April ~ Forgiveness
Jesus said "Father, forgive them for they do not know not what they are doing." Luke 23:34
Forgiveness is the act of pardoning an offender. In the Bible, the Greek word translated “forgiveness” literally means “to let go,” as when a person does not demand payment for a debt. Jesus used this comparison when he taught his followers to pray: “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is in debt to us.” (Luke 11:4) Likewise, in his parable of the unmerciful slave, Jesus equated forgiveness with canceling a debt.—Matthew 18:23-35.
We forgive others when we let go of resentment and give up any claim to be compensated for the hurt or loss we have suffered. The Bible teaches that unselfish love is the basis for true forgiveness, since love “does not keep account of the injury.”—1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.
March ~ Responsibility
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." Galatians 6:5
Responsibility means doing what needs to be done to take care of yourself, your family, your friends, and the greater community. Being responsible means that others can rely on you, that you follow through on your promises.
We teach our children that acting responsibly might involve doing something difficult, such as studying for a test or giving up social plans in favour of helping the family. Responsibility can also take moral strength, learning when to say no as a direct result of understanding the possible consequences.
February - Trust
"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in him”
To trust in the Lord means more than believing in who he is and what he says; the word here for trust can also mean “to have confidence in.” Having confidence in something means having an assurance that leads to action. Trust in the Lord is a faith that lets us boldly serve. This confidence should infuse our whole being.
"Blessed is the one who Trusts in the Lord, who's confidence is in him"
January ~ Wisdom
The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.
Christians believe that true wisdom comes from God. As a believer grows in faith, so wisdom will increase. In the bible wisdom is seen as both a gift from God and a characteristic of God.
In his parables, Jesus taught that placing trust in God and recognising what is of value in life brings fulfillment.
"For Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." Proverbs 8:11
December ~ Peace
What is peace? It can be defined as tranquility, harmony, or security, depending on the situation, it could mean prosperity or well-being.
It seems that humankind has to learn and re-learn the message of peace. It does not come easily or automatically. We constantly fall back into hostility and suspicion. Peter, quoting the Psalms, says we must ‘seek peace and pursue it’ (1 Peter 3:11). Jesus blesses those who are ‘peacemakers’ and calls them ‘sons of God’. It is noteworthy how often the word peace is used in parallel with the word ‘righteousness’. Peace cannot come by simply wishing it to be the case. Peace is founded on righteousness and justice.
Christians are called to share in Christ’s work of restoring wholeness. The Christian vision in this respect is far-reaching and challenging: harmony between people, harmony between people and God, and harmony between humans and the whole created order.
November ~ Service
“The Best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the Service of others.”
John 13:1-17 - Jesus washes his Disciples feet.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
October - Compassion
Compassion and sympathy have much in common and both are stronger in meaning than simply 'feeling sorry for' someone. The words have their roots in the idea of 'suffering with' someone, putting yourself in someone else's shoes and experiencing what they experience.
Jesus showed compassion towards the ‘harassed and helpless’ crowds (Matthew 9.36) and his works of healing were always prompted by compassion for people’s suffering. He wept at the death of Lazarus and was moved to act.
And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." Exodus 33:19
Throughout our assemblies on the value of Friendship, we will be looking at all aspects of friendship and how we should help friends through good and bad times. We will learn how to trust our friends and how Christians trust God.
“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17