21st August 2016

August 21, 2016

Yesterday, Today, Forever 

“I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”
Malachi 3:6 (NIV UK)
 

Have you heard of the smartphone app: Postmates? In the USA It lets you order food from almost any restaurant in your city and have it delivered right to your door. It’s amazing! These days, it feels like the world is changing faster than ever. But in the midst of all the change, the writer of Hebrews tells us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

But what does that mean? It’s hard to grasp the reality of God’s timelessness for us, because we exist within time and are subject to its natural laws, which really means that we’re subject to change. Over the course of our lives, there is very little that will not change. Our memories, appearance, preferences, opinions, and even—whether we like it or not—our bodies.

And as much as we might like to believe otherwise, our faith isn’t immune to this, either. Events in our lives have a huge impact on what we believe and why, and can lead to us to changing our minds or hearts about God. Some of us may even know friends or family members who, over time, have stopped believing in him entirely. But we may be thankful, God isn’t like us. He exists outside of time, and the Bible reminds us that he doesn’t change as we do. For example: “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind” (1 Samuel 15:29).

Most importantly, God doesn’t change his mind about us, his beloved children. No matter how our views, opinions or feelings about our Heavenly Father might shift, his love toward us never wavers. As the Apostle Paul reminds us: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). This means that no matter what, God is and will always be exactly who he is and always has been: righteous, holy, all-powerful and all loving. And no matter how much the world around us might change, that will always be true. 

Prayer
Eternal Father, thank you for your faithfulness. You have reached from your immortality and eternity, to touch us mortals, subject to change, to decay and death. Help us to appreciate to the full your timelessness, your changelessness, and above all your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

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

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2nd August 2016

August 2, 2016

The Servant Queen
And The King She Serves

“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”
Hebrews 13:7 (NKJV)

It’s interesting that the Bible gives us examples of both good and bad Kings and Queens whose lives have lessons for us today. But they are part of history and the people alive with them may never have realised the example they set, whether good or bad. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had an example of such a person in our lives today, someone who is known worldwide and sets an example of Christian love and faithfulness? Well we have, but perhaps see her only in her role as Queen and not her example of quiet Christian faith.

To celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, three London-based Christian charities combined to publish a book called The Servant Queen – and the King She Serves. Its 64 pages focus on the Queen’s Christian faith and gives examples of how she has stated her faith in God, most especially in her Christmas broadcasts, but also in other public speeches. It also gives other examples of the way the Queen demonstrates her faith out of the public eye.

The Queen sets a very good example of Christianity by what she does as well as what she says. For example, the Queen attends Sunday services as often as she can, but never suggests other people should do so, too. During her month long Scottish holiday in Balmoral the Queen invites a different minister to stay each weekend. At the age of 21, when as Princess Elizabeth she dedicated her life to the service of her people, she asked God to help her make good her vow.

In almost every Christmas broadcast the Queen has made, she has referred to her faith, belief in God and the valuable example set by Jesus Christ, which holds true today. In her 2014 broadcast the Queen said, “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birthday we celebrate today is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, He stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to respect and value people of all faiths and none.” Those are valuable words for all Christians. If our lives, as individual Christians, reflected those words, we would be happier as people and better at reflecting the light of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to all the people we meet.

I think the Queen has set us an example of humble, dedicated service during her 64-year reign and God has helped her to fulfil the vow she made in her 21st birthday broadcast. To buy the book, The Servant Queen – and the King She Serves, at a cost of £1.00 plus postage, telephone 01903 263354 or visit https://www.cpo.org.uk/range.aspx?range=4971&prod=V4971BT 

Prayer
Loving, gracious Father, thank you for our Queen and her example of holding high office sustained by her deep, humble Christian faith and attitude of service to you and to us, her people. Please continue to bless the royal family with the wisdom and attitude of service that the Queen has demonstrated in her 64 years on the throne.
Amen
 

Study by Keith Hartrick

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keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

:)