New Year: New Sermon Series
This Sunday sees the start of a new sermon series entitled: Above All: The Life of Jesus. We'll delve into the life of Jesus, looking at the central purpose of his life and the various obstacles and challenges he had to face. From nature-defying miracles to his humblest teachings, we'll explore the very person and being of the God-man, Jesus. The first week we're kicked off by Stuart Ramsay as he opens up Mark 1 with us. Sundays at 10:30am for the morning service and 6pm for the evening service.
Big Small Group Returns
On the 16th January, Big Small Group returns with the final part of John's Gospel. Starting at John 14, with the start of Jesus farewell discourse, we work through the final moments of Jesus life up to his crucifixion and resurrection. Here the fullest account of the teaching he felt was most important to his disciples is laid out. It's going to be deep and spiritual stuff, but from it I hope we will learn the depths of love Jesus had and has for us as we see him face the way to the cross with unflinching confidence.
New Year: New Attempt at Reading the Bible Regularly?
It is very much a good thing to read the Bible frequently and spend time asking God to help us understand it. However, many of us with the best intentions at the start of the year set about an ambitious program of reading that falls flat very quickly in the large pile of other failed New Years resolutions. To help with reading the Bible, we can recommend The King's English, that takes a small excerpt from the Bible and explains it's relevance to us in the day to day. No more struggling with difficult names and concepts, using this will help you get to the heart of the matter pretty quickly! I love the blurb for it, it's the best: "Each day you will be drawn to the centre of the Scriptures - the Lord Jesus. These are not daily pep talks aimed at the will. They are daily doses of the grace of Christ to warm your heart and establish you in the truths of the gospel." Enough said! It's available in paperback, hardback and on kindle. See it's website or our books section for more information.
To get our minds thinking about our new series on the life of Jesus, here is my last devotion. In Mark's Gospel, there is a great speed with which you are propelled through the story. Of any of the gospels, Mark is the quickest to read and in many respects, a gripping account of Jesus life. If you've never sat down and read a whole Gospel before in one go, read Mark through and see what effect it has on you. Immediately in Chapter 1, we are launched into Jesus' baptism, temptation in the wilderness and calling of his disciples. His mission statement is made immediately clear in verses 14-15: "Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." " Right there we have Jesus mission to the world, the bringing of God's kingdom, God's rule over people's hearts and lives is being established. And, being picky with the language, he doesn't say "believe the gospel". He doesn't say believe this is true, and you'll be alright. Just get your facts straight, and everything will be fine. No, he calls for repentance and belief in the gospel. This is different, this isn't learn the facts, this is turn from your ways of self-interest and trusting in your worldly status, possessions and power. Instead, we are to believe in the gospel, to trust mind, body and soul in the good news of God, and accept his rule over us as our true king.