14th January 2019

January 14, 2019

My Name is Pain!

“Jabez was more honourable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NKJV)

What was it about Jabez that made him stand out in this chapter of 1 Chronicles? Of all the People mentioned in the genealogy, Jabez is the focus. We see the name of Jabez mentioned only once in Scripture, and his name is captivating—why? Yes, of course, one word that captures our attention is his very name, which means pain, as given to him by his mother because she gave birth to him in pain.

But the word that should grab our attention is in verse 9: “Jabez was more honourable than his brothers.” HONOURABLE! This suggests to me that perhaps his brothers were the opposite of being honourable. Because Jabez was an honourable man, God listened to him and answered his request. Someone who is honourable is not disposed to cheat or defraud; not deceptive; showing or characterized by honour and integrity; having the moral courage to stand alone.

God will answer the prayers of those who honour Him, but not always with a yes. God granted Jabez’ request. Why? Because Jabez honoured God. God wants all His children to honour Him, not just pretend to. Jesus said in John 8:54, “If I honour myself, my honour is nothing. It is my Father who honours me” Later on in John 12:26 he continues showing how we become honourable, saying, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves [honours] Me, him My Father will HONOUR.”

Prayer
Eternal God, we thank you for hearing our prayers. We seek to be honourable and to honour you with a sincere heart in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Dennis Payne
___________________________________

About the Author:
Dennis Payne attends the North London Congregation of the Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International 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

28th December 2018

December 28, 2018

God is the Registrar

“An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Matthew 1:1 (NRSV)

Over the years I have read through the Bible on a number of occasions using different programs including chronological order, daily selections from the Old and New Testaments, etc. It is about finding a pattern that suits you and being disciplined to the 15 minutes a day to compete the readings. However, no matter what the system, the genealogies always get a cursory reading. I, like many others, speed read or skip over it. Yet the Bible writers inspired by the Spirit in both Testaments regarded it important that we have these lists. Matthew and Luke felt it important that the early church have a record of Jesus’ lineage.

In more recent times there has been an increase in people tracing their genealogy and also doing DNA genetic testing to find out about their heritage. We also have programmes on TV like ‘Who do you think you are?’ which reveals some secrets of the past for the guest. On another programme we see these tests used to determine paternity for the children in question. These examples tell us that identity, history and recognition are all important to who we are.

At this time of year many will focus on Jesus – reading and enacting the nativity story, singing carols and getting together. It remains vitally important to remember who Jesus really is and also who we are. Matthew’s genealogy links Jesus back to Abraham which connects us to the God of covenant, promise and faithfulness who said, “… and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Paul picks up the theme confirming our lineage and identity in one of his epistles. “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

I would conclude that our names are therefore included in the genealogical table, as we are children of God. Our genealogy is a rich and diverse tapestry in which each of us has a special place because we were chosen, known and remembered by God. Each name tells stories of God’s involvement, love and vision for humanity as a whole and me as a person. God is the Registrar whose hand is actively involved in writing and keeping the genealogical records.

Prayer
As we pray, we call you Father because our life flows from you. Thank you that we are chosen and you call us by name.
Amen

Study by David Gibbs
______________________________________________________

About the Author:
David Gibbs in an Elder and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Central England and South Wales.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1:00pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 0777-7667635
Email: david.gibbs@gracecom.church

24th August 2018

August 24, 2018

Part of the Story 

“Arphaxad begot Shelah, and Shelah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.
1 Chronicles 1:18-20 (NKJV)

Reading the genealogies in the Bible can be quite challenging. Sometimes we might read over them quickly in order to get on the next chapter. At other times they might become too much of focus, so much that Paul warned believers against becoming pre-occupied in studying them. Paul tells us not to “give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith” (1 Timothy 1:4), and also to “avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9).

So, what purpose do the genealogies serve? Maybe they provide a sense of continuity within the Old Testament, or they provide an historical background to events. Another important idea is that they demonstrated to the readers and listeners that they were part of the story. People would have known which tribe or clan they belonged to, and that thus they were woven into the whole tapestry of the narrative.

The New Testament tells us that we are part of the story of Christ. Paul himself makes a point of listing the members in some of his letters (e.g. Romans 16), and explains that the names of the believers are “in the Book of Life” (Phillipians 4:3), a thought later taken up by John in Revelation.

Whenever we come across a biblical genealogy, let’s remember that our names are written in the Book of Life, and that we are part of the story of Jesus and his gospel.

Prayer
Thank you, Father, that we are part of the story of Jesus, and that our names are written in the Book of Life. In Jesus
’ name.
Amen
 

Study by James Henderson

________________________________________

About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in 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:
james.henderson@gracecom.church
Or email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

31st March 2018

March 31, 2018

Old Jerusalem And New Jerusalem

“Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David.”
2 Chronicles 3:1 (NIV)

We have heard a lot about this city of Jerusalem over the last few years and it’s not always good news! It seems a shame that such a place that is held in high regard by Jews, Christians and Muslems should be regarded by others as a tinderbox that ignites conflicts year after year.

Did you know that this was the place where Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac his only son (Genesis 22: 2). But, where is this Mount Moriah? According to our masthead scripture it is the same place where Solomon—the son of David—built the Temple of God; in Jerusalem!

The city of Jerusalem was also known as Salem (meaning ‘peace’) long before it had its name change and it seems like Abraham had a part in renaming it. After his son Isaac was spared and then a ram appeared caught in a thicket, he called the place “Yireh” which in Hebrew means ‘The Lord will provide.’ So, if we prefix Yireh to Salem we get Yireh-salem or Jerusalem. Genesis 22:14 continues, “And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it shall be provided.’”

I guess we might wonder why Isaac was spared and a ram took his place on the altar of sacrifice. I think it was because this son of Abraham had a bigger part to play in God’s plan of salvation. If we check Luke chapter 3, we find the genealogy of Jesus and in verse 34 it tells us that he was descended through Isaac!

But during this episode Isaac was foreshadowing the sacrifice of Jesus. Remember Genesis 22:2 tells us that he was Abraham’s only son and Jesus was God’s only son. Isaac carries the wood for the sacrifice because this was supposed to be a burnt offering. Jesus carried the wood of his cross, as it says in John 19:16-17, “So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).” Interestingly, there was no substitute here for this sacrifice—no ram caught in a bush. No, and why? Because Jesus’ death was the substitute for us—for mankind—the sacrifice to end all sacrifices! No wonder the people continued to quote this saying, “On the mountain of the Lord it shall be provided!” He did, and he will ultimately, bring to earth a New Jerusalem, a place where Jesus rules and righteousness dwells—isn’t that good news? (2 Peter 3:13 & Revelation 21:1-3).

Prayer
Praise and thanks to you, Father, for the precious gift of sacrificial love in giving up your only Son for us all.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

___________________________________________

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

1st December 2017

December 1, 2017

Born a King 

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him’”
Matthew 2:1-2 (ESVUK)

Royalty has been in the news much these days, and we are approaching the season when Christians around the world invite everyone to celebrate the King of kings.

In Matthew 2 we read the story of the arrival of non-Jewish wise men who came to pay homage to the child Jesus, who was born a king, the king of the Jews. Matthew takes great care to include the Gentiles in the gospel narratives because he understands that Jesus is not just of the Jews but also of the whole world. It’s interesting that he begins the story of the life of Jesus with a genealogy that includes Gentiles (Rahab and Ruth), mentions that these Gentile wise men are among the first to acknowledge Jesus as King, and ends his account with the story of Christ’s telling his disciples to go to to all nations with the good news, not just to the Jews.

Jesus, of course, was not born just with the hope of being a king, he was born already a king, as we can read in the verse above. It wasn’t that he was born with the possibility of becoming king one day, he was already king. This made his birth more of a threat to King Herod than if it were just a chance that Jesus might be the King of the Jews one day. It was not that Christ was a prince born into the royal line, who was therefore an heir to the throne — the wise men are saying quite clearly that Jesus is the rightful king and that even the Gentiles recognise his kingship.

Jesus, the King, was worshipped by the wise men, and it is Jesus to whom one day “every knee shall bow” (Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10). 

Prayer
Thank you, Father, that Jesus was born our King, and help us please to proclaim his kingdom to the whole world. In Jesus
’ name.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

__________________________________________

About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in 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:
james.henderson@gracecom.church
Or email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

Next Page »

:)