From the big questions of life and understanding spirituality, to actively growing and sharing your own faith – we’ve collected the most thought-provoking content from across our website and beyond.
Jesus said “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Why is it then that often we feel half empty and not even half full? So often ‘stuff’ gets in the way of our christian walk. Suffering, sin, circumstances. Life.
The old life can look so much more appealing and the new life might not live up to our expectations.
So what did we expect? A life free of suffering and pain and feeling happy and healthy every day? Great relationships with all our christian brothers and sisters with a clear and straightforward plan for our future? This is probably unrealistic.
If we start off with realistic expectations, the journey may not be as shocking or disappointing.
And those expectations need to start external to us and focus on the all-faithful, all-loving, never-changing, all-powerful God who promised us a life in all its fullness.
There are no quick-fix lists for this, but it comes when we remember what Christ has done for us, how this reveals his love for us and how he promises us a future hope to hold on to.
I think we would all agree that our world today needs changing. The great vision of the West that through education and science we can make a better world has been pretty much shredded. So where is hope for our future? Where it always has been.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV*)
Jesus was a change maker. He showed us what this life is about, how it is meant to be lived and by His death and resurrection provided the means to live it. The key to His life and changing others is love. Jesus made this simply but very powerfully clear by His other great commandment:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39 ESV)
Disciple-making is simply loving another and teaching them to love God and others. In doing so we will change lives and so change the world.
*English Standard Version
How is life for you at the moment? Are you enduring, embracing, suffering or just resigned to the current reality? Are you persevering?
It can sometimes be easy to think that, for Christians, life is supposed to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. That everything should always be going smoothly, and if there’s a bump in the road, it means we’re doing something wrong. But this is not the case, and sometimes we enter seasons that are just hard. In fact, the Bible is full of stories of God’s people going through these difficult seasons, learning to endure through hardship and to persevere in faith. So how do we walk through the valley knowing that God is with us?
That’s what these articles are all about. Hard times are sure to come, the only choice we can make is how we respond. Hopefully what you read here will give you some solid foundations and Biblical ideas for how to respond to times when we need to just persevere.
We all have seasons of disconnection with God. Don’t be surprised by this. Now, more than ever, the things that hinder and ensnare us can feel closer than God himself. Things like fear, doubt, grief, anger and lack of control as well as sin itself and the many distractions that fight for our attention. We read the living and active, sword-sharp, word of God and it feels lifeless and blunt. The words of our prayers feel like they drop to the ground when they have barely passed our lips. Our songs of praise seem to echo empty and detached. What can we do to reconnect? Let us turn to the psalms. In his Commentary of the Psalms, John Calvin wrote:
“there is not an emotion of which anyone can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror. … all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, perplexities, in short, all the distracting emotions with which the minds of men are wont to be agitated”
When we are at loss for the ‘right’ words to say to God, let us draw comfort and inspiration from the God-breathed words which are already penned, expressed by our cloud of witnesses who have known this same disconnection.
If you have discovered Jesus and are very glad that you have, it is natural to want to tell others what you have found. In fact, some find it hard to hold it in! Others might be more reticent to “push their faith” on others, and many Christians find talking about their faith is something they feel they should do but find no joy in. In fact, we all have a tendency to slip into creating a tick list of things we should do to be good Christians. And one of those tick boxes is talking about what we believe. But what is the right approach? Where can our motivation come from? How can we come from a place of joy rather than one of obligation? Can talking about Jesus flow out of who we already are?
Agapé UK is dedicated to helping people discover Jesus, just as we are on a journey of discovery ourselves. We have a wealth of information, tools, and practical steps you can take to help you figure out the answers to these questions and the best way to talk about your faith in your context.
Find inspiring stories, thought-provoking articles and useful resources below and across the site, to encourage and support you.
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Have you ever wondered what the first disciples would say about their lives looking back? Would they say the promise in John 10:10 that they would have “life in all its fullness” had come true?
It’s hard to imagine they’d do anything but gush in awe about how amazing their lives on earth had turned out to be. Life in all its fullness, of course, is not the same as a charmed life of luck and uninterrupted delight. Their lives were certainly full though – full of challenge, full of passion, full of drama, danger, miracles, wonders and unfathomable joy, and, at the end, for most, a cruel death at the hands of their persecutors. Would Peter, for example, tell you it was worth it all?
Throwing your lot in with God really means letting him take charge. Letting him do whatever He wants, in and through you. Henry Varley challenged his friend D. L. Moody with these words: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” The more we surrender our lives to God, the less ordinary they will be, and the fuller He will fill them with his purposes for us and for the world.