I meant to post this when I wrote it (in Feburary!) but forgot, but came across a copy of the church magazine today and reread it and saw just how apt it is for the church situation and how God is really working through tough times with us keeping our eyes fixed on him. woop!
New Verse for a New Year
The more observant of you will have noticed that the verse on the frront page of Ferndale in Focus has changed from the verse which Jon Delves introduced to us back in January 2009 to “Whatever happens, as citizens of heaven live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” from Philippians 1:27.
A couple of weeks ago I was informed that it was down to me to pick the verse for the year and I really didn’t know what to choose. Flicking through my bible I ended up reading through Philippians and came to 1:27, the verse in which Paul summarises what he is writing to the church at Philippi about.
I guess its fair to say that in the last year Ferndale as a whole has been through some tough times and they continue. But that’s also true for so many individuals that make up our fellowship. That’s why I chose this verse as a verse that I thought was relevant to Ferndale in 2010.
Paul was writing to a church that had had and was having a hard time. They were learning that life as a Christian was far from easy. In this verse though, he is encouraging them to keep going because of the hope that we have. A few verses later in chapter two he points us to the lengths that Jesus was willing to go to for us. Jesus, as God himself, chose to become God for our sakes. He chose to die on a cross, with all the humilation that came along with that (Roman citizens weren’t allowed to be executed on a cross because it was seen as being too barbaric . . . in fact the word “cross” wasn’t even said in polite society!) He did that for us!
Though His sacrifical choices, we as those who have rejected God are able to become friends of God by trusting that Jesus has created a way for us.
So when Paul writes that we need to live as citizens worthy of the gospel, it’s not about us doing the right things, or saying the right things. In fact it is about us looking to the one who came from heaven and gave up all for our sake. Amazing!
So this coming year, things may well continue to be hard for us as a church and as individuals but ultimately we can rejoice in the fact that Jesus has enabled us to know God and that we are unified in that! We can trust Christ in all situations because He has done all that needed to be done. We go forward as people united around the good news of Jesus to love and serve the people around us.