Lloyd on October 3rd, 2017

“The things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned”

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 KJV

[14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [15] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. [16] For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Last night I dreamt I was in a long and at times heated debate with a number of bible scholars about the scriptures and in particular Romans 9 through to 11.

Try as I may I just couldn’t get through to a particular person. To start with he went on and on never giving others including me a chance to help him understand that what he was saying was incorrect. The others in the debate knew he was wrong but they too couldn’t convince him he was wrong for he wouldn’t listen.

In the dream I am asking myself why wouldn’t he listen and a number of reasons are given. Top of the list was his natural mind. This man was a PHD, one who was fluent in Hebrew and Greek, I certainly wasn’t in the dream and certainly not in wake.

He was utterly convinced he must be correct because he was able to trace back to the original Greek every word in Romans 9 through to 11 and other parts of the New Testament. All I wanted him to do was to listen for a while so I could give my explanation of the scripture but no. Another scholar had sympathy on me for although in essence his background was similar to this man, in that he also was a PHD and took a very similar line to this other man at least he believed I should get an opportunity to explain the scriptures.

After some time trying to say something in my frustration I decided to walk away for I was getting nowhere and felt if I continued I would become angry.

On seeing that I was about to walk away the man who would not let me speak stopped speaking. I then asked a question with the intention of leaving it with him to ponder for I didn’t expect him to want to hear my explanation.

The question was, what did Paul mean when he wrote: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob”: (Romans 11:26).

Try as he may he couldn’t answer the question. He went into Jewish history: their persecution, the early Jewish leaders of the church, the Gentiles getting saved because of the Jews. Many words were said and both I and the other scholar were not impressed.

I then cited Jews that I knew of who were atheists, big time sinners, some truly bad people; will they be saved I asked? For Paul said all Israel shall be saved? Again he had another go but couldn’t convince anyone and judging from his body language he hadn’t convinced himself either. The other person had a go at explaining the text but didn’t quite get it right either. Shortly afterwards I woke up and decided to write this blog.

In conclusion, I am not saying the scholar or PHD cannot understand the scriptures but one cannot approach the scripture with the natural mind no matter how educated.

Apostle Paul with all his education did not see Jesus as Messiah and that the church was of God.

It was he who after conversion would write: “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: [5] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; [6] Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  

[7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. [8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. 

[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; [11] If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  

[12] Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  

[13] Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do , forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 3: 4-14).

Apostle Paul was willing to renounce things he had learnt about God and the study of scripture. As a Pharisee he would have studied the scriptures a certain way. A way based on intellect and not the Spirit for he didn’t have the Spirit of God.

Through the Spirit Paul has given the church and the world a deep understanding of God. His words to the Corinthians are the title of this blog.

Smith Wigglesworth the well known Pentecostal Evangelist from Bradford, England said on more than one occasion: “Some people read their Bibles in Hebrew, some in Greek; I like to read mine in the Holy Ghost”.

In the next blog I will give my explanation of the statement “all Israel shall be saved”.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

“Lord, help thou my belief”.

In the gospel of Mark chapter 9, it records a story of a father on hearing that nothing was impossible to him that believes after seeing the miraculous delivery of his son, cried out at his unbelieving heart: “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief”. 

On more than one occasion the disciples of Jesus asked our Lord to increase their faith, forgive their unbelief and to help them to believe for nothing was impossible with God.

After Pentecost, the power to bear witness and to operate in the miraculous came to the early church such that their faith was relentless and unquenchable.

They healed the sick, performed miracles and even raised the dead. On one occasion a local church refused to bury a church sister who had died prematurely.

Instead, they dressed her, not for the grave but for life, placed her on a bed and went and fetched Apostle Peter who was nearby to come pray.

They would have prayed for her yet it did not stop them calling Peter to pray also.

Peter duly came, just like Jesus who came to the home of Lazarus four days after his death. Peter spoke to God and then spoke to the dead sister commanding her back to life. God heard Peter’s prayer and his faith in the name of Jesus brought the dead sister back to life. See Acts chapter 9 for the full story.

The title of the blog is “help thou my belief” because increasingly I am finding too many believers are critical of those who believe God for the impossible. Instead of encouraging or asking God to help them believe it’s easier to criticise those who believe. We must be wise, where is the power that the early church had? These comments are made by people who really don’t believe by acting but only hypothetically.

I have been in too many services where there are comments after comments, song after song all attesting to the power of God and yet there are sick folks in the midst who are ignored. The main reason for this lack of faith is the low priority given to the word of faith in too many meetings.

Too many services are dominated by singing: the moderator, choirs, the congregation and preachers so there is very little time for the word of faith. Furthermore, the word always come at the very end after hours of “other  stuff” so by the time what is passed off as the word is given the saints are tired and the unsaved want to go home. The poor preacher then is expected to give catchphrases, homilies and slogans which are insufficient to produce faith.

In my travels as a preacher, where singing is in another language and there is no choir and musical instruments I use the time to build faith and always without exception, God manifests his power to save, heal and work miracles. Sometimes the miracle is immediate but as often it is over time. The book of Revelation opens with the Apostle John being in the spirit. He is all alone, no choir or music to pump him up but he steps into the world of the Spirit.

Let us keep believing God for all things are possible to him that believes. Another reason people are sometimes unwilling to believe despite their protestations of faith is because not every person or situation we pray for will be successful in our terms.

Daniel prayed but still ended up in the lion’s den. His three brothers ended up in the fiery furnace. Stephen was stoned to death, James along with nine of the original twelve disciples were martyred for their faith. Paul and practically all the early apostles were similarly martyred for their faith. In the case of Paul he like John the Baptist before him was beheaded. How ignominious.

Jesus healed lepers but not every leper in the city or country. Jesus raised the dead but many still had to bury their dead. Jesus also raised Lazarus from the dead after being in the tomb four days but stopped short of raising others from the grave.

Let us believe God and keep on doing so but we cannot guarantee that everyone we pray for will be miraculously healed or brought back from the dead. This is not our prerogative, that’s God’s. Ours is to believe.

Make room for the word of God in our services. With the word comes faith. When faith is in the heart of the preacher, the congregation and the people we will see the power of God. No histrionics, no hype and certainly no fakery.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant. 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

“To believe or not to believe, that is the question”.

There are many who believe in God but sadly will be lost. By lost I mean will end up in hell.

Simply believing without acting on one’s belief is not sufficient. Satan believes in God but is destined to be bound in everlasting chains.

Apostle Paul in his letter to the Roman church bemoans the condition of his people by saying that they were lost for they had zeal but not according to knowledge.

To truly believe one has to act or do what one is required to do. For example, to truly believe one has to first repent. To truly believe for a miracle or divine intervention one has to act.

Naaman the leper had to wash himself seven times in the river Jordan for him to be cleansed of his leprosy.

The widow had to act upon the word of the prophet by baking a cake for him first from her meagre supply.

Peter and John told the crippled man to get up and walk and he ignored his past condition and attempted to get up. As he did he found he could walk.

Jesus spat on the ground mixed his spittle in the dust and applied it to the eyes of a man that was born blind then told him to go and wash his eyes in the nearby pool. The man went and did what he was told to do and came back fully sighted.

I could go on and on but I am sure you get the point.

So, believing is important but it must be acted upon for as James wrote: “faith without works (action) is dead”.

As Apostle Paul wrote that zeal without knowledge did not save the Jewish people of his day for they needed a preacher to bring to them the knowledge of Christ people today need the knowledge of God.

There are many belief systems in our world today. People who sincerely believe but still will be lost for knowledge is important. People perish for lack of knowledge.

I hope I have convinced you that true belief requires action and belief and the proper action is based on knowledge.

Not believing or unbelief is even worse than believing incorrectly. That is why atheism and secular humanism is the single greatest danger to men and women today. This didn’t happen over night for I have traced this danger back to the Philadelphian church message in  Revelation chapter 3. In the message to the church of Philadelphia our Lord warned against “the great temptation that would come upon the world to try men”. I believe this is a reference to the rise in atheism and secular humanism. I invite the reader to read blog number 256 which provides the narrative to my assertion.

Too many young people and their parents in the West refuse to believe in God. They reject the very idea. They are unwilling to show even intellectual curiosity. They have hardened their hearts against God, the Bible and the church. Governments are the same which explains why there are no legal boundaries; as long as there is a backer, sometimes one person with media influence or parliamentary support, a law can be introduced or changed.

They can be polite but dismissive, they can he reasonable but intolerant and they can be logical but unwilling to find out. I have met teenagers who dismiss the idea of God without reading the Bible, going to a church, speaking to a preacher or even saying a prayer.

Not long ago I met a man outside our church building in Luton and I invited him to visit us one day of his choosing. I spoke about the good things that takes place in a church service he was unwilling to entertain the idea. I appealed to his rational mind by saying he could come and see for himself that if after a few minutes he found it not to his liking he could leave. I even said that if he didn’t want to come to a service he could meet me during the day for a conversation. All my appeal fell on deaf ears and a hardened heart.

Unbelief is folly and the very worst form of foolishness. Most unbelievers think they are rational and logical yet are unwilling to try Jesus or to speak to a preacher sent by God. It must be a preacher that is truly sent by God.

Logic tells us that if we use the best surgeon it is more likely that our operation will be successful. The best trial court lawyer gives the defendant the best chance of an acquittal and a preacher sent by God will help us know God.

John the Baptist persuaded many to believe in God for he was a preacher sent by God and as a result many were saved from the wrath to come.

Jesus was sent by God and countless number has been saved from the wrath to come.

As Paul identified that the answer to the salvation of the Jews was based on preaching the word of God to them so the answer to unbelief is to preach and teach the word of God.

Let us use all the modern media to propagate the gospel for as it is written: “now faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

“FREE INDEED”

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. [35] And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. [36] If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36). 

I am 32,000 feet in the air after leaving London, England five hours ago into an 8 1/2 hours flight to Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I am in tears following an in flight documentary by CNN which is titled the “Eighties”. The particular episode is about the fall of the Berlin Wall which separated East and West Germany for more than forty years.

My tears are of joy as I watched the politics of men give way to the needs of men and women for freedom. The utter delight and joy of East German citizens has they were allowed to cross the border into West Germany for they were one people with one language and but for the past forty years had enjoyed a common history.

I lived through the 80’s so was familiar with the broad historical themes but the subtle details and the human experiences of ordinary people eluded me for they were not reported on at the time. I suppose it takes reflections on history to fully appreciate historical events. Furthermore, it’s the many voices and perspectives that truly give one a clear understanding of what happened for one is too busy living day to day to perceive what is happening.

This is particularly true for the authors of the four Gospels.

Matthew and John with Mark and Luke wrote the gospels years after Jesus lived, died, ascended back to heaven and established the church.

With the benefit of time they were able to consult contemporaries, check facts and come to appreciate what Jesus taught and did during his 3 1/2 years of public ministry.

So with the benefit of hindsight John recalls an exchange Jesus had with religious leaders of his day which is the basis of this blog.

In the earlier verses in the chapter a woman caught in the very act of adultery is brought in humiliation to Jesus by a gang of men. Others also came because of the likelihood that they might witness the stoning to death of someone.

The religious leaders quoted to Jesus that according to the Law of Moses this woman should be stoned to death. Notice their unwillingness to speak about the man with whom the adultery had been committed for surely if they had caught her in the “very act” as they had said the identity of the man would not be in dispute.

Jesus in his response to them exposed their hypocrisy and pardoned the woman’s sin but told her to go and sin no more.

Jesus went on to remind the crowd as to the reasons for his coming; remind them for they ought to have known for John the Baptist had said that not only had the Messiah come but that as the Lamb of God he came to “take away the sin of the world”.

From the fall man has been enslaved by his passion. Anger as in the case of Cain who brutally killed his brother, or lust as in the case of this adulterous woman.

Sin is our slave master. Our prison guard. Our prison cell.

History has given us great liberators and freedom fighters like: Moses who liberated the Jews from Egypt. William Wilberforce and Olaudah Equiano who fought to bring to an end slavery in the British Colonies, Nelson Mandela who fought to end apartheid in South Africa and Martin Luther King who fought for the civil rights of millions of African Americans.

The greatest liberator and freedom fighter of all is Jesus Christ yet he did not throw a stone, or told his followers to do so. The freedom he offers is more than social or political, its freedom from a sinful nature.

In the words of Apostle Paul: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new”.  (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s Servant

Lloyd Denny

 

 

 

 

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

2017 Youth Conference

Lloyd on June 21st, 2017

“TEACHING FOR DOCTRINE THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN”

There are preachers today who read, teach and preach the bible with great determination. They teach the inerrancy of the scriptures; they are fundamentalists in the good sense and are very faithful to the word of God. They spend time researching and studying the bible from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek so that the best meaning of any word in the bible can be given to the people.

I for one am very glad for such theologians and scholars. Christ’s message to the church at Philadelphia (Revelation Chapter 3) commends the church for their scholastic approach to the scriptures. This is the period when learned men used their intellect to translate the bible in the language of the people. In England we had men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale. We also had the authorised version of the bible commissioned by King James 1.

In Germany we had Martin Luther and in France John Calvin. These bible scholars helped to bring the knowledge of the bible to ordinary folk, praise The Lord for them and others.

Sadly, one can become over reliant on intellect and learning. These are complements to the work of the Holy Spirit not a substitute. Many of the descendants of these scholars make the same mistakes as the lawyers and learned rabbis of Jesus’ day. This mistake is to teach for doctrine the commandments of men.

No one can seriously read the bible and ignore the miracles that are written therein. No one can study the New Testament and conclude that God stops healing people,  and that the days of miracles are over.

Yet there are notable preachers and churches who not only don’t believe in miracles and divine healing but speak against such things and have even coined a doctrine for such beliefs. This is known as “cessation theology”.

It’s very sad because I value so much of what they say and write for I believe most of them are sincere. However, they are wrong for it is written: “And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. [16] He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [17] And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; [18] They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”. (Mark 16: 15-18). 

I wish to end this blog with a New Testament story in which a man that was born blind is healed by Jesus. The story is found in John 9, which is hereby summarised below.

On seeing a blind man the disciples asked Jesus who had sinned for it was thought that such misfortune was a result of someone committing a certain sin. The disciples wanted to know if it was the parents sin or the man’s sin. The man was born blind so it clearly wasn’t his sin. Jesus corrected this way of thinking by making it clear that neither had sinned but it was an opportunity for the works of God to be manifested.

Jesus then spat on the ground and with the spittle he mixed it with the dirt from the ground and applied it to the eyes of the blind man then told him to go and wash his eyes at the nearby pool of Siloam. The man went and did what he was told and received a miracle for he came back seeing.

Needless to say the man became very excited and those who knew him also got excited for him and the miracle soon became a talking point. Soon religious leaders from the Pharisees group found out and immediately rejected the story. They refused to accept the story from the man and others who knew him. They called for his parents and they too confirmed that he was their son and indeed had been born blind. Still they refused to believe the story. They then asked the man once more and instead of accepting the story chose to say he was never born blind.

Why wouldn’t these religious leaders accept the story and give glory to God? It undermined their doctrine. To them their understanding of the Sabbath Day was such that there is no way God would heal on the Sabbath.

On another occasion these same Pharisees gave credit for the healing of a man with a crippled hand (Matthew 12), to Beelzebub instead of Jesus, again because the healing took place on the Sabbath and the fact that it took place in the Synagogue made it worst.

Cessation theology is a man made doctrine that seeks to deny the power of God. “Our faith, wrote Apostle Paul, “is not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”. 

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s Servant

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on June 21st, 2017

“TIME”

We measure a day in seconds, minutes and in hours. We measure a week in terms of days; months in days and weeks and a year in terms of days and months. A biblical day can be twenty four hours or an indeterminate period of time or it can be a metaphor for a past or future event.

Historians are inclined to segment periods of human history with reference to monarchs, precious metals and in recent times to politicians. So we read about the Victorian or Elizabethan period, the Bronze Age and the Reagan or Thatcher era.

God on the other hand speaks of a day. A day to God is an indeterminate period of time which is based not on the rotation of the sun but on His divine purposes in relation to eternity.

Time was created by God and given to man to utilise. Everything we do on planet earth is dictated by time. How much time we have is both an individual and collective question.

Individually the maximum time we have alive is around 100 years and most of us won’t live to this age. We all hope to live to 70 years or 80 years. Beyond that its a bonus and even then it’s usually accompanied by sickness and disease.

Last Sunday night we got word from the Clarke family that Elder Clarke, a member of the pastoral team in the Harrow church had died, age 87 after a short illness.

As a teenager I was very shy and avoided the limelight therefore never volunteered to speak in public or to do anything that made me the centre of attention.

One Friday evening more than 40 years ago I attended a small church service comprising less than 12 people in South Harrow, Middlesex, which is in Greater London. It was the first time I had attended this meeting. It was an outreach of the ministry and I was the only young person present.

Br Clarke led the meeting and for reasons only known to him and God he asked me to give an exhortation in the meeting something I had never done before. To give a testimony was for me excruciating not because I couldn’t speak for amongst my friends I was more than able to hold my own in a conversation.

I stood and spoke. To this day I have no recollection what I said then, immediately afterwards, and certainly not now. Whilst speaking however, the few people present were responding well with amen! And Hallelujah! I can’t remember how long I spoke for but it was short. At the end of the service people came up to me to congratulate me on what I had said, again I couldn’t recall what I had said.

By the Sunday following, what I said had been shared with others who were not at that Friday service. In the immediate aftermath of that Friday, everyone who led a service would call me to say something for its as if people wanted me to replicate what I had said that evening in Greenford.

That first step I took in obedience to a request made, albeit not my choice, was the beginning of my call to ministry. God took a shy and bashful boy and placed him into the ministry but it began with Elder Clarke asking me to give an exhortation in a small rented community hall in Greenford, Middlesex.

On Sunday evening of June 18th 2017, Elder Clarke closed his eyes for the last time on earth for his time had come to an end but simultaneously opened them on the other side where there is no night, sickness and death. R.I.P.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on June 21st, 2017

That your faith stand not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”.

Last Sunday I honoured a preaching engagement in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire that took me away from my home church. It’s not something I do often for being at home on a Sunday is very important to me but this particular church invites me to minister to them at least once a year which I am not always able to accept. So, having accepted the invitation at the start of the year, the date of which I had to change once, I could not fail to honour the promise.

The church was an Indian Tamil church which has grown well over the past 10 years or so to up to 200 regular attendees. I had to preach through and interpreter.

The message I preached which is the title of this blog is taken from 1 Corinthians chapter 2 and verse 5.

The chapter begins with the Apostle Paul making it very clear that their salvation was not because he was an excellent speaker. How good a speaker Paul was is unknown and even if we think he was a good speaker based on a few verses in the book of Acts and in the epistles his point was their faith must not be based on good oratory or the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

As Corinthians they would have been very used to good oratory and speech making from their politicians, philosophers and religious leaders.

In this blog I want to cover some of the things I said in my message last Sunday morning.

Our faith is very important. What we believe and who we believe can make us free, blessed and happy or ensnare us or make us very unhappy. History tells us that people are influenced by the written but even more so, the spoken words of others.

People put their faith in politicians, in science and in false gods. People kill for what they believe and are willing to die for what they believe.

Apostle Paul in writing to the Corinthians wanted them to know that the gospel that he preached was not another philosophy or another religion but was the power of God. Furthermore, that the God in whose name he preached was able and willing to confirm what was said through demonstration. Not through sleight of hands, through deception or conjuring but through irrefutable acts.

It was this power that Moses demonstrated in Egypt against great odds for what he did at first was matched by Egyptian sorcery but in the end Moses prevailed because his power was greater.

All religions demands faith and commitment. Politicians want us to believe and trust them. Bosses want the workers to listen and accept what they say. With Information Technology these same people are able to bombard us with their philosophies, ideas and wisdom.

Recently a new president was elected in France and even more recently his political party won a majority in parliament. The party in question En Marche has been in existence for one year. This was made possible because he was able to use modern methods of communication. Will President Macron succeed in France? Well time will tell.  However, based on history its unlikely that he will deliver on his promises to the majority in France for he will soon find out that speeches, promises and philosophies new or old are not enough its what you do or accomplish that matters.

Moreover, it’s more easy to check whether promises made are actually delivered whereas in the past this was more difficult due to media control.

In the message I gave five benefits of having our faith in Jesus Christ.

Number one: salvation. The gospel of Jesus Christ, wrote Apostle Paul, is the power of God unto salvation. He ought to know, given his former life. His hatred of Christians, his willingness to abuse, terrorise and have them arrested and even to oversee their murder. But Stephen, the first Christian martyr whom he had stoned to death prayed for Paul with these words:“lay not this sin to their charge”. God answered the prayer of Stephen by offering salvation to Paul, which he wisely took.

Paul would write much about salvation in his letters for he knew first hand its reality. Any philosophy that preaches hate or violence is not of God. Any person who does the same is also not of God but the devil. This same Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

Number 2: true blessings and in the end everlasting life. One day Peter who had left his profession as a fisherman (his livelihood, his business, the means by which he took care of his family) asked Jesus what will they get in return for following him. He asked the question after Jesus spoke about how difficult it was for men to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus responded by enumerating the many blessings that will be received and in the end everlasting life. Look at the blessings promised by The Lord:

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life”. (Matthew 19: 29). 

Number 3: a God who hears and answers prayer. This is the one thing that every religion demands and religious people do, namely pray. The practitioners of one religion asks its followers to pray five times a day. Another does so via meditation. Some religions demands ritual cleansing with water before prayer and one has a dedicated wall where adherents wail and present their petitions to God. Even in my faith there are some who pray to images of Mary and saints, this same group even prays direct to Mary.

If you were to ask them if their prayers are answered most will tell you no. In fact most don’t expect an answer. Prayer to them is a ritual, proof to others they are pious and a true believer.

It’s not the words we use in prayer (spontaneous or formulaic) that matters but the reality of the God to whom we pray. Some are impressed with lovely words and some with the externalities of prayer (loud, musical chanting and posture) but none of these truly matter. What matters is the one to whom we pray.

At the meeting last Sunday people came for me to pray for them at the end of the service because they remembered me from before. About five years ago at the same church I was asked to pray for a couple that could not have a child. I did and they brought the child who is now about four years old to me that I may know that the God in whose name I prayed heard my prayer and gave them a daughter. I also met a woman who had suffered intense migraine for a long time whom I prayed for last year when I visited them. She came up to me at the end of the service to tell me she no longer suffers from migraine.

Number 4: a faith that overcomes the world. It’s not easy to swim against the tide, its hard work and people are inclined to mock.

The faith we have enables us to overcome: the ungodly styles and fashions of this world. Even grandmothers dress inappropriately. Married women whose skirts are too short or their dress too tight. Men who deface their skins with tattoos and get drunk for fun or take drugs as a lifestyle. Faith in the power of God overcomes all these and more. Men are like sheep, easy to lead astray and into dangers but Jesus is the good shepherd who came to seek and to save the lost.

Number 5: a real heaven. Heaven is a real place. There is life after death. Jesus through the resurrection was the proof of life after death. Most religions believe in life after death and a heaven. A few teach reincarnation but most including Christianity believe in heaven. Even the non religious want to go to heaven.

The secular humanists, atheists and agnostics have done well to convince an increasing number of people that there is no God and that death means death. Yet even secular humanists are hopeful that when they die they go to heaven.

Moses had a preview of the promised land when he stood up on mount Pisgah. Elijah was escorted to heaven by angelic chariots. Our Lord visibly ascended to heaven in full view of up to five hundred people. Heaven is real.

In conclusion

Why is faith so important to God? Let me give the reader four reasons.

Firstly, it’s the great equaliser (intelligence, wealth, status) are irrelevant. In fact, the poor has the edge when it comes to salvation because the rich struggles.

Secondly, true faith is of the heart, not rituals, creeds and dogmas. Sound doctrine or teaching is however, imperative.

Thirdly, its simple and uncomplicated. Men are inclined to over complicate things but the faith that God recognise is simple. Jesus once said to please God one must have the faith of a child.

Fourthly, its responding to what is written, told or said no need for us to create or invent anything. Simply believe.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on April 25th, 2017

“VOICES”

Early this morning as I woke from sleep (having slept for less than four hours, I don’t sleep through the night anymore, I haven’t done so for years), my prayer theme was the many voices that are speaking in our world: night and day, every day, 24 hours of every day.

With more than 7 billion people on earth and the explosion in technology the voices are relentless, loud and at times scary. News can be carried around the world on any topic and carried in minutes.

Yesterday, British prime minister, Theresa May decided to hold a general election, which is to be held on 8th June; for the next six weeks or so, there will be lots of voices about the election: why she decided to call an election when she didn’t have to do so until 2020; will she increase her parliamentary majority, will Mr Corbyn the opposition leader survive the inevitable defeat, will the other parties do well and if so at whose expense? On an on will be the voices.

Despite many getting things so very wrong: the financial crisis in 2008, the Brexit referendum last June and the election of Donald Trump as US president last November. The voices of church leaders are equally wrong. Still too many are prognosticating about the Second coming of Christ and the end of the world. Yet many of these very same preachers are amassing a small fortune for themselves.

There are voices of war and in a world of nuclear weapons this is scary. There are voices of terror where individuals and groups are seeking to terrorise many, the more the better. There are voices of confusion where repeated promises made in a political campaign are soon dismissed or explained away without a bye or leave. Then there are voices of preachers who through the Internet are peddling falsehoods about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. What is so alarming is the gullibility of humans today. Fake news is believed. Conspiracies are received and passed on without checking.

False prophets steal money from people, sometimes those least able to afford it, in the name of God.

The huge expansion in churches around the world has not resulted in more people being saved because many start church to make a name for themselves and to have a better and more prosperous life here on earth on the backs of the poor and vulnerable. They shall be judged by the Great Judge one day.

Since the start of the year I have been teaching from the book of Revelation and have written a summary of the 7 churches message to accompany the teaching. To the church of Laodicea, Jesus said, she is rich and increased with goods and know not that she is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Christ went on to counsel her to buy of him, gold that has been tried in the fire, and white raiment to cover her nakedness and for her to anoint her eyes with eyesalve so she could see.

Adam and Eve heard the voice of God walking in the midst of the Garden of Eden and hid themselves for they were afraid because they were naked. God spoke audibly to Israel on Mount Sinai and they were afraid and later asked Moses to ask God not to speak to them audibly again. God spoke thereafter through the prophets and then through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Despite the clamour, the confusion, and the duplicity, God’s voice can be heard. God is speaking to consciences and through His servants to the church and the unsaved.

“Go! Into all the world and preach the gospel”, said Jesus, and again: “he that believes shall be saved and he that believes not shall be damned”. 

“And this is the condemnation that light has come but men prefer darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil”. 

His voice is causing men and women to repent and turn to him. His voice is bringing comfort to many around the world. His voice shall also raise the dead for it is written: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. [25] Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. [26] For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; [27] And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. [28] Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, [29] And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation”. (John 5: 24-29). 

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on April 14th, 2017

A SIGN OF PEACE”

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. [5] And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereofZechariah 8:4-5

This morning I listened to a news item involving South Sudan, the world’s newest country. As many will know there is humanitarian crisis there on a gigantic proportion. Yemen, Somalia, parts of Nigeria and parts of Kenya are also experiencing a similar crisis.

There are many causes: civil war, drought, corruption, bad leadership and terrorism to name but a few. The news item covered the usual things: how bad it is, responses from the United Nations, responses from the national government and the aid agencies. The report, mercifully short, for it was difficult to listen to, ended with children singing in the streets and the broadcaster saying it will get worse before it gets better. I then went to pray saying to myself how reporters when reporting on crises always feature in their report children singing or playing even in the midst of the very worst crisis. Then I recalled the scripture in Zechariah.

We all take joy in children playing or simply having fun in the streets. It’s a metaphor for peace and normalcy but it’s also a tangible proof that things are good. Children can be poor and lacking in many things but to see and hear them sing and play in the streets is what we all want. This line of thought opened in me a line of prayer that produced this blog.

It’s been a while since my last blog but I am pleased that my first after such a long break is on this subject. Children the world over don’t need things to be happy what they need is love and a safe place to grow up. They are not the cause of their suffering nor are they in a position to solve the crisis but sadly they are always the first and last victims. As you read this blog, please join me and pray that children the world over can sing, play and have fun in the streets. In the West the problem is violence, street gangs, paedophiles and terrorism. In the poorer parts of our world it’s: poverty, exploitation, civil war and hunger. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny