More Than Conquerors

When I was a boy I sang in a church choir. One of the perks of the job was to sing at weddings on a Saturday afternoon, for which we would get paid. If you were lucky there would be 2 or even 3 weddings in the afternoon. Even luckier if a full choir couldn’t be raised as we would then share the wages of those who were missing. It was sat in the choir stalls that I learned Romans 8:28 (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose) as this was one of the vicar’s favourite texts for the wedding sermon.

Indeed this is a favourite verse for many Christians, bringing comfort through all kinds of trials in life. Some people seem to think that it means that things will get better in this life. However if you read the passage around it (v18-39) it is clear that Paul never envisaged that following Christ would result in an easy life. The good that he speaks about in verse 28 is only fully realised in our eternal destiny.

Paul’s own experience was hardship. He was beaten, whipped and stoned for following Christ. He was shipwrecked and adrift in the open sea. He was in danger from his fellow Jews, and from Gentiles, in the city, in the country, at sea and from false believers. He knew hunger and thirst, went without food and been cold and naked. Yet despite all these hardships he could say “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”

Paul’s confidence was based in the promise that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. I don’t know all the challenges that you are facing at the moment. I don’t know whether your circumstances will get better or whether they will get worse. I do know however that your circumstances are covered by Romans 8:38-39 where Paul says: ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

We too can be more than conquerors if we learn to take our eyes off our circumstances and place our confidence in the love of God knowing that nothing, not even death, can separate us from Him.

 

This blog post featured in the May 2016 edition of Lifelines

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Living the Dream – by Dave Smith

LivingTheDream Many people are familiar with the life of Joseph. Whether it is because it is a Sunday school favourite, or as a result of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, the story is always popular. The tale of a young man who has dreams, who is set upon by his older brothers, who conquers adversity and rises to be second only to Pharaoh is one that fires imaginations. Add in the sub plot of family fragmentation and then ultimately unexpected reconciliation and it is hardly surprising that ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ became a worldwide hit.

The biblical account of Joseph’s life however is far more than entertainment. It sets the scene for the big picture. It marks the transition from a family descended from Abraham to a nation in slavery. The account in itself provides a cameo of salvation, foreshadowing the salvation won for us in Christ. Yet on a more practical level, each of the episodes of Joseph’s life can also teach us important lessons on how to live the Christian life – examples to follow and mistakes to avoid.

Drawing on his experience as pastor of KingsGate Community Church in Peterborough, which has seen remarkable growth, Dave Smith uses the life of Joseph as an illustration of how to live the dream; how to seize our destiny and fulfil our potential in Christ. In this book he shows how God has a wonderful plan for our lives and he wants us to live it! The story of Joseph is particularly helpful because it shows us the progression of Gods dealings in a person’s life and therefore has the power to speak to us through all the seasons of our life.

This book will be a great accompaniment to the preaching series we will be following through July and August looking at the life of Joseph.

Buy Living the Dream from Amazon UK
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