The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching“. This verse tells us that as Christians it is important to meet with other Christians to learn and grow together. Meeting together also allows us to encourage each other in our faith and to look forward for Jesus’ return.
Traditionally this verse has been used to encourage Christians to attend a “traditional” church on Sundays. However I think it goes deeper than this. Yes church on Sundays is important, but we can go on a Sunday and have limited contact with others. We can walk in and walk out without making any real connections.
I think the key is this passage is meeting together and building each other up. This may be at a church on Sunday, but it might also be in a house church, a home Bible study group, it might be having coffee with a friend, meeting at the local park with some friends and their kids, going to a craft group or even playing golf. It doesn’t have to be in a big group as long a we connect in a real way and encourage each other in Christ.
As I write the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:20 spring to mind. “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
As I am preparing for Easter I am re-reading over some of the main sections of the Easter message. I like to do this and reflect on them. This year I am looking at the Easter story from the New Testament book of John.
If you haven’t got access to a Bible you can click on the links below. Each one will open to the section in an online Bible on BibleGateway.com
I hope you all have a happy and safe Easter. Whatever you do this weekend, I hope and pray you come to know and experience Jesus in a new and deeper way this year.
As Easter approaches I am starting to reflect on the season when we celebrate and remember what Jesus did for us all some 2000 years ago.
This year the thing that is really hitting me is the 100% full and complete acceptance I have with God because of Jesus death on the cross. When we come to Christ and accept that He died on the cross for our sin and to bring us back into relationship with God, we are seen as righteous in God’s eyes. It is like when God sees us, He sees us through the lens of Jesus.
For me this means I don’t have to work for my salvation. I don’t have to do anything to win God’s approval or favour. He loves me and accepts just as I am. There is nothing I can do to make Him love me more. He is 100% on my side and 100% in my corner. He loves me and accepts me as His own child that has been adopted into His eternal family. That is great news…in fact I think it is the best news!
If you don’t know the complete love and acceptance of God. Why not come to Jesus today. Let the Easter message wash over you and sink deep inside your heart. Let 2008 be the year where you come to the foot of the cross and lay all of your burdens there. Receive and accept God’s unconditional love through Jesus. If you would like to do that now you can visit this page.
One of the most memorised verses that evangelists use would be Romans 3:23. It says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard“. It tells people that no matter who we are, we have all missed the mark when it comes to living a righteous life in God eyes. However if we are to get the full picture and understand this verse we need to read the verse 22 and a few verses afterwards in 24-26.
Verse 22 says, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are“. When you read verse 22 first God tells us the remedy for the problem of sin – placing our faith in Jesus. He mentions the “way out” before He mentions the sin.
Looking at verses 24-26 fills out the picture some more. It says, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus“.
God told us in verse 23 that we have all sinned. If we are honest we know deep in our hearts we know we have fallen short. However God did not leave us there, out of His love and concern for us He gave us Jesus to take the punishment for our sin. That means that no matter who we are or what we have done, we can be forgiven and declared righteous in God’s eyes. That is some good news. In fact I think it is great news!
If you have done some things that you know are not right in God’s eyes, I would encourage you to visit our “Peace with God” page. You can experience a whole new beginning and make a fresh start with God today!
Do you ever have days where you feel like your head is full? Whatever you try to do you feel like it takes extra effort to concentrate and get started. Someone might ask you to do something that normally you would do with ease, but for some reason it seems like a major effort to get it done. I must admit I have felt this a few times lately as I am adapting to being a full time student again!
I am glad on days like this we can turn to God for help. As I was trying to get going this morning I prayed and God prompted me to look up Psalm 46:10. It says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”.
The first two words said it all for me – be still. I was reminded that I needed to stop and be still and focus on God. Somehow when I do this it always seems to free up my mind and freshen me up. The cobwebs are blown away and my mind feels recharged.
In those times my mind seems too full from all the things that are going on. Please help me to stop and focus on You. Help me to be still and know that you are God. Amen.