Bahrain

15 09 2012

So you’ve heard the name, but not sure of where it is actually located…or much else?

Bahrain is situated in the Arabian Gulf between the Qatar Peninsula and Saudi Arabia.

It is a group of one larger and 32 smaller barren islands, and is linked to the Saudi Arabia Peninsula by a causeway. The King Fahad Causeway was opened in November 1986, and has since been used by millions of passengers and vehicles.

Wow!

The make-up of the population is most interesting: Arab 50%, Iranian 15%, Bahraini Farsi 10%, South Asian 15% (Indian, Malayi, Tamil, Telugu, Pakastani), East Asian 7% (Chinese, Korean, Filipino), European 1.5%, Other 1.5%.

What about faith? Muslim 83% and 9.8% Christian, Hindu 6%. Proselytizing Muslims is illegal. Expatriate Christians are very free to worship together in churches; practitioners of other faiths are free to do the same. With limited compounds though, dozens of congregations mus share the same building.

“Bahrain enjoys greater freedom than almost all Gulf countries and therefore is spiritually strategic. With greater freedoms, the accompanying vices are becoming problems. Many Saudis and Kuwaitis visit here to enjoy the more relaxed environment. Pray for them to meet Christians and encounter the gospel. Pray for the king as he leads the nation forward”  (Operation World, p. 130).

Christian Ministry: For over a century the American Mission Hospital has been well known and highly regarded. Pray that this may continue and that there may be fruit from the tactful witness of believers.

Local Believers: Praise God fo them, and pray that their testimony to fellow Arabs will flourish.

Among the large expatriate community: pray for courage and wisdom to share their knowledge of the Risen Jesus, and his Lordship over death, hell sin and evil, for all humanity—the New Humanity in him! Education there opens many opportunities. Pray for the teachers, and their testimony to the Living Christ.

The labour force is 59% foreign, drawn from more than 50 nations. Wow! They are however, often treated poorly, and there are great expectations from their family at home in poor circumstances.  Pray that within these groups, many will be drawn into contact with Jesus Christ.

Media ministries: High speed internet gives access to Christians across the globe, through chat, and all kinds of Christian resources.  Christian literature is available in Manama. The Bible Society works to make Scripture available in Arabic, and other languages. Christian TV and radio is accessible via satellite broadcast; so inquiry about Jesus can be made anonymously. What a fascinating place.

May the Living, Risen, Ascended Jesus, Lord of all, Son of Man, Son of God, friend of sinners, and crucified Saviour of the World, speak and minister to many hearts in Bahrain, of the hope, grace, mercy, peace and joy, that lies in knowing him.  Come Spirit of God, the Holy One. Come, Spirit of Jesus the Son, Spirit of the Father, and speak to the spirits of those who live and work in Bahrain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM9bpL6VkxU





Lord of himself and all besides…

1 05 2012

Lord of himself and all besides; with an irresistible power to force, and even hurry, events on a world scale; and yet with the soul that sat among children, and the heart in which children sat. He had an intense reverence for the past that was yet too small for Him. It rent Him to rend it, and yet He had to break it up, to the breaking of His own heart, in the greatest revolution the world ever saw. He was an austere man, a severe critic, a born fighter, of choleric wrath and fiery scorn, so that the people thought he was Elijah or the Baptist; yet He was gentle to the last degree, especially with those ignorant and out of the way. In the thick of life and love he yet stood detached, sympathetic yet aloof, cleaving at once both to men and to solitude. …With an almost sacramental idea of human relations, especially the central relation of marriage, he yet avoided for Himself every bond of property, vocation, or family; and He cut these bonds when they stood between men and Himself… With a royal, and almost proud, sense of Himself, he poured out His soul unto God and unto death and was the friend of publicans and sinners. ‘King and beggar (says Weidel), Hero and Child, Prophet and Reformer, Polemist and Prince of Peace, Ruler and Servant, Revolutionist and Sage, man of action, man of ideas, and man of the Word—He was all these strange things, and more, in one person.

(P. T. Forsyth – The Person and Place of Jesus Christ, p. 65f).

“Such is the figure who dominates the Gospels”, says Forsyth.

So, blog readers, here is true humanity. Here is Jesus, the Messiah. Here folks, here is the One who is interested in your life, and in your eternal wellbeing. Here is One, who speaks to our present moment, through the Spirit. Here is One who came to atone, and who comes to indwell, and affect and change. ‘Behold, the Man’!





Great hope for the Future

16 03 2012

The Future is full of hope, because the future—as with the present now—is in the gracious hands of the Risen Jesus Christ.  Christians are those who have by faith, met the Risen Jesus, who died, and rose again as a Man, victorious over death—in this world.  Jesus has in turn shown us—in his life, and particularly at the cross of his crucifixion—the gracious, loving God and Father of us all.

Christians want everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things (See The Holy Bible: Ephesians 3:9). His plan is to reconcile all things, people and nations, through the loving life and death and resurrection of Jesus. This Jesus, and his identity, and his work, is the MYSTERY of the world!

God has made this whole universe—galaxies beyond our dreaming, and this earth which is our amazing, beautiful, delightful—yet, often painful—home.  He has made everything—animals, plants, ocean and mountains, and humanity—with a plan to glorify it (bless and magnify it), through Jesus. God has made every nation on the earth to be included in that amazing plan. He has called one particular nation, Israel to be the nation through which his plan to deal with sin through atonement (propitiation), would be revealed.  It was through Israel, that Jesus was born. He came to destroy the works of the devil, which he has done. He is revealing that victory through his Resurrection power, by the power of his own Spirit—the Holy Spirit—which he has poured out upon the world—so that human beings may see what is hidden, hear what God is saying to us, have faith in this gracious God, and anticipate the great future, while living in the creation with hope.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of One—God’s Son—who has loved deeply and fully, and has suffered deeply and fully in that love, in order to do the Father’s good will, and ‘bear our sins in his body on the Tree (the Cross)’. In Jesus name God declares to us: Your sins are all forgiven. God now in peace, and live trusting God. Go in peace justified through Jesus Christ alone. Trust in his merit. Be filled with God’s love. Serve and honour all people. Thrill others with this good news! Warn people not to miss this hope for their lives. It is folly not to receive such assurance freely from the kind and Living God.

Easter includes remembering Jesus death, which happened under the Roman rule (Pontius Pilate), and with consent and desire of many Jewish leaders.  Jesus was a confrontation in his true living, his hopeful message! Easter is also the celebration of the work of God on Good Friday in dealing with our sin, through Jesus death. It is also the celebration of that quiet, very still Holy Saturday, poised (as we often are)—as God the Son lay dead in the tomb. Hope crushed.  Or so it certainly seemed. Yes he died. But, he died our death, to defeat death.

Easter is also the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday morning and of his appearing to women, then men, then over 500 people at one time. It is the celebration of all the implications, the outworking in history, of that victory over death on behalf of the human race.

Come, he is near. Come to Jesus, believing, receiving his Spirit. Come with new hopes.

If you can read the Bible with faith, then, more and more of the truth and wonder of this hope will break open to you, as the Spirit of God “shows” you great things. Suffering can then been seen and endured—in the creation, and personally, because it is over laden with hope, hope, hope! If you have no Bible, still seek the Living Lord.

Thank you Living Father, crucified and Living Lord Jesus, dear Spirit of God, for all your goodness, and gracious power, on our behalf. Let us respond and believe. Let us not live any longer without this hope flowing through our lives—no matter how ill we are, how sad or lonely, how bad or bruised, guilty or ashamed.

Your forgiving grace now equips us to live within the creation, serving it, serving others, serving God with full purpose. It means seeing grass, lions, sky and sea in a new way, and seeing it all with a future so rich and amazing, as is promised by God!

Trevor Faggotter





The Joy of Jesus

15 09 2009

Jesus’ words really are captivating. They were, and they still are. It was observed by the temple police, as they heard Jesus, that: ‘Never has anyone spoken like this’ (John 7:46)

What about these captivating words: ‘I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete (John 15:11 )

Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Yep!

You may often feel a lack of joy, a dearth of joy.

There is so much in our media, and our lives, that makes it seem a joyless world.

Sadness is very prevalent. We need no examples.

But the joyless world is passing away. For the man of joy, has come.

Listen to the promise again:

Abide in me…. that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

Abide is the Greek word meno ‘meno’, also translated ‘remain’, or ‘dwell’. Remain in me. Keep in fellowship with me. Keep talking to me. Keep being filled with the Spirit of God. Keep being a person with with the Spirit, in whom is love, joy peace…

The joy of Jesus in us? Yes, indeed. Here, is the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3b) deeply acquainted with grief—who was made to be sin for us, as he bore our griefs, guilt, sadness, shame and failures in his body on the tree, once for all—who is also the most truly joyful human being to ever walk the face of the earth.

Meditate upon this man, who has all things in his hands. This man of joy is near. This man who gives joy to the brokenhearted. Two old hymns, keep coming to mind:

Jesus thou joy of loving hearts‘, and ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is come’!

Are you joyful?  Do you find such questions annoying? Do you answer that we only have joy by faith, and not by sight? Do you admit it is a deep joy, but not necessarily a smiling joy? Do you have the joy of Jesus, now?  Does this seem a bit of an inward question, to you? Are you frying bigger fish than this?  Have you the global political scene in your sights? Or the local contribution that you are going to make? Are you deeply bent on justifying yourself by your achievements? Is yours a joyful contribution?  Are others in your life affected by the joy of Jesus? Is it coming through in your life? Is there a joy

May you be filled with the joy of Jesus. May the joy of knowing the Father, and all things being in his hands, be in you! May the joy of the Holy Spirit renew you today.

The joy of Jesus, is a joy which comes to us, in the joy of the one who has conquered sin and death. The joy of Jesus is the joy which is a secured joy, of an eternal God, lodged actively in a person, and now given to us. The joy of Jesus! The joy of Jesus in us, and our joy complete. Complete. Full. More than sufficient. Real joy. Spreading joy. Global joy. Eternal joy. Present joy. No one will take your joy from you. Joy that can’t be stolen. Joy.

Joy. Short word. Profound effect.





Abide in Me

4 08 2009

Jesus said: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).








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