Yesterday was what is known in The Salvation Army as Commitment Sunday, a day on which we can rededicate our lives to God and commit ourselves again to Him. The morning meeting, which included this renewal, was led by Major Karen Smith.
The meeting began with the song of declaration, ‘How firm a foundation’ and continued with a song of prayer particularly relevant to the start of another year, ‘Let there be love shared among us. Prayer time followed.
Scripture was read from 2 Peter 1:3-11 before Major Karen engaged the attention of the children. Inviting two of the older children to come to the platform she asked a few simple, bible based questions to test their knowledge. Having received correct answers to all of them she spoke of how knowledge of God’s word is important to pour spiritual development, whether we are young or older.
To conclude this part of the meeting the Singing Company (children’s choir) sang ‘Father Creator’.
New Local Officers were appointed by Major Nigel Schultz as f0llows:
- Nigel Lockwood – Bandmaster
- Martin Davis – Band Secretary
- Adrian Horwood – Band Manager
- Chris Boughton – Assistant Band Sergeant
- Sharon Smith – Ladies Fellowship Leader
Top row L to R: Nigel, Martin, Adrian Bottom row L to R: Chris, Sharon
The well known hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ was sung before the Songsters (adult choir) brought their contribution (Come to me) and Major Karen delivered her message entitled ‘Every day, Everything, Everywhere’ saying (summarised):
All we need to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be found in God!
Do we find it difficult to change our mind set? How would you find it if you had to live in a different time in history? How would you have coped with the change from black and white TV to modern HD colour big screen? Transformation brings a new way of thinking. As disciples we are transformed in ourselves. God reaches out to us in a new reality, to leave behind our old ways. He gives us everything we need for this.
We then become partners with God and we can learn how to have a new and Godly life (Every day,.Everything, Everywhere). Then our love for God will deepen in every aspect. This is not just for Sundays. We must work at it every day and not live selfishly, learning to love God and each other deeply.
Be aware that God will not automatically enthuse us. We, ourselves, must make the effort to keep God’s virtues always in our minds and we must train ourselves to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Only ‘born again’ believers can achieve spiritual maturity. This is gained through faith. It is difficult because we live in a society which does not believe. The world teaches us that every act which does not do harm to others is a good one. This is, of course, untrue. Only God can provide such acts. Nevertheless, we can stand firm in our faith and remain steadfast. Then we will become spiritually mature.
God, and God alone, must be our focus so that we can truly love one another, both inside and outside of our family and church. He will enable us to escape the corruption of the world.
Here is a question to ponder:
Will you surrender the rest of your life to Jesus and be productive for him every day. in everything and everywhere? Who are you going to serve this year, Jesus or Satan? Make your commitment now by signing one of the cards on the table.
The song ‘It is Jesus I need’ was sung whilst people signed their commitment cards and many went o the front to respond. The meeting concluded with a song of thanksgiving, ‘Yet once again, by God’s abundant mercy’.
In the evening Major Nigel focused on Epiphany and began with the song ‘i’m going to make my life into a melody’ and continued with a united scripture reading from Psalm 37:1-5. The song ‘When wise men came seeking’ followed together with united prayers.
The contribution from the Songsters was ‘Breathe’ and a second bible reading was from Matthew 2. Two more songs, ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ and ‘Above all powers’ were followed by the ministry from the Band (I dedicate myself to thee) and the song ‘Now I belong to Jesus’ before Major Nigel delivered his message in which he used two extended video clips each featuring the journey of the wise men to Jerusalem.
How did they get on with each other? The clip taken from the TV show ‘Top Gear’ was a spoof using modern day transport, the motor car, and made fun of the whole story whilst the other clip took a more serious look at the adventure. Both. however, indicated that there was often disagreement and challenge was not far away. Major Nigel spoke of how we all need to be challenged in our journey with the Lord and how we must be totally committed to God. He asked us to choose a word by which we would set course for the year ahead. Amongst suggested words were commitment, challenge, concern clarity, care and Christ centered.
Two further songs concluded the meeting, ‘Would you know why I love Jesus’ and ‘Far and near, hear the call’.
This was a day of inspiration for all who were able to be present and we give thanks to God for the quality of ministry that we receive week by week. Throughout the coming year we will faithfully continue to bring you the heartbeat of our corps here at Chatham with occasional contributions from Strood as well. Changes in leadership will be taking place in the summer but that is some way off yet. We will bring more details of this when we can. for the time being we wish you a great week ahead and look forward to you visiting us again soon.