Saturday 2 August
New Horizon is 25 years old this year!! This week, we are thinking about what it means to have an enduring passion for God’s kingdom. Despite the rain, hundreds packed the main tent for the opening celebration with worship from New Irish Arts and speaker Vaughan Roberts.
Author and speaker, Vaughan Roberts is the rector of St Ebbe’s church, Oxford. He will be leading the morning Bible teaching at New Horizon this week. On the first night he shared from the first two chapters of Daniel. Here’s a quick taste of his message:
The Lord Reigns in a Strange Land
Christians are feeling increasingly “alien” in society. How do we respond? Some withdraw. Others compromise. Daniel was living in a strange land – one of the first exiles to Babylon. His life provides an example of how we should live as aliens in a strange world.
1) Don’t withdraw
We cannot completely withdraw from society. We need to engage with it. Daniel said, “Yes” to a pagan education, a new name and a political career supporting the regime of the country that had destroyed Jerusalem.
As our country increasingly turns away from Christian values, we might be tempted to withdraw, to create a Christian sub culture and avoid all contact. Jeremiah tells us to seek the peace and prosperity of the city – we need to get involved!
2) Don’t compromise
Daniel chose to draw the line at eating the food and wine from the king’s table. We don’t know exactly why he made this choice. Sometimes it is clear where the line should be. At other times, different individuals will need to make their own choice and then stick to it!
3) Don’t be afraid
Fear dominates much of our decision making in life. We fear ridicule. We don’t want to be excluded. Some never commit to Jesus Christ because of the fear of being different. Plenty of others have begun the Christian life but they are compromised out of fear.
Right now, many are finding it difficult to stand for Jesus Christ. Others are holding back from coming to Christ because they are scared. The first chapters of Daniel remind us that God is in control. We don’t need to be afraid.
Is it worth it? Absolutely because the living God reigns, Jesus Christ is Lord and one day, everyone will know it.