May 24th Devotional
As we begin this morning, I want us to take time to acknowledge God’s presence with us. Yes, we are all in our own homes, but he is with each of us. Take time in prayer to acknowledge and thank God for his presence with you now and then let’s sing the song Holy Spirit.
There is a theological book series called “The Counter Point Library” that has a purpose of providing a forum for presentation, comparison, and critique on a range of different issues that are important to Christians. They purposely invite 3 or 4 Christian scholars to write from the spectrum of beliefs on the issue presented with an outcome that models respectful debate and dialogue in the midst of theological diversity.
One element that that this series brings forward is that God fearing, Bible believing Christians may hold differing views on important, yet secondary, issues of Christian theology. Maybe more importantly, from my perspective is that it shows us that it is good for us to interact with those who may think different than us. If we are only connected to people who think as we do, then our views will become insular and narrow and impact our reach into the world. This is not to imply that our view necessarily needs to change to the other’s view, but do we know how to interact with those who think differently than us and grow in Christ as a result of such conversations?
The last couple of weeks we’ve considered who God used in your life to introduce you to him and how has God’s grace changed and transformed you. We continue this week along these lines as the transforming work of Christ is an ongoing work in us. So let’s consider a few questions around who is currently in our life.
- What type of people do you connect with in your life?
- Are they all the same?
- Do they have different perspectives?
- What impact do you see these relationships having on your relationship with Christ?
- Where is your voice in this conversation?
- Are you solely a recipient from them or do you also speak grace and truth in love to others?
Proverbs 27:17 says,
“As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.”
The image here is that of one iron blade coming in contact with another for the betterment of both. The intention is that both become more effective tools. When we are able to come together in respectful relationship, even our differing perspectives can make us more effective in the work of God.
As significant as these relationships can be in sharpening us, they still must point us back to God himself through the written word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will experience the fullness of God’s grace.
We are reminded of this in Hebrews 4:12 where it says,
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
The word of God is not simply meant to give us knowledge, but rather to lead us into the change and transformation that God desires to make in us. His Spirit will bring the word alive to us impacting us at our deepest levels.
Let’s sing once again of this work of grace that God is doing in us.
Who God says we are is a gift of his grace to us. It is what our soul needs to hear and more importantly know. This is God’s truth about us and it leads us deeper into his holiness which he desires to develop in our lives. In 1 Peter we are reminded that God calls us to this holiness, “Be Holy as I am Holy”
Paul’s purpose in his dispute with the Judaizers is not simply to win an argument. It is a dispute that robs the gentile believers of the freedom that God has graciously given them in Christ. He wants them to live according to that grace of Jesus Christ so that the holiness of God can develop through the work of the Spirit in them.
Just as God transformed Paul’s life into a witness of his grace for others to see, he reaches into our lives by the Holy Spirit to do likewise. He is at work right now in us, bringing his holiness to fruition. Just as Paul went to Jerusalem with one purpose and God brought about a different opportunity, so we can go into our days with plans that God can show up in holiness and continue to draw out all that knows us to be in Him.
Let’s sing one last song…
- Although regular office hours are suspended we continue to work. If you need anything please contact myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pastor Greg (email@example.com).
- Feel free to share this and other email communications with others. Some from the church are not on the email list and we have had a few that have not received it even though they are on the list. Please help us make sure that people are keeping connected.
- AGM Postponed Until September – See the update that was sent out on Friday for further details.
I encourage you to do two things with your giving that may help a little.
- Do your giving each week as part of this devotional/worship time. I know it is not exactly the same thing, but it does help us view our giving as worship rather than simply a financial transaction
- Take time to pray as you give. Thank God for what he has given to you, acknowledge your trust in him for tomorrow, and tell him why you give to him and the work of his church.
- Best – E-Transfer (no fees)
- firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address you will need to make an e-transfer
- Please include your first and last name in the memo box
- If you know your envelope number please include it in the memo box (*Do not include the # sign as it will not accept that)
- Still good, but with fees – Canada Helps
- https://bayridgealliance.ca/give-with-canada-helps/ and click on the donate button to give
Thank you for honouring God by supporting the Church.
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’