Winter 2018

Did you realise that you are a living example of God’s grace in Bristol?

This is wonderfully true and we could find numerous bible references to establish its validity. However, there is a vast difference between knowing something is biblical and actually living in the freedom of its truth.  We all love to hear a good story; and we are delighted when good things happen to other people. But did you realise that this is true of you too? Did you realise that you are a working example of the Father’s goodness and kindness? Did you realise that your story is an insight into the Father’s will to establish heaven on the earth? The story, or testimony of God in you through the gospel of his transforming grace, has the power to raise faith in others around us because they get to see how kind the Father is and are drawn, through us, to Him.

My hope is that this year, we begin to see that which our Father is doing in others, He is willing to do in us. Some of our people have begun to tell their story.

Frank Harford had an idea to communicate the transforming truth of the gospel through making a film that portrayed John 3.16. Frank worked with Dan Gardner who produced a number of short video testimonies showing the goodness of God in people’s lives. Our hope is that these help us to see that God’s power, at work in our lives, is a living example of His grace in this city.  The unfolding story of God in our lives is an encouraging testimony for us, and is designed to draw others to Jesus .

One of the ways in which we will be encouraging one another to speak of God’s daily kindness and intervention  is on the first Sundays of the month. Our Communion Sunday is going to be an opportunity to grow in faith as we hear what God has been doing in one another’s lives. Jessie Carter will be working with me on these Sundays to help us to hear people’s testimony of God grace at work.

The Holy Spirit is always at work in people who put their faith in Jesus. Our hope is that we will  live with great confidence in Him and begin to share what He has been doing.

Can you imagine a story where people were threatened by a megalomaniac leader committed to his own fame with a considerable drinking habit? Women were used by men to view and to show off their power. Life was hard and death was not far away. God’s name was never uttered in the story, but his fingerprints were all over society as he cared quietly and intervened silently.

The story comes before Job in the bible and speaks of God’s amazing grace to a people who didn't realise that He was quite so involved in their lives. The people of Israel were under threat of death; they were aware of God in their history, but not overly aware of his contemporary presence. Yet, in his amazing grace filled way, our God kept His people safe and the story our spiritual family continued.

Please read the story of Esther in the bible as many times as you can as we preach the message of the God who never ceases to amaze us, and who is at work in the darkest parts of Bristol  making His own name famous.

The closer we get to the Lord, and the more we encounter Jesus, the more we realise our need of Him and realise that perhaps for years we have been limping along to another tune. A tune filled with things that are not from God and are certainly not true. We get to turn away from the lies: to the  truth that the Father speaks. The more we encounter God, the more aware we become of His life giving presence and the more we will encourage others that this story of God’s redeeming kindness is for them.

- Tim Silk