Lavished on us…..

And another

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

The strength and depth of this verse is overwhelming. Love was not just given to us, not just passed on….it was ‘lavished’ on us. It was given with great abandon and with a flourish. The father has given love in abundance, in great measure…..wowser! And we can be called ‘children of God’ – a title of greatest honour, to anyone who receives Him and believes in His name – and in that, we can have certainty, no searching for certificates of authenticity, we can know it with assurance.

How is this love demonstrated? Through the life of Jesus (celebrated at Christmas), His death and His resurrection. He gave of himself that we may have life. He ‘lavished’ love on us…..with complete abandon…..awesome! So, children of God, revel in it!

Your desires?

Another short reflection for the Facebook devotions of Emmanuel Beach Team

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17

The ‘Black Friday’ deals were a revelation in the UK this year, the clamour for belongings and the desire to have more ‘stuff’, yet despite this, there will then be the boxing day sales and the new year extravagance. The opulence of the super wealthy against the world’s poorest people is beyond comprehension, yet we continually see the tension for the people that love Jesus – how much ‘stuff’ is necessary? Jesus was born in a borrowed stable, died in a risen tomb but now sits at the right hand of the Father. It is not worldly wealth and possessions that will sustain us, it is a heart set on Jesus. There is nothing wrong with having possessions, it is how we view them and how we use them that matter. What are the important things in our lives?

Do you love Him? Will you obey His commands? Do you walk like Jesus walked? One thing that money cannot buy – eternal life. However, it is freely given. Where are your desires placed? In the will of the Father? Get it right and true life will be yours.

Walk as Jesus Did

Another reflection for the facebook wall of Emmanuel Beach Team:

“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6 NIV)

People copy others all the time, don’t they? The latest fashions, the latest trends, the latest styles – the flavours tend to change with the seasons but it is amazing how much we love to be a copy of others. The book of 1John has started with a pronouncement of witnessing to Jesus, the need to walk a Holy life and then mentions that “if we love Him, we will obey His commands”. Then we have the modern day conundrum – copy someone, but make it Jesus. Walk as Jesus walked – in close communion with the Father, in the light of His goodness knowing freedom from sin because of Christ.

We need to live our lives as Jesus did, abandoned to the Father and pointing to Him with our lives. It is no easy task but we have Jesus and we have each other – this is the community of faith, this is the Church.

The Message we declare

A Facebook devotion for Emmanuel Beach Mission

1 John 1:5 (NIV)
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all”

The quest for perfection is so real for many people, whether that is body image, emotional health, ability to perform or whatever else comes to mind. However, the gospel tells us that we can know the one who is perfect – it is not these things that we strive for that will show perfection, it is the light of God. If we walk with Him, we too can be purified from sin (v7) – we too can be pure!

What is the message that we declare? It is one that points to God and says something of His very nature and that all people can share in that too. We can know Christ and the power of his resurrection, live in purity and in fellowship with each other. We can have life – an abundant life. Fabulous!

A Living Testimony

This was a short reflection written for Emmanuel Beach Missions:

1 John 1:1 (NIV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

When we talk about Jesus, it is not some fantasy or fairy story, it is evidenced by people who have met personally with Jesus, people who have touched Him as well as seeing Him. When we share about Jesus on the beach in Saundersfoot, we can share in the testimony of the early believers as well as our own story of a relationship with the ‘Word of Life’. Like the early believers, we can know Jesus, we can testify to Him and we can celebrate His abundant goodness.
Our testimonies are important, that is why it is a key part of our programme each afternoon, our testimony will enable others to see Jesus, what a wonderful thought….we are living testimonies to the Risen Christ!