Tuesday, 31 March 2015

SUN 29/3/15 TONY LING (PART 2)

Proverbs 30:3-4
I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!

The question is 'Who are you, Lord?' In our day when the voice of atheism shouts loudly we need to be a people who know the answer.  We know, based on our experience, based on our growing and deepening relationship with him that there is a God. We don't just know about him we are confident that we know him.

When we are young we think we know everything that there is to know.  As the years pass, now we are embarassed by our lack of knowledge but what we do have is a much greater hunger to know God better.  Saul when he was stopped on the road to Damascus asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' and Jesus broke into his life.  Years later with a Christian CV that many would envy he talks about everything of any worth in his past being rubbish compared to knowing Jesus.  At that stage in his walk with Jesus he says he wants to know him:

I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,   and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11

He prayed that the Ephesians might know Jesus better.  Whatever our experience of God there is always more to learn, more to reach for.

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.   I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:16-18

Monday, 30 March 2015

SUN 29/3/15 TONY LING (PART 1)

 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.   He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.  The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron sceptre.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.        (Revelation 19:11-16)

To those of us who know him this is clearly a picture of Jesus but that knowledge only comes to us by the grace of God.  He not only made a way for us to know him, but it is God himself who opens our eyes to see that way.  When Simon replied to Jesus' question that he was the Christ, Jesus says that it was only his Father that could have revealed that to him.  He goes on to tell Simon that from that moment he will be known as 'Peter' the rock that he would build the church on.

As Simon declares that he knows who Jesus is, he also discovers who he is himself.  It is so important that each of us develop our own personal relationship with God, not to amass knowledge about him, but an intimate ongoing friendship.  Like any relationship, as we spend time with him we get to know him better, how he thinks, how he feels and just that will transform our lives. The most wonderful thing is that as we get to know him, who created us in his image, we get to know ourselves, who we really are. The truth sets us free and enables us to stand firm in the storms of life.

Daniel 11:32 '... but those who know their God will stand firm'

Thursday, 26 March 2015

REMEMBER CLOCKS GO FORWARD THIS SUNDAY FOR THE WHOLE CHURCH MEETING

At our whole church meeting this Sunday we are looking forward to having Tony Ling to bring God's word to us.  Tony has a prophetic minstry and at this exciting time for NLC it will be great to hear what encouragement God has given him for us.  Make sure your clocks are set forward - you will not want to miss the worship or word this week! 
Stay after the meeting and join us for a buffet meal as a fond farewell to Julian who will be leaving us soon to move south.  We will be sad to lose such a faithful man of God but will be sending him out with much love and blessing into the new adventure God has for him and Hilary.

Monday, 23 March 2015

ALL HANDS ON DECK!

Thank you to everyone who joined in on Facebook trying to work out the title of my preach on Noah for last Sunday. There were lots of very funny and creative suggestions some of which may prove very useful at a later date.   If you didn't hear it, my message was titled "All Hands on Deck!"

Most of you know this was based around a word God spoke to me just before Christmas.  Even though it was the middle of the night the instruction to build like Noah was so clear to me. He built the ark before a spot of rain fell and had put in every structure before the animals came on board.  I felt God was saying to build the Church and put every structure in place to enable many to come on board and then there would be a rain of growth. To share it puts me on the spot but let's believe big!

We know of course from scripture that the result of any word form God depends on our response to it.  So surely this is a call for 'All Hands on Deck!"  I know that word won't have fallen on deaf ears as folk at NLC are great at putting themselves in the mix, throwing themselves into everything and serving.  Our mission is to see the Church built to be the finest of vessels to advance God's kingdom rule, bringing many on board and transforming our neighbourhood, workplace and community.

So I want to encourage everyone to be in the centre of church life, in the mix, and to make our lives count.  Yes, actively be the fragrance of Christ and a light to our world but also make our time together a priority.  I believe our Sunday meetings are a top priority and so important.  It's only 2-3 hours out of the 168 that God has given us every week.  It's time to worship God, hear the word of God and apply it to our lives but also to encourage and build one another up. 

Just think what the dynamic will be like when we are all out together in force and consistently.  It's already an electric atmosphere. Wow!  Please encourage others too. Let's continue to meet together with great joy and excitement and to treasure the time we have to honour God together.

Dave Bunting

Monday, 9 March 2015

PARTNERSHIP

God's plan to rescue the world has always included you and I working together in partnership in his church.  That's why so much of scripture focuses on getting our relationships right and keeping them that way.  Each one of us has a role to play in God's plan and each piece of the puzzle - no matter how small or insignificant we might think we are - is vitally important.  For this reason we have introduced a Partnership Course for those interested in becoming part of NLC.  It can be done in one session in an evening or used as a mini bible study over a few sessions. 
There are many benefits to being part of NLC and we want everyone to be blessed by being with us but a true partner is one who also knows and shoulders some of the responsibilities of church life.  This course outlines both the benefits and responsibilities with the biblical foundations that underpin them and identifies ways in which you might choose to serve God and his church.
If you would be interested in doing the Partnership Course contact Dave on 01246 200768.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

WELCOME ABOARD

welcome aboard life ringHebrews 11:7 says ' By faith Noah, when told of things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark.' He got ready.  I was awakened in the middle of the night (it wasn't a dream - that's for old men!) and God said to me to build the church like Noah built the ark.  So I was up early and off to B&Q the next morning...no not really.  God said to put in every structure to handle a downpour of growth. 

Noah built the ark before any animal came on board and before there was the first spot of rain. We have seen the first drizzle of growth but there is much more to come.  So please partner me in this vision.  Ask yourself, what would you like to do or what would you find fulfilling in building the ark or bringing people on board?  We are forming much larger teams for example in pastoral, visiting, stewards, creche, children, leafleting, evangelism amd more.  These are exciting times, well worth our commitment. 

We have a wonderful God, full of power and grace.  God will do extraordinary things in these coming days.  He makes the ordinary extraordinary in our lives and in the church.  This week, why not invite someone on board?

Monday, 2 March 2015

CARE TEAMS


On Sunday mornings look out for our Care Teams.  Stewards wearing blue badges can give you information about our meetings or any practical help you may need.  Our Pastoral Care Team wear yellow badges and will be happy to listen if you want to talk something through, to advise, pray and minister if needed.

At the back of the room you will find a table with lots of fun activities for younger children which is supervised and available for them to use during the first part of the meeting.

Please ask if you need some help.