“LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF GOD”

The world has been forced into silence; we must listen for the voice of God that will lead us through the world crisis.

This being the first day of another working week for most, but for emergency services workers, who are working seven days a week; would be more if there were more days in the week. God bless them all!

The economies of the world are being badly affected so I want to help the world- wide body of Christ get through the crisis by reminding it to listen and follow the voice of God.

The three best known patriarchs in the bible are: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Each in their own lifetime survived a famine because they listened to the voice of God.

Abraham was told to go to Egypt and in doing so, survived the famine. In fact he prospered.

Isaac, Abraham’s son, was told by God not to go to Egypt but to remain in the country where he was living. He also prospered to the point that others became jealous and sabotaged his success.

Jacob, son of Isaac, and grandson of Abraham sent his sons to Egypt, the breadbasket of the world to buy food, not knowing that his son, Joseph who he thought was long dead was the second most important person in Egypt.

All three men survived by listening to the voice of God.

A fourth notable famine occurred in Judah which caused a small family to leave their home in Bethel, Judah for Moab. (Ruth chapter 1).

Only Naomi survived the adventure, Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion died in obscurity in Moab. Naomi, who wanted to change her name because of the bitter experience swallowed her pride and returned to Bethlehem, accompanied by Ruth her daughter in law. They didn’t listen for the voice of God.

A fifth notable famine occurred at the time of the prophet Elijah.

Elijah was kept alive because he listened to the voice of God. The widow was kept alive because she too listened to the voice of God.

Amos, the prophet spoke of another famine not for food and drink but for the hearing of the word of God. This famine for the hearing of the word of God was sent by God.

Why would God send a famine for the hearing of the word of God? The answer lies in the economic, social and spiritual condition at the time. Under King Jeroboam 2, Judah had prospered well. Society had degenerated and the spiritual condition of the land was at its best, lukewarm.   

There was peace and prosperity, the places of worship was no longer significant but tolerated. There were establishment prophets but no prophet with “thus saith the Lord”.

It was in this climate that God called Amos, who was no prophet nor was he from a line of prophets; he was a simple farm worker.

It was while working in the fields that the word of God began coming to him. At first he didn’t know what to do but obeyed and opened his mouth.

Amos would cause a stir which brought him to the attention of many in high places who became irritated by him. Seeing they were unwilling to change despite the changing fortunes of the nation, Amos spoke of a famine for the hearing of the word. The temples would remain intact and so would be the priests and so called prophets but not many with thus saith the Lord. This silence by God is what is meant as a famine for the hearing of the word. The very worst sate of affairs for the child of God, preacher, church and nation is when God go silent.

Today, the bible is available for free online and can be borrowed from libraries and even obtained from churches that are willing to give them away to the public.

The world, including the West, is awash with preachers: appointed, self appointed and fake. For almost every bible text there are varying opinions and points of views.

Furthermore, the countless conspiracy theories, ideas and opinions which are peddled by weirdoes and scammers are ever increasing.   

In the words of Amos, there is a famine for the hearing of the word of God. (Amos 8: 11).     

How do we listen to the voice of God?

Firstly, circumcise your hearing by cutting away from the noise, the clamour.

Secondly, be quiet. Stop talking and listen.

Thirdly, read your bible, not randomly but with a purpose. God often speaks to us through His word in us more than when we are reading it.

Fourthly, pray: without ceasing; keep the communication line with heaven open.

Fifthly, whatsoever, the Lord say to do, do it: repent, go, don’t go, and ask for help.

How God speaks to us:

Through His word (read the bible).

Audibly: directly through a celestial angel and terrestrial angel.

And the most common way in the New Testament era, the inner voice, dreams and visions.

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on March 30th, 2020

The church has a number of measures in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The flyer below is now slightly out of date in that the daily Drop In Centre is closed.

The church will however, respond to request for help from the community.

Help contact details: Email: info@rrfluton.org.uk; Mob: 07904 807398

Lloyd on March 26th, 2020

“SEEING IS BELIEVING”?

It’s Sunday 22nd March, 2020 and I am on my way home from broadcasting our morning church service from our place of worship.

It’s the first day of our voluntary closure of the church building for public worship. Voluntary in that it’s advice from the government to introduce social distancing, a new phrase for the moment.

I am always amazed how certain terms and phrases quickly catches on and become part of everyday communication.

As a church we agreed to close the building for public worship because for me the church is people not a building. Furthermore, we run both an Internet tv and radio station with the radio station having an app which can be downloaded for free so we agreed to stream two services on Sundays at 11am and 7pm.

Had we been told to stop praying, stop preaching or even stop calling on the name of Jesus, that would have been entirely different.

The early church was told not to use the name Jesus in public, they defied the words of men. Daniel was told he couldn’t pray to his God, he defied the Kings command.

John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrims Progress was imprisoned in Bedford, England for refusing to give up preaching as dictated by officialdom. Please note, England was officially a Christian country at the time yet still John Bunyan would spend 12 years in prison for refusing not to give up preaching.

We also introduced a daily Drop in Centre from 2pm to 5pm for anyone in the community wanting to pop in for prayer, counselling and friendship.

Daily pastoral sessions have also been introduced to engage and support new members and visitors. Conference call prayer meetings have also been introduced so we can pray collectively.

Lastly, our members are mature and know God for themselves. Apostle John, banished to the Isle of Patmos grew in his faith and spirituality. Apostle Paul, wrote most of his epistles from prison and by the time his end had come he was as close to heaven as anyone could be other than those in heaven itself.

Christian history is replete with many whose faith and spirituality and sometimes ministry grew in adversity.

Taken together, I have more to do now we are “closed” than before. I wrote to church members and others to let them know and assure them it’s an opportunity for us to minister to others who will need us at such a fearful time.

So, I’m on my way home, the sun is shining, all forms of traffic is significantly reduced.

Fewer cars on the roads, not so many people on foot walking despite it being Mothering Sunday. No child to be seen or heard anywhere because the government has asked parents to keep them home.

The local airport, train stations, bus stations are also quiet, even though it’s a beautiful spring day.

Why is everything so quiet? Coronavirus. This invisible to the natural eye disease, that is mild at one end of the spectrum yet has killed many thousands and made ill hundreds of thousands of people worldwide is in our homes, streets and country.

Seeing therefore is not believing. We cannot see the virus but it’s effect is there for all to see. At night we humans cannot see without artificial light but this does not mean everything disappears.

A very simplistic reason some give for not believing in God is they cannot see Him. This often is the response of the young atheist brought up on a diet of atheism: at home, in school, in university and in the media.

The more educated atheist may respond with “I believe in science”. Others may say, “I only believe in what can be proved, no one has proved that God exist”.

For years now I have presented this scenario in conversation with both believers and non believers alike in attempting to explain the importance of faith as rational and the only way humans make progress and grow as a specie.

There are 214,000 people living in my home town of Luton. If God were to speak audibly from the skies over Luton a very large portion of the population of Luton would hear what was said. Those sleeping, indisposed in some way and distracted would not hear what was said.

Those who heard the message could not convince the others about what they had heard. Some would even deny what they had heard.

Those of us in Luton who heard the message and believed could not convince the people of the adjoining town of Bedford nor the capital city of London, 30 miles away.

This is because people don’t actually practice living by what they see or hear. Early explorers travelled vey long distances in inadequate vessels for weeks and even months to a far and distant land based solely on “faith”. Inventors introduced new inventions often based solely on “faith” that their idea will work. Imagine being the sole person in the first aeroplane.

Humans have advanced because we really don’t live by the seeing is believing principle.

So, if you are an atheist or agnostic, please don’t fall for the lie that only seeing is believing. One of the best bible definitions of faith is: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. (Hebrews 11:1).

Some early explorers and inventors died on the journey or in trying to prove their invention worked but others did  prove the land existed and the invention worked.

Apostle Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. He witnessed the bloody and very painful death of Jesus on the cross. Three days later he is told by a number of trusted sources that Jesus had risen from the dead. I suppose if he had only been told that Jesus was alive, he might have thought that Jesus hadn’t died so it might have been easier to believe. But he was told he had risen from the dead.

This was too much for Thomas. “Unless I see him and touch him and put my finger into the holes in his body, I will not believe he is alive”, said Thomas. (John 20:25).

Eight days later,Thomas saw and touched the risen Christ for himself and in the company of others lest later on his own mind told him it never happened.

Jesus whilst accepting that Thomas needed to see and touch him before he would believe said: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed”. (John 20:29).

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on March 24th, 2020

“A VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE”

Unprecedented, pandemic, worldwide crisis are a few of the headlines and phrases that have become common currency in news rooms, the media and homes throughout the world.

The coronavirus pandemic is not the first global pandemic or plague to have visited the earth and it will not be the last.

People change, society change, philosophies change but our God change not. The writer of the Hebrews wrote: “Jesus Christ: the same yesterday, today and forever”.  (Hebrews 13:8)

Please take comfort in this biblical text for the days were not far off when Jerusalem the ancient Jewish city would be destroyed along with the temple and many prominent buildings. Many would be killed and many more forcibly removed from the city.   This occurred in AD70.

The Jewish diaspora would go on to prosper in the many places they lived throughout the world. In 1948 after the attempted genocidal holocaust the Jewish people became a nation once again in keeping with promises God had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was their very present help in trouble.

With coronavirus come fear, panic, sickness and death. But fear not, God is the one constant.

Hide yourself in Him, the virus will pass and you will make it through but hide thou in Him.

God was with the children of Israel in their most difficult moments:-

The night death passed through every home in Egypt and killed every first born child; it was the blood applied to their homes that gave them protection.

At the crossing of the Red sea and the crossing of the river Jordan, God was a very present help.

The wilderness journey which lasted 40 years during which the children of Israel were fed, watered and cared for. God was again a very present help.

The time fiery serpents entered the camp of the children of Israel and killed and rendered many sick. They cried out for help and God provided the answer and many recovered from the poison and lived.

Famine struck in the days of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph. Also, in the days of the prophet Elijah, they got through because God was their very present help.

Not many things have the potency to affect the whole world, yet this is exactly what coronavirus has done. We still have localised famines, wars and upheavals. Every year there are natural disasters that sometimes destroy more lives and property than what coronavirus will eventually accomplish but none affect the entire world.

For those who say they cannot believe in a God that they cannot see, I hope they think again for coronavirus is invisible to the naked eye. It doesn’t respect any border, ethnicity, age, gender and any form of barrier.

David in Psalms 46 wrote: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early”.

Today, many are praying and some have picked up their bibles and others are taking stock of life. It’s a Selah moment for the world.  

Because God is a very present help in trouble, we will come through this pandemic and return to normalcy. Let us not return to the prideful, sinful and carefree ways. May we listen to the planet, to our children and most of all to God, for if we don’t the next time will be worst.

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant.

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on March 18th, 2020

“SILENT NO MORE”

Last Friday 13th March, I attended an impromptu prayer meeting at our church here in Luton. Earlier in the day, I was encouraging the saints which ended with the call to prayer later than evening.

The inspiration for this blog came during the said prayer meeting and was polished up afterwards.

It’s Friday 13th March and the world is silent. This silence has been coming for a while ever since the coronavirus disease was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Hence Covid-19.

This novel virus, so called because it’s never been seen before. I say seen, but the truth is the virus is invisible to the naked eye. It can only be seen under a microscope. It’s effect though range from a mild cough or temperature to fatal. 

The coronavirus is a strain of existing viruses so science is familiar with it but it’s new and there is no vaccine for it.

Since its discovery it has travelled beyond all national and other borders. As it travels it became an epidemic and now a full blown pandemic. Victims are infected without either the carrier or the recipient knowing.

So now the whole world is affected: as victims, travel bans, closure of sporting events, concerts, theatres, cinemas, elections cancelled, museums, places of fun and frolic.  

School playgrounds, shopping centres, soon courthouses and Houses of Parliament. High commissions and embassies are also closed.

Aeroplanes are grounded, ocean liners docked in harbours, people forced to stay inside their homes for up to two weeks and in some cases for months.

The streets are quiet for people are not gathering in city centres and public spaces to window shop, sightseeing and to protest. 

Schools, colleges, universities silent, because children are not in school. In the UK schools remain open for the time being, but Britain is the exception, it’s only a matter of time before Britain is under lockdown too.

Offices, factories and other places of work are silent because people are at home under quarantine. 

There is silence on earth as the world try to find a vaccine against this disease.

The only voice we want to hear is that of scientists. Tell us what to do. 

Politicians, the media and the general public are all deferring to scientists. 

In this crisis – politicians plan, scientists advise and doctors treat patients. 

The job of the church is to pray. And the job of the preacher is to declare “thus saith the Lord”.

A Pharaoh had two dreams of a famine that would devastate the world but he couldn’t interpret it. Joseph came out of prison to interpret the dreams and saved many lives.

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which he forgot. Despite not remembering the dream it had an impact upon him. God revealed the dream to Daniel and also gave him the interpretation.

A farm worker is moved by God to preach to Israel. King Jeroboam 2, has brought prosperity and success to the country. Faith in God and love for God is at low ebb. Religion is practised but not according to the truth of the word of God. They have forgotten God.

From sunny blue skies dark clouds began to appear. Pestilences and parasitical invasions blights the land; there is fear and distress.

This unknown farm worker cannot hold it anymore. This unknown figure is sitting under a tree out of the noon day sun. He sees, hears and perceives for the Spirit of the Lord is upon him and he cannot but speak out. With his obedience the prophet Amos is born.

The tell tale words of God’s prophet are: “thus saith the Lord”. These words are found throughout the book of Amos.

Men and women speak, young people and children speak; we have opinions and points of view, but “thus saith the Lord” is all together different.

“Let God be true and every man a liar”.

Amos begins to direct his words to his fellow countrymen. He is loaded with “thus saith the Lord”. Soon his words are everywhere throughout the land because the plagues in the land has produced national silence. Vexed with the words of Amos another so called prophet tries to silence Amos by telling him to go prophesy somewhere else.

In Chapter 3, Amos calls the people’s attention thus:


“Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 
[2] You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 

[3] Can two walk together, except they be agreed? [4] Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? [5] Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all? [6] Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it ? 

[7] Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. 

[8] The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy”?

God tend to ask us questions when we are in trouble and have nothing to say. Or when we are overwhelmed and need to come down a peg or two.

God is speaking to the world but we won’t listen.

Creation is groaning. Fires, floods, earthquakes, storms, hurricanes, pestilences.

The children are crying for fear. Our future is bleak they are saying.

In the 1960’s, young people went on marches and protests out of fear that another war more deadlier than all previous wars was about to take place.

Humanity, less than a generation since the ending of the Second World War had not learnt the lesson so young people looking into the abyss cried “make love not war”.

Eventually, the weapons of war were turned into manufacturing tools. At the same time God, in response to the prayers of the church, brought revival that impacted the whole world. This was a gospel or good news revival because having come so close to war the world needed the gospel. This revival lasted right through to the 70’s ushering many into the Kingdom of God.

This is the year 2020, God wants to roar out of Zion. Before the Lord went away he promised the church the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit fell as a great outpouring and has been with us ever since.

The prophet Isaiah listed preaching the good news as the first reason for the anointing. “He has anointed me to preach”. (Isaiah 61:1).

On the mount of Olives at his ascension our Lord said when the Holy Spirit comes, the church will be “His witnesses”.

The silence on earth is both eerie and deafening. Leaders who had so much to say and tweet are now silent.

The lion whose roar can be heard up to 5 miles away is roaring. This lion is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Conclusion
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast”. (Isaiah 26:20).


Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on March 16th, 2020

“Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief” (Part 2)

The blog title is taken from Mark chapter 9 verse 24; an extended extract is hereby provided for the convenience of the reader.

17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him unto me.

20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

21 And he asked his father, how long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Here we read of an occasion when despite the best efforts of the disciples of Christ a young boy’s condition remained intact. The father doesn’t give up instead he brings his son to Jesus who delivers the boy from an evil spirit that wanted to destroy him.

Leading up to the deliverance of the boy the father said to Jesus “if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us”.

Notice, whilst the father brought his son he says if you can do anything; he compounds the matter by adding by inference, if you can have compassion, then help us.  

Going to Christ with if is not a good idea. When we ask we must anticipate a good outcome. When we come we must expect good results. If the farmer can sow his seeds into the ground and patiently wait for harvest time based solely on the law of sowing and reaping then why can’t we believe God when we ask him and it’s in accordance with His will.

The father soon found out that his faith was far from perfect, it was intellectual. So often believers have faith until it should be exercised then the true colour of unbelief is seen.

The bible says the father cried out in tears, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief”. The father knew that his faith was not really there despite his protestations.

Jesus went on to deliver the boy and all was well but as believers we must learn from this example.

The coronavirus is real and potentially fatal. It has killed people all around the world and it is not finished yet. We must pray and act upon our faith by not hiding away because we have reached a certain age. The world needs to see that our faith is not without works or action. The world is scared, it’s panicking and it needs to see their neighbours, work colleagues and family members trusting God that He will keep us safe for many are His promises to His children. Being wise is also important for the two are not mutually exclusive. Listen to the advice of scientists and clinicians and cooperate with government but also live by your faith in God.

The writer of Hebrews defined faith as: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Hebrews 11:1. If you are in the vulnerable age group remember the words of God and act accordingly for “God is not a man that he should lie nor the son of man that he should repent”.

Let me in closing invoke Psalm 91 and verse 15 & 16.

“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation”.

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny               

Lloyd on March 16th, 2020

“Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief” (Part 1)

The way Christians and the church responds to the Coronavirus pandemic will show the level of faith we have individually and corporately. 

Politicians say they are reliant on the advice of scientists and clinicians. We go with science they say for we must follow the evidence.

Yesterday was national day of prayer in the USA and comments I read was disparaging of the idea. I get that the idea of a national day of prayer coming from president Trump is hard for his critics and opponents. Some accuse him of cynicism in that it’s a political stunt to cover up his gaffes at the start of the crisis. Others accuse him of shoring up his political base of evangelicals. As for me the motive for calling a nation to prayer is not as important as the act of praying itself. Prayer is after all first an individual thing even when it is done collectively and in public.

The king of Assyria called a national time of prayer and fasting after being told by the prophet Jonah that the city of Nineveh had 40 days before it was destroyed. The nation prayed and fasted and repented and was spared.

Jehoshaphat called for national prayers after being threatened with invasion. God heard and fought and defeated the enemies of Judah. 

So, I’m sure God heard the prayer of the USA as they prayed yesterday. 

Last Friday, I called an impromptu prayer meeting at our church for our nation. In that prayer meeting God spoke to us through the prophet Amos which is the subject of blog number 383.

After the clear message I asked that we devote time yesterday in our morning and evening services to continue praying for the UK. 

The British prime minister and his most senior ministers have been in office for less than a year so they and the nation need our prayer.

Let me now turn to the point of this blog. Many have faith until, like Peter, they need to exercise it. Peter was very certain that he would not deny his Lord but that’s what he did and three times to boot.

Many Christians and churches will stop attending church service and having church services sooner than stop going shopping or to work. They will say they are being wise.

The PM and ministers are working very long days, every day to manage the crisis. Scientists and clinicians are providing advice and treating patients for many hours each day including weekends. Recently retired clinicians are being asked to help out. Emergency services are geared up to respond to the inevitable need of society. Even retailers are working extra hard to respond to the panic buying.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our PM declares a national day of prayer for the UK. I’m praying for Boris Johnson and his government for the buck stops with him. Sleepless nights and very long days. Varying opinions on what to do and when to do it. These are momentous decisions that can save lives or end more lives than needs be. Let’s pray for our national and local leaders even if there is no national day of prayer.

That said, it doesn’t stop the Archbishop of Canterbury calling for a national day of prayer. I pray the Spirit moves him to do so for he has the ear of government, the monarchy and the media.

There is work for Christians and the church to do. Imagine running to a police station for help and finding it closed. 

It’s time to walk by faith and not be ensnared by fear masquerading as wisdom.

The people are fearful, these are the final days we must not neglect our responsibility to lead people to Christ by opening our hearts, arms and churches. As a church we pray for divine covering each Sunday morning invoking Ps 91. 

In my experience the world may not like our message or our practices but hardly ever do people reject the offer to pray for them.

In part 2, I will examine the title of this blog which is taken from Mark 9 verse 24.

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny 

Lloyd on March 13th, 2020

“IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE”

People remember those who give than those who receive. We tell others what we received for birthday or anniversary or because of a relationship. The spouse who tells his or her family and friends what their spouse gave them on their birthday. The friend who tells other friends what a friend gave him or her on their birthday.

There are a number of occasions in the bible when something good was done by Jesus and he had to ask them not to tell anyone. Even then, sometimes, the recipient couldn’t keep it to themselves.

The heart of God is to give, the law that regulates creation is based on giving:

The Sun gives each and every day by order from God.
The earth produces food of every sort to feed everything on earth through an interconnected and interdependent process established by God. 
Animals, birds and fishes give themselves for food, clothing and even as pets.

Humans are at their best when they give. Famine and poverty are caused through a lack of giving. The rich nations take the best through slavery, colonization and in recent times through capitalism buttressed by arms, covert intelligence and corruption.

Rich individuals hoard their riches, refusing to share it with the poor in their own country and certainly less so with a foreign country.

God gave at the beginning : a perfect world, the breath of life. Despite sin, rebellion, neglect and rejection God is still giving.

Two thousand years ago “God so loved the world (people) that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.

God is still giving: righteousness to cover our sin. “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

God is still healing the sick. “By his stripes we were healed”.

God is still offering salvation: “they that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

God through the church, the body of Christ, is giving: refuge, hope and love. The greatest gift is love. More people are affected for good by love than by threats of hell and damnation.

Through love we pray that the Holy Spirit convicts and not condemn men of sin, righteousness and judgment. It’s easy to condemn and dismiss; its much harder to love, entreat and wait for change. One plant, another water but it’s God who give the increase.

It’s more blessed to give than to receive because God has designed giving as a means of receiving or in the words of scripture, reaping.

In the midst of a terrible famine in the days of the prophets (1 Kings 17:8-16) the prophet Elijah was sent to a widow who was down to her last meal. Elijah asked for something to eat and from the very meager supply the widow made a small cake and gave it to the prophet thus depleting her supply even further. God miraculously multiplied the little corn meal and oil she had which kept her and her son for the duration of the famine.

Job lost his great wealth and possessions over a truncated period of time. He was left destitute and in great need. In the end God restored more than what he had lost through the many he had given in the past bringing him a gift. (Job 42:10-12).

All it takes for one to become a millionaire is for 1 million people giving you £1.

People who receive are grateful, thankful and sometimes are inspired to give themselves. Recipients are able to eat, have somewhere to live and it helps them get up from their sometimes helpless condition.

A disabled man sat each day outside the temple in Jerusalem and would beg to survive. One day Peter and John passing by the temple on their way to  prayer meeting were prompted by the Holy Spirit to minister to the man. They didn’t have money to give but they gave something more than money. They prayed for him and he was miraculously healed. This man was later found all over the city rejoicing, telling all and sundry, what God had done for him. (Acts 3:1-10).

Because he received, he didn’t have to go back to begging or having to be taken to the streets to suffer the ignominy of begging just to survive.

In a world of great personal fortune and very rich nations, there are still beggars. In the UK we have people in every city and town begging despite being the 5th largest economy in the world. Strewn across its major cities and towns are food banks where more and more people visit to get food to be able to feed their families.

In the US the richest and most powerful nation on earth, the inequality is grotesque.

The recipients in these countries are often recorded as numbers.
We don’t know the name of the man who was healed through Peter and John but their names are forever written and will remain in perpetuity.
The rich fool who stored up his money and didn’t care to help those less fortunate than himself died and may have been given a good send off by his family but no one else remembers his name.

We still speak of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army because of his giving to the poor and needy. When he died the queue of people wanting to pay their respect to him stretched for miles.

Inside the church building sat an array of people, in particular two women sat next to each other on a pew near the back. One a former street prostitute who had obtained salvation through the ministry of William Booth and the other, Queen Mary, who having heard so much about William Booth wanted to pay her respect also.

In 2002, William Booth was named among the 100 Greatest Britons in a BBC poll.

Finally, Jesus gave his all which culminated in his death on the cross. No one remembers the malefactor that criticized Jesus, berating him for not speaking up for himself.

Jesus died and was placed in a rich man’s tomb and rose from the dead three days later. The critic also died and perhaps was buried but certainly not in rich man’s tomb and has passed into oblivion.

Jesus on the other hand is both Lord and Christ.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive”!

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on March 10th, 2020

“LEFT BEHIND”

Today, as I was getting ready for morning worship in my home church assembly here in Luton, my thoughts went to the second coming of Christ. 

For over a month I have been teaching on Sunday nights on “signs of the times”. The aim of the teaching is twofold. Firstly, as an evangelistic tool for the world is ignorant of such things.  Increasingly people are told there is no God and the Second Coming of Christ is ignored even by churches and many Christians.  The great irony is from the imagination of men and women’s minds are stories after stories about the end of the world.

Secondly, to get the church to a state of readiness for the Lord’s return.  My thoughts then went on Noah and Lot who both were told to make ready their families and associates for a life changing event was about to take place.

Based on scripture they tried to persuade their families’ et al yet in the end many were left behind.

Noah persuaded his immediate family and they entered the ark with him but what about his in laws, extended family, friends, neighbours and associates, they were all left behind.

Lot also had an extended family, friends, neighbours and associates who were left behind. Moreover, members of his immediate family were also left behind.

Both Noah and Lot were in excellent positions to save their households, extended family members, friends, associates and neighbours but in the end the majority were left behind.

This then made me think, here I was teaching on the second coming inviting more and more people to church than I have done in recent times and thankfully more and more are coming each week yet from those who know me as father, son, sibling, uncle, nephew, friend and associate and not forgetting, as preacher, most will be left behind because I have not persuaded them.

What must I do? Tell them! Warn them! Plead with them and of course pray for them. For how long? Until the end comes or until I die.

Noah was given advance notice of the great flood that was coming, he worked to build the ark for the saving of his household and tried to save as many as he could by preaching what God had told him.

Abraham was also given advance notice concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah he used the time to intercede for them.

Lot vexed with the lifestyle of many in society tried to get them to listen to him and leave the two condemned cities. He was only able to persuade two daughters and his wife, who came out but did not make it to safety through disobedience.

The majority in each of the three examples were left behind.

In a number of kingdom parables (Matthew 13), our Lord spoke about those who will be left behind. Below is an extract of one of the parables.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: [48] Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. [49] So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, [50] and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. [51] Jesus saith unto them, have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. [52] Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old”. (Matthew 13:47-52).

I believe the wailing and gnashing of teeth will be because many were given opportunities to be saved yet did not take it. They were in the best place to be saved but did not take it so they were left behind.

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny

“POWER NOT FOR SALE”

Michael Bloomberg, the multi billionaire pulled out of the running to become the Democratic Party candidate for the presidential election in November 2020 after spending half billion dollars or $500, 000,000 on the campaign.

The decision to pull out followed his very poor showing on Super Tuesday primaries, on 3rd March. So called because on this one Tuesday a total of 14 States deliver their vote on the candidate they want to represent them.    

Michael Bloomberg despite spending all this money came nowhere and pulled out of the race. He entered the race three months ago and left it yesterday.

In a statement Mr Bloomberg said: “three months ago, I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason”.

I do not impugn Mr Bloomberg’s motive but take it at face value but would add I am pleased he did not succeed because presidential power should not be available for sale.

The incumbent used his money to secure the 2016 presidential election but at least Donald Trump came into the race from the very start, stumbled a number of times but continued to the very end defeating all and sundry to become president.

Michael Bloomberg only came into the race recently and thought his extraordinary wealth would make him succeed.

The half billion dollars could have done so much good for literally millions of people in the poorest places of the world.

According to Water Wells for Africa (WWFA), the average cost of a well, though dependent on materials, labour wages, depth of the well, type of pump and remoteness of the village is $8,000 USD in a country like Malawi and Mozambique.

This figure includes more than drilling a hole and installing a pump.

According to WWFA the cost of the well also includes the provision of information and training to the village on matters of hygiene and sanitation.

The training is essential for the well to continue functioning, and without hygienic practices, clean water is much less effective at reducing health issues because people are still exposing themselves to disease.

Each well serves 2,000 people. That means it costs $4.00 to give a person clean water and help them live long and live better. Is that expensive? Not by any means. For every latte ordered at Star Bucks, WWFA could use that money to supply a person with clean water for 20 years. Imagine what could have been done with $500, 000, 000.

Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8 in the bible offered money to buy spiritual power and was firmly rebuked by Apostle Peter. The apostle told him: “thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity”.

After receiving such a firm rebuke and fearing the consequences, Simon pled for mercy and repented.

I do hope Michael Bloomberg reflects much upon the money he wasted and help the world’s poorest with some of the many billions he still has. I will be praying that his conscience trouble him and he makes amends before it’s too late.

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny