It was a great time for the youthies to learn and discuss how Jesus is both their Lord and Saviour. In particular one female youth found it a great time to show her desire to live for Jesus by committing her life to Jesus in prayer for the first time. Also a male youth who became a Christian recently found it a great time to solidify his faith in Jesus. And that’s the goal of double plugger camp. Our desire is for our youthies to have a strong and solid faith in Jesus just the way a pair of double plugger thongs are strong and solid under our feet.
I recently read a bit of a Jerry Bridges book called ‘Holiness Day by Day’. It really humbled me as i thought about what it means to obey God and live for him. Read it for yourself:
Have you thought about what it means to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, NIV)?
Here are a few obvious aspects: You seek fellowship with Him and long to gaze upon His beauty (Psalm 27:4). You rejoice in meditating on His Word and rise early to pray (Psalm 119:97; Mark 1:35). You always delight to do His will (Psalm 40:8). A regard for His glory governs and motivates everything you do (1 Corinthians 10:31) – eating and drinking, working and playing, buying and selling, reading and speaking, even driving. You’re never discouraged or frustrated by adverse circumstances because you’re confident God is working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). You’re always content because you know He’ll never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
Or look at what Jesus called the “second” commandment: “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, NIV). Among other things, this would mean that you never show selfishness, irritability, peevishness, or indifference in your dealings with others. You take a genuine interest in their welfare and seek to promote their interests, honour, and well-being. You never regard them with prideful superiority or talk about their failings. You never resent any wrongs they do to you, but instead are always ready to forgive. You always treat them as you would have them treat you.’
Do you begin to grasp some of the implications of what it means to obey these two commandments? Most of us don’t even think about them in the course of a day, let alone aspire to obey them. Instead we content ourselves with avoiding major outward sins and performing accepted Christian duties.
It’s quite astounding when we think specifically about what it means to obey our Lord isn’t it? We certainly fall very far short. But let’s remember what we saw in Colossians this week at church “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Col 1:22). And let’s also fervently pray, just as Paul did, that we would live a worthy of the Lord, pleasing him in every way (Col 1:10).
Here is the set-up piece from Night Church about the World Watch List for the top five suffering Churches around the world.
As we heard on Sunday from the Letter to the Church in Smyrna, we have a sure hope in Jesus through suffering and death.
This is the same hope for our brothers and sisters around the world.
As we continue our 2013AD journey, we want to keep asking the question: what does it mean, practically speaking, to live with Jesus as Lord? Colossians is a great place to go in search of answers! Paul wrote to the Colossians eager to encourage them to “continue in Christ”- to go on in the same way they’d begun. To achieve this he reminds them of the greatness of Jesus and the sufficiency of his redeeming work. He urges them to only ever build their life on this foundation.
In the second half of the letter, Paul goes on to describe what this sort of life will look like in practice. He spells out the implications of the gospel for our inner character and how this flows out to transform all our roles and relationships. If you want live for Jesus—and I know you do—then Colossians is the book for you!
To help us all to apply what we’re learning in Colossians, our mid-term equip night is on the topic “you can change”. The equip night will give us all the opportunity to choose a “change project” and then think through the process of true & lasting change from a gospel foundation. The knowledge and skills we learn will equip us for ongoing gospel change in all areas of life.
I hope you’re looking forward to term 2 as much as I am!
I must confess there is something that sucks me into the blind auditions phase of ‘the voice’. I really like the concept that this potential new vocal star is judged upon simply that, their voice! Not how tall they are or what size or how marketable they could be. No the judgment is based simply upon the quality of their voice. It’s their voice alone, that will swing the coaches chair to say… ‘well done’.
But even what I like about the voice just cannot compare to judgment of the Christian. I mean picture it, we stand on stage not being judged just on our voice, but our whole life, every word spoken, every action done, every thought conceived, of everyday we have lived. I can tell you what, I wouldn’t want the judges chair to swing around on me. Cause it definitely wouldn’t be a… ‘well done!’… But a ‘what did you do!!’
So thanks be to God for his son, Jesus. Who steps onto the stage and covers my shame. So that as that chair swings around and the judgment is passed. The voice that is heard says… ‘well done!’
Not because of the performance of my life and the things I did, but based upon the performance of what Christ has done.
As the judge looks he sees not me, but he sees the sinless one, the perfect one, Christ.