Sir Isaac Newton once said, ‘Everything continues in a state of rest, unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it.’ A good example of being proactive towards change can be taken from an egg, which, if it is broken by an outside force, life ends. However, if broken by an inside force, life begins. So when we decide to change in our attitude towards God, we can experience new life in Him, as promised in the Bible. In Jesus, we have this amazing message of hope, reconciliation to God and new life through Him, who offers everyone who comes to Him peace. Read the words below from Philippians chapter 4 (verses 4-9), which provides lovely words written for our benefit.
It says …
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard … put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you’.
Does that passage from Philippians encourage us or inspire us or challenge us to know that God in Jesus Christ can give us peace and truly be with us? That’s what we learn from this, but these words specifically tell us God’s will, that we are not to be anxious about anything, but with thanksgiving, pray and petition God about everything. Therefore, even with changes ahead, life should not be distressing, but draw us closer to God where we can experience peace that transcends understanding, a peace that guards our hearts and minds.
William Temple once said, ‘The church is the only cooperative society in the world that exists for the benefit of its non-members.’ So, please feel welcome to come along, the church is for everyone and is open to everyone. It is where we grow in knowledge of God, learn His ways and encourage each other as a family on a journey together.
Here’s a wee story I found about this. A friend was in front of me coming out of church some time ago, and the minister was standing to shake hands with everyone, as was once allowed. He grabbed my friend by the hand, and pulled him to one side. The minister said to him, ‘you need to join the army of the Lord and get involved more’. My friend quickly replied, ‘I am already in the army of the Lord’. So, the minister said to him, ‘how come, I don’t see you at church except at Christmas and Easter then?’. My friend leant forward, and whispered to the minister, ‘I’m in the secret service’.
Don’t be in the secret service any longer, but feel welcome to come to church and find out more about God’s love for you, experiencing His peace as we reflect on all He offers us. So, be encouraged, be inspired and be challenged to think on whatever things are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. And the God of peace be with you!
Lord, give me wisdom to commit my concerns to You in prayer, so that I will not be anxious. Give me understanding to put your living Word into practice, as I commit my ways to you, in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.