Friday, 7 July 2017

The Reciprocity of Love

When it comes to love, there is a question that some people have. It goes like this. I know what love is, but why on earth should I bother to love other people at all? As someone has said to me, what have people done for me to deserve their love? It is a valid question. Why should we love others? The world cannot answer that question. Its only response is that we should love because it is good for us. Which is true but if that is all there is then love is pure self-love. The Bible gives us the answer:

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:7-11)

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Resemblance of Love

Last October, there was excitement among royal watchers as Princess Charlotte delighted the crowds in Canada with a rare public appearance. The toddler princess showed off her walking and even some dancing on her first royal engagement during William and Kate’s tour of Canada.


This excited the tabloid media who quickly informed us that the little girl bears a striking resemblance to her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. We were treated to photographs of the Queen when she was the same age as Charlotte. One newspaper said Charlotte has a cheeky grin like her great-granny.

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Wonder of Love

Imagine God is thinking about you. What do you assume God feels when you enter His mind? For many of us our answer is probably disappointment! If we are honest that is how many of us feel. We look at our lives and we see only sin, failure and weaknesses! Life for many people is a never-ending treadmill of hard work!

When we became followers of Jesus we probably looked forward to a new kind of life. But then we became crushed to discover that old habits die hard. We still struggle with sin in many areas! Our desire to please God often comes up short! Sometimes this may lead us to doubt in our hearts on whether they were really true Christians! 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Command of Love

What is love? Here are few answers given by a group of young children. Chrissy, says “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you theirs.”. Mary Ann says, “Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” Karen says, “When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” Elaine says - “Love is when my Daddy gives me the best piece of chicken.”

As their answers illustrate, love is a word with different meaning to different people! Yet for followers of Jesus, nothing is more important than to understand what love is, how we are to love and why we should love! Love is a serious issue because the nature of our love for God and others reveals the true spiritual condition of our heart before God! If we really want to know whether we belong to God we simply need to look at our love! Here is what the apostle John says about love:
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling (1 John 2:7-10).

Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Test of Love

It is February 2012. Joana has brought her son Vinnie to Boots in Ipswich for a routine eye test. The Optometrist on the day is Honey Rose. She looks at Vinnie’s eyes and gives Vinnie a clean bill of health. Fast forward five months to July 2012. Vinnie is admitted to the hospital, and dies shortly aged 8, due to fluid building up on his brain.

It turns out that when Honey examined Vinnie she failed to spot obvious abnormalities in both of his eyes. In fact, had she even checked the photographs taken by another staff showing the back of Vinnie’s eye, she would have spotted that Vinnie suffered from a serious condition in which optic discs at the back of each eye become swollen because of raised pressure within the skull.

As the QC said during the trial, Honey missed something that any competent optometrist" and would have seen! The failure to properly diagnose Vinnie’s condition led to his tragic death. Honey was rightly sentenced for gross negligence manslaughter.

The tragic death of Vinnie is a reminder to all of us of the high price of poorly diagnosing our physical condition. And yet as tragic as Vinnie’s death is, there is even something more tragic – failing to properly diagnosis your spiritual condition. What is the true state of your faith? How do you know you are truly trusting in God in accordance with the Bible?

The apostle John in his first letter gives various tests of what true faith looks. And among those tests is that a true child of God loves the Fater and His family: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3).

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Evidence of Love

I was speaking to a single mother recently who really wants to get married. I asked her, what sort of man are you looking for? She said, "Pastor, I want to marry a godly man who will love my children and look after them". A good answer because it would be strange if this godly woman said, she simply wants a man who loves her and does not care whether he loves her children! We all know that love for the mother means loving her two children as well. 

Sadly, when it comes to God we seem to often forget that true love for God is proven by how much we love His children. The apostle John makes this very clear in his first letter : “If anyone says, “I love God”, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Intention of Love


A report published last year shows that the number of people around the world who die each year from taking a selfie is growing rapidly. The increase in death is being caused by people going to extreme lengths to take a selfie in order to impress other people on social media.

Two months ago, 22 year old Dean Steele from Scotland was knocked by a car on a German motorway while taking a selfie. Not all selfies lead death. Some of them are about celebrating death! Funeral directors in Canada have been educating people that taking selfies over a corpse and posting it to social media is disrespectful.