Love Is Not Just An Emotion BUT An Action

29th September

Love is patient and kind. Love is not Jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The entire ‘theory’ of love can be summed up in one word: Jesus. His life, His death and everything before and after, was and is the perfect example of who and what love is. He cared for the broken, looked out for the persecuted, fought against injustice and died a sacrificial life. Jesus never gave up, He endured through the most painful and excruciating death because of His love for us. He never keeps a record of wrong for those who ask for forgiveness. He washes us clean and after that it’s forgotten. He was never proud or rude in a sinful way because everything He did was out of love for His Father and for us. He was kind to all He met, patient with His disciples and always full of faith. He was and is the complete summary of what love is.

That is our role model, that is how we should live love in our lives. Love isn’t just a nice feeling in your body. Love is action. It is interesting that Paul writes more about what love is ‘not like’ as if to say, ‘here is what love is not like, go and live what it should be like’! Love is the essence of our faith. Go and action love.

The Lord Keeps His Children

27th-28th August

Weekend Edition

But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3

God is faithful. He truly is. He has committed and promised Himself to those who follow Him. We, His children, His bride, His church are joined through the covenantal sacrifice that Jesus made. The sacrifice that said, ‘I forgive you’, even if you don’t deserve it; ‘And because I forgive you, You and I are One’. And 100%, all the time, God is faithful to that covenant. He loves us with unconditional love. And it is this love towards us that strengthens us and guards us from the enemy.

It is very interesting that Paul uses the words strengthen and guard in the same sentence. Not only does the Lord protect us or guard us from the evil one, but He also strengthens us to withstand the evil one’s attacks and strengthens us when we fall down. He restores, renews and uplifts us. This is the covenant He has made to us His children. This is how much He loves us. Rejoice this day that God is faithful towards you and to the covenant He made towards you. Rejoice that He strengthens and guards us from the evil in this world. Rejoice that victory is yours in and through Him.

Simon, Simon

4th April

Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31-32

Today’s passage is written straight after Jesus has just introduced ‘communion’ with His disciples. As He prepares His disciples for His death, Jesus tells Peter that he would deny Him three times, to which Peter vehemently disagrees with, “No!… Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny You!” (Mark 14:31). Yet Jesus’ prophecy was correct and Peter did indeed deny Jesus three times. Yet what is interesting is the fact that Jesus was already planning Peter’s reconciliation before he had even denied Jesus. “..So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” How utterly incredible is this verse. Jesus didn’t say ‘if’ you come back to Me but ‘when’ you come back to me. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him. He knew, despite Peter’s protests. He knew, despite the passion and vigour of Peter’s faith. And yet He still did not reject Peter but made a way for Him to come back to Him.

The Bible is full of stories where God is already paving the way for sinners to come back to Him, even before they have sinned. This highlights God’s character and God’s plans for our lives. He wants us to be saved and He gives us every opportunity to help us realise we have made a mistake and every opportunity to come back to Him. He wants us to have a relationship with Him, so much so, that He gave His Only Son in our place. It’s never too late to turn back to Him. He has already made a reconciliation plan for you.

Above All, Love

7th March

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”

1 Peter 4:8-9

We are radically and unconditionally loved by our amazing Heavenly Father. His love for us truly does cover a multitude of our sins. Likewise, we too are commanded to love others in the same way. We are commanded to love each other with a deep love. This deep love does not just love with words or emotion, it doesn’t just turn the other cheek when faced with in-justice, it doesn’t keep quiet nor does it remain ambiguous. This deep love is an action.

Jesus didn’t just love us with words to make us feel good. He loved by laying down His life for us, by healing the sick and the poor, and spending time with those society rejected. Even on the cross, in His dying breath, Jesus exuded love when He asked the Father to forgive His murderers.

Friends may we too remember that love is not just in ‘knowing’, or in ‘saying’ but is shown through our actions. It is love, as Peter says, that is most important of all. As we are filled more and more each day with the knowledge of how much God loves us, may that knowledge challenge and inspire us to love others with that same love we have been loved with.

The Act Of Forgiveness

4th November 

 “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”

Proverbs 17:9

There is a reason why the Bible encourages us to forgive quickly and to not let the sun go down on our wrath. Hurt, pain and anger only await those who hold on to bitterness. Un-forgiveness separates us from God, separates us from our own rational thinking and even separates us from our most loved ones. Anger does nothing but cause friction and bitterness.

However, the opposite is true when love prevails. A simple sorry can completely diffuse a situation, can heal wounds and release tensions. As this wise proverb states, ‘love prospers when a fault is forgiven’. There is nothing more liberating than knowing that we are forgiven, loved and accepted by Jesus and with that same love, forgiveness and acceptance, loving others too.

It is no easy task to forgive a fault, particularly when the wound is deep and greatly hurts. Indeed, in our strength we cannot. We can make a decision to forgive, however, true forgiveness is something only God can help us put into practice. May we today know the power of a ‘fault forgiven’, the danger of holding onto hurt and the joy of releasing the debt of bitterness. Furthermore, may our Lord Jesus, daily reveal just how much we have been forgiven and help us, with that same love, to love and forgive others. Let us rejoice in forgiven faults and restored friendships.

The Wedding Feast: No-one Knows The Time of His Return But Be Ready

17th July

Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!” But he called back, “Believe me, I don’t know you!”

Matthew 25:11-12

Yesterday we looked at this wonderful parable in Matthew 25 explaining what it will be like when the Bridegroom (Jesus) comes back for His bride (the church). We finished by looking at the consequence of the five foolish bridesmaid’s actions, in not bringing extra oil for the wedding procession.

It has been said many times by unwise people that we can live wreck less and sinful lives, enjoy the pleasures of sins and deny Jesus until the last day on our death bed where we can repent and all will be well. Unfortunately this is not true and is further highlighted by the warning in this parable. We do not know the time of Jesus’ return (moreover it is not for us to know) but what we can learn from this parable, is that we are to be ready at all times.

Being ready doesn’t just mean outwardly looking ready because even the five foolish brides were dressed correctly. It is not idle waiting but rather it is preparing our hearts daily to meet our maker. We should expectantly be waiting for Jesus’ return, keeping short accounts with both God and man, loving our neighbours and loving God. Being ready is a mind set that helps us to make right decisions. It reminds us not to be friends with sin, but to hate sin. It reminds us to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul.

There is nothing worse than going to church all your life, looking the part, doing your religious duties but living for yourself the rest of the time, if when you reach the Bridegrooms house expecting to enter but instead, the door is locked and His answer is “I don’t know you!”

We are warned to be ready and to keep watch. Remember Jesus is only a prayer away. His love and mercy are new each day, unending and limitless.

Nailing Sinful Passions To The Cross

28th Feb – 1st March

Weekend Edition

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.”

Galatians 5:24 

The cross forever stands as a reminder of the pain and suffering that our Lord Jesus went through when He took humanities sin on His shoulders and took our punishment for us. However, when looking at the cross, we should only see our place in God’s eyes. FORGIVEN!

If we are forgiven (continually forgiven) then our lifestyles should reflect the inward change and the regenerative work of salvation. So often we can slip up and go back to old habits, old lifestyles and even begin to think as you did before Christ lived in you. However, Paul’s encouragement for us today, is to nail our old habits, passions and desires to the cross. We no longer have to be slaves to sin. What Jesus did on the cross was eternal, for everyone and can never run out.

We can start again today. Grace, hope and love are no restricted to a once in a lifetime decision. You can have as much of Jesus’ grace, hope and love, as you want all the time. If we confess our sins (nailing them to the cross) then He will forgive us. It’s a promise. Today if you have wondered from God’s best for you, nail your sins to the cross, and have faith they are crucified with Christ and that because of His love for you, YOU ARE FORGIVEN…HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!

Go and Sin no more!!