Lent Thought for the Day 2019

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20th April Romans 8 : 1 – 11 Amazing Grace

Life in the Spirit 8 There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. 4 God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5 Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6 To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7 And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God’s law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8 Those who obey their human nature cannot please God. 9 But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you[b] because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you. www.biblegateway.com ‘Good’ Friday and ‘Holy’ Saturday are nice sounding names for some really terrible events. But they are Good and Holy because of what Jesus achieved. From Jesus’s death have been given freedom from sin, an end to condemnation, and new life in the spirit, none of which we could ever earn or deserve on our own. Easter at its heart is all about God’s incredible grace that he offers to us. Today’s Thought for the Day is from David Sunday 21st April: Easter Sunday Easter Morning Breakfast Rolls Served up by the men of the Men’s Breakfast Group : 09:45 Easter Morning Service : 10:30am

Good Friday: 19th April John 13: 36 – 38 Actions speak louder

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
36 “Where are you going, Lord?” Simon Peter asked him.

“You cannot follow me now where I am going,” answered Jesus; “but later you will follow me.”

37 “Lord, why can’t I follow you now?” asked Peter. “I am ready to die for you!”

38 Jesus answered, “Are you really ready to die for me? I am telling you the truth: before the rooster crows you will say three times that you do not know me.

www.biblegateway.com

Peter talked a big talk, but when the cards were down he showed that he was a lot less brave than he let on. Bravado doesn’t get us anywhere in faith. If we’re going to discover true courage we need to be honest about the things that we’re afraid of and humble about what we find challenging.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

This evening: Service for Good Friday : 7.30pm

Maundy Thursday: 18th April John 17 We are family

Jesus Prays for His Disciples
17 After Jesus finished saying this, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you. 2 For you gave him authority over all people, so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him. 3 And eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4 I have shown your glory on earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do. 5 Father! Give me glory in your presence now, the same glory I had with you before the world was made.

6 “I have made you known to those you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me. They have obeyed your word, 7 and now they know that everything you gave me comes from you. 8 I gave them the message that you gave me, and they received it; they know that it is true that I came from you, and they believe that you sent me.

9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those you gave me, for they belong to you. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine; and my glory is shown through them. 11 And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me,[a] so that they may be one just as you and I are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me.[b] I protected them, and not one of them was lost, except the man who was bound to be lost—so that the scripture might come true. 13 And now I am coming to you, and I say these things in the world so that they might have my joy in their hearts in all its fullness. 14 I gave them your message, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One. 16 Just as I do not belong to the world, they do not belong to the world. 17 Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 I sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world. 19 And for their sake I dedicate myself to you, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to you.

20 “I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. 21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one: 23 I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.

24 “Father! You have given them to me, and I want them to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory, the glory you gave me; for you loved me before the world was made. 25 Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. 26 I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.”

www.biblegateway.com

Isn’t it amazing that Jesus prayed directly for us, the Christians who hadn’t been born yet. And what was his prayer for? Unity! With thousands of denominations, theological schisms and petty rivalries, Christian Unity can seem like wishful thinking. But even though we are on the surface divided, every Christian is held together in one by Jesus. So if we are one family, whether we like it or not, it’s time we started acting like it!

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

This evening: Maundy Thursday Communion : 7.30pm

Holy Week Wednesday: 17th April John 12: 27 – 36 The generosity of God

 Jesus Speaks about His Death
27 “Now my heart is troubled—and what shall I say? Shall I say, ‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came—so that I might go through this hour of suffering. 28 Father, bring glory to your name!”

Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.”

29 The crowd standing there heard the voice, and some of them said it was thunder, while others said, “An angel spoke to him!”

30 But Jesus said to them, “It was not for my sake that this voice spoke, but for yours. 31 Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. 32 When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” (33 In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.)

34 The crowd answered, “Our Law tells us that the Messiah will live forever. How, then, can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Jesus answered, “The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36 Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light.”

www.biblegateway.com

None of us can truly know what Jesus went through as the crucifixion drew closer. He knew what was coming. He understood he was about to take on himself the sins of the world. Still he went through with it. What an amazing God we have!

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

This evening: Short meditation and reflection for Holy Week Wed: 7.30pm

Holy Week Tuesday: 16th April John 12: 20 – 26 The highest calling

20 Some Greeks were among those who had gone to Jerusalem to worship during the festival. 21 They went to Philip (he was from Bethsaida in Galilee) and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”

22 Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. 24 I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. 25 Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. 26 Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honor anyone who serves me.

www.biblegateway.com

Christians are called to give up their own life and to make living for Jesus their primary concern. We voice this every week when we pray ‘your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ It’s a challenging calling, it’s a high calling. Holy Week should be a time when we are examining what we have signed up to.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

This evening: Short meditation and reflection for Holy Week Tuesday: 7.30pm

15th April John 12: 9 – 19 For the Good or the Bad

9 A large number of people heard that Jesus was in Bethany, so they went there, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from death. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus too, 11 because on his account many Jews were rejecting them and believing in Jesus.

The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the Passover Festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the King of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the scripture says,

15 “Do not be afraid, city of Zion!
Here comes your king,
riding on a young donkey.”

16 His disciples did not understand this at the time; but when Jesus had been raised to glory, they remembered that the scripture said this about him and that they had done this for him.

17 The people who had been with Jesus when he called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from death had reported what had happened. 18 That was why the crowd met him—because they heard that he had performed this miracle. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, we are not succeeding at all! Look, the whole world is following him!”

www.biblegateway.com

People never really think that being raised from the dead made Lazarus a target. He was a walking example of who Jesus was and of Jesus power; therefore he had to go. Practicing you faith may not bring you blessing, it may actually bring you hardship? How do you feel about that?

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

14th April Matt 21: 12 – 17

12 Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, 13 and said to them, “It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it a hideout for thieves!”

14 The blind and the crippled came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15 The chief priests and the teachers of the Law became angry when they saw the wonderful things he was doing and the children shouting in the Temple, “Praise to David’s Son!” 16 So they asked Jesus, “Do you hear what they are saying?”

“Indeed I do,” answered Jesus. “Haven’t you ever read this scripture? ‘You have trained children and babies to offer perfect praise.’”

17 Jesus left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

www.biblegateway.com

In James letter he mentions that faith without works is dead. Jesus own teaching says by their fruits you shall know them. This is an example of Jesus putting that into practice. If you have ever wondered how the church is meant to impact the world this is it. We are meant to make a difference.

What kind of difference do you plan on making today?

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

Why not pop down to the second LENT BREAKFAST at Church this morning – starts 9am

13th April John 11:28 – 44 The Character of God

28 After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. “The Teacher is here,” she told her, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him. (30 Jesus had not yet arrived in the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.) 31 The people who were in the house with Mary comforting her followed her when they saw her get up and hurry out. They thought that she was going to the grave to weep there.

32 Mary arrived where Jesus was, and as soon as she saw him, she fell at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”

33 Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved. 34 “Where have you buried him?” he asked them.

“Come and see, Lord,” they answered.

35 Jesus wept. 36 “See how much he loved him!” the people said.

37 But some of them said, “He gave sight to the blind man, didn’t he? Could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?”

Lazarus Is Brought to Life
38 Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrance. 39 “Take the stone away!” Jesus ordered.

Martha, the dead man’s sister, answered, “There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!”

40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believed?” 41 They took the stone away. Jesus looked up and said, “I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. 42 I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me.” 43 After he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 He came out, his hands and feet wrapped in grave cloths, and with a cloth around his face. “Untie him,” Jesus told them, “and let him go.”

www.biblegateway.com

Jesus wept. Those two words give us a glimpse into the character of God. A God who feels compassion; a God who is aware of human suffering. If you are down and if life is tough know that God cares. Remember, Jesus wept.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

Remember – tomorrow is second LENT BREAKFAST at Church – Sunday morning – starts 9am

12th April John 11:1 – 27 Of life and death

A man named Lazarus, who lived in Bethany, became sick. Bethany was the town where Mary and her sister Martha lived. (2 This Mary was the one who poured the perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was sick.) 3 The sisters sent Jesus a message: “Lord, your dear friend is sick.”

4 When Jesus heard it, he said, “The final result of this sickness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened in order to bring glory to God, and it will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory.”

5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 Yet when he received the news that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. 7 Then he said to the disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8 “Teacher,” the disciples answered, “just a short time ago the people there wanted to stone you; and are you planning to go back?”

9 Jesus said, “A day has twelve hours, doesn’t it? So those who walk in broad daylight do not stumble, for they see the light of this world. 10 But if they walk during the night they stumble, because they have no light.” 11 Jesus said this and then added, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I will go and wake him up.”

12 The disciples answered, “If he is asleep, Lord, he will get well.”

13 Jesus meant that Lazarus had died, but they thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 but for your sake I am glad that I was not with him, so that you will believe. Let us go to him.”

16 Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, “Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!”

Jesus the Resurrection and the Life
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been buried four days before. 18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Judeans had come to see Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother’s death.

20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for.”

23 “Your brother will rise to life,” Jesus told her.

24 “I know,” she replied, “that he will rise to life on the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; 26 and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

www.biblegateway.com

The story of Lazarus is one of the most famous in the Bible. For Christians it shows firstly that life does continue after death or how could Lazarus come back? Secondly that Jesus is master of life and death. Not even death could disobey him. Think about that and draw comfort that this is the kind of God we have.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

11th April John 10: 19 – 42 What’s in the question?

19 Again there was a division among the people because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon! He is crazy! Why do you listen to him?”

21 But others were saying, “A man with a demon could not talk like this! How could a demon give sight to blind people?”

Jesus Is Rejected
22 It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple was being celebrated in Jerusalem. 23 Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch in the Temple, 24 when the people gathered around him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us the plain truth: are you the Messiah?”

25 Jesus answered, “I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The deeds I do by my Father’s authority speak on my behalf; 26 but you will not believe, for you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me. 29 What my Father has given me is greater[b] than everything, and no one can snatch them away from the Father’s care. 30 The Father and I are one.”

31 Then the people again picked up stones to throw at him. 32 Jesus said to them, “I have done many good deeds in your presence which the Father gave me to do; for which one of these do you want to stone me?”

33 They answered, “We do not want to stone you because of any good deeds, but because of your blasphemy! You are only a man, but you are trying to make yourself God!”

34 Jesus answered, “It is written in your own Law that God said, ‘You are gods.’ 35 We know that what the scripture says is true forever; and God called those people gods, the people to whom his message was given. 36 As for me, the Father chose me and sent me into the world. How, then, can you say that I blaspheme because I said that I am the Son of God? 37 Do not believe me, then, if I am not doing the things my Father wants me to do. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, you should at least believe my deeds, in order that you may know once and for all that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father.”

39 Once more they tried to seize Jesus, but he slipped out of their hands.

40 Jesus then went back again across the Jordan River to the place where John had been baptizing, and he stayed there. 41 Many people came to him. “John performed no miracles,” they said, “but everything he said about this man was true.” 42 And many people there believed in him.

www.biblegateway.com

People ask questions for different reasons. Some it is to find the answer and others its just to ask a question. Jesus knew there were those who would keep throwing questions at him forever. Interestingly he doesn’t take them on. There is perhaps something there for us to think about.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

10th April John 10: 1 – 18 Tough Love

10 Jesus said, “I am telling you the truth: the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who goes in through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him; the sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out. 4 When he has brought them out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow someone else; instead, they will run away from such a person, because they do not know his voice.”

6 Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what he meant.

Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 So Jesus said again, “I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.

11 “I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. 12 When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep. 14-15 I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. 16 There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become[a] one flock with one shepherd.

17 “The Father loves me because I am willing to give up my life, in order that I may receive it back again. 18 No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father has commanded me to do.”

www.biblegateway.com

When you hear the words ‘pastoral care’ you probably think of house visits, bedside calls and ‘More tea Vicar?’ But to Jesus pastoring a flock meant protecting them from danger, fighting off threats and being willing to lay down your life. It’s a relationship of trust, selflessness and sacrifice. Pastoral care means both gentle supporting people, but also fiercely defending them.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

9th April John 9: 18 – 41 The evidence speaks for itself

18 The Jewish authorities, however, were not willing to believe that he had been blind and could now see, until they called his parents 19 and asked them, “Is this your son? You say that he was born blind; how is it, then, that he can now see?”

20 His parents answered, “We know that he is our son, and we know that he was born blind. 21 But we do not know how it is that he is now able to see, nor do we know who cured him of his blindness. Ask him; he is old enough, and he can answer for himself!” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, who had already agreed that anyone who said he believed that Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That is why his parents said, “He is old enough; ask him!”

24 A second time they called back the man who had been born blind, and said to him, “Promise before God that you will tell the truth! We know that this man who cured you is a sinner.”

25 “I do not know if he is a sinner or not,” the man replied. “One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.”

26 “What did he do to you?” they asked. “How did he cure you of your blindness?”

27 “I have already told you,” he answered, “and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Maybe you, too, would like to be his disciples?”

28 They insulted him and said, “You are that fellow’s disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for that fellow, however, we do not even know where he comes from!”

30 The man answered, “What a strange thing that is! You do not know where he comes from, but he cured me of my blindness! 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners; he does listen to people who respect him and do what he wants them to do. 32 Since the beginning of the world nobody has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a person born blind. 33 Unless this man came from God, he would not be able to do a thing.”

34 They answered, “You were born and brought up in sin—and you are trying to teach us?” And they expelled him from the synagogue.

Spiritual Blindness
35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 The man answered, “Tell me who he is, sir, so that I can believe in him!”

37 Jesus said to him, “You have already seen him, and he is the one who is talking with you now.”

38 “I believe, Lord!” the man said, and knelt down before Jesus.

39 Jesus said, “I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were there with him heard him say this and asked him, “Surely you don’t mean that we are blind, too?”

41 Jesus answered, “If you were blind, then you would not be guilty; but since you claim that you can see, this means that you are still guilty.”

www.biblegateway.com

The irony was that while a man who had been blind from birth could now see, the pharisees were now wilfully choosing to be blind. They ignored the evidence before their very eyes so that they could cling to their preconceptions about Jesus. The formally blind man on the other hand had no idea who Jesus was, he simply experienced a miracle and knew that if Jesus could do such a thing, then he must have God on his side.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

8th April John 9: 1 – 17 A place for everyone

The Disciples wanted to play the blame game, ‘Was it his sins that made him blind, or his parents?’ But Jesus wasn’t interested in blame, without question he healed the blind man. In God’s Kingdom it doesn’t matter why you are blind, sick, poor or homeless, lost, hurting or confused, there’s no issue of blame or guilt. What matters is that there is healing for everyone and for all a place at the table Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

7th April Mark 8: 31 – 9:1 The Way of the Cross

Being a Christian means making hard choices. Living as Jesus taught means putting others first, being willing to stand up for what’s right and putting ourselves on the line. The Way of the Cross isn’t easy. But Jesus showed that as hard as it can be, the life on the other side, in this life and the next, makes all the sacrifices worth it. Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

Holy Week and Easter Services

OUR EASTER SERVICES

Sunday 14th April: Palm Sunday : 10:30am (Lent Breakfast at 9.00am)

Monday 15th April: Short meditation and reflection for Holy Week Monday : 7.30pm

Tuesday 16th April: Short meditation and reflection for Holy Week Tuesday: 7.30pm

Wednesday 17th April: Short meditation and reflection for Holy Week Wed: 7.30pm

Thursday 18th April: Maundy Thursday Communion : 7.30pm

Friday 19th April: Service for Good Friday : 7.30pm

Sunday 21st April: Easter Sunday

Easter Morning Breakfast Rolls:

Served up by the men of the Men’s Breakfast Group : 09:45

Easter Morning Service : 10:30am

 

6th April John 6: 60 – 71 Why Stay?

Ever been tempted to walk away from faith? It’s normal, being a Christian isn’t easy. While Jesus drew huge crowds, many found his teachings were too much for them and so left. But Peter perfectly articulates why it’s worth staying. When Jesus asked “Will you leave?” Peter replied “Where else would we go?”. Peter knew that Jesus offered something unique and amazing that he couldn’t find anywhere else. So he would keep following.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

5th April John 6: 52-59 Blood and guts

If anyone suggests to you that Jesus was meek and mild, show them the passage where Jesus appeared to be advocating cannibalism! Jesus was not afraid to be shocking and controversial as he shared his message. The Gospel contains some scandalous messages and Jesus had no intention of sugar-coating it. Perhaps we need to think about be more provocative when we share our faith?

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

4th April John 6: 41 – 51 A ken’t yer faither

One of my favourite Scots phrases is ‘A ken’t yer faither’, it means ‘I know where you came from’, a great subtle put down for anyone who has gotten too big for their breeches. But in this story this attitude was a problem, the people weren’t willing to listen to Jesus because they thought he was just Joseph’s son, no one special. The challenge is to balance not putting people on a pedestal, but not dismissing people because of where they came from either.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

3rd April John 6: 27 – 40 When is enough enough?

How much proof is enough? The answer is a little bit more. Jesus performed many miracles amongst the people yet they always wanted that little bit more. Remember this. Jesus says not a single person of those who God has given will be lost. That’s irrespective of the amount of proof given!

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

2nd April John 6: 16 – 27 First things first

When faith becomes a spectacle it’s already too late. If people chase church or faith because its entertaining, it’s already too late. Remember one of the old children’s songs… Seek ye first the Kingdom of God Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

1st April John 6: 1 – 15 A long obedience in the same direction

Jesus retreats to the hills after the miracle because he knew being made king was not the kind of kingdom he was here to instigate. In one sense he is a victim of his own success. So often our desires are to have the biggest and best yet how often is that the opposite of what God calls us to? We are meant to be faithful not successful.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

31st March Mark 8: 11 – 21 Pure Motivation

Throughout the gospels Jesus repeatedly refuses to put on a show for people yet always responds to need. You can see that contrast here between the Pharisees and the people who need fed. Part of our challenge is knowing when someone is genuinely in need or just wanting us to ‘prove’ faith. Wisdom to know the difference is a great thing.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

30th March John 8: 47 – 59 In it for the long term

Living in the here and now we tend to be very literal people. We like things we can feel and see and taste and touch. We struggle to grasp concepts like eternity where there is no time. Yet that’s what Jesus is talking about today. He is eternal, it’s not that he was or will be, he is. We too are eternal even though we struggle with it.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

29th March John 8: 33 – 47 Pro Choice or anti Choice?

Ever done something because you felt you had little choice? Ever done something and then wondered why you did it? In ancient times slavery was the most common way of compelling people to do what you wanted. It implies powerlessness. Contrast that with Jesus teaching of ‘I have come that you may have life and life in all its fullness.’

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

28th March John 8: 21 – 32 Keeping Focus

 ‘I am who I Am’ is a bible motif used by Jesus to talk of the Messiah. He speaks regularly of not having an agenda of his own but of serving the Father and showing the world what Father God s like. How could a people who started out with such a special relationship to god end up moving so far away? It’s a reminder to us all to keep our eyes focused on Jesus or we too will drift.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

27th March John 8: 12 – 20 Polaris

For a society that supposedly based on individual freedom, we are constantly looking for people to tell us what to do. From horoscopes to self-help books, personality tests to diets, we are constantly looking for some guidance on how to live our lives. Jesus said he is the light of the world. Before GPS sailors would use the light of the stars as a way to navigate and find their way across the seas. When we are feeling lost in life we should turn to Jesus and use his light to orient ourselves and find the guidance we need to take the right path.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

26th March John 7: 37 – 52 Expect the unexpected

‘No Prophet ever comes from Galilee’, or so the Pharisees said. Actually the Prophets Jonah and Hosea were both from Galilee. In truth the Pharisees were being snobs, they didn’t think the Messiah would be born in a provincial backwater like Galilee. It’s easy to write someone off because of where they come from or how they speak. But we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss people, because God constantly uses unexpected people to do incredible things.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

25th March John 7: 14 – 36 Uncomfortable truths

Jesus’s critics tried everything: they slandered him, misrepresented him, spread rumours, accused him of being possessed, threatened him and tried to get his arrested. Jesus’s message was dangerous so they tried anything they could to silence him.

But the one thing they couldn’t do was beat him in an argument. Jesus was speaking God’s truth, and that was more powerful than all the lies spoken against him

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

24th March Mark 5: 1 – 20 Playing the long game

Jesus had done something incredible, cast out a legion of demons and restored a man’s sanity, and what did the people say? “Can you leave please”. When we try to change places for the better, we can often get push back from people who’d just prefer if things were left alone.

It can be disheartening. But Jesus wasn’t disheartened, instead he sent the healed man to tell his story, and slowly people started to realise that actually something amazing had happened.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

23rd March John 7: 1 – 13 Fame vs Faithfulness

Jesus’s brothers couldn’t understand why someone as gifted as Jesus wouldn’t, want to show off his talents. They expected him flaunt his talents and gather as much fame as possible. But Jesus wasn’t interested in being famous, he was interested serving God with his gifts.

When we discover a gift, our first question shouldn’t be “how can I use this to make money/get famous”, it should be “how can I use this to serve God and help others”.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

22nd March John 5: 30 – 47 Jesus Shaped Hole

The Pharisees spent their lives memorising the scriptures, debating it’s meaning and scrutinising every minute law, and yet they’d missed the big picture. They hadn’t realised what when you put all the pieces together they all point to Jesus.

It’s easy to get lost in the minutia, but it’s important to step back and see the bigger picture.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

21st March John 5: 19 – 29 A chip off a different block

We’ve seen Jesus interacting with human family, but he also had a different family. Jesus was the Son of God, and the way he lived reflected that. God as an eternal, all-powerful deity can be hard to understand, let alone relate to.

But we are lucky that in Jesus we can see God in way that we can understand and relate to.

Today’s Thought for the Day is from David

20th March John 5: 1 – 18 More than my job’s worth

What a dreadful shame that the religious leaders were so caught up with Jesus miracle on a Sunday they completely lost sight of how a man had been healed after 38years. The man was so delighted to be healed he couldn’t keep quiet.

Don’t let small rules make you miss the chance to celebrate good things by God.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

19th March John 4: 43 – 54 The proof of the pudding

Desperation drove the official to seek out Jesus. Belief caused him to return home before he knew his child was ok. Proof only came later.

How much of our faith do we accept and how much do we want God to prove things before we believe him?

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

18th March John 4: 27 – 42 Let us build a house…

Standing on the shoulders of giants is how Einstein explained his scientific achievements. He recognised he could not have got where he was if not for those who came before. We are the same. Some plant, some tend and some reap. Yet it is God’s kingdom we build and all the glory is his.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

17th March Mark 3: 31 – 4:9 A chip off the old block

It must have been pretty rough on Jesus family when he ignored them publicly like this. Yet on other occasions he clearly spoke about respecting your father and mother so what was going on? Jesus was the messiah who came here for very specific reasons and nothing was going to distract him. Whilst its good not to be distracted, remember we are not the Messiah and family should be pretty much at the top of our priority list.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

16th March John 4: 1 – 26 Why are you speaking to me?

This is one of the only stories where Jesus admitted to being the messiah. Notice he admitted it to a Samaritan woman whom custom says he shouldn’t have been talking to anyway. When you read the gospels Jesus always puts people above custom. He never lets the way we’ve done things get in the way of changing people’s lives. Quite a challenge for us all.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

15th March John 3: 22- 36 Whom do you serve?

John understood that he was always going to be eclipsed by Jesus. His whole purpose was to prepare the way, to get people ready for Jesus. Likewise our role is not to take the place of Jesus. For faith to grow it means we must decrease and he must increase. Over time, Jesus should play an increasing role in how we live.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

14th March John 3: 16 – 21 God loves the world

When you shine a light into a dark room it shows up every blemish. You cant see cobwebs in the dark but you sure can in the light. It’s the same for the dark parts of our own lives. Christian faith shows where we fall short and where we just get it wrong. Let’s be thankful we have a loving God who came into the world because he loves it!

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

13th March John 2: 23 – 3:15 A Fresh Start

Christianity is about change. It changes our relationship with God because it changes us. Faith in Jesus means changed priorities, changed hopes and dreams, even changed fears. The Bible calls this being born again. If we are going to be true to faith we should not minimise this part of it.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

12th March John 2: 13 – 22 That man has a real temper you know

Jesus cleansing the temple was not an impulsive act where he goes into a rage and loses all control. It says he first made a whip. He prepared for what he was about to do. He made that whip with full knowledge of how he was going to use it. There are times when we have to make a stand recognising our lives won’t become easier from it. Pay for wisdom at such times and compassion! Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

11th March: John 2: 1 – 12 Are you ready yet?

Apparently the volume of these jars was reputed to be 120 gallons. Jesus created 120 gallons of wine!

We always get hung up on the wine here and we miss that Jesus seems to have had a sense of timing.

It’s like he knew where he was going and when it would happen. Notice how content he was to wait till the time was right?

Waiting is not our strong point and at times we need to remind ourselves that waiting is a big part of Christian faith.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

10th March: Mark 2: 18 – 22 Please sir, can I have some more?

Fasting is a well known thing across many religions and faiths. When people challenged Jesus about why his disciples didn’t fast they were missing the significance of who Jesus actually was. To the average person he was not the messiah but just another teacher.

They were so caught up in the ‘usual’ religious practice they failed to see Jesus.

We need to constantly aware the trappings of our faith don’t get in the way.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

9th March: John 1: 43 – 51 Nothing good comes from there.

Nathanael’s own prejudice almost cost him an encounter with Jesus. It was only because he took a chance something good might have come from Nazareth that he met Jesus and life went in that particular direction. Whether we admit it or not we all have prejudices.

Is it possible we miss an encounter with God because we don’t believe God could be in this or that place?

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

8th March: John 1: 35 – 42 Influence me!

With the rise of social media we have the rise of ‘influencers’. People who can form public opinion by endorsing products or services and getting their followers to spend their money.

Ultimately they all pale into insignificance when you consider how Jesus drew people to himself. He didn’t change purchasing habits, he changed the destiny of the world!

How does it feel to be part of this worldwide movement for good?

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

7th March: John 1: 29 – 34 What do you see?

John the Baptist is arguable one of the greatest prophets yet even he lived with questions. Was Jesus the one or was it someone else? He knew God was there though at times he could not see him. At no point did he stop believing whilst still living with the questions.

Perhaps for us its not finding the answers that’s always important but being able to live with the questions.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

6th March: Luke 18: 9 -14 To be the best!

We live in a world where we are constantly encouraged to measure ourselves against others. It might be whether we are richer, more beautiful, have more friends or more influence. Jesus reminds us that God’s measure is not our measure.

It’s worth reminding ourselves of this from time to time.

Today’s thought-for-the-day is from Norman

Lent starts this week…..Wednesday 6th March

Each day throughout Lent there will be a ‘Thought For The Day’ from the ministry team here at Granton.

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in our Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

We’ll be sending out a ‘Lent Thought for the Day’ right through from Wednesday 6th March until Easter Sunday on 21st April.

Thought for the Day during Lent

Each day throughout Lent there will be a ‘Thought For The Day’ from the ministry team here at Granton.

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in our Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

For that reason, we are publishing a ‘Lent Thought for the Day’ right through from Wednesday 6th Marh until Easter Sunday on 21st April.

If you are already signed up to receive our weekly eBulletin each Thursday you don’t need to do anything. If you don’t get the weekly email either have a word with Chas or go to the website and sign up.

It’s also worth checking that emails aren’t going to your spam folder!