Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself. We spend time reading those words afresh and being confronted by them - both as followers of Jesus, and as products of our culture. This is a radical call to love as discipleship.
From the scene of the crowd before the Throne and the Lamb in Revelation 7, we dispel five misconceptions about the next life: we'll be floating, it'll be easy, it's people like us, I'll be in the corner, and we'll get bored.
The third instalment in our preaching series through Colossians. Paul is contending for the
mystery that… is now disclosed to the Lord’s people… namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. This has to be true for us, too, but what does that mean? And what practical difference does it make to our lives?
The relationship between David, the man who would be king, and Jonathan, the man who was supposed to be king as eldest son, should have been disastrous — but it wasn’t. There was deep love between them, and we reflect on their relationship in the context of the increasing tension with king Saul.
It takes courage to hope. It looked by all accounts as if God’s promise to Abram and Sarai (Genesis 12.1–3) would never come to fruition. Sarah — Sarai — was now far past the age of childbearing, so when Abraham’s mysterious visitors at Mamre insisted that she would have a son, she dared not hope. Sarah laughed (Genesis 18:12). Do we dare put our hope and trust in the promises of God?
As we start in Paul's letter to the church in Colossae, we find him emphasising two elements: the absolute truth of the gospel, and the necessity of entrusting ourselves to it. Only this way can we host the presence of God.