The narrow gate

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few[1] We have been thinking about what it means to be partContinue reading “The narrow gate”

The Golden Rule

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” I must admit, I am not that great a fan of the way that Matthew 7:12 has become known as “The Golden Rule.”  It sounds like one of those mechanistic laws for life.  Almost asContinue reading “The Golden Rule”

Was Billy Graham right? Is it just my job to love?

This is one of those quotes that sounds brilliant at first but after a little bit of reflection leaves one feeling uneasy. I guess that when Billy Graham said it, he had Matthew 7:1-6 in mind. In that sense the quote should warn us against the harsh judgementalism that we too often see -especially onContinue reading “Was Billy Graham right? Is it just my job to love?”

What kind of gift?

When we were younger, my sister wanted a Wendy house for her birthday. My dad kept insisting that she was getting a tin of baked beans, much to her annoyance and his amusement.  Well, the day of her birthday came and she went downstairs. To her joy, there was the Wendy House ready assembled …Continue reading “What kind of gift?”

Stones and Serpents

I don’t want to make too big a deal out of this but I was fascinated when looking at Jesus teaching on prayer to spot one of those little but intriguing connections. In Matthew 4, Jesus goes into the Wilderness where he fasts for 40 days and nights and experiences testing from Satan.  Satan basicallyContinue reading “Stones and Serpents”

More on logs and specks: What is the heartbeat of our church?

The other day, I began exploring the question about applying Jesus’ teaching on logs and specks corporately to churches and communities.  Steve Kneale has helpfully developed the conversation here. At this stage I am struck by two very helpful things Steve asks us to think about. The first one is that only true heart changeContinue reading “More on logs and specks: What is the heartbeat of our church?”

On judging

Matthew 7:1-6 warns against the rush to judgement. Given that Jesus himself does make judgements, gives the keys of the kingdom to the disciples and encourages church discipline, it seems unlikely that this is a blanket ban on exercising justice or discernment. However, what we have seen throughout the Sermon on the Mount is thatContinue reading “On judging”

Our Father in Heaven

One of the fascinating things that strikes me as I read Matthew 6 is these words: “Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”[1] It is often suggested that if God already knows everything and even predestines everything then there is no point in praying at all.  God already knows andContinue reading “Our Father in Heaven”

Skin Deep? Trustworthy?

When we bought our house, we took out a mortgage. Like many home owners up and down the country, we were making a promise, a commitment that over the next 25 years, we would pay back the money we had borrowed with interest. How could our Building Society be sure that we would repay theContinue reading “Skin Deep? Trustworthy?”

Being Salty – share the Gospel

Over the years I’ve listened to sermons, read books and articles and had conversations with people about Matthew 5:13-16 and its meaning. The big emphasis seems to have been about living lives that are distinctive from the world around us, which of course is the very essence of saltiness but that then moves into anContinue reading “Being Salty – share the Gospel”