18 September 2016

1..10..1000! - By Jack Lewis

Quite often we go to big Christian events, where there's amazing worship alongside several hundred or even thousand other Christians. We love these times, and God does too, in fact he probably circles it with big red marker on his calendar! But he doesn't just value times like that, in fact he also circles it when any amount of us get together and worship him. People often say that God doesn't move as much as when there's thousands there, but that's because we don't let him. Don't let anyone ever fool you into thinking God will only show up when there's thousands there, and everything's perfect. If you ask and let him then he'll do the same miracles that you could get anywhere. I've just been to Soul Survivor and there was 8,500 people there, but most importantly God was there. But last night I went back to a2j, (A youth group at my church) and although there was only about 20 of us, but guess what, God was also there. While we didn't have 1500 people become Christians, there was still that sense that God was there and I'm sure many of us, myself included, went away encouraged and with a brighter fire to go and serve Him. It can be even smaller, some of the most amazing miracles have happened when one person simply prayed for a friend! It's not about the amount of faith in the room that affects how God comes through for you, it's how much faith that you have! If you have faith then you can do anything, in Mark 11:23 Jesus says: "Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them." We have so much potential, and the heart of what I'm saying is: Don't wait for the perfect opportunity to practice your faith, because there never is a perfect time. Step out in faith and you'll be amazed how much you and God can do together! :-)

2 September 2016

There are Christians...And then there are Christians... -By Jack Lewis

A lot of us have probably said before that we wouldn't want to get too involved with other non-Christians, and there's nothing wrong with that. Although I'm not saying at all that we shouldn't be friends with non-Christians, in fact it's a great thing to have friends who aren't Christians or even come from another religion. What I mean getting to close, for example, this blog is aimed more at teenagers, so it's not unreasonable to think that a few of you are at that stage of your life, and it's not unlikely that you are thinking about finding yourself a place to live in a few years time. To save money you might be thinking of house sharing with a friend, and here's what I'm saying: would you want to share with a non-Christian, who might not let you have the car to go to church on a Sunday, who might often mock your faith, and just generally put a dampener on your relationship with God? Would you want that, or would you rather have someone who encourages you in your faith, who might pray with you and understand why you want to go to church or youth group so much? Which would you rather? Taking it slightly further you could also apply the same principle to relationships. But then there's also a slightly deceptive third class. The people who claim to be Christians but really aren't that bothered. While on the face of it they won't stop you going to youth groups/church and such things, they are often easily susceptible to trying out some very damaging stuff, and then they might try to make you do it too, and remind you that they are also "Christians" and therefore if they can do it you can too. While it's great to get alongside these people and help them up to a proper faith we must be wary not to be dragged under by these people. So the message today is just watch out for those who aren't properly committed to God, try and help them as a friend but don't get dragged into their way of thinking, it can only go downhill from there.

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?