Thought for the Week - 27th June

Pastor Gareth Watkins

Matthew 24: 13 – 14

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations,
and then the end will come.
This week an advert about luxury cruises that seemingly promised to be able to fulfil the viewers greatest wants and desires, struck a chord with me as I thought about the sad limitations of it.
How small a picture of life the unbeliever has, such a narrow view of that which can be obtained, but for those in Christ the picture is far broader and richer than we are even capable of imagining. How much more meaningful it is to us to know that we were made with purpose and significance in God’s plans, than to believe in some random existence as sadly many people do today. How wonderful it is to know that we were made to be in relationship with God, both now in this life and when we go on to eternity, but how very bleak the outlook for those who have nothing but empty promises of the world in which to hope.
Life is not an accident and it is not ours to do with what we want. We must be watchful and prayerful in our own walk, but more than that we have a responsibility to act in a way that is righteous. Righteous acts are not self-serving, and they are not accomplished through self-centredness or introspection. They require us to look beyond our own needs and desires, and do everything for God’s glory.
When Jesus spoke to the disciples of the end times, he described the signs to come that many of us will picture when we think about it, the wars, famine, pestilences and earthquakes, but what of our responsibility in the leading up to those times do we think about? He instructed us to witness until the end of days, this includes our days in this life right now, until such times as we die and pass on to eternity, or Jesus comes.
We have a responsibility to be a witness, that is not an instruction just for the pastor to preach in the pulpit. We are all witnesses; our daily lives preach of Christ in us. Our acts of righteousness are seen, whether that is in work or out shopping, we have a part to play in furthering God’s kingdom. Even in church our acts should be a reflection of Christ, we are a witness to one another and those who are new amongst us or struggling. Every person is called to play their part, that might not be preaching or leading, but simply supporting the meeting, putting out chairs, or welcoming others.
What are you saying through your life? Are your acts a witness of the gospel, or a witness of the world and your own flesh?
Things are not going to get easier; the world is in chaos, more of the church at large is diluting the gospel to make it palatable, and the state of things will continue to worsen until Christ comes again. It is more important than ever that we stand firm and ensure our lives are ones that are an uncompromising witness to truth, through righteous acts, that we may gain ground for God’s glory and His kingdom.
Let us go forward, shake off the constraints of sin, and step out in faith to plunder and take new ground.
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