True love is first and foremost long-suffering. God does not stop loving at the first sign of difficulty or disappointment. So must it be with us also if we are to honour our Lord by loving him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. We only have to mark the passage of time between the prophecies of old and their fulfilment to see the patience of God and his love towards mankind. A love that gave his only begotten son to be the Messiah and Saviour of this world. It is so that through the prophets we could clearly see the Lordship of Jesus, brought to focus from many different perspectives. They all encourage us to know who it is that we serve and remind us to be his faithful followers. Love is also kind, and so much of that kindness is demonstrated in how we speak. Our conversations should be founded on tender-heartedness and forgiveness. We of all people should know and understand the importance of forgiveness, as it is so central to the message of the Cross. Forgiveness opens a door where there has been no door; forgiveness allows an audience where there would be no audience. Ultimately forgiveness allows us to approach our Lord and King. In fact, because we have been translated into his kingdom, we are his subjects. May we have the same reverence as the wise men who came to worship the King and brought him gifts befitting his stature. Let us be diligent to honour him with love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Amen.
Sunday 04.12.2011 – Love suffers long - dm
But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in mercy and truth. (Ps. 86:15)
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. (Eph. 4:31-32)
For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. (Heb. 10:36)
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us. (Rom. 5:1-5)
Sunday 11.12.2011 – Jesus the Messiah - ae
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Is. 7:14)
And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. (Luke 1:31)
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Mic. 5:2)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes unto you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey. (Zech. 9:9)
Sunday 18.12.2011 – Love is kind - dm
But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Josh. 22:5)
She opens her mouth with wisdom; and on her tongue is the law of kindness. (Prov. 31:26)
Do all things without murmuring and disputing: That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you hine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. (Phil. 2:14-16)
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Sunday 25.12.2011 – The kingdom of his dear Son - dm
And when they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Mat. 2:11)
Giving thanks unto the Father, who has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (Col. 1:12-13)
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Deity (Godhead) bodily. (Col. 2:8-9)
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
(2 Thes. 3:1-5)