Amy Watson

Living in the light of eternity

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Are we ready? We know Christ will return but do we think about it? Are we excited? Do we live in the light of eternity? 

At the Renew South Yorkshire conference, it was great to meet together with hundreds of other Christians from sister churches in South Yorkshire to hear from God’s word, ponder, pray & praise God. We spent a large proportion of the day looking at the 2nd letter of Peter. 

When talking about the return of Christ, it struck me how ‘the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance’, 2 Peter 3:9. 

We don’t know the day when Christ will return but the delay that God gives is a time of Him patiently waiting for all people to love him and return to his loving goodness because he wishes that no one perishes and lives without Him in their lives. 

As God longs for this, we should also long for it. We should not be complacent in our telling of the gospel because we don't want our family and friends to perish without him. The knowledge that Jesus is coming back should fire us up to share the good news of Christ for He is coming. Are you ready? 

During the day, we had the opportunity to listen to different people from across the churches in Sheffield as they reflected on how we can make the most of our lives as we live in the light of eternity. 

One way that we can do this is by knowing that God is using all of our circumstances in the past and the present to bring him glory. The good times that we've enjoyed but also the rough times that we often endure. God uses both to bring us closer to him. We aren't to waste our past and our sorrows because God is in control of them. We are to remember them and give thanks that God uses them for our good and ultimately His good.

As the day closed, a story was shared where following a huge meteor storm in the 19th century, a boy turned to his mother and stated “that the sky is falling down” to which the mother replied “Thank God that I am ready.”  As we seek to live our lives in the light of eternity, can you say “Thank God that I am ready”?

Standing Strong: Supporting our persecuted family

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"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient , but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

In November a bunch of us went down to Birmingham to join two thousand others  for the Open Doors Celebration. Open Doors is an organisation that supports persecuted Christians around the world.  Hearing about the persecution of Christians - how can that be a celebration? It will be depressing won't it? 

Tears filled my eyes as I heard of the torture of Christians but the tears were of joy too as I heard testimonies of the Lord’s sustaining power in the midst of suffering as believers put their trust in God not the leader of their country. A beautiful little old lady who had escaped North Korea (the most dangerous country in the world to be a Christian),  shared with us the prayer her mother taught her: "Lord, Lord please help us". I was humbled by this simple prayer - dependence on Him. 

We heard that globally the persecution of Christians is the highest it's ever been. It could be assumed that the number of people turning to Christ would therefore decrease but the opposite is the case. We heard that in the face of persecution the gospel grows. Who wants a faith that you could live without and won't affect your life? Christ claims he is the way, the truth and the life. 

As murdered missionary Jim Elliot had said "he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."