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Rooted @ St Margaret's Church, Angmering

Being Rooted and built up in Jesus

Jesus Wins…

Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death”or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’

Revelation 21v1-5

What do you think heaven is like? That was the question I asked our young people this week. And of course the answers varied a little, but truth be told most of them hadn’t really though about it, if they had they recognised that they were influenced by images in the media of white clouds, halos and harps… But what is heaven really like? Well John in the penultimate chapter of the Bible gives us a clue, and I think we could sum it up in just two words… Jesus Wins.

Jesus wins because he takes his people who are broken and dead in sin and makes them his beautiful bride who is radiant in holiness…

Jesus wins because the barrier of separation of sin and temple curtains are gone, we can walk with the Lord just like we were always meant to…

Jesus wins because there will be no Paris shootings or refugee crisis. There will be no bad news from the doctor or heart ache at home. There will be no more pain… no more death even.

Jesus wins because all the things we enjoy now will not simply be better they will be permanent, they will never fall to tedium or brokenness. There will be endless joys to be had…

Jesus wins because he is seated on the throne of his Kingdom and we will be there too…

Jesus wins because he can be trusted.

Please PRAY that I and all the teenagers might think more about heaven… remembering that as we walk this earth, one day it will all be made new, one day we will take our place in the Kingdom of Jesus! So whatever we face today, we know our tomorrow is guaranteed.

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I could sooner…

Sovereign Grace Music have released a new Album this week called ‘I could sooner count the stars’ and the opening track (which is the album title) produces some wonderful imagery at the start of each verse for us to enjoy as we consider our great God and I wanted to share it with you just as a thought for you today…

Verse 1:
I could sooner count the stars
Than number all Your ways

Verse 2:
I could sooner drink the seas
Than fathom all Your love

Verse 3:
I could sooner turn back time
Than turn Your heart away

You can enjoy the whole track below:

The New Year 2015/16

So here we are again, the new academic year, a time of great change for many… but our hope is that whatever this year has in store all of us will keep being Rooted in Jesus overflowing with thankfulness, remembering, all we need is in Him!!

Remember to that if you ever need any info please check here for all the updates!

Thanks

Jesus on Every Page

Recently I have been reading David Murray’s excellent book ‘Jesus on every page’ (https://www.10ofthose.com/products/17224/Jesus-On-Every-Page/).

And I came across these words (it is talking about Jesus in regards to creation).

‘Have you every thought about the the incredible imagination and inventiveness behind the created worked and asked why? Why did our Redeemer go to such lengths to provide us with such a varied and diverse world? Partly the reason was that He has an eye to using such things, animals, materials, and so on to teach sinners the way of salvation. He was preparing visual aids for future use.

He created sheep so He could teach sinners about how He is the Good Shepherd. he created birds to help His redeemed people live less anxious lives. He created camels to teach how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter heaven. He created lilies and roses so He could compare Himself with them. he created water to explain how He refreshes and revives the thirsty.

When Jesus picked those up some four thousand years after their creation, they were not just coincidentally helpful to Him; He deliberately created them for the great end of helping to redeem a people.

And think of how Jesus even created what would be used in His own crucifixion. What did He think when He made trees, one of which would one day suspend Him between heaven and earth? What did He think when he made the metal that would eventually impale Him on the cross? He made what would be used to cause Him pain and kill Him. He created all the accessories of redemption.’ (p.47-48)

Firstly just ponder that thought today… and then secondly, get hold of his book to be filled with a joy of Christ in all things.

A New year… a New start?

NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-calendar

Well here we are again… the alarm went off this morning with that familiar sound, it was indeed the first Monday morning of 2015…

But of course with a New Year come New Year Resolutions, time honoured moments to sit back and take stock of the things we want to try and achieve this year, and if my little trip to Asda this morning is anything to go by then they reckon the two big resolutions are to eat healthier and clean the house…

But sometimes we make ‘Christian’ resolutions too, we say… this year i’m going to be better at reading my Bible or this year i’m going to pray more…

But if we are not careful, those good sentiments quickly turn from a new start to a new way to prove myself to God. 2015 is a better year for me and God because i’ve read my Bible more…

But consider this, New Year’s resolutions do not start a new leaf for the Christian, our new start came when God dwelt among us. Our new start came when Jesus took on human flesh and then took our sin. Our new start came, when God’s Son died, but the rose again to new life, to a new start that would never perish spoil or fade, to a new start that would never fail.

So this New Year, please do eat healthier and clean the house, please do read your Bible more and pray to our loving heavenly Father, but remember that our New Start doesn’t come on January 1st each year, it has already happened, so no need to worry!

Happy New Year

Who would have dreamed

Well not long now… Half Term has come and gone, Halloween has come and gone and finally Bonfire night is out of the way so we are well and truly on to the Big C… Christmas is on the way! But before we get caught up in camels, candles and carol services just take a moment to think back to ponder anew the marvellous introduction to that first Christmas…

Just consider this thought… The Lord who made heaven and earth, the One who made the stars and trees, the One who spoke to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord who displayed his power and might by sending the plagues on Egypt ‘so that they would know that I Am the Lord’. The One who covered a mountain in smoke and said anyone who sees my face will die because you cannot look on me in my holiness and glory and live. The One who went before his people to conquer a land full of giants and pagans and made this new people a nation. The One who gave a Shepherd boy victory over a man who stood nearly twice his size and then made that same Shepherd boy King and gave him rest from all his enemies. The One  who sent his people away into exile, but while they were there looked after his faithful ones, who protected them from flame and famine. The One who brought them home… and then the One who didn’t say anything for 400 years…

It would be as if we could look back and hear stories of all the Lord had done from year 0-1600, but then now in 2014, there had been nothing since. No word, no voice… nothing.

It is into that background that we read these words from the start of Luke’s gospel ‘Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him…’ (Luke 1v11) 400 years of silence and now the Lord speaks again… he speaks to Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist, and then shortly after to Mary foretelling the birth of Jesus then to Joseph and the Shepherds. And what is this marvellous message? That God is coming to town… God is to be born amongst us. The One who has created and sustained all things, is taking flesh… ponder anew that today.

I found these words from Sovereign Grace Music’s song ‘Who would have dreamed’ to be amazing in helping me to think about this afresh this Christmas time… I hope they help you too…

And who would have dreamed or ever foreseen. 

That we could hold God in our hands? 

The Giver of Life is born in the night 

Revealing God’s glorious plan 

To save the world 

Do you wish Doctor who were real?

I don’t know if you are a Dr. Who fan or not, I must confess that I watch it but won’t call myself a ‘Whovian’, in fact to be perfectly honest I’ve found this last series a little dull… but I’ve still been watching it anyway.

And this week’s episode sparked my interest…

There are many things in it which deserve our attention, and when the second part is played out I will try and have a think more deeply about some of the questions it raises.

But for now, let us rest upon one line that the Doctor spoke to Clara…

‘Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference’?

The Doctor so cares for Clara, that even after being betrayed by her, he is still prepared to help… if he can.

And we see that and it only increases our admiration for the Doctor more, because what love and concern he must have that he thinks so little of self and so much of others that he is prepared to not treat Clara as she deserves…

Don’t we wish that there was someone who would do the same for us?

The Good news today, is that there is…

Listen to the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 5v6-8:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The story revolves around the idea that the dead go on living just in a different guise, their minds are put in one place and their bodies another…

Christ died for you, not when you were at your best, not when you finally got to a point whereby you deserved it.

But he died for you in your worst moment, in the moment when we were at our furthest from God, and he said to us… I don’t care what you have done… I love you so much, I will do anything to bring you into my family.

We watch Doctor Who and wish he were real… but really we have someone far far better

Enjoy your day.

The Water Bucket Challenge… a few thoughts

ice bucket

Well it is the latest charity craze that is literally sweeping the world… every one from film stars to your neighbour is participating.

But before we dive headlong into this craze it is worth taking a step back and asking, is this something that we, as Christians ought to be getting behind?

It might seem like a daft question, how can it not be… after all Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a terrible terrible disease which we as Christians ought to be wanting to do all we can to try and aid those who are in the unfortunate situation to be suffering from it.

However, as with most things in life, things might be a more grey then we realise…

The Ice Bucket challenge was started by a group in America called the ALS Association, not really wanting to get drawn into a long discussion on the topic, one of the forms of research that this charity use is Embryonic Stem Cell Research (http://www.nathanaelk.com/2014/08/why-i-cannot-accept-ice-bucket-challenge.html?spref=fb&m=1).

The British equivalent, the MND Association, do not use these cells, although their statement on their website is a little ambiguous as to whether this is simply them following the law or an ethical decision. (You can find out about both of those here: http://www.mndassociation.org/research/MND+research+and+you/Stem+cells)

In light of this some have decided to give to other organisations which are researching MND without using these embryonic stem cells, others are giving to more local charities related to MND or not at all.

At the end of the day it is up to you what you do about it, but here is the main point of the post… please do not fall into a herd mindset of being dragged along by social media which assumes everything that is being promoted is good and positive. This has not been the first charity stunt and it will not be the last. It is likely that there will be plenty of right and good causes, but it is also likely that there may be others which are not so pleasing…

Take seriously the things that are being asked of you, examine thoughtfully who it is you are supporting and if it is something that you feel you can support then jump on board… but if it is not then we ought to express rightful caution and consider other ways in which we could aid others without compromising ourselves.

And if you think that i’ve written this to simply wet out of not getting wet… then have a look at the end video…

 

bpbvz

We will remember…

It was just over a week ago that we were remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection at Easter…

Yesterday at the 9:15am service and this coming week at the 5pm service we will be celebrating communion, a chance for us to remember together that  sacrifice.

But Just stop for a moment and consider what view of humanity Jesus has by even instigating communion. As if the death of God would be something we would forget, so much so that we need a symbolic meal to remind ourselves.

But sadly, that is exactly what we do.

Perhaps we do not forget the details, but perhaps we forget that Jesus died for me, perhaps we forget that it was not nails that held Jesus to the cross but his love for us as our sin was laid upon him. Martin Luther had good reason therefore to say that ‘we all carry the nails of Jesus in our pockets’.

So just consider next time you take the bread and the wine how low we are that we even need such a meal in the first place…. but then consider the love of the Saviour who not only gave as a means to remember but became the means of salvation for us.

We will remember…

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