As promised I said I would try to add the message that Judith was sharing last week. I’ve done this from other people’s notes so let me know if this is not a fair summary, Judith reflected on the message we heard last week from Tim on God’s amazing love, on the fact that despite man’s failings, and his continuing inability to do good, God still loves us and has made a way for us to be connected to Him.
Judith drew on the following scriptures for her message on Sunday.
2 Cor. 5:17 1 Peter 2 : 9 & 10 Ephesians 2:1-10 Ephesians 4:18 2 Cor. 4:3-4 Romans 7 : 14 – 25 Psalm 145:8 Ephesians 1:7 Colossians 2:12 Jeremiah 29 : 11 – 13
She highlighted three key elements to this. Consider your Past. Celebrate your Present. Rejoice in your Future.
In considering our past we need to reflect on the fact we were dead, separated from God, unrighteous and objects of wrath. We were born under the curse of sin and death, as part of the fallen Adamic Nature; Adam had been God-conscious but after he had disobeyed God he became Self-conscious. He’d lost his connection to the supernatural presence of God. This meant we all were alienated from God. The good news is that through accepting Jesus Christ as our saviour we step from one kingdom into the other, from an old management to a new management.
Under the old nature, courtesy of Adam we did not have hope, Now through Jesus we have hope, a future and a reconnection to the supernatural. Judith urged us not to be afraid of the spiritual life, reminding us that after all that is exactly where God lives
Many people are good kind and helpful – but is that enough? Can we earn our salvation; can we do enough good deeds to get us back into God’s good books? We were born into a sinful nature, because of Adam, because of this “Adamic Nature”. We could have been stuck there but God had a better plan. And the name of the plan is Jesus. God knew we couldn’t do it on our own. Without the Iife of Christ and the love of God we are just doing empty works – they don’t earn us a relationship with God!
Our good works, our love of the Word and putting it into practise, stem from a loving relationship with our Father God. Judith also reminded us that although children are born with the Adamic nature they are innocent in the eyes of God, the Bible talks about the age of accountability. Children go to Heaven. At a certain point we choose to go on our own path or choose God’ s path, and God knows what our level of understanding is. Inside everyone is a hunger to know our creator, and we can answer that call or not.
Judith reflected on Helen Keller’s statement. She was a blind and deaf lady, who was taught sign language and was eventually taught about God and Jesus. Her amazing reply was that “I always knew He was there, I just didn’t know His Name”. His name is Jesus.
We have to learn to become God-conscious again. Live your life from the inside out. Put Jesus the Living Word in first place and we’ll become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, as we renew our minds and put these things into practise, He helps us & prompts us to communicate the love of God to others through different ways.
Judith urged us to celebrate our Present remembering that by Grace we are Saved, Raised and Recreated into a Masterpiece
God had a Plan! Thankfully God is rich in both mercy and grace, The humbling and amazing thing is that you’ve never gone too far or done too much for His love not to wash you clean. God is the initiator, the designer, the creator, the Lover of the plan of Salvation. When we step into God’s Kingdom we receive a new management.
We cannot earn our salvation. Paul makes it clear that it is from God, and from God alone. We have been given an everlasting gift. For that reason, we are to celebrate the present. We do not need to live under the power of sin! Yes of course we still miss the mark but we can choose to put things right again and carry on. We don’t need to keep making excuses like “well it’s just my nature, part of my character..”
Is it part of the Old Man, or Nature – or part of the New Man, or Nature?
We all have Christ’s Nature on the inside of us. It’s down to us we always have a choice!!
Paul tells us to put off the old Man – (Thankfully Judith wasn’t saying divorce your husbands….) – and put on the New Man. Remember that in order for us to put something on we have to take something off.
So that’s where we are now, on this journey of ups and downs, choosing to renew our minds and our nature with the Word and character of God, through Jesus, with the help of the Holy Spirit
God not only saved us, He has raised us up from death in sin to Life, and seated us with Christ. It’s worth noting that some translations refer to being enthroned with Christ.
So we are seated With Christ in Heavenly Places – we are enthroned with Him
Physically we are still here and face the challenges of life on Earth, through good times, hard times, and challenges. Always remember He didn’t leave us by ourselves, we have a Comforter. One who comes alongside and Helps us in our weakness.
A bit like a good Mother, God’s character is one of comfort, nurture, and love.
It is through God’s Grace that we are saved and raised – not our works –We are therefore not called to please ourselves anymore but just like a relationship with someone you love, we live to please Him by our obedience to His Word (cleaning our mind) and acts of service – out of a Love relationship
Paul writes that “we are his workmanship,” literally we are his making. We have been created. We have been formed. This is not in the general sense, but in the sense of a new creation.
Paul says we have been re-created “for good works.” The emphasis here is on holy living, the exact opposite of how we lived in the past. We are God’s special treasure – valuable, and His Masterpiece. Our salvation is something only God can do, when we say yes to Him.
He loves us regardless – He loved us before He even made the earth – and He longs for a relationship with His children! He loves everyone the same, so don’t dismiss yourselves as not worthy – or else you will be saying God is a terrible artist & His masterpiece is rubbish!
Rejoice in your Future : God has given you a hope and a future, now and in eternity
Vs 10: For we are God’s handiwork (Masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Yet again the message from Jeremiah 29 : 11 – 13 is heard. I’ve reflected elsewhere on this message and Judith yet again draws it out: For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
There is nothing in all creation that has the power to change us on the inside – our best efforts or good works cannot pay for our salvation. It’s only God’s grace which is a gift that we need to accept. Jesus gives us that way to become re connected to God through the born again experience of our spirit
We were dead but now we are alive on the inside because of God’s great love – there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us more or make Him love us less – we are recreated on the inside into a masterpiece, and are seated with Him as part of His Bride
We now exist for God’s glory. He doesn’t exist for our glory. We don’t glorify him when we hold back! Just like the Heavens – we declare his glory by showing God in a physical way when we obey him.
Let’s learn to be still before Him, to draw near to Him and ask for more of His Supernatural Presence; Let’s be willing to let go of things that we value higher than Him – whether that’s a person, a thing, or something hidden – like an unforgiveness or grudge.
And finally Judith reminds us all to rejoice in the Love of God that gives us a Hope and a future