How do I please God? I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit recently; it is a theme which has popped up in many different places. Am I doing the right things? How do we know that God is pleased with what we do? But we see in God’s word that these are the wrong questions. Because pleasing God is not so much about what we do, as why we do it. It is less about specific actions and more about our heart attitude. First up, we have God’s love and approval already. If your faith is in Christ then you have been saved and stand right before God- and doing ‘good’ things won’t change that. Rather, we are called to do what is right as a response to
In Faith Alone This term at KYB (Know Your Bible), a women’s Bible study group, we have been looking at the life of Abraham. We’ve spent time in Genesis 12–14, reading about God’s call on his life and the promises given to him by God; promises of land, descendants, and blessing. Chapter 15 begins with a discussion between God and Abraham. Abraham is seeking reassurance from God. He wants to know how he is going to have countless descendants while he and Sarah remain childless. God again repeats His promise to Abraham and shows him the night sky, declaring he will have more descendents than stars in the sky. The verse that follows is simple, yet very, very powerful. Genesis 15:6 says “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited
Learning to Pray the Psalms “I know I should pray, but I don’t know what I should pray for.” This is, perhaps, one of the most common complaints I hear when it comes to prayer. And I get it. Man, do I get it. Many times I have sat down to pray and within no time at all my mind has wandered, my mouth has emptied, and I’ve uttered a quick ‘thank you and amen’ before moving on with my day. But it needn’t be this way. God has given us an entire book of the Bible (and it’s the third longest book in the Bible!) to give form, shape, and content to our prayers. Of course, I’m talking about the book of Psalms. In his commentary on the
Learning to Draw Near One of the most amazing truths of the Bible is that the almighty God of the universe is near to us. Even more, He wants to be near to us! He is not like the powerful and popular people in our world who are distant, remote and inaccessible. He is near, involved, and accessible. In our current sermon series, ‘Awake and Alive: Enjoying the Presence of God’, we are exploring what it means to enjoy and experience the presence of God. I don’t know whether you long for more of God in your life? Or whether there is something holding you back? Whatever the case may be, God is not holding back from you! James 4:8 says ‘Draw near to God and he will draw
Simple but Life-Changing I wanted to write to you a little about my experience of the Alpha Course last year. My wife (Michanne) and I ran it together and it had a deep impact on us primarily because of how much it impacted others that came. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe you’ve never heard of Alpha before. If you haven’t, here’s the basic run down. The course is designed for people who wouldn’t call themselves Christians. It’s for sceptics, fence-sitters, and anyone who might want to explore big questions about life. What normally happens is you get together for a meal, watch a teaching video and then discuss it together. Simple. One of the wonderful things about Alpha is that it creates a relaxed space for people
The Real #10yearchallenge If you’ve logged onto social media in the last couple of weeks you’ve almost certainly come across the #10yearchallenge. Some social media users are posting a photo of themselves ten years ago alongside a photo of themselves now. It’s been incredibly popular—especially among people who don’t mind how they’ve aged! Of course, it’s all a bit of innocent fun. But it got me thinking about Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 4:8: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” We spend much of our time trying to improve or enhance our physical appearance. Think of all the time we spend in front of the mirror, exercising, eating right, shopping
How Great Thou Art I love the beach. The landscape, the waves, and the sounds are breathtaking. During my break I spent a lot of time enjoying the beach, often silently thanking God for his beautiful creation and the blessing of being able to enjoy it with my family and friends. God’s creation is truly breathtaking, and rightly moves us to awe and gratitude. The lyrics of the well-known song ‘How Great Thou Art’ were actually inspired by God’s beautiful creation. The writer’s awe-filled response to the ‘the stars, the rolling thunder, the woods and forest glades, the birds sweet singing and lofty mountain grandeur’ were glory and thanks to God: ‘Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee; how great Thou art’. The song lyrics move from
Whatever You Do, Give Thanks Earlier this week, I, along with my family, returned home after a 3-week holiday in the mountains of freezing cold Canada. We spent most of our time skiing and snowboarding, exploring the shops and restaurants in the village, playing board games, and soothing sore muscles in the hot tub. We also attended an ice hockey game and enjoyed a white Christmas, complete with carolling and ugly Christmas sweaters. It was an incredible experience and an immensely enjoyable break. During the time away, I had one particular passage of Scripture reverberating in my heart and mind: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).