30th May 2017

May 30, 2017

Bless One Another 

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

Words have power. The writer of proverbs tells us that, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18). So often we use our tongues to criticise, to tear down, to gripe and moan or assassinate another person’s character. No wonder James writes, The tongue…is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:6).

But all is not doom and gloom. We can use our tongues to heal, encourage and compliment. They can be sources of balm that soothe sore wounds. Instead of using our tongues to curse we can us them to pronounce God’s blessing on one another, as with the priestly blessing in Numbers 6. The apostle Paul often closed his letters by pronouncing a blessing upon his readers, such as, “Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love” (Ephesians 6:23-24), and this is why many churches conclude their services with a benediction, a blessing pronounced over the whole congregation.The following prayer of blessing was recently prayed at the end of a service I attended:

May God remember you like Noah,
Favour you like Moses,
Honour you like Mary,
Fight for you like the Israelites,
Prosper you like Isaac,
Promote you like Joseph,
Intervene for you like Esther,
Protect you like Daniel,
Use you like Paul,
Heal you like Naaman,
Answer you like Elijah,
Anoint you like David,
And keep you safe like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Amen

This is my prayer for each of you reading this devotion. I hope you are blessed by it.

Prayer
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Amen

Study by Barry Robinson

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About 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

30th September 2017

September 30, 2017

Pride Versus Humility

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Proverbs 16:18-19 (NKJV)

Pride versus humility—two extremes. The first, pride: God hates pride but He loves humility. God has repeated the warning to the proud in His word. “But He gives more grace, therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’…Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:6, 10). Again we read, “’God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). Even the worldly wisdom declares that pride goes before the fall. There are many examples in the Bible where the proud have fallen and the humble have been exalted. A prime example of this fall is Lucifer. He was created perfect in wisdom and beauty, but through his pride and vanity, he lost his position of ‘Light Bringer’. Lucifer wanted to exalt himself above God Almighty, but his pride brought him to the lower depth of the pit (Isaiah 14:12-15).

Now let us look at the perfect example of humility. Jesus Christ, by whom all things were created, humbled Himself and took the form of a servant, as a mere human being. He gave up all the power and insignia of Royalty and left the eternal Glory behind. He finished the work of a Saviour by giving His life on the cross, going through the most excruciatingly painful death and humiliation, crowned with the crown of thorns and spat upon, enduring it all to secure redemption for all mankind (Philippians 2:5-8). Verses 9-11 go on to say, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The lesson for us all is to humble ourselves before God, to be meek and lowly as His Son, so that He will also exalt us to sit with His Son in His Kingdom. I must confess, there is lot of pride lurking in my heart and God knows what is in my heart, for He searches the heart, as it says in Jeremiah 17:9-10. That is why I must take up the yoke of our Saviour to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with meekness and a trembling heart. There are vital lessons for us all to learn from the Example of Lucifer who lost his position of a Light Bringer through his pride; and from the humility our Saviour who is exalted to sit on His Father’s throne.

Prayer
Our loving Father, I thank You for Your love for mankind in sending Jesus to save us from our fallen state. You are worthy to be worshipped. I thank and praise You in Jesus’ name.
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.

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

30th April 2017

April 30, 2017

We Don’t Have To Make It On Our Own 

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
1 John 3:1 (ESV)

A few years ago, U2 made a live concert film called U2 3D. The band allowed IMAX cameras onstage to capture their performance in incredible detail. They performed a new song called “Sometimes you can’t make it on your own,” and, before he started to sing, Bono explained that he’d written it for his father. The song told a story about a father and son who had wasted most of their lives arguing, only to realise that in the end, they needed one another.

As the show ended, I started thinking about the chorus, and I was grateful that, with our heavenly Father, we never have to “make it on our own.” Because of Christ’s great atoning sacrifice, God has adopted us into his family. Through the Son he has become our heavenly Father. And because we were reconciled through our Lord, we know that we’ll never have to face the ups and downs that life throws us on our own.

Listen to the confidence the prophet Isaiah had in God’s faithfulness: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Paul reiterates God’s faithfulness to us in his letter to the Romans: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 ESV).

While the song might speak of a tumultuous father/son relationship, Bono later sings a line admitting that his love of singing was a gift from his father. Like Bono, our heavenly Father has given us a gift—the gift of right relationship with him through our Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what comes our way, with God on our side, we’ll never have to go it alone.

Prayer
Gracious Father, it is incredible to consider that you would raise us up to be considered your sons. To know that we have a heavenly ‘Dad’ who loves us and gave his Son for us to make all this possible. We thanks you in Jesus’ name.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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About 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.

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

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

30th March 2017

March 30, 2017

The Race Marked Out For Us

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

We live in a world that is full of distractions. There are many things competing for our precious time and attention. The world in which we live today is set up in such a way as to keep us away from what really matters, which is our relationship with God. We may keep ourselves busy doing mundane things that demand our time. Some of it may be necessary, and some just not necessary. For example, it is easy to sit and watch the television, and try to catch up with recorded programmes! But is it really necessary in the grand scheme of things?

One day, we will all stand before our Maker. How will we explain what we did with the precious time that we have been allocated? We have been encouraged to fix our thoughts and eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1 and 12:2). We have also been instructed to set our hearts and minds on the things above as we read in Colossians 3:1, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” We need to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

The Brownlee brothers are world class triathletes. They were competing in a race in Cozumel, Mexico and the younger brother, who was leading the race, was in danger of not finishing. The older brother gave up his chance of winning the race in order to help his younger sibling across the finish line. A magnanimous gesture, as they are both very competitive. Jesus, our brother, gave up his life to help us to cross the finish line in the race that has been marked out for us. The amazing truth is that Jesus has already won the race for us! That is why we must stay focussed on him. We cannot win the race without him.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, you have called us to participate in the race of life. Apart from Jesus we cannot win this race. Please enable us to focus on him and trust him to bring us home to you. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Sherwin Scott

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About the Author:
Sherwin Scott is a Deacon in the congregation of Grace Communion Church in Lewes. Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road
LEWES BN7 2XN

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

30th January 2017

January 30, 2017

Sow Love  

“Above all, love each other deeply…”
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

Like the majority of people in the UK, I was saddened and appalled at the shooting and stabbing of the Batley and Spen MP, Jo Cox, resulting in her death on 16 June 2016. Tributes united both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, as well as other mainstream political parties. The President of the United States phoned the late MP’s husband, Brendon, to offer his condolences.

It is easy to be filled with hatred, revenge and retaliation when such an event occurs, but I am reminded of what she said in her maiden speech to Parliament:While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency, is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other, than things that divide us.” 

Such events should not divide our local communities otherwise the perpetrators of evil and wickedness have won a victory. If there is a fight to be fought it has to be one of love against hatred of all kinds. Brendon’s poignant words shortly after Jo’s death ring true: Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo. Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous. Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full.” 

As I reflected on Jo’s death, the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi came to mind:
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”

The Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jonathan Gibbs told a vigil in Jo’s honour at St Peter’s Church in Birstall, “There will be great feelings of anger and hurt and pain. How we handle those feelings in our own lives and in our communities will be of great importance. We are now here for each other tonight.” As Christians, we have to be here for each other all the time so that in the face of hatred may we sow love.

Prayer
Father, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
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 Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone: 07958 386944
Email:   martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

:)