Prayer is a wonderful privilege for believers in Christ. How wonderful to be able to talk to God, to know him, to have a relationship with him. Yet often, just as some peopel end up with an unhealthy relationship with food, we can end up with an unhealthy relationship with prayer. It becomes a legalistic… Continue reading When you pray
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few We have been thinking about what it means to be part… Continue reading The narrow gate
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” I must admit, I am not that great a fan of the way that Matthew 7:12 has become known as “The Golden Rule.” It sounds like one of those mechanistic laws for life. Almost as… Continue reading The Golden Rule
When we were younger, my sister wanted a Wendy house for her birthday. My dad kept insisting that she was getting a tin of baked beans, much to her annoyance and his amusement. Well, the day of her birthday came and she went downstairs. To her joy, there was the Wendy House ready assembled …… Continue reading What kind of gift?
I don’t want to make too big a deal out of this but I was fascinated when looking at Jesus teaching on prayer to spot one of those little but intriguing connections. In Matthew 4, Jesus goes into the Wilderness where he fasts for 40 days and nights and experiences testing from Satan. Satan basically… Continue reading Stones and Serpents
I remember a speaker at a conference I attended claiming that he had identified the secret to successful prayer. It was a matter of persistence in prayer and fasting. We give up too easily, he claimed. He was even prepared to put a number on this. Just as Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days,… Continue reading How many times do you need to ask?
This is a subject I will keep coming back to because I believe it is so important that we get this right if we are going to see healthy gospel churches. They are “sorry” and “forgive”. Elton John sung that “sorry seems to be the hardest word.” It shouldn’t be should it. We know that… Continue reading Get these two words in your regular vocabulary
In a previous post I began to build on Steve Kneale’s post on the challenges of “logs and specks” in the eye of the church. Steve said that the challenge is that we often cannot see our own logs to remove them. Here are some further thoughts. First of all, whilst I may not be… Continue reading How do we allow others to help us remove our logs and specks?
On our After Eight slot for Bearwood Chapel we were talking about the bit where Jesus says to take out the log in your own eye before attempting to remove your brother’s speck the other day. I asked Sarah, in the context of this, what she thought was our primary responsibility in a dispute. She… Continue reading Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)
I want to pick up on a brilliant question that was raised by one of our church family on the Zoom discussion last Sunday. We had listened to James preach on Matthew 7:1-6 and then one of the members asked “is it possible for these verses to talk about a whole community, church or institution?”… Continue reading When a community has a blind spot