26th October 2019

October 26, 2019

The Sweetest Words

“Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.”
Mark 16:15 (NCV)

A few years ago someone asked me to fork over one of his flower beds. As I moved along the bed I noticed a small hole in the soil. There was no activity around the hole so I sank the fork into the earth nearby. Instantly a humming ribbon of fierce yellow emerged and chased me across the garden. I told this to the garden owner a little later and he said, “Oh yes, I meant to mention that to you.” At that point I didn’t know which I disliked the most, the wasps or the owner!

Unless you are rather unusual, wasps are not your favourite creatures. Eat a cream tea outside on a warm summer day and you could well find you have unwelcome and persistent company. They have their place and no doubt do a good job dealing with various garden pests. We see them as annoying—a pest, even hostile with a nasty sting. Yet, they have a great lesson to teach us as Christians. It’s not their persistence—a good quality in some circumstances, but did you know that when a wasp finds something sweet it will go and tell its friends? How about that for a lesson from nature! Do we have something ‘sweet’ to tell our friends and neighbours? Only the sweetest thing of all: the glorious gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

There’s a way of doing it, of course. I remember some years ago, standing on Tottenham Court Road in London, handing out invitations to enjoy a free tea in the square outside our church. The idea was that people could enjoy a friendly chat with tea and cake, and if they desired it, prayer for any situation in their life that was causing anxiety. Nothing wrong with that and quite a few people did seek prayer or had questions to ask the church members in the square.

However, back on Tottenham Court Road, yours truly got a bit fed up just handing out invitations, so I tried to liven it up a bit by telling the passers by that Jesus loves them. Well of course it’s true, but believe me, that’s not the way to tell them! It’s a good way to get some very strange looks and to have people stepping out into the road to avoid you, otherwise it’s a dud. A softer, gentler approach may be more effective—an act of kindness and a word of encouragement will at the least set a good example and maybe God will use it to bring questions to the recipient’s mind. It’s how we should be as Christians anyway, and who knows if through this God may not provide an opportunity for a ‘sweet’ word in someone’s ear?

Father, the sweetest words of all are ‘Jesus loves you so much He gave His life for you.’ Help us share this with our friends and neighbours in a ‘sweet’ way.

Study by Doug Bass

About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Coulsdon
Coulsdon Community Church
Coulsdon Community Centre
Barrie Close
Chipstead Valley Road

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Brian Smith
Phone: 01243-699812
Email: coulsdon@gracecom.church

16th October 2019

October 16, 2019

An Entrance

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”
Revelation 21:10 (NIV)

St Albans Cathedral has several gateways but its most important entrance is the Great Gateway. Built in 1365, it has withstood extreme weather, a 14th century peasant revolt and in the 19th century – schoolboys! The structure was intended to impress dignitaries and royal personages with their large entourage when visiting the Cathedral, or as it was known until the 19th century, the Abbey. They would assemble on the land outside the gateway and begin the solemn procession through the gateway to be greeted by the resident Abbot—a splendid occasion viewed by the curious townspeople. This edifice of flint and roman brick has witnessed many such occasions over the centuries.

Impressive gateways herald even more imposing interiors, as is the case in St Albans Cathedral. In the book of Revelation, we learn of a fabulous city with magnificence gates set ready for the procession of all time. A city with twelve gates each made out of a single pearl, the city foundations layered with fabulous gemstones, but there is something missing… there is no temple. Why would a city of such splendour lack a temple? This is, as you will have gathered, no ordinary city – this is the house of the Triune God, Father, Son (the King of Kings) and the Holy Spirit, lit by His glory.

These pearly gates are never closed, but who will pass through these wonderful gates? Those who are in the Book of Life. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him. We have a promise in His Word that we will never be erased from the Book of Life. “The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels” (Revelation 3:5).

This is our homecoming – an affair of incredible splendour that we, Christ’s followers, will participate in. Medieval gateways and all that man has and continues to create will be eclipsed by the magnificent glory of God. Haste the day!

Loving Father, it is hard for us as human beings to imagine your greatness, your omniscience and splendour. Thank you for who you are – a God of love. Thank you for loving us – we eagerly look forward to sharing eternity with you.

Study by Irene Wilson

About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

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

6th October 2019

October 6, 2019

God Shows Who He Is

“He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NRSV UK)

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey likes to tell her most important life lessons. As a younger woman, she would wait by the phone for a young man who promised to call but never did. She made excuses for him until her mentor wisely said, “My dear, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

This phrase reminds me of the Old Testament prophet Hosea. In his book we read that God commanded him to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Each time Gomer bears a child, once again she’s unfaithful to Hosea. The children are given symbolic names which tell about God’s frustration with Israel. Before you think the lesson is about Hosea seeing Gomer as she really was, the actual lesson of the book is about God. No matter how many times Gomer cheated on Hosea, God told him to take her back, love her and care for her and their children. God was teaching Hosea a lesson about his love for Israel. He said: “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God’” (Hosea 1:10 NIV).

This Bible story is showing much more than the relationship problems of an ancient prophet. It reveals God’s faithfulness with Israel. No matter how many times Israel turned away from him, God was faithful. His love and provision remained a constant. Through this story God is revealing his character. It gives us assurance knowing that God’s character is not like ours. We sometimes let others down; but God never lets us down.

Hosea is only one example. The Bible is filled with illustrations of God revealing himself in love to his beloved children. The ultimate revealing of that love is Jesus—who is the physical expression and incarnation of God’s love for humanity. And we’re included in Jesus: Colossians 2:13 says “And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with [Jesus], when he forgave us all our trespasses.” It’s reassuring to know that despite how we mess things up, God is always faithful. He constantly reveals his love for and acceptance of humanity as part of his character—a love that isn’t dependent on anything we do.

When God shows you who he is, believe him.

Faithful Father, thank you for revealing to us your nature, your unfailing love for us and, above all, that this love doesn’t depend on us or what we do. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Presented by Michelle Fleming

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. Michelle Fleming is an Elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.

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.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk