Planning, Integrity and true Purity (Proverbs 16)

Anyone been for a health check-up recently?  Eyes, teeth, heart … maybe the full MOT.  How did you get on?

Have you ever done one of those life check-ups? How’s your overall well-being? This isn’t just your physical health but how are you doing emotionally, is your life a success, what’s your status -financial prosperity etc?

One of the things that God’s Word does for us as we gather each Sunday is it provides a life check-up. Earlier this year we did a “whole church health-check when we looked at Revelation 2-3. This one is a bit more about each of us as individuals. So how are we doing against the following markers of a “healthy life.” Continue reading

The wise and foolish Builders – OT version (Proverbs 14)

Blenheim palaceThe other week, we visited Blenheim Palace. It’s an impressive tourist attraction, an elegantly designed building set in acres of beautiful parkland.  As well as being a tourist attraction, it’s actually the home of the Marlborough family. However, a number of commentators have observed that it wasn’t so much designed to be a home as a memorial to John Churchill, victor at the Battle of Blenheim.

So what does it take to make a home? Continue reading

“Would I lie to you?” Integrity (Proverbs 13)

Pinocchio is a puppet who just wants to be a normal boy.  You’re probably familiar with the story.  Whenever he tells a lie, his nose grows a little longer.  Most of us probably wish that this would happen to the people we were dealing with. Then we’d be able to tell if they are telling the truth. Mind you, I suspect we’re all secretly pleased that this doesn’t happen to us. Continue reading

The Disciplined Life (Proverbs 12)

It’s not often that you get away with calling someone stupid is it? But that’s exactly what Solomon does in Proverbs 12.

” To learn, you must love discipline;

it is stupid to hate correction.” Continue reading

A different approach to sermon application

This Sunday, I didn’t preach a full sermon.  Instead, after setting the scene and providing exegesis of the passage, I opened up the floor and asked people in the congregation to share testimony about how God had applied this truth in their lives. Continue reading

Seeking the Good of the City (Proverbs 11)

Why does it matter how our politicians, celebrities and business leaders behave? Why the tabloid obsession with their misdemeanours? Partly it’s just gossip. But a big part of it links to a sense of justice – that good people should do well and when they do, we all do well.

It’s why we get behind the underdog -especially if they have a compelling back story. If an X-Factor’s singing ability is in doubt do a VT about how they love their nan!

It’s why we care about seeing the right people elected for the right reasons. It’s what made the referendum so hard for many – on the one hand a perception of rulers who were remote, unaccountable, self-interested but on the other hand people stirring up hatred for their own ends.

And there was a time when the simple thing for Christians was to simply go to church, enjoy their faith in private and not to connect those things up -privatised.  However, there’s been a renewal of the idea that our faith should influence our engagement with public life. Some people talk about our responsibility to seek the welfare of the City. Continue reading