Bible verses that sting me (part 1)

As a Christian, I seek to listen to and understand what the Bible is teaching and make attempts, though not always successful, at putting its truth into practice. There are some verses that trouble me because they challenge me. Two such verses are;

if anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18)

Those verses hit me right between the eyes! Imagine that, sharing my possessions with people in need. Using the things I possess to help and support others. How willing am I to do this type of thing? It is not something that is easy, in fact it is probably something that I should be more willing to do, but my selfish nature does not allow it.

There have been some occasions in my life where I have been good, on one occasion insuring my car for a time so that a neighbour had transport when her car was unusable. It was right to do but the surprise for me was that it was members of the church who had the greatest objection. They were horrified that, as the Youth Minister, I would be so free with my possessions and not more protective. We obviously had not shared enough from 1John in our church!

What about our money? What about our homes? Our computers? Our mobile phones? Our treasures are in heaven, not on earth, where moth, rust and decay settle in, yet we can be so hesitant. God’s gifts are given to be used in His service, not for us to hoard and control for our own ends only. A truth that is far easier to hold in theory than in practice. I have all the excuses, all the reasons why I should keep hold of things for myself but justifying them is more difficult.

I long to live out these things in a better way, thankfully it is a journey and Gods grace is sufficient to help me through my failings, meanwhile, these verses continue to challenge me to the core.

Familiarity…not always a good thing

Sunset silhouette by thehutch
Sunset silhouette, a photo by thehutch on Flickr.

There is something safe and secure about familiar things. They breed comfort, peace and can provide a sense of well being. However, we must be careful that we do not allow the familiar to prevent us exploring new things.
In london we have all the favourite tourist destinations, the places that people want to see, be a part of and take pictures of. However, London is more than its famous landmarks, more than the well trodden paths, it has plenty of character, hidden spaces and beauty beyond compare that is often overlooked and forgotten.
The same can be said of our lives, our families, our work places, our churches – when do we go exploring, get creative, plough new ground? We do not want to lose sight of the familiar and safe ground….nor should we lose sight of new possibilities and new horizons.

: resolutions or more resolute?

So many people with resolutions, as we discover every January, yet we know that many will fall by the wayside very quickly. Shattered and broken promises will start appearing within days and by the end of the month we may discover over 80% of resolutions have failed.
Rather than resolutions, we need to be more resolute in our plans – stay the course, keep to the narrow way and bear fruit. We may then discover that our plans do not need re-writing every 12 months but that they last a lifetime. That, my friends, is success.