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Archive for November, 2013

The devastating consequences of exploitative Payday lending and the Christian response

God and Politics in the UK

Cash bank notesPersonal debt and payday loans companies have once again filled the pages of the papers this week. These are rapidly becoming two of the defining issues of this time of austerity that our country is going through. The latest report from the Centre for Social Justice think tank released last week entitled Maxed Out finds that poor people are bearing the brunt of a storm that has seen unsecured consumer debt almost triple in the last 20 years, reaching nearly £160 billion today. Average household debt is now £54,000 – nearly twice the level of a decade ago. Households in the poorest 10 per cent of the country have average debts more than four times their annual income. Average debt repayments within this group amount to nearly half their gross monthly income. More than 26,000 UK households have been accepted by councils as homeless in the last five years because of rent and mortgage arrears, with 5,036 becoming homeless…

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Sermon – Rachel’s Story

Rachel’s Story

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Reading Genesis 29v14-30

Now that may be to some a long passage, but it helps set up the story of Rachel. Sounds like a modern day soap opera like Holby City, Eastenders or Coronation Street doesn’t it? Rachel had a fairly complicated family structure as we have seen, so lets try to unravel it!

Rachel’s sister Rebekah was Jacob’s mother. Rebekah trained Jacob to scheme in order to gain his father’s blessing and promised him that she would take the results of the deceitful act upon herself. Rachel became Jacob’s wife, but only after Laban had tricked him into marrying Leah, the older daughter first. We can wonder if Rachel encouraged Jacob in his trickery, or if she was influenced by him to think first of herself at the expense of others. Whether his mother and/or his wife influenced Jacob, or indeed if he influenced them, both Rebekah and Rachel serve as examples of the outcome of sinful deceit and discontent.

Introducing Rachel’s personal details

So, who was Rachel?

  • Born in Aramea (Syria)
  • Daughter of Laban
  • Second wife of Jacob, her first cousin.
  • Mother of Joseph & Benjamin.
  • Ancestress of three tribes of Israel- Benjamin, Ephraim & Manasseh (Sons of Joseph).
  • Possessed great beauty (Genesis 29:17)
  • Devious (Genesis 31:19, 34-35)
  • Not single-minded in devotion to God.
  • Probably did not put away her idols until shortly before she died.
  • Her sorrow is depicted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah. 31), to signify the sorrow of Israel’s people at the exile of Israel to Assyria and Babylon.

Now let us look at some of the main people involved in the life of Rachel: her father, sister, husband and children.

1. Her Father

2. Her Sister

3. Her Husband

4, Her Children

The Story continues

Conclusion

Perhaps there are 3 kinds of people here tonight.

Firstly, if you are a Christian here tonight, how and in what way are you like Rachel? As you go through your day, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you ways in which you may well be deceitful, vengeful, dwelling on the past bitterly or engaged in constant self-pity. Are you like Rachel, headed downhill on a course of dissatisfaction that may end in dishonesty and deceit, or in disappointment and despair? Accept God’s love. Believe that in every trial He desires us to draw closer to Him, so that we can be energized by Him and realize that He alone and only He is enough. Ask for forgiveness for dwelling on the past and any inappropriate behaviour where those things were involved. God is faithful and just and will forgive if you go to Him with a penitent heart. Then no long dwell on those things, for they are in the past, are forgotten and not to be remembered any more. So forgetting what is past, go into the future with a new outlook of service to God and others. That way your life will be a living prayer and a living witness to others about the great God you serve, love and worship.

Secondly, you may be a Christian but you are the victim of somebody else’s deceit and dishonesty – then forgive them before God and as far as it is possible, ask that person for forgiveness. Bitterness, envy and pride can eat away and cause much misery, sin and depression.

Finally, if it happens that you are not a Christian here tonight, then please do see one of the leaders or myself and we would be glad to tell you how you can be free from a life of dissatisfaction, deceit and dishonesty – both as the victim and perpetrator of such things. Know that Jesus Christ is above deceit, never dissatisfies and is never dishonest – His word is true and He seeks you, to be in a relationship with you, where His love is always serving, always humble and always satisfies. As I said, come and see one of us after if that is you..

Thank you.

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US WOW Tour 2013 Interview

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Here I am being interviewed by a Mississippi friend, Milly, as the 2013 Partakers USA WOW Tour enters its final days… Enjoy!

WOW Word 10 – Evangelism

Alphy brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word

Evangelism!

This week, Alphy shares about evangelism – telling and showing others about Jesus! WOW!

You are called to evangelise!

While you may not be called to be an evangelist (Ephesians 4:11), you are called to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). In Jesus’ last words on earth, His church was commanded to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:8). You are a member of that church, and as a part of the Church, you are included in the way God has chosen to spread His message of reconciliation (Acts 4:12; 2 Peter 3:9).

Remember Paul’s words from Romans 10:14-15: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

What is evangelism?

Why evangelise?

Go out today and be beautiful to somebody by both telling and showing them the good news of Jesus Christ. Come see and hear more by playing and/or downloading the video below!~

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Sermon – Hebrews 10:26-39

Do Not Despise Jesus’ Sacrifice

Hebrews 10:26-39

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Part 1 – Just Stop! – Persevere in obedience (v26-31)

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Part 2 – Do Remember! – Persevere by remembering (v32-34)

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

Part 3 – Hope Confidently – Persevere for reward (v35-39)

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while,

He who is coming will come and will not delay.

38 But my righteous one will live by faith.

And if he shrinks back,

I will not be pleased with him.

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

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