The Thought for the Week this week is written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


1 Peter 5:8 NIV “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. “

Spiritual Warfare for Young People 

          Let's be honest, when we think of Spiritual Warfare, we think of someone who's been a Christian for many years, far on in the things of God. They are definitely not young, they are probably a bit tedious and boring, certainly not fun and probably someone we can't relate to very well. We imagine them locked in an unattractive room, with nothing but their bible before them, on their knees for hours at a time, praying away to God about serious issues and fighting against “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12). It's a million miles away from our lives and, frankly, we can never imagine ourselves doing that sort of thing. Not ever.

                    But, day-to-day Spiritual Warfare is very different from that for most of us. Yes, there will always be those prayer warriors who can pursue the things of God in these spiritual dimensions and we are very, very grateful for them, but God knows where each of us is in the Christian walk and also knows what we're capable of in our youth and in our personalities. So, where is the Spiritual Warfare for young people?

The devil will at this very moment be fighting for two areas of your life:

 !.    Your time

2   Your attention (what you're thinking of) 

          It's as simple as that. If you spend every free moment staring at your phone, the devil has won. He has your time and kept your attention miles away from the things of God (It's in the quiet moments, like travelling, or just before sleeping, or maybe walking between classes, that our minds are free and we can fire a quick prayer heavenward or, the Holy Spirit can draw near to us and perhaps speak to us). If our time and attention are taken up with the latest posts on social media, we've missed those precious moments when God might interact with us or, quite simply, a chance conversation may start up with the person next to us that might lead to them coming to know Jesus.

 Spiritual Warfare Beginners Course in brief: fight for your time and, your attention!

 

 


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Alison Speirs

by Susie Jean Sharkey


In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3 v 28

At the beginning of the year it is timely for us to consider again how we relate to one another, both to people who think and act as we do, but also to those who take a different perspective on life.
In our societies there is a tendency to, what I will call, “Tribalism”, that is a tendency to see ourselves as identifying with a group of people whom we see as like ourself. It can be a family group, a racial group, a religious group or a political party. The tendency is to see ourselves male or female, black or white, rich or poor.  When times became difficult or challenging in society, such as the crisis over exiting the European Union, the tendency to “Tribalism “ becomes stronger as we feel the need to look for an enemy to blame for the insecurity of our current experiences.  Thus it is the fault of the Tories or the European Parliament or the banks.
We should reflect that Christ, while He was here on earth, did not allow for the tendency to group or categorise but instead He dealt with everyone as individuals with their own particular combination of good bad bad and to everyone His message was the same,


“You must be born again, you must see the errors of your past, make restitution and follow me.”


This is the only tribe to which we belong the tribe of all believers, be they black or white, male or female Jew or Gentile.


Let’s resolve again this year to treat every person as an individual and look for what unites us and not for that which divides.


The Thought for the Week this week is by Rosalind Creighton

by Susie Jean Sharkey


No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; Joshua 1 v 5

I inherited one of my dad’s many Bibles when he passed away earlier this year. In it,  I found notes he had made on Joshua 1:5-11 and 3:4-6. I was just about to pray for God’s guidance on an important matter, and Dad’s notes could not have been more apt. Dad seemed to have written the notes to share on a Sunday morning at the start of a new year. I don’t think he would have minded me sharing them with you.

Joshua 1:5-11 says: No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”


In Joshua 3:4, the Children of Israel are told: “you have not passed this way before.” The promises given to Joshua are ones we can take into the start of the year ahead - the unknown. Joshua was called by God but God didn't call him without enabling him. Three times God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous because he was not going in his own strength but in the strength of the Lord: in verses 5 & 6, God promises victory; in verse 7 & 8, He promises to be our guide and in verse 9 He promises He will never leave His people. 

Take these words of the Lord with you into 2019 - where you have not passed before - knowing God’s promises never fail. 


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Andy Creighton

by Susie Jean Sharkey


The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned...

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Isaiah 9:2,6

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12

If you’ve walked down Buchanan Street in Glasgow recently you can’t fail to be struck by the lights outside Frasers. It’s the scale and the power of the lights, contrasted with the surrounding darkness that causes us to stop and stare. It’s for good reason that those living in the northern hemisphere have, for countless generations, had festivals focussed on light at a time when sunlight is so limited.

Darkness in the Bible represents death, evil and hopelessness. As we are so conscious of the physical darkness at this time of year it’s also good to remind ourselves of the spiritual darkness that we experience within our own hearts and in our surrounding culture.

Timothy Keller, in his book Hidden Christmas, speaks of sunlight bringing three things: life, truth and beauty. We need the light of the sun for life as without it nothing would grow. We need the light of God’s son to bring us out of the darkness of sin and back into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. Then we have life in all its fullness. We need light to show us where we are going.  Jesus, the light of the world, shows us the right path if we walk with him, sometimes following, sometimes beside, and sometimes being carried. We need light to reveal beauty. A sunset or a glorious summer day bring great joy. But that joy is fleeting and should point us to our true source of joy - our Lord Jesus Christ.

The shepherds, ordinary, lowly, unremarkable men, saw the glorious light of God shining all around them but were led to the source of the light, lying in a manger. Our only true response should be, like them, to bow in adoration and worship.


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Mandy Stinglehammer

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others….” Matthew 20 v 28

I love the fact that Christ turns our preconceived notions upside down!

It started with people expecting Him to become an earthly king, but he said I ‘come to serve, not to be served’. He is more powerful than any earthly king, but came to earth in a stable. His disciples thought they would reign with him, but he said the first shall be last.

They thought children were not important enough for him to bother with, but he said ‘Let the children come to me.  Unless you become like them you won’t enter the kingdom of God’.

Nobody would talk to the ostracised woman at the well, but he did. People thought the woman caught in adultery should be stoned to death, but He stopped them and told her, ‘Go and sin no more’.

They thought it was over when he was crucified, but he rose from the dead. Everyone thought his disciples were finished, but 2,000 years later...........

Hallelujah, the story continues to this very day


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Graham McKenzie-Smith

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5


News headlines have always been full of scare mongering and misery but we’re certainly living in times of particular global worries. The uncertainty of Brexit, superpowers flexing their military muscles, mass migration, terrorism, global warming…the list goes on and it’s too easy to fall into the trap of fearing the future for ourselves, our children and the whole planet.

As Christians, we have our eternal hope in Jesus but this doesn’t mean we don’t have worries for our immediate livelihoods and lifestyles. We can praise His name in our meetings but then worry about rising costs or rising oceans. Another trap is to try and read the times and how it may fit into God’s plans, raising the question of being in the end times - Can we expect the rapture soon or shall we continue paying into our pensions?

We cannot understand God’s methods. His plan is beyond our lowly thoughts. Our responsibility is to trust in Him wholly, not partly and not in a vague abstract manner. He will protect and provide for each of his faithful no matter the circumstances that surround. God knows today’s news as He knew yesterday’s and knows tomorrow’s, and He knows your place in it. Trust in the Lord. He is faithful.


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Susie Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


Luke 1 v 46 ‘Oh how my soul praises the Lord……’

Yesterday we saw the beginning of Advent and for the next 24 days I am following a bible plan that takes us through the Christmas story. This morning during my quiet time I read from Luke chapter 1 where Mary speaks, what has become known as ”the Magnificat” where she worships and praises God while visiting her cousin after the visitation of an angel to tell her she is going to have a baby. I must confess, my own little quiet time was not enough to take in the magnificence of the Magnificat. Each verse could be a study and a meditation on it’s own for the next twenty four days, and let’s not forget, these words were spoken from the heart of a teenager. Verses such as ‘His mighty arm has done tremendous things’ and ‘He has filled the hungry with good things….’

Why not use the Magnificat over this advent season to draw closer to God and experience the awe and the wonder that a simple teenage girl long ago felt when she encountered the divine.

Read Luke 1 verses 46 to 55 ponder, meditate and be filled with awe.


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons”

(Luke 8:2)

 

            We'd prefer to hide our sin. We're perhaps ashamed of it and nervous of the consequences of speaking it out and telling it to a Church Pastor, or a friend.

We push the memories and the guilt of past sin deep down within our being and hide it away as best we can. We even hide it away from ourselves and try to forget about it and never let it enter our conscious mind. But, we do ourselves harm, if we do this. 

            God's way is confession, forgiveness and cleansing. Sometimes we simply have to confess our sins privately to God, but other times we need to speak them out. Why? I don't know, but the bible acknowledges this in James 5:16 “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed” (ESV). There seems to be a breaking of the sin's power over you by speaking it out – for the next part of the verse says, “that you may be healed.” Healing of the spirit and being, and, who knows? Maybe the body too as a result of that. 

            Don't try to go through life carrying bitter, guilty memories that are still causing harm inside. You won't be happy; you can't be happy until these things are dealt with. Bring these dark demons out into the Light of Christ Himself and feel the deep cleansing and forgiveness that only Jesus brings – purchased for you on the Cross at Calvary. Don't delay. Move on this.


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Mandy Stinglehammer

by Susie Jean Sharkey


Ephesians 2:8,9 NLT

God saved you by His grace....you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

We can never deserve the grace of God, no matter how we try!

It doesn’t matter how often we pray or read our bibles, or go to church, we will never do enough to earn the forgiveness of God. How could we, when it required such a price? It was Christ who won our forgiveness for us. We will never be worthy of this, even if we are good right up to the day we die. It will never have been sufficient for a holy God.

What liberation when we fully realise this. We can stop worrying about whether we are good enough, but relax in the love and forgiveness of God, and serve Him with a grateful, rejoicing heart.

And what evidence of His grace that he chooses human channels to move through. The effectiveness of the blood of Christ is so miraculous that it can make an imperfect channel clean enough to bear the anointing of God!




The Thought for the Week this week is written by Alison Speirs

by Susie Jean Sharkey


 “Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.”Mark‬ ‭11:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Faith


I’ve been reading an excellent book which was loaned to me by Vicki Russell, it is called, “The Real Faith for Healing”.  It is an updated version of a book on faith by Charles S. Price who was an old time Pentecostal minister, deeply used in healing during the first half of the twentieth century in America.
In it he addresses the vexed question of why some people are healed and others are not.  In his consideration of this question he draws a distinction between belief and faith which I found very useful.  His view is that for healing to flow we need the gift of faith to be in operation and that in seeking healing we err if we pursue the healing and not the Healer.  He writes at some length about receiving the faith for healing as a gift from God and gives many examples both from the lives of those who were healed and those who were not.
I found his thoughts and reasoning very convincing and without a doubt he was a man deeply used to minister healing to hundreds of desperately sick souls.  He gives many instances of remarkable touches of God in the book.
At the end of it I came away with a sense of rest that the healing Christ is the same Christ as the one who offers us salvation and who gives us His love.  The one thing that is required of us is that we sincerely seek His face and listen for His voice as His presence is, at the end of the day, all we need and He alone has the divine perfection which places healing within the structure of our lives as He chooses.


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“Stand firm!” (2 Thes 2:15)

 

 

To be a Christian is to be different. Jesus calls us to follow him, to follow His teachings and example, to live holy lives and to stand up to wickedness. None of those things are easy, even if that was all there was to it, but in a world where there is so much pressure on us to conform to the trends of the day, it takes guts to stand firm.

 

There's even more to it than that. Watchman Nee, in his book The Spiritual Man, describes how there is a tendency for everything to migrate back to the world. He gives the example of Christian works, started in the vision and fire of Christianity which, within two generations are being run and organised either by governments or non-Christian groups. At some point the fire of God had burned low or gone out and the organisation (school, hospital, orphanage, etc.) had simply ceased to be Christian and had returned to the world. The same tendency applies to individual lives.

 

We stand in the midst of a storm with many forces against us. I witnessed this first hand on the streets of Glasgow years ago, where for a while I was part of an outreach work among drug addicts and prostitutes. On one occasion that I remember distinctly, one of the women decided to get off drugs so she could get off the streets (prostitution was funding her drug habit). The other prostitutes heard this and gave her free drugs (unheard of) until she gave in and was entrenched again in the vicious cycle of drugs and prostitution. So sad.

 

When you make a stand for Jesus, many things will come against you. It always happens. Whether it's colleagues at work or members of your family suddenly making your life difficult, it will happen. On reading through the New Testament, take note of the times the writers mention persecution. It's not new. It's been happening for two thousand years and will continue to happen, but, as Paul writes in the second letter to the Thessalonians, when these things happen (and they will), stand firm!


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Mandy Stinglehamner

by Susie Jean Sharkey


John 3:30: “He must increase, but I must decrease”

I don’t think I have ever fully understood this verse!

I know it to be true, and that it should be the desire of my heart, but I always had a niggling thought at the back of my mind, that the ‘I must decrease’ part meant a negation into nothingness. However recently I saw it differently.

The ‘I must decrease’ means what it says, but it’s not into a void.

The decreasing is decreasing so that we can be a part of Christ!

And it actually means becoming more and more hidden in Him,

more and more submerged in Him,        

seeing things His way,   

communing more intimately with Him

being more wrapped in His love and protection.

What a wonderful truth!


The Thought for the Week this week is written By Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Col 3:2

As Christians, we live in troubled times where some believers have literally lost their jobs or been excluded from their studies because their beliefs were at odds with the so-called 'values' of the day.

It's persecution – there's no other word for it – and, it's something the Church of Jesus Christ has been experiencing for two thousand years. In fact, it's much worse in some parts of the world where Christians are being forced out of their towns and villages, or even killed because of their belief and faith in the Son of God. Instead of letting these events cause despondency in our hearts, this is the time to think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

We must think of  Jesus, our Saviour, who died on the Cross to pay the price for our sins. We must think of the new life we have experienced since we found forgiveness at the Cross. We must think of the blessings we have received in the Holy Spirit and the freedom from sin given to us as He gives us power over sin. We must rejoice in the assurance we have been given of eternal life in heaven with Christ – the joy we experience every day already here on earth (we don't have to wait for heaven to experience heaven!) - and, that joy bubbling up inside us no matter what our circumstances are. Such is the victory God has given us that we can have joy in the midst of trouble! As we look upwards, the mountainous troubles of this world – no matter how dark and foreboding they may seem – shrink into molehills – and, stay molehills as long as we keep looking upwards. 

“For the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the Cross” Heb 12:2

If our great Captain could find joy as He faced death on the Cross, then there is a way for us to find that same joy for every day of our lives here on earth in good times, bad times, happy times and sad times. Think of the things of heaven, not the things of earth – that is the secret.

 


The Thought for the Week this Week is written by Susie Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever' Hebrews 13v 8

We've had a wonderful summer, unusually warm and sunny for weeks on end....and then it broke. When we had been getting used to clear blue skies, sunshine, heat, it seems that in a moment of time it was all snatched away from us. What happened?......clouds and rain, that's what! Back to low lying grey clouds and enough rain to keep us out of drought conditions for what seems like a lifetime. But truthfully, all that has happened is that clouds have rolled in to obscure our view of the sun for a time. The sun is still up there, it hasn't moved, it's the same as it's been since the fourth day of creation and will be until the end of time. 

There are times in our life when everything seems sunny and warm and bright. We love it, life seems so much easier and we wish it would last forever. But then difficulties appear on the horizon; they can come in the form of money worries, job insecurity, family difficulties, bereavement and we feel as if the sun has gone forever. Let's remember that verse 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever' and let us be assured in the knowledge that as sure as the sun is still up there above the clouds, waiting to break into our lives once again, Jesus never changes and He has promised to be with us always, even to the end of the age. Maybe the clouds of life have obscured our vision of Him for a time, but he's still there, as powerful and majestic as ever. Sooner or later there will come a break in the clouds and you will get glimpses that He is still there......and then, in time, the clouds will disperse and you will see Him again in all His glory. Take heart, he's as near to you in the cloudy days as He is when life's rays are shining down upon you.


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Susie Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.....”                   Matthew 14 v 23

 

I’m convinced that the church of Christ has not grasped the power there is in prayer...otherwise we would be crying out to God day and night, we would be expecting far more, we would be believing for far more.....but we’re not. In prayer, we get to know the mind and will of God, we get to hear His voice speaking with us and we are strengthened as we allow ourselves to be led by Him. Prayer is the most underused weapon we have against the enemy yet it is only a breath away. As we need to breath to sustain our natural life, we need to pray to sustain our spiritual life. 

We need to take time to search through the scriptures, read what the scriptures say about prayer, then pray. You don’t have to start by spending an hour a day in prayer, start with 5 minutes. Yes, just 5 minutes away from your phone, away from your pc, away from every distraction. Those 5 minutes are just you and God. Thank Him for His goodness, for His love, ask Him guide you in all you do and then pause. In that pause, let the Holy Spirit draw near to you and let Him speak gently to you. Prayer is a two way communication, it’s not merely us talking to God, no, we are talking with God, we are listening for His voice as much as he is waiting to hear our voice. What a wonderful thought! God is waiting to hear our voice, He is waiting for us to come to Him and speak with him, to spend time in His presence .........in short, He’s waiting for us to pray. 

At the beginning of this new week that lies ahead, let’s resolve not to keep God waiting. Rather let us come, draw apart and let our mind, heart and spirit be renewed as we simply pray. 

 

 


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.We have left God's path to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 NLT

 

The bible talks about different types of sin. Here are some of them:

Besetting sin (Heb 12:1) - meaning maybe a habitual sin, or sin that easily trips us up. Many of us are, or have been, troubled by sins like this – sin that we fall into again or again and find it really hard to get victory over.

Sin that overtakes us (Gal 6:1) When I think of sin that overtakes us I always think of Peter denying Christ before a servant maid; the spiritual atmosphere was probably so dark on that night that he was crushed into behaving in a way he wouldn't have done in the clear light of day.

Deliberate sin (Heb 10:26) When you purposely and intentionally do something you know is wrong.

The wonderful message of the gospel is that the Lord (God, the Father) has laid on him (Jesus) the sins of us all. Let's be clear about this: we're talking, not just about 'us all', but about all of our sin, have you got that? All of our sin. Let me say that again - ALL OF OUR SIN is laid on Jesus on the Cross! There's not one sin so bad that it can't be forgiven – even the worst deliberate sin.

It doesn't matter if it's a besetting sin, sin that has overtaken us or even a deliberate sin (I think that's the hardest type of sin for someone to accept they've been forgiven of). If we are truly repentant of our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9). Such is the redemption that God has provided for us in Christ! It's wonderful and miraculous. It is the Amazing Grace that John Newton, the slave trader, wrote his wonderful hymn about in 1779. It is nothing other than the phenomenal love that God has for each one of us – it's a way for every person – no matter what they've done, no matter how far they've fallen – to receive forgiveness for all of their sins and to start a new life in God as a Christian: what the New Testament calls being born again – a new birth, a new start in life. Who doesn't need that?

It's an invitation Jesus gives us to come to Him. An invitation that needs a response – will you come to Him today? Will you say yes to Him? Don't delay.

 


The Thought for the Week this week is written by Susie Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” Revelation 19 v 9

At the start of this new week, I think we will all be looking back on the weekend and thinking of the events that tens of millions of people witnessed on Saturday. The wedding of Prince Harry to his fiancée Megan Markle took place on a wonderfully sun filled May Day, with all the pomp, ceremony and pageant we have come to expect through the many years of tradition which is the Royal Family. The guests had no doubt taken weeks to prepare for this momentous day, most of them agonising over what to wear; colour, style, long, short, no guest would have left anything to chance for such a special occasion and that includes men too. One ‘hat designer to the stars’ had been asked by no less than ten different guests to design their hat for the big day. Hair, nails, make up trials would have been going on for many a day and night leading up to the big day to make sure everyone was the most beautiful, best form of themselves they could possibly be......and that’s not even mentioning the preparations of the bride.

We as Christians, saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ also have a very special wedding invitation waiting for us. We have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb, and what a celebration that will be. What an occasion to get ready for, to make sure, as the guests at the royal wedding, we are the best form of ourselves we can possibly be. Can I ask you “What preparations are you making for that big day? What are you doing in the weeks and months (perhaps years) leading up to that wedding feast to make sure you are as ready as you possibly can be for that momentous occasion?” For each and every one of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ will be at that wedding feast at the end of the age, when all of natural life passes away and we are in His glorious presence, called to partake in such a wonderful feast. I want to be as ready as I can for that big day and I’m sure you want to be too. Let’s have a look at our lives and see how we can prepare for this wedding feast, for the day when we will attend the biggest celebration in all eternity.


The Thought for the Week this week is by Rosalind Creighton

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“I am the resurrection and the life” John 11 v 25

 

Recently I stood by the grave of my dearly loved dad. My heart ached because he was no longer with us. The friend who was speaking at the graveside, quoted Billy Graham: “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” And I knew in that moment that the same was true for Dad, and, like the sun breaking through after a day of dark clouds, a strange sense of joy broke through my sorrow and I knew that our hope in Christ is founded on absolute truth. I knew that my dad was not buried in the ground, but gloriously alive in the presence of the One he loved and served. As two friends sang, “It is Well with my Soul” at the funeral service, joy once again burst in as I realised my grief is earth-bound and my dad was in that place where there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” and one day I too will see my Saviour face to face, the Saviour who has won the victory over sin and conquered the grave. And so when sadness sweeps over me, I can go and weep with the God who Himself wept, but also “bore my griefs and carried my sorrows” and who whispers in my ear, “I am the resurrection and the life”. Praise His name!


The Thought for the week this Week is written by Susie Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” John 14 v 6

When I was at school, I dreaded exam time. In the days way back then, exams were very formal, very serious and to this day, over 40 years later I still remember the feeling of walking into the exam hall, sitting down and turning over the paper. The only saving grace was if it happened to be a multiple choice paper. At least if I didn’t know the answer I had a one in four chance of guessing it right! 

Today it’s like living a life of multiple choices, so many options, so many different offers bombarding our senses. We are fed the lie in society that all roads lead to God, whatever path you choose, well it’s ok.  But the truth is, it’s not ok, not all roads lead to God, Christianity is not about multiple choices.......Jesus tells us the HE is THE way to God, there is no other way, every other answer you write will be a wrong answer.  If you haven’t put Jesus as the way to God, if you haven’t put your trust in Him there will be a big score through your paper. The bible teaches us there is one way, one truth, one life and these are found in only one person, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t be fooled by multiple choice when it comes to eternal life, there’s only one right answer and that is Jesus. Put your trust in Him today


The Thought for the Week this week is by Mandy Stinglehammer

by Susie Jean Sharkey


 

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6)

Does your sense of deserving God’s favour or forgiveness depend on whether you feel you’ve had a good day or a day when you feel a failure?

Well, this is not how God sees you.  Your worth before Him depends on the eternal effectiveness of the blood of Christ, and that blood will never lose its power.

There is a difference between deliberate sin, and falling because of a flaw in our nature.  

The one is a conscious taking a step in the wrong direction, a rebellion against what we know to be right.  

The other is a tripping over a fault in our nature which is peculiar to us.  When we fall in this way, we immediately get up, repent and ask forgiveness.  

He knows our fallen natures are run through with faults. Yet He has chosen us, so we cannot question His choice.  

Despite all we see wrong in ourselves, we trust His resurrection power to remake us in His image.

He has chosen you, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6)