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Pastor Evan's Blog

Christmas 2019

As I sit at my desk to write this article, it’s the 3rd October 2019 – only 28 days until the United Kingdom is supposed to leave the European Union. What will happen? Will BREXIT finally take place? I don’t know! But, by the time you read this blog, you and I will know. The 31st of October will have come and gone. What was once an uncertainty will now be a certainty, BUT if we’ve left or not, what I can guarantee you is that further uncertainty will remain. We do not know what the future holds. No human does. It doesn’t matter how much we plan, how powerful we are or what influence we hold over others, we CANNOT dictate what will happen tomorrow. Uncertainty is part of our lives – there’s no getting away from it.

Yet, there is One who DOES know the future, there is One who holds the future in His hands. He is the One who is transcendent over all things, who dwells outside of time. He is the One who is sovereign over all, therefore He has a right to rule over all. Furthermore, He is almighty, therefore He has the power to rule over all! He is the one, true, living God. He is the God of the Bible. He is our Creator and whether you like it or not, He holds your future in His hands and there’s nothing you or I can do to change that!

This God IS real, and He has revealed Himself to us through creation. As we look around us, as we examine the tiniest insect or a blade of grass, or as we look up into the blackness of the night time sky and see the countless stars, planets and other celestial bodies, we all know deep within ourselves that there is a God who has made it all. There are those who supress this truth and say that God doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t alter the FACT that He does and His word, the Bible makes that so clear. In Romans 1 vs 19-20 we read, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

God’s Word, the Bible, reveals all that God wants us to know about Him. There we see that God made the world perfect BUT that humankind has rejected Him, gone our own way and that is why the world is as it is today. We have messed up! This is called sin and from what we say, do and think and from what we see going on around us each day it is undeniable that each one of us is a sinner. We’ve messed up and we can’t put it right! We are to blame for all the uncertainty and chaos that we live with daily. We have no one else to blame but ourselves.

Yet God hasn’t changed. He is the same today as He was when he created the world and therefore, we can trust Him. He keeps His word! He promised to send someone who would make all things right again and He did – that someone was the Lord Jesus, the One whose birth we will soon be celebrating at Christmas time. Jesus came the first time as promised, to reconcile sinners to the God they had rejected. This He did by dying on the cross for all those who admit they are sinners, confess their sin to God, repent of it and trust that Jesus paid the price for it by surrendering His life on that cruel Roman cross. That God accepted Jesus as paying the price for sinner’s sin is evidenced in the fact that He raised Him to life, the event we celebrate at Easter.

Jesus will come back again a second time as has been promised, to take all those who have ever trusted in Him to be with Him, to judge the world and punish those who have continued to reject Him. On that great and final day, God will complete all He has promised! The world as we know it, will be destroyed by fire and it will be remade, perfect once again. There, all God’s people (those who have trusted in Jesus) will live with a glorious certain future, but all those who have rejected God, will be cast out of God’s presence to live a certain future of eternal torment! Both destinations are future yet certain realities, ordained by God who does not change, whose ways are perfect, who holds your future in His hands.

If you do not know Jesus, I beg of you, please, please, turn to Him today. He has said, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40) If you do, your eternal future is secure, safe and happy.

God bless.

Bible Heroes

When our children were small, I have a vivid recollection of one of our children hurtling across the garden to our back door, tears streaming from his eyes and his face radiant with happiness. In his 3-year-old fingers he clutched a favourite toy car that he’d lost weeks previously. He’d just discovered it under a bush in the garden. “MY HEAVENLY FATHER” he cried “MY HEAVENLY FATHER!” The euphoria of that moment is so deeply imprinted on my mind that even today, 18 years later it brings tears to my eyes. In that moment, our little 3-year-old experienced God stepping into his childish world, his Heavenly Father became real. God had found his toy car …

Throughout the growing up years of our children, we have directed them to the God of the Bible. Even from their earliest days, we would page through their children’s Bibles and introduce them to the Biblical heroes of the Christian Faith. We led them through the Red Sea, we watched as the walls of Jericho tumbled down, we encountered Jonah in the belly of a fish, we slung stones in the direction of Goliath the giant and celebrated as he crashed to the ground… The Bible came alive in the impressionable hearts of our children as they passed from childhood, into the teenage years and thereafter into adulthood.

My greatest desire however was for them to meet God personally in their day to day lives, to discover that the God of the Bible is as much their God today, in the 21st century as He was God to those Biblical heroes.

One day, our youngest daughter accompanied me as I went to collect free range eggs from a local friend. We always helped ourselves to half a dozen eggs and then posted a pound into a wooden box alongside the egg boxes. On that day, I discovered that I was a penny short of £1. I had 99p! So very close! It seemed embarrassingly trifling to turn to God in that situation, but we did, as that was our habit. As the two of us sat side by side in my car, eyes clenched shut, asking God to help us, I was overwhelmed with the awareness that this God was the most faithful, constant companion in my life. I could ask Him anything. How I wanted my tiny daughter to discover that for herself. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. As I opened my eyes and prepared to climb out of the car, there I spotted it – a penny coin.

Even though this egg incident happened many years ago now, my daughter still talks about it. Something that most people would cast aside as a coincidence or luck or chance was a moment where my daughter encountered God. The incredible provider-God that I recognise day after day in the trivial happenings of my life, stepped into my daughter’s world and introduced Himself. Nowadays she’s able to spot Him by herself.

Through 25 years of parenting, God has crossed our paths constantly: that day when a reckless car ploughed into our people carrier and we emerged unscathed – that was God. The time when one of our toddlers crossed a busy road alone and we rescued him unharmed – that was God. The monetary bonuses that would regularly come our way when our resources were stretched – that was God. As we walked through the garden of Angelsey Abbey together – how could we miss our Creator God as we smelt the roses or admired the brilliance of the Dahlias? Equally we knew God was in control when our 7-year-old niece was killed in a mountain accident.

I expect that you’ve had some of those ‘God moments’ too, but it’s very likely that you’ve dismissed them as ‘chance happenings.’ It’s a lot less threatening to allow fate to direct your life than have to deal with an all-powerful, sovereign God who could potentially turn your comfortable world upside down.

But come on, I dare you! Next time you have one of those ‘WOW!’ moments, I dare you to ask, “Is that you God?” Then the Bible challenges you further … “reach out for Him because He is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27). When you reach out to Him, it shows that God is already at work in your life.

Just imagine – next time you go to collect a box of eggs, you could return with eggs in your hand and God in your pilot seat! That’s a bargain of heavenly proportions!

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to play the chance game, you must accept that the odds will be against you on Judgement Day. Some of the most chilling words in the Bible are, “depart from me, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23) Playing Russian Roulette with God is unwise – He holds the winning hand every time. In fact, He holds the whole universe in His hand. If you don’t get to know Him now, it’s unreasonable to expect Him to acknowledge you later. Gambling with eternity makes you a braver person than I am.

The Bible acts as a signpost to reaching God through His Son. It’s the best read you’ll ever have. Once you’ve found Him, you’ll discover that He had been at work in your life all along. You just missed Him.

God bless you.

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