facts about Jesus? Read on below.   christian cross in gold colour

You probably want to change things about your life and your behaviour and so far have got nowhere. That’s actually a good place to be, since only Jesus can change you deep down where it matters, and from the inside out.

He knows your heart attitude, so you can’t fool him! But the good thing is, he’s ready and waiting to do for you what you can’t do for yourself.

person praying   The easiest way is to take time out one day and pour you heart out to him in prayer, just simply talking to him in your mind, or out loud if you prefer. Tell Jesus how you feel, what you need, and how you now realise that He’s the only one who can change things.

Coming to Jesus in prayer and asking for forgiveness of your sins and surrender of your life to Jesus is how you become a Christian.

Jesus wants all of you, not just a part. He wants to be the most important person in your life. This is an act of your will – to choose this course of action. God never forces us to do anything, that’s why he gave us free will.

Once you’ve settled that in your mind, the next step is this. Ask Jesus to forgive all the sins you ever committed. All sin is primarily against God. He’s the one you hurt the most when you sinned. Even though you did things to other people, God’s the one who’s been most hurt by your actions.

Through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, Jesus paid the price for all your sins. All sin has to be paid for, for justice to be done. Instead of paying for your own sins, Jesus did it for you, in advance. How amazing is that? But you have to ask for and receive that forgiveness for yourself. You don’t become a Christian based on any good deeds that you did in the past. They count for nothing. It’s Jesus’ perfect goodness – and what he did for you – that counts towards your journey into heaven, not anything you ever did. In fact, the Bible likens your best deeds to filthy rags, in God’s eyes.   filthy rags

The ideal way to approach Jesus to forgive you is this way. Take time out and make a list of things you’ve done that you know to be wrong. Don’t rush it – take your time. For example, list lies you’ve told, people you’ve wronged or hated, folk you’ve deceived, things you’ve stolen. Pour your heart out to Jesus and ask him in prayer to help you write the list.

When you’re done making the list, talk to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you everything on your list, plus all the sins you’ve forgotten about. There’s nothing you’ve done that Jesus can’t forgive. Then after your prayer of confession to him, thank him that he now HAS forgiven you all these things. Jesus has promised to come and live with us when we choose to surrender our life to him and so he will come and live in your spirit by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to live a life that honours Jesus and he gives us the strength to live for him, in the face of opposition or other problems we have.

Once you’ve written your list, this is the kind of prayer you could use, as an example:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you came from Heaven to Earth to reconcile me to God the Father, and that you did this because you love me. I thank you that when you died on the cross and rose again from the dead, you paid the penalty price for my sin. These are the list of sins I am able to remember…………(your list). Please forgive me of all these. Please also forgive me the many sins I committed but have since forgotten about. I realise you are the only one who is able to forgive me these sins, for only you were good enough to pay the price for them. I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice, so please use my life for your glory and honour. I place my trust in you for the future. Please help me to live for you, and give me the strength I need to live my life for you for the rest of my days. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. I am weak and need your strength, so please fill me with your Holy Spirit power now. Amen”

I am a Christian  Once you have done this, you have become a follower of Jesus and are a Christian. You can then destroy the list of your sins that you wrote, because they have now all been forgiven by Jesus and forgotten about by him.

In my next post, I’ll set out the way forward in your life as a new Christian.