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Are you spiritually fit?
I try to keep physically fit, with varying degrees of success and enthusiasm.
I have run marathons in the past (think tortoise, not hare), and in March I was due to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Then Covid-19 arrived. The half marathon was cancelled, and all my training felt like it was in vain.
I've run very little since March, but have switched to fitness DVDs and, like many households in the country, have been challenged by Joe Wicks PE sessions.
While my physical fitness matters to me, and helps me to manage my asthma, my spiritual health is even more important.
Like many Christadelphians I try to read daily from the bible, and I use what I learn to shape the principles that I live by.
The bible tells us that "while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come".
Even the fittest, healthiest people will die one day, but if we live a life that is pleasing to God we may be rewarded with eternal life and a place in God's kingdom when Jesus returns to the earth. If you would like to improve your spiritual fitness, why not start by reading a few verses of the Bible every day. Books like Psalms and Proverbs are filled with practical lessons on how to live a more fulfilling life.
So over the next few days and weeks, while you're keeping physically fit, don't forget to get spiritually fit, too.
My youngest daughter is due to give birth to my 3rd grandchild any day now. As a family we’ve watched the bump getting bigger and bigger over the months, and have “ooooo”’d and “ahhhhh”d over each of the scan photos. It’s amazing to watch a new life grow.
For the past few months (during lockdown) I’ve also been watching lots of other new lives grow. I’ve kept a gaggle of tadpoles and watched as they have first sprouted tails and legs and finally become fully developed frogs.
As a believer in the Genesis 1 record that God created everything in the world in the beginning, I find it amazing to witness before my own eyes, new life being created. The Bible tells us that God’s verdict after assessing everything He’d created was that it was “very good”. The Bible also tells us that we, as humans, are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. We’re all individual, all slightly different in physical appearance, and yet we all breathe the same breath, and fuel our bodies with food and liquid each day. Have you ever stopped to think how amazing it is that we have life? We go to sleep at night and wake up each morning to a fresh new day.
The Bible also describes life as being like a vapour that appears for a moment and is then gone again. So let’s make the most of our lives. And by that I don’t mean let’s write a bucket list and see what we can tick off. Let’s use our lives as God, who has created all things, would want us to, by living in a thankful way, to put Him first in our daily lives so that we please Him.
The remarkable and wonderful message that the Bible has for us, is that we can decide to stop our current way of life to then be born again and begin a new life for God. See how Romans 6 explains it,
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
So, when an individual decides to turn their life to God and believes in Him, they can take the step to be baptised. As the baptism is performed they go fully into the water and are raised up out of it again, like dying and being raised to a new life.
So, let’s each reflect on how blessed we are to have life, and how we can see Gods amazing creation all round us, and hopefully take time to consider the wonderful message contained in the Bible.
Andy Ainsworth & Pam Taylor
A recent YouGov (April 2020) survey found that only 9% of Britons want life to ‘return to normal’ following Covid-19. This shows that people are looking for change in our society. Are you looking for a fresh start?
But who can we rely on to deliver change? Politicians have shown they can’t provide the answers; even if the virus calms down, we have economic troubles and political turmoil ahead with a recession looming and Brexit to negotiate.
But all is not lost! The Bible clearly shows that God has a perfect plan for this world. His son, Jesus Christ, will return soon as King to give our world a fresh start. A world without disease or poverty, racism or war.
We are told that this time of perfection will be on earth (1 Thessalonians 1:10 for instance). The prophet Isaiah tells us about this time saying that it will be a time of healing:
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” Isa 35:5-6.
This means that there will ultimately be no need for hospitals because people won’t become ill anymore. In a time when so many people across the world have become ill with the virus, everyone needs to know this wonderful good news. But the only way to be part a perfect future is to read God’s word now and try to live a life which reflects His principles.
What a time to look forward to when: “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
With lockdown gradually ending, now’s the time to re-evaluate our lives and get ready for God’s kingdom on Earth.
Bread of Life
Hands up if you've made bread during lockdown... If your hand went up you're in good company. People across the world have been using their free time to make bread, with varying degrees of success. As a long time bread maker, I've always been fascinated by the way microscopic yeasts turn a lumpy mass of flour and water into a pillowy dough read to be shaped and baked into a mouthwatering loaf.
In the bible, in Luke 13 v 20-21, Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God being like leaven:
And He (Jesus) said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened".
We believe that Jesus will return soon to set up God's Kingdom on earth, and just a little yeast spreads through the whole dough, so God's kingdom will grow until it fills the whole earth.
God's Kingdom promises to be a time of great peace, when men 'will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks... and never again will they learn war' (Isaiah 2 v 4) and 'the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child will lead them' (Isaiah 11 v 6).
In a world that is filled with danger and pollution, we very much look forward to this time of peace when all that God created will flourish again.
There's lots more in the Bible that tells us about God's coming Kingdom. If you're interested in knowing more please get in touch (you can DM us on our Facebook or Instagram pages or use our contact form).
2020 has been a year like no other, and it’s only May! We’ve learnt new words such as ‘coronavirus’, ‘furlough’ and ‘social-distancing’. Seeing someone wearing a face mask in public no longer seems unusual. Personally, I’ve never washed my hands as much, and getting the urge to cough in public feels like a crime.
These times will lead many to feel anxious. Questions may come to mind like “can we pay the bills this month?”.
If you or a loved one has underlying health issues you may wonder “is it safe to go out?” and “am I at risk if I do?”
Many will be prevented from pursuing hobbies, or seeing family and close friends.
Others can no longer go on the holiday they so desperately needed. These can all be reasons to feel uncertain.
Those who have a faith are certainly not immune from these feelings, but they can find a lot of comfort in the Bible.
An anxious thought may be answered with “God is in control of my life”, and Bible passages like Psalm 115 : 11 brought to mind:
“You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD!
He is their help and their shield”
Or Psalm 34 : 7:
“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”
The Bible explains that between birth and death we experience all sorts of emotions, from the joys of laughing and rejoicing in dance to the lows of weeping and mourning (Ecclesiastes 3 : 4).
Some may even feel that they’re almost broken, or that the burning flame within them is about to go out; well remarkably the Bible tells that a man called Jesus would be sympathetic to us when we are feeling like this...
“... a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench...”
Jesus was one who saw many in need and helped, healed and strengthened them.
Many anxieties during these “lockdown” times will be about when will my life become normal again? The Bible speaks to us about these feelings; consider this passage in Matthew 6:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Let us then try not to be anxious about the day to day but instead to trust in God and focus upon the wonderful hope for the future that the Bible contains.
The passage in Matthew moves on from anxiety to encourage us to have a new focus in life:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
Maybe now is a time to pick up your Bible and find the wonders and comforts it contains.