25th November 2018

A Triune Tune

“We have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling his blood.”
1 Peter 1:2 (NIV UK)

At one point during my studies at Azusa Pacific University, I took a class in which we were asked to describe the Trinity. And I’ll tell you, that was a hard assignment! The Trinity is one of those doctrines with which we all are familiar, but when it comes to ‘talking about’ it—well, that can be more than a little difficult. There’s not really a great model in our world to do it justice. But after doing a lot of thinking, this is what I came up with.

We’re all familiar with a basic piano chord, right? It consists of three distinct keys, which are played at the same time to form a unified ‘note’. And while most models that try to ‘explain’ the Trinity fall short, I think this is a nice starting point. We have the FATHER… (one note); … the SON… (a second note);… and the HOLY SPIRIT (a third note). And they work together in unity. The three notes are so entwined in each other that they give us one beautiful and harmonious sound (a chord).

Now, sometimes it can be hard to spot the Trinity in the Bible; the word Trinity isn’t actually in the Bible. But that doesn’t mean that the Father, Son and Spirit aren’t there in the text. Sometimes, what I like to do is to sit down and read through a few passages of scripture and every time I read the word Father, Son or Spirit, I like to hit one of the keys. Let me show you. “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of GOD—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy scriptures regarding his Son… and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:1-4).

Did you spot it? Father, Son and Spirit? They’re all right there. Let me give you another passages from the Gospel of Matthew. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the FATHER and of the SON and of THE HOLY SPIRIT” (Matthew 28:19). Our Father God has sent his Son to bring us back into Communion with him, and that sanctifying work is continued by and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, the next time you’re reading through your Bible, keep your eyes, and maybe, more importantly your ears, open. Listen for the FATHER… The SON… and HOLY SPIRIT… knowing that all of them are working together now and forever to bring you into the deeper knowledge of God.

Prayer
Glorious Father, for some the concept of Trinity is alien. Yet we find it there in your Holy Scriptures. We ask, please, that this understanding will become clear to those who study your word and accept its teachings in their lives. And this we ask in and through Jesus’ holy name.
Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach
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About the Author:
Dr. Joseph Tkach made over 500 Speaking of Life video presentations over the last 11 years (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), and we have used the transcripts of these for our Sunday Day by Days. Speaking of Life has recently run five of Joe’s favourite episodes as a tribute to him. This is the first in the Tribute Series.

Joseph Tkach was the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. He has now retired and passed the baton to Dr. Greg Williams, but still chairs the Board of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

24th November 2018

Pardon My French!

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

My colleague and I were out to lunch. She was remonstrating about a fellow colleague whose language was highly offensive. I listened as she expressed her outrage. During the tirade she said, “So I said to him – would you swear like that if Irene Wilson worked in this office?” I froze speechless waiting for the response. She continued, “’No he said, I would not.’ ‘Well, said I, don’t do it in front of me!’” My friend felt satisfied – she had solved the problem.

The conversation gave me much to think about afterwards. I did not work in that office where the problem was and yet I was used to rectify the issue – but no, it was not me who put things right, it was Jesus Christ living in me – He was in that office. How amazing that people can detect Jesus Christ without necessarily recognising Him. They know there is something different about Christians.

How marvellous that the very God lives in us! Romans 8:10 reminds us, “But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the spirit gives life because of righteousness.” God has set us apart and shown us a more ‘excellent way.’ This is not our doing – we have done nothing to earn our salvation, Jesus Christ did it for us. The apostle Paul explained “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being” (Galatians 1:15-16).

I am humbled and thankful that my friend saw Christ in me. I know that she and others need to see Him in me so much more. By God’s wonderful grace I pray that this will happen.

Prayer
Great awesome God, thank you for allowing Christ to dwell in my heart. With your help please let me show Him to others more than I do at present.
Amen

Study by Irene Wilson
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About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, part of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george.sueann.henderson49@gmail.com

23rd November 2018

‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger’ 

“…how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Hebrews 9:14 (NKJV) 

‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ is a saying that has come down through the centuries. It refers to rulers of old who would kill those who brought bad news from their enemies or of defeat in battle.

Jeremiah must have felt a little like such a messenger. He was called by God as a very young man to bring dire warnings to the Kings of Judah that, unless their behaviour changed, captivity would be the consequence. In Jeremiah 7:1-11 he prophesies of God’s punishment on the nation if they did not treat the Temple – God’s house – with proper respect. They should use the building for the purpose for which it was originally intended—a place of prayer and worship, not a place of commerce and business; or, as the text says in verse 11, “a den of thieves.” The message was strong, but God’s hand was on the youthful Jeremiah.

We now leap some six hundred years to Matthew 21:12-13, when Jesus, whom some regarded as a second Jeremiah, comes to the Temple and is appalled at what he sees. He uses the same words as were used in Jeremiah 7 to describe the Temple as a “den of thieves” rather than a “house of prayer.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), cleanses us from “acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” They did not kill Jeremiah, but they did Jesus. He has risen and is seated as our High Priest at the right hand of the Father.

Prayer
Thank you for your messengers down through the ages, Father in Heaven. Help us to be faithful messengers as we share the gospel with those we meet, through Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by David Silcox

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About the Author:
David Silcox is an Elder of Grace Communion International, and serves on the Pastoral Council of our Watford/Garston Congregation.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Contact:
Email: david.silcox@gracecom.church

 

22nd November 2018

Discouragement

“Then he [Elijah] went on alone into the wilderness, travelling all day, and sat down under a broom bush and prayed that he might die.”
1 Kings 19:4 (TLB)

Even individuals of great courage and conviction have moments when they feel discouraged. After the euphoric victory on Mount Carmel, Elijah’s emotions wavered. He was not indestructible. He had human weaknesses—Elijah was a normal human being. It’s amazing to think that Elijah was a man of faith who had prayed earnestly that no rain would fall and none fell for three and a half years! Yet he became very discouraged after hearing what Jezebel said that she would do to him. “’I’ve had enough,’ he told the Lord, ‘Take away my life. I’ve got to die sometime, and it might as well be now’” (verse 5).

When Nehemiah received news that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, he entered into a four-month period of prayer and fasting. When the work began on rebuilding the wall he could have become discouraged because of the opposition to the rebuilding of the wall by Sanballat and Tobiah, but this did not deter him and those that worked with him. Why? Not only because he had the King’s permission but because he trusted God.

Christians today are no different. Yes, we walk by faith not by sight, but this does not mean that there will not be times of discouragement. In times of discouragement, let’s remember to take courage from such Scriptures as 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV), “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” What better way to encourage ourselves in times of discouragement than to do what King David did in 1 Samuel 30:6 (AMPC) King David “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord.”

We can also find encouragement from family members, Christians brothers and sisters and friends, but we should go to God in prayer first. Today is the American Thanksgiving Day and considering what we have to be thankful for, thinking of those with greater problems than ours and pausing to give thanks can go a long way to dispelling discouragement.

Prayer
Dear Lord, thank you for the encouragement and strength we can have through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Study by Dennis Payne
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About the Author:
Dennis Payne attends the North London Congregation of the Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON
W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: london@gracecom.church

21st November 2018

The Healing in His Scars

“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side.’”
John 20:27 (NRSVA)

I remember it well; a day when sadness crept up on me from behind and overpowered me. A week earlier, I had heard the shocking news that a couple I knew well were splitting up. I hadn’t realised how much it affected me; suddenly my world had descended into a grey fog. Sadness can prompt feelings of guilt; as a Christian shouldn’t I always be joyful? Isn’t that what Scripture says?

But God does get sadness. He really does. He has also experienced it – full on, over-powering sorrow. When Jesus realised that his friend Lazarus was dead, He did not rush to the tomb and immediately raise him from the grave. Instead, Jesus took the time to first greet Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, who were in the depths of grief. And their sadness overwhelmed him. “Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” (John 11:35-36).

Yet, it should not surprise us that God can experience sadness. In the story of Noah, the wickedness of humanity caused God great pain. “And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Genesis 6:6). Like many a parent, God has gone through times of great pain, distress and grief over all his children.

My friends are now heading for divorce. I am sad. But deep in my heart, I know that God promises to redeem all things through Jesus Christ. The story of Thomas meeting Jesus (John 20:24-29), reminds us that though glorified, Jesus still bears the wounds of the Cross in his hands and feet. The scars of his pain are still there, reminding me that God will also turn all of our physical, emotional and spiritual scars into emblems of victory.

My sadness for my friends runs deep. But even deeper than that, somewhere in my core, I know that the light of joy, kindled by Jesus, has not gone out. The hope of redemption, fanned by the Holy Spirit, keeps that joy alight. The Christian songwriters Casting Crowns have a wonderful way of reflecting on that hope: “All of me for all You are, I lay at your feet my broken heart, And I’ll find my healing in Your scars, All of me for all you are.”

Our Lord joined us in our world and experienced our sadness. However, He is redeeming all things and His scars testify that all the wounds of our sadness will one day be healed.

Prayer
Father, how Your Son suffered to rescue us all, the whole of humanity! Help us to see that He is redeeming all things by the power of the Holy Spirit. Though we often feel sad, guide us to see that deep flame of joy alight in our lives. We turn our sadness over to you in His name, Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Ian Woodley
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About the Author:
Ian Woodley is an Elder and Pastoral Council member of the Edinburgh Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International (Gracecom for short).

Local Congregation:
Gracecom, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EDINBURGH
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Mill
Email: peter.mill@gracecom.church

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