Posted on: 4th March 2019
“Bear with each other, forgive each other, as the Lord has forgiven you.”
During this half term we are considering how we can ‘Love like Jesus’. From reading the gospels, I think it is really clear what Jesus was about. Jesus was love. Sometimes this love was an obvious demonstration. In Matthew 4:23, after Jesus had returned from his testing in the wilderness and called the first disciples, he went throughout Galilee and preached, proclaimed good news and healed all who were sick. And people followed him.
This week we are considering how Jesus is forgiveness. The ultimate display of this is his sacrifice on the cross, for the forgiveness of all. In Colossians 3:13 it says we are to “bear with each other, forgive each other, as the Lord has forgiven you.”
It is a sacrifice to forgive. Forgiveness requires us offering something to someone who has wronged us, that they don’t deserve. So why does Jesus call us to forgive? We find the answer in Matthew 6:14.
In his book ‘Everybody always’, Bob Goff describes a person who he meets who is, “pure evil.” Bob gets the opportunity to meet with this man after his arrest for all the vile things he had done. During this encounter, the prisoner asked Bob to forgive him. Bob describes this as one of the hardest decisions he had ever made. This man had hurt someone Bob loved. If you are looking for an inspirational and motivational book to read, I cannot recommend this book highly enough, along with Bob Goff’s first book, ‘Love does’.
This week starts the period of lent. What are you going to sacrifice over the next 40 days? What is the reason behind your sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice was for the forgiveness of sins.
My prayer is that lent is a season of reflection, sacrifice and forgiveness in your life.
Posted on: 5th February 2018
Isn’t it ironic that the majority of time we ask for patience is when we want it immediately? Even Christian’s pray for patience… and they want God to give it them now!
Think through the past few weeks. Who or what has tested your patience? A teacher who did not understand you? A friend who annoyed you? A brother or sister in an obnoxious mood? A parent’s expectations that seemed unreasonable? A disappointing grade? A broken-down car? Other drivers on the road? Sickness?
Now consider, which of those situations did you have any control over? Probably not many and whilst it’s good to try to control those things you can control, just to simplify your life, the things that test our patience are often out of our control. We just have to live with them and through them, learn patience.
So, now what?
Paul tells us to be “strengthened with all power according to God’s glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).
Yes, God can give us the power of patience; He can also teach us patience when we ask for it.
Are you patient? Do you need to learn patience? In which areas of your life could you do with a bit more patience?
Posted on: 11th December 2017
“‘rooted and built up in Him….. and overflowing with thankfulness”
Consider thankfulness the bookends of your day that hold it all together. Thankfulness can be overseen as just a response to an action but actually thankfulness is a mind-set, a value, which when it is embedded in our lives we will see it continue to breed generosity.
Saying thank you for what is ahead or giving gratitude for what has been makes for a healthy heart. Gratitude leads to generous thoughts and thankfulness causes you to value things well. Gratefulness is a key to finding consistent happiness that is not based on how others act or what happened but how you choose to respond. So in this moment, choose to be grateful and let the power of thankfulness reveal to you the depths of God’s goodness and faithfulness afresh.
From the verse in Colossians you will notice where the thankfulness comes from, that rooted down place, in the depths no one can see. It’s a heart thing, something only you can deal with, however in contrast, we are built up in Him causing the overflowing of thankfulness, of gratitude, of praise. That expression can then be witnessed far beyond where we could imagine.
Think: Thankful eyes, thankful words, thankful actions.
Thankfulness can be in the things you see, the words you speak of the things you do. Take the time to think about what these things in your life look like. Thankfulness becomes contagious, when we see others being thankful we begin to mimic it. Imagine the impact your thankfulness therefore has on those around you, those you influence and those you communicate regularly with. How does what you say or what you do demonstrate a thankful heart?