March 12, 2018
Christianity is in many ways a paradox.
We are encouraged to go out into the world and make disciples yet it is obvious from our experience and the scriptures that we are aliens or strangers in this world.
We reach out with our Easter buns and Christmas farmyard activities on the mall in the hope that at least someone will respond. Our gifts are either politely received or impolitely rejected by the public.
As to our Christian message and what it represents, for most people it is “thanks but no thanks”.
Rejection, persecution and suffering are the indelible marks of a true individual Christian or Christian community.
1 Peter is the New Testament letter “par excellence” on rejection, persecution and suffering.
How did Peter recommend the Christian communities of his time deal with such responses ?
How do we, in our day and age, deal with them ?
February 11, 2018
Matthew 5:48 says - “Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Now that sounds like a high bar to get over! “Be perfect”! How is that even possible if it means “sinlessly” perfect for the rest of our lives.
I think Matthew means for us to understand that God wants us to grow, for the rest of our lives, to become more and more, like the God who made us; to realise our God given potential.
In Philippians 2:12f., Paul helps us understand how we go about reaching that potential.
We’re to work out (practice/rehearse it), we’re to be patient and we’re to work hard.
May God help us to do it, to do those things that help us grow in Christ Jesus.
January 16, 2018
"Thank you, thank you very much" – Elvis Presley
We have just enjoyed Christmas. Most of us will have given and received presents? Were we grateful? Disappointed? Most of us had special meals. Were we thankful or did we take them for granted? How often do we say “Thank You”? What are we thankful for? How much of our lives do we take for granted? Giving thanks is hard when life is difficult. Even then there is reason to be thankful. When we experience blessing we often are thankful for a while and then forget our good fortune.
Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
1 Thessalonians 5:18