I feel like I’ve not been away from the church this weekend but that’s not a bad thing. On Saturday I helped Lynn with the IT for the Level 3 Safeguarding course she ran for leaders from across the Northern Baptist region. Even though I’ve spent a large part of my career in safeguarding I still learnt a lot, with a different focus on churches rather than schools. One memory aid that can stand us in good stead whenever we’re trying to find out what is troubling someone is Little Ted. Lynn used a Little Ted to remind us all of the best type of questions to ask that don’t assume or lead people.
Tell me about….
Explain what you mean….
Describe what happened when…
All of the course participants were given a lot to think about and now have the tools to make their churches safe environments for children and vulnerable adults.
On Sunday Jonny (aka Jacob!) led our worship and Amanda supported him with singing.
Jonny used the image of a Prayer tree to encourage people to think about issues to pray for.
Matty shared his thoughts on the importance of reading the bible from 2 Timothy 3:16 word for today. He drew on Paul’s teaching and cautioned us against the temptation to change scripture to fit today’s society. His conclusion was straightforward and direct. “Preach as it is written.”
Yvette brought the Word today, drawing from 2 Corinthians 4:13 to 5:1.
We know that if this earthly temple is destroyed we have an eternal house in heaven, one not built by human hands.
1 Corinthians dealt specifically with gifts . Paul wrote this letter to combat false prophets. Corinth was a busy port worshipping Greek and Roman gods. Anyone threatening these religions threatens the economic stability. Paul was threatening that stability.
We do need God we can’t do things on our own. Paul in his teaching was threatening the people making money. Just like in today’s society we should be an example of difference. We don’t get even we forgive, love your neighbor live according to His Word glorify His Word.
We have a society of young people with health problems and image disorders . True beauty’s letting Jesus shine out. We simply need to realise that Jesus thought that we’re worth dying for.
The world says don’t rock the boat. Jesus says don’t conform to society . The Corinthians were struggling so Paul writes to support them. Bizarrely though Paul boasts about his weaknesses and faults .
He refers to clay jars, to poor pots, the sort that your average Corinthian householder would use to hides jewels. Paul is calling us cracked pots filled with the treasure of Jesus.
Darkness flees from us simply because we didn’t arrive on our own. We bring the light of Jesus . Darkness has no choice but to flee. Jesus is the light at the end of the tunnel. We need to keep going and persevere.
If we’re honest about ourselves, about our cracks and chips, that’s where people see light of Jesus shining through those cracks. That’s when it’s clear to people what we believe in.
Yvette shared that the more she learnt about how much God loves us the less she worries about what other people think. Put our trust in God. We need true belief so it shows in our face, in how we talk to other people.
Yvette also shared how she keeps track of scriptures that speak to her and mean something. She writes the Scriptures on cards and keeps them in a tin. We need to be aware of signs and wonders. Holy Spirit moved when Paul preached. Faith without doubting only comes when you believe it.
God can use you to speak to someone, if you’re nervous or unsure say it in prayer, or ask leader or a friend in church.
Some have the gift of praying in tongues. Yvette encouraged us to ask for it , it’s your private prayer language.
Pray the bible, speak the words in prayer. Jesus didn’t go in for dramatic actions all the time. He often simply spoke and people were healed, demons were cast out.
Yvette said that as usual her message would include mention of her mum. She recall a time when some atheists asked Yvette’s mum to pray for them . They could see she was God’s friend . She believed and that belief shone throughand touched them.
Paul in chapter 11 23 lists his momentary troubles. Let’s be honest to us this doesn’t sound momentary yet despite all of that Paul continued to travel and to preach. He believed in God;s promises, he kept going, kept preaching, kept trusting. God never intended church to be stationary, he wants us all outside, so walk along your street, pray over your street, take a photo we’ll put it up pray about it, use it as a backdrop to sing praise over.
When we get to meet him we will all want to get told well done good and faithful servant.
Yvette also shared what she thought her aunt Alithea and her mum would be doing in heaven, singing and dancing. She also thought her mum would have a Zoo rather than a mansion! Glory waits for us in heaven and will be worth all the struggles and pain. God sees us as we can be. We cannot disillusion god. Who we are belongs to God. One day these cracked pots will be stunning vases. Join with us in making earth a little more like heaven.
Ian concluded our service by leading us all in communion.