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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

To the full. Est.

First of all, an apology. I only just realised that I forgot to do my post yesterday, which I am extremely embarrassed about. Hopefully, this will be a one-time occurrence, though somehow I doubt it. Anyway, on with the actual blog post thing.

At church this Sunday past, in the evening service, there was a bit of a thing about living life to the full. Now, that's a phrase that you do hear fairly often, even in a non-religious sense, usually from young guys pumped up on adrenaline who are trying to get you to do some death-defying stunt with them. However, this isn't quite in the same context. This is in quite a Biblical context - the second half of John 10:10, to be precise. "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." These were words from Jesus. So the idea is, that Jesus didn't just come to take all our sins away. That was just the process, so to speak, that is needed to get to the final product - a life that is lived to the full.

Strangely enough, Jesus didn't actually talk about salvation too much. He talked a heck of a lot more about what happened afterwards - and about God's Kingdom. That's what he was really on about. It's like a bridge between one cliff and another cliff - it's an amazing feat in itself, to be sure, but it's not there to be admired. It's there for you to get to the other side, for you to get to that other place. That's what Jesus did. Him dying on the cross was that bridge. But he doesn't want us to linger or focus too much on that. He doesn't really want us to be constantly thinking about all our sins, and constantly coming to Him to ask Him to make it better. Yes, a bit of that is good - but if you keep doing it, it's like you just go onto the bridge, then go back to the side that you came from. He wants you to go over. It's difficult, but it's worth it. It always is with Him, though it can often be pretty hard to see it.

Monday, 14 February 2011

God loved Hitler.

A strange (and quite controversial) comment to make, I know. However, it's true. God loved him, even though he did all the things he did. He loved him massively, amazingly, even as he was killing tens of thousands of people. Just like he loved Stalin. Hussein. Genghis Khan. Even George Bush, crazy as that may seem. God loved all these people, no matter what they did, or what mistakes they made. Some of the people that many consider to be some of the worst in history.

You wonder, of course, about my point. Well, my point is this: today is Valentine's Day. It's supposed to be a day celebrating love and affection. And yet there is still so much hatred, violence, and animosity in the world. You don't even have to go to a war zone to see it. You could probably see any of those at your closest school. The thing is, we all have people that we're not particularly fond of, for various reasons. People we don't like, or even hate. And, chances are, that's not going to change any time soon.

But if God can love a person like Hitler or Stalin (even though he can do anything, so it's a bit easier for him) perhaps we could have a go at loving the people that we don't particularly like. On this Valentine's Day, perhaps we can spread a bit of love to those people that usually only receive dislike and hate. A little love can do a lot. It's hard, yes. Of course it is. But I'm willing to give it a try. Will you?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Wow. Just wow.

As perhaps a couple of you know, I did my first sermon last night. Well, sort of. I did do one before, but that was for a service where the kids were running it, and it was more like half a sermon - or a long communion. :p

I have had a fair bit of public speaking experience before, which was very helpful. But, I have to say, I still didn't expect the reaction that I got.
It was amazing.
I think I got at least a dozen people coming up to me afterwards, telling me what a good job I did. So I must have done something right :) I'm telling you, God was in that church last night. I mean, he always is, but I suppose I just felt it a bit more, in a weird kind of way.

Heck, I want to do that again. :D

For those interested, my sermon was on John 8:1-12, and it was about grace. I'm not about to give you the sermon here (though I may put it up on Youtube at some point, and if I do I'll link it to here somewhere), but I'll give you what I guess was my main point: God's grace surpasses all.

I think I'll just leave you with that to be thinking on today. That's a fair bit to think about in itself.