Thursday, 28 April 2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Back to Basics - Part 5

Do you read the passage that the pastor is preaching on in preparation for the sermon? And do you read the passage he preached on after the sermon? All I want to do in this mini-sermon is encourage you to do that. It will help you gain a deeper understanding of what the Holy Spirit is wanting to teach you, especially when you do it prayerfully.

We are working through Genesis in the morning and Matthew in the evening and I usually preach around half a chapter to a whole chapter each week, so it shouldn't be too difficult to work out where we shall be in the Bible week by week.

Here are some Bible study questions to help you understand the passage better - slightly revised and hopefully improved.

  • Background questions:
    • Who wrote the book I am reading?
    • Who did he write it to?
    • What did the chapter mean for the people of that time?
    • What does the chapter I am reading teach me about God?
    • How does it point to Christ?
    • What does the chapter I am reading mean for me today? 
  • Questions to help me understand what the chapter means for me today:
    • Is there a command for me to obey?
    • Is there an example for me to follow?
    • Is there an error for me to avoid?
    • Is there a promise for me to claim?
    • Is there a sin for me to forsake?

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Tenth Commandment

In our family devotions we regularly say the Ten Commandments together. The tenth commandment is, "You shall not covet." We've also been reading Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (not during family devotions, of course!). Veruca Salt is a notorious example of how one might break the commandment (pp. 140-141):

'Hey, Mummy!' shouted Veruca Salt suddenly, 'I've decided I want a squirrel! Get me one of those squirrels!'

'Don't be silly, sweetheart,' said Mrs Salt. 'These all belong to Mr Wonka.'

'I don't care about that!' shouted Veruca. 'I want one. All I've got at home is two dogs and four cats and six bunny rabbits and two parakeets and three canaries and a green parrot and a turtle and a bowl of goldfish and a cage of white mice and a silly old hamster! I want a squirrel!'

This really made us laugh! I don't mean to make light of sin, but using examples such as these may be helpful when instructing children. When we preach we usually use illustrations for adults. We should also remember to use illustrations such as these which children can relate to.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Back to Basics - Part 4

I gave the fourth mini-sermon in this series a few weeks ago. Here is a summary of what I said.

We said last time that we should bring our own Bibles to church. This week, I want to show you how to use your own Bible in church, especially if you are fairly new to all this!

Each week I read from a passage in either the New Testament or the Old Testament and I will usually preach from that passage. Keep the passage that I am preaching from open in front of you. As I refer to a verse, have a look at it. Become familiar with the passage and then when you get home, read it for yourself and pray about what you have heard, preferably the same day.

Occasionally I will refer to other passages in the Bible. If you are not familiar with where the books of the Bible are, I would suggest you don't turn to those other passages, but rather keep the passage I am preaching open in front of you. Write down those other passages I refer to and look at them later for your own personal study.

To help you find the books of the Bible quicker in the future, I would encourage you to learn the order of the books of the Bible. The 1689 Baptist Confession's first chapter is called, "The Holy Scripture" and there it lists the books of the Bible in the order they appear. It does this so that we can be sure which books of the Bible are included in the canon. But those who wrote these documents were very keen to encourage learning among the people of God. I am sure the list was also put there to help new converts learn where the books of the Bible could be found.

Here they are, in order:

OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations,Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, I Peter, II Peter, I John, II John, III John, Jude, Revelation.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Three Reasons Wrexham is a Great Place for a Christian to Live

Spring is in the air and I am feeling particularly positive about the gospel in Wrexham. Let me outline three reasons I think Wrexham is a great place for a Christian to live:

1. Compared to many parts of the UK, Wrexham has a good concentration of gospel-preaching churches in a relatively small area. These churches are linked to the FIEC, EMW or AECW. You can be choosy and still be assured of a good gospel 'feast' without needing to drive many miles!

2. These churches that you can be part of are serious about reaching out to lost people with the message of Christ. Take Easter for example. Here is just a smattering of outreaches that I heard were going on: Evangelistic Meal for mums with Maureen Wise; Good Friday service for those sleeping rough with Gus Eyre; Men's Curry & Carrom Evening; Easter Service with a meal before hand; a free Easter book table in the Central Arcade (Most popular book to be taken? The New Testament!); and Door to Door work with over 500 pieces of literature taken. Even if some of these events were of a social nature, the object for all of them was to introduce people to Jesus Christ.

3. Wrexham has a growing international community. I read a stastistic recently that said that something like 10% of people living in the immediate Wrexham area are not from the United Kingdom. My personal experience is that many of these people are open to the gospel. Foreign missions is right on our doorstep (says he who is one of those 10% who have moved into the area from outside the UK!).

So, if you live in Wrexham, pray that the Lord will use you to build his kingdom here! And if you don't live in Wrexham, why not come and be a part of what the Lord is doing? William Carey once said, "The more unreservedly you devote yourself to Jesus Christ, the more you will know his peace."