Enjoy the Privilege

I’ve noticed lately that many of us are experience different levels of discouragement and frustration with the way things are in our world. This shouldn’t be a surprise for us given the past four to six months, but these feelings also should not be allowed to steal our joy and our hope which are firmly present for us in Christ. So, as we begin, I would like you to take time in prayer. The prayer may be prayers of praise or they may be voicing your struggles to God and inviting him into them. When you feel you are ready, join in singing the song, Raise A Hallelujah.

PRAY

Raise a Hallelujah

One of the things I’ve notice over the past several months is how much my views on things continue to have space to be challenged, shaped and reformed. Looking back on life, I realize this has been going on long before now and often times when I wasn’t even aware of it.

When I think back to my childhood, my view of life and the world was very small. I lived in a wonderful small town in BC, I lived at a pace that I liked and largely had control of. Summers were spent on the beach or enjoying fresh fruit from the local orchards and winters could be spent at the local ski hill. Why would a person want to run away from that? I had this small view of life and the world, that I expected to stay the same for me throughout my life.

Instead, God has taken me on a journey that would move me to Regina, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and now here in Kingston. Like many of you, I have realized that some parts of adulting are very difficult while others are filled with joy that I never would have experienced if I had stayed in my small little world of my childhood.

In all of this, the constant has been the role of God in this journey. Sometimes I was good at following him, sometimes it took a bit more work, but he was in it all. It reminds me of Jeremiah 18:1-6 which says…

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.

This image of God as the potter and us as the clay is not foreign to most of us, but how often do we consider his forming us through the seemingly random circumstances of our lives? Are we so set on the views we have held of our life that we become blind to the work of God shaping us in ways we never could have imagined?

It is true that we often don’t realize what God is doing until it is done and we can look back at it seeing what we couldn’t see before. So, let’s use these stories as encouragement to one another as we ask these questions…

Question Time:

  • What was something from your childhood that you were certain would stay the same, but didn’t? How has God used that to form who you are today?
  • What is something more recent that has changed and been tough to walk through, but you are now seeing God form something you wouldn’t have expected or moved toward on your own?

Prayer Time:

Let’s spend some time in prayer thanking God for the work he has done as the potter in your life. If there are changes or hardships right now that you don’t see why they are happening or what good could come of them, invite God to work according to his will and to help you hold onto your hope in the midst of it.

Our lives and world changes, but he doesn’t. Let’s sing about his faithfulness in this next song.

Faithful One

July 5 Message

No Longer Slaves

Question:

  • What difference does it make to your life to be a co-heir with Christ?

Be Thou My Vision

Before we close, I just want to share a few announcements:

  1. Tuesday Prayer Meeting This Week – We will again meet for prayer online via ZOOM. Watch your email for the link to join and share your prayer requests with Pastor Greg at groberts@bayridgealliance.org
  2. 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.
  3. Annual Reports – Email Katie at production@bayridgealliance.org if you would like one

Offering:

I encourage you to do two things with your giving that may help a little.

  1. 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
  2. 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.

Offering Options

  • Best – E-Transfer (no fees)
    • finance@bayridgealliance.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

Thank you for honouring God by supporting the Church.

Benediction:

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.”’