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Legacy of faith, hope and love

May 21st, 2024

The WordPress question of the day is “What legacy do you want to leave behind?”

When I reflect on what legacy I want to leave behind a memory verse comes to mind – 1 Corinthians 13:13. It says…

“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.”

This short verse contains three great truths that will last forever.

1. Faith – I hope people will remember me as a person who had faith in Jesus and tried wholeheartedly to follow Him.

2. Hope – I hope that my eternal hope in Christ is remembered. I pray people have seen this hope and are inspired by it when I am gone.

3. Love – I hope my love is evident to all that really know me. I want people to remember a love for my family and love for Jesus.

Legacy is a strange thing to think about to be honest. In this moment we think we have plenty of life left. But the reality is God could call us home any time.

When my time is finally over, I pray those around me would have seen my faith in Jesus, my eternal hope I have, and my love for my family and for Jesus.

Five reasons why we needed Pentecost

May 19th, 2024

Bible readings: Acts 2:1-11, Galatians 5:16-25

Today is Pentecost Sunday on the Church calendar. It is when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit to the first followers of Jesus.

As we saw in our first reading the disciples were meeting in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came. It made so much a commotion that people came from all around.

Bible scholars tell us this was the beginning of the church age. The age when the Holy Spirit would fill and empower Christians to love one another and fulfil the Great Commission. The last words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.

Today I want to look at five reasons why we needed Pentecost to happen. Five reasons why we need the Holy Spirit today.

1. We need the Holy Spirit because Jesus promised to send another one like Him

In John chapters 15 and 16 we see that Jesus told the disciples that after He returned to the Father He would send another Counsellor (John 15:26, John 16:5-7).

When Jesus said that He would send ‘another counsellor’, the word ‘another’ here means ‘another of the same kind’. Jesus was saying that all that He had been to them the Spirit would continue to be once he had returned to the Father. I believe it is important for us as Christians to understand this role of the Holy Spirit.

While we trust Jesus for our salvation, it is the Holy Spirit who is our ever present help, comfort and counsellor today in the same way Jesus was to the disciples two thousand years ago.

2. We need the Holy Spirit because He teaches us and illuminates Scripture

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit teaches us and reveals the truth of Scripture (John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 2:10-14). This teaching and revealing work of the Holy Spirit is often described as Illumination.

Bible scholars tell us that Illumination does not concern the impartation of new knowledge, but a clarification of the text as it stands revealed and inspired by God. I believe that it is especially important for the Christian to understand this teaching and illumination role of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible makes it clear to understand the “deep things of God” we need the wisdom, teaching and illumination of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6-16).

3. We need the Holy Spirit because He assures us we belong to God

The Bible tells us that as soon as we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

A seal is a symbol of a finished transaction, of ownership and of security. Because we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, we can be assured of our salvation. In Romans 8:16 we see that the Holy Spirit also testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children and Ephesians 4:30 assures us that we are sealed until the day of redemption.

Understanding that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and assured of our salvation is very important for the Christian, especially the new Christian, as they are often prone to doubts and uncertainty about the decision they have made.

4. We need the Holy Spirit because He makes us more Christ-like

The Bible tells us that as Christians we are being transformed into likeness of Christ by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When a person becomes born again, he is sanctified or set apart for God. This happens only once, but sanctification is also a daily process for the rest of one’s life. To achieve this work the Holy Spirit indwells the believer (Romans 8:11) and works in their life to produce the fruit of the Spirit as we saw in our second reading (Galatians 5:22-23).

I believe as Christians it important to realise that as we submit every area of our lives to the indwelling Holy Spirit, we allow Him to work in us to progressively reflect the character of Christ. This is what God intended for humankind when He originally created us.

5. We need the Holy Spirit because He equips us for service

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit equips us for service with gifts and empowers us to be Christ’s witnesses (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit equips us to serve God by imparting His gifts, directing our ministry and anointing us with His power.

For the Christian it is vital to understand that while we have been called to serve God and be Christ’s witnesses, we have not been called to do this alone. We have been equipped by the Holy Spirit with gifts to undertake God’s work and we are empowered with the Holy Spirit’s power to be Christ’s witnesses.

Closing summary

Today we looked at five reasons why we needed the Holy Spirit to come at Pentecost. We saw…

1. We need the Holy Spirit because Jesus promised to send another one like Him

2. We need the Holy Spirit because He teaches us and illuminates Scripture

3. We need the Holy Spirit because He assures us we belong to God

4. We need the Holy Spirit because He makes us more Christ-like

5. We need the Holy Spirit because He equips us for service

Let us pray

Jesus needed time alone

May 18th, 2024

This one is just for fun. Please enjoy…

Martha gets a bad wrap

May 17th, 2024

Often when we think of Martha and her sister Mary we often think of Martha in a bad light. 

When Jesus comes over to see them, Mary sits with Jesus and Martha is rushing around getting things done. She complains to Jesus and asks Him to tell Mary to help.

But today I noticed that Martha gives a very good response to Jesus’ question when they are talking about Lazarus dying and being raised.

In John 11:25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

In verse 27  Martha says, “Yes, Lord,” “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 

Martha’s response is brilliant. It is very similar to Peter’s response when Jesus asks, “Whom do you say I am?” Peter says, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15-16).

Martha gets a bad wrap sometimes. Perhaps we should remember her response to Jesus about who He was?

Leader or follower?

May 15th, 2024

Another good question from WordPress today. Am I a leader or a follower?

In general terms I would say I am mostly a follower. In most of my jobs I have enjoyed being second in charge and supporting my leader or manager.

My heart or the way I am wired is to serve. So I feel most satisfied when I have a leader to serve, support and encourage. I try and lighten their load and help them to be successful. 

In my current role as School Chaplain I see my role to provide pastoral care to the school community and to support and encourage the school Principal. If I am taking care of pastoral care the Principal can focus on other things.

Yes there are times when I have been the leader, but in general terms I am wired to follow. When I do serve, I feel most satisfied.