Do you have a mate (or maybe yourself), who is fully devoted to something? Do they use every spare moment to work on their cricket skills? Are they like a sheepdog, focused on herding the flock? Paul, the author of this letter to the church in Philippi, was fully devoted to persecuting Christians, throwing them in jail, and giving them a hard time. That was until he had an encounter with Jesus, and turned his devotion to the spreading of the good news of Jesus.
Paul laid his life bare for Jesus, willing to give up his freedom (he’s writing this letter from prison), and willing to give up his reputation – Paul says that he’d be happy for people to be preaching the Gospel even if they do it in a way that brings Paul harm; as long as they are preaching the good news of Jesus!
What are you willing to give up for Jesus? Would you let yourself be lowered down to bring Jesus up in glory?
When you think about Christians, how would you describe them? Would you think that they’re judgmental? Bigot? Do-gooder? Paul, in the first century, wrote a letter to a new church in Philippi, saying that believers should be characterised by the joy in their lives. Throughout the book of Philippians, Paul uses the word joyful, or rejoice, over and over again.
Paul says that we can find joy in ‘partnership’ in the Gospel. He finds joy in the fact that both he and those in Philippi are on the same team, sharing the good news of Jesus. Tim Johnson looks at some of our mission partners, and how we can be finding joy in those partnerships.
When Julie was 17 years old, she lived in a Buhdist temple in Thailand. She learnt of compassion, and elements of Buhdism, as well as the power of positive thinking, and even dabbling in palm reading.
Julie’s outward picture looks pretty good: a successful career, a dynamic social life, Julie saw the world as her stomping ground, and was stomping proudly. Though her life on the surface seemed positive and strong, living in China for a time threw a number of challenges at her, and she found all those positive things she had relied on brought no relief or support. Julie found her support in a Christian family, and the way that they lived out their faith, to love God and to love others. She was stunned that they not only believed that, but lived it out!
Christianity is about more than being a good person though- it’s about a relationship with the God that loves you!
“I’m thankful to God for a wonderful family here, that this can be our family. The range of wonderful people that come through the doors, all sorts of people, from all sorts of walks of life is just wonderful.” – Chris
We’ve just celebrated National Volunteer Week 2018 (May 21-27). St John’s literally could not run without the massive support of our volunteers. If you’re one of them; THANK YOU. Your service to others is so greatly appreciated. Paul wrote in Romans: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Serving one another, whether that be through existing…
It’s National Volunteer Week, and we love our volunteers. We’ve got some great stories to tell about some of our volunteers, about why they serve, and what they love about volunteering. Today, meet Alison (and Simeon). Alison is pretty busy, so I caught up with her while she was setting up for Mainly Music, where she volunteers. When she isn’t volunteering, Alison works part-time as an Orthotist and a Prosthetist – she helps fit support devices for people who have lost…
It’s National Volunteer Week, and we love our volunteers. We’ve got some great stories to tell about some of our volunteers, about why they serve, and what they love about volunteering. Today, meet Scotty and Joy. Scotty and Joy are married, and love volunteering together, and as individuals. Scotty’s a retired mental health support worker, and Joy a retired Nurse and Educator. Among their many areas of service, they coordinate and liase with an organisation called Houses of Hope, who…