Sing

Most of you will enjoy nothing more than listening to your favourite music on You Tube , whether that be secular or christian songs. or playing your best CDs whilst driving to work in your car. 

I must say that I try and listen to You Tube in the evenings and at weekends and enjoy the songs of Westlife, JLS, Backstreet Boys, David Gray , Elton John and the Light house Family. We all have different tastes and whether you like Boy bands like me or other groups it is good to be able to spend time and chill out at weekends listening to music.

In terms of christian worship I enjoy Matt Redman, Jarrod Cooper, Phil Wickham and Delirious and my favourite praise songs include King of Kings Majesty, Lord I come to you, Water He turned into Wine and My Jesus My Saviour the latter of which was my chosen song at my Baptism in Bretton Baptist Church in Peterborough in April 2002..

I really enjoy the worship we share at Broadmead each Sunday and this is one of the highlights of a Sunday service as well of course as Pastor Adam’s great sermons.

It is interesting that when we think of the word worship we automatically think of music and our preferred songs however as I see it worship is so much more than singing songs of praise to our God, it is how we live our lives on a daily basis.

As christians our goal should be to live our lives from day to day bringing glory to God in all we do whether that be through menial tasks like cutting the lawn, washing the dishes or even simply the way we speak to our friends.

As believers we should seek to glorify God in all we do and as it says in the bible ” Whatever you do ..bring glory to God”. So dear friends, as we get up tomorrow morninglet us ask ourselves before we head out to work “How can I bring glory and worship to God today in all that I do?” Adopting such a focus will ensure that our day is filled with purpose and direction and will also mean that we don’t fall into the trap of self focus but rather it will re-focus our eyes onto the Lord and serving Him as best as we possibly can.

Image

A large proportion of our young people today are infatuated with the desire and need to look good and to look as attractive as possible to the opposite sex.  This obsession of our teenagers has been brought about by the media through magazines showing models, pop stars and actors on the front cover with beautiful hair, makeup and complexions.

In addition, we strive to be popular with our peers to look good like celebrities such as David Beckham, Justin Bieber and Harry Styles or if you are a girl idols like Jennifer Lopez or Taylor Swift. Many young people seek to emulate their idols by copying their hairstyles for instance.

Many parents are to blame as they allow daughters as young as ten years old to spend all their pocket money on makeup in an attempt to impress their 13-year-old neighbour who they have a crush on.  Or perhaps the 16-year-old son spends all his spare cash on buying Hair products as he pursues the need to look good to try and impress his 30-year-old French teacher.

Unfortunately the above is a sad reality of our society who are obsessed with outward appearance. As Christians the bible is clear that God looks to the inside and that looks are actually not important. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to take pride in your appearance and make sure you dress smartly for work, shower regularly and apply some makeup or moisturiser to look good but the problem arises when it becomes an obsession and it takes the place of spending time with God.

As parents, it is important we set a good example to our children and not let them become obsessed with outward appearance but rather appreciate people for their inner qualities striving to obtain the fruits of the Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience and kindness for example. After all, looks will fade with time.

Choosing a partner based solely on looks is not only ” shallow” but immature, unbiblical and will never last beyond the initial chemistry.  As I see it a beautiful personality with qualities such as kindness, a nice smile, generosity and compassion can turn an average looking person into a very attractive one. Don’t get me wrong, if you are good looking, this is a blessing from God and you should express gratitude for that gift however we all need to remember that looks fade with age but inner beauty can last a lifetime.

Think about this today and ask God that you will not judge by appearance. 

Jonathan Moore

Suffering

Throughout our lives, every one of us is faced with trials and tribulations, difficult times where we must suffer whether that be through bereavement of a family member, enduring serious illness or life situation.

In the bible, we see examples of suffering on numerous occasions whether that be in the Old Testament through Joseph at the hands of his brothers or Jesus at the hands of those who put him to death on the Cross mocking him and ensuring he suffered the worst pain possible,

Many non-Christians ask us if there is a God then why is COVID 19 taking place and a loving God allows such a Global pandemic to occur, causing suffering and death in so many households?

With general suffering, we need to remember that we are in a fallen world and this goes back to Adam and Eve where man made a wrong choice, failing to obey God’s wishes introducing fallenness and sin into the world.  In many cases suffering is brought about not because God’s wants to punish us but by man making bad choices and choosing to ignore Him.

However, some suffering caused by natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes are much harder to explain but what I am sure of is that whatever our suffering God will provide you with comfort, love and compassion to deal with it.

We see from Romans that ” We can rejoice when we run into trials for we know that they are good for us and they help to learn how to endure.”

Sometimes, we suffer from facing the consequences of our own sin and at other times is outside our own control, regardless of the reasons, your faith is tested and your character stretched. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul spent 7 years in prison confinement however despite testing times, used this as an opportunity to be a huge blessing to the people in Colosse, Phillipi or Ephesus.  Most of us if we have to ensure 7 years in prison would crumble and spend much of the time wallowing in self-pity.

In terms of enduring suffering, God often allows this to happen to us and can test our patience and perseverance,  without experiencing hardships it is difficult to grow, if life as good all the time, it would be all too easy for us.  Christians will often have to suffer hardships as much as and often even more than non-Christians, too many believers think that because of their faith we should not suffer, this is clearly not the case. God never promised us an easy life.

In 2 Corinthians we read ” Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with hardships, persecutions. For when I am weak then I am strong”
We see from this verse that our suffering can be for positive reasons and that it can be for the “good of Christ” and can advance His Kingdom.

In closing, remember that suffering is part of the life of a believer, it is important that we don’t be too discouraged when it arises but we use God to help us cope with it as it will result in us becoming stronger people and stronger in our faith.  Jesus went through immense suffering and they will help us develop endurance. When it arises, don’t become too self-absorbed feeling sorry for ourselves but look at the bigger picture, use God to help you through it and draw on His promise of comfort and Love.  We all go through tough times, its you react to it that matters and how we learn from such tribulations. Remember, suffering will result in us becoming more resilient, stronger Christians.

Jonathan Moore

Greatest

As a young person growing up in the 1980s and 1990s I enjoyed (and still do) nothing more than following my favourite sports stars whether that be watching Athletics, tennis, football or table tennis, mainly through the medium of television. I would have looked up to athletes like Linford Christie who still holds the British 100metres record at 9.87 seconds or Triple Jumper Jonathan Edwards who still holds the World record at 18.29metres set in Gothenburg in 1995.

In terms of tennis, I would marvel at the expertise of Pete Sampras or more recently Roger Federer the latter who is arguably the greatest male tennis player in History unless of course you are Spanish and argue that Rafa Nadal’s exploits at the French Open in recent years on clay merit this accolade. As a young person, I would have grown up watching Footballers like John Barnes, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, prolific England goal scorers

I have been most fortunate and truly blessed over the years to be able to watch badminton and table tennis at London 2012, viewed the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow in 1997, witnessed Commonwealth Table Tennis, International Athletics at Birmingham, London and Glasgow Indoor and Outdoors, observed England Football  Team play in Barcelona, followed Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, attended Wimbledon Tennis, International Snooker, World Tennis at the O2 arena on at least two occasions and been to Old Trafford and Wembley Stadium, watched the North West 200 motorcycling in the North Coast of Ireland, Belfast Giants Ice Hockey and more.

If you look at the internet there are many different interpretations on who is the greatest person in History, in sport some say Pele, Usain Bolt or Muhammed Ali or historically we see figures mentioned like Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton or Martin Luther King.   Sadly looking the most Influential Persons on Wikipedia the prophet Muhammed the main figure in Islam is number one, Isaac Newton number two and Jesus Christ only number three.

Whether we have a passion like me for sport, or if you follow History, Politics, TV or Music we all have people we admire and look up to for their achievements and successes. These people often act as role models and we can only admire their accomplishments and medals.

As believers, we have no doubt who is the greatest of all time and that is Jesus Christ, a man who lived a life of perfection, a man we can only admire and look up to with reverence, awe and respect and paid the ultimate price on Calvary’s Tree, not one of our earthly heroes ever died for us and rose again.  So remember while it is good to have people to admire, follow and support in Sport or otherwise, no living person can ever come close to comparing to our Saviour Jesus Christ. So don’t believe Wikipedia the most influential person is clearly Jesus Christ, not Muhammed or Newton or anyone else for that matter but the Messiah and our Saviour who in a different league to any sports star or other Historical figure who loves you with a love that no one else could possibly do. Do not ever forget that.

Jonathan Moore

Tell

“As we established in an earlier email, much of my university days were spent cultivating and developing a passion for evangelism partly encouraged through a close friend who I met in Glasgow called Stewart who took me under his wing, mentored me and encouraged me in my faith. Stewart is still a good friend and will remain so for life, I owe him a lot as a friend, brother and someone who has a special part to play in my life in helping me through very testing times. As a leader in the Christian Union, this friend had wonderful confidence not only in himself but more importantly in God and was able to advise me and support me as a more mature Christian and role model. As we discussed earlier, my initial desire for evangelism and love for the lost was progressed through reading books by Rebecca Manley Pippert, J Oswald Sanders, Nicky Gumbel, Bill Hybels, J John and other wonderful expounders of the gospel. My Saturday evenings were sometimes spent in the university bar, not drinking but giving out copies of the gospel of Mark or leading evangelistic courses to students who had never encountered this awesome God that was no precious to me, a fervent 20 year old seeking the fulfil the Great Commission. I would also spend time in intercession desperately praying for the salvation of a course friend names Graham who sadly I have now lost contact with and as far as I am aware is a Primary School Teacher in the outskirts of Glasgow. Graham and I used to go clubbing together, spending time together playing badminton and socialising in Glasgow’s pubs and restaurants and getting to know one another in a social context.  At the time he played badminton for the university and his younger brother was one of the top badminton players in Europe representing Scotland at junior level on multiple occasions.  We also enjoyed attending the World Badminton Championships and seeing sports finest players on our doorstep perfect their talents right in front of our eyes. To cut a long story short as Evangelism Team Leader I had the opportunity to arrange evangelistic events, training events and present seminars to the wider Christian Union on this topic that meant so much to me. As far as I see it as Christians evangelism is imperative, a command from God that is not optional but should be motivated for a love for the lost primarily.  Looking at the apostle Paul in Ephesians and Colossians he even sought to advance the gospel from a prison cell confinement. This is quite astounding and looking at the language used in Ephesians his passion was incomprehensible. From my experience it is not just about preaching on street corners but is about displaying God’s abundant love whether it be sharing a testimony, what God has done in through life, over a coffee or a meal or as simple as lending someone your newspaper on the train and having a basic conversation about your faith and praying for the salvation of a friend. If I were to give three tips about witnessing they would be as follows; ENSURE IT IS BACKED BY PRAYER-  Ask God to lay on your heart 3 people to pray for each day, pray for their salvation, for opportunities to witness to them and that God will give you moral courage to talk when the chance presents itself. If we all had the passion of John Ditchburn and Martin Hunt we could potentially see amazing things happen. In the song by Delirious ” History makers,” we can play our part in contributing to revival through the grace of God. BE REAL WITH PEOPLE- Always be yourself and never ever put on a facade of how you think you should act, people can see through acts of dishonesty and try not to be hypocritical. THERE IS NO PLACE FOR JUDGEMENTALISM- Learn to develop a love for the lost and don’t judge non-Christians by your standards. In the context of COVID, if you are still home working, you have the opportunity to be witnesses through a conversation over the garden fence, through your use of language on an office Zoom call or not getting involved in sharing gossip when catching up with colleagues over the phone.  If you are in the office, the way you approach the photocopies or avoiding inappropriate remarks about that work colleague can all contribute to our witness to others.  Remember if one person comes to Christ through our persistent prayer or through our lifestyle evangelism it is all worth it.  So to finish, I say make the most of every opportunity and embrace this time in History and let us play our part in contributing to revival in Northampton. Don’t lose faith, don’t give up and keep praying. Jonathan Moore