Monthly Message Mar-Apr 2023

Dear friends,

“Let there be light.”  Genesis 1:3

Are you enjoying the lighter mornings and longer evening daylight?  Whether literal or metaphorical, light is always preferable to darkness.

At creation God brought light into darkness, order into chaos and life into lifelessness.  “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters(Gen 1:2). So, even before Day 1, darkness was there but also God was there!  Then the first thing he said was: “Let there be light” – and there was light, because God said so.  (The Hebrew word for ‘word’ is the same as the word for ‘deed’. For the practical Hebrews words and actions went together!   When God speaks, he acts; whatever he says is as good as done. Or, to put it another way, God always acts on his word).  Light is not only the work of God, it is also the will of God.

How much darkness there is and how much we need light; not least in the areas of sexuality, the economy, ethics, personal and international relationships and in our understanding of truth.  Psalm 119:30 says: “The entrance (or, unfolding) of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple”.  Through the Holy Spirit, expository preaching and prayerful personal reading of the Bible is precisely that – the unfolding of the Word of God.   Bible Focus seeks to be one among many means by which God  ‘unfolds’ his Word to give better understanding; and better understanding enriches our discipleship which, in turn, brings yet greater glory to our Lord Jesus Christ through lives reflecting his grace. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin”. (I John 1:7).

Not only did Jesus say that he is the light of the world (John 8:12), but he said that his disciples are, too (Matt 5:14).  What a provision!  What a ministry! What a need!  “O Lord, let there be light”.

Thank you to all those who were able to join us for prayer on the 18th: a time of fellowship and renewal of hope.  Details of the next prayer opportunity will be sent out in due course.

Yours, in Christ,

Tony Mason

Monthly Message Feb 2023

Dear friends,

“…contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”  Jude 3

Some of you reading this are deeply troubled.  You are concerned about the tensions in the church today in the whole area of same-sex ‘marriage’ and gender identity.  There may be other problems, too, that seem to be handled in such a way as to lead only to compromise and/or division.

When our starting point, as is so often the case, is human opinion and expediency then tension is bound to follow.  We must, rather, “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2).  In him is both grace and truth (John 1:17), and, hard though it may be, we who seek to follow him must aim to demonstrate both.

Grace: we need to guard against, or even repent of, a lack of love towards those with whom we disagree.  We can reject a viewpoint without rejecting the person who holds it.  To love someone is to want the very best for them, and surely we want the very best for those we deem to be in error. We are to embrace such people but that does not mean we affirm them.

Truth:   we also need to be sure we take our agenda, our core values, from the Scriptures and not from the world. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world” writes Paul in Romans 12:2, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

These are critical days, and if the people of God are going to stand firm for grace and truth they will face opposition and attack in various ways. But if the church is to avoid further spiritual and numerical decline but rather rise up to greater holiness and powerful gospel proclamation let us resolve to commit ourselves to prayer for repentance, renewal and revival as individuals, churches and a nation.  Let us pray, too, for the gift of discernment so that we might carry out the command, and heed the warning, of Jude 3-4:

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord”.

Finally, may I remind you of the Spring Event coming up soon on the 11th March. Due to limited space places should be booked by 28th February ( We shall meet at the Salvation Army Hall in Abbey Lane, Saffron Walden from 10.00am to 12.00 noon, with the theme: “Elijah – a man for our times”.  There’ll be opportunity for fellowship, discussion and prayer. I hope to see you there.

Yours, in Christ,

Tony Mason

Monthly Message Jan 2023

Dear friends,

Several people have kindly (and, I assume, sincerely!) wished me a Happy New Year.  But can it really be happy in the light of Ukraine, rail strikes, mail strikes, nurses’ strikes, the NHS and care service crisis, the cost of living and so on?  We may not be able to do much, or even anything, about our circumstances but we can do a lot about our approach to life.

In Psalm 119 verses 153 to 160 the Psalmist asks God twice to renew his life and then to preserve his life.

  • v154 “renew my life according to your promise

I am told there are 365 promises in the Bible (I haven’t checked) so that makes one for every day of the year.  Let’s make 2023 a year for reflecting on those “very great and precious promises” (II Peter 1:4).

  • Joshua 23:14 “…not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
  • Philippians 1:6 “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
  • v156 “renew my life according to your laws”.

This world’s values are empty and deceptive and its standards lead more to corruption than to health and holiness.  Where do we turn for a guide to life and to eternity but to God’s laws, God’s principles, God’s Word.

  • Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
  • Psalm 19:7 “…the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” 
  • v159 “preserve my life according to your love

Renewal is necessary, but by definition it constantly needs to be renewed!  Preservation means permanence, God in his love keeping the believer in eternal life.

  • John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
  • Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love;I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

How might we enter, and stand in, this new year?  By being renewed through claiming God’s promises, and by living according to his Word and being secure in his love and grace.  I sincerely wish you that sort of happy New Year.

Tony Mason

Do you have our Spring Event firmly in your diary?  Sat., 11th March, 09.45, Salvation Army Hall, Abbey Lane (next to URC), Saffron Walden.  Theme:  “Elijah – a man for our times”.

Hope to see you there!