Monday, 12 May 2014

And the greatest of these is love.....

I was sitting in the sun this afternoon reflecting on the reminder given to us in Thessalonians 5:19-22

"Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil" (The Message) 
I also love the simplicity of the New Living Translation - 1 Thessalonians 5:21 
"but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good" (NLT)                      
The wisdom of this passage has helped me navigate many of the prides, pitfalls and challenges of faith and life - and avoid a few bruises along the way.....

As I meditate on challenges that groups of friends in faith are facing in the UK, the US and Australia as I write, my heart is warmed by the exhortations of Timothy - 2 Timothy 1:7
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control." 
I am so thankful that God gave us all (yes even me!):
  • a sound mind 
  • a spirit of power, love and self control 
  • discernment 
  • and the ability to rely equally upon the absolute truth of the Word; and the unmatchable wisdom of the Holy Spirit living inside of us as believers
Life is complex - its rarely simple and yet using these awesome gifts that are God-given, we can each determine the right paths and decisions to make on this journey of life.

My prayer for the week ahead is that we all (in different parts of the world and in wildly different seasons) navigate the challenges before us using God-given discernment, the Spirit, the Word and sound and well exercised minds - and all with an abundance of grace, love and thankfulness.

"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it" Colossians 3:14-17 (The Message) 

Be encouraged friends. Be bold! Stay blessed