Monday, 29 October 2018

SHINING POSSIBILITIES OF THE GOSPEL - MATTHEW LING

"For he has rescued us from all that is really evil and called us to a life of holiness—not because of any of our achievements but for his own purpose. Before time began he planned to give us in Christ the grace to achieve this purpose, but it is only since our Saviour Jesus Christ has been revealed that the method has become apparent. For Christ has completely abolished death, and has now, through the Gospel, opened to us men the shining possibilities of the life that is eternal."  
(2 Timothy 1: 9-10  J B Phillips)

Paul wrote this letter to Timothy towards the end of his life.  He was leaving an inheritance for posterity - what was most important that they remembered after he had gone.  In this translation it is the 'shining possibilities' of a life lived in Christ. 

Some characteristics of this life:


  • Our salvation is not just about us, it is for God's own purpose.  The story didn't start with us, in fact we arrived in the middle of God's plan which was already underway.  Because Jesus lives in you every day you can be a part of God's plan.  Daily living in the anointing of the Holy Spirit and saved to play a part in his eternal purposes.  Start each day with a question to God.  'Show me how I can be a part of what you are doing today?'   Psalm 110:3 'When you go to war, your people will serve you willingly.'  Wherever you are at work today Jesus I want to be part of it.
  • For us the notion of 'before time began' is a difficult one but God's story is eternal.  Before anything was created God had purposed what he was going to do.  We are part of a bigger story than the world's story.  The Kingdom of God is the biggest story.  Isaiah 11:9 'Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.'  God is transforming the world through us and the earth will be filled with people who have come to know him.  Remember the parable where the man given one talent buried it in case he lost it and was rebuked? We need to work the talents God has given us to change the world around us.
  • God gives us grace in Christ Jesus.  Just like Israel had the promises of God fulfilled in the 'Promised Land' for us living in Christ is the same.  As we abide in Christ we find ourselves in the place where God fulfills his promises.  Ephesians 2:9-10  'Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.' When we accept Jesus as Lord we take our pre-prepared place in the plans of God.
  • Whatever we achieve that is worthwhile is achieved by God's grace.  We need to learn to operate from a place of rest  and not striving to do things in our own strength.  If we are getting tired it's worth asking God to show us what we are doing that we shouldn't be doing.  Anything that is of eternal value will be from God.  When the call came that Lazarus was ill, Jesus listened and was obedient to God by waiting several days.  He could have dashed to be there quickly and heal his friend.  But instead he submitted to the will of the Father with a confidence that the end result would bring glory to God. Lazarus was raised from the dead and it was shown that Jesus had authority over life and death.  This life is one lived in intimacy with the Holy Spirit submitting every decision to God.   I'm reminded of a line in the song 'I hear the sound of rustling in the leaves of the trees' which goes 'the prompting of the Spirit is our word of command'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2rSway6Cgc
  • Christ has completely abolished death. Abolish means ' to render ineffective with the expectation that it will cease to exist.'  John 1:4  'The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.'  1 Corinthians 15:45  The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit.  In the natural we will all eventually die but Jesus became a life-giving Spirit.      1 Corinthians 15:26  And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.  If this is true and death the last enemy has been defeated then all the other works of the enemy are fair game. Jesus healed people who eventually died but the Kingdom is bigger than any one life time.
  • The Gospel is not just a message that we preach.  Through the Gospel a way is opened up in the hearts of men for God to enter and transform lives.  
  • Shining possibilities of the Gospel   With God there are no limits, no difficult situations, no impossibilities.  If we put Jesus first, and walk in obedience to him then we become a beacon to the world around us.  We demonstrate the Kingdom of God by the way we live, how we treat others, how we speak.  We will shine out the reality of our eternal existence.  The glory of God displayed in earthly vessels.                                                                                                             

Friday, 26 October 2018

CLOCKS GO BACK B4 WHOLE CHURCH MEETING

If you should arrive at the meeting an hour early this Sunday feel free to get the room set up ready for the whole church meeting and be sure to put the kettle on ready for the rest of us!

This week we welcome Matthew Ling who will be speaking on 'The Shining Possibilities of the Gospel.'

It's going to be a great time together!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

DAY 73/100 DAYS PRAYER FOR PEACE

100-Days-Peace-Hope-logo 16 October
27 days to go
He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

GOD’S POWER IN OUR WEAKNESS
One of the times I felt weakest in my life was when I had two babies and my husband was in Afghanistan. Sleepless nights and non-stop days left me feeling broken, physically and emotionally. Strangely, it was a time punctuated by happy moments. A postman promising to get my Christmas present to Afghanistan when I stood crying at the till, the children unwrapping Sellotape by my feet. A nanny scooping the children up for a day at her farm. A rat-catcher making it his mission to expel the rats from our garden. The same Bible verse appeared repeatedly. During that time, God showed me that his grace is sufficient, sending rays of peace and hope to shine through the clouds.

PRAYER
We pray for all military families during times of separation. We pray for marriages that are tested and children who may encounter uncomfortable emotions. May they know your grace and peace especially in times of weakness. Amen

Katie Kyle is a military wife, mummy to three children, and a desert-dweller (due to current posting).

Monday, 15 October 2018

LUNCH ON JESUS 2018

Thursday, 11 October 2018

ALL THERE BUT NOT WHERE YOU'D EXPECT

This weekend all of our three elders are preaching but not where you would expect to find them.  Martyn from Alfreton is speaking in Chesterfield.  Peter from Clay Cross is speaking in Alfreton and Dave from Chesterfield is speaking at Clay Cross.  Confused yet?  Rest assured whichever location you are heading for there will be a shared time of worship and the word of God will be brought.
                                             Make sure you are there to hear what God wants to say to you.

Monday, 8 October 2018

PATHWAYS SLEEP OUT EVENT AT SPIRE

Each person will need to register in order to sleep out, it takes just 1-2mins



Contactella.pathways@gmail.com  call 01246 498204 (Mon - Fri, 10am - 3pm)


 
 

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

DAY 59/100 PRAYER FOR PEACE

100-Days-Peace-Hope-logo 2 October
41 days to go
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)

INNER PEACE
Peace comes from within; it comes when there is no cloud between us and God. Peace is the consequence of forgiveness and the hope that nothing will obscure his face and break union with him.

PRAYER
Father forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us, so that we are able to live together in peace and harmony, releasing all our fears, woes and pain to you for your divine healing. Thank you Lord for your saving grace, through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Latifah Forrest works for the Peace Alliance, a charity that works in partnership with the police, government agencies, the corporate sector, and faith and voluntary organisations.



100 Days of Peace and Hope is available with Bible readings, reflections and prayers for each week to download at www.remembrance100.co.uk/100-days

GOD IS CHANGING LIVES THROUGH CAP

You may be interested in the programme The Debt Saviours  on BBC 2 next Friday at 21.00. It features Christians Against Poverty https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bmblny

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The BBC website says

“Across Britain more than four million people have debts considered unsustainable. Responsibility for advising and helping these vulnerable people is increasingly falling to charities. One of the biggest is Christians Against Poverty (CAP), led by its charismatic founder, Dr John Kirkby CBE, pictured.
In this access all areas documentary, director Phillip Wood follows Dr Kirkby and some of the charity's debt coaches. CAP has more than 6,000 staff and volunteers around the country providing help to people who often face losing their homes. The film shows how the home visits often include an offer to pray with clients and asks whether the real motivation is debt relief or bringing people to Jesus, or both.
One of the debt coaches featured is Gaz, who has overcome homelessness, dependency issues and losing a marriage before becoming a born-again Christian. He now works for CAP, and in the programme travels to meet donors in Jersey to help raise funds for the charity and to share with CAP's clients the story of his road out of debt.
Holly has been in debt all her young life and lives alone. She can barely afford to heat her home and is desperate for a change in circumstances. Her debt coach takes Holly under her wing as she tries to transform her life.
Ronnie was on remand for over two years before he was found not guilty. When he was released from jail he found himself homeless and in debt. He now lives alone in a bedsit, suffers from mental health issues and thinks life in jail was better. His debt coach Neil introduces Ronnie to Christianity - but Ronnie isn't sure what to think.”

Julie Minns