Seeing God’s Glory (New Year Message)

“Did I not tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s Glory” (John 11:40)

I chose this verse for our midnight service because of two reasons. First of all, some of you have been face to face with death this year, you’ve stood by the graveside, attended thanksgiving services, been there at the Crematorium. Some of you have witnessed death metaphorically, you’ve suffered and grieved, you’ve let go. Here in John 11, Jesus arrives at Lazarus’ grave. Along the way he gets stopped by mourners ” If you had come sooner…” As he weeps, they comment “He opened the eyes of the blind, why didn’t he act here?” Maybe you identify with that sentiment. Why couldn’t Jesus have acted sooner, why if God is great didn’t he sort it? Continue reading


The Big Question- Why Does God allow suffering?

This is probably the biggest and the most challenging of our “Big Questions.” It’s big because it raises philosophical questions about God’s goodness (love, wisdom etc.) and his greatness (sovereignty, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence).

–          Why do good things happen to bad people?

–          How can a God of love tolerate suffering?

–          God is sovereign -can’t stop the suffering

If God is a God of love and a sovereign God then why doesn’t he stop the suffering now?

But it’s also challenging because it’s pastoral.  We are not just asking hypothetical questions. It’s personal: “Why me?” or “Why those I care about?” Continue reading

The Truth about God – and why it matters

As well as opinion articles, leadership tips, book reviews and sermon notes, over time on we’ve been looking  the big questions about God, Creation, Humanity and New Creation. We do this because what we believe affects how we live. This means that the big doctrinal questions are important.

We are now coming to the end of our series on “Who is God?”  So this is a good opportunity to stop and sum up the practical implications of what we believe about Him. Continue reading

Learning to Enjoy God: When an Alcoholic meets the good God

When we came to Methuselah, the alcoholic, we intuitively went to Ephesians 5:18:

“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Here we see that being filled with the Spirit is contrasted – not compared – with being drunk on wine.  I think that one of the key things here is that for Methuselah, being filled with the Spirit, walking closely with God every day, learning to live under total submission to the Lord is meant to give him a taste of something that will give deep, lasting satisfaction in a way that no craving or addiction can. Continue reading

Love Rivalry and Relationships: Dating Non-Christians and the Doctrine of God

Remember Juliet? We met her at the coffee shop where she was looking longingly into the eyes of Romeo, her work colleague. In conversation, it comes out that Continue reading

God Creates, sustains, redeems and judges

We follow on from saying that God wills and decrees to look at some of the specific things he wills and decrees.  We are going to look at these in far more detail later on when we come to look at Creation, Humanity and New Creation.

However, I want to just highlight those three things here. Continue reading

God’s Goodness and Greatness: – Implications for Prayer

Another response to God’s character should be a lively prayer life. In fact, this is part of worship. Prayer is an obvious response to God’s goodness. God is love and so prayer is about a relationship with him, knowing God and knowing that he loves to hear us. We can be confident that a good and loving God will answer. Continue reading