More Of Jesus

17thFebruary

make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with Godliness, and Godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

2 Peter 1:5b-7

Spiritual exercise is just as, if not more important than physical exercise. Just as we need to exercise our physical body to keep fit, so it is the same spiritually. We cannot afford to get spiritually lazy or obese because we are not putting in the time to grow in God. Unlike physical exercise the benefits are Christ-like living, spiritual growth and closeness to Jesus. It is like any relationship; you need to make an effort otherwise the relationship will grow distant and stagnant. Yet again, unlike physical exercise, spiritual discipline is not burdensome, it is not hard work and it is not tiring. Yes it requires effort to make time to spend with your Creator, but the more time spent with Jesus, the more refreshed, invigorated and more prepared we are for life. Moreover, it is Jesus’ grace that allows us to have a relationship with Him in the first place.

By spending more time with God, in both conversation (that includes letting Him talk to us too) and through His word, the characteristics that Peter mentions in today’s verse will naturally become apparent in our lives as evidence of daily spiritual discipline and exercise, all to bring glory to the Father. Moreover, spending time with God and exercising spiritually, is our way to respond to God, which leads to Christ-like living. Just like a tree or a plant, the more you water it, care for it, and nurture it, the more it will grow into a beautiful tree/plant bearing good fruit. It you neglect it, it will wither away and die. Let us pursue Jesus with an insatiable thirst. Let us discipline our spiritual lives by spending time with our Lord and Saviour. Spending time with Jesus is time well spent.

More Of Nothing

16thFebruary

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted when they heard he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray Jesus… when Judas, who had betrayed Him, realised that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse.

Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 27:3a

Sin sometimes seems so attractive. It lures us into it’s grasp, giving a false sense of satisfaction, then once you have fallen for it’s trap, it tosses you back out, leaving you completely empty, guilty and with a sense of remorse. Yet we allow ourselves to go again, to sin again and to once again fall into the trap of ‘nothingness’. Sin literally leaves us wanting more of nothing. When we try to compare the pleasures of sin with God’s goodness, it becomes completely un-comparable.

Throughout the Bible, there are countless stories of wonderful men and women of God, caught by the false entrapment of sin’s lures, yet all it did was leave them empty and full of remorse. We think of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit, David and his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and probably the most shocking of all, Judas’ betrayal of our Lord Jesus. In fact Judas’ remorse was so great, after He betrayed Jesus, that he ended up hanging himself due to his guilt and shame.

Friends, let us be united to stand firm against the enemy’s cheap tricks. Sin only offers emptiness. In fact sin only offers us ‘nothingness’. Let us rejoice that in Jesus, we have the fullness of life, the best of all that God has, love, joy and acceptance. We are filled daily with grace when we do fall. Furthermore, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live in the opposite spirit of sin, to withstand temptation and live in all God has for us.

‘…And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil’