"Messenger" newsletter JANUARY

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LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH   MESSENGER” JANUARY  2021     

VERNON ST / CHURCH ST . LEIGH. WN7 1BH        

 

Website :  www.leighbaptistchurch.org.uk            Contact:  admin@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk

Pastoral Leader – Val Hulme ( Days Off Wed and Fridays)

email :   pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk          TEL  07817142192

Check LBC website for updates and info also LBC FACEBOOK page

 

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

As I write, we are just coming to the end of a year like no other. If anyone had said at this time last year that we would have a year with a virus that would limit all our lives, cause untold misery for many, and stop us from seeing our close relatives and friends, even at Christmas, we would not have believed them. We all had plans for 2020, however simple, but we have had to get used to being at home most of the time.

We kept being informed by the government and scientists of new plans and restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, but here we are, starting a new year, and things are worse than ever. To add to these problems there are the plans for Brexit. While I guess that none of us would like to have to make these decisions, we don’t always agree with the way things are done and there are many voices criticising those in authority.

 

So what is wrong? The whole world is affected by the virus, but in this country we seem to have lost the fact that we have been a Christian country for many, many centuries. It seems that people are working things out in their own way. It is not just the politicians, but some people decided to ignore advice and do things their way, but as a nation we have ignored the ways of the Lord for a long time. So is now the time to repent and turn back to the Lord? I remember giving a talk about 40 years ago when the Lord had put that message on my heart. Since then, there has been a continued turning away from following the Lord. Man makes his own plans and look at the mess we are in.

 

In the Old Testament the Israelites were always turning from their God to worship idols, and suffered as a result of that. King Solomon had the Temple built and then dedicated it to the Lord their God, who told him what the people must do if, as a punishment, he sent a drought or a plague, or locusts to devour the land. His words were, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. That is a well known verse to many Christians.

 

What does it say to us? The Israelites were God’s people, but Jesus died on the cross to save all those who put their trust in him, so as Christians we are His people and we need to heed those words. If we really want to listen to what God is saying to us we need to spend time in prayer as we also read words of Scripture and let God speak to us. The Disciples learnt from Jesus, but He promised that when he returned to his Father in Heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to “guide you into all truth.” John 16:13. Through the Holy Spirit God will make known His will, so we need to pray for all those in authority, that God will guide them to make the right decisions. We also need to repent as a Nation, and also as Christians. Perhaps the Christian voice needs to be heard more clearly when national decisions have to be made. Have we failed to make known what living a Christian life really means? Or that God does lead and guide us in our lives? When we look at the way things have fallen into place up to now in our individual lives, we can only see that the Lord has planned it all. Many a time I have said, “That could not be a coincidence. Only the Lord could have enabled it to happen in that way.” The same can be said of our nation throughout the centuries. We can make our plans, “but it is the Lord who directs our steps.”

 

There is hope on the horizon. The vaccine that is already being administered should make life easier and less complicated in 2021. Is that an answer to the prayers of the many Christians who have been praying for God to help in this pandemic? It seems that our country is the first to have one that has been fully tested and approved. We are blessed with people who are expert researchers in work with viruses.

 

Let us give thanks and praise the Lord who gives them the special gifts they need for their success.

 

Let us pray that the virus will be defeated as soon as possible.

 

Let us give thanks that God is still at work in our country, calling people to follow Him, and encouraging Christians to continue serving Him.

 

Best Wishes to everyone,

Kathie.


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