Christchurch Christian Centre UK

Christchurch Christian Centre UK

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Cleansing - turning - changing

After Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the acclamation of the crowd, He went to the Temple and observed what was going on. Being evening He went to Bethany and stayed there overnight.

According to Mark's account, the next day He returned to the Temple and, "Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts." Mark 11:15-16.

Radical. The following day He was challenged by the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders who demanded that He disclose His authority for such actions. The answer Jesus gave was completely unassailable. You can read it in Mark 11:29-30.

The Temple was cleansed of ungodly commerce; the tables were turned upside down and the money changers were left scrambling to gather up their coins. Jesus had authority to do what He did but it is possible that Malachi gives us similar authority to sort out worship. What do you think? Look at Malachi 1:10.

It may be we are shocked to see that worship of Almighty God had reached such a low point in the centre of things, right there in the Temple in Jerusalem, that worship was nothing more than a money making pursuit for many.

Maybe we can see some parallels though. Perhaps our worship could do with being cleansed or turned upside down and changed. God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. Sometimes we become a little too familiar with the sacred. May God the Holy Spirit be pleased to visit us afresh and keep our worship pleasing to Him.

Tuesday 15 March 2011


We have to agree that the events in Japan are terrible for them. We have prayed for their help and will continue to do so. Elim Relief Association has made an appeal for financial gifts to go to relieve the suffering. Anything given will be used wisely and I know Elim has a policy of making sure gifts are only administered by trusted partners, so we are confident those in need will receive what is given.

If you want to give, you can contact Elim HQ via the link on our website.

It is little consolation to acknowledge that tragic events have occured throughout history. Today's crushing calamity demands present relief.

It is a fact of our being that we do not know what a day will bring. There are some things so hard to understand that questions may arise as to why a God of love allows such to take place. However, we learn from those who have gone before and we are encouraged by the words of Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)

The challenge the Japanese people face is daunting and we pray much help will soon be on hand from as many as possible. Some have already gone to help from the UK and other nations are providing assistance too. There is so much that needs to be done.

In the midst of all that we see occuring, there are some things we can bear in mind. God has promised not leave us or forsake us. In it all He is there. He has shown Himself as the God of love, sending His Son Jesus to die on the Cross to bear our sin away. The gift of eternal life is ours through Jesus Christ and we can call on Him today and be saved.

The sudden way unexpected events can overtake anyone, gives us cause to consider our ways. Jesus will return. We do not know the day or the hour. It will be sudden. May we be ready for He has called us to watch and pray.

Speaking of eternal life, the letter to the Romans tells us plainly, Rom 10:12-13
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (NIV)

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Progress; good, bad or ugly?

Quite early this morning some of us met together in the church hall. It is looking spick and span as Dudley has been busy with the paint. Old dowdy brown has been obliterated by fresh, bright, creamish something or other. I have no idea what grand title the colour chart has ascribed to the paint used.

It is always good to see progress in the restoration we have undertaken. In fact and more broadly, I think it is always good to see progress associated with something that is intrinsically wholesome. The problems arise when that which is bad makes progress.

The progressing decline in moral standards in our society is a case in point. It's just so obvious when we compare Bible standards of holiness with present trends. "Bad," is making progress. It is marching throughout the land.

The good news is that God loves us and sent His Son Jesus to die on the Cross for us. The good for the bad. Our sin can be forgiven because of Jesus and we can be saved. Eternal life is God's gift to us and we need not perish.

The message we bring includes the challenge to repent, as well as to believe. The call is to turn from sin. Turn from the "bad." Halt its progress and live right. Progress the good.

I love to see the way lives change when God is at work. He heals the broken and restores the lost. Transition from bad to good is possible with God. We do not lose heart.
Col 1:9-14
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (NIV)

Monday 7 March 2011

You probably know heaven and earth will pass away. Nothing we can do will stop that. God has ordained a new heaven and a new earth. Sin and mankind's pursuit of sinful ways have spoiled this present earth. It is doomed.

There are some things that will never fade or disappear. Look a these and get on board if you have not yet done so:

1. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Luke 21:33 (NIV) - find out what He said - it's all in the Bible
2. Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."John 6:51
(NIV) - evelasting life through Jesus Christ
3. Jesus asked the Father and He has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us forever, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever" John 14:16 (NIV)
4. Compete for an eternal crown - start now - "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." 1 Cor 9:25 (NIV) (You are very welcome to come and see us on Sunday if you want to know more)
5. We are going to be with Jesus forever when He returns for us - "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." 1Thes 4:17 (NIV)

I have a friend who says, "forever is a very long time." You just know what he means even if the philosophers would have a field day with such a comment.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Our work day went well and much was achieved. Work included clearing overgrown shrubbery. The waste was to be burnt. An attempt was made even though the wood was green but oh the smoke.

A well meaning soul thought the church was on fire and rang the ......... you guessed it.

The garden area looks better now and we, with smoky faces and hardly unchecked smiles, solemnly promised not to burn without notifying the control centre next time.

It was amazing though. A quick response; a concerned local; new faces at church! You will understand where I am going with this by now.

Jesus baptises us with the Holy Spirit and fire. Don't let's allow the fire to go out. We want God to draw people to the Son. I reckon He wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the fire He brings.

Have a great day.

Friday 4 March 2011

We had a good time together last evening in one small group - 14 of us discussed, "When is a person?" You just can't get away from Psalm 139.

Ps 139:11-17
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Have a great day.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Turning the world upside down

Some of the early followers of Jesus were accused of turning the world upside down. What they were doing was calling people to turn from their wicked ways and follow Jesus.

When that happens with any kind of large numbers, things change in a locality, town, or nation.

The Welsh revival is a case in point. So many became followers of Jesus that pubs emptied, crime stopped and the courts had very little to do.

Well before the Welsh Revival, the Wesleys had preached and God brought many to faith in Him. Some attribute the fact that the French Revoluton never crossed the channel, to this pohenomenon.

Back to the early believers who were accused. In fact they were turning things the right way up. It's right that there is no crime. It's right that there is no drunkenness, it's right that families thrive and stay together, it's right that we are kind to one another, that we love mercy and justice, that people turn to the living God.

Christians are called to be salt and light, to love their enemies and to pray for those who curse them. This sort of behaviour and character turns things up the right way. Of course, doing the right thing will upset many who walk in the dark but doing the right thing brings light.

Let's make sure we are guilty of doing the right thing even if we are accused of turning the world upside down.

Jesus is radical. Have a look at the New Testament. On the Cross, He laid down His life for His enemies that we could be forgiven. He rose from death and is alive. That turns things on its head and challeneges what man clasifies as, "the right way up."

Tuesday 1 March 2011

What puts you off?

Why do some of us delay or fail to get on with things? One thing that seems to act as a deterrent for some people, is the idea that until they are, "a better person," or "more knowledgeable or practiced," they will not act. Sometimes we think our input or help would not be good enough.

The same sort of thought patterns can stop or delay us from responding to God. He calls us to turn to Him, or to undertake some particular work for Him, but because we feel inadequate or not good enough, we don't respond.

When Jesus called His disciples, He called them just as they were and just where they were. He did not advise them to get ready first; improve their behaviour; become a better person; be good, etc. He simply said, "Follow me."

Zacchaeus was up a tree - "Come down." He did. Peter, James and John were by the sea mending nets. "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." They did at once. Matthew was sitting collecting taxes, "Follow me." Immediately he did.

Today God calls all of us everywhere to follow Him. Acts 17 says:-
Acts 17:28-31
28 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone-- an image made by man's design and skill.
30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." (NIV)

It's time. Just as you are, where you are. Today decide to follow Jesus Christ and turn your life over to Him.

I read this prayer and it might be what you need to pray:-

A prayer:

Heavenly Father, I admit I have sinned against you. I know I can only be in perfect harmony with you by trusting Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Saviour. I now choose to turn from my sin and accept Jesus. Please forgive me and give me the gift of eternal life. Help me to follow Jesus from today. Amen.

Don't wait any longer.