Category: thoughts by Darren Hewer

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“Jesus said “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5) Jesus also said that “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14

Imagine a lamp. God is like the light bulb, the source of light, and we are like the lampshade. While it may seem strange to compare God to a light bulb, we’re told in scripture that “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5). And while I admit it may be difficult to imagine yourself as a lampshade, stay with me.

You know him [the Holy Spirit],” Jesus tells us, “for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17) God dwells within you. While no one who looks directly at God’s face and His absolute holiness and power could possibly survive (Exodus 33:20), His glory can manifest itself in many ways, including through His children, you and I. Therefore, as much as you are able to allow God’s light to shine through you, His glory will be revealed to the world.

This is why John the Baptist said, regarding Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30) John recognized that for Jesus’ interests to shine, John’s own self-interest must decrease. We are like the lampshade to God’s light; the thinner the lampshade is, the more the light will shine through. So let yourself become thinner, weaker, and more transparent, so that God’s light will shine more brightly into the world, and so the world will not be able to ignore it!

The apostle Peter has some excellent practical advice on how to let God’s light shine through your life:

Be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you.

Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies.

Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”
(1 Peter 4:7b-11, NLT)

Question: How can you see God’s light shining through your life right now? How could you allow it to shine even more?

by Darren Hewer
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Please open your Bible and read Genesis 2:25-3:10

Take a trip with me back in time. Way back – to the dawn of creation, when Adam & Eve lived the good life in the Garden of Eden. They had a pretty sweet deal there. That is, until that infamous day, when as politicians are sometimes fond of saying, in gross understatement, “Mistakes were made“. But Adam & Eve didn’t just make a mistake; they sinned by disobeying God’s clear instructions. (Genesis 2:16-17)

We are told that just before the incident neither Adam nor Eve felt any shame (Genesis 2:25). Yet just afterwards, how quickly their behavior reflects their change in disposition: “Toward evening they heard the LORD God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees.” (Genesis 3:8) That makes sense. “God’s coming! Quick! into the trees!”

This sad event marked the beginning of humankind’s tenancy to try to hide from God. We still try to hide from God today. How futile is that? We have to remember that whatever is done in “secret” is not really secret at all. Even if we have been able to fool our family and friends, God is not fooled, and He “carefully watches the way people live; He sees everything they do.” (Job 34:21). Our attempts to hide our sin amount to nothing more than hiding among the trees.

Do we keep secret sin hidden in our hearts? Even as Christians, who personally know Jesus our God, and have been redeemed by His blood? Unfortunately, even as new creations, we are still sinners. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)

But we also live with constant hope, because we know that by continually returning to God by repenting and readjusting our lives whenever we recognize our sin, God’s provision in Christ will cover us: “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (1 John 1:9)

Question: What sort of sins do we often try to hide from God?

by Darren Hewer
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We will always experience suffering during our lives here on our fallen Earth.

When we experience pain, especially the death of a loved one, our natural response is to question, to ask why, and perhaps even to doubt God. Because it hurts.

Some people will respond to evil they see by denying that evil exists. But what is perhaps easy to say is quite difficult to live, or as C S Lewis put it:

Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later.

There is a name for the person who denies good and evil: a sociopath. Clearly the proper response to evil is not denial.

Other people will respond to evil by removing God from the equation. But removing God does not make evil less evil, nor pain less painful. In fact, removing God also removes ultimate hope. Without God, our world seems permanently and irredeemably evil. Without God, there is no ultimate relief from pain, only pain.

With God we cry out to a loving Father who remains with us and comforts us as we hurt and Himself came to Earth as a human being to suffer and die for us. But without God we cry out into the empty void of nothingness that neither hears our cry nor cares for our pain. Removing God results in no gain and much loss.

When we have God in our lives and hearts, we have hope during difficult times and comfort in the midst of tragedy. We have hope grounded in the fact of God’s mighty power, His limitless mercy, and everlasting love. No matter what happens, God loves us because God is love. And nothing can separate us from Him.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

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“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:2

You can’t walk straight while blindfolded. You can try, and maybe succeed for a while. But fairly quickly you’ll start to divert slightly to one side or the other. A National Public Radio article notes that: “Humans, apparently, slip into circles when we can’t see an external focal point, like a mountain top, a sun, a moon. Without a corrective, our insides take over and there’s something inside us that won’t stay straight.”

One of my seminary professors liked to say that the line between truth and error is as thin as a razor but as hard as a diamond. The trouble is that it’s often hard to see the line. How do I know if I’ve stepped to the side? There are so many competing messages in our world. Despite faithful and well-intentioned devotional reading and prayer in the morning, by the time you complete your daily commute to work, you may be been bombarded with dozens if not hundreds of distractions.

The apostle Paul asked the Galatian church: “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)

The only way to keep going along the straight path is for us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Make no mistake, we are not saved by our ability to keep ourselves on the straight path. Jesus is the author (the source, or cause) of our faith, and also the perfecter (the completer, or finisher) of our faith. He is not only Holy God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus is the model of our faith. Only by keeping our eyes on Him and trusting in Him will we continue on the straight path.

Practically speaking this means continually asking ourselves: “Is this the most loving, God-honoring choice I could make?Fix your eyes on Jesus, and He will guide your steps so that you will finish the race and be able to say along with Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Question: What distracts you (or tempts you) from the straight path?

by Darren Hewer
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“Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it. But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.Habakkuk 2:19-20

For a people consistently warned to turn away from their idols, the Israelites sure seemed to turn back them with annoying frequency. God unambiguously told them “Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:4) Yet time after time, “They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, “You shall not do this.”” (2 Kings 17:12) This temptation remains for us today, which is why the apostle John warned us by saying “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21)

What makes idols so appealing? The words of God given to the prophet Habakkuk reveal one reason idols are so appealing to us: They don’t talk back.

Idols stand silent. We talk to them, and try to coax them into doing our bidding. All such idols are, of course, false: “[Idols] can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.” (1 Samuel 12:21) But we turn to them so frequently because we feel like we are in control of them. We get to do all the talking and don’t have to listen since they don’t talk back. And in our fallen state, we like to hear ourselves talk. We like to be in control, or at least pretend that we are. Idols never make requirements of us, never challenge us when we sin.

Consider money. Money never tells us what to do. We tell it what to do. This may be why Jesus spoke so often about money; not because it is intrinsically evil, but because it can become an egregious example of idolatry. We like it because we use it however we choose, and it never complains. It never talks back.

By contrast, the true God of scripture is revealed as the God who speaks. The Lord spoke the universe into creation (Genesis 1) and has continued speaking to us ever since. When the Lord of the universe speaks, what can we do except remain silent before Him: “The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20) The God who speaks can be intimidating, for He who embodies truth, unlike idols, does make requirements of us, challenges us, and wants a loving relationship with his children. Perhaps that’s also part of the attraction of idols: God desires relationship with us, and relationships can at times be messy.

All idolatry is ultimately a form of self-worship: Turning away from the true God who speaks and is deserving of our worship, to mute idols who we falsely believe listen to our vain commands. Let us today recommit to choosing the living and true God who has redeemed us by his blood, and saves us from our sins by virtue of his grace. Let us reaffirm our desire to listen to the God who speaks, and cast aside all useless idols which dishonor our loving God. And let us pray to hear what God has to speak into our lives today.

Questions: Take time to identify which idol is most tempting for you: What is it? How can you seek God’s help to turn away from it?

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Please open your Bible and read Genesis 1:26-27

Naturalism” (the belief that the natural world is all there is) would lead us to believe that human beings are nothing more than generic parts in the machine of the universe and on par with dogs, frogs, and logs. Are we special and uniquely blessed by being made in the image of God like the Bible says?

When we ponder God’s creation of humankind, we note that He breathed life into us (Genesis 2:7) and made us “in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Utterly unique among God’s creation, we have been given a tremendous gift: The capacity to know the glorious God who created us. How unique is the human race among the various galaxies that comprise our universe?

The probability of a planet anywhere in the universe fitting within all 153 parameters [required for life] is approximately 10-194. The maximum possible number of planets in the universe is estimated to be 1022. Thus, less than 1 chance in 10172 (100 thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) exists that even one such planet would occur anywhere in the universe. (Dr. Hugh Ross, PhD Astrophysics, University of Toronto)

The odds of a planet like ours existing anywhere in the universe, let alone containing life like ours, is infinitesimally small. Science has merely reconfirmed God’s word: We are special.

How awesome that

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Even though we are totally undeserving, God’s mercy is still offered to all those who are willing to repent and accept it.

When you are feeling insignificant, or afraid, or unloved, remember our Lord’s words:

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)

You are special, and greatly loved by God.

Question: How has God made you utterly unique, even shaping you through tough times, to be who you are today?

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Please open your Bible and read; John 2:1-11 

What’s the significance of Jesus’ miracle of turning water to wine? It’s easy to understand His healing miracles and multiplying bread and fishes to feed the multitudes. But why water to wine?

Was Jesus just showing off? I don’t think so. Let’s carefully consider the details of what happened at that famous wedding in Cana. The problem: The wedding guests are out of wine. (Clearly the party is getting late!) Jesus’ mother tells him about this (which would have been quite embarrassing to the wedding party) and he decides to do something about it.

Verse 6 carefully notes the type of jars Jesus instructed the servants to fill with water: “six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing“. Why is this important? Even though there would’ve been plenty of empty wine containers around he could have used Jesus instead instructed them to use the jars which were specifically intended for Jewish religious cleansing rituals! Imagine the indignity of the Jewish leaders: He’s desecrated their sacred jars! He had done nothing morally wrong or against God’s word, but he had, on purpose, offended their self-righteous religious traditions.

There’s other important messages that we could draw from Jesus’ water to wine miracle, but an important one is this: Jesus came to offer us not just new life, but life “to the full” (John 10:10). Jesus was never about religion for the sake of religion, and never wanted us to be constrained by trite ritual and dreary religious routine.

If your spiritual life seems trite and dreary lately, it could be time to re-read the gospels keeping an eye out for the scandal of Jesus’ ministry. We often miss the scandal because we’re so used to hearing it! You might also examine your church to identify the traditions that are honoring to God and inspiring to God’s people … and on the other hand any traditions that are merely legalistic religious jars, just begging to be emptied out and filled with fantastic new wine!

Question: Are there religious traditions in your life (or church) that have become mere rituals, and need to be renewed for the glory of God?

By Darren Hewer

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Please open your Bible and read Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14.

Jonah had just fled from God, almost caused a shipwreck, been thrown overboard, and was swallowed by a whale. He was a prophet of God, and yet he sinned against God by fleeing from Him. As he sat inside the whale, did he repent of his deeds? Hardly. In fact, listen carefully to what he says:

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.
(Jonah 2:8-9)

Sounds a little like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable, doesn’t it? Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector to “some who were confident of their own righteousness”. (Luke 18:9) The Pharisee thought by fasting twice a week and tithing he was made right with God. However, no one has the ability to justify themselves before God. Jesus explains that the tax collector, who humbly asked for forgiveness of his sin, “went home justified before God” while the Pharisee did not (v14). The apostle Paul explains that “a person is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16, TNIV).

We all sometimes feel superior to others and boast about how we are superior to “evildoers”. In reality, however, “No one is good – except God alone.” (Luke 18:19) Don’t pray “God, I thank you that I am not like that Pharisee” because then you’d be making the very same mistake that the Pharisee made. Instead of disparaging others, remember that we have nothing to boast about ourselves (that should keep us humble) and that it is only by God’s loving grace that we are saved: Boast about God has done instead!

Let those who boast boast in the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 10:17, (TNIV)

Question: Are there situations where we feel superior to others? How can we guard against those kinds of feelings?

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Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Today’s technology lets us connect with anyone at any time. If telephones and email weren’t enough, we now have texting and Twitter to add to the mix. We have to make an effort to NOT be connected. And we expect that when we want a response, we’ll get one quickly.

My grandparents were late arriving to a recent family get-together. We worried that they were lost, driving aimlessly, trying in vain to locate the restaurant. Naturally I pulled out my cell phone to call them, but quickly realized my grandparents don’t own a cell phone.

It’s hard to remember a time before we had the ability to be in constant communication and get instant feedback. And maybe this helps explain why it can be frustrating to not hear a clear word from the Lord, especially in times of distress. We call, and seemingly there is no immediate reply. How do we respond when, amidst deep discouragement, we don’t receive the instant divine feedback we’ve been conditioned by our culture to expect?

At times like these, it’s helpful to remember a simple but powerful fact that God is with us always. Always. (Matthew 28:20) If you are attempting to serve Him faithfully and fully in faith, He is pleased with you, even if you see no immediate results and have no earthly reason for confidence. (Hebrews 13:16) We are “sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1) because we place our trust in God, who has demonstrated His trustworthiness based on His divine character.

By the way, my grandparents were a little late arriving, but were able to find the restaurant on their own. Unfortunately, in the meantime we lost my mom, who rushed out of the restaurant to look for them.

We must be patient and trust that God is in control. Although we cannot know definitively why things happen since we know now only in part, we will someday know fully (1 Corinthians 13:12) and in the meantime we have God’s word, the Bible, to instruct and enlighten us as much as God chooses to reveal. We may not see the dark cloud’s silver lining, but if we are following God faithfully, we should harbor no guilt or fear. Instead be confident in the wisdom and love of our Lord, whose loving sacrifice of His Son cleanses us of all sin and fills us with His Holy Spirit, full of mercy and grace.

Question: What about your life tries your patience, and how can the things that cannot be changed be offered up to God to help us through?

By Darren Hewer
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One of my fondest childhood memories of the Christmas season is the Advent calendars my brother and I would receive every year. If you’re unfamiliar with this tradition, the particular version my family enjoyed consisted of a nearly flat decorated cardboard box, with tiny doors on it, numbered from 1 to 24 representing the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

Every day we would open one of the cardboard doors and behind each one we’d find a tiny chocolate. Every one of the chocolates was uniquely molded in a Christmas related shape. It was a fun diversion for us as kids as we impatiently awaited the arrival of Christmas day. But it doesn’t tell us much about the actual season of Advent. What is Advent?

The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, somewhere between November 27 and December 3, depending on the year.  Advent is the period leading up to Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ. It is unknown when this tradition first began, but this period of waiting is often seen in the Christian tradition as a reminder that the world remains waiting for Jesus’ return.

The traditional color of Advent is purple, the color often associated with royalty, although today blue and red are also used. Modern day celebrations of Advent include  Advent calendars, Advent wreaths, lighting special Advent candles, and a series of themed Sunday messages leading up to Christmas day.

God’s blessing to you as we prepare to celebrate our Savior, Jesus’ birth.

By Darren Hewer
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In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

Christian daily devotional

The ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on May 3 1915. He wrote it after witnessing the death of his friend on the battlefield the day before. It is a solemn reminder of the atrocities of war and an admonishment to steadfastly remain vigilant even when faced with terrifying adversity.

On this day we honor those who bravely fought for freedom and justice, and many of whom bravely gave their lives for the noble cause. It goes by different names in different places, including Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day, Poppy Day, and Armistice Day, but the sentiment is the same: Not to glorify the tragedy of war, but to commemorate the valor of those who fought to defend their country.

Brigadier General (retired) Robinson Risner, a veteran pilot who fought in World War 2, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, is one of those brave military soldiers who we should remember today. Despite being shot down twice over enemy territory, and being captured and tortured, each time it happened he wasted no time taking to the skies again, ready to serve his country.

by Darren Hewer
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What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.Luke 12:6-7

In October 1988, an Eskimo hunter discovered three Gray whales trapped beneath the ice near Barrow, Alaska. Normally the whales would have died, but the story became an international media sensation. Over 150 reporters from many countries all over the world gave daily updates of the elaborate rescue effort, which involved both the US and Russian governments working together to free the trapped mammals. The rescue effort and media reporting cost between $5 and $6 million dollars. Hollywood even made a movie about it.

Now, I have nothing against whales. The rescue effort was both noble and inspiring. Yet I can’t help but wonder how often we consider how God feels about our zeal for relatively unimportant things? If we are concerned for the whales, should we not be so much more concerned for our fellow man? See for example Luke 12:6-7: “What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.”

People are most valuable because we are made in God’s image, and have a unique opportunity to have fellowship with our Lord. God loves us all equally and there is no partiality in Him. We to are called not just to love one another, but work for the care of all God’s children.

Jesus instructs the disciples on serving in John 21:15-19: “Feed my lambs.” “Take care of my sheep.” “Feed my sheep.” and finally “Follow me!” As a Christian community, we should be ready to use our gifts and talents whenever the need arises. The smallest act of kindness can have eternal consequences, often more than we’ll ever know. For truly each one of us are truly among God’s most valuable possessions.

Question: Are you treating your neighbors with the value that Christ sees in them? How can you treat others with more value today?

by Darren Hewer
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To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.1 Corinthians 9:22 (TNIV)

Owen and Mzee are an odd pair. Owen is a baby hippopotamus, while Mzee is a 100+ year old tortoise.

In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Owen (the baby hippo) was found, orphaned from his mother, and transferred to Haller Park in Kenya. There he was put into an enclosure with many other animals, but no hippos. Distraught and needing guidance and companionship, the young hippo quickly formed a bond with Mzee, a 130-year-old Aldabran tortoise. Owen quickly began mimicking his unusual adopted parent’s actions, following him wherever he went. “They swim, eat and sleep together,” said ecologist Paula Kahumbu. “The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother.”winter_owen_mzeeheader

What an unexpected and marvelous friendship! In our passage today, the apostle Paul explains how he became “all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” This does not mean that Paul was faking who he was, for elsewhere he admonishes us not to lie (Colossians 3:9). Nor does it imply that Paul himself is the one doing the saving. Our commission is not to “convert” anyone. God Himself alone saves by His grace (Ephesians 2:8); our commission is to be witnesses to the truth and show people the truth.

Paul was willing to meet people where they are. Although unwilling to compromise on the essentials of the faith (1 Corinthians 15) he welcomed everyone to learn from him, and came alongside others to patiently disciple them (Acts 28:30).

Let’s be on the lookout for others who could use a friend, even if they seem quite different from us. These often will become the most amazing of friendships, like Owen an Mzee. Through such unlikely friendships, our hope will be that some may come into a saving faith in Jesus.

Let us become weak to those who are weak, so that we may together become strong in the redeeming sacrifice and love of Christ!

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Matthew 11:29 Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, NLT, emphasis mine)

If anyone has the right to NOT be humble, it’s Jesus. He fed thousands with just a loaf of bread and a fish, turned water into wine, walked on water and raised people from the dead. Jesus is God, but nevertheless He “gave up his divine privileges” and “took the humble position of a slave.” (Philippians 2:7)

Jesus also has the right to NOT be gentle as he looks around and sees immorality and lack of faith. Jesus sighed with grief at the lack of faith he saw around him, (Mark 8:12) but He’s described as “gentle and humble in heart.” (Matthew 11:29) We may have many reasons to be proud: success in business, a wonderful family, or perhaps special talent in music or art. But we must remain humble, remembering that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And we may have many reasons to be ruthless: a really bad day or being treated unjustly. But “this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)The signs to humility and gentleness all point in the same direction: Allow Jesus to teach you to become more like Him. “I have set you an example,” says Jesus, “that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15) It will not happen overnight, but by focusing on God’s Word, gazing at the life of Christ and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, it certainly will. What step could you take to be more gentle and humble like Jesus?

Lord, when I look at You I see how I’m not like You in many ways. Help me be humble and gentle like you, thinking of the needs of others above my own. Please do heart surgery in me so I can express love even when life gets hard. Amen.

Thought:  Take five minutes to look back on your week. When did you express pride in your thoughts or actions? When did you treat others wrongly out of impatience or frustration? Hand over each situation honestly to Jesus in prayer and ask him to change you.

by Darren Hewer
Used by Permission

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1 John 4:19 We love because God loved us first.

Please open your Bible and read Mark 3:1-6.

Ever been cut off in traffic? Had someone cut in front of you in line? Gotten a bad haircut? If so, you may have felt angry.

Jesus got angry too, but He only got angry about important stuff. His anger was righteous anger and directed against those whose minds were so jaded and hearts so hard that they would rather follow their own laws and let a man suffer than see him healed!

Our own anger usually isn’t so honorable. We often get angry about frivolous things while not getting angry about stuff that really matters. However, Jesus’ response to the Pharisees gives us a helpful principle that we can apply in our own lives to respond better any time we’re angry: Turn anger into grace.

“[Jesus] looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” (Mark 3:5) Instead of lashing out at those who’d angered Him, Jesus turned His anger into a wonderful good deed. He turned His anger into an act of grace.

When we’re angry, we need to respond somehow. Bottling up our anger (or, for that matter, jealousy, or depression, or anxiety) will only lead to more inner turmoil. So from now on, let’s choose to respond in the way Jesus did: By following Jesus’ example of turning anger into grace and doing something good: “We love because God loved us first.” (1 John 4:19, CEV)

Anger, turned into good! And maybe, through this human act of grace, someone who doesn’t yet know Jesus “may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12) and by your act of grace come to know the greatest grace they’ll ever know: God’s grace.

Question: When do you get angry most often, and what opportunities are there in those situations to turn that anger into grace?

by Darren Hewer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

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We’d love to hear from you.  If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/dh_anger-grace/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men