Posted on: 8th October 2018
“Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…”
Verses like this in Matthew deserve making into fridge magnets, bumper stickers and t-shirts. What a fantastic encouragement to all who need encouragement. But we do not present the gospel fully if we just cherry pick the best bits. The whole verse reads, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
When we look into the life of Saint Wilfrid, we see a saint who lived to establish the church in the north of England against many oppositions. His determination and strong confidence in his beliefs led him to face lots of opposition from all sides. But he showed resilience and character and stood strong for what he felt was right. Through our assemblies and form worships this week we will be looking more into the life and achievements of Saint Wilfrid.
James, the writer in the New Testament offers a gift money cannot buy. In James 1:4 it says, “…so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
What an offer! Who wouldn’t want some of that maturity, completeness and a life without lack? James precedes this offer with what it takes to achieve such rewards by saying,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Are you facing a trial at the moment? Whatever you are up against, my prayer is that you will see the fruit of your determination as you grow perseverance that leads to completion. If it is persecution from others because of your determination to do what is right, then take heart, rejoice and be glad, because God has reserved a reward for you.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17)
What do you think of when you think of a hero? Maybe a loved one? Someone you look up to? Most of the people we would call our heroes would have a story that sets them apart from the rest. They might have done something remarkable, incredible or outstanding something that you wouldn’t have thought ordinary or they may have shown longevity, commitment and fought through situations we thought were impossible to overcome. Whatever we think of a hero, of our hero they are special to us.
The bible talks of many heroes that were faithful to God. In the Exodus we hear of Moses, in 1 Samuel we read of David, we read of Ezra and Jeremiah throughout the Old Testament as well as many more. Even when we come to the New Testament we read of several, in fact hundreds of heroes who inspired and paved the way. More who empower and remained faithful to God even after the crucifixion.
For Christian’s there is one name that stands out in the bible above them all and that is Jesus. John 3 v 17 says: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Throughout all the stories of the heroes in the bible you can see Jesus at work, in all sixty-six books in the bible you can see Him work through people and in people we now read about.
Many theologians have used different phrases but from in Genesis where Jesus is the Creator & promised Redeemer, to Revelation where He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, He is woven through out like a scarlet thread on an intricately woven tapestry. For Christian’s He is the greatest hero.
This week when we come to read and learn about Saint Wilfrid or hear stories of our heroes and those that we know to be Saint’s, have a think, who do you know Jesus as? From what I read could He be my hero too?