At the time of year when we often think of making new year resolutions, the words of Jesus from John 15 come to us loud and clear: Choose to remain! Jesus says that apart from Him, we can do nothing. Dare we dream of the fruitfulness we will see if Christ-following men and women commit their whole selves to Jesus and His mission in 2020?
As we reach the end of the year it’s vital we do all we can to ‘finish well’ – so that we can start the new year in the best possible way. Hebrews chapter 11 describes some ‘heroes of faith’ – men and women who pressed-on and finished well, and whose lives still speak to us. And the writer to the Hebrews follows these tails of faith and heroism by urging us also to “fix our eyes on Jesus…lay aside every weight…and run with endurance the race that lies before us.” (Heb 12:1). In this message we consider how these faithful men and women might be cheering us, and how we can run into the new year!…
In the second of two messages from John’s letters looking at ‘The World’ (how we relate to it and how we should live in it), we turn to John’s amazing statement that we are, AS HE IS, in this world (1 John 4:17). John instructs us not to love the world (1 John 2:15), but he also shows us that ‘AS HE IS’ means that by our very nature we are, SENT into it, and LOVED. Once again, starting in Genesis and exploring the meaning of the Tree of Life, we can see how this has always been God’s plan, to have a people who are maturing into the full stature of His beloved Son, Jesus.
In both his letters and his gospel, John often refers to his readers as ‘children’. John really wants us to be confident of who we are as children of God. From the account of King David and his covenant faithfulness to Mephibosheth, we gain further insights into being God’s children – we’re invited to sit at the King’s table as sons and enjoy relationship with Him, enjoying all the good things he has for us.