Hebrews 11: Something Better for Us

Hebrews 11 is one of the chapters for today in the Bible reading plan that many Christadelphians follow. It is often called “the faith chapter” and is full of examples of men and women of faith from the Old Testament.More than that, it records how their faith motivated to do something.

Wordle.net is a fantastic site for creating a visual representation of text. The more times a word occurs in the text the larger it is in the wordle. This is Hebrews 11 from the English Standard Version.

hebrews 11

The writer of the letter explains that he would love to spend a lot more time writing about the examples of Bible characters but time constrains him. Also, he wants to emphasise that great as these men and women were, they are dead and buried, still waiting for the reward that God is going to give them.

“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11v39-40

Want to learn more about the “something better for us”? Me too. Get in touch and come and read the Bible with us.

“One Thousand Gifts”

“How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama and daily duties? What does a life of gratitude look like when your days are gritty, long and sometimes dark? What is God providing here and now?”

The first sin committed by Adam and Eve was, in part, one of ingratitude. They had been provided for by God in every way, and yet they still wanted the one thing that had been forbidden. What about us? Do we sometimes get so fixated on the things that we don’t have, that we fail to open our eyes to all the gifts that our Heavenly Father showers upon us every day?

The antidote to ingratitude in “eucharisteo” – to express gratitude. This was something that Jesus did frequently and something that God calls us to do as well.

“…Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5v20

The danger is that slapping a careless brush of thankfulness over everything in our lives can leave us deeply thankful for actually very few things. So, here’s the challenge: can you write a list of “one thousand gifts”? This is how my list starts:

  1. The sound of rain falling on the roof
  2. Thick carpets of autumn leaves
  3. Listening to the birds singing
  4. Bright sunshine on cold morning

It’s a dare to live fully, right where you are!

“One Thousand Gifts” is a book by Ann Voskamp

“A New Earth”

You think the world is unfair?  The strong get rich and the weak stay poor?  Everyone is on the make?  Big business will rip you off if it can get away with it?  Government is in the pocket of the fat cats?

Things don’t change. Over 2,500 years ago the prophet Isaiah speaking to his rulers and community says:-

Cease to do evil, learn to do good;
seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:16-17, ESV)

The writings of Isaiah are just one of the treasures found in the Bible. His writings spring from a time of national difficulty and a miraculous deliverance from what seemed like an unstoppable external threat. Isaiah’s teaching bears witness to the failure of his people to seize the opportunity to create a better society after their danger had passed. Sound familiar?!

But Isaiah speaks the words of the one God. And the message is that God himself will transform society:-

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 40:4-5, ESV)

europe_from_spaceOf course it’s not really about valleys and mountains. It’s about the poor and the rich; an equal and fair society that transcends today’s political borders. It’s so different; so much better than man-made society that Isaiah calls it “new heavens and a new earth”. That’s the world God promises. That’s the world we’re praying for.

Good News: Jesus IS King!

Wednesday 7th – Saturday 10th August

We are holding lots of activities to share the good news that Jesus IS King. This is one of the central themes of the Bible and we would love to share it with you. The Bible tells us how Jesus will reign over the whole world when God establishes jesus_is_king_logoHis Kingdom on this earth. This good news isn’t just hope for a future time though.

Let us show you how Jesus is King over his people now, the relevance this has today and how it affects the way we live our everyday lives.

We are going to be in Walsall Arboretum, with puppet shows, introductory Bible talks, nature walks, cakes and drinks, face painting, crafts, live music and more… 10am – 4pm, Wednesday 7th – Friday 9th.

There will be Bible talks, “Introducing Jesus” and “ The Jesus I Never Knew”. These will give opportunity to begin exploring Bible teaching about this intriguing man and getting to know the real Jesus. The talks will be held in the Walsall Campus of Wolverhampton University. 7:30pm Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th.

Meanwhile, we are arranging a Holiday Club for children. 2 fun packed days of painting, sculpting, singing, acting, laughing, running, jumping, creating, listening, talking, reading, learning – in fact, the only thing we’re not doing is sleeping! The club will be held at the Walsall Deaf Centre, Lichfield Road. 10am – 3pm, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th.

The evening of Friday 9th, 6:30 – 7:30pm will see our Jesus IS King concert. We will be sharing the good news that Jesus is King through songs and Bible verses at the Arboretum Bandstand.

The morning after, Saturday 10, 11am – 12pm we will be back in the arboretum for a traditional fete with games and side shows.

We’d love to meet you at any of the events that we have planned.

How I came to Know God: James

I suppose I “knew” God from an early age. I belong to a family where both my parents are Christadelphians, as were all of my grandparents and most of my great grandparents. I went to Sunday School and we regularly read the Bible together at home.

I learnt a lot about Bible characters, their different stories and the teachings of Jesus. Growing up, I think I took it for granted that God exists, that the Bible is God’s Word and that it is literally true – Noah did build an ark, the Red Sea did part, Jesus did rise from the dead.

Through my teens I realised I would have to decide whether I believed these things or not for myself. Believing the Bible just because I’d been taught to do so when I was young wasn’t going to be good enough anymore.

Christadelphians don’t baptise children – that has to be a personal commitment which you make for yourself.

If anything, the thought of joining the church simply because most of my family had before me, made me delay the decision. If I was going to be baptised I wanted it to be for the right reasons and I wanted to be serious about the commitment I was making.

I was finishing my A levels. I’d applied to universities but didn’t really want to go. I’d deferred my entry in order to take a gap year but didn’t know what to do. Life was changing around me and I didn’t know where I was heading.

I realised that one consistent thing had been the Bible. I appreciated the same passages in new ways. I listened to familiar teachings for the first time. I started to get to know God.

I was baptised and I’ve been getting to know God ever since.

How I came to know God: Fiona

I guess I always wanted to know and learn more about God and the Bible but never knew how to go about it or where to start… such a massive book, where do you begin?

I was brought up in a Christian household and went to church every Sunday, became a Sunday school teacher in my teens and always felt I needed and wanted to know more about the Bible.

After some trials in my life and having a child ask me the question “What do you think happens when you die?” I started looking into what I actually believe. Who is my God? I know I believe in Him but what is that big book really all about?

I started reading my Bible from the beginning and couldn’t make much sense of it. I had lots of questions and was determined to find the answers. I’d heard about Christadelphians and turned up at a Bible class one night by myself, I didn’t know anyone and I felt a bit out of place. The first thing I learnt was to read the Bible for myself! I had A4 pages of questions and people to ask to try and figure out what the Bible actually teaches. After looking into it for about a year and becoming confident in what I believed, going to my nearest Christadelphian church and reading my Bible most days, I got baptised into the saving name of Jesus Christ and started my journey to the Kingdom of God.

My family have different beliefs to me and sometimes this can make life difficult but that’s why this verse means a lot to me and I try to remember it every day.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Praise Evenings: 23rd September & 16th December

You are very welcome to join us for two evenings of praise around God’s Word on 23rd September and 16th December.

The subject for the evening on Sunday (23rd September) is: “The Way to Life or Death You Choose”

We meet at the Scouts Hut in Aldridge and will be starting at 5:00pm.

Of course, you needn’t wait until then to get in touch. We meet every Sunday and throughout the week. Look around the website for more information, call John & Sally on 0121 530 0621 or email info@walsallchristadelphians.org.uk

Praise Evening – 20th May

We are having an evening of praise around God’s Word. We’d love to see you there!

“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to his name.
To proclaim his love in the morning and his faithfulness at night.
It is good to praise the Lord.”  Psalm 92

Sunday 20th May, 5pm
The Scouts Hut, Middlemore Lane,
Aldridge