Nigel reflecting on 1 Peter 3:15 has encouragement for us that hope is visible from far off and shares tips on how to give the answer Peter calls us to.
What the Bible calls idolatry: when we serve someone or something that’s not God as though it were God, the bringer of ultimate blessings.
— John Hindley, “Serving without Sinking”
We received this letter from Tearfund in relation to the Connected Church programme that we are part of, so I’m passing it along.
Dear Corsham Baptists,
I wanted to write to you and everyone at Corsham Baptist Church, to thank you for your incredible faithfulness in prayer and giving to our Connected Church partners.
In recent months, your support has been vital in helping many of our partners face the coronavirus crisis, with hygiene and the protection of livelihoods even higher on the agenda.
We know the crisis will have brought unique challenges for Corsham Baptist Church too. But we pray that this has been a fruitful time where you’ve experienced God’s goodness and grace in new ways.
A new season
At Tearfund, this season has given us an opportunity to reflect, in particular on the vital prayerful support of churches like yours. In these challenging times, we recognise the need to safeguard the work of our partners by finding new ways to reduce admin costs and free up funds for their work.
After much careful consideration, we have made the decision to bring the Connected Church scheme to an end. From the week of 14 September, your Connected Church regular giving commitment will be transferred to our Tearfund Partner Church programme. This change will allow us to direct your support to wherever the need is greatest globally and enable it to go further and wider.
We know that this may be a significant change and disappointment for you. Some have been supporting our Connected Church partners for many years. Please rest assured, your partner’s work will continue, just as before. And whilst we won’t be able to send you regular updates about their work in the future, please keep praying for them when you pray for our work.
We trust you will appreciate that we do not take this decision lightly. If you have questions or concerns about these changes, our Churches Team would love to speak to you. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 020 3906 3366, or write to the team at Churches, Tearfund, 100 Church Road, Teddington, TW11 8QE.
Getting to know who and where you’re helping
Through the new Tearfund Partner Church programme, we will bring your church updates from around the world – places you may have never seen or heard of before. This will include a quarterly video, giving a unique insight into the lives you’re helping, and the global impact you’re having.
Any donations you make after 14 September will automatically be used where the need is greatest. But, if you notify us when making a donation, you can still send money to your Connected Church partner until 27 January 2021.
Thank you once again for your continued prayers and gifts, we are so grateful for your church’s partnership. You enable us to make a huge impact around the world in communities where people are really struggling. With your support, our partners’ beneficiaries don’t just survive, they thrive and flourish.
Yours in Christ,
Chief Executive, Tearfund
(On Gal 1:9): Some people say love is more important than doctrine. But Paul calls down curses on those who espouse false doctrine! Why? Because love and doctrine are a false choice. Just as love doesn’t let people wander down a path that leads over a cliff, so love doesn’t let people follow a gospel that is “really no gospel at all” (Gal 1:7).
— Tim Chester, “Galatians: Rediscovering Joy”
This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshipping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behaviour, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” Colossians 3:5-11 NLT
Thank you Father that because our new, hidden life in Christ changes who we are; IN CHRIST! Help us to realize more every day that we can’t both have a life in Christ and a life in sin. Help us to kill and eradicate the remaining sin in our lives, one day at a time. Cause us to realize that our calling now is not to negotiate or procrastinate with sin. Help us to take drastic action with sin, as these verses teach. Change our mindsets as we live our lives IN CHRIST. Help us to throw off our “old selves” and continually “put on our new selves” with the mindset of Christ. Please bring about deep change in our friendships, family, marriages and dealings with people in the workplace and our spheres of influence. Help us to be truth telling people. As a church family, help us to embrace that man-made differences and divisions are unimportant because we are Christ’s people. Praise our Triune God that YOU are all that matters, and You live in all of us! May we honour and glorify Christ by our unity.
It is in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour in which we pray, Amen.
Let me remember that when I question God’s dealings I don’t understand Him, but then I’m not asked to understand, only to trust. Bitterness dissolves when I remember the kind of love with which He has loved me – He gave Himself for me. … Whatever He is doing now, therefore, is not cause for bitterness. It has to be designed for good, because He loved me and gave Himself for me.
— Elisabeth Elliot, “Keep A Quiet Heart”
“We’re called to live in uncertain times but they are times of real opportunity”. Today, giving an answer for our hope as Peter call us to do to anyone (Message) and everyone (NIV)!? 1 Peter 3:15
First published on The Fuelcast 17 July.
When we see salvation whole, its every single part is found in Christ, And so we must beware lest we derive the smallest drop from somewhere else.
— Sinclair Ferguson, “In Christ Alone”
It is His intention to deliver us from the coldness of a wandering love.
— Amy Carmichael, “Gold by Moonlight”
This post by Alex Drew was originally published at Seventy Two
1 Peter 4: 1-11
Living for God
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.