Changes

Over the last couple of months, there have been a number of changes at Handsworth. We pray that God guides us in all these changes. Some have been small, some a little bigger and hopefully all are helping us move in a direction where we are all strengthened in our journey towards the Kingdom.

 

It is great to see the enthusiasm for the different subgroups and some of the positive initiatives that are being suggested such as the prayer sessions, worship afternoons and praise sessions. And in all, we pray that God's will is done.

 

I am looking forward to seeing how the subgroups develop in the coming months in suggesting other ways that our discipleship and following of Christ's example can be improved further and how we can serve each other better. 

Looking to the past

Over the last week, it has been interesting to reflect on some reminders of how God is in control in our lives and the amazing ways that God changes situations. 

In Numbers, we saw the mixed multitude's perspectives on changes from those looking back to the past ways in the experiences in Egypt in Numbers 11 and those things that God had taken the children of Israel out of. How often do we look back at the past longingly?

Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
— Numbers 11:4-6

Looking to the future

Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”
— Numbers 13:26-30

 There was also the different perspectives on how the children of Israel saw the future set out before them. They could both see the riches of the land, but what differed was whether they believed that God was faithful in what he has promised. How do we look towards the future?

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Lessons from Galatians

One of the things that strikes home about the book of Galatians is that they too are in the midst of change, do they act in law or do they act in faith? And we have a great passage explaining the importance of both the law and faith and how Christ is a fulfillment of the law and through which we have hope in the promises to Abraham. 

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
— Galatians 3:23 - 29

So with such a great opportunity in the gospel, let's take the lessons from Galatians 6 to put into practice the great example of Christ and the instructions from the apostles. From verses 6 and 10, to continue to share good things that we learn and use the opportunities we have to do good to all.

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”
— Galatians 6:6
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
— Galatians 6:10

What lessons, do you take from these examples and in what ways do you plan to use the opportunities that God provides for us?

 

Love in Christ

Barnaby Kent

b.1992