As Christians, not only are we blessed with the knowledge of the truth that saves, but we also have a great responsibility to share that knowledge with others, not least our own children.
I was amazed to read of a group of people in Australia who decided to abandon civilization, and to go out into the outback and ‘live it rough’. How many generations of ‘living rough’ do you think it took for these people to forget everything about civilized life?
The answer: just one generation! The parents of the next generation of children chose not to tell them about the civilized life they once had, so their children grew up completely ignorant of civilization.
Do you realise this can happen to Christianity? If our society continues on its path of neglecting to go to church and refusing to send its children to Sunday schools, the next generation will know nothing about God and His Bible!
How important it is, then, that we pass on our knowledge of God and the Bible to our children. Let us not neglect reading the Bible together at home, and praying together regularly, so our children can see how a Christian family ought to live. By doing this, we are ensuring our children know how to teach their children to do the same things.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
While working in my garden one morning, clearing leaves, sweeping paths, weeding plots and cutting back overgrowth, it occurred to me that gardening is an effort towards turning chaos into orderliness.
The chaos comes about when birds and animals (and people!) leave a mess behind them, and plants grow wildly in all directions, and weeds determine to outgrow everything else.
The orderliness is restored when the gardener diligently and carefully works in the garden. If the gardener neglects his work for a few days, the task can become onerous. After a longer delay, the garden may look quite chaotic, and perhaps become too great a job to tackle. The secret is to do ‘little and often’.
A garden might be a good representation of the spiritual lives of Christians. The ‘birds’ and ‘animals’, spiritually speaking, are all those worldly things and worldly people we encounter every day, that mess us up with their bad influences. The ‘plants growing wildly’ represent our spiritual activities, which need to be trained, nurtured and pruned so that they go God’s way. The ‘weeds’ represent the sin in our lives which threatens to take over if we are not careful. Much work needs to be done if the Christian’s spiritual life is not to become chaotic.
How is the work to be done that maintains the orderliness in our ‘garden of life’?
Just like the gardener, you must regularly spend some time on your knees!
Remember, ‘little and often’ is best.
As we approach Easter time, it is good for us to remember that the Lord Jesus once also ‘approached Easter’.
For us it is a time of looking forward with excitement to the most important day in the Christian calendar, and praising God for the risen Saviour.
But for the Lord Jesus, it was a time of dreading the inevitable. He knew (as only God could) the full horror of the agony that was to come. As He considered the great cost, in terms of pain and anguish, of saving the great masses of lost people upon the earth, He had to make the decision that it was all worth it. We thank God today that He chose the hardest path!
We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains He had to bear;
But we believe it was for us,
He hung and suffered there.
So, as we approach Easter this year, let us remember the suffering that Jesus went through before He was arrested. We should then pray and thank Him afresh for the depth of His love for us, that He should choose to go through so much pain in order to save us from our sins.
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!
We are living in days of compromise! Many Christians today have turned their backs on the strict Bible-believing churches, preferring instead to look for a ‘more exciting’, ‘modern’ church.
At the same time, the ‘Churches Together’ movement is working hard to draw in those few traditional Bible-believing churches in the UK who have not yet fallen under their influence. As a result, there are fewer and fewer churches today that can truly call themselves independent.
Church independence from external governance, whether that be ecclesiastical hierarchy or state government, is a foundational principle of the Baptist churches. Those who fought for this privilege over the centuries paid a great price for it, often enduring torture and death.
Sadly, many today would give up this hard-earned independence in order to see ‘unity among the churches’. The idea sounds nice, but such ‘unity’ always leads to compromise, as foundational doctrines are set aside in an effort to find common ground.
Remember that it was neither excitement nor unity that saved us from our sins, but truth; the truth (doctrine) of the Bible.
The Bible warns us that there are those who have “a form of godliness , but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” 2 Timothy 3:5
Let us therefore “walk circumspectly, … because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15,16.
Bicester Baptist Church has made some significant progress in the last year or so. Begun as a missionary-run church in the early 1990’s, the church has had several American missionary pastors over the years. Recently, in April 2007 I was appointed as our first “home-grown” pastor, and, God willing, I intend to continue this great work for years to come. And yet we remain very much a mission-focused organisation. Our two main mission fields are 1) Bicester, where we regularly call round the neighbourhoods inviting people to church, and 2) the Rest of the World! We support missionaries in several countries through prayer, financial giving, and regular communications by letter or email. It is a privilege to be a part of God’s great push to spread the gospel.
Our latest move forward has been in the setting up of this website. This was one of our early goals for 2009, and we are pleased to already be out there advertising ourselves. So, to those who are looking in the Bicester area for a Bible-centred, mission-focused, gospel-preaching, life-saving church … here we are!