I Can Only Imagine – Devotional Treasures

The Bridge of Triumph Chuck Pinson Greetings brethren on this Lord’s Day! Today I am excited to introduce our guest writer, Andy Brown whose blog I would recommend highly. Andy who lives in Essex, England is a father of four lovely girls. He has been faithfully following Jesus for twenty-plus years, and has been a…
— Read on devotionaltreasure.wordpress.com/2021/05/16/i-can-only-imagine/

Live for Eternity (PoW#17) – Andy Brown

Pearl of Wisdom #’17 We ought to spend our time here, preparing for there In our society, which is largely anti-God, anti-Christian and promotes evolution, humanism and secularism, it is hardly surprising that people think very little about eternity – life after death. If you take a Christian worldview, then you believe and understand that…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2018/09/24/live-for-eternity-pow17/

Of All the Mornings Revisited

Beautiful words penned by Bruce Cooper shared for you below on this Easter day. He is risen! Praise the Lord!

Of all the mornings that have ever occured, this Easter morning, when Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, rose from the dead, is the morning above all …

Of All the Mornings Revisited

Just as He said He would

Happy Easter!

It was my privilege to share for a few minutes this morning at our early morning sunrise service on this Resurrection Sunday.

I share below a recording of the message which I hope you enjoy.

May you be eternally blessed this Easter weekend!

A message from Andy on Easter Sunday morningA message from Andy on Easter Sunday morning

Precious Promises (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Last week I wrote a post called – Precious Faith – which looked at the opening words of Peter’s second letter. Having reminded his readers of his slavery and apostleship, and the like precious faith they share, Peter continues.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT)

Living A Godly Life

In his opening, Peter tells us that we share a faith given to us by God. Likewise here, we see another example of what God has given to us. Namely, everything!

Well, not strictly true… although I once heard a preacher say that this verse does mean just that. That God has given us everything we might want, need or desire. If we were not fallen, sinful creatures, then that might not be so bad.

Peter, however, does not mean literally everything but rather qualifies his words. God, by His power, has given us everything we need for “living a godly life.” God has indeed blessed us richly, and gives us what we need that we might live godly lives. He does not empower us to commit sin, nor to swallow up all we want in selfish greed.

It can be very difficult to be a Christian in today’s world. Some days it feels like we live on a different planet to the rest of the population. We are criticised, laughed at and persecuted, and at times it can feel almost impossible to live in a godly way.

Yet, Peter would encourage us by reminding us of what we have been given – everything! We can do it, because we have what we need. This is not to depend on ourselves to live righteously, but instead to draw on that “divine power” that the Holy Spirit brings. We live godly because we follow Christ, and want to be like Him. We have courage to stand out from the world even if it costs us something.

Verse 3 continues by saying we have received all of thins by coming to know Him – that is, the One who has called us by His marvellous glory and excellence. So, this means that we receive this as we come to know Jesus Christ. It is not received in church attendance, daily devotionals, doing good works (as profitable as those things are), but it is also about knowing Christ.

I am reminded of Paul’s words from Philippians:

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ

Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

I have been challenged lately by asking myself how Christlike I am. I often do not feel a whole lot like Him, and as I examine what it means to be like Him, I have to first truly know Him. I challenge you in the same way today; are you Christlike? How well do you know Jesus?

Precious Promises

Last time, we thought about the precious faith we share, and now Peter points to precious promises.

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

2 Peter 1:4 (NLT)

Because of His glory, because of how excellent Christ is, He has bestowed upon us promises as precious as our faith.

These promises allow us to share in Christ’s nature, and that is also what allows us to become Christlike. I hasten to point out that these promises are not given to us because we are good, have earned them or are superior to anyone else; no, they are given to us simply because we know the Lord.

The corruption of the world is what I touched on earlier. We are surrounded by sinfulness, and temptation seems to appear from every direction. How can we Christians escape such wickedness and not be overwhelmed by it? By receiving these very valuable promises, by drawing on Christ and all His strength and abiding in Him (as a branch linked to a vine) we can deny human (sinful) desire and seek the Spirit’s lead.

Practically, what does this all mean?

Put simply, I believe these verses point us back to God’s Word. We find these precious promises in the Bible. We come to know Christ fully as we see Him revealed in Scripture. As we study the Word, it changes us from the inside out and, over time, we become more like the Lord we serve.

Seek out those promises today. Read the Gospels and learn about who Jesus is. As you do so, you will be eternally blessed.

Parable Surprises – Wedding Banquet

While the phrase is weeping and gnashing of teeth are not entirely encouraging, they are important biblical concepts. this blog post offers some interesting insights into their meaning, and some more general thoughts on this particular parable which I will encourage you to read.

I do not like to share posts too often, as I do not want to weary my readership! But there are some truly amazing writers on WordPress, so do explore for yourselves and find them!

Weddings are awesome, but sometimes full of tension and surprises. To plan a wedding is one of the more complex projects I have been involved with. …

Parable Surprises – Wedding Banquet

Eternity In Our Hearts

Photo by Ryan, Private lake in our neighborhood With everything that has happened with the intense turmoil we have all gone through the last two …

Eternity In Our Hearts

Eternity in the Balance (Best of 2021)

andy-brown.org/2021/02/08/eternity-in-the-balance/

Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of the most read posts of this year.

This post, from way back in February, discuss is the idea of eternal punishment and how we can avoid it! I know that may not seem like the most uplifting of themes… But there is nothing more important!

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do leave me a comment or question.

Thanks for reading!

Death is Random (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

Death is coming, and it’s random

I know that probably isn’t the most uplifting piece of wisdom you’ve ever heard, but it is true! Death is not something we should spend our entire lives thinking about, but it does happen to us all and we need to be prepared for it.

We tend to avoid thinking about it if we can, and otherwise take a herd mentality to cope with it. What I mean is this:

  • It won’t happen to me, I’m too young
  • It won’t happen to me, I’m fit and healthy
  • It won’t happen to me, I’ve got the money to pay for excellent health care      
  • It won’t happen to me, I’ve got longevity in my genes
  • It won’t happen to me, I live in a safe town or neighbourhood

Death is random however. While any one of these factors may reduce the risk of death in your life, the fact is neither money, nor age, nor healthy living can ever stop death from coming to us all sooner or later – and I pray it’s later!

I once heard of a serial killer who seemingly had no profile of victims he attacked. That made him one of the more terrifying examples because no one was safe. If he only targeted young women, then older women and men would feel “safe.”

Each of us must come to terms with our own mortality. Just as each of us have been born, each of us will one day face death.

For the Christian, death holds little fear. When our time comes, we will step out of our earthly bodies and into the presence of the Lord. There we will remain for all eternity.

Whether you are young or old, healthy or sick, rich or poor; you do not know when your time on Earth will be up. Do not gamble with your eternal future. Set it in stone right now by putting your faith in Jesus Christ.

You do this by simply asking Him to be in charge of your life, asking Him to forgive you of the things you’ve done wrong, and by starting to live your life following Him. If you make that choice today, please do get in touch as I would love to celebrate with you and give you some pointers.

Do not put off thinking about death, as unpleasant as it may seem. Life is temporary, but eternity, well, it goes on forever!

Check out my post One Way to hear more about Jesus

The Room

I wish I could say I wrote this. Such a powerful, powerful story. This is from my Facebook memories from 9 years ago. But in a sense I did write this…

The Room

Believe in Jesus

It has been an interesting day in my house, with nothing quite going according to plan!It has been an interesting day in my house, with nothing quite going according to plan! As a result, I’ve not been able to sit down and write anything today.

However I have just seen this post from another blogger and wanted to share it with you.

I do hope you enjoy it! And God willing, normal service will resume on my blog soon!

There are no other gods other than God Himself. He is the beginning, He is the end, and He sustains all things through His Son Jesus. For with …

Believe in Jesus

Sudden Disaster

You need not be afraid of sudden disaster

    or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,

26 for the Lord is your security.

    He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

Proverbs 3:25-26 (NLT)

Reading the third chapter of Proverbs this week, this particular couplet of verses jumped out at me. Have no fear of sudden disaster, the word directs us, and yet I find myself often drifting into fearing the worst, or worst-case scenarios. My anxious mind wanders into negative places, and I start playing the “what if” game. Minutes can go by, and in my head I’ve crafted unlikely situations and pushed them out to their extremities, no matter how implausible.

When I read this verse yesterday morning, I realise that I do fear sudden disaster more often than I care to admit.

I do not mind telling you that I am prone to anxiety, and indeed have suffered with it at times. Anxiety is more than just worry, although it may start that way. Anxiety can be crippling, and it can cause us to shut down almost completely. There have been times when I’ve felt a knot in my stomach; a nervousness that I couldn’t explain. Perhaps you have experienced something similar yourself, or know others who have.

Sadly, it is all too common these days. Stress, anxiety, and depression affect many people in a whole host of ways. I am no psychologist, and of course if you need help with any of these things, do go and see your doctor.

These verses help us though, and so I want to consider them today.

They firstly say we need not fear sudden disaster, nor the destruction which falls upon the wicked. Why not? Because of what is said in verse 26.

The Lord is your security. That’s the key right there. We desire security in many respects. We want our homes to be secure from break in. We want our jobs to be secure from loss or redundancy. We want our family to be secure from harm – in this life and the next. We want to feel and be secure in all aspects of life.

When we feel anxious, or fear sudden disaster, we do not feel secure. We feel there is a threat, known or unknown, which may befall us. What if I lose my job? What if I get injured? What if my spouse leaves me? What if… fill in the blank for you.

Yet God is our security. He is our fortress and high tower. In Him, we need not fear these things.

Don’t misunderstand, this is not a cast iron promise that nothing bad will ever happen. Life itself is proof of that fact. But the Bible is no liar, and we must understand what it means for the Lord to “be our security”.

Security in Christ means that no matter what happens in this life a) He will be right there with us, and b) We have eternal security that can never be stolen or damaged.

In this life, we will face trouble and danger. If you don’t believe me, just live. That’s not to be negative of course, but things just go wrong in this fallen world full of fallen people. If we stick with Christ however, we know that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We know that no matter what happens on this earth, He is working for the good of His people who are called according to His purpose. What happens to you may not be “good”, but we can trust God to bring good out of it.

I believe He wants us to have a good life here on the earth. Like any good Father, He wants us to have blessings and live a good and enjoyable life. Our enjoyment is not His primary concern though, and that’s the thing we forget sometimes. God deserves and will obtain maximum glory for Himself, and if that means us going through a time of trial, then so be it.

God also takes a longer perspective than us. While we go through trouble, it may feel like the end of the world to us. And even if it is, there is a new world to look forward to in eternity. Even if it was not true that God wants to bless us here on earth, we have a home in heaven to look forward to. That will compensate for any discomfort, trial or trouble we face while alive on the earth. A life of 80 or 90 years is a mere blip next to eternity.

So, returning to the passage at hand (I hadn’t forgotten!). We need not fear sudden disaster because the Lord is our security. We can trust Him to bring good into our lives, and know that the bad also has a purpose. Our security in Him is eternal, and not temporal.

This truth, if we accept and rejoice in it, is hugely comforting. I need not fear sudden disaster because firstly, it might never happen, and secondly because there is a heavenly eternity to focus on. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Nothing. That being the case, we need not fear sudden disaster coming upon us.