When asked to picture a holy person, what image do you paint in your mind? Is it a stern man in black clothes, holding a well-worn Bible in one hand and pointing to heaven with the other? Is it a rotund motherly figure with fiery disapproval aimed at young people daring to share a laugh in this sinful world? Perhaps your mind’s brush strokes, tired of our tendency to tie holiness to “long faces and black clothes”, reveal a sanguine lady oozing the joy of life or a smiling preacher serenading his enraptured listeners with the most encouraging words ever preached. Possibly, you have some knowledge of life’s up and downs, so you just might imagine a calm face in the middle of great tribulation, barely whispering Jeremiah 29:11. Few would imagine a diseased man sitting in ash, railing against God and yearning for death. Keep on reading!
Let’s be honest, most books and discussions on prayer can be summarised in one line: How to get what you want from God, especially when He’s reluctant to give it to you. Our testimonies aren’t too different either, for they are thinly veiled boasting about our God-given goodies. The message is clearly that we know God loves us because of the benefits that He gives us. The underlying motivation is selfishness, we serve God because He serves us.
Many heartfelt expressions of love for God are really receipts to mark a transaction Keep on reading!
Throughout the gospels, Jesus went to great pains to tell the people about the “kingdom of/from Heaven. Sometimes it was a mustard seed, sometimes a woman mixing yeast and even a pearl merchant. This must have excited the crowds who were looking forward to a Messiah who would eject the Romans. The disciples themselves were not immune from this excitement and each secretly hoped that he would be second in command as they eagerly spread the message that Jesus sent them with… The Kingdom of Heaven is here! Continue reading