When Sinks Yon Radiant Sun

Took this picture on the way home after work last evening. The sinking sun made me think of the hymn below:



When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ on high,
Looking o’er life’s history;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

Robert Murray McCheyne

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/545#ixzz2NQuCFW1y

The battle is the LORD’s

English: The young Hebrew David hoists the hea...
David removes the head of Goliath

1 Samuel 17:47 ‘and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”‘

For those of you that might not be too familiar with the Bible the above quotation is from probably the most famous recorded incident in the Bible. The story of David and Goliath. This was the subject of the evening New Year message given by our other full-time church worker James Young. I was really hoping it wasn’t going to be a ‘You can be like David and defeat the Goliath’s in your life’.  James didn’t disappoint, it was anything but. He laid it out as representatives of Jesus and Satan (David & Goliath) He justified this approach from Scripture during the sermon, I thought very well.

He also subverted the appearance by saying that the real Giant in the story is David as he represents or typifies The Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the strong man, He is the victor and we – those trusting in Christ – share in that victory.

Two statements James wanted us to go away with from the narrative. These are below in bold:

1 Samuel 17:32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” & 1 Samuel 17:47 ‘and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”‘

I thought this was an excellent sermon, an encouraging sermon that is well worth a listen.

To listen to the sermon click on the play button below. Or go to the Lower Ford Street Baptist Church Web-site where you may download it.

The Queen’s Christmas Speech 2011

Last evening at church our Pastor mentioned in his sermon the Queen’s speech (Elizabeth II) and how she had very strongly mentioned The Lord Jesus Christ. Wanting to check it out for myself I can confirm The Queen, contrary to many a spineless politician, spoke of Christ as a unique person. And in the context it’s not possible to interpret unique in the sense that we are all unique but clearly that Jesus is the Saviour and is Christ The Lord. There can only be one Lord – and It’s Jesus. You will find the full text of her speech HERE. But I’ve taken the liberty of posting the last few paragraphs below. To be honest I’m not really a Monarchist (I like the history though) but from the speech below we perhaps do have a Monarch whose faith truly is in Christ. Here’s a high-profile figure not afraid, or bound by ridiculous political correctness, diversity or intolerant tolerance to speak of faith in Christ and her own need of a Saviour and of forgiveness. God bless you.

Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: ‘Fear not’, they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

‘For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed.

God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us we pray.

Cast out our sin

And enter in.

Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”

What’s wrong with Same-Sex partnerships?

Image by Fergal OP via Flickr

A few days ago (Christmas Day) over here, Elton’s parenthood made front page news. All sorts of questions are asked when a high profile member of the entertainment industry obtains a child. Why do I say obtained? Although there’s the possibility of his biological parenthood, he didn’t have the child within the parameters of the usual man woman relationship. To be blunt, he bought the child. I do not intend any mean-spiritedness here at all. Like Carnegie perhaps he’s driven by a consuming desire to continue his name. Not in buildings, but in flesh.

But to answer the question – What’s wrong with Same-Sex partnerships? Behind the concept or idea of marriage lies a theology. What do I mean?

The Marriage model is based on the Love of the Lord Jesus for His church. The Church is the Bride and He is the Groom. It’s between a man and a woman. Homosexual or same-sex partnerships strike at the very heart of Christian Theology. Homosexual relationships are actually just as blasphemous as adulterous heterosexual relationships. These are not relationships intended by God. It would be stupid of me to deny that love exists between same sex partners – it clearly does. All I’m seeking to show is that the marriage model is where love is to be appropriately  manifested.

To state it more clearly then, the marriage model begins and began with God. It was not something man (I’m using man generically here i.e mankind) initiated, invented or thought would be a good idea. No, Gen 2:24: ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’ So this Biblical idea (Theology) goes way back. Here are the words of the Lord Jesus:

Mat 19:4  ‘He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5  and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
Mat 19:6  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”‘

And further, the words of the Apostle Paul:

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour.
Eph 5:24  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Eph 5:26  that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
Eph 5:27  so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
Eph 5:30  because we are members of his body.
Eph 5:31  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Then we have the following statement:
Eph 5:32  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Such is the sinfulness of man that he inverts everything, turns it upside down and makes it what it isn’t. So, the marriage model is based on Christ and the Church – a profound mystery.

But just in case anyone is tempted to take me to task for being prejudicial against any form of same-sex relationship, the Bible probably has more to say negatively about adulterous relationships than homosexuality. God hates adultery. This is so popular these days (has it ever been otherwise) that hardly anyone bothers about it – but God is bothered about it, Big Time. Lest we think we’ve escaped the searching gaze of The Lord, Jesus also has this to say:

Mat 5:27  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
Mat 5:28  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

The Bible goes right to the heart – not just what we do or don’t do. That covers almost, actually all, people. What all this shows is this:

We all need a Saviour. Not one of us is innocent before The Lord God of heaven and Earth before whom we must all stand to give account at that last great day. Elton might be a sinner, but so am I. He and I need a Saviour – His name is Christ the Lord.