Lately, I have been seeing Gleniti Baptist Church as a yacht that is becalmed out in the ocean. Past events and experiences have ‘taken the wind out of our sails’ and left us bobbing up and down on the vast expanse of water without a clear sense of direction. However that is changing. The breeze is picking up. “The winds of change” are beginning to gather strength and with certainty a storm is coming…change is coming. All over the world there is a quiet movement of the Spirit of God that is causing believers to re-examine how they “do church” … It’s about making a significant and sustainable difference in the lives of people around us…in our communities and in our cities.”
Bob Gass, in a recent devotion, described the dangers facing the sailors in the days gone by. There were concerns about pirates, storms and diseases, but their greatest fear were the ‘doldrums’. This was an area around the equator characterised by calm and very light shifting winds. It could mean the death of the entire crew as their supply offood and water would dwindle while waiting for a breeze, sometimes for days or even weeks, to put them back on course.
God is stirring individuals among us to do business with Him and to respond to this new move of His Spirit. He intends for us to bear His transforming love into our community and work places. Consequently a clear sense of vision and mission is coming into focus for us as a church.
“There will be love, joy, peace and hope in our church family, community and beyond because Jesus is the source of life in us.” Seems simple enough at first glance. But if you think about each part of this statement long enough, you will begin to understand just how transformational this vision is. When you think of the radical transformation that God will need to do in us and through us for this to become reality, and the far reaching, positive impact that it will make in our city, we see that this is only something God can do. And this, of course is the whole idea of a vision…it is to be something huge and worth investing into, and God gets the glory ...
God never promised that life would be fair nor that it would be easy.
What he did promise us, was to never leave us nor forsake us. And it is that promise that makes life bearable for hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world today who are suffering. It is this very characteristic of God, as revealed in the Bible, that sets Christianity and Judaism apart from all other religions. God is knowable, personal and absolutely trustworthy. He is Immanuel, God with us.
But, in Christianity, God takes this amazing truth to a whole new level. Not only did He break with all ‘God conventions’ by entering into His own creation as a baby several thousand years ago, but for all who trust Him as their Saviour and Lord, He comes and fills their “God space” that He created in each of us. It is a custom designed space that only He can fill. We can try to satisfy our deep inner longing with entertainment, pleasure, wealth and success but they don’t even come close. When we have ‘God life’ inside us, we can pass through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil because of His presence with us.
If life has been a struggle for you lately, I invite you to read the life-stories revealed in this magazine. Be encouraged. God is alive and well today and in the business of “connecting you with life.”
My prayer as we enter the second quarter of 2018 is that many people will find God is sufficient for any need that they have and that He will use the Gleniti Baptist Church family to be His agents of hope for many in our city.
PC makers claim their computers have “Intel Inside” Christians claim we have “God Inside” … I know which I prefer.