Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Purpose Driven Life - Day 17 - A Place to Belong

For those of you who read the blog via the website rather than via email I hope you like the new layout - slightly more contemporary than the old one! I've also added a feed to our Kerith content section on You Tube. So far there's only the 'official' video of the Everything drama done by our youth (as opposed to the previous version recorded on a mobile phone from the balcony!) although I'm sure Jacqui Webber-Gant and the rest of the media team will be posting more of our videos up there as and when they get time.

Irene suggested I let people know how easy it is to leave a comment as she and Sandra are looking for more company on the comments section. Basically you just need to do the following:
1. Click on the 'comments' link at the bottom of the post you'd like to comment on.
2. Write your comment in the box that says "Leave your comment", including your name at the end as we'd all like to know who said what.
3. Under the "Choose an identity" section click on "Anonymous" and then click on "Publish Your Comment".
That's it!

Finally I wanted to mention the Hilltop Sparkly Party which I had the privilege of attending on Friday night before coming over to the prayer meeting. Hilltop is our wonderful ministry to adults with learning difficulties and the Sparkly Party is their slightly delayed Christmas party. There were 110 people sat down for the meal including Hilltop members, their helpers and church people hosting tables. Glynne Novelle and the team she leads did an amazing job organising the evening, along with a huge team of people behind the scenes cooking and serving the food. I'm so proud to be part of a church which is willing to put in such effort serving a group of people who so often are ignored and marginalised - fantastic. A great example of what the family of God can do when it is at its best. If anyone who was there has any photos which we'd be allowed to publish on the web let me know and I'll include them in a future blog.

Hope you have a great time with Rick Warren today learning more about this wonderful family. Don't forget to book your tickets and come and hear his wife Kay speak at the Positive HIV/AIDS Conference in March!

Have a great day,

Simon.

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You are called to belong, not just believe!

“You are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” Ephesians 2:19b (LB)

We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purposes by ourselves. The Bible says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together; heirs together, fitted together, and held together and will be caught up together. You’re not on your own anymore.

While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity. The Bible says, “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5 (NIV)

The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ; it includes a commitment to other Christians. The Christians in Macedonia understood this. Paul said, “First, they gave themselves to the Lord; and then, by God’s will, they gave themselves to us as well.” 2 Corinthians 8:5 (TEV)

You become a Christian by committing yourself to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourself to a specific group of believers. The first decision brings salvation; the second brings fellowship.

8 comments:

iris j said...

iris says...hello to bloggers...at last i can get on it...thanks simon

the study has been thought provoking....scriptures that i have known for decades have come alive to me again

it has also refreshed my knowledge of Gods love for me and mine for
Him
iris j

it has been good to get the emails and now to read the comments...will hope to post more

Helen said...

Having been away for a long weekend I am trying to catch up without rushing & missing out!
I obviously missed Sunday evening & ask myself would I have had the courage to stand up front & tell all, so I do it now from the safety of the keyboard!

Last week I surrendered to God an area of my life I hadn't allowed him to have any control - my health.
I've had constant pain in my knee and hip for 12-18 months and just thought it was something I should accept and get on with. I went for prayer on Monday evening and finally asked God to take control.

I have prayed & seen healing through prayer for others but I never felt worthy of it for myself so never asked. Was it a lack of faith? If I didnt recieve, would it make me question my faith in God?

Tuesday I got up and although stiff I had no pain! This has continued giving me more mobility and allowing me to walk pain free.

Everyday I pray and thank God for all he is doing for me in my life. Now when people notice the difference in me I tell them how it has happened & how this book has helped me to have a much closer and trusting relationship with God.

Thank you God.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say a huge thank you to Iris, Irene and Dany (and many more) for all their love, support and prayers and bringing me to the Kerith Church I can't tell you how much it has helped me after suffering from post natal depression and I now feel part of a real community and family. I attend church every sunday, I have become a team member with the sparklers team, I have done an Alpha course and am now helping in the creche on Thursdays. God is truly amazing and has touched my life when I needed it most. Thank you. Claire

timfelgate said...

This is the second time I have read Purpose Driven Life. However, I am finding it having a greater impact this time around. I am sure the week of prayer and fasting has amplified the way God is speaking to me through it. A verse from the prayer and fasting that has stuck with me is "We don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." 2 Chronicles 20:12b

irene said...

how fab to see so many comments on the blog....and the testimonies are great...God is a great God

this mornings reading was so fantastic.....!!!

I BELONG....this is such an amazing truth for me....TO BELONG...is such a deep need in all our lives

today it has been a realisation that not only do i belong....but God has given me friends and family who truly care for me....and delight in showing it too....its my birthday and i have been well and truly loved and spoiled and had so many lovely cards and gifts it has been a lavish day of loving and caring...one couple from my life group who i have only known for a couple of months sent me a beautiful ecard....felt so blessed with their message to me

very timely with the study.....

my prayer this last half hour or so is for everyone to have this same feeling of truly being loved and belonging to the family of God...
lets all make a decision to show love to someone today and then again tomorrow...and then keep on doing it..
irene m

Simon Benham said...

I find it so encouraging to read what God is doing in peoples lives. Thank you all for your honesty and willingness to share how all of this is impacting you.

Happy birthday Irene!

Simon.

Anonymous said...

Its great to see God has been working so well in some peoples lives, but why does He seem so unfair? There are people like me suffering in emotional and physical pain with prayer after prayer being sent but God doesnt seem to be listening.

Simon Benham said...

You've asked perhaps one of lifes deepest questions and one people throughout history, including the bible writers, have struggled with. I don't think there are any simple or glib answers, although I do think next Sunday's sermon will at least deal with some of the reasons why these things happen. Let me know if you find it helps.

Simon.