Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | February 3, 2017

The Strong Word – February 2017

 

Happy New Year to you! I write this at a time when the future and new year seem more uncertain than usual. There is a new President about to be installed in the White House, Brexit is up in the air and terror alerts remain high in most Western nations. Yet, despite the chaos and uncertainty around in many cities and nations at this time I have a real confidence in The Lord and his purposes for mankind in 2017. Psalm 46 insists that even in times of chaos and change, God is in the midst of it all. This is true for nations as it is also true for individuals. God IS our refuge and strength, a very present help in every kind of trouble, he stops wars and breaks bows. Psalm 121 reminds us, “The Lord does watch over us as we go out and come home now and always. He does not slumber or sleep as we humans do! He is with us”.

The Christmas message we take with us into a new year is the name of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. This is not just a statement made by someone dressed as an angel in one of the Nativity plays performed a few weeks ago in churches up and down our nation but it is a true statement based on a promise made by God many years before the birth of Jesus. We do well to dwell on such a truth.

Salvation belongs to our God, a comment made by many writers in the Bible not least to Jonah in Chapter 2, where he lies in the belly of a whale pondering the chaos that had come upon him. God can and does hear our calls, he is pleased to be involved. Maybe we are a bit like Jonah, unwilling to ask for help until things become rather dire and hope gone. God rescued Jonah from the bottom of the sea, the very gates of death, he can, and will do the same for all who call on his name, whatever the present and future may bring, this is our faith. While typing this out I found myself humming an old hymn, to the tune Austria. I quote a verse:

God is with us, God is with us So our great Forefather sang.

Preach the Gospel of redemption,

Where so ever man may move.

Onward then with ranks unbroken,

Sure of triumph shout and sing.

God is with us, God is with us,

Christ the Lord shall reign as King.

May Christ reign as King in our hearts, our church and our world, and leave each a blessing.

 

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