I was reminded of the thief on the cross that in his time of greatest need he realised that Jesus was actually who he said he was- and for so many people this time in society is their cross moment- in their darkest time they can reach out to God- but for so many they will come down from that ‘cross moment’ and will come through this uncertain time unharmed- but what is it that we can do as Christians and as a church to grow people’s faith and their walks with God, as well as our own.
We are often so guilty in over complicating things, church can do the same- Jesus has a way of making his relationship with God in its complexity, so understandable to whoever he spoke with.
What was it that Jesus while on earth did or said that his followers felt most empowerment from and I truly believe there are 3 areas- first of all is acceptance, obedience and actions
First of all is acceptance-
“Then Jesus said, “I am light to the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.””
What a trade- to exchange darkness for light this acceptance of God is an instant change in circumstance
We read in the gospels how Jesus went and asked his disciples to ‘follow me’ this was a practical reality for them as they could see a physical being to follow- the acceptance of something you cannot see takes faith- something, that once you have in Christ, is the strength that enables you to accept him into your life and every part of your being
Then we have obedience-
I love how simply the scripture in acts puts it when it says believe and be baptised- there’s no perfecting that goes on after believing before baptism Christ has already done it
In Matthew we read about Jesus’ baptism and Jesus says this
“It is only right to do all that God requires.” Then John baptized Jesus.”
If we truly want to be a Christian and more Christ like in all our being it should also be in all our doing,
The most well known request from Jesus to us his followers is the great commandments
“Jesus answered him, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’ This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’ Contained within these commandments to love you will find all the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.””
This doesn’t mean we dismiss the Old Testament law rather it simplifies it to fulfil it.
Christ spent his life teaching through his example or parables, as guideline for us to follow- whether it’s prayer, fasting, caring for others or communion
That then leads us to action-
This is what I believe expresses outwardly what we have accepted and the example we have obeyed.
“For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].”
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
I’m so reminded that through all this we are to continue to be obedient and active in our faith- seeking Gods heart in all we do, following his perfect example and doing it all for his glory so that his Name will be known and his kingdom with be built and be doers of the word!!
And let’s pray for those we interact with/ and share our faith with - to strengthen them in their faith so that they can have a testamony of triumph through this
Live well informed but dwell in faith
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”