In the New Year we will be staring a new series God's Big Story. Together we will take a trip through the entire bible starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation. We will read true stories of people who met God, listen to great events orchastrated by God and through them all we will see how they point us to Jesus. Of course reading the bible and connecting all these themes can be hard, especially when reading through the Old Testament so to help you we are encouraging you to get your hands on some great Bibles & Books that help you to connect the stories together. Why not make it a Christmas gift for your spouce, a member of your family or a friend! Happy Reading.
BiblesAdults: New NIV Study Bible. The NIVSB centres on biblical theology—the “ways in which many important themes work their way through Scripture and come to a focus in Jesus Christ.” With this focus on God’s unfolding revelation in the storyline of Scripture, the NIVSB unpacks his redemptive work in Christ book by book. Check it out here:
Early Teens: Action Bible Study Bible (Age 7-13) Check it out here:Children: Big Picture Story Bible (Age 6-9). The Bible is a big book about a big God who keeps a big promise! It is the real account of God’s love for the world. The Big Picture Story Bible presents this remarkable true story. Simple words and striking illustrations unfold the storyline of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. All ages will enjoy this exciting discovery of a God who keeps his big promise. https://www.crossway.org/books/the-big-picture-story-bible-case/ Jesus Story Book Bible (Age 5-11). The Jesus Storybook Bible tells that Story beneath all the stories in the Bible. From Noah to Moses to the great King David, every story points to a Child. The one upon whom everything would depend…There are lots of stories in the Bible. But all the stories are telling one big story. The story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. And at the center of that story is a baby. And every single story in the Bible whispers his name. http://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/books/jesus-storybook-bible/ Smallies: The Beginners Bible for Toddlers (Age 2-4) http://www.zondervan.com/the-beginner-s-bible-for-toddlers
BooksAdults: The God who is there by DA Carson. Most people do not have a basic working knowledge of the Bible. This book unpacks the whole biblical storyline through the lens of God’s character and actions, to help you know what we should believe and why we should believe it. http://www.amazon.co.uk/God-Who-There-Finding-Place/dp/0801013720/ God's Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts. A big picture overview showing you how the different parts of the Bible fit together. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gods-Big-Picture-Vaughan-Roberts/dp/1844743705 Teens: Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware. Check it out here: https://www.crossway.org/books/big-truths-for-young-hearts-tpb/ Children: The Ology by Marty Machowski. Two young children discover a hidden treasure—a carefully wrapped ancient book full of deep truths about God presented in simple language using everyday examples. The children are captivated by the book and by the life-changing truths they find inside about God, their world, and themselves. Families with children of all ages will also love this multilayered resource that systematically teaches the great truths of the Bible to six-year-olds through preteens. Check it out here: http://www.wtsbooks.com/the-ology-marty-machowski-9781942572282
'And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6v8
The tragic and heart breaking scenes captured by the picture above are hard for us to comprehend from the security and comfort of our own homes. As we watch the hundreds of families trying to board a train in Hungary, as we listen to the reports of yet another boat that has capsized we need to pinch ourselves that this is not a film - this is unfolding before our very eyes just a few hundred miles away!
The loss of little three year old Aylan Kurdi is a shocking reminder to us all of what countless more families and children will face if things don't change. At a political level there is still a long way to go but what can we do?, what should we be doing?
Speak upFirst we should speak up for the most poor and vulnerable because God is concerned for the poor and vulnerable. 'For the Lord your God...shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow and loves the Alien (refugee), giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens (refugees). Deuteronomy 10v17-19 God is not immune to the heartache of these peopel broken by acts of injustice, greed and war and so we should also share the same concern and speak up for their needs.
Act JustlySecond we should act justly. 'Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?' Isaiah 58v6-7. This desire is portrayed by the teaching of Jesus: 'Love your neighbour as yourself' Luke 10v27. Those we see on our television screens are our own flesh and blood. They are our neighbours. To act justly is to give what people are in need of, and in this case it is obvious what people need: Homes, Food, Security, Peace. We should do all we can to give and make their lives better.
Welcome InThird we should provide a rich welcome to those who are without homes in need of homes. 'There should be no poor among you...if there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you do not be hard hearted or tight fisted towards your poor brother or sister.' Deuteronomy 15v4,7. Gods desire was that their should be 'no poor' and to ensure that happened various laws were given to his people to welcome and provide for the most vulnerable. It was also God's command to the church: 'Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.' Galatians 6v10. While we care for the church family we are to 'do good to all people' regardless of their race or religion. As people, children, Mums, Dads, Families make their way to this nation make sure we are at the forefront of welcoming and providing and not 'crossing the other side of the road'. Perhaps more important than all this is why we should do it. We have been shown incredible mercy by God. God has shown us grace upon grace every day. We have homes, schools, hospitals, work, social benefits - there is so much to be thankful for. But above all this God has Welcomed us into his family. God through his Son Jesus Christ entered into the poverty of this world, this broken God-rejecting world, and made it possible for us to be forgiven so that we might have the hope of an eternal home, heaven itself. God took us, who were wandering away from him, without hope and gave us a new life, peace with God and the security of life eternal. When we were in the crisis of our sin God showed his amazing grace to us. Let us show this same grace to others.
Ghandi famously once said of the church: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." While Ghandi is not an authority on Christ and the Church he did observe something that is true but hard for us to take. He heard one thing 'The teaching of Christ' but yet he saw something very different 'The behaviour of the Church'. They simply did not match up! That was true of the Church in Corinth and sadly it can be said of the Church today.