From the Pastor’s Pen – Lent

Dear friends,

I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Well, what a start to the year. We are almost halfway through February. With that having been said Lent has already begun. A reminder about what the Season of Lent is all about. The Season of Lent is a forty day period in which we reflect, repent and prepare for the Season of Easter. Lent is an allusion to the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness where He underwent physical as well as spiritual preparation.

What do we reflect on? Lent is an ideal opportunity for us to reflect on our lives to see if there are any areas in our life that need the transforming power of God. Lent is also an opportunity for us to repent of any sin that is present in our lives. These are the words that we often hear on Ash Wednesday, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return (Gen 3:19). Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.”

As part of our preparation for Easter we are encouraged to turn away from sin and to be faithful to Christ. There are two spiritual disciplines that we are encouraged to incorporate into our lives during this time that aid us in our preparation. They are prayer and fasting. These two practices help us to grow inwardly and closer to God. These two practices also result in us growing outwardly. Jesus warns us what the consequences will be if we fast and pray with the wrong motives.

With this having been said, may I invite each of us to devote ourselves to praying more during this season. As I invite you to do this we invite you to come along to church as we explore the Lord’s Prayer. Over the next 5 Sundays, starting today, we’ll unpack each part of the Lord’s Prayer as we seek to draw closer to God through prayer. This is the series we’ll be exploring, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Matthew 6:9-15)

Please join us as we seek to have a deep encounter with Jesus Christ.

Be blessed,
Ryan

FROM THE PASTOR’S PEN

Dear Friends

I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
It is good to be back after taking leave.

I look forward to this next while leading up to that very special time in the Church calendar – Christmas. This year has indeed gone by very quickly with only 60 days left until that special time.

I would like to thank each and every person for their faithful commitment in serving our Lord in a number of areas. On this note I would like to take this opportunity to remind each of us that we are all deeply loved and valued by our Father in heaven. It is for this reason that we ought to love and value one another. This happens in a number of ways. One of the ways we show this is to treat one another in a Christ-like manner irrespective of who they are. Doesn’t Jesus teach us to love one another as He has loved us? There have been a few incidents that have been brought to my attention where this hasn’t happened. Please let this stop. Let us all be reminded that Trinity United Church does not belong to any specific person, it’s not my church or your church, it is our church, but most importantly it is God’s church. So as your pastor may I encourage each one of us to put on the same mind as Christ? Christ was humble and He calls all of us to live a life of humility.

As your pastor I also encourage each of you to know that we are here to build one another up and not break each other down. Please also know that Lindrique and I are here to care for and love each of you who have been entrusted to us by God. We continue to pray for each of you. Please continue to pray for us and our family as well.

Lastly, may I encourage all of us to come along to and support our Summer Celebration weekend on the 5th and 6th of December as we celebrate what the Lord has done and continues to do in each of our lives.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely… if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things.” (Phil 4:8-ESV).

Remain blessed.
Yours in Christ,
Ryan

This Amazing Thing Called Grace

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved by faith.”(ESV)
This is an interesting statement. How often do we take this powerful statement to heart? We may have read this verse and perhaps this whole chapter a number of times in the past.

Today we’re invited to let these words that Paul writes settle in our hearts. The reason for this is because we often get stuck in the mindset that we have to do something to get God’s attention or gain His favour and approval. The reality is that many Christians live like this. Grace cannot be earned and grace is something that we did not deserve and do not deserve because of our sinfulness. But here’s the good news. God being rich in mercy and love drastically revealed the nature of His power at work in us. Although grace cannot be earned and although we did not deserve it, God gives grace freely to us. To receive it we must acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves, only God can save us. Let’s stop trying to do things that we think will earn us God’s approval. “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ.” (Gal2:16)

Grace is undeserved and unmerited favour of God. Grace is a free gift that God offers each and every single person. What we do with it is what matters. We receive it through faith in Jesus Christ. Grace renews us, grace restores us and grace reminds us that we belong to God and that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do the good works which God prepared beforehand so that we could walk in them.

The question is, what are you going to do with God’s grace today?

Designed for a Purpose

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
In love, He predestined us for adoption as children through Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace.” Ephesians 3

Each one of us have been designed for a purpose. First and foremost that purpose is to be in a living relationship with Jesus Christ. It is within this purpose that we discover that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to bless us with every spiritual blessing. Part of that blessing is to enjoy His presence daily. So our focus is not so much on the earthly things as much as it is on the heavenly things.

Another revelation that we discover is to know the security of being His children. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that we did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but instead we have received a spirit of adoption by which we cry, “Abba, Father!” It is also in our daily walk with Jesus Christ that we discover that God’s overwhelming love for us. The more this is revealed we are encouraged to know that Jesus highly values us. Therefore, we no longer need to let the opinion of others get us down but to know who we are in Christ. It is in knowing our true identity in Jesus that we live a life of meaning and purpose.

Working together as one

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” “1 Corinthians 12:27”

This is an important statement that Paul makes here. The moment we decide to give or lives to Jesus everything changes. We become members of His body. How often do we forget that truth? When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we die to our old ways and most importantly we die to ourselves. So, it is not about us anymore. We live not for ourselves, but for Christ.

The motivating factor in working together as one and being part of Christ’s body is that it should Christ’s love that controls us. How are we doing as members of Christ’s Body?

Being part of His body means that we can’t distance ourselves, we need to treat each other with love and respect and have an equal concern for all irrespective of who they are.

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