Tuesday 5 March 2013

Trying again

I thank God that my journey with him is so full of grace and mercy. When I have failed in my work God is giving me a second chance. Where I have failed at spending time in prayer, intercession and quiet times, God is giving me a second chance. Where I have failed to read the Bible, God is giving me a second chance.

I recognise my skills and abilities, but often overlook my failings. Having done StrengthsFinder as a team, we can clearly see our gaps in our skills and I have been praying for a few weeks now for God to help me staff my weak areas in my ministry. However, God has been guiding me to a different thought: allow Him to work in areas that we cannot; allow Him to get the glory. Just as when we don't have the finances (more often than is comfortable - great tips, by the way on the YWAMKB on how to fundraise), when we don't have the skills, God is the one who can give us the tools to get the job done. So, personally, I am really trusting Him now to bridge the gap of skills that we currently have on the team, and if that's supernatural provision, then so be it!

Part of my recent lack of discipline is not having regular fellowship and bible study outside of the Sunday church service. This has happened because of having a two year old who needs to be in bed at the time when most groups meet. However, right now, my wife and I are trying out a new home group which fits better with our current circumstance (it meets in the afternoons and includes childcare). The topic this week is grace and the power that it has to spur us into action. Rather than grace being a reason to give up, quite the opposite is true: grace is the very thing that should kick us into action. Under God's grace we will be effective, productive and worthwhile citizens of this earth - pleasing to Him who made us. It gives us a purpose, a place and a reason to keep going when times are tough.

At church we are going through the gospels and just seeing if we can learn more about the nature and character of God through what the gospel writers present. The new rector of our church encouraged us this week to read through the book of Matthew. For those of you who've been following my blog for a while, you will know that last year I tried and failed to read through the entire Bible in a year. This year, I am trying a new tack which has so far been met with moderate success: read through entire books at a time. The Bible I use has a table of the books with the estimated time it takes to read through. It's surprising how many books can be read in less than an hour. Matthew is a bit longer at 2.5 hours, so it's probably not one sitting! Yet totally do-able in a week.

This morning I started and read the first five chapters. Tonight I plan to read five more. I'll let you know how I get on!

So far this year I have read Hebrews, 1 Kings, James, Malachi, Ruth and Esther. As I read, I'm asking God to transform me by its content. Watch this space to see what happens!

Thank you God that when I failed to read your Bible last year, you gave me another chance this year, with a different way of doing it. Amen

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