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Reading 1st November 2015

John 17.6 cont.

6 Your name I have made known to the Men whom You gave Me from the world. They were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

The words of Jesus may appear to suggest that the disciples had no choice in whether or not they became His disciples. It would seem that it was God’s plan for them and there was nothing they could have done to prevent that.

However, this is not what Jesus said or even intimated. It is certain that it was always God’s plan for them to become the disciples of Jesus. However, each disciple had a choice as to whether or not they responded to the invitation to follow Him.

The invitation of Jesus to Simon and Andrew was:

[17] Come follow after Me and I will make you to become fishers of men.’

[18] At once, leaving the fishing nets they joined Him. (as disciples) – Mark 1.17-18.

Likewise all the other disciples responded positively to the call of Jesus.

The choice was theirs, as it is ours.

The people of Israel were given a choice:

But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD” – Joshua 24.15 (NLT).

W Barclay tells us that the Pharisees believed in fate, but that they also believed in free will. They had the following saying: Everything is decreed except the fear of God. This understanding would have become a part of the thinking of ordinary people. However, W Barclay also quotes someone as saying: Fate is what we are compelled to do; destiny is what we are meant to do.

Those who believe in fate feel themselves to be at the mercy of some unidentified, impersonal power that leads them into situations that they cannot avoid.

As the followers of Jesus we do not believe in fate, but we do know and believe that our Father God has a plan for us and that He wants us to choose His ways, but He does not force us to do so.

The choice is ours.

Today choose to follow Jesus.

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Corona Virus (COVID-19) Update

Great news - We have reopened our church building for short services on a Sunday morning at 10.45am. You are very welcome to join us, however it is vitally important you let us know if you are coming either by email to helen@thebridgebaptistchurch.co.uk or by sending a text to 07586 564995. A copy of our safety guidelines will be given to anyone who hasn't already received one. Please be aware that face coverings must be worn.