Monthly Newsletter — January 2013

Posted by colin on January 18, 2013 under Monthly Newsletter | Comments are off for this article

 Family of Faith Christian Fellowship

London Newsletter

January 2013 / Issue 36

In this issue:

  • Upcoming events

  • January Letter

  • Reflections on Being the Light of the World

  • Things to pray for

  • Quotations Worth Thinking About

Upcoming Events:

  • Communion – Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Our Communion service takes place on the second Sunday of each month.

  • Discipleship 101 – Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Our discipleship course takes place on the third Sunday of each month. The topic this month is “Responding to Grace” (Chapter 17 of the booklet).

January Letter

It is hard to believe that another year has passed. It is a reminder to each of us of how fleeting this life is, and an incentive to resolve to make each day count in the coming year.

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make the Christmas dinner such a success. I have not heard the final number of attendees, but more than one hundred people were expected and it seemed to me that we had at least that many. Hopefully in the coming year we will be able to continue to expand our participation across denominational boundaries in furthering the work of the gospel.

During this past week Sue and I were able to visit our son, his wife, and our two grandchildren. Our newest grandchild, Aria Grace, was born on December 22, just two days before we arrived.

Over the next two weeks we will complete our series on the Sermon on the Mount. As a follow-up to last month’s reflections on being the salt of the earth, I have included below some thoughts on what it means to be the light of the world (Matt. 5:14-16).

I hope that the new year will be a blessed one for you all,

Warmest Regards,

Colin and Sue

Some Reflections on Being the Light of the World

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

  • The first implication is that the world is in darkness. There is no other source of light other than the Christian (the “you” in the Greek is emphatic: i.e. you and no-one else).

  • We are the light of the world. We don’t have to “become” the light of the world. The issue is will we let our light shine? Or will we “put it under a bowl”?

  • Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), therefore the only way that we can be the light of the world is if we are living in union with Jesus. It is His light that shines through us into the world.

  • Individually we are like John the Baptist, a lamp (John 5:35). A lamp in those days was a small clay receptacle containing olive oil. We are that vessel of clay. The Holy Spirit in us is the oil that gives light to the world (cf. 2 Cor. 4:6-7)

  • let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven– the implication of this is that allowing our light to shine is primarily a matter of actively doing good works. This means reaching out to friends, neighbours, co-workers, strangers and even enemies, and performing acts of kindness. Matthew 25:35-36 mentions several kinds of good works that are pleasing to God.

  • Light is also associated with knowledge. Isaiah prophesies, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isa 49:6; cf. Acts 13:47). If people are to receive the light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, they have to hear the message of the gospel (see Romans 10:14-15 – the church has been commissioned to preach the gospel in all the world). It is a fallacy to think that because light does not make any sound, we do not need to share the gospel with others. This is stretching the metaphor beyond its intended meaning.

Things to Pray for:

Please pray for:

  • Gabriela Hodgins (arthritis and tendonitis); Lisa Masse (health); Barb Dutton (health); Scott Blaine (MS); Ian Palmatier (rheumatoid arthritis); Sue Robbins (cancer).
  • Our two churches in Myanmar (Burma) – as restrictions are lifted in Myanmar, opportunities to preach the gospel are growing, but Christians could also face increased persecution in the future.
  • The situation in the eastern Congo where we have a number of churches and where Lisa Jutsum, daughter of Ross Jutsum, is currently serving with Samaritan’s Purse. (An overview of the situation here can be found at: www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/world/africa/as-rebels-gain-congo-again-slips-into-chaos.html).
  • Our local congregation that we might fulfill God’s will for us. Pray that we might each be a light in our community, manifesting the love of God to friends, family, co-workers and neighbours.
  • Opportunities to share the gospel with others, the courage to do so, and the wisdom to know how.

Quotations Worth Thinking About

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” (cf. Matt. 6:19-20)

Jim Elliott

You are the branch.—You need be nothing more. You need not for one single moment of the day take upon you the responsibility of the Vine. You need not leave the place of entire dependence and unbounded confidence.

Andrew Murray

So often we have a kind of vague, wistful longing that the promises of Jesus should be true. The only way really to enter into them is to believe them with the clutching intensity of a drowning man.

William Barclay

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