We are half way through the ultimate top ten list of bible verses that have impacted and spoken the loudest to me. I would love to hear your top ten, tweet me or email CVM.
05. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16
This is from a passage where Jesus is teaching on a mountainside and it has become a favourite amongst loads of Christian speakers and writers.
Jesus sets the bar high and shows just how incredible God’s ideas are when it comes to how we live and why we are living. Talk about a culture of the opposite spirit! If someone curses you bless them; those who are humble will inherit the earth; God blesses mercy; he delights in pure hearts and blesses the people who are persecuted.
I remember sitting in Harlow, Essex (oh Harlow how I miss you), I was 20 years old and living at home. I was invited to go to Brazil on a church trip for 6 weeks. A few weeks before we went the team started to get to know each other, I got a letter from one of the team members. It was like the lost letter that the apostle Paul had written, deep theology, beautifully written and full of God stuff that left me feeling seriously out of my depth.
After reading that I wasn’t sure I should even be going let alone calling myself a Christian, so I had a few days of feeling stressed then decided to read the bible. I opened it around this section and when I was reading this verse (Matthew 5:16) I felt the Holy Spirit bring an incredible comfort to my spirit.
It was like this: “Be who and what you are Nathan, a son, and a follow of the Christ. Focus your life on that and the rest will sort itself out.”
I am not sure why but it just made sense, I was ok with that. I needed to not try and measure my life against someone else, gauge my spirituality against another persons. The point of a relationship with Jesus is that it is your relationship, unique and not to be compared or held up against persons.
Twist in this story? When we got to Brazil the bloke who wrote the lost letter of Paul was the one person who ended up creating more chaos and upset than you could imagine.