hope

Bible, Reading, Theology

How We Have Fallen


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What would dear Horatius have written had he lived in 2017?

We’ll chat one day.

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“Man is now thinking out a Bible for himself; framing a religion in harmony with the development of liberal thought; constructing a worship on the principles of taste and culture; shaping a god to suit the expanding aspirations of the age…The extent of the mischief no one can calculate. A soul without faith, a church without faith, a nation without faith, a world without faith – what is to be their future? What is their present? When faith goes, all good things go. When unbelief comes in, all evil things follow.” (more…)

faith, Jesus, Theology

Exercising an Exorcising Faith 


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I love thinking about Jesus. Because  His name is inextricably linked with infinite, creative power, even my thoughts about Him hold potential to change my heart. Indeed, the epic hymn Be Thy My Vision exclaims,

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night…

So, settling down with the Bible in hand and regularly spending time soaking in Jesus’ gospel stories – His words, actions, thoughts, prayers – is the best thing you’ll ever do.

He Could Not Be Hidden 

But there’s one moment in the life of Jesus that has always left me particularly confused. (more…)

Eschatology, Jesus, Jesus Come, Marriage, religion, second coming, Theology

Ready: Living Prepared For The Coming Storm


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Living urgently, alertly and appropriately replete in the 21st Century has been the focus of this blog series so far. Thomas, Andy and Joshua have kindly helped us to honestly consider our Christian lifestyles, provoked by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and to what extent we’re living with urgency or lethargy, with alertness or sleepiness and with souls well-fed or deficient in even basic, Bible nutrition.

A Complete Waste of Time

(more…)

Bible, Jesus, psalms, Theology

Speak 


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Psalm 29 pictures the holy voice of Yahweh as being like a thundering force of such powerful glory that it breaks Cedars of Lebanon, strips vast forests back to their bone and provokes adoring worship in all the earth.

His speaking voice is like a cloud of stone-softening exhale as Kings and Presidents plot, as ethne balk and as nations conspire in vain. 


But, to those who *know Him*, John 10 describes His voice as a Shepherd’s call into closer proximity, something more akin to a calling-by-name through gentle, Galilean accents of parental knowing. Indeed, Father God is always speaking like the perfect trailing sentence – always present & always continuous. 

The communication of His heart to yours will, at times, be subtle and even mistakable; in other moments, it will be so flooring that nothing & no-one could lead you to conclude that He hadn’t and isn’t speaking. 

Occasionally, His voice will sovereignly crush the persistent traffic in your mind; more often, it will emerge like the warmth of sunshine on your face as you determine to silence it first.

Jesus, Jesus Come, second coming, Theology

Ready: Introduction


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What’s This All About?

Most of you who read Firebrand Notes on even a semi-regular basis will know that about eighteen months ago we produced a film/music project called Jesus Come. Not only were Mairi and I really pleased with the way the project turned out, we passionately believe in the message that it carries: that the world is in a desperate, desperate mess (more than we can see) and people are hurting (beyond our capacity to understand); Jesus Christ is the only hope to bring justice and order and He is coming again.

For generations, the church has flitted between the excessive polarities of, on the one hand, talking about the Second Coming too much (while doing very little) and, on the other, focusing on an ‘attractional’, ‘relevant’, seeker-sensitive model of church (while failing to teach disciples to live in the reality of His coming).

In both cases, the gospel is generally more of a fix-my-life-make-it-better prescription than it is an invitation to surrender, suffer, die and live in the evangelistic power of the early church.

Houston, we have a problem.

What Is The Problem?

(more…)

Theology

New series: Ready


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To find someone in need who desperately needs your help, complete the following 5 simple steps:

1) Wherever you are about your day,  look up from whatever you’re doing

2) consider what you see

3) pray for discernment

4) pray for courage and wisdom and power

5) open your mouth/move your feet

We’re soon starting a new blog series called “Ready” because we’re convinced that most of us aren’t.

Ready for what?

For the second coming of Jesus Christ!

In Ephesians 2:12 a scene is painted that is unimaginably awful: living in the world without Christ and without hope.

The chronic brokenness in people’s lives is as obvious and constant as the rising sun and you and I are called to be life-giving hope in Jesus’ name!

Whether you think about it a lot, only occasionally, increasingly, infrequently or as little as possible, the reality is that Jesus Christ is en route to planet Earth as King and as Judge. We have to be found living ready, like a present, continuous tense.

We’re called not to bunker mentalities of passive, fruitless waiting, but to *urgent* lifestyles of prayer and worship and bold intention to tell of Jesus.

You know you are!

We’re looking forward to welcoming special guest writers to the blog so please join us over the coming weeks and make this blog series happen.

>>Sign up for this series here<<

Thanks so much for reading

Maranatha

God, Jesus, Love, Theology

The Hardest Lesson I’ve Ever Had To Learn


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Broken-down World

The sting of injustice is never pleasant. Like an incurable disease plaguing the entire world, all of us can see injustice functioning on a global scale every single day. We witness Robert Mugabe, corrupt Bankers, terrorism, famine, Rogue Traders, lazy Landlords, disallowed goals that have crossed the line, recruitment processes that look legal but that are internally rigged, false imprisonments, false biblical teaching, the ivory trade, endangered tigers, abuses of power, human trafficking and a whole other nightmare of unimaginable dysfunction that, somehow, manages to endure.

Despite the rare pockets of glory, our best efforts to act justly and the promises within the redemptive mission of God, we still live in an unjust, broken-down world.

Global becomes Personal

Global injustice like this is meant to provoke us into faith-filled action and to woo us into the caring shelter of God, but, like a nauseating hors d’oeuvre before our eventual main course of numbness, it has a nasty habit of shutting us down. (more…)