In Need of Direction

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” -Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Trying to figure this out can be frustrating and we wish that we had a built-in global positioning system that would tell us where to go and where to turn, or at the very least a map. But when we have neither of these, it is easy to feel confused and lost. We want to find the right path to our destination, but we do not know where to turn, and this can cause much anxiety and worry.

Often times, we may feel as if we are wandering through life in the same manner. Seeking direction and not knowing where to turn, we look to the sources in this world to help us when we are perplexed. It could be family, friends, mentors, or earthly philosophies. But it may be the case that all these voices tell us to go in different directions, adding to our confusion. We ask ourselves if there is anyone who can point to us the way; who can say to us that this is the right path in which we should go and give us confidence in that fact.  The wonderful assurance is that there is! When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and have allowed His Spirit to work within us, He will guide and lead us according to His perfect wisdom. By keeping in step with Him, His Spirit will prompt us and direct us to His Word so that we may understand the path we must take. When we are within His will, we are safe and are promised that He has plans to prosper us and to give us hope. In this hope we will rest knowing that when God calls us to walk a certain way, it is for our benefit and He will prove His faithfulness to us as he works out His glorious purposes for our lives.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Overcome Factions With Love

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:35 (NIV)

Studying church history is quite fascinating. Yet it is also interesting to learn just how many times the church had to overcome factionalism in its history. Even from its early days the church had to deal with discord and schisms which erupted within its ranks on more than one occasion. Some of these disagreements even turned violent, and were in most cases motivated by personal or political reasons. As I read through the annals of church history I sometimes wonder whether I am reading about the same people who have been called by Christ Himself to love one another just as how He has loved us. It is no wonder that the disparity between the example of Christ and the behaviour of His children at times has become a source of confusion for many; prompting us to ask the question why does this happen?

If one thing can be said of the church it is that it has not survived for over two millennia because of the efforts of man. On the contrary it is because of the love of Christ and the grace which He shows to His church that it still stands strong today. The truth of the matter is that every single human being on this Earth is fallen. It is our pride embedded within us which leads us into sin and compels us to become embittered and fight against our fellow man. However, Christ came so that through Him our fallen nature will be cast aside and we will be restored to the people which He intended us to be. To this end He has given us a new nature through His resurrection characterized by His love and righteousness. But because we were slaves to our old nature for so long, we need to allow Christ’s Spirit residing within us to train us in our new nature and perfect His love in us. This means desiring to know Him and to know His heart by spending time reading His Word and being in His presence. Disagreements will happen, but if we choose to not keep in step with the Spirit of Christ, then factions and sin will be the result. It is only when we constantly submit ourselves in humility to Christ and allow Him to work out our His love through us that we are able to love others and maintain unity. The choice is ours. Will we allow sin to taint our witness for Christ, or will we allow Him to use us so that we may be His lights in a world which needs hope?

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Love Which Never Fails

“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?”-Proverbs 20:6 (NIV)

Have you ever bought something that soon proved its faultiness? I know that I have on more than one occasion. Initially we are drawn to the advertisements for the product. Such endorsements attempt to convince us about how the product is perhaps the latest in cutting-edge technology, or has undergone tests which have proven its reliability when compared with other brands. However, when we have bought the product for ourselves and tried it out, it fails on us when we need it the most. We soon find that those assurances of its quality were nothing more than empty words and we lament over the fact that we have wasted our resources on something that would bound to shatter our expectations.  It is no wonder then that we are wary of advertising and take their messages with a grain of salt.

Humans, flawed through sin, prove to be untrustworthy more than they like to give themselves credit. They may advertise themselves as being faithful and claim to have that unfailing love which we seek. Thinking that we can place our trust in them, we now depend that they will put their words into action. Yet when we need them the most, we find that they have failed to deliver on their assurances in our critical hour. Like one who has found out the flaws in a product advertised to be flawless, we mourn over the fact that we have been deceived and wonder if there is anyone out there who is steadfast in his love. Before we give into despair, the truth is that there is such a person. Christ has shown His unfailing love for us through His death on the cross for our sins and assures us that He will always remain faithful when we call upon Him. He is God and thus He is perfect in His love and faithfulness. When we have allowed Christ’s Spirit to reign in our hearts and surrender every area of our lives to Him, we will experience His love and be strengthened in Him as He uses our lives to prove that His promise to be faithful to us are more than just words. Allowing His Spirit to perfect his restorative work in us, He will train us to act in perfect love and steadfastness. Through Him we will be refreshing to others and pour life into them; drawing those around us to the hope which is only available through Christ.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.