30th April 2019

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.”
Job 19:25-26 (NKJV)

Anyone who has read the book of Job will find intense the situation of Job who lost all his possessions and his children killed in one day. Later, he himself was plagued by the excruciatingly painful boils. Yet Job was confident of the knowledge of his Redeemer. In fact, God appeared to him and blessed him abundantly at the end of his trial.

Verily, our Redeemer lives, who came as a Lamb of God and was sacrificed on the cross to save the world. Once we believe in Jesus, our life is transformed and we become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). There was a time in my life when I was without Christ, but now I can echo the faith of Job in saying my Redeemer lives, for I am redeemed by His precious blood and shall see Him when He returns. I know and believe that there is no other name by which one can be saved—read it in Acts 4:12. He lives in me and has given me access to our Father’s throne in the Holy of Holies (Galatians 2:20).

The door is wide open to anyone who would come to Him. He has said, “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest in your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

There are so many wonders and signs Jesus did in the presence of the disciples and there are so many other things Jesus did which are not recorded. John says if they were written one by one even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25). All that was prophesied about the Messiah was fulfilled in Him, who expounded the scriptures concerning Himself to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. It is sufficient to know that our Redeemer lives—He is the Captain of our salvation, “the Author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” and is now seated upon His Father’s throne (Hebrews 12:1-2). God has exalted His name above all names, that at His name every knee should bow and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). He is coming in His Glory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Verily, our Redeemer lives whom we shall see in His Majesty.

Prayer
Father in Heaven, I thank You for redeeming us through Your Beloved Son Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who lives. In His glorious name I pray and praise You.
Amen

Study by Natu Moti

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About the Author:
Natu Moti is a Deacon in the Birmingham Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK, a part of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 01213420609 (answer phone)
Mobile: 07974440580
Email: david_gibbs@wcg.org.uk

29th April 2019

Being Kind Is More Important

“The Spirit however, produces in human life fruits such as these: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, tolerance, and self control—and no law exists against any of them.”
Galatians 5:22-23 (Philips)

Jesus always taught the law of kindness. Many times he took on the Scribes and Pharisees and others by pointing out this beautiful mindset—a mindset that sees beyond the letter of the law and allows the very nature of God to be the controlling force in its reaction to circumstances.

For example, one Sabbath day he was teaching in the synagogue when he noticed a woman who was bent double and couldn’t straighten up. Calling her over, he laid his hands on her and told her, “You are set free from your illness!” She straightened up and praised God. But surprise, surprise, the president of the synagogue was not happy! According to him and his understanding of the Law of Moses, by doing this Jesus had broken the Sabbath command! No kindness here then. Addressing him and I guess the congregation of the synagogue, Jesus calls them “Hypocrites!” And adds that every one of them that morning would have untied his ox or his donkey and led it to water and goes on to say that if they can do this to an animal on the Sabbath, surely this dear woman should be released, untied from her bondage after eighteen years, on the Sabbath! (Luke 13:10-16).

In this context Paul tells the little church at Corinth in his letter, “Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others” (Colossians 3:12 TLB).

What about the kindness of God then? Well, it flows from his very nature; it is love in action and for what purpose? Again, Paul hits the nail on the head when he writes—“Don’t you realise that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). So, is that how we react to his kindness towards us or do we just forget and walk away? I think that’s a question for all of us!

Prayer
Thank you for your great compassion and kindness, Father. We realise that we don’t really deserve it but understand that it flows from you each day as a perfect gift and a morning blessing!
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill
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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

28th April 2019

Living Saved 

“…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12b-14 (NIV) 

It’s been said that yesterday is in the past, we aren’t promised tomorrow, all we have is today. We certainly learn from the past, and it implies we should plan and think about the future. But it does mean that we need to live in the moment and take full advantage of the day that we are given.

Today, we have been saved by the completed and finished work of Jesus on the cross. Our eternity is both a future and a present reality. Today, the question is, how are we living in that present reality? In other words, “How are you living saved?” Notice I didn’t ask, “What is saving you today?” The Bible makes clear that things we do don’t save us—Jesus does. But how are we living saved? The Apostle Paul puts it this way (see above). This has been a guiding passage for me throughout my life. As a pro-active person, I love to see how the Lord is building on what has gone before, while keeping an eye toward future glorification (as they say “keep your eye on the prize”).

Living saved means living in the confidence that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient. Living each day knowing you are included in the love shared by the Father, Son and Spirit. It is knowing that when Jesus said, “Father forgive them…” he was referring to you. It is celebrating the truth that you are not identified by your sins or your past; but by your new identity in Christ.

Living saved is living in the absolute truth that Jesus has covered your past, that he is living in your present, and that he has your future guaranteed. Because of this, you can live not for yourself, but for him. Now you are free to focus on others, rather than on the self. Because you know you are forgiven, you want others to experience forgiveness. Knowing you are under grace, you want others to experience grace. Living in his love, you want others to know and experience that love.

Living saved is putting your time and energy into joining Jesus in helping others know what it means to live saved. Today, Jesus invites you to share the good news of what it means to be living saved.

Prayer
Holy Father, help us daily to realise that we are saved, and so live daily a life that is saved in service to others, as your Son commanded. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Greg Williams

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About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

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.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

27th April 2019

Significant Last Words

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
John 19:30 (NIV)

Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in his parents’ garage in 1976, was ousted in 1985, returned to rescue it from near bankruptcy in 1997, and by the time he died at age 56 in 2011, had built it into the world’s most valuable company, with a personal wealth estimated at $7 billion. He had helped to transform seven industries: personal computing, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, retail stores, and digital publishing.

Facing his death, some of his last words included the following poignant observations: “Aside from work, I have little joy…lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you, but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you. You will realize your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – ‘Life.’”

A sad end to a life that had contributed so much. Contrast that with the final word spoken by Jesus before he died: ‘Finished!’ Jesus was not saying ‘I am finished,’ rather this was a cry of victory exclaiming that what he had come to do had been successfully completed and accomplished.

There need not be a sad end to this life when we face death, because through Jesus’ forgiveness on the cross, the way has been opened up for eternal life to be found for all people. For a Christian, life is not meaningless even when death rears its ugly head, because Jesus is the one who brings joy out of sadness, and life out of death. Steve Jobs was right when he said ‘true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world;’ only Jesus brings that.

Maybe it’s time to accept the wisdom of Jobs’ final words and to check out the claims of Jesus’ final word? You won’t regret the investigation.

Prayer
Father, thank you for showing your love to us by sending your Son Jesus, and for the forgiveness he freely offered at the cross. Help me to see more clearly that Jesus accomplished everything for my salvation and that in him is life forever more.
Amen

Study by Barry Robinson
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About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International Central 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

26th April 2019

“Go”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

“Go.” It’s not a hard word to understand. But read it in the well-known Great Commission – Jesus last earthly command to his disciples – and suddenly it’s harder to work out how this command verb relates to us?

Maybe we’ve all felt a little uncertain or overwhelmed when we hear the call to go out and make disciples of all nations. Images of Peter on Pentecost or Paul traversing the Mediterranean flash through our mind, and we feel out of place with this “go” business. Surely, Jesus’ command is for the all-star missionaries, not for us. Right? What do we do with this word “go”? Is there an easier place to start – closer to home – when it comes to the Great Commission?

One of the first places where we can fulfil this “go and make disciples” command is with ourselves. The word “disciple” is mathetes in Greek, which literally means “pupil” or “follower.” Are we followers of Jesus, or just fans? Do we praise his name, whilst our heart is far from his teachings? Are we living a discipled life? “’If you abide in My word,’ Jesus said, ‘you are My disciples indeed’” (John 8:31). Our lives are to be discipled through observing whatsoever Jesus has commanded us. What part of our life can we ‘go’ to that has not yet been discipled? Discipling is not a one-off, one-time fix, but a process of transformation into the image of Jesus. And in aligning our life with Jesus – his example – it prepares fertile ground for the making of other disciples who “by your good works which they observe, glorify God…” (1 Peter 2:12).

These good works spring from a life lived out of one of Jesus’ most important commandments to “love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). A life that chooses to take an interest in and cares for the needs of others will always be noticed as worthy of attention in this selfish world. This means every time we demonstrate love towards others we are participating in the “go” of the Great Commission – and by this love all will know that we are Jesus’ disciples (verse 35), because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Jesus has chosen us as his disciples (John 15:16), so “go”, in word and deed, as “a chosen generation…that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9), and he will be with us always, even to the end of the age.

Prayer
Father, please disciple every part of my life, filling me with your love for others to produce good works so that those I’m in relationship with may glorify you.
Amen

Study by Richard Fowler
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About the Author:
Richard Fowler attends the Watford Congregation of Grace Communion International in the UK. He helps with Young People’s Church there as well as writing a blog and articles for the UK Church’s Because Magazine (www.because.uk.com).

Local Congregation:
Gracecom 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

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