To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

Committed To A Church.

A Christian who is not a Church Member is like a bird without a nest, or a squirrel without a drey, or a rabbit without a hole. Such people can be likened to those those living rough, out on the streets, whilst there is a home available to them. Every Christian should have a home of which they are a part; they should be members of a church. They should be in the home that the LORD has ordained for them. Now each of us may have to work hard and pray hard in order to decide which church to settle in, but we all must settle, commit and be a member of a church and that will our home. This is God’s pattern.

Right at the beginning of the church age, we see the pattern set for how people should be committed to a church. We read in Acts 2v42 concerning the first Christians that, after they had confessed Christ and been baptised, they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Here we see how the first believers of the church age came together as a living testimony to the LORD. Church membership was not something they deliberated upon. Rather, a commitment to a church was the natural flow-out from them coming to Christ and following Him.

But can it not just be the case that you go to a church and if you attend regularly enough then you are considered a church member? It appears looking at the situation of the church in Corinth, that there was a clear understanding of who was a member of the church. In 1 Corinthians 5:2 Paul writes to them concerning a man who was having an affair with his step-mother. He writes Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? To put someone out of your fellowship, you need to know who is in the fellowship. There seems to have been a clear knowledge of who was a member of the church in Corinth.

If we dwell a little further concerning the functioning of the church at Corinth we will see that the person who was no longer considered to be a church member was to be delivered unto Satan (see 1 Cor. 5:5a). This dramatic act demonstrated that he was now deemed to be out in the world, which is the realm where the evil one, Satan, has sway. This again alerts us to the big issues appertaining to a Christian choosing not to commit to a church. In doing this they are, in a sense, aligning themselves with the world. The way that this whole issue is developed in the New Testament indicates that someone is either a church member and blessed in the fellowship of God’s people or they are not church members and therefore out in the world; out in Satan’s domain.

The fact that it is known who is actually in a fellowship is also seen by looking at the issue of church leadership. Church leaders are given responsibility to look after a flock of God’s sheep. In Hebrews 13v17 we read Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. The clear inference here is that there are a group of Christians who know who their leaders are. Accordingly it is to these men that they have a responsibility to submit. This whole theme is hinted at when we look at Paul’s observation of the elders being recognised in Ephesus. He says of them that Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood (Acts 20v28). The elders in Ephesus knew that there was a flock and they knew who was in it because they were to care for all the flock.

The above mentioned themes also alert us to the fact that church membership is restricted to one church. Although fellowship can be enjoyed and shared with other churches, our commitment is to one church and to be submitted to the leadership of that church.

The celebration of the Lord’s Supper also adds a certain poignancy in respect of these issues. In 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 Paul writes Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. Whenever we celebrate the Lord’s Supper we declare our oneness as the people of God. Whenever we eat and drink together at the feast we declare that we are a part of each other and we are together in the local representation of His body. There is then an inherent contradiction if someone is celebrating the Lord’s Supper and is still refusing to commit to that fellowship. The Lord’s Supper is not just declaring a commitment to the LORD, it is also declaring a commitment to one another.

Finally, for those of you who are Christians and are church members, remember to live out what you are. When you commit to a church you become an insider to that church. The sad thing is that many who have committed to a church then choose to live as outsiders to that church. They live a contradiction. So fellow Christians when you have committed to a church make sure your live out that commitment by being steadfast in supporting the leadership, activities and fellow believers in Christ in that church.

Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of May 2015

It Cannot Be Done.

When confronted by the Reubenites and Gadites saying that they wanted to stay east of the Jordan, Moses told them of the discouragement that could come to the people of God through their action. To reinforce his point he reminded them of the discouragement which came to the nation of Israel through the report of the ten spies (see Num 32:6-15). As we look at this example of discouragement caused by the ten spies, we can learn how much damage can be done as a result of us taking an “it cannot be done” attitude.

We will start with the passage in Numbers 32:6-15 which gives a revealing review of what is recorded in Numbers 13-14. The details are this:-

  • God has promised to give the nation of Israel the land of Canaan.
  • Twelve spies went in to spy out the land. Ten came back and said the land was good, but it was impossible for the Israelites to go in and posses it.
  • They thereby discouraged the people who did not go in and possess the land.
  • God was displeased with the faithlessness of the people.
  • God’s judgement fell so that they wandered aimlessly in the wilderness until all of the faithless who would not go in had died.

So what was it that hindered the Israelites from moving forward to take the land? It was the ten faithless spies and their discouragement of the rest of the people. They said “it cannot be done”, even though God had said it should be done because He had given them the land.

So are you an “it cannot be done” kind of person? In answering that question it has to initially be made clear that there always needs to be a proper assessment any situation when considering moving forward with a project. A proper full assessment has to be made of the pros-and-cons of moving ahead with a venture for God. We are not to be reckless and rash in our approach to the ways of the Lord. There should be a sense of sitting down first and considering a situation. The Lord commends this approach in the context of the demands of discipleship (see Luke 14:25-33).

What is at issue here though is the inclination that many have to always be opposing initiatives which advance the cause of Christ. There is a difference between realism and faithlessness. To oppose a movement of God is very serious. You may have lots of justifiable reasons for saying “it cannot be done”. The ten spies, for example, saw that there were giants in the land (see Num. 13:33) but remember it is God’s call to take on a certain initiative then to oppose it is to be with the ten spies. And when the people went with the ten spies they fell under the judgement of God.

You may think you are being clever to see deficiencies in a plan, but be very careful before opposing something which is clearly of the Lord. Perhaps we can think here of initiatives in evangelism. You discern an issue which will be a difficulty and you think you are clever in opposing the proposal. If this is the case, don’t forget to be aware of the impact that you can have upon others. Your negativity and discouraging spirit can prompt a malaise which spreads to others. Everyone is soon feeling that it cannot be done. “No point evangelising today nobody listens” becomes the general view, “no point going into that area; no one has ever been saved there.” With all the talk of “it cannot be done” around, evangelism and a desire for church planting is squashed and the church loses all energy. Everyone is discouraged, and progress for God is thwarted.

Rather, what we need is people like Caleb, who after proper assessment and most importantly with their eye on the Lord, says “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numb. 13:30b). Let us be careful to encourage any development which is of the Lord and for the Lord.

This principle of encouragement also applies generally in the life of the church. It is interesting to observe what Paul did after the tumultuous events in Ephesus recorded in Acts 19. When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. He travelled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, where he stayed three months (Acts 20:1-3a). Paul always wanted to encourage believers in the ways of the LORD.

Let us be careful to think about our own behaviour and influence. As church members we all have influence on one another. Are you a discourager? Through your behaviour are you discouraging others in the pursuit of the Lord and fulfilment of His purposes in their lives? Perhaps you think what you say and do is irrelevant to the cause of Christ in Feltham. It most certainly is not! You can be a force for good or ill. Remember even the great apostle Peter was once discerned by the Lord to be an instrument of the devil. The Lord said to him “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matt 16:23).

Let us then be an encourager. Always let us be on the look out as to how we can encourage forward the cause of Christ. And finally, let us heed the exhortation to the Hebrew Christians let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24)

(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of July 2015)

Our Great Interest.

How interested are we in our Lord Jesus Christ? We are so easily diverted from focusing on the One who is at the heart of our faith. It is through Christ that we are brought to God (see 1 Pet. 3:18). It is in Him that we have eternal life (see John 3:36). Through coming into the wonderful “in Christ” position we now have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (see Eph. 1:3)

The book of Song of Solomon reveals to us a beautiful relationship between the lover and the beloved. At one point the lover is challenged by her friends How is your beloved better than others, that you so charge us? (Song of Songs 5:9b). The lover then proceeds, without hesitation, to describe her absent beloved from head to toe (see Song of Songs 5:10-17). This gives a profound illustration of how we should be regarding our beloved, our great Lord and Saviour, Jesus. Could you or I give a full description of him or would we be struggling? The lover can describe her beloved in such a way because her heart and mind are devoted to Him. So should we be as regards to our Saviour. We show our devotion by continually learning of our LORD through studying the Word of God.

The problem that we so often have is that we start to focus on the blessings rather than the source of the blessings. Of course it is good to be thanking God for all that He has given us; we should never neglect to do that. However, we do need to go back to the source of the blessings. It reminds us of the ten lepers who were healed in Luke 17:11-19. All of them were clearly healed from the detestable disease of leprosy; yet nine just drifted away appreciating the blessing but ignoring the fact that there was a man who had bestowed the blessing. There was only one who came back to give thanks. It is recorded of him that when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan (Luke 17:15b-16). Moreover as a result of his returning to appreciate the One who blessed him he got a further special blessing of a fuller wellness (see v19). The clear implication that he was spiritually healed in his soul. By our regular failing to appreciate our Saviour, we miss out on so much of entering into His gracious kindness.

It is interesting that our tendency towards forgetfulness is anticipated by God and He takes action to prevent us being so neglectful. He gives us the Lord’s Supper to celebrate. We are thereby given a weekly means of reminding ourselves of Jesus and all that he has done for us. The significance of the feast is summed up in the words “do this in remembrance of me.” God knows our weakness and He gives us this special feast; this special time to remember our Lord Jesus.

Integral to our participating in the Lord’s Supper is the reminder of how much Jesus has loved us. The Son of God loved Me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20b) is how Paul expresses such love. Love is at the heart of our faith because we are blessed in and through such a self-sacrificing Saviour. And our response should be, as we sing, in the words of Isaac Watts; love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

One of the ways we express our love is in seeking to fulfil the first commandment which is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matt. 22:37). This leads us to ponder that when you love someone you take an interest in that which they love; that is a natural connection. So we are now, as His children, lovers of God. And who is the centre of God’s affections? That one is Jesus; His special Son. In Colossians 1:13-14 we read that For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is the Son that the Father loves. There is something wrong when the Son is not capturing our attention as well.

Everything about our faith revolves around this One who is our LORD Jesus. He is the One who saves us, He is the one who keeps us and He is the One who will return to take us to His home. And so shall we ever be with who? With the Lord of course! And if we have the liberty to go back in eternity our choosing to salvation is a choosing in Christ. Oh how thrilling these things are!

When you turn to the book of Revelation you see relentlessly there that the LORD Jesus is the centre of all God’s purposes. He is the One revealed to John in Chapter 1, He is the One moving among the churches in ch. 2-3. He is the all glorious lion-lamb in Revelation 5. He is the all conquering One coming from heaven in ch. 19. He is the One for whose return the people of God yearn for in ch 22.

And finally let us ponder upon the cost of us being eternally blessed. Let us think of the eternally blessed One who gave Himself for us. There is salvation in no other and there is no other way to be saved and so we rejoice in such great salvation.

Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of November 2015

Who Is The Book Of Revelation For?

One of the key issues which is often overlooked in looking at the book of Revelation is: who is it written to? I think being aware of this, gives us great help in seeking to gain benefit from the study of the book. The pertinent verses here are: On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. (rev 1:10-11). The book of Revelation, that is the whole book not just the specific letters of chapter 2 and 3, was written to actual churches.

This is important in making sure that we approach the book in a sensible way. When we read Revelation we are very often preoccupied with how the book fits in with our eschatological perspective. It is understandable that, that is the case. However, whatever our view of future events and how Revelation is to be interpreted, we should never forget that the material, with all of its visions and prophecy, was written to actual churches. It was written to encourage them to live for the Lord. It was written to encourage them to keep going for the Lord.

Personally, I would have a pre-millennial and pre-tribulation rapture view of the future. All that of course influences how I look at Revelation. Those with my perspective very easily treat revelation as a source of mental titillation and curiosity. Endless arguments about minute details of how things fit together can predominate. In doing so we lose our way and forget the basic truth that the book of  Revelation is for churches, and therefore for us, to encourage us to live for Christ now in the light of the future. Revelation teaches us that sin is vile and will be judged, Jesus is triumphant and the righteous saints will be blessed. Therefore church of God wherever you are go on and hate sin, love Christ, and live for righteousness.

To Be In His Favour.

How do we view our relationship with the LORD? Are our views constructed in a very negative way or in a positive way? Do we think of the LORD as a tyrant who we do not want to offend for fear of the consequences or as an adoring grandmother who will always say nice things and do nice things for us? Asking such questions gets us to consider the heart of our existence because to know God is to be fully human. In fact to be a Christian is to be a knower of God; it is to be brought into a relationship with God.

Before we are Christian, we exist under the wrath of God and are facing time and eternity under His fearsome anger. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them (John 3:36) is how John starkly presents the situation. So, for the unbeliever their relationship with God is framed within that of being a law-breaker who has to face the consequences of their criminality through experiencing due punishment. The ultimate defiance that the unbeliever demonstrates is in refusing to believe in the Son.

When we are converted our situation changes radically. Peter puts it like this: Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God (1 Peter 3:18a). The Christian has come to know God. He has come into a living relationship with the LORD. The sins that brought forth the wraith of God against us was borne by our LORD on the cross. So, as we read in Romans 8:1, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We are now, because of Christ, in God’s favour because Christ is in God’s favour. We are possessors of eternal life. We do not have eternal life with caveats; we have eternal life. As the first part of John 3:36 says Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.

Let us get into some of the implications of this. A lot of of us live before God in a similar way to the way children who can’t grasp that they are in their parent’s family. We are always fearing that we might be kicked out of the family. But we need to realise that we are now in the family of God we have the relationship of being sons and daughters of God (see 2 Cor. 6:18) and all of us have the privilege of being sons of God (see Rom. 8:14). We are not on probation. And our staying in this relationship is not based upon our performance, but rather upon our being in Christ Jesus. And, since Christ Jesus, being the very Son of God cannot be kicked out by God, so neither can we.

What is our goal then as believers – it is to live for the pleasure of God and to enjoy His pleasure. The fundamental thing is that God is on our side and we are on God’s side. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) And dare I say it we cannot separate ourselves form the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So how does God’s law bear on all this? Many believers view the law as something they have to keep in order to make sure they get the pass-mark in God’s exam and therefore keep God happy with them. Rather, the law should be viewed as the revelation of what pleases God and we should be wanting to adhere to God’s law because in doing so we can know we are enjoying the pleasure of our Father. If we do fail to obey our Lord’s commands, as we all do, we come back repentantly to our Father and can once again know the enjoyment of his favour.

At the heart of the issue is that of how we relate to God now. Is he our Judge or is he our Father? Through Christ we are cleared in the court-room of God; we are justified. We are right with God and can never be not right with God. Now we are in the family of God and He is our father. However, this does not makes us casual in our relationship to Him because we have the deepest respect for our Father. We know who He is – the ruler of the universe who has our lives in His hands. And we know that it stands abidingly true that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Prov. 9:10)

So where does this leave us? It leaves us with a driving passion to abide in the love of God. In this context we hear the Word of our Saviour Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4). This makes us conscious of the need to be always seeking to walk in a way that keeps us in favour with our LORD. We are therefore persistent about drawing near to God. So we heed Paul’s call in Philippians Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil 4:4-6)

With all this rejoicing in God and seeking God and thanking God, Paul states the outcome to be And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7) And that takes us to the heart of what it is to live a fruitful contented life in the LORD. It is to be in His favour and in His peace because we so love the One who has loved and continues to love us so much.

(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of September 2015)

Living And Serving.

We have now looked at the necessity for all Christians to consider becoming church members. Following on from this we need to look at how we should live as church members. Interestingly the basis on which we become church members can significantly affect the manner in which we conduct ourselves once we have come to enjoy the privileges of being a member of a church. Someone who drifts into becoming church member seemingly oblivious to what it means is likely to have little commitment to that church. On the other hand someone who makes a determined commitment to be a member of a church fellowship is likely to live as a committed church member, but what does it really mean to be committed to a church?

One helpful image for us in this context which is presented in the Scripture of a local church is that of a body (see 1 Cor 12:12-31). The argument in this passage is that every part of the body is valuable and useful. No-one can argue that they are so insignificant that they have nothing to offer in the church; all have something to give. Moreover, if someone decides that they are not going to support the church and its activities then the church suffers as a result.

The principle that underlies this is that “privilege leads to responsibility”. It is a great privilege to be a part of a local testimony which is established to the glory of God.

This privilege leads to the responsibility to live a life which is appropriate for those who are in church fellowship and to serve to the end that the church will be built up.

We need to be aware therefore that the way we live is vitally important for the life of the church. Not only should we live godly lives in Christ Jesus in the church, but we should also do so in our homes, workplaces and communities. Any failure to do so ultimately reflects detrimentally on the name of the church and more importantly on the name of our God.

One of the sad consequences of David’s sinful acts towards Bathsheba and Uriah was that he had “shown utter contempt for the LORD” (2 Sam. 12:14). How sad it would be if we were to hear the church in Feltham spoken badly of because of the lax ways of one of the members. Let us therefore take heed to how we live. How great it would be if, like Peter and John, people would realise that we “had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13b) because of the righteous quality of our lives.

One of the ways in which we display our commitment to the local fellowship is by supporting the services and activities of the church. Obviously some, through certain circumstances, are hindered from physically being present in church life. However, in many cases, those who are limited in this way, show their commitment by their prayerful interest in the church. Notwithstanding this we should endeavor, like that first church in Jerusalem did, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42), and we should take heed to the exhortation to the Hebrews to be not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing (Heb10:25a).

Furthermore we should commit ourselves to the work of the church. We are not here to build mini-empires in the church like Diotrephes in 3 John:9, but rather to labour together for the faith of the gospel. In all our labours in the church let us remember that we are seeking to set forth the great gospel of our God. So whether we are cleaning the toilets, doing some painting, visiting people at home or preaching the Word we all need to focus on the fact that we are assisting in maintaining a testimony for the LORD.

One crucial way in which we support the church is in having a proper attitude towards those whom the LORD has set to have authority in the church.

Paul says “to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work” (1 Thess. 5:12b-13a). In this anti-authoritarian age we must be careful to assist the elders and deacons in their work. In doing this we are supporting the proper ordering in the church which is all to the LORD’S glory.

So to recap on some of the issues we have considered, this week, we note that a Christian should be baptised and a baptised Christian should be a church member. Finally we have come to the issue we have dealt with in this article that all church members have a responsibility to diligently follow the LORD in the church to which they are affiliated.

I Love You LORD!

‘If you love me, keep my commands’ (John 14v15), is what the Lord said to His disciples. If we are to live properly and experience the fullness of God in our lives then love for God and our LORD Jesus will be found to be the priority with us. The Greek word in the New Testament which reveals the highest form of love is agape. This word indicates that the lover is so captivated by the one loved that all their being is transformed as a result. The object of the love is the one the lover longs to adore and serve. Accordingly, agape love is a self-sacrificing love; it is a love that will do everything to please the one to whom the lover is devoted. And so remember our Lord said ‘If you love me, keep my commands’.

Love for the LORD shown in the life: How do you know who or what somebody loves? You see it in their general conduct. The content of their conversation and the make-up of their lives gives indication of what their affections are set upon. If my affections are set upon a certain fashion style then my conversation and lifestyle will reflect this. So if you are a Christian and you therefore, profess that you are a lover of Christ, would people know that this is a reality from your conversation and your lifestyle?

One key aspect of our lives which indicates upon whom or what we set our affections is that of how we spend our money. Some of us have lots of money, some of us have little money. Some of us are on a tight budget some of us are not so financially constrained. But whatever your position, consider this question before the Lord, does your use of your finances reflect that you love the Lord? Do you give to His cause, whether that be in the church or into missionary causes around the world? Do you give to His people so that they are provided for and blessed as they serve Him?

Love for the LORD shown in deed and truth: What we are considering here is the great principle that it is not just good enough to love in words only. As the apostle John says to those he loves Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18). Love moves into and through the realities of our lives and calls us to be active in serving and blessing others. However, in this Scripture we must note that love is to be in truth. Love is not a weak, wimpish thing that does nice things to everyone because that is what nice people do and Christians are supposed to be nice people so they must do nice things. No! Christians are called to be godly people and that means we love in truth. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37) is the primary call upon our lives. When I am truly loving I am wanting to honour God with all my life. My being is for Him. I will never say anything or do anything that offends Him in all of His beautiful being, I love Him too much to do that.

It is not loving then to communicate that everybody gets to choose their own way in life and it does not matter. That is fundamentally a lie and an offence to God’s character because there is only one God and He is only known through Jesus Christ the LORD. Moreover, it is an offence against the second commandment which is to “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matt 22v39). Where is the love in allowing someone to follow a false creed that will lead to destruction. Loving in truth means that I live always for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Keeping our love for the LORD aflame: But you say: “my heart seems cold and indifferent and my love for the Lord seems oh so shallow.” What shall be done in such a case? You must return to the cross of our LORD Jesus and take time to immerse your soul in the most profound expression of love ever. Here is the giving for the benefit of others at great personal cost, that goes beyond all others. If our lives are not being ongoingly transformed then such lives give an indication that the cross of our Lord Jesus has become an overly familiar or an ignored matter.

Showing love for the LORD in His appointed ministry for you: Peter had lost his way and the Lord was lovingly determined to restore him to His service. This interaction is recorded in John 21:15-19. The Lord challenged Peter as regards to his love for Himself and how that should be reflected in his life. In the first two questions Peter was confronted about whether he self-sacrificially loved Jesus and he responds by saying that he affectionately loves Jesus. The Lord’s word is agape, Peter’s word is phileo. The Lord then comes and says in the third statement (to paraphrase very loosely) that “even if you only love me affectionately you should still be active in doing good to my people.” The three statements of the Lord show how Peter is not just to love in word, but to love by looking after and providing for the mature and the less mature in the Lord’s fold. Love meant action.

This opens up big issues as regards to the call of all of us as disciples to follow Him. To be a disciple of Jesus is to be a lover of Jesus. And if we are lovers of Jesus we will be active in serving Jesus. It is in this order though. Action without love is of no value, as Paul showed the Corinthian Christians in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Love without action is a contradiction because lovers show their love through their actions. Peter had a specific sphere in which to show His love, but so do each of us. So if you are a lover of Jesus you should be showing your love in the service he has determined for you.

So love flows from out of knowledge of our Saviour who gave His life for us. True love flows into a self-giving life. No self-giving reveals there being no love for Christ. No love for Christ reflects an unconverted lost life. Active love means Christ centred love. Where are we in respect of these things?

(Taken, and adapted, from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of October 2015)

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