Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Leon's done a couple of sermons on Leviticus recently:

http://www.mediafire.com/?j57x7i8zz6b6425 - an overview of the whole book

http://www.mediafire.com/?kcuq697qwu64xc8 - one on Lev 23


Friday, 18 November 2011

Grace is the hardest thing of all to believe..

(From Paul Blackham's Jesus Talks – Trinity 8 – from 18mins to end)

Grace is the hardest thing of all to understand and believe. It makes no sense at all in terms of human logic and instinct. Our first thought really, our first thought is always, “What do I need to do? How can I sort myself out?”

And even in these ultimate questions, we assume that there’s some kind of tradition or creed or technique or religious system or self-improvement programme or new resolutions that will sort us out. We always vastly underestimate the problem and vastly overestimate our abilities.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is a statement that He alone has the ability to sort out our problem that is so huge. And He has the love and the servant-heart and the humility and the glory to do it. We might ask, “What do I need to do? How can I sort myself out? How can I fix things?”

To which, God replies, “Do you mean what do you need to do in order to pacify the living God whose eyes are too pure to even look on sin? What do you need to do in order to turn back history, to take away the things that you shudder to remember? What do you need to do in order to encompass the whole universe in yourself so that it can be purified by you? What do you need to do to disarm the devil, defeat death, answer the gaping abyss of hell? What do you need to do in order to bring perfect justice, mercy, goodness, and life to a desperate and lost world? What do you need to do to heal all sicknesses and create new resurrection bodies in a perfect new creation? What do you need to do to renew the universe so that it can be the home of the living God forever? What do you need to do to lay a hand on both God and humanity to brings us both together? Well what can you do about all that?... Not much.”

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is that He was given such a task by His Father and He went out in the Father’s will and the power of the Spirit to accomplish this at enormous, infinite, personal cost. The pure and perfect and obedient Son, Jesus Christ, takes us filthy and double-minded and selfish people as His personal friends and members of His family. He takes up our cause and gives His all to the ultimate degree in order to save us from ourselves. He makes it possible for our past to be forgiven and for us to be made into copies of Himself and it’s possible for us, even us, to be given a warm welcome into the eternal life of God, now and forever.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wealth Distribution

2 Corinthians 8:13-15  13 I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness  14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.  15 As it is written, "Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack."

One wonders if this is true for the whole world
the Father daily provides in abundance - more than sufficient for everyone

the reason there is poverty - is that some have gathered too much
or that some are too lazy to gather ("he who does not work shall not eat")
the former imply a lack of trust that their Father will provide tomorrow
the latter imply a lack of gratitude that their Father has already provided

the former will also have wealth which rots in the end:
James 5:2   2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.

The point of provision - is not just sufficiency, but enjoyment
but not at the expense of others

Distribution has never been 'unequal' per se - but always enough such that those who can gather can supply abundantly to those who cannot (rather than will not)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Visual Preaching

John Stott commenting on Gal 3:1-3

"Grapho can sometimes mean to draw or paint, rather than to write, an pro can mean 'before' in space (before our eyes) rather than in time (previously). So Paul here likens his gospel-preaching either to a huge canvas painting or to a placard publicly exhibiting a notice or advertisement. The subject of his painting or placard was Jesus Christ on the cross. Of course it was not literally a painting; the picture was created by words,. Yet it was so visual, so vivid, in its appeal to their imagination, that the placard was presented 'before your very eyes'. One of the greatest arts or gifts in gospel-preaching is to turn people's ears into eyes, and to make them see what we are talking about'.

Pretty much sums up my philosophy of preaching... 3 point sermon anyone?