Show God’s love (1)

‘God showed his great love…by sending Christ to die…while we were still sinners.’ Romans 5:8 NLT Human love and God’s love are different. Human love often says, ‘I’ll love you as long as you meet my expectations, agree with my politics, attend my church, or fit into my social circle.’ God’s love says, ‘I love you just as you are’. Basically, human love is often conditional while God’s love is unconditional. God didn’t wait for us to become worthy before loving us. ‘God showed his great love…by sending Christ to die…while we were still sinners.’ Jesus showed us a new standard for love.…

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Vulnerability

‘Two people are better than one…If one falls down, the other can help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NCV We often find it easy to talk about things that don’t really matter. But when it’s time to talk about our fears, our loneliness, our guilt, or our need to be loved, we struggle to get the words out. Maybe it’s because we struggle to trust other people, and we don’t want to let them know what’s really going in our lives. Maybe it’s because we’re ashamed of what we’re struggling with, and we want to avoid the judgment of others. But God created us…

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You are special

‘I will praise You, for I am…wonderfully made.’ Psalm 139:14 NKJV Author Sarah Hupp writes: ‘Did you know you started out as a single cell, and within that cell was enough DNA to hold the equivalent of 1,000 volumes of coded blueprints? Or that [the DNA in that one cell] determined the colour of your hair and eyes, the shape of your nose, and the size of your ring finger? Did you know nobody else has your fingerprints …the same sparkling eyes …the same laugh …or looks at things the way you do? You’re an original, and it didn’t happen by accident. God…

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Cry out to God

‘In my distress I cried out to the LORD. Psalm 18:6 NLT Even when we reach a point where we’ve exhausted all of our options, we can’t figure things out, we’re tired and burnt out, we’re afraid, disappointed, discouraged, or close to giving up, there’s still hope. We can cry out to God, and He promises to hear us. The psalms are full of examples of people crying out to God when they were in overwhelming, distressing circumstances. Here are some examples: ‘In my distress I cried out to the Lord…[and] He heard me’; ‘I cried out to God for help; I cried out…

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Surrender to God (2)

‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’ Matthew 16:24 NIV Surrender doesn’t mean being passive and just letting things happen to us. God’s will for our lives involves being creative, making choices, and taking initiative. It doesn’t mean that we stop using our mind, stop asking questions, or stop thinking critically. Surrender means that we acknowledge that God’s purposes and reasons are wiser and better than our desires. Jesus doesn’t come to rearrange the outside of our lives the way we want; He comes to rearrange the inside of our lives the way…

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Surrender to God (1)

Yet not what I will, but what you will.’ Mark 14:36 NIV The 14th century theologian, John Calvin, defined surrender in these words: ‘To have no other will, no other wisdom, and to follow the Lord wherever He leads.’ To give our whole life over to God means we have to surrender control to Him. But most of us like to feel like we’re in control, especially of our own lives. We like bringing Jesus along in the passenger seat in case we need Him, but we struggle to let Him drive. Our prayers often sound like: ‘Lord, I have a health problem,…

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Approach him

‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.’ Luke 4:16 NIV There’s a story in the Bible of children approaching Jesus. The disciples tried to keep them away, but Jesus said: ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’ (Mark 10:14 NIV). These children had no inhibitions, they just wanted to spend time with Jesus. As we get older, although we want to spend time with Him, we can come up with excuses and reasons why we shouldn’t. Maybe life gets too busy, or we make a…

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Boundaries

‘Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.’ Luke 5:16 NIV Having boundaries for different parts of our lives can help us reduce stress and avoid burn out. Boundaries help us to say ‘no’ to things that we can’t do, to focus more on the things we’re called to do, and to develop healthy relationships with others and with God. But the type of boundary is important. Rigid boundaries can cause us to shut other people out. Permeable boundaries leave us defenceless against those who feel entitled to manipulate us and who expect to be taken care of at our expense. But flexible…

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Dealing with sin

‘He appeared so that he might take away our sins.’ 1 John 3:5 NIV How often have we compared our sins with other people’s sins, and concluded that ours aren’t as bad? When we refuse to confront our sins and deal with them, we become a target for the enemy. And when we look at someone else and say, ‘I would never do that,’ we fail to build a safeguard against it. The Bible says: ‘If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall’ (1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT). The truth is that we will all sin. The Bible says, ‘All…

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New way

‘We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us.’ Hebrews 10:20 NCV In the Old Testament there were over six hundred religious laws. And every time someone failed to keep one, they had to offer an animal sacrifice as atonement. This resulted in people trying and failing; feeling guilty and trying harder; failing again and making more sacrifices. It was a never-ending cycle. Then Jesus came and opened up ‘a new and living way…for us’ to have a relationship with God. His way included forgiveness for sin, and the replacement of sacrifices with faith in Him. For many…

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