Notices 11th November 2018

Louise,
CBC logo notices in greyscale

11:15 Junior Church Leaders and Helpers

There will be a meeting today for all the Junior Church leaders and helpers immediately after the 11:15am service at Priory Street. If you help with Junior Church in any way, we would gladly welcome your attendance at this meeting to discuss and pray over our Junior Church ministry. If you have any questions please speak to Catherine Donovan or Rhiannon Price.

Men’s Fight Night

This is taking place tomorrow night, Monday 12th November, at 8pm.  Please chat to Ian Holmes or one of the men’s ministry team for further details.

*** Farmyard Nativity! ***

Nativity service – Born in a Barn (literally!).  This year’s nativity service will be held on Saturday 15th December and it will be a LIVE nativity at John and Nathalie Prior’s farm in Castle Combe!!  There will be showings at 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm and free tickets can be obtained from www.born-in-a-barn-live-nativity.eventbrite.co.uk (flyers available soon).  There will be a meeting for anyone who is interested in being part of this nativity in any way (either on the day or ahead of the nativity) on Tuesday 20th November at 7.30pm at church. Help will be needed to get the farm ready, marshal the event, act, serve refreshments, set up for the nativity, get the farm back to normal afterwards and many other things so come along to the meeting to find out how you can be involved.

Christmas Ark

Doesn’t time fly! We will be celebrating Christmas early on Saturday 24th November – the last Ark of 2018 – starting at 10.00am with craft and a treasure hunt, followed by a children’s service including the wonderful puppets.  This ends at 11.00am with party food, cake, and party bags on leaving.  Do come along and join us for the fun where we will be searching for the ‘New Noisy Neighbour’.  Aimed at 0-7 year olds but all welcome, with an adult.

Women’s Bible Study

Study sheets are now available at the back for the next women’s bible study which is taking place on Monday 26th November at 7:30pm.

…This week…

Monday: Men’s fight night, 8pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm

… Looking ahead over the next days, weeks and months…

19th November: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer, 7:45pm

20th November: Meeting for farmyard nativity, 7:30pm @ church

21st November: Midweek service, 2pm

24th November: The Ark, 10am

25th November: Oscar Saunders’ dedication, 11:15am

26th November: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

27th November: Men’s bible study, 7:30pm

1st December: Craft Club, 10:00am

5th December: Midweek service, 2pm

10th December: Men’s fight night, 8:00pm

10th December: Women’s Christmas event, 7:00pm

15th December: Nativity @ Castle Combe farm

16th December: Carol Service, 6pm Priory Street

18th December: Corsham Town Carol Service, 6:45pm

19th December: Midweek service, 2pm

23rd December: DIY Nativity at Rudloe, 10am

24th December: Christmas eve service, 6pm/ Carol singing in Rudloe, 6pm

25th December: Christmas day joint service, 10am @ Priory Street/ 10am at Rudloe

30th December: No evening service


GIVING GOD THE GLORY

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands
grace place bio photo christine

Christine Coltman, contributor for today’s blog post

I’ve been really excited that we’re studying Titus this term, especially as it’s such a small book that we can really get our teeth into the ‘meat’ of it. I also love that Titus is a really practical book and isn’t afraid to state things plainly.
That’s why I have to admit that I used to be a little shocked by the fact that in Chapter 2 verse 12, it says that the world we live in is an “evil” one. Going for a walk in beautiful Corsham on a sunny morning, most people would be hard pressed to agree with this statement. It seems a little over-dramatic. But God’s Word is always true and always wise – and, as usual, has been proved so for me.
We have recently had a family bereavement, in horrible circumstances. The impact of it is widespread, and will be long lasting, but the encouragement of Titus has been significant for me. Despite living in this evil world, with seemingly senseless sadness all around us, Paul writes that we are to live “with wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God.” What clear and specific instruction to help lift us up out of the mire and refocus us on what matters: giving God the glory.
However, my favourite section of Titus is the one that follows:
“While we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
I find it so refreshing to turn my eyes away from the mess of the here and now and look forward to what God, “who does not lie”, has promised to his children – his daughters – us! This life is such a small part of God’s glorious plan for us, but what is equally amazing is that it can be used for such a great purpose – to reveal Jesus to others who need him just as badly.
I’m grateful that God is always with us in this world, and is always ready to hear our cries and comfort us in our tears. We are having many moments like that just now. But I am more grateful that he was willing – determined, even – to send his Son so that we can have a glorious future ahead of us with our loving heavenly Father, no matter what our earthly lives hold. I hope you find that as much of an encouragement as I do. As Paul writes at the end of the letter,
“May God’s grace be with you all.”

Sending Mail

Stuart & Lynne Little,

A few people have asked how to send things to us so thought we would publish a separate blog post.  


There are two ways to send things to us on the Africa Mercy depending on the size of the item.  If you have any questions, please message us.

Cards/letters only

Crew mail is sent out weekly from the Holland warehouse. Items weighing 43g or less are free for us to receive but please note that we will be charged c50p per 28.4g for anything above that.


A size limit of 55 cm exists for such items and delivery to ship will take about 3-5 days once it departs Holland.

Please address items as follows:

Stuart Little – Deck or Lynne Little – Ward or Matthew Little – Deck
Mercy Ships – AFM – Crew Mail
Ridderkerkstraat 20
3076 JW Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Larger items


Containers depart monthly from Holland and there is no additional cost for us to receive items sent via container. 

Please address items to be sent via container as follows:

Stuart Little – Deck or Lynne Little – Ward or Matthew Little – Deck
Mercy Ships – AFM – CONTAINER
Ridderkerkstraat 20
3076 JW Rotterdam
The Netherlands

ALL SAINTS DAY!

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands

 

Kathy Larkman

Kathy Larkman

Tonight is the Light Party at Corsham Baptist church on Priory street! It is from 5-7 with games and activities! No need to book!
I love to be a part of a gospel alternative on this day where children love dressing up and getting candy!!! So everyone welcome!
It also brings me to ponder…….The following is a prayer from Scotty Smith about All Saints Day (31 Oct) which is on the ancient church calendar. I found it very helpful in understanding and appreciating the Gospel a little bit more. So I want to share with you. It is well worth a read!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2
everyday prayers scotty smith“Lord Jesus, on the ancient church calendar, this is the day we celebrate All Saints’ Day – a time for remembering our faithful brothers and sisters who have gone on before us into heaven, leaving us examples of commendable spirituality. It’s also Halloween- a celebration of hideous attire, doorbell ringing, and tooth decay. I never really thought about how much these two seemingly antithetical dates have in common until now.
For a good part of my life I thought the “cloud of witnesses” referred to in this passage was to be understood as a huge crowd of spiritual giants peering down from heaven onto the earthly playing field of Christianity, cheering me on in the righteousness race, pulling for me to make it across the finish line. Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the apostle Paull….all winners now motivating me to do well, persevere, and finish strong.
Jesus, all that led to was pride in my performance or despairing of my failures, depending on the day. I got the “treat” if I performed well. I got the “trick” if I performed poorly. I now understand that there’s no more ghoulish or ghastly costume to wear than my own efforts to appease and please you. The one thing Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul all had in common was their abject brokenness and consuming need of your grace- which you freely gave them.
So today, Jesus, I purpose yet again to fix my gaze on you, the author and finisher of my faith. I’m only a saint because the Father has hidden my life in yours. My only “dress” is your righteousness, plus nothing. I will run and finish the race because in you, Jesus, I live, move, and have my being. I will make it to heaven not because of my efforts but because of yours. I’ll not busy myself with tricks or treats, because everything that is yours is now mine, Lord Jesus. What wondrous love and eternal inheritance is this, indeed!
And I will remember, with great joy, the gospel heroes you have given me: the men and women who have turned away from unrighteousness and self-righteousness to Christ-righteousness, those dear saints who make me hunger and thirst for more gospel astonishment and gospel righteousness. I pray in your name, Jesus. Amen.”

Benjamin Francis – prayer letter, October 2018

Tim Stephenson,
Benjamin Francis head shot

Benjamin continues to live life in the fast lane and is currently on a trip in Europe, of which I will write more later.
BMS Kolkata has been a centre of BMS activity for many years stretching back to the beginnings of BMS presence in India. Where once this was a centre for mission personnel, now the face of BMS in India is very different with a staff of local people running the centre. Over recent years Ben has been leading the transition of BMS Kolkata from solely being a guest house for folk visiting to engage in mission locally, to now also being a centre for leadership development and mission in the region.
Ben needs real wisdom as he deals with many responsibilities that he carries in leading BMS work in India from the centre in Kolkata. There is a Board of Trustees led by Anjan Singh that oversees the work and they had significant meetings in the summer that included Peter Dunn and Val Stevens from BMS in the UK. All the Trustees are excited about the potential for BMS to engage in mission in new and exciting ways.

View of BMS Kolkata: 2 storey building behind palm trees and lawn in foreground

One of the initiatives mentioned in the last letter was Street Servants, based loosely on a Street Pastors model. Since we last wrote the Street servants car has started night patrols to look out for vulnerable people on the streets if Kolkata and bring something of the light of Christ to the streets. The street school project that happened under the flyovers has been relocated to a safer place following another road collapse in the city. It is great to be able to help some of the neediest people on the streets of Kolkata and see lives transformed.

Street Servants car

Ben serves in the leadership of what has become known as a Disciple Making Movement (DMM) in Asia and it has been fantastic to see this impacting people across the region, including some of BMS’s historic partners. The picture below shows Ben meeting with BMS personnel Peter and Louise Lynch along with Rev Ashim Baroi (General Secretary of Bangladesh Baptists) in Dhaka earlier in the summer.

Ben and friends are helping to provide training for the Baptist family in Bangladesh to help them rethink what it means to make disciples who make disciples in their context. Similar relationships are shooting up across Asia including another historic BMS partner, the Thai Karen Baptist Convention in northern Thailand.

Ben, Peter and Louise Lynch and Rev Ashim Baroi

Currently Ben is travelling in the UK and Eastern Europe seeking to inspire others with the stories of what the Lord is doing in Asia and helping leaders consider the relevance of the DMM approach in their own contexts. This emphasis is in its early days, but there are some encouraging signs of life already with some small discipleship groups beginning to emerge. The approach is to place an emphasis on proactively sharing faith and making disciples who in turn actively seek to make other disciples. The focus is then on the forming of small groups where discipleship happens with an emphasis upon both God’s word and the Holy Spirit.

In all of the busyness Ben has had the blessing of some time away with his wife Gillian and daughter Abigail. With such a busy life, time together is very precious. Gillian and Abigail are also deeply involved with mission. Their home is a place where small discipleship groups meet, and folk are encouraged in faith and mission. Later this month Gillian and Abigail head to Delhi to encourage mission in that area where new groups are also springing up led by BMS supported partner worker Amrit. Gillian leads a specific ministry that seeks to disciple and empower women, called Women of the Word (WOW). Abigail is still at school and working hard. She is a gifted public speaker. It is great to see the whole family serving the Lord together and using their different gifts.

Points for prayer

Pray for Ben, Gillian and Abigail, that the Lord will continue to give then special times together and both bless them and make them a blessing to others
Pray for Ben as he leads the mission of BMS Kolkata. Just as churches in the UK face issues of compliance, so too does BMS in Kolkata. Pray for Ben as he manages a team of about 20 at the centre, for wisdom and love.
Street Servants – Pray for the Lord to bless the ministry of Street Servants as they expand the work into new areas and also put the vehicle on the road to protect vulnerable people.
Disciple making movement – pray that the Lord will continue to bless this work with fruit as lives are transformed by the love of Jesus. Pray for Ben as he provides overall leadership and as he seeks to inspire and train others across the world.
Disciple making in Europe – pray specifically for their to be momentum in the European context where Ben is travelling this autumn, as folk catch the vision and rethink disciple-making in their contexts.

Notice sheet 28th October 2018

Louise,
CBC logo notices in greyscale

Church Meeting

At the Church Meeting on the 22nd October, the following people were unanimously welcomed into Church membership: Julia Benham; Carole Brumfitt; Julian Lawson; Tim Pearce.

Leadership Restructure

The six-month consultation period regarding the leadership restructure of Corsham Baptist Church is now over and the members affirmed the proposed new structure at the last Church Meeting.  Furthermore it was affirmed that one change to the Constitution, namely frequency of leadership meetings, be implemented. With these changes being introduced, we look forward to a more effective leadership structure as our Church grows.

Deacon Roles

We would like to say a huge thank you to Wendy Rowe and Joan Cooper as they come to the end of their deacon roles.  They will however continue to play important roles in the life of our church.

Church Meeting 4th November, 7pm

Please note there will be a Church Meeting on 4th November at 7pm, following our evening prayer service.  The meeting will be asked to affirm, as the leadership team have, the statement issued by the Baptist Union Council in 2016 in response to the Same Sex Marriage Act.  If you have any questions, please speak to one of the leadership team.

Harvest Offering Thank You

On behalf of Tearfund and the Corsham Churches Foodbank, thank you so much to all of the congregations at CBC for their generous support for the Harvest Offering. A total of £1723 was raised to support the work of our partners in Malawi, the EAGLES Relief and Development project run through the Living Waters Church. In addition, the store cupboards at Corsham Churches Foodbank are now well-placed to meet the demands of the winter season following harvest offerings taken across the community.

*** Light Party – this Wednesday 31st October 5-7pm   ***

Helpers are needed for this event.  Areas where you can help: pray for the event, team leaders, musicians, registration and sign out, baking, set up, set down.  Please speak to Rhiannon TODAY if you would like to help!! Thank you.

Women’s Bible Study

The next women’s bible study, continuing our study of Titus, will take place tomorrow, Monday 29th October.  Study sheets are on the table at the back of the church.

Men’s Bible Study

This is taking place this Tuesday, 30th October, at 7:30pm.  The theme is “Jesus as Priest”. All men welcome to attend.

11:15 Junior Church Leaders and Helpers

There will be a meeting for all the Junior Church leaders and helpers on the 11th November immediately after the 11:15am service at Priory Street. If you help with Junior Church in any way, we would gladly welcome your attendance at this meeting to discuss and pray over our Junior Church ministry. If you have any questions please speak to Catherine Donovan or Rhiannon Price.

Craft Club

The next Craft Club will take place next Saturday 3rd November at 10:00am at Priory Street.  Please chat to Pam Mitchell or Hazel Hammett for further details.

Mission Team

Wendy Rowe’s role is changing from Mission Deacon to Mission Ministry Leader and to help support the work of mission across the four congregations, the mission agencies and our missionaries Wendy would like to create a Mission Team! At the moment she is looking for someone who would like to be an advocate for Compassion. If you are interested in the work of Compassion and would like to know more about the role of being on the team, please contact Wendy.  The role is not time-consuming! Please pray for the set up of the new team.

…This week is half term…

Monday: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

Tuesday: Men’s bible study (Jesus as Priest), 7:30pm

Wednesday: Light Party, 5-7pm

Saturday: Craft Club, 10:00am

… Looking ahead over the next days, weeks and months – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! …

7th November: Midweek service, 2pm

11th November: Remembrance Sunday

12th November: Fight Night, 8pm

19th November: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer, 7:45pm

21st November: Midweek service, 2pm

24th November: The Ark, 10am

25th November: Oscar Saunders’ dedication, 11:15am

26th November: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

27th November: Men’s bible study, 7:30pm

1st December: Craft Club, 10:00am

5th December: Midweek service, 2pm

10th December: Men’s fight night, 8:00pm

10th December: Women’s Christmas event, 7:00pm

LIVING BY GRACE, THROUGH GRACE – SO THAT WE CAN KNOW GOD BY OUR ACTIONS

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands

 

Cathy Photo

Catherine Donovan, contributor for today’s blog post 

Confessing God and faith can sometimes be the easy part if you have been a Christian for some years. When faced with life’s challenges, curve balls and the daily grind of life, I find it hard not to deny God by my actions. This is the challenge presented to us by Paul in Titus 1:16 that we should not deny God by our actions.
I was recently put to the test by an unexpected house move. A tenant of our property failed to pay the rent, did not give notice and left the country abandoning her belongings and the property in a terrible state. As we sifted through the mess to try and discern what items were clearly rubbish and what to keep in storage until an appropriate time, I found two items that moved me. One was a Bible that had been given to her early in life, and it stood out in sharp contrast to the clear evidence that she was into New Age. I wondered how often the pages of the Bible had been read and why she had turned to New Age. The other item was a book that had been given to her as a present for her to write about her children. This book had one sentence written in it: “Only one thing to say: “I am a horrible mother!” In that moment I realized the need to pray for the tenant as a mother in crisis and pray a blessing upon her and her children. I also became very aware that the only thing that separated me from that mother was God’s saving grace for which I am so grateful.
TITUS 1 16As we progressed with the house move and presented with an endless task list, I found myself reflecting on the burden placed on the children of Israel as slaves in Egypt. I know that sounds dramatic and on the face of it I cannot compare to people working under such duress with a whip on the back for no personal gain. However the task and pressure appeared insurmountable, that whilst I was at all times aware of God’s hand and the prayers of our Church family, there was a constant reminder of our human limitations as we needed to dig deeper. At my worst moments of utter panic, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, my biggest temptation was to throw a big fat pity party and wallow in self-pity. However, the deadlines, financial implications and the need to be strong as a mother did not seem to give me any such room. And then… my progress report to my husband turned into a narrative that ran along the lines of: “I did this, and I did that and I ….”!! I felt myself grow brittle, cold and less acknowledging of other people’s achievements. I had a serious sense of self-righteousness and was less tolerant of others who seemed to be ambling through life. I was no different from King Nebuchadnezzar, who in his great moment of pride stated: “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” following which he was stripped of power and lived like a wild animal until he acknowledged the most High God (Daniel 4). Isn’t God gracious! Paul challenges us in Titus to be God’s own, devoted to doing good, sound in faith, love and endurance. How else can we achieve that except by learning to surrender to God’s grace, die to self and let God reign in our thinking, talking and actions?
May God help us to remember that choosing to be a servant of God means we can:
Reach out to the hurting and lost in grace;
Climb mountains and get to the top in the knowledge that God helped us scale the mountain when we could have been overcome;
Have a bad night and make it through the day because God’s grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect in weakness;
Move forward in faith in the areas where we lack every confidence because we are made in the image of God and therefore made for greatness; and
Count on Him who gives wisdom to all graciously, in our moments of greatest foolishness.
In this state of servanthood, we are at peace, live by grace, through grace, doing what is good and live a good life. God bless you.

Notices 21st October 2018

Louise,
CBC logo notices in greyscale

Church Meeting

There will be a Church Meeting tomorrow night, 22nd October at 8pm.  Agenda and copies of the previous Church Meeting are available on the table at the back of church.

Midweek Service

This will take place on Wednesday 24th October at 2pm at Priory Street. The text for MWS on 24 Oct is Psalm 42. Eric will be leading and preaching and there will be Communion.

The Ark

The next Ark is on Saturday 27th October at 10.00am at CBC Priory Street.  We will be thinking about light and hopefully making edible candles – you’ll have to come along and find out!!  Please PRAY for this session and particularly for attendance as it is during half term. Many thanks.

WEBA Event

A day to inform leaders and members of churches, and to reflect on same sex attraction and how we can best support and reach those who are same sex attracted.  This event will take place at Clevedon Baptist Church on October 25th. Places (which include a sandwich lunch) cost £20 per person. Please visit https://www.webassoc.org.uk/event/welcoming-without-affirming/for more details.

Youth Weekend Away

Dan Ovens is taking a group of young people away for the weekend (Friday to Sunday).  He now has all the help he needs but requests that you pray for the group…that they would grow closer to God and closer to one another.  Thank you.

Light Party – Wednesday 31st October 5-7pm

Helpers are needed for this event.  Areas where you can help: pray for the event, team leaders, musicians, registration and sign out, baking, set up, set down.  Please speak to Rhiannon when she’s back if you would like more information. Thank you.

Women’s Bible Study

The next women’s bible study, continuing our study of Titus, will take place on Monday 29th October.  Study sheets are on the table at the back of the church.

2019 Africa Missions

An AIM mission trip to Uganda (9th-16th August) is in the planning stages; expressions of interest should be made to the office or congregational leaders.

Lost Property

Some items of clothing etc.etc. have been collected throughout the building.  They have been placed on trolleys in the coffee hall. Please take what belongs to you.  All items will be disposed of if they are not claimed within a couple of weeks.

Mission Team

Wendy Rowe’s role is changing from Mission Deacon to Mission Ministry Leader and to help support the work of mission across the four congregations, the mission agencies and our missionaries Wendy would like to create a Mission Team! At the moment she is looking for someone who would like to be an advocate for Compassion. If you are interested in the work of Compassion and would like to know more about the role of being on the team, please contact Wendy.  The role is not time-consuming! Please pray for the set up of the new team.

BMS Newsletter

“Life is never dull for Benjamin Francis. He carries two interwoven roles of BMS Team Leader in India and Biglife Asia Director, although the two frequently merge together. In terms of being BMS Team Leader in Asia, Ben is…”  Please take a paper copy of the newsletter off the table at the back if you are interested in reading about his work in India.

Faith Like Potatoes!!

A while ago, Jude Davies lent a copy of the DVD, Faith Like Potatoes, to someone in our fellowship but she cannot remember to whom!  If you have the DVD, please let Jude know!

…This week…

**HALF TERM COMMENCES THURSDAY 25th OCTOBER**

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am; Church Meeting, 8pm

Wednesday: Midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am

… Looking ahead over the next days, weeks and months – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! …

26th-28th October: Youth Weekend away

27th October: The Ark, 10:00am

29th October: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

30th October: Men’s bible study, (Jesus as Priest), 7:30pm

31st October: Light Party, 5-7pm

3rd November: Craft Club, 10am

7th November: Midweek service, 2pm

11th November: Remembrance Sunday

12th November: Fight Night, 8pm

19th November: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer, 7:45pm

21st November: Midweek service, 2pm

24th November: The Ark, 10am

25th November: Oscar Saunders’ dedication, 11:15am

THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands

 

VICKY PHOTO

VICKY STEPHENSON, Contributor for today’s blog post

Do you have a Bible verse that no matter how often you read it, no matter how many sermons you hear on it, no matter how many times you sing it even, you are still like, “Yeah right!”?
For me that verse is the very well known Romans 8:1:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
My head memorises it but my heart struggles. I open the Bible and feel condemned.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Blimey, my life looks nothing like this! I’m grumpy and miserable. Hours go by when I don’t give God a thought. I am horribly ungrateful in the good times, never mind the bad. I talk to Christian friends and feel condemned for my parenting choices, the way I spend my time and the lack of daily quiet times. I look in the mirror and know my sin and feel crushed by it.
The Romans verse which does totally reflect my life is:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15
This lack of truly grasping Christ’s promises so completely infiltrates my thinking that I had been listening to a Casting Crowns song for weeks thinking it was saying:
“I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just BEHAVE”
Weeks went by and every time I heard it I felt worse reflecting on all the times I had let God down that day.
BUT… Praise God for his spirit of wisdom and pray that I am ever more open to it.
Guess what happened when I really listened to the song? I realised what it actually said was:
“Just be HELD.”
It is not all about me, it is all about GOD.
This spiritual prod made me go back and reflect deeply on my attitude, you see I was half right. Here’s what I concluded:
-The Bible is a mirror which we look in and it shows us our faults.
-My Christian friends do model ways of living which I should strive towards.
-A frank look in the mirror will always show vast areas which could be improved.
So the initial assessment was right, but I had forgotten the crucial thing. I was forgetting the cross of Christ which changes all of this. As ever, reading one short verse out of context means you miss the bigger picture.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
The lack of condemnation is not because I deserve it, it is BECAUSE of Christ.
All this means that although I am still a disaster doomed always to fail and fall short, I am also a wonky clay pot who is being shaped for God’s purposes. So the next time I hear the voice of condemnation I have to stop and reflect. I need to actively avoid the 2 different traps. Both the downward spiral of guilt and shame which leads to a pity party and the defensive angry bounce back to “At least I’m not as bad as ….” Instead I need to look on it as a poke from God to get me back on track and ready for the good works he has prepared for me.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Even if the task of living a godly life seems overwhelming, just trust that God is with me and will hold me as I keep my eyes focused on the cross and praise God that:
There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.