Archive for January, 2010

Today, Haiti’s government made the “heartbreaking” decision to declare the search and rescue phase for survivors of the earthquake over. This must be so heart rending for those who still have loved ones missing, knowing that they will no longer be searched for. Please continue to pray for Haiti. Below Kirk Frankin and friends have made this charity song for the cause. Please continue to make donations

THANKYOU

Related Posts:

Haiti Earthquake: Mourn with those who mourn

A hard pill to swallow I know

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

Advertisements

This is my church, King’s Church Catford’s, debut album produced by the King’s worship band recorded live on Sunday 22nd November 2009. All songs were written by the singers and musicians at King’s Church.

Songs were written by Phil Varley, Nathan Prime, Luke Catley, Ben Welchman and Justin Ashworth

Phil Varley, who is my pastor who oversees the worship in my church , and the rest of the worship team did me proud with this album and I would encourage you to get a copy of this album which can be purchased here.

To listen to previews of the tracks, click here

To see some of the extra pictures that didnt make the final album artwork, click here

If you want to know to know the chords and lyrics to the songs, click here

If you are on Facebook, you can join the official Mercy Giver group here

My prayer is that Jesus will be glorifed through this project

 I read a Facebook status today which stated the following:

People might say why did God let the earthquake happen in Haiti….wrong question. We SHOULD be asking why did God not let the earthquake hit my country also. The whole world lives in darkness and God should really destroy us ALL but He has not dealt with us according to our sins (Psalm 103). His mercy is the only reason people are alive today.

With the situation as bad as it is, I think that every christian,  even though we know that we dont deserve anything from God apart from his punishment, still wonders at the back of their mind why God would allow such calamites to happen to such ‘innocent’ lives. Some people asked Jesus the same question when they enquired why people died when the tower in Siloam fell on them. This was his response:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:1-5)

I received an email from Wretched Radio which reads as follows. As my posts states, it’s a hard pill to swallow

Who Takes the Blame for Haiti?

Rick Warren is wrong when he tweets that God does not judge the world through catastrophes (Romans 1:18).

Pat Robertson is wrong when he claims to know why the Haitian earthquake happened (Deut.29:29).

Perhaps these principles will help us figure out why tragedies happen and who is responsible.

God

God controls everything directly or indirectly by restraining His grace or allowing the devil a little more leash. Either way, God is sovereign over everything and happily accepts responsibility for both good and bad (but not sin).

The devil

The devil does not control the weather or rule the nations.

Humans

There are only two groups of people on the earth: pagans and Christians. 

Why?

When God sends/allows disaster to the pagans, He does so for two reasons: as judgment or as a call to repentance. A disaster is not enough wrath for the pagans as it is merely a taste of God’s eternal punishment if they do not repent and trust the Savior.

When God sends/allows disaster to Christians, He does so for two reasons: to prune us or kill us and take us home. A disaster is never too much or too little for the Christian, the Pruner causes/allows just the right amount for our good and His glory.

While God may be sending judgment to an entire nation, each individual (pagan and Christian) should seek to determine why God caused/allowed himself to be hurt.

Christians are not victims of collateral damage. While there may be a primary reason God sends/allows a catastrophe, God orchestrates every detail in every situation.

Catastrophes happen to heathens as an act of God’s judgment, but they happen to Christians as an act of severe mercy.

God sends/causes a disaster for the onlookers to respond with apathy or kindness.

Biblical Support

Jesus gave us the definitive statement on catastrophes in Luke 13:1-5 (see above). Please take a moment to read that text and you will never make the mistake of Rick Warren or Pat Robertson.

Trick Question

God is not to blame for the earthquake as it was the exact right thing to do. While God gets the credit for the earthquake, He is never to blame for anything. Charles Wesley wrote a number of hymns thanking God for two earthquakes that rocked England in 1751; we should do the same.

The Bottom Line

While each individual should endeavor to learn the lesson that God has in the storm, there is an ultimate purpose (forty days or otherwise): God is endeavoring to glorify His Son. God sends a taste of His wrath to the heathens that they might look to the cross and be saved. God prunes Christians that we will live in greater gratitude for what Jesus has done to rescue us from eternal destruction.

Catastrophes, like everything, are about the cross.

Related Posts:

Haiti Earhquake: Mourn with those who mourn

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

After hearing about the earthquake tragedy in Haiti, the first question I asked myself was, what should my response be? Well my very first response was to pray for these people and ‘mourn with those who mourn’. I can only imagine what the people of Haiti must be going through losing friends, families and loved ones. If I lost my children to an earthquake, I dont know what I would do.

So as I said with the Burma tragedy, lets be practical.

International charities are appealing for donations to help Haiti.

In the UK the DEC – an umbrella group which launches and co-ordinates responses to major disasters overseas – has launched a Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

Disasters Emergency Committee

These organisations also have ways to donate:

Unicef UK

Medecins Sans Frontieres

International Red Cross

World Food Programme

Every little helps

Thankyou

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:15-17)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-39)

Remember to keep the people of Haiti in your prayers

Related Posts:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

I received an email yesterday with a sobering thought:

How many times have you wished someone a Happy New Year? Yet for many this year will be the time they go out into eternity to face the Holy God as their judge and will end up in hell. Every day 150,000 people die and most of them have never heard the gospel. May the Lord open our eyes and our heart and may we continue to strive to take the gospel to as many as we possible can.

Related posts:

Where does your Christianity stop?

Every Christian needs to see this

A message to Christians

Whatever happened to Personal Evangelism?

Taken from Be A Voice Network

Prayer is the most necessary action, the greatest gift, the hardest spiritual labor, as well the simplest cry of a loving heart. The time that you spend in prayer has an eternal impact on the lives of men and women throughout our world. Through prayer our world is changed, closed doors are opened, resistant people are made receptive, leaders are put down and raised up, and the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is extended. Hebrews 13:3 says, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as -being yourselves also in the body.” No matter where The Voice of the Martyrs ministers, the first request of persecuted Christians is always the same: “Pray for us”

The Word of God remains our best guide for knowing how to pray for our persecuted sisters and brothers worldwide.

1. That God would give them the right words and that they would fearlessly make Christ known.

Here Paul tells how to pray for him when he was suffering for Christ in jail — notice his prayer was not for release.

Ephesians 6:19-20 “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Colossians 4:2-4 “Devote yourselves to prayer… praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.”

2. That they will see God’s grace as sufficient and God’s power perfected in their weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) Many of the pastors, evangelists and workers who are beaten and imprisoned for their bold witness leave behind sons, daughters and spouses to fend for themselves. Pray for wives of those imprisoned. With the absence of the breadwinner, the responsibility for caring and feeding of the family falls on the wife. Sometimes the wife is also forced to provide for her husband in prison (often the case in Vietnam). If she is also arrested, then together they have to bear the anguish of leaving often quite young children to fend for themselves. Pray for them.

3. That they would love Christ’s appearing all the more.

2 Timothy 4:5-8 “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Hebrews 11:35 “…others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection”.

4. That they will rejoice in sharing the sufferings of Jesus so that they will rejoice even more when Christ is revealed.

Hebrews 10:34 “…accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.”

Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

I Peter 4:13 “but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.”

5. That they will endure.

Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of endurance”.

Hebrews 5:8 “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Pray for Christian work among refugees. Pray that as the refugees are led to Christ, they will be willing to return to their countries to take the Gospel back with them.

6. That they will love Christ far more than life itself.

Revelation 12:10-11 “they overcame (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.”

Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Acts 20:24 “I (Paul) do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course.”

7. That they will love their enemies.

Luke 6:27-31 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Pray for those who govern, that they will repent and turn to Christ Jesus. Whole nations can be changed when a leader is saved. Pray that the strongholds will be overthrown in each country and that the light of God’s glory will break through.

8. That they not enter into temptation — an easy possibility under the stress of persecution (Luke 22:39-45 – Jesus in the garden)

9. That they will rejoice that they are considered worthy to suffer for HIS name.

Acts 5:41 “So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.”

10. That they will remember they were made for such persecution.

Acts 14:22 “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Philippians 1:29 “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”

11. That they will live the joy of the Lord before their persecutors.

Acts 16:25 “But about midnight Paul and Silas (in jail) were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”

Philippians 1:28 “in no way alarmed by your opponents — which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.”

12. That they will remember their unbelievable future glory.

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

13. That they would learn to more completely trust in God.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead”

14. That they would rejoice that they bear in their bodies the ‘brand marks of Christ’.

Galatians 6:17 “From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.”

15. That they would rejoice in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s sufferings.

Colossians 1:24 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”

Note: Our sufferings do not add to the atoning worth of Jesus’ sufferings. Rather, His sufferings are not known to the world and so we suffer to bring that news to those His sufferings were meant to save.

16. For their physical protection and deliverance.

Matthew 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Acts 12:5 “So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.”

Philippians 1:19 “For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance (from jail) through your prayers.”

Philemon 22 “I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you (from jail)”

Romans 15:30-31 “Now I urge you, brethren… to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea“.

God had predicted persecution: Acts 20:23-24 “the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course”

And the suffering came: Acts 21:30-31 “And all the city was aroused, and the people rushed together; and taking hold of Paul, they dragged him out of the temple; and… were seeking to kill him.”

That concludes my mini series on the Persecuted Church. I hope you have found it to be an eye opener and at the same time challenging