18 September 2016

1..10..1000! - By Jack Lewis

Quite often we go to big Christian events, where there's amazing worship alongside several hundred or even thousand other Christians. We love these times, and God does too, in fact he probably circles it with big red marker on his calendar! But he doesn't just value times like that, in fact he also circles it when any amount of us get together and worship him. People often say that God doesn't move as much as when there's thousands there, but that's because we don't let him. Don't let anyone ever fool you into thinking God will only show up when there's thousands there, and everything's perfect. If you ask and let him then he'll do the same miracles that you could get anywhere. I've just been to Soul Survivor and there was 8,500 people there, but most importantly God was there. But last night I went back to a2j, (A youth group at my church) and although there was only about 20 of us, but guess what, God was also there. While we didn't have 1500 people become Christians, there was still that sense that God was there and I'm sure many of us, myself included, went away encouraged and with a brighter fire to go and serve Him. It can be even smaller, some of the most amazing miracles have happened when one person simply prayed for a friend! It's not about the amount of faith in the room that affects how God comes through for you, it's how much faith that you have! If you have faith then you can do anything, in Mark 11:23 Jesus says: "Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them." We have so much potential, and the heart of what I'm saying is: Don't wait for the perfect opportunity to practice your faith, because there never is a perfect time. Step out in faith and you'll be amazed how much you and God can do together! :-)

2 September 2016

There are Christians...And then there are Christians... -By Jack Lewis

A lot of us have probably said before that we wouldn't want to get too involved with other non-Christians, and there's nothing wrong with that. Although I'm not saying at all that we shouldn't be friends with non-Christians, in fact it's a great thing to have friends who aren't Christians or even come from another religion. What I mean getting to close, for example, this blog is aimed more at teenagers, so it's not unreasonable to think that a few of you are at that stage of your life, and it's not unlikely that you are thinking about finding yourself a place to live in a few years time. To save money you might be thinking of house sharing with a friend, and here's what I'm saying: would you want to share with a non-Christian, who might not let you have the car to go to church on a Sunday, who might often mock your faith, and just generally put a dampener on your relationship with God? Would you want that, or would you rather have someone who encourages you in your faith, who might pray with you and understand why you want to go to church or youth group so much? Which would you rather? Taking it slightly further you could also apply the same principle to relationships. But then there's also a slightly deceptive third class. The people who claim to be Christians but really aren't that bothered. While on the face of it they won't stop you going to youth groups/church and such things, they are often easily susceptible to trying out some very damaging stuff, and then they might try to make you do it too, and remind you that they are also "Christians" and therefore if they can do it you can too. While it's great to get alongside these people and help them up to a proper faith we must be wary not to be dragged under by these people. So the message today is just watch out for those who aren't properly committed to God, try and help them as a friend but don't get dragged into their way of thinking, it can only go downhill from there.

20 August 2016

God is still in control even if it doesn't look like it by Nathan Jukes

Do never you wonder why God allows so much evil in this world? When there is so much fighting going on in the world we find it hard to believe that God is still in control. I got news for you he is still in control. The reason why there is so much evil in this world is because he has allowed Satan to believe that he's has taken over. Satan thinks he can win, but he can't. Satan doesn't have full control, God is holding him down. In order for Satan to have full control he would have to get rig of us the Christians. That's what he wants and he getting closer everyday to doing that. I believe that is impossible for him to do. If there is someway he can get us away from God he will.

Not everyone who says they are Christian is  really a Christian. Satan is trying to get Christians to follow him by misinterpreted the scriptures, love of money, Sinning etc. Satan can never win, he would need to kill God to get rig of all the Christians. That will never ever happen. If you read the bible you will know that Jesus is coming back.

After Jesus has taken us out that's when Satan will get full control of the earth but only for seven years. It will be a time so evil that if anyone does become a christian they most likely will get killed. After that Jesus will rule the earth for a thousand years, there will be no sin. Jesus is coming back soon, how soon i don't know. God knows every little evil thing that Satan has planed.

God will use them to bring about his perfect plan. God is working everything out for us. Christianity will never ever die out. God has allowed evil to come into the work But he's still in control.

And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (NIV)

18 August 2016

#I refuse to believe this is a lost generation - By Jack Lewis

Hello everyone, sorry it's been a while since I last posted, I've just this morning come back from a Christian festival called Soul Survivor. (Think I mentioned it a few weeks ago) Worshiping God in a big tent with 8,500 other Christian teenagers is quite simply incredible and God moved so much, 250+ people became Christians!! :-) And that was just one week, over the whole summer Soul Survivor will have gathered 30,000 young people, and they are on coarse to have just under one and a quarter thousand people give their lives to God! And that's just in Britain! So what does that say about the theory that Christianity is dying out in the Western world? I've heard some people claim that "When all the old Christians die out in a few years Christianity will become non-existent" While I'm not denying that our culture and the main people who influence it are becoming less and less Christian, the fact is that there are still a lot of us around! While the media try and sweep that under the carpet, God still has a flame burning among young people, and if we do our bit that flame will grow. I'm not going against what I've said before and claiming we should stand in the street and yell at anyone who walks past, but we have to try and and set the example, and then talk to the people who are interested. The seed is there, and its our job to water it in whatever way God calls us to. If we all play a part, then maybe we will all realize "This is not a lost Generation!"  

28 July 2016

My Baptism testimony - By Jack Lewis

Hello all! In case your interested, I got baptized last weekend, and seeing as Nathan an Daniel put their testimonies up when they did it a few months ago, I thought I'd share mine. (P.S, I'm copying this directly, so apologies for my awful grammar!)

"So to be honest, my testimony isn't particularly dramatic compared to many others, there were no blinding lights or sudden realization type moments; I've always believed in God and I became a Christian at 5, I've grown up in a Christian home and I've always been to Church, so since I accepted Jesus at a young age it's been a case of trying to grow in my faith, which was helped by going to a lot of good Church/Sunday School type groups, and more recently it's been great to have been able to go to older age groups like Flame and A2J, and also events like United Generation and Soul Survivor, where I've been able to see God move with my own eyes; people receiving the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues, and all kinds of weird and wonderful things; rather than just hearing about God. So now I'm at a stage where I feel ready to say publicly that I want to try and live for God by being baptized, which is something I've wanted to do for a little while now, but to be honest I've just been Chickening out of doing it, but I've finally decided that today, with God's help, I'm just going to get up here and do it."  

My baptism verse was 2 Timothy 1:7-8: "For God has not given us a Spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, and love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord."  This was also the verse that I was drawing on before my baptism, so to find out that it was my baptism verse was amazing! I love the way God moves!

21 July 2016

The three stages of knowing God - by Jack Lewis.

We are often asked the question, "How is your relationship with God at the moment?" And more often than not, we often say that we're "not sure," or "Don't know." (Especially if you're a teenager, that's about the only phrase most of us know!) But here's an easy way of knowing where you stand; it's what I call the three stages of knowing God.

The first stage, is knowing about God. Most people, even non-Christians, can be at this stage. It goes right through from just knowing what Christians think about God, right through to having memorized the entire Bible. Essentially, you're on this stage if you haven't experienced either of the others. But don't be discouraged by that, continue to read the Bible as that will help you a lot, and then look at getting together with people and going to the places that will help you move onto stages two and three.

The second stage, and the one I'd say I'm on, is seeing God for yourself. Basically that's when you've been to places and seen the spirit of God move in people, or even things like amazing healings. This is also the place where many people can realize that God is real, because they've seen him move for themselves, they're seen evidence of him. If your not sure about whether you believe in God or not, try and find a event or something where you can see God move with you're own eyes. If you live in England, then I'd advise Soul Survivor*, although if you're in the States I'm not really sure what goes on over there!

The third stage, is knowing God for yourself. In other words, if you've ever received the gifts of the spirit. I think I've written about them before, but it's things like praying in tongues, or perhaps having words of prophecy for someone. That should be the goal for all of us Christians, we should try to know God for ourselves. Given this isn't easy, but we just need to keep asking and praying for the gifts, and in time surely we will receive them. 

The final thing to say, is that I'm not at all saying that these should be three exclusive groups, a strong church can have all three. And if all the people on "stage three" just hung out together, then no one else would ever know God for themselves! So if you'd say your on stage one, then try and talk to and pray with older Christians, and try and get yourself along to places where you can see God move yourself. If you think your on stage two, then ask God to help you experience him in your own heart, and if you're on stage three then why not try and help younger Christians to grow in their faith and get to know God more? If everyone could do their bit then the Church will surely be going strongly until Jesus returns.

*Soul Survivor is a big Christian festival in Britain, with events held in Scotland, (Kinross) Stafford (Between Birmingham and Stoke) and Somerset. The events are coming up over the next few weeks, and for more got to: https://soulsurvivor.com/summer/

15 July 2016

God in... the world (2) - By Jack Lewis

The next group of people in the "God in..." series, are perhaps the most obvious ones. They are those who represent God overseas, or in other words, missionaries. No doubt you've probably heard the stories of a few missionaries before, but they're so great that hearing their stories again is surely no trial!

First up is the continuation of the life story of C.T. Studd. I wrote in my last post about how he grew up in a life of luxury and cricketing glory, but what happened next? Basically he proved the very meaning of self sacrifice, by heading out to the heart of the evangelized world. He went first to China, then to India, before going out to Africa where most of his missionary work was done. He left his entire family at home, and he only saw his wife once more before his death. His life included no recreation and no holidays, he just spent his whole life preaching, saving souls, and translating the Bible. Even in his old age when his health was failing, he still carried on, even to the point where he had to be carried to meetings in a chair. In fact he preached right up until the very week of his death! His life is just a great example of commitment and dedication to God, he shirked nothing and did everything God asked him to. Now that's a proper example to follow!

Another perhaps less-well known example that I love, is John Paton. He went to the New Hebrides, (Near Australia if you don't concentrate in geography!) and there he lived among proper, seasoned cannibals. He suffered so much, his house and church were repeatedly torched, people constantly tried to steal from and kill him, and he was blamed for every single natural disaster that happened. (And there were a lot of those on the New Hebrides!) His life was another of sacrifice and dedication, and those two things are probably the main things we can find in mission. Just imagine what the world would be like if we all had that much commitment to God, it would be amazing! So why not ask God now to fill you afresh with a desire to serve him?

30 June 2016

God...in sport (1) - By Jack Lewis

As you might have noticed I'm starting to do a lot of series now, and I'm going to start another one. It's basically taking the life stories of a group of famous Christians, and seeing what we can learn from them. The category I'm going to start with, is Christians in sport. These are people who have gone into what is, to be honest, a fairly ungodly environment, where fame and wealth reign, and come out the other side with God's gold medal. Two of the most obvious examples of this are Eric Liddel and C.T Studd. 

Firstly, to briefly tell the story of Liddel, he was a Scottish sprinter about 100 years ago, and he won so many of the races he entered in. To many he was most famous for winning a race from 20m behind after he'd been knocked over! Imagine if Usain Bolt did that in this summers Olympics, he'd be treated as a) a god, or b) a drug cheat! That's what Eric Liddel will often be remembered for by the world, but for Christians there was a more significant event. In the 1924 Olympics, he found out that his specialty, the 100m, was to be run on a Sunday. He therefore decided to withdraw from the race, which he was one of the favorites to win. He instead chose to compete in the 400m, which most thought he had no chance of winning. To the surprise of everyone, he won the race and a gold medal! As he quoted afterwards: “Those who honour Me I will honour." (1 Samuel 2:30)
So the main things we can learn from the life is that if we are faithful to God, he will be faithful to us, and he'll give us back many times more than we gave to him!

The second main example, is C.T. Studd. He grew up with a life of total luxury, and became one of the leading players in English cricket. He was also one of the players in the first ever ashes. After his brothers near-death experience, something changed, and as for the rest of his life... I'll go into all that next week.

There are also more modern examples, Kaka and Daniel Sturridge being examples in the football world. Billy Vunipola is also a rugby ambassador, and Manny Pacquiao is a Christian boxer. Add that to the likes of Kriss Akabusi and it proves that there still are Christians on the mission field that is the world of professional sports.

23 June 2016

Representing Christ (3) - Putting it all together - By Jack Lewis

As you might well have noticed, the last two weeks I've gone into detail about parts of being Christ's ambassadors on earth, so this week I'm going to try and do a more general post about representing Jesus. The first thing to say about all this, is that representing Jesus doesn't mean standing in the street, under pouring rain, from 5 in the morning to 11 at night, wearing "I've been saved!" t-shirts, and yelling "You're going to hell if you don't believe" at anybody and everybody that walks past! That's not what we're talking about. The kind of representing that will work is surely to do it the way that Jesus would do it. He would help the people who needed help, welcome the people that needed welcoming, and preach to those who wanted preaching to. Jesus never went up and started grilling someone about their life, so we shouldn't either. Instead we just need to live in a Christlike way, and then answer the resulting questions people bring up. I know I've probably said that in both of the last two posts, but that's the main point I'm trying to get out of this series, so if you only remember one thing I've said, then please remember this: "The best way to represent Christ is by living like him." I know that it's not possible to live exactly like Jesus, and I'm probably really bad at that, but that's not the point, it's not a competition, because none of us could ever win. We can't always live like Jesus, but he knows that, and he's not demanding it; but surely we should do what we can, and when we are faced with a choice, think "What would Jesus do," and then act on it. And I'm not just talking about the big choices like a career, I mean the little choices, i.e. should I go and talk to that new person in my church, or should I talk to this guy about what I believe. It's those little decisions that come together to make up who we are, and it's those little things that God remembers. Hebrews 13:16 "For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do." So the challenge is, will we make the decision to do what our saviour wants us to do? Or will we chicken out and do the easy thing that we want to do? And when faced with that choice, you might find these things helpful. "God does not want nibblers of the possible, he wants grabbers of the impossible." - C.T. Studd.  

The best way to represent Christ is by trying to live like him.  

17 June 2016

Represnting Jesus on Earth (2) - Witnessing - By Jack Lewis

Hello everyone, last week I did a post about representing Jesus here on earth by being welcoming, and this week I decided to continue with the theme of being Jesus' representatives. This week the more specific subject is talking about Jesus, or witnessing. 

First of all, is the "why." Well, imagine it like this, you meet some random guy who gives you £1 million, and also promises that he'll give a million pounds to anyone else who asks. What would you do, surely you want want to let your friends know about the offer so they can share in the money too! When we witness to others, that's exactly what we're doing, except we aren't offering money, we're offering eternal life! Also, if a friend turned down the money, would it matter? No, that's simply their loss. Again it's the same in real life, if someone turns our offer down, God won't think of us as failures, it's quite simply the other persons loss, and so there's absolutely no reason to be scared that they might turn round and say no! So the "why," is really quite simple, you've been offered eternal life and so you should surely go out and offer it to others, it's not like heaven will ever get overcrowded!

The second aspect of all this, is "how". Everyone has a slightly different way of doing it, so I can only really offer my personal advice, but I think there are are a few key things to remember. 1. Don't force it. One of the worst things we can do is try forcing it down people's throats, especially if they don't want to listen. If someone tells you they don't want to know, don't force it, as that can put them off Christianity for ever. In fact they may be way more likely to think that "perhaps these Christians are alright" if you don't go on about it, so instead just try to be a good witness in the way that you live. 2. Rather than talking too much, it's often better to simply answer their questions. I think that ideally, we'll live in quite a godly way, so they'll then start asking questions about why we are like this, and we then have a great platform to build from which will hopefully end up in them coming to know Christ.

Thanks for reading and any questions, please comment below.

14 June 2016

The Lord’s Prayer by Nathan Jukes

This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
 on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
  And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

Here is the Lord’s prayer. This is how Jesus said we should pray. Let’s take a look at what it has in it.

We can praise God with this.
We can ask for his will to be done.
We can ask him for our daily bread.
We can ask God to forgive our sins.
We can ask God to help us not to get tempted to do wrong.
We can ask him to deliver us from the evil one.

Here is everything we need in this prayer. It is the way Jesus said to pray, so why not pray this prayer more often.

9 June 2016

Representing Jesus on earth: Being welcoming - By Jack Lewis

 Quite often we hear it said that we are, "Jesus hands and feet on the earth", but we sometimes struggle to understand exactly what it practically means. Whilst it is a combination of quite a lot of things, there's one particular thing that I want to draw attention to today, and that's being welcoming to others. I might go into a few other aspects of being Jesus' representatives in the following weeks, but I don't really know yet whether I'll turn this into a series or not, so watch this space!

I'll start going about this by trying to make it understandable what a difference it makes to be welcoming, so lets go from close to home. There are probably countless times that you've been to a new place/group for the first time, and often when we get there we almost feel a bit intimidated, unless we already know the people there. Try thinking back to a few of those situations, and asking yourself whether you felt welcomed or rejected. Also, did that affect you're decision to go back again? The point I'm trying to make here is that if we as Christians are not welcoming, then people a) won't like/think positively of us, and b) won't come back. Just think of the amount of people we probably lose from churches, and ultimately heaven, because they don't feel welcomed, it's quite likely a lot. (I don't know that, I'm just guessing so don't quote me on it!) We often find welcoming people quite difficult, because we're busy in our own little social circles, and we just don't want to take the time out, but it's worth it. I've recently been experiencing both ends of that in my church groups, as I'm in my last term of the years 7-9 group, but I've also just started the years 10+ group. In the first group I'm one of the oldest and probably more popular people there, so it's easy to forget about the newer people who come along. However a few weeks ago I went to the older group for the first time, and suddenly I was the youngest and least well known person there. A few people came up and started chatting, and it made me realize how important that was. Also, to bring it more obviously onto the point of representing Jesus, remember that one of his greatest attributes was welcoming people, even if they weren't in the "cool" gang at the time. (Think Zaccheas for example) 

So to conclude I think that if we really want to "be Jesus hand's and feet," being welcoming to other people is one of the first and most obvious places we should start. That way we will surely bring more and more people into our churches, and we'll also have more chance of them thinking that "they want the thing that we've got." So the challenge for you is, next time you see a new person at your church or youth group, go over and make them feel welcome. 

27 May 2016

Why Memorize? - By Jack Lewis

For many of us, we find that when we get to those teenage years, it's hard to still be excited by God so much, especially as we don't want to look "uncool." We sometimes think that we can't do certain things because the methods seem outdated or we don't feel we have time, and one of the things that often suffers is memorizing parts of the Bible. We can sometimes feel that memorization is something that the last generation did, but we've since "moved on." While I'm not suggesting we have to be like the old Jewish teens that memorized the whole of the Old Testament, I still think that remembering one or two key verses is a great thing to do; just a few that we can apply to different situations. For example, whenever I get scared of something, (which isn't often!) I just think of the verse: Your rod and your staff comfort me." (Although for some reason it's always been "comfort and protect" to me, so I just end up imagining God bashing anything bad round the head with a stick!) Another example for my life, is that I'm currently working out my baptism. I'm not gonna lie here, I'm terrified of giving a testimony in front of 400 people, but at the moment 2 Timothy 1:7 is really helping me. Also you could try memorizing the verses I wrote about last week, so if you ever find yourself in a situation where you're talking to a non - Christian about God, then those verses might be a great help. So if you're not exactly the next Einstein and you haven't got the point of all I've just said: try memorizing some useful Bible verses! And if you still don't get it... go get an appointment with a psychiatrist! (Or Einstein)      

19 May 2016

Key verses in Romans - By Jack Lewis

A couple of weeks ago in a previous post, I mentioned that I was planning to do a post about salvation as written in Romans. Basically what I will do is take some key verses from the book, and put them together to form the framework for salvation. The aforementioned verses are below:

Romans 3:10 - As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Heaven) 

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:13 - "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

So lets put them all together like this: "No one is perfect, so we all deserve to die, but anyone who believes in his heart that Jesus is Lord will live with him in paradise forever!" 

Also remember that "to die" is just another way of saying "living in hell," but "being saved" means going to heaven instead. And if you want to trust God but don't know how, check out the post below.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment and share!  

18 May 2016

Saved? Repost - By Jack Lewis

What happens when we die is a big question we ask. As the Bible states there are only two possible outcomes, Heaven or Hell. The latter is such a horrible place that is actually mentioned more times in the Bible than Heaven. Many people try to avoid the subject of Hell for a fear of seeming to judgmental; however, if one person hears about it, and is saved from it, then it is surely worth having a few people being just slightly offended with you.
If you have read about the torment in Hell, then the chances are you would do anything to avoid it, but how do you know you are saved from it. The way of salvation is simple, just ask God through prayer to forgive you of all the sins that have messed up your life, and he will write your name in his book of all of us who will one day live with him forever in a place better than the best place we could ever imagine. There is no specific words that have to be prayed, no precise passwords, no fancy words that need be used, just as long as you have wholeheartedly asked him to save you, then you have found the only way to Heaven!

If you have prayed this sort of prayer before, but feel you have gone away from God, then why not pray this prayer again, you can never pray this to many times.
Like I said, there is no specific prayer that has to be prayed, but if you are totally stuck and don’t know what to say, here is a suggested prayer:

Dear Lord
I confess I have not been following you, and have not been the person you created me to be. I ask that you will take away the barrier of sin that has barred me from you, and I thank you for dying on that cross so I could live with you forever.

God won’t mind at all if you read the prayer on here or anywhere else, as long as you meant it.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace that came through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)   

17 May 2016

God Vs Satan

Have you even though about what God and Satan ofter. God offers everlasting life, light, salvation, Heaven, and Joy

Satan offers everlasting pain, darkness, sin, and Hell, and many more things. Satan will try to make everything thing look good and right, but really he just what's to take you to hell. God gave his only son Jesus to take away our sin. God wants to save as many people as he can to Heaven with him. God and Satan both want's you, but one only offers a good life. A good reward for the hard work you put in. One will trick you into believing that your good person, that you will make it to Heaven but really offers darkness and Hell. Satan only wants you because he doesn’t want to be the only one to end up in hell. His mission is to take as many people with him as he can, because he does not want anyone to go to Heaven. He hates God so much that he wants to deceive you into going to hell.

So why not take up God offer today  because he gave the thing that cost him the most, his son Jesus. If you haven’t already trust in Jesus to take away your sin, why not do it today. You have no Guarantee that will be here tomorrow. If you die tomorrow where will you go, Heaven or Hell?

12 May 2016

Guide to the Bible (10) Revelation - By Jack Lewis

Hello again! A shorter post today seeing as there's only one book that I haven't yet covered, Revelation. It's an incredibly strange book, and it's far detached from the rest of the New Testament. While the other books deal more with the here and now, Revelation is written about the future: the time that Jesus will return and set up his new kingdom here on earth. It's also strange in the way that it was written; it was actually a dream that John had. In this dream, or "revelation," John first heard from God what he thought about the churches in Asia minor. There is a personal assessment from God on each individual churches' conduct, and there's a mix of praise and criticism. Much of the criticism could also be leveled at some of our churches today. After this more practical part, John moves into the future. He tells of the terrible destruction that will come to those who turn their backs on God, and of the glory that will surround the new Heaven and Earth. While we don't know anything specific, we know that it will be "a perfect world," so if ever you are thinking "in a perfect world," realize that the only thing you need is to turn to God, and then one day you are guaranteed to live in an actual perfect world, for eternity! How cool is that! (Search for the "Saved?" post if you don't understand what it means to turn to God) So whilst some of the stuff in there might be a bit weird, we can just try and understand as much as we can, but most importantly remember the main point of the book: Turn to God and you will live with him for ever on an earth where nothing ever goes wrong!  

5 May 2016

Guide to the Bible (9) Other letters - By Jack Lewis

Hello everyone, it's Thursday, which means that it must be time for another Guide to the Bible post. Hopefully you have enjoyed them, as this is the penultimate one. I'm today covering the letters from Collosians all the way to Jude, if that's possible! The letters are 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1,2&3 John, 1&2 Peter, and Jude.

Anyway, straight to the point, and Thessalonians. These are two pastoral letters written by Paul to the church in Thessalonica. In the first of the two, Paul joyfully expresses his love and joy for the church and the way it is thriving, while also touching upon the main subject of the second letter, Jesus' second coming. Some forged letters under Paul's name had been sent to the people saying that since Jesus had already come, they didn't need to continue their works, so Paul uses this letter to correct them. 

The next double act, is 1&2 Timothy. These were pastoral letters written to the person after whom they are named. Paul basically gives Timothy all the advice a young pastor could want from an experienced elder. The second letter was written by Paul while under arrest for the final time. He was being kept in a dungeon, chained up like a criminal, and his second letter to Timothy was his last before his execution in Rome. However Paul reminds him that he is still joyful, and looking forward to receiving his full reward upon death. 

Titus is a also a pastoral letter very similar to Timothy. Practically all I said about 1 Timothy also applies to Titus. Enough said!

If you thought Titus was a short book, then flip the page to Philemon. (Any more and you'd miss it!) The 25 verse book is simply a personal letter from Paul to Philemon asking him not to punish the since saved runaway slave Onesimus. (Great rhyme, that!!!) 

Now, back onto the longer books, and Hebrews. No one knows who wrote this book, but it was written to some Jews who had converted to Christianity, but were tempted to go back to their old law system. The author reminds them that Jesus is all they need for salvation, and that laws can't save them. In chapter 11 the "Honour roll of Old Testament heroes" is also found. 

After Hebrews, is James. This is a very practical teaching letter written to no one specific, but it's a really interesting book that's surely one of the first letters to read. James places particular emphasis on the link between words and actions, reminding us the simple fact that "actions speak louder than words".

During his life, Jesus had what he called his three "Chosen disciples." Peter, John, and James, and the next five letters were written by two of those, Peter and John. Firstly are the two letters by Peter. Both deal with the issue of persecution and trials, but in different formats. In the first letter, Peter deals mainly with the physical persecution the people were receiving, reminding them that if they stay strong and trust God, he will protect and reward them. The other type of attack, mentioned in Peter 2, is spiritual. False preachers were coming in, bent on doing evil and turning the church away from the Lord. Peter again reminds them that God will be with them and one day he will punish those doing evil.

The Penultimate letter writer, is John. He wrote three short letters; the first being a bit of a circular teaching letter, while the other two are more personal. In the first book, it seems the people had been influenced by false teaching, so John tried to persuade them to turn back to the true God. The main theme of the book is love, so he writes extensively about how loving God is. Letters 2&3 are both 13 verses long, and concisely address a particular subject. In book 2, John writes to remind the people to be discerning about who is, and isn't Godly. The people were accustomed to giving accommodation to visiting missionaries, but false prophets were asking for the same treatment. In letter 3, he address a man named Gaius, and reminds him to stay away from the evil actions of someone he calls Diotrephes, but instead to remain holy. (The charges against Diotrephes are detailed in v. 10)

Finally for now, is Jude. He was a brother of Jesus, and wrote to urgently remind people to stay away from the false teaching that was infecting the church. Some were claiming that the grace of God could be used as an excuse for ungodly behaviour, but Jude reminds them of the punishment that befell Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin.    

28 April 2016

Guide to the Bible (8) Paul's letters - By Jack Lewis

Hello everyone, hope you enjoyed the Gospels post. As you are all probably well aware, after Acts comes a load of letters written by Christ's followers, either to individuals or to a group. There are probably too many to do all in one blog post, so today I'm doing the first 7, also probably the most well known. You could maybe even call them the "major" letters, or even the "Paul letters!" Anyways, the seven for today are Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. 

To start off, Romans. This is a letter written by Paul to the church in Rome, whom he desperately wanted to visit. Seeing as this was proving difficult, he wrote a very long letter laying out his teaching. It contains bits on nearly all of his favourite subjects, things like rejoicing in suffering (Chapter 5), how nothing can separate us from the love of God (8), and most importantly the subject of salvation. (I'll go into that in more detail in a future post) Put simply, if you want to read an expansive book on the Christian faith, by a very creditable author, then read Romans! 

Following on from that, are the two letters to the church in Corinth. The young church was struggling at the time; after all the city of Corinth was not an easy place for a young church to thrive. In fact the city was perhaps best known for it's temple shrine to the goddess of love, Aphrodite. The first book is probably most well known for Paul's famous passage about love. (Chap 13) Book one also has a similar feel to Romans, in that many different topics of the faith are covered. The second letter was then written shortly after the first, and it was because some people in the church were spreading rumours that Paul couldn't be trusted, and saying they shouldn't listen to his teaching. In this letter Paul reminds them of the suffering he'd been through for the sake of Christ, although because he is defending himself he admits that he feels uncomfortable having to "boast" about his own achievements. There is also some great teaching in there though. 

Next, is the book of Galatians. Here Paul's main subject is grace. He passionately addresses the people who were telling others that they still needed to follow the Old Testament laws of sacrifice and circumcision. Paul argued that salvation is given by grace and not earned, and so circumcision was irrelevant. I can't finish without mentioning that the Fruits of the Spirit are of course found in chapter 5. 

After Galatians, is Ephesians. While many of Paul's letters address a particular subject specific to that church, Ephesians, like Romans, is much more generalized. It's possible that it was not written to a specific church, but instead as a circular teaching letter to many different churches, Ephesus being one. Also in chapter 6 is the famous "Armour of God."

 Philippians is a short letter written to the church in Philippi by Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome. He reminded the people to rejoice in whatever circumstances they found themselves in, and he also explained that his arrest was helping the Gospel to be spread. He also reminded them of what Jesus went through for them, so they would be bold and courageous for him. (Jesus, not Paul, that is!) 

Finally for now, Colossians. The book is similar in style to Ephesians, it contains lot's of general teaching on how to live a good Christian life. Paul had never visited this church, it had actually be planted by his friend, so Paul wanted to finally "talk" to them personally. This was also written while Paul was under house arrest in Rome.

Thanks for reading, and by the way, if you can't remember which order the last four come in, remember Gods Electric Power Company!                  

21 April 2016

Guide to the Bible (7) The Gospels & Acts - By Jack Lewis

Q. In my "Guide to the Bible" series, what is one thing all the books covered so far have in common? A. They are all building up to four books, known as the gospels. These four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the basis on which the whole Bible revolves around. 

Imagine when there is a big news story/event, things like an election or a world cup. For ages before, all you hear is the "build up," and for a while afterwards, the news is dominated by the "fall-out", or post-event analysis. The Bible's format is actually very similar to this. For ages, the Old Testament, especially the books of prophecy, were written as a build up to Jesus. For example, the place where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac, is the exact same hill that Jesus was crucified on. Then, after Jesus' ascension, the New Testament is written (in a much shorter space of time) as letters about "what happened next." So here is my guide to where we meet Jesus! (Plus a little fall out!) 

It's interesting how, despite the fact they all have the same subject, the Gospel writers personality really comes through in their books. Firstly, Matthew is very methodical and precise, and his gospel has many things like genealogies in them that you would not find in more fast paced books. Matthew's gospel is also famous for the "Great commission" in chapter 28. Perhaps it is the gospel that you would read last, when you've read the others, and then want to read in more detail some of the stories in the others or read the exclusive content in Matthew. We may find it best to read Matthew last, but Mark surely has to be the first destination for anyone not yet familiar with the stories of Jesus. Completely different in style to Matthew, it's fast paced, and easy to read/understand. It's just a shame that it doesn't include the story of Jesus birth. It's a good read though because it has many interesting miracles and parables in it. I know that it's technically in the wrong order, but the next book to be looked at, is John. It's very different to the other three gospels, as it was written last and the author wanted to avoid repeating what the others had already said. In fact the other three are known as the "synoptics." Perhaps after reading Mark, John would be next as you will learn stuff that you wouldn't elsewhere. Another interesting thing is that it's the only Gospel not to contain any parables. Finally, there's a real two-part-set. Luke and Acts are both written by the same author, so obviously they are very similar in writing style. They are also both addressed to the same person, and the end of Mark fits like a jigsaw puzzle piece into the start of Acts. In fact, they could quite easily be made into one book, and it's definitely worth reading both together. To take them separately, Luke is a bit like a hybrid between Matthew and Mark. It contains all the interesting stories that are in Matthew, but without the "boring" bits like genealogies! The book ends with Jesus' ascension, and that's also the subject of the first chapter of Acts. Acts is perhaps a little like the history books, as it tells many interesting stories about what the apostles did after Jesus' death. (Hence the name, "Acts of the Apostles") The book covers in depth the first church and also the first missionaries. 

Thanks for reading :-)  

14 April 2016

Guide to the Bible (6) Major Prophets - By Jack Lewis

Today's "Guide to the Bible" post is probably the most difficult one to do, the Minor Prophets, but hopefully it will be a good read. These are the books many of us have never heard of before, but hopefully after reading this, you might have a clearer idea about one or two that could be worth a read! 

After Daniel comes the 12 minor prophets, starting with Hosea, a prophet to the Northern tribes of Israel. Perhaps his most famous act was marrying a prostitute, as instructed by God! Next up, is Joel, a short book detailing a disaster caused by a massive army of locusts. Joel compares the locusts to an army bringing justice upon the unrepentant people. Sticking with animals, the next prophet was Amos, a shepherd, who more or less prophesied in his spare time! His message was a warning to the now rich and prosperous Israelite's that God wanted them to worship him with their whole lives, not just in their worship services and ceremonies, and in many ways, his message can be well applied to our western society today. After Amos, is the tiny book of Obadiah. In fact it's the shortest book in the Old Testament, containing only one chapter. He warns the the complacent Edomites that their defeated enemies Judah will rise up and destroy them if they continue, and history shows us that this is exactly what happened. Next, is the famous story of Jonah. You will no doubt heard the story of Jonah and the "whale," but the whole book is a good read, right from Jonah's refusal to go to Nineveh to his anger at the death of a plant! The message delivered by Micah was very similar to the one given by Amos. In fact, they were around at the same time; Amos prophesied to the Northern Kingdom, and Micah to the southern. Following on from Micah is the short book of Nahum. He warns the country of Assyria (who were Israel's enemy) that God would punish them for oppressing his people. Nahum also foretold the destruction of Nineveh, (Assyria's capital) who was at the time one of the world's greatest powers, although within 100 years, it was just a pile of rubble! After Nahum, is the unusual book of Habakkuk. Rather than prophecies to a group of people, the book details a conversation between Habakkuk and God. He also lived around the same time as Jeremiah. That brings us onto Zephaniah, who also happened to be a descendant of King Hezekiah. He spoke passionately against their sinful practices including child sacrifice, and his message hit home as high as officials, rulers, prophets and priests. Next, is Haggai. He told the people of Israel that the many problems they were experiencing were because they had abandoned building the temple and had instead focused on rebuilding their own places. Haggai told them that if they focused more on God than themselves, then their problems would become far less. The moral of his story is simple, putting God first is our own gain. The penultimate minor prophet, is Zechariah. He also encouraged the Jews to continue rebuilding the temple, and he prophesied of the new Jerusalem on the perfect new earth. His message was very encouraging and it obviously struck a cord with the people, as they went back to building the temple. Finally, is Malachi. He was the last of the prophets and after his death God remained silent for 400 years. His message was for the discouraged people, who were getting impatient for the coming prosperity that God had promised them. They had started to do half - measure's, and were sacrificing diseased or imperfect animals as sacrifices. The priests also did their basic responsibility, but their hearts were not really for the Lord. Malachi reminded the people that God wanted their best, and not just their excess stuff. He told them that if they devoted their whole lives to God, he would bless them fully on Judgement day. That's a message that still applies today!

If you've read all this, and enjoyed and learned from it, then great! However if you've just woken up... :(           

8 April 2016

Guide to the Bible (5) Major Prophets - By Jack Lewis

Last time I posted, I had got to the end of the poetry section in the Old Testament. So over the next two posts, I am going from there right up until the end of the Old Testament. These 17 books that bridge the gap between Solomon and Jesus, (in the Bible) are known as the books of the prophets. 

First of all, if you are wondering what a prophet is, they are people who are like the links between God and the rest of society. In other words, God speaks to a prophet and they relay his message to a large group of people. Prophets are often given knowledge about what will happen in the future. Today the books we're looking at are simply books written by prophets.

The books of the prophets can be divided into two groups, the major prophets and the minor prophets. Today is the major prophets, in order: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. 

So to go through all the books and give a brief overview of them: Isaiah, is the first and longest book of prophecy. (66 chapters) The first part, (1-39) is a warning to Israel that they will be judged for their sin, and they are also warned about the coming exile. Chapters 40-66 were then written during the exile, and reminded them that, although they had to be punished, God still loved them and would bring them out of the exile and into a fresh start. The book of Isaiah is also known for it's many prophecies about the coming of Jesus. (Chapters 42, 52-53.) 100 years after Isaiah, came the prophet Jeremiah. He lived at roughly the same time as Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Daniel, and Ezekiel, and his prophecy was largely aimed at the the tribe of Judah. He was furious with the people's idolatry, and he warned them that they would be conquered if they did not. His message was not popular, and he was arrested and imprisoned, but he still loved his people and reminded them that God still loved them. The famous verse, "For I know the plans I have for you..." is found in Jeremiah 29:11. In his book, Jeremiah also had prophesied that Jerusalem would be conquered by the Babylonians, and that event is the main subject of Lamentations. The name is a big clue to what's in the book, and it's actually a collection of five different poems. Next, is Ezekiel. He was a prophet who did some insane things for God, including lying on his side for 430 day's. I challenge any of you to try that! There are also some other really dramatic stories in there, including the valley of dry bones, (Chap 37) so it's well worth a read. The last of the major prophets is Daniel, and the first half of his book is as interesting as any in the Bible. If you don't know what happens, then go and read chapters 1-6, you won't be disappointed! The stories include the fiery furnace and Daniel in the Lions den.      

30 March 2016

Guide to the Bible (4) Poetry - By Jack Lewis

Hi everyone! Today I'm going back into my series going through the different sections of the Bible. So far I've done Law and History, and after those books come the books of poetry. The books in order are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. Some of those, i.e. Psalms and Song of Songs, are very obviously poetry. The others, Job for example, aren't really poetic, instead they tell us of conversations between people. 
To go through each book in more depth, we'll start with Job. This book tells us the story of of a man who is very wealthy and prosperous, and he is also a very Godly man. But then Satan goes to God, and tells him that Job is only loyal to him because of the wealth he has. So God grants the Devil's request, and allows Satan to inflict all kinds of losses on Job. He loses his family, livestock, slaves, and property, everything basically. (This part is all told in the first two chapters, after that the rest of the book - barring the last chapter - is conversations between Job and his friends.) Job, though, stays close to God all the way through, and eventually Satan admits defeat. God then blesses Job by giving him back much more than he lost. There is a very important lesson for us in this book, because we will all go through troublesome times in our lives. The lesson is that if we remain constant and with God through the trials, he will bless us if we come through still worshiping him. God could have chosen not to let Job go through all this, but God lets us all go through trials in life, that's where he finds his true followers, and those are the one's who will get the greatest reward both on this earth and the next. 
After Job, is Psalms. The Psalms are a collection of songs written by a variety of people, although many are thought to be written by King David. The songs vary greatly; some make up many of the shortest chapters in the Bible, while Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the entire Bible. The subjects vary too, some are songs of celebration and praise to God, while others are songs of mourning and sadness. 
Next up, is Proverbs. Again it's a collection, this time of wise sayings. It's written by King Solomon, and it's very analogical. It compares wisdom to a woman, and it's full of warnings against laziness and adultery. It can be split into three main sections: A general introduction to wisdom (chapters 1-9), a collection of wise sayings (10-30), and the book ends with a famous passage about the perfect wife (31). 
After Proverbs, is the book of Ecclesiastes. It's not exactly the most read book in the Bible, and it does have a bit of a depressing feel about it. It's written by an old, wise, and rich man; who looks back at his life and realizes that all his riches were eventually worthless. He struggles with one of life's big questions - What is the meaning of life, and he eventually comes to the conclusion that, without God, life is meaningless. Although the author is unknown, many people believe it to be written by the late King Solomon. The most famous part of the book is in chapter 3, "A time for everything."
The last of the poetry books, is Song of Songs. It's written by a younger King Solomon, which is why is sometimes also called Song of Solomon. It details a conversation between a woman, her lover, and their friends. It's very romantic, and shows how God wants us to love each other in a good way. It also shows that, in marriage, sex is a gift that can be celebrated and enjoyed.

26 March 2016

The real Easter story - By Jack Lewis

Hi everyone, just doing a bit of a bonus post seeing as it's Easter and I'm bored! 
Now, try to think of Easter, and what comes to mind? If it's the crucifixion, great, but what sort of image do you see when thinking about that? Most of us get shown images like the one on the left here, but after being whipped, flogged, and nailed to a cross; I really don't think you would look anything like that. You're skin would have been red with blood, and Jesus would have probably whipped so badly that that bones in his back were showing. (More like the other picture above.) I think sometimes we can focus only on the crucifixion itself and forget that Jesus suffered a whipping/beating so bad it would have killed any normal man! He was probably whipped with a Cat o' nine tails, a whip with nine cords that might well have even had flint or nails attached to the end. Think how much one hit from that would hurt, let alone thirty-nine! He was also flogged, and the crown of thorns on his head would probably have been driven almost into his skull. So he suffered all that, was probably half-dead, and then he still had to carry his extremely heavy cross up the hill. (He kept falling over so someone else had to carry it the second half of the way) 
So he did all that, and then he was crucified. That must have been the most painful experience ever, and it actually happened, it's a historical event. And if you were this earth's sole inhabitant, Jesus would still have gone through every single part of that, just so you could have the option of living on the perfect new earth, rather than going to hell were we all deserve to go. Doesn't that make you realize how much you are worth to God?

24 March 2016

Guide to the Bible (3) History - By Jack Lewis

After the books of law, there are a section of 12 books that are often referred to as the history books. They are like their name suggest, they are almost historical documents. The 12 books are listed below along with a famous Bible character/story in them.  

Joshua - Fall of Jericho
Judges - Gideon and Samson
Ruth - Ruth and Naomi
1&2 Samuel - David and Goliath
1&2 Kings - Solomon and Elijah
1&2 Chronicles - David and Solomon
Ezra - Ezra
Nehemiah - Rebuilding of Jerusalem
Esther - Esther

More or less all the history books follow/lead on to the books before and after them, it's quite an obvious sequence. To go through the books in order: Joshua carries on where Deuteronomy left off; Moses has died and the Isrealites are now led by the young Joshua. They first cross over the river Jordan (in flood season!) (http://godatthecentreofourlives.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/be-patient-with-god-he-knows-what-hes.html/) to get to get to the promised land, and there they conquer Jericho without laying a finger on it! Joshua dies at the end of the book, and from then on the Isrealites really lack that Godly leader like Moses and Joshua. Their story carries on into Judges; and in this book the stories of Deborah, Gideon and Samson are told. After Judges comes Ruth, and it's a little like a footnote that tells a short story mixed in with the main document. It's still a really good book to read though, and there is a few great moral lessons that can be learned from it. The books of Samuel begin with a bit about the life of the person whom it is named after, before moving on to the stories of King David. Next comes 1&2 Kings, and they start off with the story of David's son and successor, Solomon. In these books we also have the stories of Elijah and Elisha, including the contest on Mt. Carmel (If you've never read that story, it's great! 1 Kings 18) After the mainly sequential first 7 History books, we find 1&2 Chronicles. They don't take on the Isrealite story, instead they recap what had happened in the past. The books were written for the men returning from the Babylonian exile, and it's a reminder to them to learn lessons from what happened when their ancestors turned away from God in the past. The last three history books are Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. They are a bit of a series in themselves, in fact Ezra and Nehemiah were originally one book. In those two, we learn about the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and Esther tells the story of the person after who it was named.         

17 March 2016

Guide to the Bible (2); Books of Law - By Jack Lewis

After Genesis and Exodus, there are three more books that make up what it called the Pentateuch, or books of law. These books tend to have a bit of a bad reputation, and they are quite difficult to read, but that doesn't mean they are totally useless. The three books in order are Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. 

The first one, Leviticus, probably has the worst reputation of the lot, and it's an incredibly difficult book to read. Basically, it's a detailed list of laws for the Isrealites to follow, and a lot of these laws seem very outdated to us. Many of the laws are about animal sacrifice, but we don't have to do that any more, because when Jesus died on a cross he was "the perfect sacrifice;" in other words his life was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, so now we don't have to slaughter innocent animals to repay God for our sins; Jesus did that once and for all. Perhaps Leviticus is a good book to read when we have read the books of the Bible that are more relevent to us. Maybe it's not where you would direct a very new christian!

After Leviticus is Numbers, and it's a slightly easier read! The first few chapters mainly deal with a large census in Isreal, (hence the name Numbers) and you could be forgiven for skipping those; but from about chapters 9 or 10, the book has a feeling much more like Genesis or Exodus. There are some really interesting stories in there, and it's well worth a read; it mainly tells of the time the Isrealites spent wandering in the desert. Towards the end it reverts a bit more to law.

The final book of the Pentateuch, is Dueteronomy. It's very similar to Numbers, it's almost like a follow up book. In fact the first couple of chapters basically sum up the whole of Numbers! When Moses wrote it, he knew that he was soon going to die, and so it's like his farewell letter, where he instructs the Isrealites how he want's them to live when he is gone. The start of the book is written in the past tense, and he gives all the Isrealite people a bit of a history lesson on why they are stuck in the desert! Then he goes on to explain that God has told him that Joshua, not himself, will lead them into he promised land. Moses did get to see the land from a distance, but he never went into it. And if you want to know how the book ends, basically, Moses dies!   

16 March 2016

My hard things story by Nathan Jukes

This is the story I wrote for the hard things contest last year!

My hard things story is really how I changed from not having a real relationship with God to having one. I come from a Christian home, I am home schooled. When I was 11 years old I went to camp for the first time. The leaders talk about having a relationship with God. God was trying to win me over to him, even though I had been saved when I was 3 or 4. I had not been living for God, there were times when I felt closer to God, but I just did not have a relationship with him at that point in my life. It brought me closer to God for a little while but, then I went away from God instead of getting closer to him and growing in my Christian walk. It was the same for the next few years. When I was at camp, I could hear God talking to me. He wanted me to change to live in me. To me it seemed that I was not saved, when they ask us if we wanted to talk to the adults about it. I felt as though I was being called to go and talk to them about it, but I didn’t I was too afraid to do that. My mind was telling me that I was fine, I was saved. But really I did need to go and talk with them about it. So each year when I came back from camp felling a bit closer to God for a few weeks and then going back to be old self. From I was about 10 I started doing quiet time I used to rush thought it without thinking about it. I did not do it every day maybe 2-3 times a week.
Things seem to get worse for me. I started not doing my school work on the computer.  I started to look at some things online I shouldn’t have been looking at. Some weeks I did not even do my Quiet Time once. Then about a year ago my grandma died. At her funeral the man who took it preached a good gospel message it really spoke to me. A few weeks later I prayed a pray that changed my life. I told God I was sorry for the way I had been going. From then on things began to change. Nothing happen straight away but slowly things changed for me. I did my quiet time more, I did my school work and I stopped, looking at things online, I should not been looking at.
 At camp I felt different. No more did I feel like I was not saved. God was doing a work in my life that week like he had never done before.  After camp I went back home feeling like I could still spend more time with God. Before camp I hadn’t been doing my quiet time every day, but after camp I started doing my quiet time even more. I found that when I missed a day things did not go right that day, it was almost like I had gone back to when I had not been doing it. So I tried even harder. I found it is best for me to do my quiet time before bed. If I know that we are going out for the evening I do it before we go out.  On New Year’s Eve, We were going out to see friends that evening but somehow I forgot to do it before we left. We stayed at their house until about eleven thirty and then left. We stopped on the way home to see the fireworks and see the New Year in. We got home about one o clock in the morning. I went in and got ready for bed and then did my quiet time I stayed up to about two o clock that night. If you really want to do something you can always make time. So if you really want to make time for God you can.
 I started getting to know God last year but this year, I have felt really close to God. Me and my brother started a blog this year, before that I had never done any writing about Christian things. I read Do Hard Things and Start Here this year, they are two of the best books I have ever read.  That’s my hard things story. I haven’t done anything big for God, but I got to know God in the last year and that’s the best thing that could ever happen to me!   

Nathan Jukes 15 Cornwall UK.

5 March 2016

Guide to the Bible (1) - Genesis & Exodus - By Jack Lewis

I am going to attempt to do a series now looking at every book of the Bible, and give a basic guide to it. I hope it will be enjoyable to read! Starting at the beginning, the first two books are Genesis and Exodus. They are both thought to be written by Moses, and tell the story all the way from Creation to the tabernacle. A great reason for reading them is that these first books are the home of many great Bible characters: 
  • Adam and Eve 
  • Noah
  • Abraham 
  • Issac
  • Jacob 
  • Joseph
  • Moses  
These books are also the place where we can find many of the great Old Testament Bible stories. You don't have to look further than the first two books of the Bible to find: 
  • The story of Creation 
  • The Fall 
  • The Great Floo
  • The Tower of Babel 
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Joseph's colourful coat
  • The Famine in Egypt
  • Moses and the Burning Bush 
  • The Israelite slavery
  • The Ten Plagues 
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Parting of the Red Sea  
  • The Manna and Quail in the Desert
  • Water from the rock  
 To put it simply, Genesis and Exodus are full of the Bible stories we know and love. There are a few Old Testament laws mixed in but in general, the first two books of the Bible are great reads and we will have a far better knowledge of some of the best and most well known Bible stories and characters.