Theme = ‘forgiveness’
In Jesus God comes to us, so he can be with us, and we with him â€“ this is peace.
God wants us daily to come to him in repentance, to receive his forgiveness. This is the gospel, this is his plan for your life.
How do we get from Peter the denier, full of shame and regret â€“ to Peter the apostle, leader of the early church?
When Jesus commands us to love, he does not give us licence to ignore great swathes of Scripture, but gives us the best way of understanding what it means.
Jesus died willingly.Â He was not forced to die by an angry or cruel God.Â He knew the cost, he knew the pain, and yet he still gave himself freely, for you and for me.
The church isnâ€™t a palace for the perfect, itâ€™s a hospital for sinners. And God forgives all those who truly repent - which is not the same as saying ‘anything goes’.
Christians need a biblical attitude: neither judgemental, nor ‘anything goes’, but encouraging and warning one another with humility and love.
â€˜Fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart.â€™ But sometimes the desire for human praise is stronger than the desire to be faithful to God.
Let us strive, not only for heaven, but towards heaven. We donâ€™t have to earn the prize; we donâ€™t have to be paralysed by the past â€“ letâ€™s journey together, sharing our pain, struggles â€“ and joy.
Baptism is all about God saying, ‘Welcome, welcome home.’ Itâ€™s a symbol for the turning back to God that we all have to do, every day.