The Mockery

Mike McKinley | March 31st 2015

"The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him.
They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?”
And they said many other insulting things to him.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people,
both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together,
and Jesus was led before them.

Luke 22 v 63-66

Now that they have arrested Jesus, the religious leaders have a problem. Jewish law required that any charge which carried a death sentence be heard by an official meeting of the Sanhedrin, a group of 71 men including respected leaders, teachers of the religious law, and prominent priests (Luke usually refers to this group as “the assembly” or “the council”). Such a meeting had to take place during daylight hours; you can understand why the law would forbid trials and judgments carried on under the cover of darkness.

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Who are you?

Rico Tice | March 31st 2015

This question could transform your evangelism. It’s not a question of what to say or how to say it. It’s not a piercing question to ask your non-Christian friends. It’s a question to ask yourself:
Who am I?

Fundamentally, if we’re Christians, you and I are adopted children of God:

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’ … we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8 v 15, 17)

Now this is remarkable, not least because it is utterly undeserved. We are people who find that: “I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (7 v 19). God knows who we are and what we are like, and yet he says: I still love you and I will sort out your mess, and I will treat you like my child, like my Son, Jesus. That is God’s grace—his undeserved and lavish kindness. He takes a wretch like me and he loves me as his child.

Brothel to bride
Let me take you back to spring 2011. In the UK, it was Royal Wedding time; Prince William, second in line to the throne, was about to get married. You and I know that William had found a bride,

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Cannonball

James Burstow | March 31st 2015

Excited to see this awesome new evangelistic video put together by Glen Scrivener with vocals by Guvna B and illustrated by Alex Webb Peploe, the illustrator behind our very own The Third Day. Why not send it on to any unbelieving friends or family who might appreciate a fresh take on the gospel - they can even get a free copy of The Third Day if they watch through to the end!

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The first sip

Mike McKinley | March 30th 2015

In the lead up to Easter, we'll be looking at 5 snapshots from Luke's Gospel as Jesus makes his way to the cross. Today we join him in the Garden of Gethsemane...

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.
“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Luke 22 v 39-46

 

What is happening as Jesus prepares to drink the cup of God's wrath?

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Living without Worry

James Burstow | March 27th 2015

Ever feel anxious? Check out the trailer for Living without worry by Dr Tim Lane, President of the Institute for Pastoral Care. Tim is currently speaking on this subject at locations around the UK, including at Word Alive. Find out more about the book at www.thegoodbook.co.uk

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Ideas for the Easter Holidays

Emily Robertson | March 27th 2015

If you've got little ones that are finishing school for the Easter holidays today then you might be looking for ideas to help keep them busy over the coming weeks.

So with this in mind we've got 2 great books that will keep little hands busy, young minds engaged, and growing hearts full of the big truths that God wants to teach them, while they do activities that they love!

Whether your children love cooking, colouring, puzzles, drawing, simple crafts, interactive stories, games or messy play, these beautifully designed and well thought through resources will provide your children with great fun as well as spiritual sustenance as you enjoy the activities and the Easter break together!

Here's a peak at 'Jesus dies' from Bake Through the Bible

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Friday Quiz

The Quiz Team | March 27th 2015

Can any one of you by worrying add a single _____ to your life?

  • flower
  • dollar
  • hour
  • year

Who is the first person mentioned in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11?

  • David
  • Adam
  • Abel
  • Abraham

Which is the shortest Gospel?

  • Luke
  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • John

In which book does God show this concern? "I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering."

 
  • Nehemiah
  • Exodus
  • Isaiah
  • Daniel

‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.’ To which church does Paul remind about this part of the Law of Moses?

  • Rome
  • Corinth
  • Thessalonians
  • Ephesus

Which is the correct chronological order of these events?

  • Abram leaves Ur, the Flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed
  • tower of Babel, the Flood, Abram leaves Ur, Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed
  • Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed, Abram leaves Ur, tower of Babel, the Flood
  • the Flood, tower of Babel, Abram leaves Ur, Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed

Who was chosen to replace Judas?

  • Matthias
  • Simon
  • Peter
  • Thaddaeus

 

Gospel Shaped Church Website

Tim Thornborough | March 25th 2015

We're very excited to be launching the website for Gospel Shaped Church this week. This is a huge project that we've been working on for a long time — and one that we hope will be of benefit to Christ's church for a long time to come. So if you're wondering what this resource is all about, gospelshapedchurch.org is the place to go to get the big picture of what it is, how it works and how it could help transform your church into the community you're called to be.

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Why are you worried?

Dr Timothy Lane | March 24th 2015

Diagnosis matters. When something is wrong with your body and you feel unwell, you need to know what you are dealing with. And that works for spiritual issues, too. For treatment to work, good diagnosis matters.

Defining Worry
So, what exactly is worry or anxiety? (I will use the words “worry” and “anxiety” interchangeably in this article.) It’s a condition common to virtually every human, in every society. Not many people are truly care-free. But what is worry?!

While various factors and components are very important, the Bible cuts deeper, because it says that worry is a deeply spiritual issue. This is not to say that the Bible ignores or disputes the mental, physiological, historical, social or environmental aspects of worry, but that it sees them all as part of a spiritual issue—that worry, ultimately, is a response to life lived in God’s world. Worry is, therefore, a response to God himself.

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Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | March 23rd 2015

Another week, and another barrage of heartbreaking bad news stories in the media. Do you ever look at the world, or your own life, and wonder if God has forgotten about the people he’s made? Perhaps you can echo the words of the psalmist in Psalm 10 v 1: “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” But the same Psalmist doesn’t stop there...

12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
‘He won’t call me to account’?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.

This psalm teaches us that the right response to this situation and these feelings is not to cut off communication with God, but to cry out to him.

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