Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
19 June 2022
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
No service at Bethel today – Churches across the town are meeting together in Macclesfield Town Centre for Open-Air Service at 10.30am, everyone welcome!
Church AGM on Wednesday 6th July 2022 in Church at 7pm. Please prayerfully consider who to nominate as a Deacon (with their permission) as we really need more folk to serve in this ministry.
Thank you so very much for thinking of me and praying over the operation. It is a daunting time and knowing that others are reaching out in God’s love is a humbling, yet comforting experience.
This period has involved a significant spiritual journey for me and I would like to share these experiences with you. You may well have some insights to bring to the next stage of this my pilgrimage. When I began to realise that my heart condition was more serious than I had supposed, the choice was not so starkly given, but the decision clearly had to be made: If I do not have the operation, my aorta will pack up and kill me (perhaps in 2 weeks, perhaps in 2 years). If I do, there is a 10% chance of not surviving it, and I could look forward to at least several months of incapacity … Once the date was set and getting close, I tried to have it out with God. “Don’t hold back”, Jesus tells us, “Be honest and open with Him in what you feel.” So I asked Him, “Where was all this fatherly protection he is supposed to dish out? How could he let me drop so neatly down this particular hole?”
The answer came soon enough. The aorta problem, in itself, had no symptoms, but a mild angina had developed, which caused me to go to the doctor and it was the resultant testing for that, that brought to light the time bomb quietly ticking away. If they had been keeping their eye on the aorta all the time, they would probably have operated at about the same time. So recognition grew that He was in there all the time keeping his eye on me. That is a very reassuring thought. I had to face the fact that there was a real possibility of death during this period, either from the aorta packing up before it, or during the operation itself. Jesus tells us about the ways God’s Wisdom can be so very different from ours and guides us into his ways in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5). Whilst pondering about this, lo and behold, the following passage came up in my daily readings: ‘He also says, “By gaining his life a man will lose it, by losing his life for my sake, he will gain it” (Matt. 10:39).
All of this led me to the acceptance that this could well be the end of life here on earth for me and I finally, after much hesitation, asked God to take my life and to do with it as he wills. A great awareness came to me, once I had done this, of his love for me and that, whether he allowed me to live or die was not the issue here, but that whatever he allowed to happen would be for my ultimate good and of those around me, because “… even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So have no fear …” (Matt. 10:30). The apprehension for the operation lifted and floated away as Jesus did what he always says he will do, if only we learn to ask and I was left with God’s Peace to accompany me through the whole period of my hospitalisation. This was truly a great blessing in time of need.
I am now back home and feeling surprisingly well. But this encounter of the close kind cannot end here. For one thing, I have given my life to God, surely I cannot just take it back, just because of his generosity. Each day from now on is a special day, an extra day that he has given me. “Let us praise the Lord for His love endures for ever.” The Peace of the Lord be with you all.
Beryl, relaying the account of a friend facing a big operation, who wrote to her 20 years ago.
Please read: Acts 6:1-7
So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to serve tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.”Acts 6:3
This is one of several examples in the New Testament where church officers are chosen by the whole congregation. All the disciples, the church, gathered together and then chose those who would become Deacons, based on the word ‘diakoneo’ which means to serve, to minister. This is the reason Jesus came,
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.Matt. 20:28
So please pray and approach those whom the Lord lays on your heart and ask them to consider becoming a deacon at Bethel and then hand in your nomination forms to Graham or to Harry, thank you.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness towards Beryl’s friend facing his operation. Lord, we commit the need for more deacons at Bethel, guide us in Jesus Christ, Amen!