Election 2019

Pray…

…for kings and rulers in positions of responsibility, so that our common life may be lived in peace and quiet, with a proper sense of God and of our responsibility to him for what we do with our lives.

1Timothy 2:1-2

Yippee, it’s election time again, and so I’m expecting the usual questions to be raised about ‘the right way for Christians to vote’. This time around though it’s made more exciting by #Brexit, so let’s just deal with that up front. Brexit will be something that you will have a legitimate view on and it will no doubt, and not unreasonably have a major impact on where you put your cross; that being said, and I know that this may be controversial, but Brexit is not the most important issue for Christians (those who know me well will appreciate how difficult it was for me to write that…).

Let me explain why I say that: It is clear from the mainstream media, social media, conversation and experience, that in the past decade there has been a seismic shift in our society as a result of significant and often underreported changes in law, guidance and judgements from both our parliament, governments and judiciary. This shift that has radically diminished freedom of speech and expression, has led to more babies being killed in abortion, has normalised a huge number of behaviours that are contrary to scripture and are a danger to our society and raised up all manner of political organisations as the new ‘gods’ of our age. Alongside this our politicians discourse has become all too often sordid, ungracious and duplicitous.

But Christians can neither sit back and blame everyone else, nor absolve ourselves for our part, because, in fact, the part the Church in the UK has played in bringing about this sad shift in our society has not been insignificant. Sadly instead of being ‘salt and light’ in our country many Christians have found that they are afraid of ‘speaking the truth in love’ for fear of abuse, loss of employment or worse, and these fears are not irrational as you will discover if you speak with any who have done so…

So, you may be asking, what has this to do with the upcoming election? Simply this: Christian’s let’s take this opportunity to re-evaluate, reboot and remember what it means to live as resurrection people, we’re here to be Christ’s witnesses in this world, we are to live renewed lives because, by His Grace and Mercy, Christ is renewing us to live as Kingdom people. But what does a Kingdom person do in the midst of an election campaign?

I would suggest the following, and this is no perfect or definitive list:

  • Pray for all your local candidates, and keep praying for them;
  • Be gracious in any communication, show Jesus’ love by the way you speak or write;  
  • Don’t get party political, unless you are called to serve politically;
  • Ask all the questions of the candidates that you can think of asking, particularly around their standing on:
    • The breakdown of the traditional family unit – what are the candidates views on why this has happened and how would they support traditional marriage and family? 
    • The sanctity of life – abortion and euthanasia;
    • Education – the teaching of relationships and sex across schools, the secularisation of the curriculum etc.
    • Freedom of expression – the diminishing freedom to express biblical beliefs and views to which some people object, and also to speak of Jesus Christ and share the Gospel.
    • The worldwide persecution of the church;
    • Do they have a faith?

Also, check out the following organisations who have great ministries helping and supporting us be the Christ’s Church in this land:

Christian Concern;

Care;

True Freedom Trust;

The Christian Institute;

The Coalition for Marriage.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Share on Facebook
Facebook

A Study on Nahum 3

  1. In what ways can God’s pronouncement of certain and inescapable judgement on the ancient civilisation of Assyria be a source of comfort and encouragement to God’s church today?
  2. Assyria was condemned because of their failure to stay true to the God to whom they had repented in Jonah’s day and for their turning to idols and superstitions.
  3. Discuss how you consider our own nation is in danger of following the same pattern. Assyria was trusting in her military strength and the support of strong allies to give victory when judgement loomed. What things might people today be tempted to rely on when they stand before God?
  4. Read 2 Peter3 vs 3-9. God’s word is clear that judgement is certain and inescapable, but many today have the same attitude as the scoffers of Peter’s day.How can we be more effective in communicating the urgency of the need for repentance and acceptance of Jesus as the only way of escaping judgement?

 

Election Resources

If you’re wondering what all the parties and policies are all about in the upcoming Election, here are some information sources and resources looking at the election from a Christian perspective:

 

 

  • This is a really helpful briefing from the Christian Institute :Election Briefing
  • Not sure which candidates are standing? check here: Who are my candidates?
  • Want to know which questions to ask your candidates? Again the Christian Institute have provided a great resource Question cards
  • Christian Concern have their Election Page here :Power of the Cross
  • The three Christian sections of the three main parties have got together to promote Christians in politics  no matter the colour they represent! Christians in politics
  • The Evangelical Alliance has an Election Site: https://election.eauk.org
  • Check how your MP has voted on moral issues: How has my MP voted?
  • This is the UK Parliament Election Page which provides details on the nitty gritty of how it all works – If you’re a political nerd like me you might like it… UK Parliament – Election 2017

 

Bullet points – A study on Matthew 5:6-8

This study is based on the sermon: Need an attitude adjustment?

Reading: Matthew 5:6-8

  1. How do you feel when the Lord reminds you through His Word, or a sermon about a need to change your attitude?
  2. Verse 6:
    1. what does it mean to hunger and thirst?
    2. what might cause us to lose our appetite for God, and the things of God?
    3. how can that be remedied?
  3. Verse 7:
    1. what is mercy?
    2. what is the condition on us being shown mercy?
    3. what if we don’t feel merciful?
  4. Verse 8:
    1. what does a pure heart look like?
    2. how can you have a pure heart?
    3. what does it mean to see God; is that a promise for now or for the future?
  5. Homework: ask the Lord to show you any areas in your life where there needs to be an ‘attitude adjustment’, and follow that up with a commitment to let Him do that work with you and for you.

To be or not to be…. Meek

A study based on the sermon: Are You On The Inheritance List?

Start off by reading Matthew 5:1-12, then re-read verse 5

1 – What is meek and what isn’t?

2 – How would taking the first two beatitudes seriously lead us to be “meek”

3 – Can you be meek and angry at the same time? (James 1:19-21) Meek and have strong convictions? (Galatians 2:11-14)

4 – What does “meekness” look like: -In business… -In school… -In our church… -In your neighbourhood…

5 – How does someone become meek? How can God change you in the following behaviours and attitudes? (Matthew 11:28-30)

Demanding ————————–Understanding

Judgmental ————————–Gentle

Condemning ————————-Respectful

Defensive —————————–Teachable

Vengeful ——————————Merciful

Arrogant ——————————Humble

Self-sufficient ————————Trusting

6 – Where do we learn the attitudes listed on the left and what is our motivation for living out the attitudes on the right?

7 – From the world’s point of view, why is it surprising that the meek will inherit the earth?

Another year passes but God’s love goes on and on and on

You may not know me…

But I know everything about you. I know when you sit down and when you get up. I’m familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139: 1-3

Even the hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

You see, you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

And in me you live and move and have life. Acts 17:28

For you’re my child. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

And I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were no mistake, because all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I decided the exact time of your birth and where you’d live. Acts 17:26

You’re wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

And was at your side from the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I’ve been lied about by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44

But I am the cause and supply of all love. 1 John 4:16

And I love you so much! I want to share that love with you. 1 John 3:1

Because you’re my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I give you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

You see I’m the perfect Father. Matthew 5:48

Every good thing you’ve ever had, or will ever have, comes from me. James 1:17

I’ve met all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future is filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

You see I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

And I never stop thinking of you. Psalms 139:17-18

And I love to calm you with my singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I won’t leave you. Jeremiah 32:40

You’re treasured by me. Exodus 19:5

I want to show wonderful things. Jeremiah 33:3

So remember if you seek me with your whole heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

Love me, and then I will give you your heart’s desire. Psalm 37:4

Remember it’s me who gives you right desires. Philippians 2:13

And I’m able to do more for you than you could ever imagine. Ephesians 3:20

I’m your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I’m your loving Father comforting you in difficult times. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When your heart’s breaking, I’m with you. Psalm 34:18

I’ve carried you close to my heart, like a shepherd would. Isaiah 40:11

One day I’ll wipe away all your tears. Revelation 21:3-4

And take away all the pain you’ve suffered. Revelation 21:3-4

I’m your Father, and I love you just as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

You see it’s in Jesus, I showed my love for you. John 17:26

He’s the exact image of who I AM. Hebrews 1:3

He came to show that I am on your side. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that because of Jesus, I can wipe out your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Because of Jesus you can know me as your perfect Father. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate demonstration of love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

And if you accept the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I’ve always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

But here’s the important question…Will you be my child?  John 1:12-13

I’m waiting for you.  Luke 15:11-32

Almighty God

Your loving Dad

Christian Witness in the shadow of #BREXIT

It’s incredibly concerning to see that across social media, and within our state broadcaster and other media, there is an appalling lack of wisdom in words uttered and views shared when it comes to the outcome of the referendum last week. What is even more shocking is the lack of grace, wisdom and love being shown across the Christian Church:

Democracy is an amazing thing…

…and the democratic process last week is proof of that. There will be those who are delighted that their view prevailed and others sad that theirs didn’t…

…but complaints against democracy are a very dangerous 

I have no doubt that just under half of the readers of this will be sore at the outcome, and just over half will be delighted, but what is required now is for people of all political views, of both the in and the out voters to stop battling and start getting on with the all important job of moving ahead positively; to avoid either vitriol or triumphalism and take a measured positive step, followed by another and another.

however we exercised our democratic right on June 23rd 2016, Britain can an will be great, but only if we so choose…

Christians are at risk of being appalling witnesses by showing a severe lack of compassion and wisdom in this!

Let’s not let this political vacuum intensify the spiritual vacuum – Let’s show the love of Christ as we navigate through the minefield of politics ahead, and let us stand firmly on His Word: continuing to be salt and light to a fallen world, and facing the future with His hope, be steadfast in sharing that hope with the world around us.

Ps 133:1: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!