20 August 2016

God is still in control even if it doesn't look like it by Nathan Jukes

Do never you wonder why God allows so much evil in this world? When there is so much fighting going on in the world we find it hard to believe that God is still in control. I got news for you he is still in control. The reason why there is so much evil in this world is because he has allowed Satan to believe that he's has taken over. Satan thinks he can win, but he can't. Satan doesn't have full control, God is holding him down. In order for Satan to have full control he would have to get rig of us the Christians. That's what he wants and he getting closer everyday to doing that. I believe that is impossible for him to do. If there is someway he can get us away from God he will.

Not everyone who says they are Christian is  really a Christian. Satan is trying to get Christians to follow him by misinterpreted the scriptures, love of money, Sinning etc. Satan can never win, he would need to kill God to get rig of all the Christians. That will never ever happen. If you read the bible you will know that Jesus is coming back.

After Jesus has taken us out that's when Satan will get full control of the earth but only for seven years. It will be a time so evil that if anyone does become a christian they most likely will get killed. After that Jesus will rule the earth for a thousand years, there will be no sin. Jesus is coming back soon, how soon i don't know. God knows every little evil thing that Satan has planed.

God will use them to bring about his perfect plan. God is working everything out for us. Christianity will never ever die out. God has allowed evil to come into the work But he's still in control.

And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (NIV)

18 August 2016

#I refuse to believe this is a lost generation - By Jack Lewis

Hello everyone, sorry it's been a while since I last posted, I've just this morning come back from a Christian festival called Soul Survivor. (Think I mentioned it a few weeks ago) Worshiping God in a big tent with 8,500 other Christian teenagers is quite simply incredible and God moved so much, 250+ people became Christians!! :-) And that was just one week, over the whole summer Soul Survivor will have gathered 30,000 young people, and they are on coarse to have just under one and a quarter thousand people give their lives to God! And that's just in Britain! So what does that say about the theory that Christianity is dying out in the Western world? I've heard some people claim that "When all the old Christians die out in a few years Christianity will become non-existent" While I'm not denying that our culture and the main people who influence it are becoming less and less Christian, the fact is that there are still a lot of us around! While the media try and sweep that under the carpet, God still has a flame burning among young people, and if we do our bit that flame will grow. I'm not going against what I've said before and claiming we should stand in the street and yell at anyone who walks past, but we have to try and and set the example, and then talk to the people who are interested. The seed is there, and its our job to water it in whatever way God calls us to. If we all play a part, then maybe we will all realize "This is not a lost Generation!"  

28 July 2016

My Baptism testimony - By Jack Lewis

Hello all! In case your interested, I got baptized last weekend, and seeing as Nathan an Daniel put their testimonies up when they did it a few months ago, I thought I'd share mine. (P.S, I'm copying this directly, so apologies for my awful grammar!)

"So to be honest, my testimony isn't particularly dramatic compared to many others, there were no blinding lights or sudden realization type moments; I've always believed in God and I became a Christian at 5, I've grown up in a Christian home and I've always been to Church, so since I accepted Jesus at a young age it's been a case of trying to grow in my faith, which was helped by going to a lot of good Church/Sunday School type groups, and more recently it's been great to have been able to go to older age groups like Flame and A2J, and also events like United Generation and Soul Survivor, where I've been able to see God move with my own eyes; people receiving the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues, and all kinds of weird and wonderful things; rather than just hearing about God. So now I'm at a stage where I feel ready to say publicly that I want to try and live for God by being baptized, which is something I've wanted to do for a little while now, but to be honest I've just been Chickening out of doing it, but I've finally decided that today, with God's help, I'm just going to get up here and do it."  

My baptism verse was 2 Timothy 1:7-8: "For God has not given us a Spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, and love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord."  This was also the verse that I was drawing on before my baptism, so to find out that it was my baptism verse was amazing! I love the way God moves!

21 July 2016

The three stages of knowing God - by Jack Lewis.

We are often asked the question, "How is your relationship with God at the moment?" And more often than not, we often say that we're "not sure," or "Don't know." (Especially if you're a teenager, that's about the only phrase most of us know!) But here's an easy way of knowing where you stand; it's what I call the three stages of knowing God.

The first stage, is knowing about God. Most people, even non-Christians, can be at this stage. It goes right through from just knowing what Christians think about God, right through to having memorized the entire Bible. Essentially, you're on this stage if you haven't experienced either of the others. But don't be discouraged by that, continue to read the Bible as that will help you a lot, and then look at getting together with people and going to the places that will help you move onto stages two and three.

The second stage, and the one I'd say I'm on, is seeing God for yourself. Basically that's when you've been to places and seen the spirit of God move in people, or even things like amazing healings. This is also the place where many people can realize that God is real, because they've seen him move for themselves, they're seen evidence of him. If your not sure about whether you believe in God or not, try and find a event or something where you can see God move with you're own eyes. If you live in England, then I'd advise Soul Survivor*, although if you're in the States I'm not really sure what goes on over there!

The third stage, is knowing God for yourself. In other words, if you've ever received the gifts of the spirit. I think I've written about them before, but it's things like praying in tongues, or perhaps having words of prophecy for someone. That should be the goal for all of us Christians, we should try to know God for ourselves. Given this isn't easy, but we just need to keep asking and praying for the gifts, and in time surely we will receive them. 

The final thing to say, is that I'm not at all saying that these should be three exclusive groups, a strong church can have all three. And if all the people on "stage three" just hung out together, then no one else would ever know God for themselves! So if you'd say your on stage one, then try and talk to and pray with older Christians, and try and get yourself along to places where you can see God move yourself. If you think your on stage two, then ask God to help you experience him in your own heart, and if you're on stage three then why not try and help younger Christians to grow in their faith and get to know God more? If everyone could do their bit then the Church will surely be going strongly until Jesus returns.

*Soul Survivor is a big Christian festival in Britain, with events held in Scotland, (Kinross) Stafford (Between Birmingham and Stoke) and Somerset. The events are coming up over the next few weeks, and for more got to: https://soulsurvivor.com/summer/

15 July 2016

God in... the world (2) - By Jack Lewis

The next group of people in the "God in..." series, are perhaps the most obvious ones. They are those who represent God overseas, or in other words, missionaries. No doubt you've probably heard the stories of a few missionaries before, but they're so great that hearing their stories again is surely no trial!

First up is the continuation of the life story of C.T. Studd. I wrote in my last post about how he grew up in a life of luxury and cricketing glory, but what happened next? Basically he proved the very meaning of self sacrifice, by heading out to the heart of the evangelized world. He went first to China, then to India, before going out to Africa where most of his missionary work was done. He left his entire family at home, and he only saw his wife once more before his death. His life included no recreation and no holidays, he just spent his whole life preaching, saving souls, and translating the Bible. Even in his old age when his health was failing, he still carried on, even to the point where he had to be carried to meetings in a chair. In fact he preached right up until the very week of his death! His life is just a great example of commitment and dedication to God, he shirked nothing and did everything God asked him to. Now that's a proper example to follow!

Another perhaps less-well known example that I love, is John Paton. He went to the New Hebrides, (Near Australia if you don't concentrate in geography!) and there he lived among proper, seasoned cannibals. He suffered so much, his house and church were repeatedly torched, people constantly tried to steal from and kill him, and he was blamed for every single natural disaster that happened. (And there were a lot of those on the New Hebrides!) His life was another of sacrifice and dedication, and those two things are probably the main things we can find in mission. Just imagine what the world would be like if we all had that much commitment to God, it would be amazing! So why not ask God now to fill you afresh with a desire to serve him?

30 June 2016

God...in sport (1) - By Jack Lewis

As you might have noticed I'm starting to do a lot of series now, and I'm going to start another one. It's basically taking the life stories of a group of famous Christians, and seeing what we can learn from them. The category I'm going to start with, is Christians in sport. These are people who have gone into what is, to be honest, a fairly ungodly environment, where fame and wealth reign, and come out the other side with God's gold medal. Two of the most obvious examples of this are Eric Liddel and C.T Studd. 

Firstly, to briefly tell the story of Liddel, he was a Scottish sprinter about 100 years ago, and he won so many of the races he entered in. To many he was most famous for winning a race from 20m behind after he'd been knocked over! Imagine if Usain Bolt did that in this summers Olympics, he'd be treated as a) a god, or b) a drug cheat! That's what Eric Liddel will often be remembered for by the world, but for Christians there was a more significant event. In the 1924 Olympics, he found out that his specialty, the 100m, was to be run on a Sunday. He therefore decided to withdraw from the race, which he was one of the favorites to win. He instead chose to compete in the 400m, which most thought he had no chance of winning. To the surprise of everyone, he won the race and a gold medal! As he quoted afterwards: “Those who honour Me I will honour." (1 Samuel 2:30)
So the main things we can learn from the life is that if we are faithful to God, he will be faithful to us, and he'll give us back many times more than we gave to him!

The second main example, is C.T. Studd. He grew up with a life of total luxury, and became one of the leading players in English cricket. He was also one of the players in the first ever ashes. After his brothers near-death experience, something changed, and as for the rest of his life... I'll go into all that next week.

There are also more modern examples, Kaka and Daniel Sturridge being examples in the football world. Billy Vunipola is also a rugby ambassador, and Manny Pacquiao is a Christian boxer. Add that to the likes of Kriss Akabusi and it proves that there still are Christians on the mission field that is the world of professional sports.

23 June 2016

Representing Christ (3) - Putting it all together - By Jack Lewis

As you might well have noticed, the last two weeks I've gone into detail about parts of being Christ's ambassadors on earth, so this week I'm going to try and do a more general post about representing Jesus. The first thing to say about all this, is that representing Jesus doesn't mean standing in the street, under pouring rain, from 5 in the morning to 11 at night, wearing "I've been saved!" t-shirts, and yelling "You're going to hell if you don't believe" at anybody and everybody that walks past! That's not what we're talking about. The kind of representing that will work is surely to do it the way that Jesus would do it. He would help the people who needed help, welcome the people that needed welcoming, and preach to those who wanted preaching to. Jesus never went up and started grilling someone about their life, so we shouldn't either. Instead we just need to live in a Christlike way, and then answer the resulting questions people bring up. I know I've probably said that in both of the last two posts, but that's the main point I'm trying to get out of this series, so if you only remember one thing I've said, then please remember this: "The best way to represent Christ is by living like him." I know that it's not possible to live exactly like Jesus, and I'm probably really bad at that, but that's not the point, it's not a competition, because none of us could ever win. We can't always live like Jesus, but he knows that, and he's not demanding it; but surely we should do what we can, and when we are faced with a choice, think "What would Jesus do," and then act on it. And I'm not just talking about the big choices like a career, I mean the little choices, i.e. should I go and talk to that new person in my church, or should I talk to this guy about what I believe. It's those little decisions that come together to make up who we are, and it's those little things that God remembers. Hebrews 13:16 "For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do." So the challenge is, will we make the decision to do what our saviour wants us to do? Or will we chicken out and do the easy thing that we want to do? And when faced with that choice, you might find these things helpful. "God does not want nibblers of the possible, he wants grabbers of the impossible." - C.T. Studd.  

The best way to represent Christ is by trying to live like him.