Egerton Free Church

 

 

 

 

 

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 devotions from Egerton Free

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By shaunefc, Feb 3 2014 02:18PM

We have been experiencing many weeks of steady and heavy rain, along with flooding in various parts of the country. Like people in current times, those in the time of the Biblical flood (Genesis 6-8) saw the storm clouds gathering. Like people in current times, those in the the time of these chapters in Genesis had a warning, indeed, for those before the great flood had a very long-term warning for it extended to the whole time that Noah was building the ark! They were even given a short-term warning after Noah took his family and all the animals which God had brought together into the ark lasting another 7 days - and still those of Noah's time ignored any and all warnings they were given, for I am sure the people would have asked Noah what he was doing and in his reply he would have warned the people concerning what God was going to do. And the ark itself was clear evidence of what was going to take place as day by day and week by week it began to take shape before being fitted out - everything being done according to the plans which God gave to Noah.


In the time immediately before the great flood happened all the people except Noah's close family totally ignored all the warnings, both spoken and visual, until the time when it was ultimately too late to do anything at all about what was happening, and they all perished in the deep flood:


"Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the

ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased

on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the

waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole

heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the

mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and

cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every

man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the

dry land, died. So he destroyed all living things which were on the face of the

ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were

destroyed from the earth.

Only Noah and those who were with him ... remained alive." (Genesis 7:17-23)


In these days it would surely be a very foolish individual who totally ignored all the warnings, both spoken and visual, until it was ultimately too late to do anything at all about what was just happening, and, fortunately, comparatively few have lost their lives in recent floods.


And yet, very sadly, some people do not heed a far more important warning which leads to a far more serious loss of life - not physical, but a spiritual loss of life!!

"No one has power in the day of death" (Ecclesiastes 8:8)


However,

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life." (John 3:36)


(GJS)


By shaunefc, Jan 7 2014 01:34PM

So what are we going to do during 2014 as individual Christians and as a Church fellowship? We will all have various ideas as to personal and possible corporate ideas which might be put into operation, but I am sure that we are all only too aware that anything which is tried in our own strength is more than likely to fail, for we would all admit that whatever we seek to do for God during 2014 will only be accomplished with His help and in His strength!


As Joshua spoke to the children of Israel as they entered The Promised Land:


“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I (God) was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5-9)


Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-79) wrote quite a number of hymns during her comparatively short life, many of them for children to help them learn their catechism. However, she did write other hymns for adults as well, including one to be sung at the closing of a year for the opening of the next which is really a prayer:


Another year is dawning:

dear Master, let it be,

in working or in waiting,

another year for Thee:


Another year of mercies,

of faithfulness and grace;

another year of gladness

in the shining of Thy face:


Another year of progress,

another year of praise,

another year of proving

Thy presence all the days:


Another year of service,

of witness for Thy love;

another year of training

for holier work above.


Another year is dawning:

dear Master, let it be,

on earth, or else in Heaven,

another year for Thee.


To which all God’s people should add their “Amen”!


A prayer suitable for use at the end of one year for the next:


Heavenly Father, Whose mercy is everlasting: accept our thanksgiving for all the blessings of the year just past. Take our lives afresh into Your keeping as we face the unknown future, and fit us by Your grace for whatever lies before us in the days to come. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.


(GJS)


By shaunefc, Nov 19 2013 01:38PM

November is a month for remembering! As children we particularly think of the 5th and bonfire night with its gorgeous fireworks as we remember Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot!


However, as we get older there is the remembrance of those who were killed or maimed in many wars, including 2 world wars, on the 11th or the nearest Sunday to that day.


As you would expect the Bible has much to say about remembering and remembrance. The most important thing to remember is the duty of remembering God:

And (Nehemiah) looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to

the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and

awesome.”

(Nehemiah 4:14)


And, what’s more, it is never too soon to begin to remember God:

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days

come.

(Ecclesiastes 12:1)


Because, sooner or later, we will find ourselves in times when trouble of various sorts will come upon us, and, while we should remember God at all times and the fact that He is always with us, it is even more necessary to remember God at such times:

When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer went

up to You, into Your holy temple.

(Jonah 2:7)


And, it doesn’t matter what time of day, or night, we need to remember God because He is always there for us, as the psalmist, David, records:

I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.

(Psalm 63:6)


The Bible also reminds us not to forsake or forget or, even, reject God, because the consequences of doing so bring devastation upon us:

My people would not heed My voice, and Israel would have none of Me. So I

gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels.

(Psalm 81:11-12)


We are also reminded in the Bible that those who forget and reject God find that everything ends in tears:

A voice was heard on the desolate heights, weeping and supplications of the

children of Israel; for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten

the Lord their God.

(Jeremiah 3:21)


Very sadly, the Bible also tells us about the ultimate fate of those who are guilty of forsaking, or forgetting, and rejecting God:

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

(Psalm 9:17)


Finally, it is the duty of Christian believers to act as “remembrancers” of God to their fellow human beings, as Paul reminded Timothy:

If you instruct the brethren in these things,

(i.e. the Word of God and prayer)

you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ.

(1 Timothy 4:6)


(GJS)


By shaunefc, Oct 11 2013 12:11PM

For some the view of a sunset taken from a beach is the greatest example of the end of a perfect day during a holiday break! But there are other experiences of a perfect day being spent on holiday – and for me the most important aspect of a holiday is finding, or knowing of, a suitable place of worship which can be reasonably accessed and attended on a Sunday.


Among some of the fellowships which have been visited by members during this past holiday season are: an Independent Evangelical Congregational Church near Weymouth, a Baptist Church in Scotland and an Independent Baptist Church in Ukraine! Some of those places attended have comparatively small numbers attending (not unlike our fellowship) but all have warm-hearted individuals to seek to worship our unchanging God Who is present with each of these groups of Christian believers as they worship “the Lord in the beauty of holiness” week by week.


This fact reminds me of the hymn by William Cowper (1731-1800) which underlines the importance of each and every place of worship, whether they have a small or large number in the congregation, and the reason why people who attend them go there regularly.


Jesus, where’er Thy people meet,

there they behold Thy mercy-seat;

where’er they seek Thee Thou art found,

and every place is hallowed ground.


For Thou, within no walls confined,

inhabitest the humble mind;

such ever bring Thee where they come,

and going, take Thee to their home.


Dear Shepherd of Thy chosen few,

Thy former mercies here renew;

here to our waiting hearts proclaim

the sweetness of Thy saving Name


Here may we prove the power of prayer,

to strengthen faith and sweeten care,

to teach our faint desires to rise,

and bring all Heaven before our eyes.


Lord, we are few, but Thou art near,

nor short Thine arm, nor deaf Thine ear;

O rend the heavens, come quickly down,

and make a thousand hearts Thine Own!


May it be that each one of us, where ever we worship from time to time as well as here in Egerton Free Church, knows the truth of these words and experiences the values which they express.


(GJS)


By shaunefc, Jul 17 2013 12:58PM

June’s over – and with that the Bible Club for another year! We had more children attend both each day and overall than we have had for many years! And both the teaching and other members of staff at the school where the meetings were held were most enthusiastic! And, as a church, having welcomed Richard, Joy, Anna and Deborah Blunt to Egerton once again – and said “goodbye” to them 2 weeks later – is that the end of our Bible Club week?


In one sense, yes –but in another, no! Yes, in that children came, hopefully, they enjoyed themselves as they joined in the singing, heard the Bible and other stories, took part in very lively quizzes and, on the whole, thoughtfully took part in the prayer times. But also, no, in the sense that we need to continue to pray for each child that came – even just once, and for the parents who not only came to the prize-giving on the Friday afternoon, but also dropped-in towards the end of the daily programme in order to collect the children when the meeting finished. We often say that it would be good to see more people at our Sunday afternoon service – let us pray for those whom we have contacted through the Bible Club that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind the things they heard and said or sung and, in due course, have a real desire to follow up Bible Club week by attending Church – not necessarily ours, although, of course, that is what we would like, but any Church where the gospel message is clearly proclaimed… and then see them all again next year!


This month I include another old favourite chorus, based on Isaiah 40:31, which has proved to be true as many Christians have discovered over the years:


Prayer changes things; prayer changes things;

They who pray shall mount up as on eagle’s wings;

Prayer changes things; prayer changes things;

Day by day then let us pray, for prayer changes things.


(GJS)



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