The Shop Steward of the National Union of Vinedressers and Fig-pluckers was an angry and easily irritated man, but he liked to think he was fair. He believed firmly in the modern dogma of equality, and had even sat for a spell on the Equality Commission’s Horticultural Investigations Sub-Committee. He represented the lowest paid workers in his local region, and was determined to get them the best and fairest deal he could, even in the face of scheming and ruthless vineyard owners and managers. In his chapter of the union, most of the members were casuals, men who were on minimum wags, and zero-hours contracts, a device he swore had been brought in to cheat honest workers out of an honest day’s pay.
Every morning before sunset his members would rise and go down to the hiring-fair, where the vineyardmen would come with a list of the men they needed for work that day. They would go along the lines of labourers, poking at their muscles, looking at their teeth, pulling at the rags they wore, to make sure that would be fit for the full day’s work ahead, then they would make their decision, pull out the handful of men they selected and the bargaining would begin. The price would be agreed, and the Shop Steward would do his best to make sure that every one of his men was treated the same. After all, equality is important for the working classes, and we all have to stick together, and be united. It’s the only way to ensure fairness, after all, as he often reminded them, the only thing a working man has to sell is his labour. Read more…
Perfect stillness and calm over the waters of Strangford Lough, turing one’s mind to the perfect peace that we have in our soul, through Christ, knowing that our sins are forgiven, and that we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. We have quiet confidence, fully trusting in Christ our Saviour.
In returning and rest shall ye be saved;
in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength – Isaiah 30:15
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Welby Watch #4
MODERN THEOLOICAL DEFINITIONS:
No192, A ‘WELBY’ (Well-bay) A Charismatic universalist who passes himself off as an evangelical.
It’s happened, not that anyone ever thought that it wouldn’t happen. The Church of England, the institutional church, has now approved the ordination of woman bishops. Watching Welby has become a bit of a national pastime. As the vote was being taken for the woman Bishops, Welby was observed by several news outlets to be deep in prayer! Perhaps praying that his gullible followers would vote to distance themselves even further from Biblcal truth… I wonder how far heavenwards that prayer went!
How to Pray with Confidence.
Text: 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Prayer is an essential part of the Christian life, so as soon as John has established that we KNOW that we are eternally saved, with a heavenly destiny, through faith in Christ, he moves on to prayer… and that same confidence that we have in our eternal salvation applies to our prayers. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, If we are truly saved:-
1. We will pray ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.if we ask any thing according to his will,
People just love ‘how to’ sermons! John uses the ‘how to’ technique to teach us to pray effectively, in a way that will always guarantee an answer. But in this case, there is no mystery to it, and you don’t get a list of tips or principles. John just states what is totally obvious, – God is sovereign, and nothing happens without him ordaining it or permitting it, so if our prayers reflect his will, he will hear our prayers, and what are are praying for will certainly come to pass. So the first thing we need to know is this…
- What is THE WILL OF GOD? There are people who agonise over finding the will of God ‘for them’. God’s will is sometimes hidden and is sometimes revealed! Let’s try to distinguish between the two:-
- God’s Hidden Will. His secret will. God ordains everything that comes to pass, for he has sovereign authority over this creation, He made it, and He sustains it and he orders it. There are things that God has not chosen to reveal to us, and we cannot know them and we must simply trust him. We leave these things with the Lord.
- God’s Revealed Will. There are many areas, however, where god’s will is perfectly plain. It is revealed to us.
- Revealed in his word. It is his will that we should only worship him, that we should keep the Sabbath Day holy, that we should honour our parents, that we should not steal or murder our commit adultery, or be jealous, and that we should repent and confess our sins and be forgiven. On all of these matters there is no doubt about what the will of God is, and our response to that will is to obey it! 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 If you want to know the will of God read his word, read it in context.
- Revealed in our conscience. God has, to some extend written his will upon our hearts. Paul explains this for us in Romans 2:14-15, Our conscience is an inbuilt check on behaviour, which to some limited extent mirrors God’s revealed will. What had happened? Her conscience had spoken to her, and reminded her of god’s law, his revealed will. Which says ‘thou shalt not steal!’
- Our will and His Will. So, on the subject of God’s will, the regenerated heart should be predisposed to surrender his or her will to God’s will, knowing that his way is always perfect, and accepting that whatever our life’s path may hold, God is in charge, and we can fully trust him
- Praying the WILL OF GOD. So, let’s draw this all together in some practical sense.
- We will always be mindful to pray that God will bring us into conformity with his revealed will.
- Where we are concerned with God’s hidden will, with the future, with our plans, without family, our wellbeing, we will pray, “Father, I do not know what lies ahead, but I trust you, and whatever comes to pass, I pray that your will might be done, so that you might have all the glory. James 4:13-15
And Jesus taught us to say, when we pray, ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’.
As we bring this Twefth Day to a close, it would be appropriate to recall a prayer attributed to William of Orange:
The Internal Witness
Text: 1st John 5:9-11.
1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
Do you believe in the power of the Gospel; that God can change lives through a living relationship with His Son? In this passage of his letter, John is concerned with knowing and proving that one who really believes in God unto salvation has new life in Christ. He brings forward a number proofs that the believer can use as tests. We might infer that:-
- There is the objective witness as we see men and women transformed by the grace of God, and they demonstrate love for each other, as Christ loved us.
- There is the evidence of the Holy Scriptures, as the Water and the Blood testify to Christ’s person and work.
- But there is also a ‘subjective’ witness. 1 John 5:10 cf Romans 8:15-17.
There is an internal witness to the work of God in the life of a believer! When a person believes on the Son of God, God implants the witness of God within him! A word of caution before we go any further. An internal witness that exists without the external witness of the Scriptures is unreliable. Look at this confession of faith made by Peter… Matthew 16 Peter’s confession was based firstly on God’s Word, not human flesh.
Let us see in v11:- Read more…
The Twelfth of July is upon us again. Today in Belfast and all across Northern Ireland hundreds of thousands of men women and children will rise early, dress respectfully in suits and sashes and unfurl their banners depicting churches, stalwarts of faith and society, and of course, that famous image of Prince William of Orange on a white horse. Accompanied by bands, they will March to demonstration fields, throughout the province, where they will join in a service of worship and thanksgiving, singing hymns and joining in prayer, and hear a sermon, which is usually evangelistic and biblical in content. In response they will pass resolutions to live peacefully with all men, to honour the Queen and their neighbours and to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.