To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

By Faith.

The Holy Spirit says without faith it is impossible to please God, (Heb. 11:6a) and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Rom. 14:23b). In such statements we are reminded that faith is the key which unlocks the door to us experiencing the true ways of the Lord in our lives. If there is no faith then there is no relationship with God. It is by faith that we come to know God and it is by faith that we live to please God. The principle that faith is essential to living a righteous life is set by Habakkuk when he says Behold his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him – but the righteous shall live by his faith (Hab. 2:4 ESV). This theme is taken up three times in the New Testament (see Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11 and Heb 10:38). In these three scriptures the essential nature of faith to experiencing life in Christ is developed.

But what is faith? When we have faith in someone we are trusting them; we are believing in them. We are reaching away from ourselves and our situation to rely on them.

Faith is not just an optional extra for those who take their religion seriously. Rather, faith is at the heart of everything that is done for God. Faith is the means by which things are accomplished by God. When we read through Hebrews 11 we have the continued statement “by faith”. The chapter tells us of men and women of God who accomplished great things for Him and the necessary ingredient for doing this was the exercise of their faith. We need to remember this. Faith is essential for the experience of God in our lives. The power of such faith is seen in what our Lord says to Peter ‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them (Mark 11v 22-23). So we learn that to truly know God we need faith and to truly do anything to please God and for His glory we need faith.

This contrasts radically with the thinking of the world in which we live. The world in which we live relentlessly tells us of the need to trust in that which is tangible and “real”. That which can be touched and seen should be trusted is the message we hear. If we trust these things we will do well is the worlds’ mantra, but it is not so with God. God says “Trust me! Reach away from yourself and have faith in Me.” We need to fight against the deceptions of the devil as he urges us to trust in ourselves and all around us. We need to have faith in God.

But faith in God is not just some religious slogan which unites all “of faith”. It has value and meaning only in and through Christ Jesus our Lord. God has made a new and living way into His presence and that way is not just made by Jesus, it is Jesus. To use another image, faith is the pipeline which brings forth the flow of Jesus into our lives. The pipeline reaches from the place of need to the source of blessing, and from that source comes the blessing, wisdom and strength of God. Faith takes us out of ourselves and into God.

When we think of exercising faith and the blessings of God coming into our lives, we so easily assume that this means all will the work out pleasantly for us. But to conclude this is to be confused. The confusion comes because we view Gods’ ways through human spectacles. As a result we think if I have faith all will go swimmingly for me. Hebrews 11:35 in this context is an eye-opening verse. The verse starts with a statement which concludes a section about many people having glorious “successes” by faith (see vv33-35a), but it continues to start a list of how many others had exactly the same faith, but with radically different outcomes (see v 35b-38). Such outcomes, for the latter group, were mockings, floggings, chains, imprisonment, stoning, being sawn in two, killed with the sword, destitution, affliction and mistreatment, living in deserts, mountains, dens and caves. This teaches us that we are called to trust God and live by faith. The consequences of such living faith lie with the Lord. Accordingly, we are very unwise to go with Job’s friends and conclude that Job was wicked because he was suffering. No, many like Job are suffering because God has determined that that is to be the outcome of their true faith.

So let us be of faith. Let us reject the way of the world which points us to trust in ourselves. Instead let us trust in God.

(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of Nov 2014)

 

The Lord Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 5:20, I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps you should stop and read that again and in doing so, notice in particular the “certainly not”. The Lord does not want us to miss His declaration that if we have a righteousness like that of the Pharisees and law teachers we will not get into the kingdom of God. Such a statement has serious implications because if we are not in the kingdom of God then we are destined for eternal destruction. So that should make us take note about what our Saviour is saying here.

Let us consider, first of all, the issue of “surpasses”. Jesus does not say that our righteousness must be totally different to that of the scribes and Pharisees, but that it must surpass it. This leads us to conclude that the scribes and Pharisees were on the right track, but had not reached the desired destination. They were on the right track because they were seeking to base their righteousness on a scriptural basis. However, they had gone wrong because they were not using the scripture properly. In the rest of Matthew 5, the Lord shows five areas where these religious leaders had used scripture incorrectly. Each section is introduced by the phrase; “You have heard that it was said” (see 21a, 27a, 33a, 38a and 43a). In each instance the Lord shows that each statement made by the religious leaders had some connection to scriptural truth. However, the Lord goes on to show, in each section, how the righteousness which the religious leaders achieved was not the right righteousness.

The deficiency in their righteousness was on account of what they understood righteousness to be. The foundation was right, being in scripture, but the development of it was malformed. This was because they focused on the external and achievable. They came to the Word of God and processed it in such a way as to focus on what was within their ability. And as they achieved the standards they had set for themselves they “ticked off” their achievements. It was a “tick-box” righteousness. They set the standard according to what they could demonstrate that they had achieved and thereby show it off for all to see. If you look at all five of the examples given you will see that this is the reasoning. They have used the scriptural commands in such a way as to make sure the standard for murder, adultery, oath taking, getting revenge and loving others is both achievable and clear for all to see that it is being achieved by them.

When the achieving of righteousness is viewed in this way, people are led to glory in themselves. If there is a standard and I can reach that standard by myself then I glory in myself. I say “I must be a good boy/girl and God should be very pleased with me.” People are led to glory in man and not God.

The Lord, though, goes on to show that there is a better righteousness. In each of the five situations presented, He indicates what the righteousness that pleases Him looks like. The righteousness which He seeks to establish is that of the heart (inside) and is not achievable by us. So with regard to murder, He makes hating equivalent to killing, and with regard to adultery, He makes lusting equivalent to sex outside marriage. Through this approach He is dealing with the heart. For everyone who is honest there is the immediate conclusion that “I cannot do that”. When we look to the other three examples we see how the Lord continues with this demanding standard of righteousness. And when we look at these we are to think: “I do not reach these standards. I am sometimes evasive with my words, I am not as generous as I should be and I do show favouritism with regard to who I show kindness to.”

Through this the Lord is relentlessly pressing the point to prove that it is necessary to have a righteousness which emerges from the heart. However, as Jeremiah 17:9 tells us The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Accordingly, we mess it all up in the heart and are not able to achieve this righteousness. We cannot reach the standard. It just cannot be done.

Our desperate plight is searchingly brought home in the final statement of the chapter Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5v48). It would seem that this statement should stand alone as a paragraph on its own because it does not just connect to the foregoing section on loving your neighbour. Rather, it connects to all the passage from v21. As we see this statement we cry “Lord it is impossible; it’s just not achievable; we cannot be perfect.” That is precisely the situation the Lord wants us in. He wants us to be crying for Him to give us this righteousness. Remember we have got to have this righteousness, otherwise we are eternally sunk. But we cannot get it ourselves. So we cry to God, knowing that we are failures who cannot please Him, and He says “I have given my Son Jesus to die, to take away your sins.” When we respond with faith, we are given a righteousness which comes from Him. Praise his Name. Furthermore, as we seek to journey on to live for God we realise that the good life which is pleasing to God can never be derived from my strength, rather, it must always be from God. So it is Jesus through His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who works through us and works righteously.

I can never achieve this righteousness myself. So all the glory goes where? It goes to God. I am only accepted with God and in His family because He has given me righteousness and I can only live a righteous life because God works through me. I am dependant upon Him from beginning to end, and He has ALL the glory.

So make sure that your righteousness is not a righteousness based on your religious achievement. The consequences of getting the wrong righteousness are just too disastrous. If you get the wrong righteousness you are not in the Kingdom of God. And if you are not in the kingdom of God, you are set for eternal disaster.

(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church Newsletter of Oct 2014).

False Teachers.

Christians can be very gullible. When they see and hear someone who appears very nice, quotes from the Bible and says positive things about Jesus, they assume that he is a good man. But life is not so straight-forward, and we need to be on our guard. Our Saviour said to his disciples “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matt. 7 15). Paul said to the Corinthians: For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. (2. Cor. 11:14-15a). We need to get rid of our gullibility and start thinking properly so as to discern whether or not someone is truly genuine.

So what are the signs that someone is false? What do we need to be looking out for? We need to note, as we consider these signs, that we are not thinking of the propagators of false religions or philosophies, but of those who come in among Christians and churches and pretend to preach “the right way”.

All is Well. “There is not much wrong” is what false teachers say. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace (Jer. 6:14). This is what Jeremiah says of the false prophets in his day. The tendency of false teachers is to say that all is getting on reasonably well and that there are no major problems in the church and in the lives of people generally. People need to improve themselves a bit and all will be fine, is what they proclaim. Their preaching takes the form of a coach giving his football team a pep talk at half-time so that their performance will be improved in the second-half of the game. Accordingly, they speak very little of sin. These deceiving teachers do not seek to reveal how disastrous the consequences of sin are. There is no conviction of sin because there is no presentation of the terrors of sin.

No repentance. There is no declaring of repentance in the false teachers’ preaching. Of course, if there is not much wrong, as they proclaim, then there is no need to turn your life around. Repentance happens when we realize our lives are in a mess and we are in danger of disaster, and we turn ourselves around. Let us remember the preaching of Paul to the Athenians: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). And he summed up his ministry to the Ephesians by saying how he declared to all that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21b). Repentance was at the heart of Paul’s preaching, but it is absent from that of the false messenger.

No judgement. Paul continued his sermon in Athens by saying that repentance is necessary because there is the prospect of judgement. He declared to the Athenians “For he (God) has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts17:31) The reality of judgement is continually set before us in the New Testament, and no-one spoke more about this than Jesus himself. However, the false teachers do not warn of judgement because they do not believe there is any real problem with mankind that could lead to God’s judgement.

Jesus is misrepresented. The false teachers do include Jesus in their preaching. However, they misrepresent Him. Most significantly he is misrepresented in respect of what He came to do on the cross. The fact that He was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him (see 2 Cor. 5:21) is ignored. Of course, it is ignored because sin is not seen as a problem by the false teacher. So how does the false teacher view the cross? They see it as a great example of self-sacrifice that we should follow.

There is no narrow way. Our Lord urged his listeners to Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt. 7:13-14). However, the false teachers tell people that it is fine to be on the broad road because there is no destruction. “You can choose your own way”, they say, “because all religions in the end lead to God anyway”.

They want to win people for themselves. When listening to a teacher ask yourself: Does he want to win people for himself / his group or does he want to win you to and for Christ? Paul warns the Galatians that the false teachers want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. (Gal. 6:13b). The Judaisers who were afflicting the Galatian church with their teaching, wanted to win followers to their cause and not to Christ.

As we conclude remember these two things:

  • False teachers can be very popular. When speaking of the message of those who deceive the Lord says the prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. (Jer. 5:31a). People generally love a message that approves of them in their own chosen lifestyles.
  • False teachers are sure to be around always. Peter says that there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you (2 Pet. 2:1a).

So beware of false teachers. If you listen to them and follow them, they will seriously damage your life.

(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of Sept 2014)

Who Can You Trust?

Of course, you cannot trust anyone nowadays, can you? Is that true? Alas, as a general statement, it is only too true. However, you should be able to trust a Christian. In fact, if someone professes to be a Christian and is not trustworthy then they are showing that they have no right to call themselves a Christian.

We live in a society where people show themselves up to be increasingly untrustworthy. People respond to situations on the basis of what will bring the best outcome for themselves. Accordingly, if they have to lie to achieve this or get involved in so deceitful manoeuvring then they see that there is nothing wrong with this. But the Christian should not be like that? A Christian should be trustworthy.

Why is it that a true Christian is of trustworthy character? It is because they fear God. A Christian has been brought to know God. A Christian knows God as Father. The world operates according to self—interest because, “there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18). But the Christian fears God. He has a deep respect for God. He does not want to offend God. And our God is a trustworthy God who hates lies and deceitful manoeuvrings. In what ways then does a Christian show themselves to be trustworthy? He/she should be:

Honest Christians are people of truth. We glory in truth. Our faith is founded on the Man who is truth. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Therefore we tell the truth; we are honest people. And the ninth commandment of our God is, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour” (Ex. 20:16). Moreover, there is condemnation for the liar. One of the categories of people, “consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur” (Rev. 21:8), is liars.

It has to be asserted as well that a Christian does not just tell the truth when it is convenient. The default position is to be accurate in representing the reality of situations always. Hard circumstances and potential personal harm do not force a true follower of Christ to divert from the truth. Let us hear this proverb Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out (Prov. 10:9). Some people tell you what you want to hear (and then tell someone else something different because they reckon that is what they want to hear). Are you like that? Surely, it is not proper to act like that as a follower of the Lord of truth.

Reliable In Psalm 15 we have the description of the person who dwells in God’s holy presence. One statement concerning this person is that the person is one:

who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind”
(Psalm 15:4b).

The true follower of Christ is reliable. They are not forced to give up truth because that truth now puts them in a difficult situation. In the world people happily break their word if they realise that it puts them at a disadvantage. The Christian is not like that. We keep our word always.

However, there may well be times when we are not able to keep a certain commitment. Circumstances may well develop which mean that we can no longer keep an appointment, for example. In such a circumstance we contact whoever may be affected by our failure to keep the appointment. Moreover we apologise for our failure as appropriate.

Consistent With some people you do not know where you are at with them. One day they will be saying this and the next day they will be saying that. One day they will be taking a certain position on an issue and the next day they will be taking an alternative position. In our lives we are to show forth something of the life of Christ who was utterly consistent. He had a purpose in coming to this world and He kept to it. He came to show forth the glory of God in all His ways. This should be our desire.

Paul’s injunction to Titus follows that line. In respect of the the younger men he was to, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:7-8). May we seek to be men and women of such character.

So are you a trustworthy person? Or are you just following the lies, unreliability and inconsistency of the world. As the world becomes increasingly godless so should our Christian lives shine the more brightly. So let us be trustworthy people, “You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).

(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of March 2014).

 

Today, let us stop and ponder upon how wonderful it is to be a Christian. To be a Christian is not just to have adopted a new religion, it is about being a receiver of phenomenal blessings. Let us then take some time to run our hearts and minds over the great truths of scripture and delight ourselves in the goodness of the Lord towards us, his people.

Peace with God In Romans 5:1, we read since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian is in the privileged position of being in harmony with God. How has this come about? By nature we are all enemies of God. However, Jesus Christ has come to make peace through the blood of His cross. He took all of our sins which caused us to be enemies of God, and when we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we are declared to be right before God. We are neither guilty nor enemies any longer. In that condition we come into the blessing of having peace with God. God is no longer against us; He is on our side. Peace has broken out, and never again can we become enemies of God: Praise the Lord!

Eternal Life. God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son is the testimony that the Christian has according to John in 1 John 5:11. In Jesus Christ the Christian has the blessing of eternal life. This is true life. This is a life that can never be taken away. This is a life which has no death because it has no sin and therefore it is eternal. Jesus Christ had no sin therefore in Him there is no death. There is only life everlasting through knowing Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness of Sins In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Eph 1:7). In and through Christ Jesus the forgiveness of our sins comes into our lives. Before our salvation our sins stood against us. We stood ugly before God on account of us offending Him through our sinning. His judgement was upon us, but now it has all changed. Our sins have been taken out of the way. Eternally, forever they are gone and will never be brought back. How can this be? It is because there is redemption through the blood of Jesus; and let us note that it is through His blood, shed on the cross, alone. We were in bondage trapped by our sins, but now we have been released. The release has come through the blood of Jesus, and in that release there is the forgiveness of those sins that had placed us in bondage. Surely this is wonderful? How great it is to be a Christian.

We have a hope We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf (Heb. 6:19-20a). The image in this scripture is that of a tugboat pulling the ship into harbour. The tugboat goes in first to check the way and secure the berth for the ship. That is like our Saviour who has gone into heaven on our behalf. He is there securing our entrance. The way is secure, because He is the way and in Him the berth has been reserved. This hope then makes for a stabilising of the souls. In this world there is turbulence, but our life is ultimately not dependent on this world. Our life is in Christ and we are anchored in him. Through being attached to him we can know stability. We are not dependent on the uncertainties of this life to maintain our existence; rather, our souls are strengthened through living contact with the living Saviour.

We Have Every Spiritual Blessing Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Eph 1:3). Every blessing that matters is ours through Jesus Christ. Our blessings cannot get bigger and better because they are the biggest and the best. This is because they are not from this world, but rather form the world to come. We have all that we need in Christ. We are the richest people on the planet. Moreover Peter says that His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by His own glory and goodness (2. Pet. 1:3). Our blessings are substantial and all that we need for now (and forever!).

We have one another. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to be together to share this great voyage of faith. We are in the same family. So in view of that and in view of all the blessings of being a Christian, the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:23-25 urges his brothers and sisters to Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Oh, how great it is to be a Christian! How can anyone not be wanting to be in Christ? So go away get on your knees give thanks for His blessings. Praise Him for being so good to you, and simply worship Him for there is no God like unto our GOD, Praise Him!

Taken (and adapted) from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of Aug 2014.

 

You Need The Christ.

Life is short. Time is passing away. There is an eternity of existence ahead. Where will you spend eternity? This is the big question. Many people when faced with such a question, make responses which although different are connected. They say that they hope that all is going to work out well and that God will accept them in the end. The second connected response concerns how they have this thought based on their hope that the good in their lives will outweigh the bad. On this basis they hope God will be happy and be persuaded to receive them into his glory. But people need Christ. He is the one they need to guarantee a blessed eternity. But why do people need the Christ?

Let us get to the heart of this issue. We are all God’s creatures. We were made by Him. In Colossians 1:16b we read, concerning our Lord Jesus, the Son of God, all things have been created through him and for him. All things includes us. Deep in all of our beings, we know there is a God. We know this through our observation of creation and the fact of our consciences. There is God and all of us know that deep in the recesses of our beings.

This God who is holy and perfect has holy and perfect standards. His law tells us what pleases Him and what displeases Him. His law is summed up in two fundamental commands. One day Jesus was asked:

‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ When asked what was the greatest commandment Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’ (Matt. 22:36-40).

These standards are further explained in the ten commandments (see Ex. 20:1-17). We have all failed to keep these commandments. We are all guilty of failing to live as we ought. And as a result of our guilt we face punishment. And the punishment for us failing to keep God’s law and please Him as we should is death; eternal death. This means being out of the favour of our God forever. It is eternal hell; it means eternal suffering. So we need a rescuer otherwise all there is is a fearful looking forward to judgement. We need the Christ

We need a saviour. We do not need a new lifestyle; that only camouflages our problem. We do not need a new religion; that is just a distraction and is as futile as a new lifestyle. We need a rescuer. We do not need advice; we need someone to come and deliver us from such a terrible plight. That ONE is Jesus Christ.

He is the Christ. He is God’s special one. The only one with the full approval of heaven upon Him. He came into the world on a salvation mission, He came to rescue sinners from death, hell and destruction. The fact that He was given the name Jesus gave immediate indication of what he was about. We read in Matthew 1:21 the words of the angel to Joseph concerning Mary ‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ He proved that He did not have to die for his own sin because He had none. His is eternally the sinless one and even in coming into this world this did not change. He remained sinless. Paul says of Him God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5.21).

The Old Testament gives us an anticipation of this salvation. The passover indicated that there was of one who would come who was perfect without fault (see Ex. 12:1-13) This Christ came in fulfilment of that picture. John said when he came “Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). To take away sins He had to offer Himself on the cross as the one offering for sins. To prove the finality and sufficiency of what He had done God raised from the dead on the third day and He is now seated at the right hand of the majesty on high.

You need this Christ. No other can save you form the eternal wrath to come. You need to find salvation in Him. It is your sin that keeps you from this salvation. But He has died for sins so come and repent of your sins and believe and you will know what it is to be born again and know eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. You must do this. The consequences of not doing so are too desperate. Come and believe the gospel and receive this Christ. The first message that our Saviour declared when he started preaching was ‘The time has come,’ he said.‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’ (Mark 1:15). This is your time. Come and believe.

Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of June 2014

 

In Psalm 127:4 we read: Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. When we are bringing up our children we are to be preparing them like arrows to be sent out into life. And as we send them out we want them to make an impact for the Lord. One of the ways we ensure that their effectiveness is maximised is by making sure they grow up with good friends who will be helpful for them in their development and as they move into adult life. With good godly people around them help is given so that those arrows are kept pointing in the right direction. Friends who have been brought up with the same values and the same doctrinal teaching as our children will bolster them in their development. If this does not happen those arrows are likely to be seized by the enemy and pointed back at the church.

Paul indicates what the impact of bad company is when he says to the Corinthians:  Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God – I say this to your shame (1 Cor. 15:33-34). Bad company will weaken our children and mitigate against their effectiveness for the Lord.

We need then, to take action. We need to get our children mixing with good company. Very likely this will mean self-sacrifice. It will mean making sure that they are at church and that they attend the groups for youngsters at church. It will mean getting them to mix with other families by inviting those families to our homes. We also need to be sending them to camps and appropriate holiday conferences. Through all this they will be building good relationships which can be vital in making sure that they go in the right direction and, in the Lord’s mercies, that they would come to know the Lord and be built up in Him and for Him.

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