Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Are you satisfied?

When we find something more satisfying than God we sin, because we have turned to an idol.  Even in our own mind, with our own independence we create idols.

I truly believe every single sin starts with idolatry, even if it's just idolatry of self... as soon as we stop being 100% satisfied with Him, we take our eyes off Him. When we take our eyes off Him we cannot glorify Him. And when we are not glorifying Him, we are glorifying something else, and that is sin!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Seeing the depths of my heart.

Last night I had a revitalising and refocusing theological conversation with three guys contemplating the core of the Gospel and how many 'Christians' today weave a tragic idea of morality into their salvation.  It was refreshing to hear young guys talking about how depraved humanity really is, that it is only God who can save us, that we have no ability in that at all - that sounds strange, refreshed to hear about depravity; but it's only in realising that, and then understanding the nature of God that we can being to let the Gospel work in our lives.

On the way home Chris Tomlin's 'Indescribable' came on in the car.  I was initially focused on how amazing God is and how amazing His creation is that points to Him, but then the last lines of the chorus absolutely floored me.
"You see the depths of my heart, and you love me the same
You are amazing God."
I thought about what lies in the depths of my heart... things I wouldn't want anyone to know... things I am totally ashamed of... because when I take an honest look at the depth of my heart I see much selfishness, even after all these years of following Jesus I still seem to have that horrid human condition right at my core.  These past couple of weeks I think I may have even been embracing it more as than usual, letting my selfishness bubble to the surface and entertaining ideas for my own benefit that are not in God's will.

That's why the line of that song hit me so hard, God sees all of that... He knows exactly how depraved I am, and He loves me the same.  He shows me such grace that He takes away that depravity, there's nothing I can do to clean it up, except let Jesus take it away once again through his atonement on the cross.  He sees the depths of my heart... where I usually do my best to ignore it, to make myself feel good (or at least 'not that bad') - and so last night the first step of me responding to the Gospel in my life once again was actually acknowledging the depths of my heart, so that I could set them at the foot of the cross and let grace and forgiveness wash them away and replace them with hope and purpose and Holy Spirit once again.

Truly; You are amazing God!

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Epic Arrival

Last week we ran an interactive lights display at Cannon Hill Baptist Church called "The Epic Arrival".  Hundreds of people from the local community walked through our church, into rooms that highlighted the chaos of commercial Christmas... then through a wardrobe into snow filled Narnia... and onto a warm cosy lounge room with the origin story of St Nicholas.

From there you entered a dark room which started us thinking, through a video, that there must be more to this story, that someone was coming to change everything... and then you walked out into this live stable, with goats and chickens and a large stable.  A shepherd quietly told you to enter the stable softly due to baby Jesus just being born... and there lying in a manger was He... the Epic Arrival has happened.

You exit a stable and enter a room telling you why Christmas was so important, because that baby grew, and He died, to save us all. The walls were covered in testimonies of people who have had their lives changed because of the Epic Arrival!  The final room was a reflection and prayer room, where many wrote up prayers and attached them to string for all to see.

Overall it was a very powerful experience.  We've now moved it all over to Birkdale Baptist and it will run alongside our carols events this Saturday and Sunday... come along and check it out!

Cannon Hill Baptist, lit up bright

The sign and 7m Christmas tree inviting people in

Mum and Dad about to enter through the wardrobe


Someone is coming to make things right

Born among the animals

The gift of the cross

The reflection and prayer room

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