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Who Looks After Me?

Who is the person primarily responsible for looking after me at church? The first answer many people would give to this question is ‘the pastor.’ This makes good sense: pastors work in church to look after people, and the word ‘pastor’—‘shepherd’, one who looks after and protects a flock of sheep—implies that this should be part of their job. There is Biblical warrant for…

Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner

Imagine, after a long day, I drive home to find that the only thing remaining where my house once stood was its smouldering remains! And standing outside was my child holding a sign saying: ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner!’ It is one thing to recognise that sin is bad—in fact it’s so self-evident that there’s no chance it wouldn’t be seen! Yet it is a whole new level of…

Children Of God

We all take our parents for granted, don’t we? They feed us, clothe us, house us, send us to school, ferry us around town, teach us to work, help us with our mortgage, babysit the grandkids, and just generally make life possible for at least the first two decades of our lives. And what do we give them in return? A kiss on the way out the door and a card on Mother’s or…

Let’s Talk About Love

In 1 John 4, we read, ‘God is love’, and as a result we are told, ‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God’. We have a Heavenly Father who is love, and the love we have in us comes from him. Indeed, it is our desire to love which makes the current same-sex marriage debate so problematic. Here’s where things stand for many of us: We regret that the…

Being Transformed By Prayer

How quickly we can rattle through our prayers! ‘Our Father in heaven … for ever and ever, amen.’ ‘Excellent,’ we think, ‘Done that’. But this will not do. Before winter I swam laps at the pool, using the time to pray one line of the Lord’s Prayer per lap. It was only through slowing down as I prayed that I saw what I’d been missing by galloping over the words. I was…

How To Teach Generosity

How refreshing it is to be treated with astounding generosity! How liberating it is to be generous ourselves! Today we think about generosity as an aspect of discipleship. But, if you’re like me, we all need help with this. How is it taught? Jesus told his disciples to teach his other followers to be generous. This was part of his great commission to his disciples…

Belonging To Church

As we’re progressing through our Discipleship series, isn’t it helpful to see how the topics build on each other: that we are saved by grace, into a relationship with our Lord Jesus, who we know through his word, and we’re therefore a part of the church: God’s people gathered around his word. As Christians, we belong to our Lord Jesus Christ (e.g. Romans 1:6). And, since…

Three Reasons To Follow Jesus

At the heart of who we are is not our membership to a church (though church is essential), nor commitment to a way of life (though how we live matters to God), nor even a set of beliefs (though these are fundamental), but devotion to a person—to Jesus Christ. People first became Jesus’ disciples when he called them to follow him. And they did. They weren’t following a…

Christians Are People Of Praise

Christians are people of praise. We always have been—although we don’t have a monopoly on praise. C.S. Lewis, the Christian writer, said, The world rings with praise—readers praising their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game. C.S. Lewis But Christians are always a people of praise because—through Christ—we know the one…

The Reality Of Easter

By the time I get to the days leading into Easter I expect to have read a number of articles about Christianity and the veracity of the claims about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Normally a newspaper or magazine recycles some theory that casts doubt on whether it is reasonable for Christians to believe what they do. Last weekend I read through all the newspapers…

What Does This Mean?

Amazed and perplexed, they asked ‘What does this mean?’ You see, in Jerusalem that day there were Jews representing many nations and languages, and yet each one heard the proclamation of the Holy Spirit in their own language. They were bewildered because the disciples of Jesus could speak in their own vernacular, and they made perfect sense! How strange to hear something…