For this Sunday here’s what you can do: Let your wife know you thank God for her being a mother. In the past I have written “This Sunday at Church:…This Sunday at Church: Let your wife know you thank God for her being a Mother
This Sunday at Church: Thank Someone who Encourages You
This Sunday at Church I want to encourage you to do the following: Thank someone who encourages you. Sometimes we can take people and things for …This Sunday at Church: Thank Someone who Encourages You
Christ is… Enough? – Andy Brown
I am reposting this article about worship songs today. There are some wonderful songs out there, and tremendous hymns of praise. The point of the below is not to ruin that!
We need to give thought to our worship. And we should be careful about what songs we sing when it comes to worship. Not every song with a Christian label is good for us. I hope the below gives you some thought and make your worship be pure before God today. ￼￼￼
I’ve been thinking about worship songs recently. In particular, their content and origin. This began several months ago when singing the song “Christ is Enough for me…” It got me thinking… is Christ really enough? Of course He is, but what I mean is – is enough an adequate term to describe the One Who redeemed us?…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2019/02/25/christ-is-enough/
This Sunday at Church: Pray for those who recently got married in your Church
Marriage is never easy, and couples starting out their journey together require much prayer. Are there couples in your church you could pray for today?
This Sunday at Church I want to encourage you to do the following: Pray for those who recently got married in your Church. Someone in our Tuesday …This Sunday at Church: Pray for those who recently got married in your Church
Live the Love Life
In yesterday’s post – God is good – I shared how God had reminded me of His goodness, and that I was encouraging us all to keep this in mind as we enter into 2023. Keeping a conscious focus on God’s goodness will do wonders in our lives, and – I believe – will diffuse worry, amp up our prayer lives and enhance our joy. If God is in charge, and He is good, and He loves us deeply, then we can stand up against anything this world throws at us.
Another thing that God has reminded me of over the last few days is to be loving. In a way, it is kind of a shame that God had to bring this to my attention! Surely I should already be living and acting in a loving manner, right? Well yes, I do try… but in many respects I am quite an introvert and so effervescent acts of love and kindness do not always spring forth naturally from me. That is no excuse though, and I (and perhaps you too?) need to desire and discipline ourselves to act lovingly towards others.
Live the Love Life
The Bible reminds us that:
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of #love, just as #Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to #God. Eph 5:1-2 #BibleTweet
God is not asking us to do anything He is not first doing Himself. We are to follow His example, learning from the way He loves us and applying it in our own lives. Jesus loved us by sacrifice. He gave up His own life and comfort so that you and I might go free. While, in most cases, you will not be expected to give up your life unto death, living the love life will require some kind of sacrifice. This is “dying to self…” and means that sometimes we go without so that others can go ahead of us.
Note the verse above instructs us to walk in love. This command is not a one-time thing. We do not love once, and tick the box. Instead it is something we do day-by-day, step-by-step. Walking in love rarely requires some grand gesture. It is often the frequent but smaller acts that really count. Bringing your spouse a hot drink, picking up the litter/garbage from the street on your daily walk, leaving a room in a better state than you entered it, or a simple note or text message of encouragement are all examples.
Put on love
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, #kindness, humility, gentleness and #patience Col 3:12 #Bible #JesusTweet
More wisdom from Paul here, and words I cannot hope to add to.
Notice once again that Paul points out that we are dearly loved children. God is not expecting us to give out what we have not first received. We love because we have been loved by God.
Compassion, humility, kindness, patience etc are all reminiscent of the Fruit of the Spirit, and are all subsets of love. If we want to know what love looks like, then it looks like these fruits. 1 Corinthians 13 is the famous passage on love, and clearly shows that love is… not rude, patient, kind, does not envy and so on. If you see these characteristics in your life, then you can be assured that you are living in a loving way.
Paul tells us to “put on love.” This is a definite action – a choice we make. This is the conscious choice I need to make each day and even each hour. A shirt won’t jump on my body all by itself, and so, similarly, neither will love. I must put it on intentionally.
Let each of us clothe ourselves with love and the Lord Jesus Christ. Let our love so shine forth in our homes, places of work, communities and churches that no one can doubt who we serve. Let us live love life for all to see.
God’s Grace (RB)
Gods grace is indeed truly amazing!
Caring for a close relative suffering with dementia, this post from Bruce Cooper was very touching when I read it a few days ago.
When facing this terrible disease, or indeed, any other tremendous trial, I thank God for his grace which is more than sufficient.
I pray you are blessed by Bruce‘s words, and can rest in gods grace in whatever you are facing today.
As one endeavours to walk with God, in this life that we have been given, the grace that God so often extends to us becomes more and more apparent. …God’s Grace
A God of Justice (Psalm 36:7-12)
We conclude our trio of studies on Psalm 36 today by reviewing the final six verses. So far, we have considered David’s revelation of sinfulness in part 1 – A Revelation of Wickedness, and then yesterday we thought about some of the attributes of God in – Faithful to the Skies.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
9 For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.
10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
give justice to those with honest hearts.
11 Don’t let the proud trample me
or the wicked push me around.
12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen!
They are thrown down, never to rise again.Psalm 36:7-12 NLT
Verse seven reminds us of how precious God’s unfailing love is. In many ways, this is obvious but that makes it all too easy to just pass it over. Preciousness means value, not necessarily financial, but something we prize. God does not have to love us (in a sense). Although it would be against His character and nature, He could look upon our sinfulness and reject us outright. God’s love is not to be taken lightly or for granted. The more precious something is, the more it tends to cost, and God’s love cost Him His Son.
Many Christians ask themselves if God really loves them. They may not feel loved, and so question whether God cares at all. In the hectic world we live in, it can be difficult to hear from God at times. This leads us to think He is distant, or even uncaring. Not so! I often ask myself how well or often I hear from God, and my answer is usually the same. When I set aside other things, sit down in the quiet with Him, and listen – truly listen – I inevitably hear what God is telling me. To hear God speak into my life through His Word or in other ways is a true privilege, and it reminds me how much He really does care for me. And the same is true for you.
God’s love is not just restricted to us however, but extends to all humanity (as verse seven reminds us). John 3:16 springs to mind here:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal lifeJohn 3:16 NLT
God’s love extends to all humanity. While this does not mean all will accept it, it does affirm that it is available to all. The Bible does not support the idea that all people will be saved, no matter what, for that idea cheapens the cross and leaves little incentive to live a godly life in Christ Jesus. There is a hell to avoid, and while the thought does not bless me, I rejoice that God has made a way for us. Let each of us tell as many as we can of God’s saving love which never fails.
Upon first reading of verse eight, I am not certain if it refers to physical food and drink, or rather points to something more spiritual. God does indeed provide us food and sustenance, and it is certainly important to take a moment to thank Him at each meal time. Not everyone has the abundance of food we do, so it is right not to take our material blessings for granted.
Looking to verse nine as well, I wonder if David was thinking of more spiritual food in verse eight. Verse nine shows us that God is the fountain of life for us. While we need food to survive, we need God no less so. He controls all things, sustains all things, and our next breath is utterly dependent on Him and His grace towards us. God is not just our life, but our light as well. 1 John 1:5 echoes this psalm in telling us God is light. We cannot hope to see our way through this life or the next without the light of God. We cannot hope to understand, nor can we see the right way to go unless God first shows us the way. His Word is indeed a lamp unto our feet as Psalm 119:105 tells us.
Verse ten and eleven turn into an apparent word of prayer. The psalmist asks God to pour out His unfailing love on those who love Him. As referred to above, God has done this at the cross of Calvary. I am not sure we now need ask God to pour out His love, but perhaps it is better to pray that we understand and perceive the love He has already shown. David asks God to give justice to those with honest hearts. Justice is a common theme in the Bible, and we trust God to make all things well in the end. Justice in this life is not guaranteed, but we know that the God of justice will indeed comfort the afflicted and wipe every tear from their eye.
Pour out your unfailing #love on those who love you; give #justice to those with honest hearts. Psa 36:10 NLT #BibleTweet
Verse eleven seeks protection from the proud. I like the phrasing of the NLT here, as no one likes to be “pushed around.” This continues the theme of justice, and the cry to protect the downtrodden. The proud pick on the weak, exploiting them for their own gain. We, as the people of God, must not be like this. We must not show favouritism, nor exploit those who we think are beneath us. Time and time again the Bible speaks of looking after orphans and widows, and we must look after those who are in need or marginalised.
This psalm of contrasts comes to an end with an almost prophetic note. Behold, the psalmist cries out, the wicked are no more! David knows the justice of his God, and knows that the wicked cannot stand before Him. A time will come when sin will end. A time is coming soon when the wicked will see justice. At the end of all things, God will separate the sheep from the goats, and will take care of His sheep for all eternity. I want to be among them, and want you to be too.
You cannot have #love without #justice. #Bible #Jesus #ChristianityTweet
God’s love touched on in this psalm is not so far removed from His justice. To love someone means hating anyone or anything that would harm them. You cannot have love without justice. We give thanks that our God is both full of unfailing love, and a God of true justice. Receive His love today, and allow Jesus to pay the penalty for your sin so that justice is satisfied.
Blessings on you this day.
A Gentle Answer – Andy Brown
“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”Proverbs 15:1 (NLT) This particular verse came up in my Bible reading this morning. It may be very familiar to you or perhaps it’s the first time you’ve read it. Either way, there is much wisdom in its words. A gentle answer can make a…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/02/24/a-gentle-answer/
How To Be A Welcoming Church – Andy Brown
I happened to catch an episode of “Veggie Tales” the other morning while my children were watching it. If you are not familiar, it is a kids show starring Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber. In this particular episode, Bob had taken on a job of Chief Greeter at a local shop. He started…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2019/03/28/how-to-be-a-welcoming-church/
Marriage Matters, It’s A Family Affair, S01E012
Can’t recommend this highly enough! Do give it a watch!
In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo talk candidly about things that cause problems in our marriages, that may lead to unfaithfulness in …Marriage Matters, It’s A Family Affair, S01E012
This Sunday at Church: Honor those who have served at Church for years
Amen to this!
For this Sunday here’s what you can do: Honor those who have served at Church for years. I know in the past I have written Thank someone who works …This Sunday at Church: Honor those who have served at Church for years
Pray for your Neighbour – Sunday Suggestion
This Sunday, after church of course, why don’t you take a walk around your neighbourhood and pray for those living there. You could focus on your own street, or else wander a little further afield. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and see if He will lead you to pray over a particular house or area.
Prayer walking is a great habit to get into. Not only does your physical body get some exercise, but it also gives you the chance to stretch those spiritual muscles. There are many practical ways to bless your neighbour, but only prayer allows you to invite God into their lives and do His miracle work.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
Love your #neighbour as yourself #Bible #Jesus #ChristianityTweet
The chances are that the most popular name on your prayer list is your own… I know that’s true for me, I’m ashamed to admit. Yet verse 31 tells us to love our neighbour as we do ourselves. Well, if we pray mostly for our own needs, then let us each love our neighbour that way, and lift them before the Lord.
Perhaps it just isn’t possible for you to prayer walk right now, and that’s ok. If you can, pray at home for those living near you, as that will be beneficial too.
Finally, if you live in the UK, don’t forget your raincoat!
Have a great weekend!