February 2016

Welcome to everyone worshipping with us during the month of February. If you are visiting with us we hope you’ll enjoy our hospitality and fellowship and the chance to explore your faith in a group setting.

We’ve had such a good time meeting informally over January that together with the Wardens I’ve decided to continue the format for the foreseeable future. The new music videos have worked a treat and we’ve all loved having a sing together. I think the question and answer format has also worked well and it feels to me like we’re coming to grips with the sort of gathering that Jesus was most used to when he went to synagogue most weeks and Paul was used to planting (starting).

It is good to worship together well! However, the main point of worship is to give glory to God and of course we do that far more in our Monday to Saturday lives than the two hours we spend together on Sundays! So one of the questions we should be asking of our life together as a church family is, “How does this help me live my life better in helping to draw people to Jesus?” Otherwise we would be doing nothing more than “consuming church” for our own sake.

In Matthew’s version of my all-time favourite passage in the bible . . . on the cost of discipleship (i.e. following Jesus), we read that our value is found in giving our lives up for Jesus sake.

Matthew 10:38-39 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

I find it the most difficult question to ask of myself. But ask it I must, each hour, each day, each week . . . “How should I lose my life for Jesus?” or “What must I give up?”

It is the hardest question but it brings the greatest reward! Jesus always gives us more in return than we could ever imagine. In my experience, whenever we choose to give something up for Jesus sake it always turns out that we are gaining more than we’ve lost. Or put another way, When we choose to die to self (and bring life to others – like Jesus did), the result is transformational for everyone.

This year, we may be asked to give things up for Jesus’ sake and for the sake of those He brings across our path. My sense is that we should do it gladly! Anything for the Kingdom!

God bless,  Ian.