My family and I watched the Royal Wedding of William and Kate last night. I have to say I really enjoyed it. Several things really stuck out for me from a spiritual persepective.
1. The Bible reading – Romans 12:1-18 was a great passage. It talks about being a living sacrifice, not to be conformed to the standards of the world, being humble, using our gifts to serve others, loving things that are good, sharing with those in need, keeping your spiritual fervour, being faithful in prayer and being joyful in hope. It is a great passage to guide our lives.
2. The sermonettes – All the messages spoken by the various Ministers were right on the money. They encouraged the couple to focus their lives on God and raising your children to follow God. They also talked about marriage being a covenant between two people before God, that it was God’s best for us all and that marriage can help us to be all God intends us to be.
3. The prayers – The prayer that the couple wrote themselves was also very good. “God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage. In the business of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy. Strengthened by our union, help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
All in all from a spiritual perspective I think it was done really well. I hope and pray they have a long happy life together and that they will be a blessing to many many people in the work they do together.
The Bible says in John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. In this verse Jesus is telling us He is the way to the Father, which is also the way to salvation.
Just imagine there is a road with a fork in it. As you walk down the road you see there are two directions you can go. As you get closer you see there are two men sitting at the fork. You stop to ask directions and you notice one is dead and the other is alive. Which one do you ask directions from? Of course you would ask directions from the man who is alive.
This is what it is like for those seeking spiritual direction too. If you want to know the way or find answers to your questions you need to ask someone who is alive. Of all of the religious leaders in history, Jesus is the only one who died and then rose to life again.
I believe His resurrection validates all that Jesus said and all that He taught. He didn’t just teach worldly truths or good ideas, He taught about life, death and eternal life too. He then backed up the concept of rising to eternal life by being raised to life Himself.
If you have spiritual questions or you are seeking for more in this Easter season I would encourage you to read about Jesus in the Bible. If you don;t have a Bible you can find a free online version here.
Today is Good Friday. I believe it is a really really Good Friday.
It is a Good Friday because we remember…
- Jesus left heaven and lived amongst us
- Jesus came and died on the cross for our sin.
- that because of Jesus’s death we can receive forgiveness for our sin.
- that because of Jesus’ death we can experience a new relationship with God.
- that although Jesus died He rose to life on the Sunday.
- that because of Jesus death we have a new hope for the future.
- that our faith in Him gives us eternal life in His presence.
It would be an even better Friday if you invited Jesus into your life today. You can do this by clicking here.
Here are some of the Easter Bible readings I try to read each year in the lead up to Easter. You can click on any of the links below to open a free online Bible. Enjoy and be blessed this Easter.
PS. These readings are also available on my Bible reading plans page. You can find that here
I saw this a couple of years ago. Seeing that Easter is fast apporaching I thought I would share it again. Enjoy!
I was doing some reading about discipleship the other day for an assignment. In one of the books I came across this thought about the way the New Testament describes followers of Jesus.
It said that the New Testament calls followers as Jesus disciples 282 times, where it calls them believers 26 times and Christians only 3 times. I decided to check it out on my Bible software and I found similar results. This got me thinking about the terms disciple, believer and christian.
In New Testament times a disciple was someone who wanted to learn from another person. It could be a Rabbi, a Craftsman or a Philosopher. They would attached themselves to them and learn the particular skill. They would watch, learn, practice and eventually do it by themselves. When the skill was fully transefered they would go on their way.
Being a disciple was about connecting with someone else to learn their ways. This is how it was for the 12 disciples that Jesus called at the beginning of His public ministry. They stayed with Him for three and a half years. The watched, learnt and were sent out to do things themselves.
When you think about being a disciple, believer or christian you can see why the term “disciple” was used much more. It talks more about committing to a way of life and of learning and growth. It goes past just believing in something, it is more about learning to follow and to heading in a new direction full steam ahead.
One of the positive ways I try to start my day is to read the Life application study Bible devotion. I have it on RSS Feed on my computer. When I turn my computer on in the morning it comes directly to my web browser.
I find starting my computer day this way helps me to begin with God on my mind and God on my heart. It is short and only takes a minute to read, but the thoughts stay with you for the day.
If you are interested you can find the online version on YouVersion.com.
Over the last few days I have been looking at the passage from Luke 14:25-35. In the NIV it is titled “The Cost of Being a Disciple”.
In verse 25 we see that large crowds were traveling with Jesus. They had started to follow Him. You could imagine that after the miracles He performed and the teaching He had been doing.
Then it seems out of nowhere Jesus says this…”If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” (v26)
On the surface this statement seems quite heavy. Jesus is talking about hating family members or our own lives to be His disciple. You could imagine that stopped a few people in their tracks!
However, when you look a bit deeper you see the Greek word (the language the New Testament was originally written in) was the word miseo (pronounced mis-eh-o). It means to “love less”.
If you read the passage again with “love less” there it makes more sense to us today.
“If anyone comes to me and does not “miseo” or “love less” [than] his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple”.
Jesus is saying that to be His disciple or follower we need to love Him more than our families or our lives. For some that might seem hard, but for people who has been following Jesus for years it makes sense.
When we love our families, or money, or possessions, more than we love Jesus there will always be competing priorities. Jesus wants first place in our hearts and first place in our lives.
This is one of the “costs” of being a disciple. In the next few days I will share more from this passage.
I was talking with some friends about Luke the other day and Luke 7.28 came up in the conversation.
It says, “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
On the surface it can be a strange verse to understand. When you reading it in light on verse 27 it makes a little more sense.
“This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.” (v27).
Jesus was talking about John coming to announce the Kingdom of God which Jesus talked about ie Repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is near.
As Christians when we accept Christ, God’s Kingdom comes to us. We then become greater than John was at the time, because we actually live in it daily.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary echoes these thoughts when it says, “Jesus now puts John into historical perspective. John came in advance of the kingdom, which has now become a reality (16:16). Great as John was (v.28), it is greater to participate in the kingdom than to announce it.
I thought I would share this on my blog just in case there are others who have struggled with this verse too.
As a Christian I am constantly amazed at the life and teachings of Jesus. This morning I was reading Luke chapter 22 where Jesus is talking about being a servant. In the NLT it verses 24-27 says…
24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
The thing that really jumped out to me today was Jesus’ words, “For I am among you as one who serves”.
Although I already knew this and have read it many times, the thought that the Creator and King of the Universe came to be a servant. It really grabbed my heart afresh and brought tears to my eyes.
As I type I am reminded that the Creator and King also washed peoples feet (John 13:1-5) and the Creator and King also gave His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
Even though I have been following Jesus for more than 20 years, I am constantly amazed by Him and the things He did and said.