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Children’s Ministry at Boardmills

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Purpose Statement

“We seek to BUILD BRIDGES, touching the lives of the youth with the unchanging biblical truths.  In establishing a RELATIONAL FOUNDATION to reveal Christ’s love to them, we hope to ENCOURAGE GROWTH in their faith, challenging them to develop SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES that will enable them to LIVE OUT LOUD against society’s flow.”

BIG QUESTIONS SERIES @typconnect – this week “How can I trust the bible”

BIG QUESTIONS SERIES @typconnect – this week “How can I trust the bible”

One of the things I have really enjoyed and been able to do more of during lockdown is
read. From the autobiography of Heavyweight boxing world champion Tyson Fury to C.S
Lewis’ Mere Christianity and many other books in between. This period has also allowed me
to really read and meditate on God’s word but the Bible just like those other books had
human authors, 40 in fact over a period of 1,500 years. So, the question is if the Bible was
written by humans, how can we trust it? Why do we look to the Bible and not any other
book as the word of God? As the way to find how to be saved? How to live? Why over
generations do we trust the Bible where we don’t trust other books.
Well 2 Timothy 3 verse 16 says; “All Scripture is God-breathed.” and 2 Peter 1:20-21 says;
“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s
own interpretation of things.   For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but
prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Yes, the Bible was written down for us by human authors but the message they wrote came
directly from God. The Bible is made up of 2 testaments, 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,102
verses and over 800,000 words but all from God. The Great, Almighty God who created the
world speaks all of these words to us. God isn’t far off but rather he loves you and wants to
know you and speaks to you through his word, through every book, chapter and verse. All
scripture is from God and it teaches us, rebukes us, corrects us and trains us in
righteousness. No other book in this world is words of God, no other book shows us the way
to salvation, to life, to hope, to joy, to satisfaction, to Christ.
If the Bible is true and I believe it is, well then it means everything to us. If it is true then we
are sinners, separated from God and deserving of death but equally if it is true then Jesus
Christ really is the Son of God, He really is the way, the truth, the life. He did die for you and
rise again. If the Bible is true it will transform your life, it will show you the way to Christ and
the way from death to life. If it is not true then we can just put it on our bookshelf like any
other book.
I could list a number of statistics and facts and numbers from historians to show how
reliable the Bible is, but I’m not going to do that. Rather I want to challenge you to pick up
your Bible and read it. And as you read, listen for the voice of God, read who Jesus is, what
he done and what he can do for you and then decided for yourself if the bible is true, if the
Bible can be trusted, if you will follow Jesus.

BIG QUESTIONS SERIES @typconnect – this week “How can I trust the bible”

BIG QUESTIONS SERIES @typconnect – “I’m a good person, isn’t that enough?”

I’m a good person, isn’t that enough?

Let’s start by thinking about what the world tells us. The world will tell us that as long as we
are the best we can and do enough good things we are a good enough person. In other
faiths people believe that they will be rewarded if they do lots of good things and live a
good life. My question would be…how do you define what is good enough? What categories
or scale of ‘goodness’ do you use? Do we say that as long as you haven’t committed murder
or robbery? Must you give you time or money to charity? How much good must you do to
be deemed a good person? Can you just do enough to counterbalance the bad?
Well, the bible tells us clearly in Romans 3:23 that we all have “sinned and fallen short of the
glory of God.” which means that, even the best person among us falls far short of God’s
standards. So basically no amount of good on earth can make us perfect! We read in James
2:10 that “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who
has broken all of God’s laws.” God’s standard is perfection and complete obedience and no
one has ever met that standard except for Jesus. Just one tiny lie or inappropriate thought
even if you are the nicest, most caring and generous person is all it takes to be found guilty
and worthy of punishment in the eyes of God.
The good news for us is that God knows we mess up and make mistakes, and even though
He was completely perfect, Jesus became a man leaving the majesty of heaven and came to
earth to die for us. But he didn’t stay dead, he rose from the grave and is still alive today. He
knows the sins we have committed. But yet he loves us anyway and came to die for each of
us.
So you might be thinking well what does this mean for me and my life? It means that
forgiveness is only possible through Jesus, not works or good deeds. It can’t be earned by us
to gain brownie points with God. Jesus paid the debt for us – we don’t deserve it but It is a
gracious gift from God. We must believe it and trust Him. It tells us that in Ephesians 2:8-9,
“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift –
not from works, so that no one can boast.”
This video clip sums it up for me – we may come to God with all our good deeds but without
Jesus they are worthless. Without Jesus we have nothing. Jesus died so that he could take
our place and bear the weight and burden of all our sins.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrLzYw6ULYw
To be a part of God’s family and inherit his kingdom we can’t buy our way in by being a good
person. We need to put our trust in God and believe the sacrifice that took place on our
behalf. You don’t have to earn it, it’s a gift, all you have to do is accept it.

BIG QUESTIONS SERIES @typconnect – This week “How can God allow Suffering?

BIG QUESTIONS SERIES @typconnect – This week “How can God allow Suffering?

How can God allow Suffering?

This question is potentially one of the biggest barriers for people following Jesus and one of the biggest reasons why many stop following Jesus. So should we avoid this question? No! It is important that we wrestle with these questions and that we don’t feel guilty by having these doubts. Growing up, I always felt guilty if doubts or questions about God entered my mind but when I started to explore these questions in the bible, I found answers that made me more confident of God’s goodness and plan. When it comes to suffering John Piper says this :

“I like to distinguish between what I call micro reasons for why people suffer and macro reasons for why there’s suffering in the world. When it comes to micro reasons, we usually don’t have answers. Why this suffering? Why this person? Why
this time? When we’re talking about those micro reasons, we usually don’t know exactly why. The Bible doesn’t address the situation of each person. When it comes to macro reasons for why there is suffering in the world, the Bible is rich with helpfulness. It’s explicitly intended to be helpful for us at the macro level.”


On Saturday, I attempted to explain one of the macro reasons for suffering (see video below)

That God is on the throne, he sees the bigger picture and that God can turn our suffering for good!
Looking at the unfolding story of Joseph we saw how he was sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt. Through the rest of the story, it’s clear that God is with Joseph and has given him this great ability to interpret dreams. The most important dream he interpreted was the king’s as he was able to advise that a severe famine was coming. His advice saved many lives including his own family. What stood out to me was how in the last few chapters of Genesis, Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt for help and eventually discover that Joseph is still alive and in this position of power. They are worried he is going to kill them but in Genesis 50:20, Joseph says this :
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many
people should be kept alive as they are today.”

This truth is found throughout the whole bible.
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who love God all things (including suffering) work together for good.”
James 1:2 – “Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds”. We can have joy in our suffering because God is turning it for our good. God uses our suffering to make us more like Jesus.

Ultimately, we see this truth in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Pharisees had a plan to kill Jesus and destroy his followers but their plan instead started a worldwide movement, sending the Gospel further and wider than it had ever gone before. A movement that is still growing today and is changing the course of millions of lives! God can turn suffering for our good. I don’t know exactly how the covid-19 pandemic has affected you and I hope this blog doesn’t belittle your suffering or pain but I want to encourage you to spend some time with God today and ask him to open your eyes to how he is turning this pandemic for our good.

Some helpful links on suffering;
https://www.christianityexplored.org/Articles/469270/CE_ORG/Tough_Questions/Transcripts/If_Go
d_exists_why_is.aspx

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/five-purposes-for-suffering
Recommended reading:
https://www.desiringgod.org/books/coronavirus-and-christ

BIG QUESTIONS SERIES @typconnect – This week “How can God allow Suffering?

NEW SERIES – Big Questions @typconnect

Questions are a normal part of our life. Every day we will ask and be asked. The
words who, what, why, when, how are all part of our vocabularies. Every day we
might ask Who had the TV remote last? What is for dinner? Why did you do that?
When will we be there? How much longer? Whether we realise it or not questions fill
so much of our minds and conversations from these basic everyday questions to the
big questions of life, of faith, of God. Perhaps you have questions you want to ask of
Christianity, of the Bible or maybe even of God or maybe as a Christian you’ve been
asked by non-Christians these big questions of the bible or Christianity or God. Well
over the next few weeks we are going to be looking at some of these big questions.
We will be uploading a short 5-minute video every Saturday night on the typconnect
Facebook page
and Trinity Presbyterian Youth Instagram account and publishing a
short blog each Monday looking at one of the big questions you might have.


On Saturday past we looked at our first question if God created the world then who
created God? Genesis 1:1 tells us ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth.’ Many of us know the account of creation, God created the heavens and
the earth, He created the world in six days but that raises the question well then who
created God. If God created us then surely something or someone must have come
before and created him. Well quite simply put God was not created. God is outside of
time and space as we know them. He is eternal, He has always been and always will
be.
Everything we know starts and finishes because they were created. If you sit down
some evening to watch a movie it starts with an opening scene and about 2 hours
later the credits tell us that it has finished. Perhaps you like a good TV series well it
starts with episode 1 and finishes with a finale. Lockdown started 2 months ago and
someday, sooner or later, it will finish. We were all born and one day we will take our
last breath on this earth. Everything we know starts and finishes because it was
created but not so with God. God has no beginning and no end. Psalm 90 verse 2
tells us God is from everlasting to everlasting. God is eternal and immortal.
Perhaps what has been said doesn’t really answer the question and maybe even
raises more questions but 1 Timothy chapter 6 verses 15b and 16 says; “God, the
blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is
immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can
see. To him be honour and might forever. Amen.”
If we could fully understand and explain God well then, he wouldn’t be God, he
would be no greater than us but God is so much greater and mightier than we can or
will ever imagine. We cannot fully understand the wonders of God but we do know
He created the world, we know He is outside time and space, that He is eternal,
mighty, gracious, loving, the creator. We can’t understand and answer all the
questions we have but we can worship and praise and know this great and mighty
God who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth and He created you in his image and He loves you and wants
you to know and worship Him. So, who created God, well God was not created, he
has no beginning and no end and we can’t answer all our questions that arise from
that but as the Psalmist writes in Psalm 145;
“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”

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