The meetings yesterday were led by Cadet Mark Scoulding as it was his home specialling weekend. This means that commissioning of The Proclaimers of the Resurrection new officers isn’t far away. 13 July to be exact.
The emphasis of the songs chosen by Mark supported his theme ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus” and included SA Songs 699, 687, 757 together with SoF 589 and 441. The Singing Company and Songsters provided music ministry ‘Wonderful Jesus’ and ”Mid all the traffic of the ways’ respectively.
In a spot for the young people Mark presented The Soldier’s Armoury when two young people illustrated the way that Salvation Army uniform can be a true armoury for a Christian by putting on the different items of clothing. He emphasised that Christians can stand for Christ if they put on the whole armour of God, referring to Eph.6. The Salvation Army uniform in its entirety is a significant aid for us. Even if our uniform does not fit perfectly God ensures that our spiritual armour is a perfect fit.
The prayer activity was in the form of a slide presentation of scripture promises and we were encouraged to write down a verse on a credit card sized card with a footprint on it so that we had a reminder to stand on God’s promises. Psalm 103 was the scripture portion read by Joan West. In his message Mark said
‘Have you ever experienced a moment when you realised how terrible you’ve been. In thought, or word or deed? Was there a conviction, a sense of despair, and you felt as though you were at the bottom of a well with nobody there. That’s where the psalmist was when he wrote this psalm. It is easier to run from God than stand before Him. Potent words for a potent situation. Have you ever fled from God? Adam, Jonah and Peter did but the psalmist didn’t. He cried to God. He then begins to call back to God what God had called to him. He names his sins and asks for forgiveness. Our sins prevent us serving God. There are so many things we can’t bring ourselves to do, things God wishes us to do, because of our sins and regrets. Do as the psalmist did, name them and ask God’s forgiveness.
In v 5, 6 we are called to stand on the promises of God. They are for the future. The psalmist is hoping – Christian hope is a certainty. No matter how dark the night, the dawn always comes. We say to God, why aren’t you helping me? We feel that nothing is changing but then we realise that God is guiding us on a path but the scenery is different and better than it was some time ago. Hope in the word, like the dawn the promises of God will come to pass.
We are called to stand together with others. The psalmist reminds all around him of God’s character and unfailing love which will redeem us all. God himself is capable of such generosity. He came to earth, grew up, moved about the countryside preaching and teaching. This God man, Jesus, disturbed the status quo. He was tortured and killed but God took all that hatred and enmity and turned the world upside down to bring love, joy and hope. The proof is that Jesus rose from death, he was seen, and went to heaven.
We have the opportunity to stand for Christ. The grace of God makes this possible. In his great mercy, God doesn’t keep a record of sins. By grace we can stand.’
The evening meeting’s topic was ‘On we march with the Blood and the Fire” and commenced with SA Song 700 and prayer song SoF 664 prior to a presentation of the week in pictures. We were reminded that soldiers go to battle, so must we, in whatever form it takes. Love, mercy and prayer are our weapons against the wrong in this world. Prayers were made for the situation in the world this week. The Songsters and Band provided music ministry with ‘I surrender all’ and ‘Jesus paid it all’ respectively. Mark led a meditation on ‘The Darkest England’ frontispiece and read William Booth’s words describing the situation of the day as illustrated in the picture, brought up to date in a new painting. SA Song 336 followed. A testimony time was introduced with SoF 1076.and eight people queued up to speak, two of whom had never been to the Corps before. There was great witness as to how God was helping them and changing their lives. Mark said that it is good to listen to each other as hearing each other brings healing. Scripture was taken from Acts 2 and read by Major Alec Still before the message.
Mark said ‘Do any of you like Fawlty Towers tv programme? Do you remember the time when Basil has some Germans staying and everyone was told ‘Don’t mention the war’? There are always some kinds of wars going on around us. What kind of war are we talking about. They can be both spiritual and practical: broken relationships, human trafficking … Apathy is much easier than getting involved in trying to resolve wars. Christians aren’t motivated by anything other than God’s Spirit through God’s Son.
Acts 2, v 1-13 is an account of Pentecost. The disciples were saved, then sanctified. Immediately, they gave witness as to what had happened to them. Salvation and sanctification followed by proclamation and presence. Salvationists embrace a life of going to war. The dvd clip shown illustrated how the early Salvationists behaved when they gathered for worship. The Salvationists sat on the platform and they went down to the people where they were sitting to tell them about salvation. Is there something to challenge and inspire us in these days to do what the early Salvationists did?
v 19 It’s the basis of our motto – Blood and Fire. Salvation and sanctification. How are we living this out in the world today? It’s us that has to decide if we are doing this. Is that what you need to do? Surrender to God every part of your life so that you can live.
Next Sunday, 30 June, the Band and Songsters are assisting at the Annual Service of Remembrance at Medway Crematorium.
The official re-opening of the hall by Chief Secretaries Colonels David and Sylvia Hinton with Divisional Leaders Lieut-Colonels Peter and Sandra Moran takes place on 6-7 July. The times of arrangements on the Saturday are that all members and friends of the Corps will assemble at 14.45hrs for a march through the town centre for open air ministry, returning for the opening ceremony at 16.00hrs. All are invited to the buffet meal which follows at 16.30hrs. The Festival of Celebration commences at 19.00hrs. Morning worship on 7 July will be led by our Divisional Leaders and there will be no evening meeting on this Sunday.
We hope you will have a blessed week and thank you for visiting our website.