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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!
We are following current advice and are stopping all Liberty meetings as are St Paul's until further notice. We encourage everyone to keep in touch with each other as this will be a difficult time. Don't hesitate to contact us when you need to. JXX n NXXX
Lets pray particularly for those of us who are experiencing a lot of anxiety and distress in lock down.
Lets keep in contact with each other as this helps us to cope.
WE HAVE A CHANGE OF PLANS
It may be many weeks before we can have ‘normal’ church.
Our current meeting times exclude some people.
To include everyone we are
different meeting times.
Liberty meeting Thursday 11.30am (no meeting Weds)
Sunday meeting as normal next Sunday 7pm
Extracts from 'Abraham' Continued
Galatians 3:7 People of faith are children of Abraham.
Galatians 3:16 it was to Abraham and his offspring were the promises made.
Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Jesus, then you are Abraham’s offspring, and heirs according to the promise.
Abraham is mentioned in the new testament 73 times.
God promised Abraham He would bless his socks off! God promised him 7 different blessings that depended only on God’s generosity and not on anything Abraham had to do. We, as people of faith, inherit the promise of those unconditional blessings.
After Abraham was given the ‘socks promise’ (I will bless your socks off’) he set off from Haran into the wilderness.
He didn’t know where he was going but he did know who was leading and guiding him. He already knew God well enough to know beyond a shadow of doubt that God would only want his good and that he could trust God totally.
A life of faith is like that. It’s not knowing how things will pan out but it is knowing that God has got our good at heart and wants to bless us. It’s also a huge desire to respond to God’s leading because we know that it is always good and better than the ways we could work out for ourselves.
When God said to Abraham ‘Go to a land I will show you’ I don’t look at it as Abraham obeyed. Abraham was eager to respond. He knew it would turn out to be very good.
Abraham responded because he trusted God and trusted God’s goodness towards him.
God doesn’t command His friends. He invites us, He asks us, He requests. You command servants not your friends.
In my experience, the Lord of all, does not Lord it over us. The Lord is our friend, and our trusted companion on life’s journey, as He was Abraham’s companion on his journey.
The testing challenges of the wilderness kill off man made religion in us as it doesn’t help. It dies off as we realise in extreme situations that our goodness or ability to subdue our selfish human nature don’t hold up - it is only trusting and relying on God that helps us.
As God repeatedly shows his faithfulness, deeper layers of unbelief in us die off. Trust grows. This takes us into a new way of life. A life based on a deepening friendship with God.
We can learn more of God as we go through the wilderness times in our lives than we ever could in a bible college or theological college. In wildernesses times when all is stripped down to just our friendship with God, we die to our old ways and come more alive in our freedom with God.
Life is then lived more and more in the Spirit. According to Romans 8:14-16
‘…..those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons and daughters of God.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again in fear of breaking the rules, but you received the Spirit of relationship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.’
Abraham’s journey took him into the Promised Land. The Lord led him to his first destination there, a place called Shechem meaning "shoulder".
Shechem means the ‘place of responsibility.’ When spiritual life is lived according to law you have to shoulder the responsibility to keep the relationship right with God. When spiritual life is lived by faith God keeps the relationship right between Him and us. He takes the weight of it off our shoulders. And we feel lighter! (“My burden is light” Jesus said).
Abraham rested at Shechem. We can all rest when God is shouldering the responsibility for our life in Him.
I invited Susan to speak about out how God had led her early in her Christian life:
When Susan met God she had a thriving business and plenty of money. She knew straight away that God wanted her to give up the business and she let it go, trusting that God had her future in hand.
She had a big house which she sold and, gradually over a period of time she felt God wanted her to let that money be used where it was needed. It wasn’t a command it was a gradual leading, an invitation and there was a joy in responding to it. Her money dwindled away until it was all gone. It was no longer her security for the future. It helped her rely on God which she said benefited her. The peace she had from relying on God was far greater than any peace she had ever had from relying on her money.
Stepping into the unknown relying on God to take care of her has deepened her relationship with God. There is no angst in what she has done. She can rest in knowing that God has led her down this path as it enables her to receive more and more blessings from Him.
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