We are called to pray for kings and rulers, including our own MPs, for peace and health, rather than getting involved in political arguments with people who disagree with us. Like the Roman emperor, our leaders can unwittingly enable the spread of the gospel.
Faith helps us not only to look forward to our hope, but also to look back at what God has done. We can be creative with what we already have but only God creates the world out of nothing. Faith is not blind but is based on God’s revelation through his Word and through his Son.
In order to increase our faith to pray, Paul reminds us that there is only one God, who is the God of everything and is our only Saviour who cares for everyone. There is also one mediator, who takes us by the hand to take us to the Father, and there is only one ransom which was paid to set us free.
David was a man after God’s heart. His life was a portrait of successes and failures from which we can learn much about what it means to be a people who are after God’s heart. It also helps us understand how God is a God of grace who chooses to use us despite our flaws and failings.
Ruth, a widow from the despised people of Moab, is embraced by the covenant love of God. She finds hope and a future through Boaz her kinsman-redeemer. Jesus is the ultimate redeemer: let us enjoy his wonderful love and faithfulness and extend his heart to the vulnerable.
When we follow Jesus, we get a new identity. We get caught up into God’s plans rather than catching him up into our plans. Without always knowing precisely where God is leading us, God transforms our character in community and through trials.
The Law is good at warning us, convicting us, pointing us to Jesus and teaching us what holiness looks like. But unlike the glorious Gospel, it can never change our hearts, never save us, nor make us more like Jesus.
This is spring, a time for new life. It is also a time for those who have been pressed down to spring up, and for springs of living water to flow through us. We are to live as Spirit-filled Christians not just on Sundays but wherever we are and however dry we feel.
Prophets engage with God face to face, but Jonah fled from God’s face, and fell asleep instead of calling on God. But the turning point comes when he acknowledges his identity as a Hebrew who worships the Lord. God is calling us back to face to face fellowship with him.