Heaven on Earth!

I was looking around me and thinking about what a world with no stress, pressures (making ends meet, paying bills, no harassment or conflict) or fear would look like. My initial conclusion was that I would have to wait till I get to heaven where Jesus is to experience that kind of life.

However, as believers, we do not have to wait till we get to heaven to experience a life with no stress, pressure or fear. We can enjoy that kind of life here on earth. The question is how?

Well, we can by entering the rest and grace of God, handing over our cares and fears to Him. The bible verse, 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Another bible passage, Philippians 4:6-7, says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We can experience a life where the external stresses and pressures of life do not affect us internally. We can begin to experience, “Heaven on Earth!”, internally.

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson

Light Of The World

I woke up one morning and reached out for my phone (as we all do first thing in the morning). The lights were switched off so I couldn’t see and had to use my hand to feel through the top of  the side-table by my bed in the dark in search of my phone.

After searching through with my fingers for a while I couldn’t find my phone. I finally gave up and got up towards the light switch (which was on the other side of the room). As I progressed towards the switch, I tripped on one of my shoes, then stepped on a slightly sharp object, then tripped over something else. Finally, I got to the switch and turned on the light. I then realised when I looked around the room that my phone wasn’t even in the room. It was in another room.

Life is somethings like that in general. We stumble through life hoping for the best, sometimes we are tripped up with a relationship or disappointed by one thing or the other.

Life is tough!

However, Jesus says in Mathew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He also says in John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”  Let us find true rest in Jesus and guidance for our lives from Him as we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus this month.

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson

Simple But Powerful

Some of the questions that run through my mind are: how can I fulfil my purpose in God?, how can I become more like Christ? How can I grow in the knowledge and grace of God?… and the list of questions goes on and on.

God has provided a very simple, yet powerful way that guarantees transformation to become like Christ: The Word. The word of God (as outlined in the bible) is one of the means that God has given us to be changed supernaturally to become like our Lord Jesus Christ. As we value and study the word consistently with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be gradually transformed into the very image of Christ.

We don’t have to do any thing complicated. All we have to do is to value and obey the Word of God. Nothing complicated.

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson

You Are Not Alone

Jesus had been with His disciples for slightly over three years. They had left everything to follow Him. They had left their jobs and all they knew because of this new found faith in the Son of God. He had paid their taxes, healed their mothers, provided food for them miraculously, explained what it meant to be part of the kingdom of God, they had experienced the power of what it meant to be disciples of Christ.

One day, Jesus told them that he was leaving the earth, worse, He would be crucified. Their world came crumbling down. They were in a state of shock: who would look after them, stand up for them, and thoughts of despair went on and on in their minds.

Jesus understood their concerns, however he had made preparations for someone to care for them after His departure, The Holy Spirit.

As believers, we are not alone, Jesus has left the Holy Spirit to help us, guide us, teach us, encourage and to help us to fulfil God’s plans for us.

You are not alone!

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

Back to Basics – Knowing Christ

I am looking forward to a great 2020. I haven’t made myself any extra-ordinary new year resolutions like renewing my gym membership to attend daily, swimming across the river Thames to break current 5000 meters record and so on. I am going to approach life realistically, but still aim high.

God brought a number of things to my attention going forward into 2020, prompting that I should “go back to the basics” and focus on the main thing, “Knowing Christ”. John 17:3 stays that, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”.

I am so excited because I have a new year’s resolution that is not only fulfilling but eternal: knowing Christ.

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

I Love Christmas

I absolutely love the Christmas season. It’s a time where I can look forward to the holiday break, loads of food, presents (from those that remember!) and the whole festivity. It’s just brilliant.

It’s also a time that I take stock of all that has happened through the year: good and not so pleasant. It also gives me a feeling of having a clean slate for the next year. I can make myself new promises like joining the gym in January, eating healthy, reading the bible more consistently, enrolling for a new course… the list goes on.

However, the best part of it is remembering that our Lord Jesus loved us so much that he came to the earth in human form so that we can have a clean slate with God. The clean slate, through his free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

The Christian Husband

We’ve been doing a series on relationships at CFT Bristol Church over the past few weeks. When I began to speak about the realities of the role of a Christian husband I got a lot of interesting remarks. A few of the women had loads of smiles on their faces, whilst I got some looks of curiosity from some of the men. My response to the men was to “hold fire” till I have done the sermon series on the “Christian Wife”. The reactions were interesting.

One of the things that I mentioned is that the role of the “regular” husband who goes to the same boring job for the sole purpose of ensuring he provides for his family is really undervalued by popular culture. If you don’t believe me ask the next teenage boy what he aspires to be. You’ll probably get the, “I want to be a great footballer”, “I want to be a famous singer”. The responses go on. However, if you asked the question: “Have you thought about aspiring to be a good husband?”, you might get a weird look back from them. Implying that being a good husband is not on their list nor do they think it is something to aspire to.

I mentioned that this “regular” hardworking and faithful husband is of great value to God. This man is so valuable to God that He uses the criteria of being a good husband as one for appointment into the really important offices in the Church (see 1 Timothy 3:4).

When next you come across the husband who against all odds is trying to make things work for his wife and children, provides for them selflessly, give him a big “thank you” on my behalf and God’s behalf.

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

The Privilege of Prayer

One of the greatest privileges that we have as believers is that we can pray to God and when we do, He answers.

When we reflect on prayer to God several things may cross our minds. One could be excitement about answers to our prayers, another could be thoughts of why some of our prayers weren’t answered. It could also be that we take the extreme position that God does not listen to or answer our prayers. This opinion may be due to past disappointments of not seeing the results we expected when we prayed about certain issues.

The truth of the matter is that God hears and answers our prayers as believers. Jeremiah 33:33 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”. Isaiah 65:24 says, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear”.

Let’s spend time understanding how God answers our prayers and speaks to us. That might help us to see how He  answers our prayers and how He deals with us.

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

Worldliness

I have been teaching a series at our church called, “Your New Life in Christ”, exploring and highlighting the fullness of our new life in Jesus Christ. The scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here”. The Christian faith goes beyond just attending church meetings or doing “Christian things”. It should permeate every area of our lives: our desires, thoughts, affections and ultimately our actions.

Worldliness which is defined as “being overly concerned with material values or ordinary life rather than spiritual existence” is one of the main threats to this new life that we have in Christ. The bible defines worldliness as “…conforming to the pattern of this world….” (extract from Romans 12:2). Its threat is quite subtle and may go unnoticed by the believer who is worldly. It takes a constant comparison of our lives to the word of God to highlight its symptoms.

The ultimate aim of worldliness in the life of a believer is to turn their affections away from God and to make them deny the faith, like Demas in the bible (2 Timothy 4:10).

As believers, let us move away from worldliness by renewing our minds with the word of God (Romans 12:2) so that we can finish our Christian race with joy.

Our New Life In Christ

Someone told me a story a while ago about a man who saved up to travel on a ship from England to America. This was in the 18th Century and in those days, the only way you could travel on that kind of journey was by sea. It took him a long time to save up for the fare, probably a year.

When he set out to travel on the ship, he took a couple of moulded loaves of bread and jugs of water to feed himself on the journey. Whilst on the journey he kept to himself in his cabin below deck. Once in a while, he would come on deck and observed that the other passengers were joyous and feasted on all sorts of delicacies and used all the facilities on the ship. He pondered on how unfortunate and uneventful his life was compared to the people on deck. Afterall, he thought, his fare only availed him of just a little cabin bed in the low end of the ship.

Three weeks later, the ship arrived in the States (America) and everyone was getting off the ship. Whist they were all leaving, the captain of the ship was thanking everyone for taking the journey on the ship and was shaking their hands.  When the man, whom I’ll call Johny (not his real name) got to the captain, he shook his hand. The captain then made a comment to Johny, “Mr Johny, I noticed that you kept to yourself quite a bit whilst on the trip”. Johny replied, “Well, my fare only availed me the little cabin bed and nothing else, so I just kept to myself”. In utter surprise the captain said to him, “Johny, all the facilities of the ship including the banquet were all included in your fare!”. Johny was so shocked and surprised. He had missed out on all that was available to him on the trip.

This is similar to some of our lives as believers. We sometimes think that all there is to our faith is just saying yes to Christ. Then it’s just a struggle from then on in terms of our faith. We might fail to realise that God has provided so many things for our journey, thus missing out. God has provided the Holy Spirit to help us, he has provided power and authority to deal with life situations and provided all that we need for life and godliness.

Let’s not be like Johny in our Christian walk. Let’s get to know all that Jesus has provided for our journey here on earth.

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson