Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The traditional season of Lent begins. Lent is a season when in services, sermons and Bible study, among other themes of repentance and sacrifice, we focus on becoming Christ-like. To become Christ-like is not to become “nicer”, or more politically correct, or more “inclusive”. To become Christ-like is to love other so much that we want to help others both physically and Spiritually. Being more Christ-like means telling the truth even when that is unpopular.
The gospel writers Matthew, Mark and Luke present Jesus’ journey toward Jerusalem as an invitation for us to join Jesus on the way. According to Luke’s gospel, immediately after Jesus ‘set his face to go to Jerusalem’ (9:51) we learn of three men for various reasons did not follow Jesus on the journey. Luke’s question for us, therefore, is will we follow Jesus on the way to Jerusalem, or do we have other more urgent tasks to attend to?
Lent provides an occasion for us to mend broken relationships and build new ones and the opportunity to right the wrongs of both past and present. Various practices of self-imposed limitations and restraint are usually exercised during Lent. These include missing food for a day, giving up unhealthy habits, foregoing some level of comfort and luxury,or giving up certain foods and drinks. The motivation for such self-imposed limitations is quite noble – it is not simply an inward journey of desiring to be more Christ-like, but also an outward journey of being an agent of God’s love and compassion to a world that is hurting.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Jesus shows us the true nature of God, and in Him we see God's generosity laid bare – His love and mercy, His goodness and care for all His people. And because God is generous, we humans, who are made in God's image, are called to reflect that generosity in our own lives. It is because of this generosity that we serve the community and invite everyone to join us in worship.
I love to worship with traditional hymns, carols and liturgy as well as contemporary music including hip hop. It is good to keep on worshipping God in heartfelt worship that is authentic to us. In terms of style of worship music this does not mean abandoning the tradition of your church. On the contrary you can for example build on your tradition of choral singing as well as adding new traditions of lively contemporary music. Worship services are so important because they draw us close to God. We and everyone in Seacombe need to know God - and he can only be know through Jesus Christ
"A new heart also will I give you”. Ezekiel 36:26
There are thousands of people all over the world who have their names on a list. They are waiting for a new heart, a new physical heart. A few of them will receive that new heart but, sadly most of them will not.
That’s not the case with this new heart that God has promised to us. Everyone that truthfully and humbly asks for this new heart will receive it, free of charge, no strings attached, no waiting list. Just ask in faith and receive it! You can receive a new Spiritual heart. A heart full of love, compassion and kindness toward our neighbours and full of unparalleled joy. This new heart comes only through trusting Jesus Christ.
There is currently much to cause us concern on the international as well as on the national and the local scene, but behind it all lies the faithfulness and goodness of God, into whose hand we commit all our troubles and concerns, and from whom we receive so many blessings.
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