TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!

1cc19207f9a7be506aef9a6dac205b3bHi girlfriends!

Just a reminder that tonight is our monthly Bible study with our study series of “Living Out God’s Grace”  where we FOCUS on God’s Word and we spend some time in FRIENDSHIP!

WHERE: CORSHAM BAPTIST CHURCH HALL

WHEN: TONIGHT, 29 JANUARY

TIME: 7:30-9:00PM 

Hope you will join us!

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HE GIVES MORE GRACE

“But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud, but shows favour to the humble.’” James 4:6

I have been studying Scripture which teaches about being ‘TRAINED BY GOD’S GRACE’ in preparation for the upcoming Women’s Bible Study which is this coming Monday, 29 January at 7:30 in the CBC church hall.

There is precious treasure for our growth and maturity in Christ as we learn to embrace the truths of God’s gospel grace-comfort, hope, promise, purpose, peace, and enabling of God’s Holy Spirit for true followers of Christ.

Of course, there is a tension, as we know that we are ‘already’ redeemed but ‘not yet’ fully restored until we are with Christ in glory. What is this tension? It is the remaining sin in our lives that God, who through His grace, will “put to death” as we grow in Christ.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t want to put my rebellious sinful heart issues to death…at least not all the time. I too easily put myself on the throne of my life because of my pride and listening to the lies of Satan and the world around me. What to do? I am learning that I must keep the gospel of God’s grace before me at all times. Not only to remind me of its truths, but that I will cooperate with the Holy Spirit in enabling me to daily surrender my heart and life to God….every day. It always come down to a heart issue.

I was recently challenged in one of my devotional books, this one by Paul Tripp, New Morning Mercies, with the following questions: ‘ What do we really want out of life? What do we really want from God? Do we really esteem his work of grace? Do we really admit how much we need his moment-by-moment rescue? Do we value his forgiveness? Do we really care to be transformed? Are we concerned about the character of our hearts and the condition of our souls? Do we have any interest in being holy as He is holy? All these questions boil down to one question: Do we value God’s grace, or would we rather have comfortable lives- nice houses, cars, vacations, cuisine, and friends?’
GIVES MORE GRACELet’s truly contemplate His saving, redemptive, life-changing, sustaining, transforming grace— JESUS, who leads us on this narrow, counter-cultural path to glory.
You know, to get real and humble ourselves with our Lord and be honest with ourselves can be daunting and maybe painful…but you know, there is God’s grace for that as well! And when we humble ourselves before the Lord, then He will lift us up.

GOD IS WORKING IN US

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

Last Friday I struggled through a strange day. I was out of sorts, and had a bad attitude on several levels. I was also in the midst of having to make several decisions that I didn’t want to make. I just wanted them to sort themselves out or go away. Life isn’t like that though, is it? So as I was “muddling through” I realized I needed to pause and ponder what was going on in me. So I did; all throughout the day I stopped to pray for God’s grace-to enable me to cooperate with the Holy Spirit about my attitude; to ask God to help me to cast my anxieties on Him and trust that He cares for me. Each time I talked to God, I prayed that these heart issues that were coming to the surface, would be used to train me in His grace. I repented to God where I sinned in my thoughts or actions. And as to the decisions I needed to make, I asked for God’s clarity and guidance.

j0438647God answered my prayers. He was training me with Christ’s redeeming love in action. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. But as the day wore on, my rebellious attitude began to be diffused as I surrendered my self-justification, self pity and entitlement issues at the cross. I began to see things more clearly. I was able to go ahead with decisions and ministry with God’s confidence in wobbly me. No second guessing if I got it right ……or wrong. I was given God’s peace in my messiness and in the ongoing, daily spirtual battle. I hate to think how the trajectory of this would have altered my life had I carried on in my own strength and sinful heart. Not a pretty picture– carnage of bitterness and  pride overflowing into “the enemy’s deceitful foothold territory.” Yikes!

You see, we can accomplish nothing in “being and doing good” when it is detached from the DONE of the gospel. We will wear out and burn out and give up and give in to Satan’s deceptive lies. But God’s gospel grace gives us oxygen and space to breathe; the power to repent and obey.

Jared Wilson says it so well: “The Gospel is good news. The Holy Spirit of God living in us ensures it. We will bear good fruit. This doesn’t make us sinless. It DOES make us sure of spiritual growth and it DOES make us more conscious of and convicted over our sin.”

I think that is what I am learning more every day. God’s gospel grace that saved me will grow me and refine me into Christ’s likeness more and more. It is a daily process until I am with our Lord Jesus.

Praying that this will resonate with you, reader, as you consider the training of God’s grace in your life. This is Good News! God began His work in you when He saved you; and He will CONTINUE His work in you until it is finished. Be encouraged!

 

 

STAYING IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

in step with the SpiritI am amazed at where the time has gone since Christmas and New Year’s Day! It is almost mid-January! I hope you all have settled back into the routine of “normal” in your lives. I have been praying for you as you “live out God’s grace” in your every day life.

God’s grace comes to us in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ…every minute of every day. God not only forgives us but also gets inside of us by the Holy Spirit. As we have been studying, our Triune God’s grace gives us His identity and transforms us increasingly into Christ’s likeness. This month (29 January) we will consider God’s grace training us.

We are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches us that we will struggle with our flesh and spiritual forces, run the race, fight the good fight, and pray without ceasing.. Our hope is not in our ability to do these things, but in the God of grace- Jesus Christ in redeeming action, working sovereignly in our undeserving lives. Our God of grace never grows tired, never gets frustrated, and never gives up on us!

These are wonderful truths. But sometimes I find that these wonderful themes of grace can become commonplace and so familiar that I take them for granted. I can lose my wonder of the cross, the value of His forgiveness, the need for Christ’s moment by moment rescue and redeeming action. Before I know it, my concern and care to stay in the step with the Spirit wanes, and my life has lost its gospel attractiveness, witness, and I am just plain sloppy.  It is simply not honouring to our Lord and I suffer the consequences as well. Can you relate?

So how do we stay in step with the Spirit? We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves everyday to remember who we are in Christ, to remember there is a spiritual battle going on. Even to remember, we need God’s grace.

So as we return to our study of Living Out God’s Grace; let us encourage and pray for one another- to preach the gospel to ourselves daily; to value and celebrate God’s grace. To ask God to value Him above our comfortable lives and agendas. And as we centre on God’s gospel grace, God’s training of us will begin to seem more like a delight than a duty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Biblical-Prayers-for-the-New-YearHappy New Year dear ones!

I came across “5 Prayers for the New Year.” I think it is not only appropriate but fundamental in how we should pray as followers of Christ. Let’s pray for one another: to walk in holiness as we are being conformed into His image through His grace. (1Peter 1:14-16) Let’s pray to remember WHO WE ARE in Christ. (Colossians 3:1-3) Let’s pray that we will be women of biblical wisdom and humility (Proverbs 11:2, 31:25-26)Let’s pray for God’s strength and to rely on Him only (Psalm 138:3, Philippians 4:13). Finally, let’s pray that we will centre ourselves on God’s word. (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16) It is alive and powerful. It is active. It cuts both ways: it encourages and comforts and teaches us how to love God and love others.  It also confronts and challenges, rebukes and corrects us. It shows us the way to become more like Christ everyday by training us in righteousness. It shows us how to please our Heavenly Father and give Him glory and honour. It is light for our paths and a lamp to our feet so we can take one step at a time in walking in His will for us.

Our women’s team at CBC and beyond are looking forward to growing together with you in 2018! Let’s encourage one another as we to learn to rest in God’s grace in our journey to becoming more like Christ. ‘As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend!’ Proverbs 27:17

Love, Kathy x

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