Loveless Faith is Useless Faith.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Cor. 13:2

In Matthew 17:19 the disciples came to Jesus wanting to know why they couldn’t cast a demonic spirit from a child. Jesus responded, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 

This passage has puzzled many people because they’ve never seen anyone move a mountain. But Jesus wasn’t speaking literally. The expression “able to move mountains” was a common figure of speech in that day, meaning -to overcome great obstacles. Jesus was speaking of people with great faith who keep on praying despite how impossible the situation appears to be, prayer warriors who never lose hope.

But, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:2, even if you have great faith, if you don’t have love, you are nothing. That’s a challenging reality check, but it places the emphasis in the right place: on our motives. The Christians in Corinth took great pride in their gifts. They said things like, I believe, trust, speak, preach, and understand better than you do! Paul had to remind them that faith without love is nothing at all.

Whatever drives you in your Christian life? Remember, without love it doesn’t matter what gifts you have, how eloquent your speech is, what you know, or what you believe. Only love can authenticate your service to Christ.

Prayer

Gracious God, help me to believe in your endless goodness and your constant care. Let love be the motive for all I do. Amen.

M Campbell 2021

“I desire compassion, and not sacrifice”

But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice”. Matthew 9:13.NASB

Jesus was not afraid to speak bluntly if the situation demanded it. Here he challenges the Jewish leaders by quoting from their own prophets. Their own prophets admonish them for their lack of obedience to God’s clear commands.

Jesus paraphrases Hosea’s prophetic and divinely inspired words: “I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings”- Hos.6:6. The Word of God should have been the Pharisees’ supreme guide for how to live, as it should be ours. Jesus reminds them that without true and godly compassion, (love for people) all the Pharisees’ rituals, ceremonies, and token gestures were worth nothing to God. The person who is indifferent toward other people confirms that he or she is also indifferent toward God, no matter how correct their theology or impeccable their morality.

Ritual separated from love and a concern for the downtrodden and lost has always been an affront to God. Through the prophet Amos, the Lord declared, “Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”. Amos 5:23, 24

Prayer

Loving God, remind me today that you desire compassion, justice and righteousness, and not sacrifice.

Amen.

M Campbell 2021

Show Kindness

Love is kind. 1 Cor.13:4

Kindness repays evil with good.

Two men going opposite directions on a narrow mountain path met each other head on. With a steep drop on one side and sheer rock face on the other, they came to an impasse. The harder they tried to squeeze past one another the more frustrated they became. Then, one of them, without saying a word, simply went down on the ground, allowing the other man to walk over him. His action helps us to understand the meaning of the word kindness. Kindness doesn’t mind getting walked on if it benefits someone else.

The word, kind, in 1Corinthians13:4 literally means “useful,” “serving,” or “gracious.” It isn’t simply the placid attitude we sometimes associate with kindness; it’s active, it seeks to help others. It’s the flip side of patience. Patience is the ability to put up with abuse from others; kindness repays them with good deeds.

God has shown us his kindness when he provided a saviour. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my load is light” – Matthew 11:29, 30. The word translated easy means kind. Jesus was saying, trust in me and I will show you unimaginable kindness.

In 1 Peter 2:3, Peter tells us, since “you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” you should be anxious to show kindness to others.

Prayer

Gentle Saviour, today I will have opportunities to show kindness, may I be humble enough to do so.

Amen


M Campbell 2021

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21.

The believer is to have a single-minded devotion to God.

Bible teacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones told the story of a farmer who one day went happily to his wife and family to report that their best cow had given birth to twin calves, one brown and one white. The farmer said, “I suddenly had an impulse that we must dedicate one of these calves to the Lord. We will sell one and keep the proceeds; the other we will also sell, but give the proceeds to the Lord’s work.” His wife asked him which one he was going to dedicate to the Lord. He replied, “There is no need to bother about that now. We will treat them both the same way, and when the time comes, we will do as I say.” And off he went. A few months later the farmer entered his kitchen looking unhappy. When his wife asked him what was troubling him, he answered, “I have bad news to give you. The Lord’s calf is dead.”
We laugh at the story because we all want to hold on to our earthly treasures. We are often content to be rich in possessions and experiences but poor toward God. Maybe Covid -19 lockdown has reminded us that we are to value people more than possessions. Jesus wants us to be constantly aware of what we truly value and love. God and people or material possessions? Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:21). Your heart and your treasure go hand in hand and they both need to be focused on heavens values. Our Lord is speaking of a single-minded devotion to God and his cause.

Jesus is not saying that if you put your treasure (wealth) in the right place, your heart will then be in the right place, but that the location of your treasure indicates where your heart already is. Remember, spiritual problems are always heart problems!

Proverbs 3 tells us to, “Honour the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”

Prayer
Lord help me to have a single-minded devotion to you. Amen

M Campbell 2021

Welcome to Online Church – Sunday 18th April

A warm welcome to our online service and Sunday Club for children this morning.

Attending Church: A reminder that our church is now open for services on Sunday mornings at 11am with a very limited capacity due to COVID restrictions. If you would like to attend next Sunday, please leave a message on the church office answering machine on 01360 770418 by Wednesday, leaving both your name and contact number. We will contact you on Thursday to let you know if you have a place (if you miss out, you will be made a priority for the following Sunday). Our pre-recorded services will remain available online each Sunday for those unable to attend.

Our Service:

This morning’s service includes the reading from John 21: 15-19 and the hymns Lord I Come Before Your Throne of Grace (sung by Tamara) and Out of My Bondage (sung by Nancy).

Sunday Club

Sunday Club with Lynne is here:

No One Untouchable

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed. “Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. Matthew 9:20, 22.

When the godly Sir James Simpson was on his deathbed, a friend said to him, “Well, James, soon you will be able to rest on the bosom of Jesus.” But Simpson replied, “I don’t know that I can quite do that, but I do think I can take hold of his garment.”

In her shame at being rejected by her family and being ceremonially unclean, this woman wanted to be unnoticed as she approached Jesus. She simply wanted to touch Jesus’ garment, confident that just a touch was enough to receive healing; Jesus was happy to reward such faith and he healed the woman.

Our Lord became aware of what had happened only when he realised that divine power had gone out from him (Luke 8:46)—a realisation that happened before he cast an eye on the woman. His statement, “your faith has made you well,” simply assured her and the crowd that miraculous healing had occurred. Jesus did not care that her touching him would make him ceremonially unclean in the eyes the religious leaders. Amazing Grace! The Lord was touchable even by an untouchable.

Even though the woman’s expectations were likely not fully informed by Scripture—she might have superstitiously thought Christ’s clothes had inherent healing powers—he spoke to her caringly and compassionately: “Daughter, take courage.” In spite of other factors, the woman’s faith was genuine and acceptable to the Lord. It was enough to make her well.

Prayer

Lord, I am not all that I want to be, I am not all you want me to be but the miracle is that unworthy as I am you invite me to touch the hem of your garment. What a generous saviour. Amen.

M Campbell 2021

Christ Can Carry You

I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him. 2 Tim. 1:12.

Only when we fully trust someone will we commit ourselves to that person. Such complete trust is depicted in the following true story from the life of Blondin, the great tight rope walker.

A crowd gazed in awe as a tightrope walker inched his way across Niagara Falls. The people cheered when he made it safely to the other side.

Then he turned to a man and said, “Do you think I could carry someone across?” “Yes,” the man replied.

“Let’s go then!” “No thanks!” the man replied. So the tightrope walker asked another man, “What about you? Will you trust me to carry you across?” “Yes,” he said. That man climbed onto his shoulders, and with the water roaring below they reached the other side.

Hidden in this story is a spiritual challenge each of us must face. Our sin is like that vast chasm across Niagara Falls, it separates us from God, and we are unable to cross. Only Jesus is able to bring us safely to the other side. But we must be willing to trust him with our lives. The apostle Paul confidently wrote, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him until that Day.”- 2 Tim. 1:12.

Are you trying on your own to cross the chasm of sin that separates you from God? It’s impossible. Put your trust in Christ, for he alone is able to bring you to God.

Prayer

Lord, all my hope of meeting God and going home rests on your shoulders. Amen.

M Campbell 2021

A Link In A Chain

The things that you have heard from me … commit these to faithful men. 2 Tim. 2:2 2

Whenever I meet a Christian, I’m curious to know how they came to faith in Jesus Christ. Each person has a different story to tell, but most of them will say that they learned the truth because of the efforts of others—their parents, ministers, Sunday school teachers, friends or writers. It may be true to say that the body of Christ grows through many links in an unbroken chain stretching back to Jesus and his disciples.

In our reading we learn that Timothy became a believer through seeing how his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice lived the Christian life and through the teaching of the apostle Paul. And Paul told Timothy to become a link in that chain and “commit these truths to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (v.2).

When Paul speaks about “faithful men” he was probably thinking about church elders, yet he was expressing a truth that applies to every believer. We had to receive the truth from someone; now it is our great privilege and solemn duty to transmit that truth to others.

Think of yourself as a link in the living chain that extends from the time Jesus lived on earth to the present. We must keep that chain strong by telling others about him so that the gospel will reach to future generations.

M Campbell 2021

He Giveth More Grace

Annie J. Flint
(1866-1932)

…He giveth more grace…

James 4:6

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Prayer

Loving heavenly Father, I thank you for your infinite resources, able to provide for all my needs today. Amen.

M Campbell 2021