By Jonathan Moores
At Soul Survivor last year I noticed a flaw in my packing: the only T-shirt I had was the one I was wearing. I weighed up the pros and cons of the strength of the stench by the end of the week and decided to buy myself a replacement. I found one for £3 but the only problem was on it was written ‘I have Sinned’ and there were loads of them left. Apparently no-one wants to walk around with a T-shirt with ‘I have sinned’ on.
Jeremiah reminds us of the difficulty God’s people had coming clean about exactly what they were like (Jer4:22). They had messed up in every area of their lives and community. The rich robbed the poor and got away with it (Jer5:1), men were taking other men’s wives (Jer5:8). God had had enough (Jer5:7). Sometimes we get numb to the fact that sin really hurts God (Jer4:19), other people and ourselves. But eventually God steps in to sort things out and like a good father who disciplines his child, it will hurt (Jer5:15). Yet, God is a loving father who gives us the time to change (Jer5:18), hundreds of years for the Israelites, and our psalm shows how we can do it: cry out to him in honesty of what were like and have done (Ps116:1-2). The Philippians passage shows how Paul, who previously thought he was ‘the man’ when it came to God stuff, realised that he was a mess and his life fell far short of what God wanted for him (Phil3:4-11). The cross became a crucial place for him to leave his past life and look forward to an ever increasing resurrection life. He reminded the Church in Philippi of this and urged them to follow Jesus (Phil3:12-16), into all he had in store for them. There’s at lot at stake: our relationship with God, our friends and the world (Phil3:18-20). The world is longing for deep people filled with God, pursuing him, discovering all that he has for them, changing bit by bit every day. I am reminded of what someone once said:
‘The single biggest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus by their lips yet deny him by their lifestyles. This is what an unbelieving world finds truly unbelievable.’
There is a lot at stake, what can you do today to take hold of Jesus more and become someone who changes the world?
Today’s picture was taken by…
Sarah. Thanks Sarah!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!