And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (Eph 5:18,19)
It may be odd that the apostle Paul contrasts being drunk with wine to being filled with the Spirit. Perhaps one of the similarities between them is for seeking joy and comfort. In days of stress or gloom, people may have a drink to soothe or forget about their problems. However, it can be harmful when we are dependent on alcohol for our inner peace. Drunkenness leads to ruin. As believers in the living God, we can find joy, peace, and comfort by being filled with the Spirit.
Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Col 3:13)
Because of our human nature, there’s probably someone out there that we just can’t get along with. Forgiveness can be difficult when intense pain has been caused by wrongdoings. It is so hard for us to forgive and forget. Even though we try to forgive, those hurtful thoughts may keep creeping up in our minds. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to stop our fights or arguments, ask God for healing, and learn to forgive and forget. If not, we won’t have inner peace. Worst of all, if we do not forgive, just as God in Christ also has forgiven us, God will not forgive us (Mt 6:15).
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
That was the word that I chose to summarize this year’s Africa Ministry Training Course (AMTC) when each participant was asked to do so at the end of the seminar. This was a record-breaking year for AMTC, bringing over 70 participants from across the globe to London for a weeklong study of biblical doctrines, spiritual cultivation, and RE training.
After a dramatic episode involving God plaguing Pharaoh’s house on account of Abram’s wife, Sarai, Abram and Sarai were basically kicked out of the land of Egypt.
Prior to this taking place, God had called Abram from his own country and promised to give him descendants who would inherit the land of Canaan. Once there, Abram pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai, built an altar to the Lord, and called on His name (Gen 12:8). But when a severe famine hit the land, in a moment of weakness, Abram left God’s promises behind and went down to Egypt. If God had not intervened by sending plagues upon Pharaoh’s house, Abram would have lost his wife Sarai and the hope of having descendants through her—for he had lied about Sarai being his sister.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
How do we share our burdens?
In church, we may be surrounded by brothers and sisters we have known for years, and some perhaps for a lifetime. But how deep are our relationships? How well do we know one another? What do we know about their lives?