Over Summer I am doing a unit at Tabor titled the, “Story of the Church”. As the name suggests it looks at church history in a broad overview of the last 2000 years.
One of our Text books is Devotional Classics. It has 52 sections that look at some of the great Christians from church history. The 52 sections are divided in to six streams to help us have a more balanced faith. The streams are: the prayer filled life, the virtuous life, the Spirit empowered life, the compassionate life, the Word centred life and the Sacramental life.
For part of our assessments we are required to read a chapter a week, summarise the persons writings and then reflect on how that impacts us. It is meant to be 100 words summary and 100 words reflection. Only 200 words is harder than you think, it forces you to be very concise!
I have really enjoyed the book and the assessments so far. It has allowed me to look at some of the inspirational people through church history. So far I have looked at Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther and Teresa Avila. I have five to go!
Once I have finished the unit and the 12 people we have to look at, I am actually considering doing the 200 word reflections on all the people in the book. It has been such a useful exercise. It has added so much to my faith and life.
If you are interested you can check out the book at Koorong.com. It costs about $45 but it is well worth it.
Isaiah 9:6 NLT – For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
One of Jesus’ many titles He was given in the Bible is Prince of Peace. It is a title that sits well with Him.
In Philippians 4:7 it tells us that Jesus gives us His peace and this peace will guard our hearts and minds. And in John 16:33 He tells us that He has overcome the world and as a result we can have peace in Him.
This Christmas I would encourage you to make your connection with Jesus so you can find peace with God. Look to Jesus. Trust Him for your salvation. Give your life to Him. This is the way to truly find peace this Christmas.
Jesus was often accused of being friends with sinners and outcastes by the religious leaders of His day. They could not understand why a man who claimed to be a religious leader would possibly have time for people that were considered sinners or outcastes by the religious “elite” of society.
Jesus loved all people and as He travelled around with His disciples, He made connections with people that most “religious” people would avoid while walking down the street. The thing I love about Jesus’ interactions with the people most considered sinners or outcastes is, they didn’t stay that way for long. After spending time with Jesus, they knew there was a better way. The Bible is full of stories of people who turned their lives around after an encounter with Jesus. Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, and the Samaritan woman at the well to name a few.
Why did Jesus take the time to do this? Luke 19:10 tells us this very clearly. It says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Jesus mission was, and still is, to seek and save the lost. Today He uses you and me to do this. We are His hands, His feet, and His mouthpiece to tell people just how much He loves them.
My heart is to not be like the “religious elite” of Jesus’ day, but to be a normal every day guy who loves people and points them to Jesus. Maybe instead of walking the dusty roads of Palestine, we sit at a desk in an office and share our faith when the opportunity arises, or we drive long distances to visit with people who need a listening ear, or we talk with our neighbours over the side fence?
However we do it, we just need to remember that our mission is to continue Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost.
Dear Jesus, thank You that You came to seek and save the lost. Thank You that You found me. I pray that I will be able to continue Your mission. I pray You will show me people who need You. I pray You will give me a love for them and give me the right words to say when I speak to them. Use me to seek and save the lost. I ask this in Your name, Amen.