Do you have the hope of heaven now? – Part 2

Picking up from where we stopped in Part 1, let’s consider the second fundamental reason why Christians don’t occupy their minds with the hope of heaven now: our view of heaven has been wrongly informed. This has to do with feeding our minds with the wrong things, so that the picture of heaven we have is distorted and wrong. This happens in several ways. Firstly, many people have fallen for…

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Do you have the hope of heaven now? – Part 1

I’ve been spending some time in Colossians chapter one. After his introduction, Paul says something interesting about the Colossians, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard…

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The virtue of stability (in life, in ministry, in Christ)

There is a time for transition. In fact there is a lot of transition in life and in Christian life and ministry in particular. However, it is not completely true to say that ‘all of life is transition’. We function best as humans when we have times when we are settled in one place or at least clear of our direction and what our work is rather than just in constant flux…

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Self-care: Know your capacity and do all you can

There is a fantastic book by J C Ryle called Christian Leaders which I’d put in my top five must reads. The meat of the book is a series of eleven biographical sketches of the key preachers of the eighteenth century revival in the UK – the days of George Whitefield and John Wesley. One of the lesser known figures who Ryle sketches is James Hervey. The whole chapter is…

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Captured by a better vision

Tim Chester, Captured by a better vision: Living porn-free, IVP, 2010, 169 pages. Reviewed by Kelvin Macharia: When it comes to sexual purity, the struggle is real. All around us we find sexually suggestive material, from the TV adverts to magazines and billboards. And social media, though helpful in some ways, has only made things worse with its ever inviting sexually suggestive images. Perhaps the biggest threat of my generation…

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Wake up! (part 3)

Sleep walking towards disaster Sleep kills. Thousands of people a year. That’s according to numerous studies into road traffic accidents. And spiritual sleepiness is a serious thing too. In case we still haven’t got it, the Puritan Richard Sibbes wants us to know how serious a thing a sleepy soul is: “Would a waking man run into a pit? Or upon a sword’s point? A man that is asleep may…

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Wake up! (part 2)

Still in the Richard Sibbes sleep clinic… Sibbes notices five disturbing similarities between the nature and effects of physical sleep and the nature and effects of spiritual sleep: “Men disposed to be asleep desire to be alone. Those likewise that are disposed to take a spiritual nap, will avoid company, especially of such as would awake them.” (Sibbes). Be concerned for those who avoid Christian fellowship or avoid anything deeper…

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Wake up! (part 1)

Wake up! (Rev. 3:2) The Puritans were masters of diagnosing spiritual states (e.g. see William Perkins, The Art of Prophesying, part 7). And one of the spiritual states they considered the most dangerous was sleepiness. Why we sleep Richard Sibbes, one of the English Puritans, in his third sermon on the Song of Songs, lists the similarities between the causes of physical sleep and the causes of spiritual sleep: Chemicals which…

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