Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The World Should Be Astonished

I was at an event the other night when the teaching was on Acts 3 - 4; the healing of the lame man at the temple gate. This verse stuck out to me.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.(Acts 4:13)
This should be true today about Christians. People should be astonished at the effect Jesus has on our lives.
Jesus also said: will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
What I find interesting is that where Jesus' Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16 - 20) is a command - "Go!", his statement from Acts, above, is merely a statement of reality: "You will be my witnesses."

The question is will we be good witnesses or bad.
Will we be effective or ineffective?
Will we draw people toward him or push them away?
The world out there is watching.
The world is waiting to hear.
How do we reach them?




Monday, 5 September 2016

Allow Me to Rant

"...wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie..." (2 Thessalonians 2: 10b - 11)
I believe a great delusion has fallen on our culture, and it has happened so quickly that it can only be supernatural in nature. What used to be known as good is now called evil.  Mere disagreement is now called hate. "Tolerance" once correctly defined as allowing others, and respecting the rights of others, to believe differently, has come to mean absolute acceptance of all thoughts and behaviours as completely valid. The only thing now considered wrong is disagreement with those who think that all things are acceptable.

And it has happened with amazing rapidity - within a few years even.

At the same time, a veil seems to have fallen over people's eyes to prevent them from seeing the truth. Facebook is filled with people posting warm and fuzzy quotes; quotes that in the end are nothing but words on a screen. They may make some feel better or encouraged for a short time, but beyond that, what good do they do? No sooner has one read or posted one inspirational saying than another one appears. It seems to me they are like a drug. One is never enough

Why do people not see the one thing that will really help - a genuine relationship with God - the God who is as real as the keyboard upon which they type.

Even the world of Alpha has changed. Years ago it was not unusual to see large Alpha's of 60, 100 people or more. These can still be found, but more and more we are seeing Alpha run in small home groups or in coffee shops or in pubs, of 5, 10, or 20 guests. Perhaps we are returning to the model of the early church where small groups of believers met in homes or catacombs, hiding from those who held the power and would silence them but who, over the course of two or three centuries, changed the world.

But whether in large groups or small, Alpha introduces people seeking the truth to the one who is the Truth; the One who changes lives and changes them for the better; the Saviour of the world and the Saviour of the individual - Jesus.

Knowing God - there is nothing better. #TryAlpha