“Access All Areas”

August began last week, but for me it began this Monday. On the first Monday of each month I take more of the day to pray, read and plan. It helps me to reflect on what God has been teaching me over the previous month, and fix my spiritual eyes on the right priorities for the month ahead.

This week I made a trip to a place called Ellesborough in Buckinghamshire. I parked by the side of the road and went for a walk along some marked footpaths. I ascended a hill with a tremendous view over the Vale of Aylesbury and spent some good time praying and praising. 

Walking on from there I came across a sign (detailed in my quiet time coaching episode for next week).  It indicated that access was barred beyond the point at which I was standing. I had unwittingly stumbled across Chequers – the countryside residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The encounter reminded me of all the ways in which access is restricted. I’ve come across a few of those recently. The recent hospitalisations of my mother, my mother-in-law and my son had taken me into restricted areas. I’ve stretched the boundaries of visiting times to be able to comfort my sick relatives. I’ve been pushy with some of the medical staff to get the information I feel we needed. It’s uncomfortable to bump up against those limits (even if they are there for good reason). But again and again I’m reminded of how fortunate I am that there are no limits on my access to the Father:

“…through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18 NIV11)

As much as I strive to grow in my assertiveness with human officials, it seems to me also that I could grow in my spiritual assertiveness, or perhaps the word is confidence, in enjoying the status that God has declared I enjoy in his eyes. Status equal in value to that of his son, Jesus.

I hope my posts this week will help you to grow in your confidence of and enjoyment of your unfettered, unlimited, unconditional access to our great Father.

Prayer request

Once again – my mother’s continued recovery from hip surgery. 

Thank you for praying for my mother-in-law. She is finally back home from hospital. 

Also, thank you for praying for my son.  He is also out of hospital and staying with us. 

Please continue to keep the wedding preparations in your prayers.  This time next week we will be celebrating the union of our daughter, Lydia, with her fiancé, Bintesh. Pray for me as I make my speech!

Teaching Day Update

I’m continuing to consider the book of Colossians for the teaching day in November. Do you have any favourite commentaries or books on that Epistle?

Thank you for reading this far, and encouraging me in my endeavours to support our times of quiet with God, our corporate worship experiences, and the effectiveness of our preaching and teaching.

If you know anyone who might enjoy these materials, please send them a link to my website and encourage them to sign up for this newsletter.

God bless, Malcolm