On the final day of the financial year John Alley challenged the people of God to undertake a spiritual stocktake, each one to search their own hearts to ensure that they have not only believed the message of salvation through the cross of Christ, but have indeed received the grace from Christ that is the power to live a holy life. It cost Jesus everything, says John, to make such grace available to us, and it costs us everything to receive that grace. Jesus had to die in order to make that grace available to us, and we also must die, to self, to sin and to the world, as we participate in receiving it. We surrender all that we are and have to Christ, and he imparts to us all that is His. John then clarifies his message with an overview of the powerful and well known words of Hebrews 12:1-2, which speaks of the process involved in not only the surrender of the life and body to Christ, but following on from that the great need we each have of being transformed by the renewing of the mind.
All that was introductory to John then sharing the powerful and compelling narrative of his own journey in the apostolic call — of the three stages in the development of an apostle as experienced by him over the last 39 years, of the great trials and tests in those stages, and of what each has achieved and still achieving. There is a call here to stand in what the Lord ordains, and to trust.
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