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Showing posts from 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 d…

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)

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.

The fearlessness of love

What is love? How do I know that I love others as I am supposed to? Is it possible to love others and not like them?  How do I grow in love? These are just some of the many questions we all have about love. They are also questions that early followers of Jesus had. The first letter of 1 John was written to answer some of these questions. Here is how John expressed one of his answers:  God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. [1 JOHN 4:16-18]

The Presence of Love

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him [1 JOHN 4:15-16] The love of God publicly proven in the coming of Jesus was not merely a love displayed to us, it is a love intimately experienced by us! One of the most important truths repeatedly stated by John is that God now lives in anyone who has hearted trust in Jesus as the Son of God.

The Proof of Love

If you have been following the news in the UK recently, there is one word that you may have heard on the lips of journalists and politicians: confidence! Does the public have any confidence in Theresa May to deliver a good Brexit deal following the suicidal performance in the elections? Most importantly does she have any confidence in herself to succeed, with vultures in the party now circling for her job? It is perhaps not surprising that the proposed deal between the Conservatives and DUP is called a “confidence and supply” arrangement.

The Privilege of Love

A couple of years ago the car insurance company called Privilege, run a series of TV adverts fronted by the celebrty Joanna Lumley. The adverts showed how the upper class in our society live – fox hunting, elegant parties, large mansions and even having house servants. The adverts always end with the slogan: “With Privilege Car Insurance, you don't have to be posh to be privileged".I could never warm up to the advert because getting car insurance has never felt like a privilege to me. I have car insurance because I have to!

The Persuasion of Love

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another [1 John 4:10-11] The inevitable outcome of experiencing the love of God in Jesus is that we  in turn live out this love with one another. The word “ought” is the verses above is not pointing us simply to an obligation to love. It is saying this love of Jesus we have received now compels us inside to love others.

The Gift of Love

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [1 John 4:9-10] The Bible teaches us that the love of God is not theoretical. God has actually proved his amazing love to us by sending His Son, the Lord Jesus to us. How does God sending Jesus reveal the incredible love of God to us? The apostle John answers that question for us in the passage above. Here are five reasons that makes the sending of Jesus an incredible gift of love.

The God of Love

The famous chart topping song by the Beatles tells us: All you need is love, all you need is love, love. Love is all you need. Beatles first performed that song in 1967 as part of Britain's contribution to a TV programme called Our World. The first live global television link.
They were asked to come up with a song with an inspirational message everyone understood. They came up came with: “All you need is love”. We may laugh that their love was not enough to keep them together, but I am sure we all agree that there is some truth in what the song says.

The Call of Love

One of the most important question we must answer in our walk of faith is, ‘what is a true Christian?’ A lot of books have been written trying to address that question. Well, if you asked apostle John this question, he would respond to ask you with another question : Do you love other followers of Jesus with love of God? Here is how he he puts it:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8) In the verses above, John uses a phrase he repeated uses in his “one another”. Here it refers to the “beloved” or true followers of Jesus. The church is a new loving family of people who share the same Father. In other words, just as we naturally seek to love our human family,  if we have a new nature as children of God, we now have the capacity to love our new spiritual family in Jesus.

The Birth of Love

All of us constantly shop for ideas on how best to love in our own way. There are plenty of suggestions in the world on how to do it. Agony Aunts and counsellors are all paid lots of money to help us deal with the search for love, especially when it goes wrong. Their answers are well known: love yourself more and try a bit harder.
The Bible tells us the opposite. You cannot truly love as you are meant to love until God gives you a new heart that can truly love! All human beings have rebelled against God. We have all rejected His love since the fall of man in Eden. Sin is a virus that has ravaged every single area of our relationship with God and with one another! We are in fact dead in sin. So, to truly love as God intends us to love we need God to give us new life. We must first be born of God :

The Origin of Love

Tillie has always wanted to have a child. After waiting for a few years she is finally pregnant. In many ways, it is a perfect pregnancy with no physical complications. But while the baby is in the womb, Tillie does not enjoy the feeling of him kicking her and never strokes her bump with loving thoughts. She is becoming detached from the life growing inside her and goes about as normal.
When the time for birth is great. It is a relaxed and calm affair. In fact she even makes cakes in between contractions! And then Fletcher, her son is born. The midwife puts him onto her chest. But Tillie feels no emotion towards him at all. As she is lying there on her bed. She is not think what mums do. There is no love or warmth. She is over come with pity for herself.