Dear friends,

If you asked random non-believers what they consider the strangest thing about Christianity, what do you think they’d answer? Maybe that we believe truth is found in a book written thousands of years ago, or that we refuse to accept that science has the last word on what is possible, or that we still sing songs written centuries ago (or possibly that new songs are still being written)?

What would you say? (It’s a serious question – I’d love to hear some of your answers!)

What would I say? There are so many things, but I think the discrepancy between our beliefs and our lives would feature near the top. Why is it so hard for us to take Jesus’ teachings seriously and live lives that truly reflect his love and his holiness? Why do we disagree about God’s opinion on contemporary issues? Why do we so easily say and do things we know Jesus would disapprove of?

Then again, maybe this isn’t so strange after all. We know that God has an enemy who tempted our original parents into turning their backs on God and becoming “independent” – which means mortal and sinful, since both life and holiness come from God. And we know that ever since, we don’t naturally want to do what God wants us to do!

This means holiness remains a choice we have to make over and over, as long as we live in this world. Satan will constantly try and encourage our selfish inclinations by playing on our fears, our comforts and our sense of entitlements and rights – things that come far too easily to us!

So what should we do? Paul tells us to “take a stand”, and that really sums it up: determine to always seek God’s will; choose to reject temptation when it comes; ask the Spirit to help you love God above all else and love your neighbour as yourself. Repent when you fail; rejoice when you don’t. And one day we will be fully transformed into beings that obey God fully and freely – what a glorious day that will be!



(March 2019)

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