Tag Archives: love
When building the church we should probably strive to adhere to the doctrines and principles of the first century church because it was founded on a first hand witness of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, the apostles were gifted with the Holy Spirit when establishing the early church and so you would expect the first churches to be an example of harmony, perfect knowledge, strong faith and enthusiasm.
The reality though is far different. The first century church was filled with problems which we read of in Acts and the many letters of Paul. There are many lessons we can learn, but we can also take comfort from the fact that the first churches were far from the one united body they should have been.
Read more in our sermon on Building the Church of God….
“And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you
but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love
him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all
your soul, and to observe the LORD’s decrees that I am giving
you today for your own good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).
God doesn’t change. He wants the same things for us today as
he wanted from Israel way back then:
1. “Fear the LORD your God.” We can’t be flippant or too
familiar with him. He is our God and our judge. He deserves our
respect and fear.
2. “Walk in all his ways.” To walk means we are going
somewhere – to his kingdom. We need to check our direction.
Pray and read his direction book, the Bible, and walk in his
3. “Love him.” God created us to respond to him. Free will
means we can choose to love God or reject him. We need to
choose to love him.
4. “Serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all
your soul.” Make the effort to serve the LORD. Work for him.
There is always plenty to do in our communities in caring for
one another. Not only should we make the effort, but we should
do it willingly with a positive attitude.
5. “Observe the LORD’s decrees that I am giving you today for
your own good.” Obey his instructions because he knows best
and his instructions to us have our best interests at heart.
God wants five simple things from us. They are not hard, but
they do demand our all.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
This is a great Bible verse that reminds us that everything that happens in our lives happens for a reason. It’s a particularly good verse when things are going well for us…however there are many times in our lives when things do not go so well and we can wonder what God is trying to tell us. We can even start to wonder if He is really there after all.
If we lose our job, or have sudden health problems, or a family crisis, or maybe our plans for the future fall through, it can be very easy to say to God, “Where are you now that I need you?”
Its like that quote we often hear, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” And I can add to that, how exactly do the bad things that happen to us fit in with that Bible verse from Romans quoted above?
I’m going to make some suggestions about how we can know that God is working in our lives whatever happens to us.
Firstly, we know that God has a plan for the earth. His ultimate plan is to send his Son back to the earth to put things to rights and set up his kingdom here – and for us to be there with Him if we want to be.
So whilst God is still concerned with our daily welfare, the big picture involves Him preparing us for the kingdom. To this end He may choose to develop and shape our characters using our life circumstances. Its certainly true that looking back at a particular life event one can often realise its purpose in directing us to our current position which is somehow helping us to serve God more effectively, but at the time the trial may have seemed both stressful and pointless.
We must also remember that God works on a different timescale to us. A thousand years to Him is as one day. It may seem to us as if our patience needs to be everlasting and we may wonder how we can keep going, but to God the kingdom is just round the corner.
Think about how long Abraham waited to receive the promise of his son Isaac, or how long David had to wait to become king after being anointed. Many Bible characters had long trials to overcome – some found it hard and constantly asked God for reassurance whilst others were patient and continued in prayer.
However hard we find our life circumstances we must try to focus on the fact that God is leading us to His kingdom, and that He loves us and wants us to be there.
For I an convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38/39