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.
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.
And if you have a question you would like us to feature on the website, please send it to us below.
How can we love people well? It’s a huge question! And 2020 has brought up even more questions. How do I stay connected with family whilst keeping them safe? How can I extend the hand of friendship to those around me? How can I show love and support to my neighbours? Our first response is usually to invite people around to our homes for food, fun and laughter. It’s a sure-fire way of getting to know others better and to show them we value and love them. It’s hospitality… and it’s been done for centuries! So what do we do when this is just not possible?
The phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ comes to mind. We need to rethink hospitality and make the most of what we can do. Use our phone, Zoom, Whatsapp conversations to show others that we’re really listening and that we care what they are saying. Give them a listening ear which allows them to express all that they are feeling and experiencing right now. Join in with online quizzes or games they are organising. Show up and show your support. Put yourself in the awkward position of not being in control so they don’t have to. And most of all, persevere for as long as this takes. One day we’ll be able to host people in our homes once again. But in the meantime, why don’t we use this time as an opportunity to learn new hospitality habits – you never know, they might even be better than the old ones.
Never talk about religion or politics. This is a common British rule that is often adopted to avoid awkward conflicts or fiery arguments when strong opinions and deeply held beliefs clash. We see people disagreeing badly in the media or in our extended families and we try to avoid making the same mistakes by turning our view of the world into a private matter that should never be discussed.
But without healthy discussion our beliefs can never be challenged, corrected or matured. And if our perspective has something valuable to offer we should share it with others who can benefit from it. Understanding the world we live in, the God who made it, and thinking about what is best for our communities and ourselves shouldn’t be a private pursuit, but a communal one. We should allow our different opinions, beliefs and convictions to challenge and correct each other so that we all have a better chance of believing what is true and choosing what is right.
When strong opinions and deeply held beliefs clash, the path of peace is not avoidance but healthy disagreement in which we are not seeking to win an argument, but seeking to truly understand a new perspective and be changed by it.
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.