|How many of us want the sun to shine everyday. All of us? Well, most of us certainly?...
Unlocking Miracles - Part Three
Pastor Greg spoke to us last Sunday and though the vote was expected, it was still disappointing. However, Pastor Greg spoke the following, which I am sure came from the Holy Spirit, I am quoting what I hope was the sense or meaning not ‘verbatim’. It was something like this, “We are asking people to act, vote as or like Christians but that can only be when they are Christians. If we want a Christian Society we must all ENGAGE with bring people to Christ!”
For Britain to think and act in a Christian way, the nation must turn to Jesus and for the nation to turn to Jesus every Christian needs to ENGAGE with bringing people to Jesus, discipling them and then with them repeat the process. If one in five adopted this, Britain would change and in six years One Million would become Sixty Four Million. That truly would be Unlocking A Miracle.
Here are some things the Wirral Christian Centre is doing to ENGAGE with this;
1. Our house groups are discussing the concept of ‘Missional Communities.’ The idea here is that groups of ‘like minded’ people come together and work together using this common ground, hobby, sport, past time, to ENGAGE with others who enjoy and connect with those things. There are a number of ‘embryonic’ missional communities. Here are some: Young Adults, Mens, Ladies, Parents, Seniors.
2. Discipling. We must ask ourselves the question, “what is a disciple of Jesus and am I a real disciple of Jesus?” Housegroups are also discussing the fruit of the spirit and the question, “how can I be Christ-like?” The goal must be ‘I am a disciple, a follower and learner, a student of Jesus and I am investing in helping others to also become disciples of Jesus.
3. Oxton Gateway is a practical expression of our concern for our community and we have a four year programme to develop four streams:
a. For the elderly and we already have a luncheon club which is growing into much more. In December the luncheon club have five or six in attendance now there are over thirty people using the service.
b. For families, especially single parents and struggling families.
c. For the young adults who have lost hope and their way.
d. For the long term unemployed.
Our Sunday services are the shop window and so many of us stay there. It is time to come in. Into the mission of being a disciple and discipling others. Being committed to Unlocking the Miracle, not letting others do it, but you and I together, together doing it.
Together we are stronger.
Together we are more.
Together in agreement and unity we can make change happen.
The great tanker may need two or three miles of sea to turn, but the turn starts when the wheel is fully turned and then the ship is committed to altering its course. This is not a Billy Graham Crusade, it is a personal mission and the wheel turns when I say ‘I will. I will be committed to living a life of discipleship, I will follow Jesus, do His will, obey His teaching, bring people to Jesus. I will ENGAGE with them so they can ENGAGE with Jesus.
Only a Christian will make Christian decisions, only a Christian nation, with a Christian government will vote in a Christian way.
If I live for Jesus it will be a start; a worthwhile beginning. Today, Lord Jesus, help me to ENGAGE with your plans for W.C.C.
Pastor Paul Epton, 07/03/2013
There’s something beautiful about longevity. This four-day weekend, a range of events will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – 60 years on the throne. We’ll watch the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, take part in the Big Jubilee Lunch, and enjoy the Jubilee Concert. The final day of the long weekend will be marked by a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, during which a special prayer will be offered for her.
The Psalmist muses that those who dwell in the shelter of the only true Sovereign and rest in His shadow will be satisfied with long life and shown His salvation (Psalm 91). It reflects the shalom intended for humanity. The contrast with lives that were brutally cut short in recent weeks could not be starker. Dark shadows were cast when 49 children were killed in the Houla region and six kids died in Derby when their house was set on fire. Longevity and shalom seem light years away from these tragedies.
The Catholic mass to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee also contains a special prayer for the Queen, requesting that in her governance she continue to grow in every virtue.In his book Virtue Reborn, N.T. Wright shows that virtue occurs when our habitual choices have been wise. In Proverbs, wisdom is personified in a woman. Wisdom invites us to come and learn. She will keep and guard us and place a graceful garland, a beautiful crown on our head (4:9).
Wisdom is needed to be genuinely human and therefore vital to good governance. Whether our vocation concerns governance of the family, classroom, boardroom, city, or nation, we need to be virtuous people. The woman in Proverbs 31 is such a gem. A home-maker, entrepreneur and artisan whose character is noble and whose heart is big. She loves her work, her family and those in need. She mentors with sound advice. A diamond with many facets. Undoubtedly, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of her wisdom. No wonder her husband is proud of her. His praise crowns her virtuous life.
Solomon started as a virtuous leader, who did not ask for himself long life or riches, but understanding to discern what is right. In response, God promised him a wise and discerning mind (1 Kings 3:11-14). Yet, much was lost along the way and, subsequently, dark shadows were cast instead of light. N.T. Wright asserts: “From a Christian point of view, then, virtue cannot be conceived solely in terms of the individual journey from a standing start to a future destination. It belongs within an end that has already begun, an eschatology that has already been inaugurated.”
If like the woman in Proverbs 31, we want to smile at the days to come, we need to grow as virtuous worshippers, allowing wisdom to shape all facets of our life into the diamond He has in mind. Each life individually highlighting the beauty, relevance, joy and compassion of the Christian life and the enduring hope for God’s suffering world; and collectively, even more so.
Enjoy the party in honour of the Queen. Beyond that, may we live long lives in honour of the King and see His salvation.
Marijke Hoek, coordinator Forum for Change (from Evangelical Alliance)
Greg Epton, 01/06/2012
How many of us want the sun to shine everyday. All of us? Well, most of us certainly?
The truth is the sun does shine every day, just not on Birkenhead! However, there is plenty of sunshine and I'm thinking that most of the time we just don’t appreciate the good things we do have. It seems to me that we are continually being persuaded that life is awful when in fact, for we who love Jesus, everyday is both a new day and with Him a great day. Why is this?
Because when your life is in His hands you know it’s all going to work out OK.
Don't mistake challenges for disaster or personal failure. When God puts a challenge before us He often gives us the time to grow up so we can tackle the challenge. Remember God is on your side, and part of that is your personal development. In fact God has a 'PDP' (personal development plan) for you.
For all of us, God knows what He wants us to become so He will send along all those things (the blessing and the challenging) that will develop you and me until we fit His plan for our lives. Only then will we be truly fulfilled.
So what does God want to do with you? How will you ever know until you ask Him and then surrender your will to His will and your plans to His plans. And while you're at it, try to stop telling God what to do and how to do it! Just trust Him.
Some people are always looking back to their old life and their old ways always thinking they have lost something. It’s time to grow up, your past is childhood your future is maturity. Chasing the past will only bring you frustration and failure. Chasing after God - after Jesus - will give you challenge, goals, satisfaction, fulfilment and of course you will have grown up into Him. No longer a taker, a child in immaturity; but a giver, a true child of God. Not living for what you get from things and from people, but living to serve God's purpose and to change your world.
Read Philippians 2:3-14. If we all lived this out the church and the world would be an amazing place.
Yours in Jesus,