After the ordination service on Sunday, the congregation began discussing the evening’s events. All were very encouraged by the hymns of praise, prayers, promises and preaching. The right balance, many said, between encouragement and challenge as they recounted the main points of the sermon to stay alert, to be strong and to show mercy. The sermon was taken from Jude verses 17-23 and while directed at the new elders of the church was also relevant for all believers. We were reminded to stay alert for many wolves will come to the sheep seeking to devour them. Such false teachers will tell us to obey our natural instincts and walk away from the doctrine of the Bible. Like guards on sentry we were encouraged to keep ourselves clean and our weapon (the Bible) ready, and stay alert. Alongside this the next point told us all to stay strong – but not in our fleshly strength. Our strength was to come from the Lord, in building our faith in Jesus and praying in the Holy Spirit and staying in the love of God. This strength would be required within the church if we are to love and help each other as we should. The final sermon point -Be merciful – brought balance to the weapons, guards and strength. We were reminded how blind we were before the Lord revealed himself to us. How slowly we have grown in our faith. How patient God has been with us. How much mercy we have received and needed. While we are to hate every corrupting effect of sin we are to be merciful to others wanting them to be saved from the fire. As the congregation reflect on God’s word we pray that our church will grow in these matters of great importance.