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Seeds of the Kingdom

Snow

by John Berry

25 February 2015

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So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don`t fall!
1 Corinthians 10:12-13, NIV

Depending on where you live in the world, you either love snow – perhaps because you never see it! – or you just put up with it and wait for it to go. I live in the south of England where we rarely see ‘proper’ snow, usually just a light dusting which delays transport for a while then disappears. However in the north of England this month there have been some serious snowfalls. My wife loves it as it reminds her of when she was growing up in the Midlands. We were in Scotland recently when it snowed and settled for a few days. Children were out playing and making snowmen, accompanied by their parents!

During this time I was walking along a snow-covered path in a very rural location. The path went along the side of the road and then across some farm land, but you couldn`t tell what was under the snow as the covering was a thick blanket, It was very pretty to look at, but potentially unsafe, as the ground underneath was so irregular. This made me think of Paul`s words in 1 Corinthians 10:12: ‘So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don`t fall!` The context for these words is the danger of hidden temptation which we can all fall into if we’re not careful. In our modern world there are many temptations seeking to lure us from the plumb-line of truth.

We must be wise, as what seems attractive on the surface often hides stumbling blocks and pitfalls. In the Church worldwide there are many movements which appear to be good and attractive. People flock to new ideas, and then the local expressions seem to grow and start attracting others, who then try to replicate the ideas in their own locality. Sometimes it looks like God’s doing something amazing as people receive ‘miraculous’ healings and the worship is ‘incredible’. But the theology which underlies the new idea isn’t always as sound as it looks, and folk can be trapped in the enemy’s pitfall.

There are also movements in the Christian community which attract a great following because of the personality of the person at the front. These can be stumbling blocks, especially for new believers who don’t have the understanding or discernment to recognise when someone is leading them astray. Even mature Christians can trip over these hidden obstacles when the ‘snow’ of seemingly good spirituality lies over them.

The Bible instructs us to be careful how we walk, and where we put our feet. We must watch out for the enemy. Jesus referred to it as ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ (Matthew 7:15). What seems OK on the surface may hide snares from the enemy.

However, I’m reminded that the covering of the blood of Jesus is cleansing and healing when we do fall in Satan`s `snow`. We may well fall for it and follow things which are deception for a while, but when we recognise the problem and come back to Jesus in repentance we`re assured that `the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness` (1 John 1:9).

So let’s be wise in our Christian walk, but not so afraid of the possible pitfalls that we never venture into anything new. Praise God that He cleanses and forgives our mistakes through Jesus, and let’s walk ahead with confidence and vision, even if the ground is snow covered and we’re not sure what`s underneath!

Prayer: Thank You Jesus that You completely cleanse us and deal with all our failures and mess-ups. Help us to have more Holy Spirit discernment as we walk through life with You, so we don`t fall on hidden, uneven ground, but are able to avoid the pitfalls the enemy sets before us. Give us wisdom as we look at new expressions of Church in our world. Help us not to miss what You`re doing today, but to avoid all deception. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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