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Big Jesus wins award for the 'best community entry' in the parade.
We had a unique perspective on Jesus, His fame and renown. If the crowds were silenced even the stones would have cried out to Him. This must be what it was like for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, re-enacted for the benefit of his LGBT people... What does this say for us and for Him?
Photos of ‘Big Jesus’ appeared in ‘The Guardian’ photos of Pride around the world!
LGBT Walking Group
20th October. 7 mile walk from Hurst Green. Includes walking up Longridge Fell. Meet 11am outside the Bayley Arms BB7 9QB.
LGBT swimming at Moor Park Leisure on Thursday 25th Oct as places are limited. To book a free place email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01772 717461.
Social – meal out on Weds 31st Oct Location to be decided.
Extracts from Jim’s Preach ‘The Mystery Gift'
Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
We have all received a precious gifts. The gift of God’s grace and truth.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Christians in Ephesus stating that he had received a revelation of God’s grace for all including the most marginalised of his day, the Gentiles. In Eph 3:3 he said that God had revealed this mystery to him for the benefit of others.
Paul called this revelation ‘the gospel of grace’ Ac 20:24. and said it was a mystery. For me, God opened my eyes to me the gospel of grace over a 3 year period, beginning in 1995. Sandra is the only person here from that time who heard me when I first started to speak about the mystery of all inclusive grace.
John 1:17 In tells ‘The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ’. Grace is the undeserved favour of God, the truth is His favour manifested. Sandra’s experience was God’s undeserved favour and that affected her life.
When I met Nina she was weighed down by all the rules of her evangelical background, do this, don’t do that, do more of this etc. She loved God so put her best efforts into doing lots to please him. She didn’t realise He didn’t need her efforts, because actually, the Lord couldn’t be more pleased with her because His love is unconditional.
At first Nina couldn’t get her head round the gospel of grace, then she got to know Sandra and realised that Sandra wasn’t trying to do anything to please God. Yet Nina could see Sandra was close to God and God was working in her life. Nina knew that when Sandra became a Christian she had never repented, didn’t confess her sins, and has never confessed any sin, not had water baptism, didn’t believe in communion yet Sandra had a deep trust in Jesus and trusted Him in her daily life.
Sandra trusted in what Jesus has done and was doing in her life rather than in the externals; the outward ceremonies meant nothing to her, the reality in Jesus was everything.
Just by seeing Sandra’s relationship with the Lord, Nina saw the immensity of God’s grace and she was able to relax, give up her own efforts to impress or please God and simply respond to Him in her life. Nina felt liberated, set free. For Nina grace and truth came through Sandra.
The mystery of the gospel of grace that Paul proclaimed, is that we as Christians do not have to work to please God but simply need to respond to what Jesus is doing in us.
This is total trust in Jesus for our right standing with God and trust in His plans and purposes for us. It’s not about our efforts but about what He’s done and is doing.
Paul wrote in Gal 2:20 “It is no longer I that live but Christ lives in me.” This is the surrendered life. Paul continues, “the life which I now live in my humanity I live by the faith of the Son of God.”
This is the believing life, the result of a surrendered life.
The Law of Moses came at a cost, grace and truth were gifts freely given. The law put burdens on people, the result of grace and truth was freedom. The law marginalised and excluded women, non Jews, disabled people and other minorities. But Grace and truth are inclusive, gifts from God.
All religious laws, rules, commands, principles, religious practices or traditions are based on what we do for God. They place conditions on the unconditional promises of God. Therefore as Paul writes in Romans, all these things make faith meaningless, and the promises worthless Ro 4:14.
In 1995 the mystery of grace raised a question within me; if all Christian rules, Christian practices, Christian traditions are no longer part of my Christianity what do I do?
I felt the Lord simply say ‘Get on with your life’. It dawned on me that all God’s promises are mine; they were all fulfilled, in Jesus. Jesus my shepherd, my leader, my teacher, my God who I had trusted with my life. Surely my life was and is safe in the hands of my Lord.
I once saw tonight’s reading as things I had to do to gain God’s favour, but the mystery of the gospel of grace caused me to see these verses rather differently. I’ve re-written them here:
Psalm 37:3-5 a paraphrase:
3. I AM the Lord trust in me and I will infuse you with My goodness. Regard Heaven as our home and eat with me there, know My faithfulness, and be nourished with My love.
4. Let Me be the source of your happiness, and it will be My happiness to fulfil what your heart desires.
5. Trusting Me with your life means that Our lives become entwined and Our desires become as One.
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Liberty Church Blackpool,
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