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Christ | Timothy West
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Christ

How to gain Christ, give you life to Him and Go!

By | Bible Study | No Comments

The call to serve Christ will not be easy.

The word of God shows us that Paul began to learn that pain, struggles and oppression awaited him in the next town he was visiting!

And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. (Acts 20:22, 23 ESV)

As Paul I too want to be lead by the spirit and even though the cost may be great, I want to be totally willing to lay aside the concerns of the flesh in order to share the Gospel.

The Holy Spirit can speak to us and tell us about things to come. Don’t worry if you are not sure who is speaking here (I think we sometimes don’t think the Holy Spirit can tell us it’s going to be tough). The word tells us that many times it won’t be easy and we need to learn this as disciples of Christ as sometimes we think its all going to be comfy and cushty!

Then Paul says possibly the most amazing line of one who is fully committed to making Christ known!

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 ESV)

We can learn from this hugely – reading this inspires me because I too want to live like this, totally committed to making Christ Know. Reality is it won’t be easy and it’s all very well to say yes yes yes – no now we need to actually live it!

Luke the evangelist wrote ( it is very interesting that Luke almost certainly wrote the Acts of the apostles and so it’s brilliant to see unity in both Luke and Paul’s heart about what Jesus taught) about the huge cost of being a disciple. It’s not an easy walk!

Jesus said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26, 27 ESV)

Finally I leave you with Paul’s writings from Phillipians. Brothers and sisters even though Christs call may be hugely challenging the reward is Christ Himself.

We gain Christ as we go for Christ!

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11 ESV)

My dear friends as you read this I pray that you get a glimpse of eternity and the need to live for Christ wholeheartedly, totally sold out for His Cause. Lets give, lets go, all for Jesus Sake!

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Jesus in Bunia DRC Congo Prison Mission

By | Mission | No Comments

Day 2 Bunia DR Congo – Mission Trip

As I mentioned again I woke up to the sound of drums banging and people praying and thought that this would be a good time to read the Word. I have been reading through Psalm 119 and have been so blessed but also challenged by it. It talks about keeping the Lords precepts and meditating on them day and night.

David spent the watches of the night meditating on the Word and it seems that this is what we should spend our thoughts on. I have found it so comforting and strengthening to focus on the word of God. It is life to my bones and brings such a peace.

Psalm 119:148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

Once we had taken some oat porridge for breakfast it was straight off to take some pictures of some dear dear ladies. These ladies had been up all night cooking beans and rice for the 1033 prisoners. A arrived and they where so pleased to see me and where all really keen to have their photo taken. It was a tremendous amount of food that they where making and I don’t think I have ever seen so many beans and vats of rice.

We then had to rush back as mama ( my mum is referred to as mama) wanted to be on time for the prison visit we where about to do. We squeezed into two 4X4 vehicles and made our way through the back streets to the prison. We arrived and where let into the prison outer grounds and took a seat just outside the chief wardens office. We where all dead silent as our souls knew something important was about to take place. I found that all I could do was pray for what was about to happen. It was amazing how the Lord dropped a scripture on my heart.

John 6

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

It was clear that we where not only taking physical food to the dear prisoners but spiritual food and sharing the most important meal they would ever eat.

Shortly after this I was asked to go and help with the technical set up. So Me, Josh, Benson and Cikiuru took a generator two small speakers 2 microphones and a mixer desk to the door of the prison. It was at this point that I felt some nerves it was not fear but just nerves. I was thinking what was it going to be like but thankfully was not afraid. We then proceeded to carry the gear in and then it hit me. There where over 1000 men crammed into what as about 50 meter by 50 meters of living space. They had set up a pulpit area in the middle of the prison courtyard. Over head was some tattered tarpaulin material sheltering us from the blistering sun. The men where all waiting are ready in great anticipation. There was a tremdous buz of swaheli and lingala words flying around many of which included the word musungi (white man). Cikuru and where rooted to the spot in the middle and could only but watch whilst the others set up the sound system. The floor had small canals carved into it with sewage running through it. The walls where decorated with scratching and paint. I think I saw a moc UN base depot sketch on one wall. It was hard to see everything as it was so crowded but there was an area over to the right of us that looked like it may be where they sleep.

These men where in the prison for all sorts of crimes the predominate was rape. There where men that had been there for over 10 years and would have been put in prison for murder and even fighting. Some of the military where in there also as a punishment for war crimes. The sad thing was that many had been accused of a crime and flung into prison then have never had a fair trial. Many have been waiting for 2-3 years to even get a sitting for trial. We where informed by Pastor Mario that the starting fee to get out of prison was 500 USD which a huge sum of money for some. The magistrates are so corrupt that if someone is willing to pay they will let them out of prison. The sad thing is that many will sell all they have including their land that has been in their family for years and this still not be enough to release them. But we know that Christ came and died for men such as these. He came to set the free and bind up the broken hearted.

Once we had finally got the system running (well done Josh) we where joined by Roger, Shireen and Char. We where then ready to share the word. Pastor Mario introduced us. It was good to hear him say this is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad. It was true it was the Lords day and we where about to rejoice and be glad. I was then asked to pray which was a bit of shock. I saw Mario looking at me and I then realised I had to get up and say something. I close my eyes an just prayed a few words that came to me and seem to remember inviting the holy spirit to the meeting. This was the first time I had address a group of Africans and what a joy it was to be address the dear prisoners.

Mum introduced us all and josh and I got up and shared a short hello. It was well received and they seemed to like the joke we made about me being the brains but josh having the brawn or strength. They genuinely loved the company and where extremely receptive. All you had to do was say praise the Lord and with gusto they replied AMEN. We then had some praise and worship. Wow these guys can sing. I mean they would put to shame many if not all churches in the UK. They had a guy on a big oil drum with a cow skin stretched over it as the main beat then a wooden stick that slapped the side of the drum making a higher snare like sound. They went for it and boy they really raised their voices. It was clear that there is a culture of singing and praising and many of the songs where sung but a soloist followed by a response. It was great fun. By this point I was not at all nervous but in fact very much enjoying it.

Roger (Dad) then got up and started to pour out his heart to them. It was amazing. He spoke with Etiene and together they took the men through the gospel starting with the story about the Snake on a stick and how this represented Christ. Dad felt that it was important to say that Jesus saves now and you can receive everlasting life now. It was very interesting to hear a full on gospel salavation talk that explained what Jesus did on the cross as I had not heard one like this for quite some time. The men listened intently and where very focussed throughout the talk. It was clearly the power of the Holy Spirit at work. It struck me there and then that this could be last time they would have heard the Gospel and so it was entirely appropriate to go for the jugular and make a call for salvation without pulling any punches.

Shireen (Mum) was then invited to come up and lead them through a prayer of salvation. She asked that if any would like to receive Christ they should put their hands up and I noticed that a sea of hands flew up. There was no hesitation to receive Jesus. Then mum asked them to mean what they said and it was great to that they did appear to. They did and it was marvellous to hear them pray sincerely and really meaning it. Once they had finished prayed for the Holy spirit to come and baptise them and it was quite something. Nothing crazy or wacky but simply the Holy Spirit touching their inner man. They had their eyes shut and God was intimately meeting with each one of them. Some even started to pray in tongues, it was beautiful. Finally Brother Roger felt lead to pray for healing for them. It was very simple – lay hands on the part that hurts if everywhere hurts then lay hands on your head. There where too many to personally lay hands on so this was a good alternative. They don’t necessarily need the “evangelist” to lay hands on them as God can do the work through their own hands. It was interesting as the main area that dad felt to be prayed for was nightmares and night terrors and I trust the Lord has done some great healings. And the final final part of the meeting was to praise the Lord as mum felt it was good to tell them to praise as even in the prison revival can break out and God hears their prayers. It again was a wonderful sound. There was a chaplain who was also a prisoner and he was there and we commissioned him to lead more and more praise and worship sessions.

Then we split up as a team and this time it was mine and Josh’s turn to preach to the Youth prisoners.

We entered into a separate section that was quite spacious in comparison to the adults. They where all playing football and the prison warden got them to get some benches and set up some pews. I was completely out of my depth but felt the spirit lead and we where able to go ahead in the power of the Holy Spirit. The rain came started to come down and it was quite hard to hear things so me and dad prayed for it to calm down. I introduced everyone and then invited josh to come up and say a few things. He gave his testimony which was powerful and he spoke really well. I then got up and felt to share with them the John 6 Scripture.

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

It was wonderful to have this tell them about Jesus and how if they follow him with all their heart they will have everlasting life.

I also felt to share with them Jeremiah 29 for I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and not harm you and plans to give you a hope and a future.

This was the first time that this verse really became real to me as for these young boys it was such hope. A hope for a future a hope. Then I invited dad to come up and pray with them. I realised that I was not fully confident to lead them in a prayer of salvation but I know that I’m learning quickly and heard how mum an dad. Thank goodnes its only by grace that people are saved and not because man has a special formula. We again prayed for the holy spirit to come be with them and it was clear that God was moving in their hearts. It was brilliant to see that some of them even started speaking in other tongues and where meeting with Jesus in a intimate way. This time we where able to lay hands on all of them and just bless them in the Name of Jesus.

After it was great to hear that one young man said that when he got out of prison he would work for Jesus.

One other chap had a bad pain in his leg and we prayed for that and though we didn’t see an immediate healing I know that God will heal him.

These young guys where mostly in prison for rape it was quite shocking really but praise God loves them just the same and no sin is to great for Jesus to whipe away.

Above all that happened today I know that the holy spirit will be working in their Lives and will be their counsellor and advocate. It is not by might nor by power but my spirit says the Lord!

What a joy it is to serve the Lord out here with the dear Congolese people.

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What is the plan for my future with the grand scheme of things…

By | Beliefs, Christianity, Me, Personal | No Comments

This blog post is a follow on from a comment on Anne Jacksons Blog

Wow that is very humbling and inspiring as i am 21 at the moment and about to finish Uni. Thankfully i am not in any dept through the fees and costs but in a years time i am going to be out in the big bad world with a Good degree under my belt and some potentually good jobs up in London or Anywhere even. Just if i take a stop and think what am I supposed to do with my life that is where I get stoped dead in my tracks I mean i could make lots of money and even end up running my own company with the sole aim for “Profit and Gain” 

Thing is i dont want my drive and ambition to be in Money and Personal gain.  I want to be able to give something back that will be eternally lasting and worthwhile. My mate Keith Mason and i were recently talking about this… I think this comes about when our perspective goes from being a taker and consumer to a Giver and Maker and though this the focus is not so much what i can get out this bit of work but what it can do to help other people in one way or another. 

I do feel that there are many different areas that i would like to go into but i do think that i want to Help my parrents with the work that they are doing in Africa. take a look at rfmafrica.com . Its for me more about fulfilling the great commission that Christ has place on each and every person. 

The great commission is very simple it is about spreading the Good News of Christ.

Matthew 28:16-20

The Great Commission

 16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The good news of Christ is that he gave his only son to die on the cross for our sins so that if we believe in him we would have eternal life… 

John 3:16 16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I know that i have digressed but what i am trying to say is that for me, Anne and many others, there is more to life than just making lots of money, taxes and death. There is something that is eternal and it is that future hope that i look forward to and I would encourage everyone who reads this to really think about.

Do people think that you go down a career path that can make a ton of money but not get caught up in the system and ultimately fail to help people???