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Dunmow Baptist Church

The blog for Dunmow Baptist Church.

Lion or Lamb?

In the middle of the awesome pictures of Jesus and the awful pictures of judgement in Revelation, come the words, "The Lion...has prevailed". Yet, when John lifts his eyes to see the Lion he says, "I looked and behold...a Lamb"! (Revelation 5:5-6)

The Lion, who is powerful and terrifying, appears as a Lamb. Jesus, the fierce and mighty Lion, became Jesus, the meek and silent Lamb, willing allowing himself to be put to death for me:

"He was led as a lamb to the slaughter". (Isaiah 53:7)

How loving and gracious is that?

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Temptation

Jesus suffered and died so that I could have salvation. The Bible says that he endured the cross "for the joy that was set before him" (Hebrews 12:2) - that's how much he wanted to see me saved. That's why, when he was tempted to come down from the cross by the people taunting him he resisted. He would not trade my salvation for the satisfaction of proving himself to his enemies.

Moses was tempted to enjoy the life in Pharaoh's palace and all the temptations and sins that went with it, while the Israelites suffered as slaves, but he choose "rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin" (Hebrews 11:25).

I refuse to trade being right with the Living God for the fleeting pleasures of sin...but thank God that my salvation is dependent on Jesus's determination to do what was right, not mine!

 

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Our awesome God

The Bible says that our God is abundant in mercy, loving kindness, truth, grace, goodness and forgiveness. He is rich in blessings, love, glory and grace.

Not only is he abundant in these things, but he lavishes these things on us. He is a rich and generous God. The Bible says he owns "the cattle on a thousand hills" (Psalm 50:10) - in fact he owns the hills the cattle are on too! So he has great riches from which to "give us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17).

As Christians we have access to the Living God who "is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think" Ephesians 3:20. What an awesome privilege! What an awesome God!

 

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Guest Service and Shared Lunch

We would like to invite you to our 

Guest Service and Shared Lunch

on Sunday 25th February, starting at 11am

at The Rowena Davey Centre, Chequers Lane.

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How to be first in the kingdom of heaven.

When God looks at us he does not say that he wants to see success, vision, dynamism, impressive achievements and popularity. He says that he is looking for compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

As Jesus said, if you want to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven you must become like a little child (Matthew 18:1-4)and this indicates rather more of the humility and rather less of the impressive achievements. 

As Christians, we would love our lives to be so pleasing to God that he considers us to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. But are we going about it the right way? 

"As the chosen of God...put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

 

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How much of Jesus do you want?

Often we are proud and think we are better than someone else and we criticise them, despise them and put them down. We are, in effect, saying that they need Jesus more than we do - more of his forgiveness, more of his help and more of his grace. And we're saying that we don't need Jesus much at all; we are pretty good without him.

How much better to ask Jesus to show you your faults and to help you to see that you're no better than the next guy? When you need Jesus and you admit it, you get Jesus - his forgiveness, his help and his grace; his friendship, his power and his love.

 

"My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

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It's just as well we reap what we sow!

We had a great time celebrating the harvest on Sunday with a service, a collection for the food bank and a shared lunch.

Philip preached on sowing what you reap, pointing out that if we didn't, agriculture would be a mess. Who could cope with sowing a field of potatoes and reaping a field of poppies?!

When it comes to our lives some of us would rather we didn't reap what we sow! - but you can't have it both ways.

Praise God for Jesus who is willing to exchanged the sin I've sown for the righteousness he's sown.

 

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Creation or creator?

My latest challenge is a prayer by Paul Tripp: rescue me "every day until my deepest pleasures are nowhere to be found in the creation and only to be found in the creator. 

It is so beautifully logical - why would I take more pleasure in the creation than the creator? And yet so often I do!

I would like to highly recommend Paul Tripp's book, Whiter than Snow. It is a series of bite-sized meditations on Psalm 51 which only take 5 minutes each to read. They are pretty thought provoking and well worth a read.

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The secret to growing as a Christian in one sentence

If you want to know if you are growing as a Christian ask yourself the question, "Am I more dependant on Jesus than I was yesterday?"

Jesus said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

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Are you a fish out of water?

If you have the living water which Jesus offers you are like a fish, living in and breathing in water. The water constantly flows through its body, it is immersed in it and totally dependent upon it. This is how vital living water is to our spiritual lives.

But God is concerned that we often resort to our own stagnant tanks of water which I imagine are something like the water butts in my garden which I definitely wouldn't drink from! He says, 'My people have committed 2 sins: they have forsaken me the spring of living water and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.' Jeremiah 2:13

When we are ungracious towards someone we have jumped out of the water which our life depends on in order throw over them a bucketful of water from our own tank! How much better to be swimming in living water and splashing everyone around us with it too?

Taken from Philip's sermon on Sunday 25th June 2017.

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Change of Venue

Please note, the morning service will be held at the chapel on Sunday 25th June as the Rowena Davey Centre is unavailable.

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Who can I be kind to today?

I was reading 2 Samuel and came across the section where David is looking for someone to be nice to. He asks, "Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?"

Is there anyone that I can show kindness to for Jesus' sake?

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Punting

Our church teens had a great day in Cambridge on Friday. We had a picnic, played games and lazed around in the sunshine. Then we had a go at punting. Everyone had fun and, surprisingly, no one got wet!!

 

 

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Just a thought

While you can't control the behaviour of another person, don't let them control yours. When we are angry, bitter, jealous, resentful etc we are letting someone else control our thinking...and it's not even someone we like!

Not letting this happen is considerably easier said than done, but with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). So do it with him.

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Whose kingdom?

"Your kingdom come" = my kingdom go.
God's plans, God's agenda, God's superiority, God's authority come = my plans, my agenda, my superiority, my authority go.

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The Sweet Factory Holiday Bible Club

We had a great day at our Sweet Factory Holiday Bible Club making maltesers and peppermint creams, singing, playing games, making grassheads and hearing Bible stories. We looked at how awesome God is to make a carrot from a tiny seed and how he makes food miraculously in the Bible. We also looked at how Jesus made food miraculously and so we can see he is God. 28 children came and everyone had loads of fun.

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Living sacrifice

Am I ready and willing to do anything for the One who bought my life with his...even if it costs me the earth? And what if that 'anything' is not impressive eg being content with my lot? Am I still willing?

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I can afford it!

Jesus has my best interests at heart so I am free to have the best interests of others at heart. Any intrusions into my time, energy, privacy, family life or money is therefore no problem. I can afford it! I don't have to protect these things. I can afford to be generous.

"Look out ...for the interests of others" Philippians 2:4

 

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Just a thought

"Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22) can be translated "Hold the faithfulness of God" according to Hudson Taylor. I like that because it focuses on the strength of God's faithfulness rather than the strength of my faith.

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What's ROCK?

At ROCK yesterday evening we played games in the dark, warmed up round an excellent bonfire  and enjoyed giant sparklers and homemade candy floss. Then Cathryn showed us the Sainsbury's Christmas advert with its message 'the best gift I can give my family is me'. She explained that that is exactly what God has done for us - given us the best thing he could - himself. That was God's Christmas gift the very first Christmas. Rock is our church youth group and is held once a month on a Friday night. All youngsters aged 11-19 are very welcome. Phone 01371 878018 for more details.

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