To the GateWay family
Well done Church!
I was out walking this week with Betchie and Daniel. We had a bit of a kick about (with a football) and then proceeded to go for a walk around the Common. I can't remember what exactly I said, but it was something to do with the need to get a little fitter for the kids, to which Betchie replied that I needed to get in better shape for the grandchildren! I had a good laugh at her forward thinking but the reality is that what we invest in today, what we sow today, will often give return at a later date or even for a future generation.
The mindset of culture has shifted dramatically over the years. Previous generations planted trees for their children's children… Chess games and board games went on for days or longer.
Often we are so absorbed in the here and now……….. a 'chicken ding' society (because everything has to be done quickly, we've become more and more impatient). If we get stuck in traffic, we complain; if there is a long queue at the bank or post office; if the internet connection is slow; never mind waiting at the till in Tesco's or Morrisons (I hear Waitrose don't have long queues : -) we get annoyed.
Yet, often God isn't in a rush (until He is, someone said). I can see old Simeon and Anna (Luke 2 v25-36) in the temple, having waited for years and years to see the Messiah. Waiting year upon year, not even year upon year, decade upon decade! How long have you ever waited? What do you imagine might have passed through their heads? Did I hear right? …. as the years went passed I am convinced the temptation to second guess increased. Each year wondering, if this would be the year… maybe even 'feeling' that everything was lining up, just for nothing to happen.
But the truth was still the truth, each day that went past, they were one more day closer to receiving the promise. But they had to remain faithful, they had to remain true to their convictions. They had to keep holding on, year after year.
Caleb had to wait 45 years for the opportunity to take the land of his inheritance, Joseph had to wait over 20 years before seeing the dreams of God coming into fruition, David had to wait years between being anointed King and being appointed King, two very different events! Waiting, perseverance, patience and endurance seems to be very much part of God's plan …… maybe because it separates the wheat from the chaff through the process. Just as it says in Romans 5 v3-4 'And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope'.
Rebeca mentioned something the other day whilst preaching and immediately my mind went back to a question I'd asked God years before. The question was simple, why had I not given up? Why had I not given up when the isolation got too much, when the stress of finance (or lack thereof, got too much), when there seemed no fruit for all the labour. Why, why had I not given up when I thought surely my brain was going to explode! I remember God's answer….. clear and simple ….. 'I would not let you!''
Keeping on, keeping on, isn't easy. It is easy to say the words but harder to outlive them. But I would encourage you, keep on holding on to His promises on and over your lives and those of your family, friends and church. Keep on turning up for time with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Keep on applying and obeying His words, when it isn't fashionable or culturally tolerable, living and teaching His statutes to others when it seems the world and "church" worship gods of their own making.
Look what the writer of Hebrews says to encourage you - Hebrews 12 v3-4 'For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.'
Stay faithful to God and He will never let you down. The vision might tarry but it will come to pass.
God's continued blessings
Pastors Marty & Rebeca