Thursday 26 January 2023


                     John 2 v.1/11

The Gospel passage for Sunday is the story of the first miracle of Jesus at a wedding, and we see God’s intention for mankind.

This story takes place in a village Cana, which is situated near Nazareth, and is the story of a wedding.  An Eastern wedding was a very special occasion, different from a Western one where the bride is the main figure. Here, she enters a Church in all her glory to the playing of organ music, and the congregation standing to greet and admire her. In the East the groom is the main one and he pays for it, the bride just turns up.

It was Jewish law that a virgin got married on a Wednesday, with the ceremony in the late evening after a feast, and the festivities would go on for days, often with relatives of both families joining in the celebrations. After the ceremony, the bridal couple would be conducted to their new home, through the village streets by the light of flaming torches with a canopy over their heads. They were taken by as long a route as possible so as many people as possible could wish them well.

In a land where there was so much poverty and constant hard work, this week of festivity and joy was a significant occasion, and it was this that Jesus came to share in. An added problem was he brought with him five Apostles, which meant more people to wine and dine.

For a Jewish wedding wine was an essential, but there would be no drunkenness for that would be seen as a disgrace, and the wine would be two or even three parts water.  In the East hospitality was a sacred duty, so failure to provide would have meant humiliation.

Mary heard of the problem and told her Son, and Jesus answered her by what seems rudeness, ‘woman what have you to do with me, my hour has not yet come.’ Jesus was kindly stressing that she must not see him only as her son, for when he will suffer, the more she will suffer. She must the see him as her Lord.

Standing there were six large jars each holding about two or three measures, that is about twenty gallons of water, making a total of over a hundred gallons of water intended for purifying or cleansing. The roads were dusty, and as the men wore sandals the men’s feet needed washing, but Jews also washed hands before each course of food.

Jesus sorted out what normally would take hours in preparation, by cutting out the normal procedure of crushing and fermenting, and turned the water into wine. This is included in the story to emphasize the greatness of the Lord’s gift. The head waiter then praised the quality of the wine produced.  

We see Mary’s faith in Jesus. She turned to him when a problem arose and even when he answered her sharply, she told the waiter to do what he asked, giving us a message to trust Jesus even when we do not understand is happening.  In every life there comes period of  darkness when we despair and wonder what the outcome, happy are those who still trust.

Every Bible story has a meaning and a lesson for all the Lord’s followers, including this story. We see Jesus ready to share in all our celebrations.

This was the first of the Lord’s miracles, and it took place at a marriage of a man and a woman, which has a significant meaning, and it tells us how honorable and important marriage was in the eyes of Jesus, it having been ordained by God for society’s benefit when he made a man and a woman.

There is no more wonderful and beautiful union than a man and a woman, and that it is why God created us so. God told us He gave woman to be an essential part of a man’s life, and men have found what a great blessing He gave.

God created marriage as the first institution before all others, with two distinct people of different bodies to have children and create a human family. Other relationships are condemned in Scripture.

Two people of the same sex cannot produce children and so extend the human race. God knew what He was doing, giving them different personalities and bodies, with different genes and chromosomes, which cannot be medically changed, to fulfil His purpose for the world.

Since the creation of the world, thousands of years past, marriage has taken place in every country in the world, being recognized as a stabling factor in society, In the last twenty years, it has been attacked by secular activists, liberal politicians seeking votes, and shamefully by bishops and other Church leaders, who have actually called for the Bible teaching to be abandoned. We have reached a stage where marriage has no significance in public life, and now can even be ended without stated reason.

This has caused much distress and poverty principally to women, and social study has established that children’s lives greatly affected. How ironic that Western nations where there are more material benefits, there is less marriage success than poorer Eastern nations where marriage is more honored.

What any two people decide they wish to do, is a matter for themselves to pursue without interference; God is capable of forming His judgement and any action He sees necessary. For the Church to formally give approval is to violate God’s teaching and our Lord’s commands.

For Jesus a home was special, no family abuse such as we see in so many homes.  A great loss in our time is that Jesus has no place in the majority of homes in this country. The bedrock of our society was once a family home of a man and woman in a happy marriage, raising children with a Christian faith. Now such a situation is mocked as old fashioned, but we never had so many teenage pregnancies, child abuse, and a divorce rate of more than 1 in 3 marriages. So many children do not know love, security and fellowship of a loving home. A lot of children don’t even know who their father is, and have brothers and sisters of different parents.

Jesus showed his glorious powers, and bestowed his blessing on marriage at a village girl’s wedding, and his Apostles accepted him as God’s Son.

This wedding took place probably in a village hall, no need for fancy mansions and plush hotels with large number of guests; Jesus is ready to take part in the ordinary things of our lives. 

Today the Church is almost performing a miracle in reverse, turning wine into water by diluting marriage into something having no greater significance than any other relationship.

Don’t be discouraged. When we let God and Jesus into our lives all ordinary activities receive new power, so don’t close the door of your life on the Lord, for if you do you reveal your lack of faith and trust. Give God a chance to do want you cannot do.

Jesus said I have come that you may have life in all abundance; be prepared to accept and believe him.

One day a great marriage feast will be held, at which Jesus will be the bridegroom and his believers will be the bride.


Be at Church on Sunday; making sure it is a Bible believing Church.

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Matthew 5  v 1 -12

I am starting to-day a series of sermons on the well-known chapters of the Sermon on the Mount, which I hope to post on the middle days of each week. 

The sermon was preached by Jesus at the beginning of is ministry, just after his baptise, The mountain was near Capernaum near hills which overlooked the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus saw the crowds who had gathered so went to the mountain, where in the custom of Jewish rabbis he sat down to preach.

In this sermon he was stating his followers were different from others, and they must follow his way of life and not be led by others.  His words follow in the likeness of God when speaking to Israel in the Old testament. His followers were to be diffrent from those in the secular world, and it is as in the Kingdom of God to be worked out under the divine role.

The sermon begins with the Beatitudes, which mark the Chrisin character and conduct in relation to God and man, and the blessing which is on those who display each beatitude. The sermon  will include Christian influene, righteousness, piety, ambition, and a Christian's relationship and commitment.

As the crowds were amazed and influenced by the authority of Jesus, it is an influence which every generation of Jesus' followers should accept and submit.  The Lordship of Jesuus is still relevant and the same as Jesus staed on that mountain. In the sermon,Jesus is telling  the reality of discipleship in the Kingdom of God.

In this sermon I am using the New Living Translation of the Bible, and using simpler words to help those, who are perhaps reading of the story for the first time, to understand what Jesus was really saying.

A lot of people consider the Beatitudes are a full description of the Christian faith. Whilst they are a central part of Christianity, that is being rather too restrictive.

Jeswas being followed by a crowd as he reached Capernaum from Galilee, and seeing the crowd, Jesus went up the mountain, and sat down to allow his disciples to join him. He sat down, which was the custom of a Rabbi to teach the crowd, religious leaders, and give instructions to his disciples, concerning life in the Kingdom of God.

The passage opens in some Bibles with the words, ‘he opened his mouth’, which meant Jesus beginning to teach in a grave and dignified manner, and is opening His heart and mind to the men who will become His disciples.  Followers of Billy Graham will know he so often spoke of the heart as the centre of life, holding our emotions, directing our thoughts, and our hearts.

The Beatitudes, are recorded in the Bible by Matthew and Luke, to mark the beginning of Jesus' public teaching ministry. I have chosen to follow Matthew’s account, and whilst it varies slightly from Luke’s version, that is attributable to personal way of telling, and is in no way casting a doubt of the event. Each beatitude has three parts, a term of blessedness, to whom it is applied, and the reason for it being given.

The actions begin with the word blessed, which in some modern versions of the bible has become ‘happy.’ I think that was unfortunate, for it is misguiding to a person not familiar with the Bible to read, ‘happy are those who are poor.’ A person can be blessed and be happy at being so, but a happy person may not suitably be blessed. To be blessed,  is to be in a state of well-being in relationship with God,  and has a sense of divine aid, and has the godly joy of walking in the presence of Jesus, and Is to those who responded to the ministry of Jesus.  

The disciples were those who had made  commitment to accept Jesus as the Messiah.  They were joined by the curious who had heard of Jesus, for news of Jesus had spread.  Some were uncommitted, others were astounded by his teaching.


  V3 blessed those who are poor and realize their need for him for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

 Jesus would not bless someone living in poverty, but is referring to a poverty of spirit, which leads to an inability to use one’s own resources. and know they need God to help them, so put their trust in God.   Such a man/woman can put all helplessness in God’s hands, and will know that God cand bring help.

 There is nothing good in poverty, Jesus would never have blessed people whose lives were in poor living, and were short of food and necessities. Abraham Lincoln stated that God must have loved the poor, because he made so many of them, and the gospel message was there to help them remove any misfortune.

Some of the people listening to Jesus must have been spellbound, for he was saying things which seemed to be the opposite of life as they knew it. He was saying the rich and  Important people were not the well-off, it was the poor, the mournful, persecuted , hungry and thirsty who were.    

V4 blessed those who mourn for they will be comforted 

Those who are desperately sorry for the sorrow and suffering in this world      .One who is in bitter sorrow, and is mourning the dead. Someone who has care for  another who is in sorrow and suffering.  The blessedness is on one whose heart is suffering for his/her own sins, for out of their own sorrow will find the joy of God.

 V5  blessed those who are humble for they shall inherit the earth

Someone who has his/her instincts and passions under control; who has compassion and the humility to know their own weakness and own need.   Who willingly is tolerant without resentment, and doesn’t take offence easily.  Ready to wait for goodness. Those who do not try to make themselves as better than others to further their own agenda, and will inherit the earth because trust in God to direct events, and is in control of own emotions. Who has the humility to realize his/her own weakness.

 V6  blessed those who hunger and thirst for justice for they shall be satisfied

To have a desire to be entirely confirmed to the mind of God, and long above all else, to be holy.  They recognized God is the source of all righteousness, so they long for God’s righteous character to be alive to people on earth. They shall be satisfied by responding to his invitation to be in worship with him.

 V7  blessed those who are merciful for they shall receive mercy

This is a principle which runs through the whole of the New Testament. The gentle folk who do not try to assert themselves over other people.    One who has full compassion for others. Have pity for all suffering and want to do good for people, and they will get rich reward.  The kindness and mercy shown to them they will share with others.

 V8  blessed those whose hearts are pure for they shall see God

 who pursue purity and uprightness on every area of life, for they will see the fulfilment in God.  Jesus stated that purity pf heart was most important.  They aim not for outward correctness, but inner holiness. Don’t seek external show, and try not to give offence, and will serve God with spirit, and have God at heart.

 V9 blessed those who work for peace for they shall be called the children of God

Those who pursue God’s peace will gain reward of being called sons and daughters of God, for they will reflect the character of their heavenly Father.  They strive for peace, and to produce charity,  they want people to love and care for each other, by teaching the gospel that love is the fulfilling of the law. They will make proper relationships between themselves and other men and women, for they are doing a godly work.  

 V10 blessed those who are persecuted for doing right for the kingdom of heaven is theirs

Those who are laughed at, scorned  and threatened. Persecuted and wrongly accused because of their faith.  God is pleased when his people show they value him above all others in this world, and this happens when we courageously remain faithful  amidst opposition for righteousness sake.

 V 11blessed you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all evil things about you because you are my followers Be happy about it. Be very glad for a great award awaits you in heaven. Remember the ancient prophets were treated in the same way.

Those who were reviled, just as Jesus who experienced opposition and persecution, his disciples can expect the same reward . This reward may not come on earth, but it will surely be theirs. Throughout history beginning with Cain’s slaughter of Abel, they persecuted the prophets.

 Matthew’s phrases show how essential to the teaching of Jesus. It should however, be realized the Beatitudes were given to Jesus’ disciples, to describe a way of life which is addressed to, and only possible for the committed Christian.’

 How many times I wonder, have I heard it said if people only followed the sermon on the mount the Church would find a world of love and peace.  This is sometimes said by people who want to bypass other parts of Scripture, which makes them uncomfortable, especially to their consciences. Do all those people actually live the teaching of the sermon?  Two thousand years have passsed since this sermon was delivered.  When all people claiming to be Christians accept, practice and fully live sound doctrine, then we will have true committal to Jesus Christ.

 May God bless his Holy Word to us, and may his Holy Name be praised and glorified.

Friday 20 January 2023

 Matthew 4 v 1/11

Turn with me to Matthew’s gospel in Chapter 4 verses 1-11, the story of the temptations faced by Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus begins to show his Messianic powers as he challenges the devil.

.  In verse 1 we read that Jesus was led by the Spirt into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  In the Old Testament the Israelites were led into the desert to be tested and humbled, to prove to God that they were able to keep God’s commands.

 Here at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry He is subjected to a similar testing, and will show He will obey every word that comes from God and be faithful.

 It was important for Jesus to be tested, for if He had succumbed to temptation, He could not be our Saviour. 

When we talk of the devil, people conjure up an image of some wild eyed creature with horns and a flaming mouth.  The devil was once an angel, who was cast out of heaven because of his rebellion against God, and what is meant by the term devil (or Satan) just to mention two of his names, we mean that evil spirit which comes upon us and tries to influence our thoughts and actions for evil.  We face a situation where we have to decide a course of action. 

In our minds we know one way is right, but the other is more appealing, and whilst we know we really shouldn’t take it, we are tempted to do so.  Is that not how the devil tempts us? 

This is why sometimes people drink instead of facing up to their emotional problems.  It is so much easier to put a bottle of vodka and numb yourself, rather than to delve into your problems.  It is so much easier to fill the emptiness in the mind, than to fill the emotions in the heart and soul..  This leads to all sorts of physical and mental trouble. 

People go from cheap physical relationship to another, because they are not willing to make a commitment, and take the step of devoting themselves to one person who will really love them.  When you listen or read news reports, you can readily appreciate the powerful influence of evil, for the stories are frightening. 

When we read ‘the devil said to Jesus’. or the devil took Jesus, we are to understand that in a vision Jesus had these temptations put into His mind.  It is through our innermost thoughts and desires, that the tempter come to us, and his attack is launched in our minds.  To some people the devil can appear very real. 

..Martin Luther, the great Protestant Reformer, was once so convinced of a presence of the devil, that he threw an inkwell at his wall

In verse 2, we read that Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights, so would be extremely hungry.  The number is likened to the time that Moses and Elijah spent when they were fulfilling God’s purpose for them in the wilderness.

  In verse 3 we come to the first temptation. Jesus is asked if he was the Son of God, and of course he was, but was not ging to be tricked into using his divine powers  make things easier for himself, when Jesus is tempted to turn the stones into bread.

Th desert in which Jesus was, lay between  Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, and called the place of devastation.  It was an area 35 miles by 15, an area of yellow sand and crumbling limestone.  There could be no lonelier a place.  The desert would be littered with little round pieces of lime stone, each of which was exactly like a loaf of bread,  so for someone in a starving state,  Jesus could have turned the stones into bread.                                                                   

There is always the temptation to use powers. God has given us for special reason.  God has given us all gifts, and we have to ask, not what I can make for myself out of them, but what can I do for others. 

A person may have a talent for making or doing something, but will only do so for personal reward.  It is perfectly acceptable to make profit for an ability, but wrong to do so exclusively. 

In verse 4, it is written, then He quoted Scripture.  In this case He said that we live not only by bread, material food, but also by spiritual food, God’s Word.  This is why we are called to know the Scriptures, that we may be able to answer questions and temptations we may face.

In verse 5 Jesus is at the pinnacle of the Temple Jesus is asked to throw himself down, with angles waiting to prevent Jesus from being hurt. Jesus answers him by telling him not to put the Lord God to the test.

A final test is in verse 8. Jesus was on a high mountain when tested to worship the devil, and in return would be given power over all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus exchanged the love of his Father to worship the devil.

The devil left Jesus, who was ministered to by angels.

One sure way to get a following, is to offer people something for free, but Jesus did not come to bribe people, and nor should His Church ever think of doing so. 

Jesus called people to give and not just to get to feed the hunger in the heart.

Saturday 14 January 2023


In the coming season of Lent,  Church groups will be meeting in many places to discuss a variety of subjects. I suggest the most urgent subject would be how the Christian Church and Christianity should be preserved in this country, and indeed in all Western nations.

     Pope Benedict, lately deceased, spoke of the increasing secularisation of society, which is very evident across Europe, and perhaps to a lesser extent across the United States. In Europe the word Christian is omitted from all documents, and the progressive idealism of so-called intellectuals, is to be able to express oneself in a manner of living which reflects a hedonistic lifestyle, with freedom of sexual activity and to indulge in any form of enjoyment. Any form of religion is seen as an irrelevance.
     Consequently, the task facing the Church is monumental and gives some members a sense of inadequacy and hopelessness. One of the greatest hindrances to Church growth, is the lack of commitment. Jesus always expected commitment and His parables reflect this.
     We have to ask why we Christians are not making an impact, and one suggestion may be to look at the comparison with Muslim people. Consider their commitment. Regular attendance at the Mosque on Fridays (their holy day), with men in the ascendance. Devout defence of the Koran and their prophet Mohammed, and any abuse of either would provoke strong reaction, whereas we Christians let Jesus’ name be taken in vain without a murmur, and let our holy Book be mocked and ridiculed. I fear the general record of attendance on Sundays is not as regular as other faiths.
     The words of Jesus compel us to take action, ‘Go into the world and make disciples’ .This command was given to the disciples and is a continuing commission which we are bound to obey, for the Bible’s words are not just for first century Christians.
     The word ‘go’ means to reach out. The Bible reminds us that people cannot believe if no one tells them, and we have to think of ways to reach out.
I have always enjoyed reading Church magazines, and have read a wide variety. They almost all tell about what has gone on within the parish over the past month, recipes for cakes, hobbies people pursue, and general chatter for the interest of members. Surely there should be articles with a spiritual message  using the magazine as an outreach to people who are not members.  

     There are many organisations and business which publish articles relating to their work, using them to cause readers  to take further interest.

      For 17 years I edited a Church magazine, and considered a Bible teaching page an essential inclusion, and know it was read and appreciated.

     The aim is to tell people how the Church can be a help to them, what the services are and when, and describes our faith and beliefs.
     We have Church fairs and fetes with all kinds of stalls, and they attract a lot of people. But what effort is put into trying to interest them in Church attendance when they come. It is rare, if it even happens, for a prominent notice to be on display calling on people to come to a service.
     I have been to quite a number of village Churches, with very few people attending. Notices are placed around the villages to tell of social events, why not flood them with reminders of their village church and why it is there. Reminding them of how privileged they are in comparison to other districts, and calling them to thank God for being able to live in such surroundings.It may not work, but it certainly will not if we do not try.
     However, there is a compulsion to make sure they are going to hear a gospel message relating to Jesus Christ. There is no room for sermons on the environment, green or political issues, or as at one church I visited, where the Vicar told what her latest reading material had been.
     One thing is for certain, we can’t wait for people to make their own effort to come,  they need some persuasion.

     Jesus said all authority is given to Him and the Holy Spirit works through us to help us do His work.
     In so many Churches, we accept that people can bring their children for baptism, and we ask them to make vows and promises we know in our hearts they do not intend to keep

      Is it honest and a matter of integrity, that we pursue this course rather than demand some commitment for what is a sacred service? Just imagine the scene if all those who had made such promises over the years honoured their promises, our Churches would be full.
     There is often a sense of apathy in which it is declared, ‘there is nothing we can do’, If the Apostles and the first Christians had taken such approach, there would not be a Church.

      I recently watched a television programme on Christian World News, which is part of the Christian Broadcasting Network in the United States, and there was a report from Cairo which showed the suffering and hardship endured by Coptic Christians, forced to live by a hostile regime in abject poverty because of their Christian faith, yet such is their commitment that they happily remain faithful.
     Similar situations exist in countries like Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other Islamic countries, where Christians face persecution for expressing their faith, and actual violence which often ends in death. 

     All such instances should both inspire us and make us feel rather ashamed at the feeble commitment we find in too many places.
Make no mistake, persecution could yet prevail here, which is why we have to be careful. Preachers have been arrested for quoting passages from Scripture in public, and  Christians have been taken to Court,  where they have been declared guilty and fined.

     People who have expressed their beliefs have been censured, and subject to hostile email threats. Freedom of speech is being increasingly restricted to those who oppose traditional beliefs and religion.

Legislation has been enacted in which anyone who criticises non-believers can be penalised, yet those who attack Christianity are not included in that law.

     Christian Legal Centres are now doing tremendously well in defending Christians who have been penalised for standing firm against those who want to stop people from praying ;expressing views on social media; not accepting alternate beliefs.

     Lent is an opportunity to revive Christian worship and Church attendance for all who are physically able to attend, and to encourage the defence of our faith and beliefs.   LGBT have  acording to recent census, 3.7% of the population but have attain ed much power by  a vigorous campaign, now let us make Christian views highly  proclaimed  throughout the nation.

Wednesday 11 January 2023


1 Corinthians 13 v8. Love never ends. 

We have just passed through what was for many people a joyous time. For others it was a sad time as they had no family to share it with, or there were sad memories which had to be endured.

The whole meaning of the season was to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, a fact lost on many of the population. We recognised the great love of God in sending his only Son to earth, knowing Jesus would die horrifically on a Cross in early manhood.  Whilst Jesus would lead a sinless life, he would die to pay the penalty for all our sins, and so enable all who accepted that death as being for them, and who would recognise Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, were made acceptable to God and allow them to join Jesus in heaven.

Th word ‘love’ is an over used word and an abused one, but at this time we recognise the love of God in sending his Son and in the surrendering of Jesus of his life.

Love is an emotional word and so care has to be used  in the correct way. We say so often, I love an article or clothing, when we really mean like.Songs are sung all about love, and much television and movies are about love in lives.  The word is totally misunderstood.

There are four types of love described in the Bible, each of which has a special meaning. I can never remember hearing a sermon preached on the subject, (except for a televised one from two distinguished American pastors,) which otherwise is probably a good thing, as we would have the burden of false preaching.

The first kind of love is the most commonly applied, and relates to passion.   The term ‘I love you’ has so often been said by men to a woman met, when really what he is meaning is I want to have sex with you, and the relationship lasts as long as he decides.

This is a sad use of the word, When a person of the opposite sex speaks of love, it should be when a man meets a woman, and admires her beauty and personality, or a woman admires the manner and personality of a man, God made us  as opposite, so to attract for a man and a woman, to fall in love, marry, and raise a family. A casual relationship between a man and woman only leads to disaster and a ruined life, usually to the woman.

How sad it has been twisted, and used contrary to God’s intentions,  in a way so distinctly shown in Scripture, which modern Church leaders are shamefully supporting and encouraging.

 A second kind of love is that in friendship.  Jesus calls on us to love our neighbour, by which he meant a fellow human being.  We deny ourself in order to help others, which Jesus described in the parable of the good Samaritan, who cared for an injured Jewish man, who by nature was bitterly opposed to a Samaritan. He cared for his Jewish victim, rendered to him and saw he got good care when others had bypassed the poor man. There are of course, some people who make themselves unlovable.  Jesus showed us how he loved his Apostles.

A third kind of love is of family. It should be unthinkable that families could not be in loving care for each other, but I have found from long experience that it happens. Man and wife often come to hate each other, Parents should help and care for children, yet so many children are little horrors.  Children should care for their parents all through life, which is a natural practice in China and many countries in Africa. How any child of any age could not care for a mother, who risked her life giving birth for the child, is beyond my understanding. Having served many years in a big city I have found it to be so.

Lastly there is sacrificial love. No greater love exists than that showed by our Lord when he went to the Cross and voluntarily gave up his life to pay for our sins.  But even in life, we see instances where a mother makes a sacrifice by giving part of her body, to save her child facing death. We find it battle zones, when soldiers injured in conflict and being badly wounded, carry on fighting to free their comrades

True love seems to be so rare. It is too easy to profess love, as many men and women do.  Vows are taken to promise to love each other until they die, when it would be more appropriate to say until we get fed up with each other.  Divorce is now so easy one partner can decide to end a marriage without the other partner having any say in the matter.

God gave us the opportunity for such a wonderful life when he made man, and then gave him the  precious gift of woman, and yet so many have destroyed their lives by jealousy, greed, and selfishness.

For a lot of us there has been so much happiness, until God calls one partner back leaving the other to face life devoid of all meaning. May God give his blessing to all married couples, and to those now separated by death, a happy and blessed reunion in heaven.         






Saturday 7 January 2023

2 Chronicles 7 v 14

For the past two years the Christian Church adopted a variety of means to continue worshipping services    , using in many cases technology, which reached people who appreciated hearing that of which they had not previously heard.

 It is therefore of paramount importance to present a united message based on the teaching of the Apostles, as passed down by our Lord Himself, and for God’s sake (literally) stop all the liberal nonsense that has poisoned the true gospel.

We have seen the vicious evil in the world in the past week, when a young woman was sitting in a public house and was killed by gun fire and others seriously wounded. In another instance, a young man was stabbed to death, both cases taking place in the most joyous part of the year,  when the world is celebrating the birth of the One who become a Prince of peace,. The situation gets worse as time goes on..

In every part of the world there is little peace, goodness or Christian teaching.   the Church in the main denominations just gets further away from God and His teaching. The cause of such depreciation is                 partly a falling away from religion; partly ageing  and illness, and the failure of Churches to preach truth and sound doctrine.

This week, Turn with me to 2 Chronicles Chapter 7, verse 14.

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 Here is a God given chance for there to be a renewal where the lost will be found, and the weak would be made strong.  Here is God promising us He will respond, if we will answer and fulfil His invitation.  This is such a profound offer we cannot afford not  to accept.

In 960BC Israel was in moral and spiritual decline, with people failing to worship God.  Solomon pleaded with God to forgive the nation of their sins, and God answered that if they humbled themselves, prayed, sought His face, and turned from their wicked ways, He would heal their land.

We are faced with a like situation as Solomon then faced, but when he prayed to God he was given an answer, which is still as valid to- day, as it was all those years ago.

All around us storm clouds are falling on a world so different from what many of us knew. The foundations on which we were raised have largely been destroyed, to such an extent that there are now no moral absolutes, all is relative and one does one’s own thing. Our children are being brainwashed into ways of life, which would never have been mentioned even in the most liberal places.

What hope does the Bible give us?  Listen to God.


This verse is directed to particular people, limited to those who know the Lord. God’s people are those who worship Him, who  He has called to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, who profess Christ and own up to doing so.  They are people who regularly attend Church to worship Him week by week, not those who have a nodding acquaintance with Him at Christmas time, or who never acknowledge him at all  Remember, Jesus said ‘I am the only way to God, NO one comes to the Father except through me’

     In all our Churches in this country, there are people who devotedly come week by week to join in worship. They will try to live according to the way God has spelled out. The majority of them will have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

      However, in the minds of most people, you have no need to prove anything about yourself, God would never send anyone to hell, the only alternative to heaven, and that is right, God never would consign anyone to hell, He lets the person make the choice for him(her)self here on earth. Jesus said to unworthy people, ‘get away from me I never knew you. get away from me you who broke God’s laws’


 Both individually and as a Church there is need for repentance.  There are far too many people who consider themselves as being Christians, attending Churches on Sundays where they sing praise to God, listen to His Word being read, and often preached upon, (but not always and confessing sins they have pre-determined are not going to relinquish. 

A person is (relatively) free to live as they wish in a free country, they can excess in alcohol, gaming and sexual relationships, but they do not have the same right to call themselves as Christians. Sin can be defined as any activity which has been condemned in Scripture; this relates not only to sexual activity, but to theft, adultery, jealousy, envy, malice, hatred, and deceit by telling lies.       


Jesus told us to pray without ceasing, and gave examples of desperate prayer. In one story a family had gone to bed, when they were disturbed by a neighbour pounding on their door. The homeowner looked out and was asked for some bread by the neighbour to feed his guest. The homeowner refused, but the neighbour kept on knocking until the homeowner gave what he wanted. The moral of the story was perseverance, it was desperation which won the day. Jesus said, ‘keep on asking and you will receive. Keep on seeking and you will find, keep on knocking and the door will be opened up to you.’ If we want revival we must pray in desperation.

     You may well ask, ‘how can we a small suburban church with not a huge congregation, many of whom are perhaps older in years, do very much?’ Hudson Taylor, who founded the China Inland Mission, was once asked why God had chosen him. Taylor replied, `because God wanted someone small.' When God acts it is not only in big cathedrals, it is in the lives of ordinary Christian people. Consider who God chose to be the mother of His Son, a humble young Jewish village girl, now treasured in the history of the Church, and adored in honour of motherhood.

We need all of us to have a passion for revival, and we are poor Christians if we don't feel a concern for the future of the Church. We must forget ourselves and our own desires for the sake of the Lord's Church. If we really believe Christianity is the only hope and answer for a fallen world, then let us earnestly pray and work for revival and make sure we, are living as God intended.  Revival begins with Gods people, but the power of God is so strong it soon spreads to all society.

     God acted when a Minister went to the small island of Lewis in the  Hebrides, and the people there prayed that God would bless them. Evan Roberts a Minister in South Wales prayed and started the Welsh Revival. There are many examples of answered prayer for revival.

     After Jesus had risen from the dead, he told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on high. Although their lives were in danger, they gathered in that Upper Room and waited patiently for the promise of the Father. Then when the day finally came, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and were converted to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.     

     An American Christian programme, following the September 11th attack on its country, asked all its listeners to pray for fifteen minutes a day for fifty days for a revival, and to phone in and say where they were from. A coloured pin was then placed on a wall map of the United States at their location. Within days the map was covered as people responded. Most of them were small churches, perhaps even smaller than yours,  but they reported new life and new people.

     Neither is age a relevance. When the Israelites were attacked by the Amalekites, Moses and Aaron were too old to fight, but as the younger men fought, they prayed, and every time they did so, the Israelites advanced. Older people can play a vital role in revival.


God wants us to enter into a relationship with Him. Not to see Him  as someone to go to when we want something, but as sons and daughters who want to respect and love their own father.

      The Bible tells us that God communed with the first man and woman. He who made man in the Garden of Eden, communes with us now through His Word, the Bible. Unfortunately, so many people at all levels within the Church want to pick out those parts which suit their preference.


There is a need for examination of our lives to root out those ways which are not worthy of us as Christians. Things which the Bible clearly defines as wrong, yet which are still practised by people who call themselves Christians.

     The church as God's voice, has failed greatly by not speaking out in condemnation of such ways, for fear of upsetting the liberal tendency and being branded narrow, often preferring to align itself with society's standards. Can you imagine how little the Christian Church would have progressed if Paul had been so timid? Scripture alone should be our guide

        The Church  has colluded with activists who wish to see a form of immorality accepted. We have accepted a form of marriage in direct contravention of the Bible; created a second baptism to those calling themselves a different sex; in Church schools children of very tender age, are being taught explicit sexuality, and offered gender change. The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected calls to stop the teaching of trans-gendering in school to young children. This is causing distress as children have become frightened by what they are taught and see. Often parents have been unaware of such teaching.

       There are rules for life which God has laid down, but too often they become merely a basis for negotiation. If people choose to adopt a different way of life, that is a personal matter between them and God. But the Church should not join in and approve of such.

      Sometimes we have real unpleasantness in our churches. This is because some people see them as places to exercise a power they could not do so elsewhere. They become argumentative, rebellious, self-centred, and enjoy causing disruption.


God has promised to respond by healing our land.  God loves all people, and wants all to be saved.  But He is a righteous God who hates sin, and He will not deal with people who neglect, disobey and do not honour Him. However unpleasant to admit, the Church in this country has acted shamefully, it has disregarded the teaching God laid down in His Word, and which Jesus commanded to be followed.  Individually, Christians have not always been worthy of Him. But God has stated He will heal, and whilst people may not be relied on to keep a promise, God will.

     In this sermon I have used the word IF numerous times. This is a very big word. There are churches which would dread any revival, preferring to keep things nice and quiet in a holy huddle. If a stranger should enter they say 'what is she doing here.' Some older people take a philosophical line, and think ‘I won't be here in a number of years.’ So they don't let things concern them.

     The same God who visited His people in the first Christian Church, has promised to hear His people and answer from heaven. In parts of the world which has been faithful to him and his holy Word, God has now acted. Let us in the Western hemisphere now be faithful and respect God.


May God bless his Holy Word to us.

Monday 2 January 2023


Deuteronomy 11 v 8/18 ; Hebrews 10 v 19/25


On Sunday, we began a New Year an appropriate day to begin on. This enables the Church to start to face the giant task of bringing people to, and back to, the practice of worshipping God, and by his grace to become followers of Jesus Christ.

     We have just celebrated the birth of Jesus, and many people enjoyed themselves by taking advantage of the event, by attending services after absences. Now we must seriously commit ourselves to make the Church a significant factor in lives.

A New Year always provides for a new beginning, and as we look back, we can reflect on the failures as well as the successes.

In the Old Testament Lesson, the people of Israel were facing a new beginning.  They had failed God by not obeying and trusting him, so they spent forty years in the wilderness.  Now as they stand on the banks of the Jordan, ready to cross into the land God had promised to give to them, their leader Moses speaks to them words of encouragement, and telling them to place trust in God. Such a message is relevant to us today.

Anyone who has gone out on a journey knows when you reach a certain point, it is that of no return; you have gone so far you just have to continue, the past behind you.  

We face the challenge of a new year, one in which only God knows what the future holds.  We need to heed the words of Moses to trust in God to bless us.

The Israelites were told to possess the land.  God was giving them a homeland, which many want to take away from them now, some by blowing them up by explosives. Just as God provided for Israel, he is prepared to provide now for all who are ready to obey his commands and trust him. There are many blessings offered to us, but we have to take possession of them.

Jesus said, ‘I have come that you may have life and have it to the full’.  Paul said, ‘eye has not seen nor ear heard the things which God has prepared for those who love him’.

In our society so much can come so easily that God does not figure in many people’s lives, they think of him as an irrelevance having no part to play in their lives.

If you ask a lot of young people how we get our food, they will say something like Tesco; there is no understanding of the part God plays. They have never heard the words, ‘give us this day our daily bread’.

God gave Israel a land of milk and honey, providing for all their needs after they had suffered so much in Egypt where water was scarce where the Nile is the only river, and it is a barren land largely.

People who live without Christ in their lives, resemble a barren land.  They live without him who said that those who trusted in him would never be thirsty, but would be given living water.

God was offering a land of mountains and valleys. Life for all of us is a tortuous road, with its twists and turns, its hills and valleys.  There will be times when all is going well, and we feel we have reached a mountain peak, but there will be times when we feel we are in a deep valley as things have been so hard.

Life can become difficult. We may feel we are of little significance in the scheme of things, and as we look back on our life, we think if only I had done this or that, what difference.

If you feel depression is setting in; remember God does not expect you to be any different, recall the words in verse 12, ‘the eyes of the Lord are upon you from the beginning to the end’.

A study of the Bible shows God often uses little people to do mighty things; he chose a young Jewish village girl to be the Saviour of the World.  None of the Apostles had a degree, and if applying for Christian ministry today would probably be rejected.

The new year brings a new opportunity. As we move forward, God’s eyes will be upon us, looking after us from beginning until the end of the year, if we put our trust in him. But if we are to receive the full blessing of God’s provision, we must remember the importance of loving God, and obeying his will which he has given us in the Bible.

The New Testament reading calls on us to draw near to God, to let him be in control of your life, and not to be someone you call upon when you are in trouble.

There is also the command to be present at worship, not giving up as so many want to do.  There are cynical voices trying to turn people away from God. We find scorn on television as the messengers of secularism are so prominent in those circles, and slide in anti-Christian thoughts in entertainment programmes.  Now we have the political parties of all persuasions, which support conduct and actions contrary to traditional Bible teaching, and then create laws which place State law against God’s law.

We are living in an increasing anti-Christian environment, with so called Equality and Diversity laws making it hard for Christians to express themselves, as public servants strive to find ways of excluding Christian expression.  It would be more accurate to call it the Inequality and Diversity law, as some are allowed to be more equal and diverse than others.

We live in two worlds.  We live in the earthly world, but we also live in the world of the Spirit, and there is always the danger we can forget about God and become so involved in earthly activities.  

As members of a human family we like to meet with brothers and sisters in our parents’ home and as members of a Church family we welcome the chance to meet with our Christian brothers and sisters. 

A Church family is unique in that it consists of different ages, backgrounds, experiences and sexes.  It is where God provides for us to be come equipped to carry out His message to the world.  We sing praise together, pray for each other and for the worlds needs share bread and wine in Holy Communion and remember what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. 

Coming to Church should be like sons and daughters coming to meet with their (heavenly) Father in complete harmony.  My sons regularly visit my wife and self, and I would be very concerned if they did not.  Our heavenly Father is also upset when His children neglect Him. 

The Bible says, ‘let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another’.  

We need to meet with others to have fellowship, to gain and give encouragement.  Each of us has to make an effort.  Most people believe in God and many have a respect for the Church, but that is as far as it goes.  They don’t want God or the Church to intrude into their lives, unless of course they want a baptism or wedding and then both can become useful. 

We need corporate fellowship, so neglecting to meet in Church with brothers and sisters in Christ is a serious weakness. 

It can be so easy to just give up and go with the flow, especially as Church leaders side with the State.  This is why the Bible urges Christians to be together and contend for the faith. We join in prayer together and encourage one another; it is God’s way of providing for his people to be fully equipped for his service.  

We need to learn from preaching of his Word, provided that such teaching is consistent and faithful to the Bible.  This can be a problem when preachers challenge Scripture.

But there is one thing I feel needs to be stressed.  We should ensure the Church we attend is one faithful to God’s Word, and seeks to build each other up through the Scriptures, and where the true gospel is preached.

We have to acknowledge however sadly this is not always the case, so it serves no purpose going to a Church which fails to do these things

.  Too many preachers have their own agenda, which is created around a morality not supported by Scripture, and where the teaching is given to subscribe to the culture of the day. 

You must find a Bible based Church.  Research in America has shown that going to Church, and meeting with fellow believers is good for your health.  A survey of 4,000 people, found that older people especially who attended Church, were less depressed and far healthier that their non-religious counterparts. 

But just believing in God’s existence is not enough we have to draw near to Him, and the only way is through Jesus Christ.  There is one way, one Saviour, one way to eternal life. 

Jesus is described in the Bible as the great High priest of God.  The function of a priest is to be a bridge between God and man, so that we can come into God’s presence, and Jesus makes that possible.  Jesus can take us into the very presence of His Father. 

There are many, far too many people in recent times, who have forsaken Church, and it can be so very easy to give up, go with the flow and fall away.  Once this is done, it is often hard to get back into the practice of coming to Church.  This is why the Bible urges the need for Christians to be with each other. 

There are numerous reasons for people giving up worship.  There are the cynical voices pouring scorn making people feel doubtful.  There are forces of secularisation, now given so much attention and credence.   There are pressures from within families where some members are anti-church, notably husbands regarding their wives.  The worry about taking a public stand, and indeed, from within the Church itself. 

We should not be tempted to separate ourselves from those who are joined to us by a common faith. Meeting and following Christ can be costly, but mostly well rewarded.  We must always be aware of the fact that in many parts of the world Churches cannot exist, nor can Christians meet with other Christians for fear of imprisonment or even death.  Increasing hostility is being displayed in countries like Egypt, Pakistan, and Nigeria, where Churches are burned down and bombed.  Here we still have freedom to worship, but if not cherished and valued, and fought for will be lost. 

Jesus expected to be given priority, and if people can find time for all other things in life but not for him, the question arises as to how important our faith, Jesus and God.

The great American evangelist, Dwight Moody, was once talking to a young man who had fallen away from Church as they sat by a coal fire. Moody knocked one of the coals from the fire into the hearth, and it soon died out.  He picked it up and put if back on the fire. and it glowed.  He said to the young man, that is how what happens when a Christian falls away from Church, they burn out. Coming to Church should be like sons and daughters visiting their father, their heavenly Father.

Having said all this, it is fair to say we should make sure we attend a Church which is faithful to God’s Word.


We have to acknowledge this is not, sadly, always the case.  I understand it comes hard when a number of preachers have to be heard, and you have a situation when liberal minded anything goes preacher. is followed by an evangelical Bible preacher. You are naturally left confused as to who to believe.

There are few people who can say all in my life is sunshine and roses. We all have some worry; health concern for the future, domestic problem, even a Church problem.  To all, Jesus says come unto me all you who are heavy laden and |I will give you rest, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  

May the wonderful truth that Jesus is deeply concerned about you, comfort you and ease your worries, and no matter what this new year may bring forth in world issues, it will be a memorable one for you; no doubt of hills and valleys, but one in which you draw near to God.


Let us therefore draw near to God. holding firmly to your belief, and never give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us always give each other encouragement.  Don’t let unpleasant people, secularists, or anyone else hold you back.  Remember too, Jesus said if anyone rejected Him, He will one day reject them. Such a fate is too horrible to consider. 


May God bless you in this new year and may his words touch your heart to give you comfort and hope