Christ Church will soon be celebrating the fifth anniversary of our partnership with Christians Against Poverty. This partnership enables us to deliver a completely free debt counselling service to our community and many of you have been involved in different capacities with this and I am incredibly thankful to be a part of such a generous, kind, prayerful, talented, supportive and welcoming church. So thank you!
I would like to share with you one thing I have learned over these last few years because I believe this holds a significant key to seeing the kingdom of God come now, in our present day. It is, perhaps, a surprisingly simple thing – simply to believe in someone and encourage them!
Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” What does it mean to love one another? I think a key part of this is to truly “see” someone. Too many people spend their lives feeling invisible, unlovely and unloved. Those suffering under the massive burden of debt often feel this more acutely. In fact, I think most of us struggle deep down with an insecurity of not being sure we are worth loving! But Jesus tells us that we are worth loving – so much so that He died for us – and so we also need to see one another as He sees us. We need to recognise that we are all created equal, that all of us sin and fall short of God’s standards in our words and deeds, as imperfect human beings, but that we all have great worth in God’s sight and thus we should seek out and encourage that in one another.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people. Psalm 113:7-8
I have seen with my own eyes what happens when you encourage someone to see that they have potential; that they are worth something; that they can be more than their circumstances dictate; and that you believe in them. Those who are bowed down under a heavy weight begin to lift their heads again and to see possibilities instead of problems and hope instead of despair. It is a joy to witness and it encourages me too!
So let’s always be a people who seek to bring out the best in one another by loving each other as Jesus loves us and to extend that love to the wider community around us. This is the grace of God in action and as you bless others may you also receive his blessing!