There is an age old question... ‘what is the meaning of life’ and many have tried to answer it, some well, some not so well and a lot of us are still working it out. However, as Christians we can look to the One who has all the answers!
Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV, is a great place to start and reads…. “11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
There is a lot of Scripture about knowing God and sometimes, we can feel overwhelmed at the thought of the Creator of universe, the Almighty and All Powerful God would be interested in us as individuals. However please take courage, be assured, God wants us all to know Him. (1 Tim 3:3-4)
God is so interested in us that He sent Jesus as the way for us to come to Him. Jesus also shows us the way to live, which gives us meaning and purpose. Whilst in practical terms it will look a little different for everyone, there are some basic principles that as Christians we can all adopt. If you are reading this and don’t have a relationship with Jesus, then today, my friend is the day. Please seek out a person of trust and or contact us here at the Church, we would love to explore this with you.
For those of us who have accepted Jesus, we know we are forgiven, we also know we are not perfect and have work to do. Following Christ is not just a Sunday thing it is an everyday thing and God really wants us to know Him. We get to know God by reading His Word and communicating with Him, just like anyone else. This is a one on one relationship, but another great way to do this is in a life group. If you are not in one, then please take the leap and enquire with the office or the Pastors to help you find the right fit. Learning with others is always easier and we don’t need to journey on our own. God knew this when He created His Church.
So today, take time to reflect and ask yourself a few questions to check in and evaluate just how you are going with finding meaning in your life. Is Jesus the most important part, or is He fit in as you can. Be encouraged to ask Jesus to help you work it out, pray and read His Word and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all in this together!
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose.
PSALM 20:4 NKJV
Times of prayer should never be an option for us. Getting alone and quiet with the intent of hearing God is the most encouraging, energizing, and edifying thing we can do. Our souls are moved when we move closer to our purpose. And there is a deep satisfaction in being confident about how we’re created and why the desires of our hearts are what they are.
God has everything to do with discovering what we’re in this world to do. He saw our life in its entirety before we took our first breath. It’s amazing to think about. Who better to turn to and trust completely? We need only to look back at what He’s done, how He’s shown Himself in unquestionable ways and small miracles, and how we’ve grown in the wake of them. He has so much more for us to do. Each of us is an invaluable, irreplaceable part of His plan.
Our purpose is connected to the passions God put in our hearts. Our gifts—the unique traits we have and what ignites a fire in us—will be engaged in our life’s journey. Not one of our paths will be exactly the same. They might run side by side, intersect, or go in completely different directions, but they all lead to the glory of God. That’s why we’re here. We’re here, most importantly, to love as He loves. The good life is never about us or what we gain or accomplish; it’s how good we are at loving the people God puts in our lives.
Our purpose for today is perfectly bound to the One who is love, life, light, and kindness. All the things that make this world beautiful are found in Him. We’re here to learn to trust Him with our one, extraordinary, unique life and to pour it out with love and grace.
Dear God, I trust You with the plans You have for me. I know they begin and end with love, and every desire in my heart leads to a life lived for Your glory.
This is an excerpt from The Mountains are Calling: 90 Devotions for Peace & Solitude – a devotional journal by Dayspring.com
How did Jesus spend his time?
2,000 years ago, Jesus conquered death forever. The stone was rolled away from the empty tomb, and we were given new life in Christ.
But what happened next?
Discover five things Jesus did after His resurrection—and what they mean for us today:
1. Jesus showed up.
Jesus spent 40 days on earth after His resurrection. During this time, He eased His followers’ doubts and gave them direction for the future.
Jesus didn’t shout His love from heaven. He showed His love on earth. Today He does the same, by bending low to hear our cries and heal our hearts.
2. Jesus modelled community.
From breaking bread on the road to Emmaus, to having breakfast on the beach with His disciples, we see Jesus make time for relationships.
Jesus was never too busy to stop and show He cared. As His followers, we’re called to intentionally serve people in our families, workplaces, and cities.
3. Jesus comforted the broken.
When Jesus came back, He wasn’t frustrated that His disciples hadn’t understood His plan. He met them in their uncertainty and fear instead.
Jesus consoled the woman weeping at the empty tomb. He eased Thomas’ doubts. He spoke words of life and peace.
Today, our Savior still has grace for our questions and confusion. He still draws near when our hearts are broken.
4. Jesus redeemed mistakes.
Before the crucifixion, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Later, we see Jesus restore Peter by asking Him three times if he loves Him, and instructing Peter to care for His flock.
Even though Peter stumbled in his faith, it didn’t cancel his identity in Christ.
In the same way, we can trust that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.
5. Jesus instructed and empowered.
Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His followers to “go and make disciples of every nation.” With these instructions, we’re called to live every day with intentionality, looking for opportunities to share the Gospel.
It’s our job to show people what it means to know God and to make Him known.
Easter might be over, but what it means for us matters all year long.
Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we’re able to access God’s grace, presence, and reassurance like never before.
If you would like to read more https://blog.youversion.com/2022/04/what-happened-after-easter
For a lot of people Easter is about a holiday, time out with family and eating hot cross buns and chocolate eggs etc. Whilst there is nothing wrong with any of these things—after all who doesn’t love a good hot cross bun—as people of faith we know that the true meaning of Easter is about Jesus!
So here is our challenge….how are we going to share what we know to be true with those who don’t yet know or understand Jesus’ relevance to them?
As Christians, it’s our lifelong challenge isn’t it. We can come and worship our God and enjoy the company of our friends and church family and then go about our lives, until next Sunday. But when was the last time you actually spoke up and were open to the fact that you are a Christ follower?
We are not talking about standing on a soap box and yelling out to anyone that will hear, we are talking about relationship. Just as Jesus encourages relationship with us and seeks to communicate and impart His holy wisdom and way of life. We too need to be doing the same with those around us.
I can almost hear you thinking, well it was ok for Jesus, after all He is God and it’s easy for Him. However, surely the very sacrificial act of willingly going to the cross to endure the cruelty, abuse and horrific death as an innocent man shows Jesus knows about difficulty and hardship, yes?
Sometimes we simply need to be reminded that as challenging as some things may be, we have a God who is for us and will equip us to do His will. All we have to do is ask.
So this Easter, let us remember and honour Jesus, who died for us, in our place, so we could have abundant everlasting life with our God. Let us rejoice as we celebrate Jesus being resurrected from the dead on the third day, as we can know we too have received life through Jesus. And let us share why we celebrate Easter with those around us and be brave enough to ask the Lord to reveal to us and open up opportunities to speak about His love and the extreme lengths He went to, so we could have a living, loving relationship with Him. A relationship He wants with everyone. 2 Peter 3:9 The Message: ‘He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.’
Jesus will come again, and until then we have some work to do. Will you be ready to speak of the hope you have?
1 Peter 3:15 The Message: ‘Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. ….. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.’
Praise our Almighty God and give thanks for Jesus our Saviour and the amazing grace and love freely given.
“Anything is possible if you have faith.”
Mark 9:23 NLT
One might read this and think, wow! All my problems are fixed. Well, yes and no.
Last week we looked at needing to read the Bible, God’s Word. One of the key things we need to know about doing this is, not to take things out of context. In other words, don’t get the wrong meaning of verses, by just pulling them out because they sound good and convenient.
God’s wisdom is far beyond ours and so He gave us all the Bible to help us gain insight of Him and His purposes. His main purpose is to have a living, working, and genuine relationship with us. To do this, we needed Jesus. Jesus is our way, our truth and our life, leading us back to God.
So when we read sections of God’s Word such as our verse this week; we need to keep in mind, it is about God and our relationship. Not our wants.
This verse is the response from Jesus who is being asked by a desperate father to heal his child. The verses around it read…’Oh, have mercy on us and do something if you can.” 23 “If I can?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if you have faith.” 24 The father instantly replied, “I do have faith; oh, help me to have more!”
This gives us a clearer picture; Jesus was showing us that whilst anything can be possible if we have faith, it is more about the whom we have faith in, rather than the request in the first place.
On this occasion, the son was healed and Jesus cast out the demons that had taken over his body. But the result wasn’t only healing, it was about a God loving man, yearning and seeking to have more faith in God. That is relationship.
This Vision Sunday as we explore the theme for the year, may we always remember the fact that God desires for us to have a heartfelt relationship with Him.
Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. 5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to! Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favour that he has poured out upon us because we belong to his dearly loved Son”
May we each rise to the challenge that our Lord calls us to. It might look a little different for us as individuals; but for as a church family—let us unite in the direction we are being called to and work towards increasing our knowledge and understanding of our Lord along the way. When we need help we know we can still ask, God encourages us to ask—especially if it seems beyond human capacity.
Remember Jesus’ words are not a promise that we can do whatever we want; rather, He makes it clear that the believing one has power only due to whom he believes in; namely, Jesus, the Son of God. The power is God’s, accessed through faith and prayer according to His will. It is because of God that the believing one can accomplish much. As we live for Jesus, let us focus on the object of our belief.