22nd May 2014

May 22, 2014

Not In The Flesh But The Spirit 

“…we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh…”
Philippians 3:3 (NIV)
 

The Apostle Paul had a great CV, but if we read the scripture above we will come to realise that he didn’t put any confidence in any part of his previous life before he encountered Christ. Let’s notice what he says here concerning his past life; he was “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee, as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless” (Verses 5-6). Here he lays out the record of his life; here was everything that meant anything to him as a person before Christ. Now he considers it loss and rubbish compared to his relationship with the one who died for him (verse 8-9) and why; because he had come to realise that he can’t bring any of this former “confidence in the flesh” with him into this spiritual friendship. Paul stripped himself of everything that he could boast about, got rid of all the dross and became more open to the receiving of God’s grace. 

This is what the Lord says:  “’Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who  exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV). So you see, God really desires us to boast (glory), in him and have no confidence in the flesh! 

Again Paul writes, “…as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:31 NKJV). Incredibly, Paul actually repeats this thought in his second letter to the Corinthians chapter 10:17 and the chapter ends with these words; “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends,” (verse 18 NKJV). 

This of course is about getting past self, getting over the flesh and having no confidence in it whatsoever! Realising that all that we are, and all that we can achieve, comes from the great God anyway, as a gift through his Spirit—and above all, never forgetting to give all the glory to him. 

Prayer
God of all wisdom and power, thank you that we can glory in you as you work within us by your Spirit; granting us everything we need to fulfil your will in our lives.
Amen
 

Study by Cliff Neill

_________________________________________________

cliffneillAbout 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

2nd May 2014

May 2, 2014

Whom Shall We Obey? 

“To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.”
1 Peter 1:1 (NIV UK)
 

Peter begins his first letter by outlining his key thoughts: that we were chosen by the Father, that the Spirit sanctifies us, and that we respond to those points by obeying Christ who sacrificed himself for us. 

Having grown up in the Jewish faith, Peter was well schooled in the concept of obedience. For the Jewish Christian, however, a shift in emphasis had occurred, a change of focus. Although the Law of Moses and the rest of the Old Testament provided ideas for spirituality, obedience was now to Jesus: as Peter indicates above, believers have been chosen “for obedience to Jesus Christ”. 

Peter would have heard Christ discuss the significance of Christ’s own teachings. For example, Jesus explained in Matthew 7:24, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock”. Also, in John 14:23 Jesus said, “if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching”. In the book of Hebrews we learn that Jesus submitted himself completely to God’s will in dying for us, and that “he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (5:9). 

Whom should the Christian obey? The answer is “Jesus Christ, the Righteous One”, who is “the atoning sacrifice for our sins”. “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands…if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him” (1 John 2:1-5). 

Let’s accept the grace of Jesus Christ, and obey his every word. 

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit who reminds us of the teachings of Jesus Christ so that, as the Spirit guides and strengthens us, we can obey Jesus in everything. In Jesus’ name.
Amen
 

Study by James Henderson

______________________________________________________

Bible openAbout the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations.  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

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

__________________________________________________________

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

2nd March 2015

March 2, 2015

The Persecuted Church

“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
Hebrews 13:3 (NIV)

As Christians in the UK we may be ridiculed for our beliefs. We may be looked upon as if we are a few pence short of a pound, we may have to deal with a politically correct obsession that wants to remove every trace of the name Christ for fear it may upset people, but there are many of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world whose lives are in danger simply because they associate themselves with Jesus Christ.

It often goes unreported on the mainstream news, but there are Christians in this world of ours that are suffering rejection, hostility, discrimination, harassment and violence, for Christ’s sake. Thousands of people have been killed by Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist group who sprang to international notoriety after kidnapping 200 schoolgirls in April 2014. They have been attacking Christians and other targets in an attempt to create an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria. It is thought that at least 450 were slaughtered in attacks on Christian areas in May and June 2014 alone.

Believers in some parts of Tanzania are now under threat from extremists.  The political turmoil of the ‘Arab Spring’ has caused great suffering for the Christian minority in Egypt. And in Syria’s brutal civil war Islamist opposition fighters deliberately target Christians.

Even though Hindu and Buddhist teachings advocate tolerance, some Christians living as a minority among Hindus and Buddhists are being ruthlessly persecuted. Attacks by Hindu nationalists in India range from violent raids on worship services and the sacking of church buildings, to acts of brutality against individuals.

These heart-rending reports should deeply and profoundly concern us. As the writer of Hebrews says, we should “continue to remember those who are mistreated.” These persecuted Christians need us to stand with them. Can we come alongside them by bringing their plight before the Lord in prayer?

If we ourselves were suffering persecution wouldn’t it be a great source of encouragement to know that we had concerned brothers and sisters who were praying for us? Let’s commit to get to know where our brothers and sisters are suffering and lift up the persecuted church to the Lord. Our prayers make such a difference.

Prayer
Father, we cry out to you for the Christians who are persecuted in this world because they will not renounce their faith in your Son. We applaud their faith and ask in your mercy that you would deliver them from their hour of trial.
Amen

Study by Barry Robinson

_________________________________________________________________

barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
Camberwell
LONDON
SE5 7HN

Meeting time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email:  barry_robinson@wcg.org.uk

22nd November 2014

November 22, 2014

Let’s Get Controversial!

“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.”
Philippians 4:2 (NIV) 

In his letter to the Philippian church, Paul encourages two leaders of the congregation, Euodia and Syntyche, to not let their differences of opinion get in the way of their unity in Christ. The world is a complex place and Christians will come to different conclusions on how to resolve significant issues. So Paul reminds us to be “like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” (Philippians 2:2)

Enough said. Who can disagree with such an admonition?

Well, it all works fine until those differences appear. For example, I personally find wind turbines to be a wonderful example of the engineering genius of humanity. I always admire the innovation of design whenever I see one, whether it is in the town or country. Some reading this may well consider that I have lost my mind! I often hear that wind turbines are a blot on the landscape which should be banned.

Can I remain in one spirit with those who have such a divergence of views? Yes says Paul. Yes we can!

Let’s get really controversial. Should the UK remain in the European Union or not? Now, this can be such an explosive question that I am not going to give my opinion on this. It really can divide friends and family. Can we remain in one spirit? Yes says Paul. Yes we can!

I haven’t even scratched the surface. There are a multitude of “religious” matters that separate the Christian denominations. Matters that people have died for – and others have sought to kill for.

“How good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” declared David, who knew his fair share of division, disunity and dispute (Psalm 133:1). Recently I was impressed with the stated desires of Scottish friends and associates who found themselves on different sides of the Scottish Referendum debate. They declared respect for the opposing view and above all sought reconciliation when all was over. Can we remain in one spirit? Yes says Paul. Yes we can!

“For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore” (Psalm 133:3). We will have divergent views, but let us fulfil our Father’s desires and agree with each other in the Lord – however passionate we get about the argument.

Prayer
Father, please fill us all w
ith your desire, that whatever the issue, we all agree with one another in the Lord. This requires a spirit which is not natural to us, so please fill our hearts with the unity through your Holy Spirit.
Amen

Study by Ian Woodley

____________________________________________________________

ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM
NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

Next Page »

:)