Grappling With God
Susie Batsford (Sun, 22 Mar 2015)
Susie spoke about grappling with God.
Further notes and questions may follow in due course,.
Phil Hardy Susie Batsford (Sun, 06 Apr 2014)
Phil and Susie continued our "Basics of Christianity" series looking at worship.
Notes and questions from Susie's section follow:
‘Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault - we who would stand before him covered with his love.’ Ephesians 1 v 4
Creation is God’s great love story. It inspires worship when we meditate on it. It’s helpful finding writers and creatives who are able to interpret God’s creation enabling us to see it with fresh eyes when it is so easy to take it for granted. Susie used ‘The Jesus Storybook Bible (for kids),’ by Sally Lloyd Jones because she loves the simple, inspiring language...
‘God wrote, “I love you” - he wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote it everywhere! Because God created everything in his world to reflect him like a mirror - to show us what he is like, to help us know him, to make our hearts sing. The way a kitten chases her tail. The way red poppies grow wild. The way a dolphin swims’
Question: Is there a writer, poet, song writer or artist that helps you see afresh God’s love story through creation?
The bible is also God’s love story. Reading it, discovering who Jesus is from cover to cover fires our worship. The more encounter the more we become irresistibly drawn to our wonderful saviour in worship.
...‘the bible is most of all a story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave prince who leaves his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!‘ The Jesus Story Book
Since Satan’s first deceit to mankind, ‘does God really love you?’ we have struggled to believe the truth that we are covered with his love and are called to enjoy intimacy with him in worship. But he does love us and he has given everything to be near us.
Worship is not Neutral. As we give ourselves to him - Jesus heals us, delivers us and reveals himself to us. Bill Johnson says,’ “we get all of Jesus in exchange for all of us - there has never been a better deal.”
Question: Have you had memorable encounters with Jesus in worship that you’d like to share with the group?
As we worship - we come empty and leave full! We can get empty a lot - time and time again. So we come back a lot - time and time again and are filled.
How ever long we’ve been away, however faraway and cold we feel, Jesus welcomes us back and delights in our worship. He doesn’t condemn us - he hugs and kisses us back to life.
When we worship Jesus tells us secrets. When we surrender who we are - our time and focus on Jesus - he shares his heart with us and draws us into his plans and purposes.
God loves slow. Using the analogy of having a purse full of copper coins that we need to give to the cashier - we feel embarrassed at how long it can take and feel pressured as we fumble in front of a queue of shoppers or an impatient shop assistant. But our purses our fat and there is so much stuff we need to pour out to Jesus and it takes time. I encourage you to find time. The way that suits you - your circumstances - your life. Don’t be intimidated by others around you. Jesus wants all your coins!
Questions: What are the coins you’d get out of your purse and present to Jesus if you felt you had the time and didn’t feel intimidated by the people around you?