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Showing posts from September, 2013

Why should I bother to live for God?

1 Timothy 6:6-19
Paul commands Timothy to live for God
‘I charge you’, he says in v14, ‘to keep this command’. Which command? The command to (v11) ‘pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.’
They are precious qualities. Godliness: (I’m putting this first because this is the quality that is also mentioned in 1 Tim 6:6) - god like-ness. Jesus was the eternal Son of God become human. So becoming like God is about looking at Jesus and desiring to become like him. Righteousness: right-ness. But right-ness as God sees it. Pursuing righteousness is about putting God and God-stuff first. Faith: seek faith, but this is not speaking about faith in general. The faith that is spoken of here is about a faith in God. Seek to live by faith in God each day, each moment: trusting him, doing it his way – even when you don’t like it. They interviewed a woman out shopping in Nairobi last week. They asked her if she was scared after the Westgate attack. ‘No’, she said, ‘I a…

A vision of the glory of God

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Ezekiel 1 Ezekiel is granted a vision of the glory of God. Not surprisingly, it changes the direction of the rest of his life and it shapes his message. The constant theme throughout this book is the glory of God.
I’ve been living with this passage for the past few weeks. I used the passage for the Battle of Britain service, and I’ve been getting more and more out of it as I’ve read and reread it.
Ezekiel's vision progresses through various phases:
1. He sees the amazing creation of God Ancient myths speak of throne bearers who are bull men.
But these 4 living creatures are very different: they have not just a bull face, but 4 faces: those of a human, lion, ox and eagle. They have the feet of cattle, wings of bird, human hands
These are the cherubim spoken of in ch 10, the embodiment of the whole of the living creation worshiping and speaking for God. We speak of little children being like Cherubs. We could not be further from the image of the Cherubim that the bible gives us. 
They ha…

on being a father

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A talk to a men's breakfast

There is the story of a man who gave a talk on being a father. He titled his talk, 10 rules for being a father. Then he had a child. He changed the title of his talk to, 5 Guidelines for being a father. He had a second child. The title changed to, 2 hints for being a father. He had a third child and gave up speaking.

1. I am a father and I work from the basis that I've got, and am getting, a great deal wrong. I'm also aware that most of you have far more experience than me of this – whether as biological fathers or as fathers in the church. My children are still only teenagers. You've been there, done that and got the T shirt.

2. The subject can be painful: some were never able to be fathers; others have lost a child. It is hard to go there. 
It can also make us feel guilty or inadequate. 
David Murrow writes, “Almost every religious book for men is focused on a single target: making better husbands and fathers. Men’s ministry meetings pound the …

When a vision is needed: A talk for Battle of Britain Sunday 2013

Ezekiel 1

The Jewish rabbis taught that you must not preach on Ezekiel until you have preached for 20 years or more. I sadly qualify for that. 

A STRANGE VISION
It is a weird vision. 
We want to ask what Ezekiel was on. 
There is a famous book which said that this describes an encounter with ETs. 

But we don't need to go there. 
After all Da Vinci drew a helicopter and Jules Vernes described the submarine. 
Perhaps some genius somewhere is working on these wheels within wheels.

Ezekiel has a vision of 4 pairs of wheels in wheels. The wheels at first seem to be inanimate - glorified flying chariots which can move in any direction. But then we learn that their rims are surrounded with eyes, and that they have the spirit of the living creatures in them. 

It is a vision of the all seeing, utterly free and unrestricted living Spirit of God. And beside them are the 4 creatures with 4 faces who are the drivers of the wheels, but also one with the wheels. Later we are told they are Cherubim, divine…