We Are The Father’s Children

29th-30th October

Weekend Edition

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

Romans 8:15-16

What jumps out at you the most from the above passage? Is it that you are no longer slaves to fear of rejection, mis-identity or even God’s wrath? Or is that the fact that you are now adopted into God’s Kingdom, into His beloved family? Aren’t both such fantastic news? Our spirit of fear has been replaced with God’s Spirit; a Spirit of love, acceptance and adoption. Isn’t it incredible that ‘God’s Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are His children’!! This is a message that can never be repeated enough. It never gets old. To know who you are, to know how God sees you, and a right understanding of who God is, are all foundational to your faith and to your growth in Christ.

Think about children. They rely so heavily on their parents. ‘Dad I’m hungry’, ‘Mum, I’m thirsty’ are such common statements to come out of a child’s mouth. Why? Because they can’t feed themselves or get themselves a drink. They need their parents. They rely on their parent’s provision and protection. Think about the parents too; of how much they love their children. The way they go out of their way to feed their children, give them things that will help them grow, provide for them, protect them from danger and teach them how to behave, and how to live good and Godly lives. Without a ‘parent’ the child can’t survive.

The parent – child relationship is the clearest form of what our relationship with God is like; a message repeated numerous times throughout the Bible. However, this knowledge provokes a challenge. Have we forgotten how much we need God? Have we become too ‘grown up’ that we reject God’s Fatherly care, advice and protection in our lives and replace it with our own independent controlling actions? Maybe it is time to re-evaluate our walk with Him, and become children again in His eyes.

Jesus Loves You….Seriously

19th – 20th March

Weekend Edition

“…..“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength’. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. No other commandment is greater than these.””

Mark 12:28c-31

Jesus, as He was hanging on the cross for our sakes, never for one moment, stopped loving us. Even in His dying breath He poured out His heart for the lost. The significance of Jesus’ sacrifice changed the world as it was. It changed the spiritual realm. It changed our capacity to interact with the Creator of this world. Yet above all, it highlighted how much we are loved by God. As John puts it, ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…’ (John 3:16)! When we understand this love, it changes our presuppositions of who God is and our position and identity in Him. Moreover, as today’s verse highlights, it changes our attitude to loving God, ourselves and others.

In fact, it is almost criminal to hate ourselves, if the Creator of this world loved us enough to sacrifice Himself for us. We are ridiculously and radically loved by Jesus. He really did give everything He had for us. He literally emptied Himself for our sakes. So if our Creator loves us so much, if our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ loves us so much, then how can we not love ourselves too?

We do not love ourselves because we think we are great, or deserve accolades. On the contrary, we love ourselves because we are loved. It is Christ’s love revealed in our hearts that gives us an understanding of how much we are loved, which in turn gives us the confidence and ability to love ourselves. It is from that understanding that we can then, love others with the same love we are loved with. May we ask God to replace our bad image of ourselves with how God sees us and reject the lies of unworthiness. Let us ask God to help us fully understand how much He loves us and help us love others as we are loved and love ourselves.