Posts Tagged ‘ new testament ’

Day 97: Message to the Churches

Passage: Revelation 2-3

We looked at this in staff prayers last week and here are the things we drew out for each church. Which one is God challenging you about?

Ephesus: Return to Jesus, your first love
Smyrna: Stay faithful no matter what
Pergamum: Turn away from your bad habits and turn to God
Thyatira: Keep going
Sardis: Wake up!
Philadelphia: Hold on – Jesus is coming soon.
Laodicea: Stop being lukewarm in your faith!

Day 95: Love One Another

Passage: 1 John 3:11-4:21

On reading this passage I got thinking about the word “love” and how it features in my limited vocabulary.  I love holidays, I love Paul Scholes, I love my mum, I love Belfast, I love Wagamamas.  Love is often thought of as a feeling.  This passage shows us that love is in reality a choice and an action.  1 Corinthians 13 show us what actions result from true love.

Twice in this passage (1 John 3:16 and 1 John 4:10) we are told of the action God took because of His love for us, “Christ laid down his life for us”.  True love produces a heart of selflessness and sacrifice.  On both these occasions, the following sentence gives us the challenging command to love one another.  This is a choice and an action.  The greatest act of love is giving yourself for others.

How clearly do our actions show we love others?  And not just those people who are close to us, but that person who cut in on me on my drive into work, that person who has let me down again, that person who really annoys me.

“Whoever loves God must also love his brother”

Kyler

Day 90: The Coming of the Lord

Passage: 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11
Key verse:
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another…” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

How encouraging are these verses!  Paul reminds us that Jesus will come down from heaven with the trumpet call of God.  Unlike other ‘future events’ we cannot save this one against a specific date in our iphones, yet this event is completely certain and brings with it immense hope and joy.  Why?

Because Jesus has given us salvation through his death, so that ‘we may live together with him.’  Surely there is no future plan or thought which brings with it so much expectation and joy.  Despite our messy lives and hearts which are far from perfect, like the thief on the cross beside Jesus, we know that he will ‘remember us’.

With this thought in mind, I’m reminded of the words from the song Salvation belongs to our God, who sits upon the throne.  And unto the Lamb, praise and glory, wisdom and thanks, honour and power and strength.  Be to our God forever and ever Amen.

Take time to praise God, and ask him to give you a heavenly perspective on your day.

Julie

Day 87: The Love of Money

Passage: 1 Timothy 6:3-21

I own lots of things. In global terms I am incredibly wealthy. And yet I have to ask myself, ‘Have I learned that godliness with contentment is great gain.’ (vs. 6).  How easily I have fallen into the trap and into the many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men (and women and young people) into ruin and destruction.  Paul warns the rich and those who pursue wealth, who ‘love money.’  I try to convince myself that none of this applies to me, but it does.  The other side of the coin is Paul’s command to pursue (make a big effort, try hard, work at) righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (vs.11).  It is in God we have our hope, not money.

I am struck by Paul’s final instruction to the young Timothy –“guard what has been entrusted to your care.” What is that?  I think it is the good news of Jesus Christ who brings real life to all.  We are commanded to guard the truth faithfully and to pass it on to others, young and old.

Alistair

Day 85: The Supremacy of Christ

Passage: Colossians 1:1-23
Key Verse:
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

What a passage? Two huge subjects; Prayer and the Supremacy of Christ.

Is Paul not the ultimate man of prayer? I often wonder how he kept up all his prayers for so many people. Paul did not just pray idle prayers. His prayers were always full of desire and the best for others. It was never that they would be rich or that things would work out for them but they were always full of a desire that his friends would grow in spiritual understanding and growth.

Any passage that speaks of the supremacy of Christ must be good for us to read, for it draws us heavenwards and reminds us why we are on earth and what Jesus has done for us. The end result of that must be to give us a greater desire to live for him until we see him face to face. At least that is the effect it has on me.

David C.

Day 84: Rejoice in the Lord

Passage: Philippians 4:2-9
Key verse
: “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.” v6

The older I get the more I realise that none of us are immune from suffering or disappointments.   Our Heavenly Father knows that we live in a fallen world and longs for us to know His peace which will give us His understanding, not ours.  We need this so much when we face particularly hard times.

Having battled cancer three times and endured a bone marrow transplant the words of verses 6 and 7 are of particular comfort to me.  When you step onto the roller coaster ride of illness prayer is the key element to having a positive mindset.  Isn’t it amazing to know that our Heavenly Father will guard our hearts and our minds through Christ.

Do not be anxious about anything!

“Joy is not the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God” Robert Schuller

John

Day 70: The Ascension

Passage: Acts 1:1-11
Key Verse: Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” v6

It strikes me that some of the disciples still didn’t get it. After all this time near Jesus, following Him, listening to Him, watching His miracles, witnessing His death, that they were still waiting for him to do something with the Kingdom of Israel.

Is that like us? Like me? Like you?

We’ve followed Jesus for a while. We’ve seen His power. Heard His voice. Known his influence. And still we don’t truly grasp His significance.

Today I want to focus on Jesus more. To be like Him more. To listen to Him more. To follow Him more.