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Reflecting on 100 times as much – part 2

Date Wednesday, 1st March 2023

Preached by Matt Cant

Then Jesus declared ‘’I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’’. (John 6:35).

We live in a culture which is reflected in our favourite Disney movies, one where we are told that our happily ever after can be found in this life, we just need to work hard enough or be fortunate enough to find it. It is no wonder that even as Christians who know in our heads that Jesus is truly enough, we often struggle to know this in our hearts, let alone live it out daily with our hands. I know that I so rarely do. So often, our default is to seek satisfaction and meaning in the things of this world…in relationships, our jobs, our abilities – many of which are good gifts from God, but not made to satisfy us!

In our 100 times as much part 2 event at The Globe Church, Ryan so helpfully shared with us how God continues to lead him to a deeper closeness to Jesus such that Ryan can say, as a same sex attracted man, that he chooses a life of singleness in obedience to Christ. Ryan knows that Jesus’ love is better than what this life has to offer him, he rejects the ‘happily ever after now’ lies of this culture and has instead tasted the bread of life which Jesus has to offer, and he wants more of it! Praise God for that.

Don’t get me wrong, we know that for Ryan (and others making huge sacrifices for the sake of abiding in Christ), that this is not a journey without huge pain and wrestling. I know that many who have known Ryan much longer than myself have walked with Him through this. But praise God that Ryan has found this settled conviction and his love for and witness of Jesus’ work in him is encouraging for us all. Thanks to Jesus, we know that making sacrifices in this life where we are each called to, is not a loss. Jesus so clearly explained that anyone who gives up things now for Jesus, will receive 100 times more in this life, and even greater, eternal life with Him (Mark 10:30)! This is what gives Ryan, and all of us hope. This part 2 session allowed us to explore the implications of this for us a church family. What it looks like for each of us, whether single, celibate, married, can by God’s spirit live out this 100 times more for each other today! How can we have deep, loving and interdependent relationships as a family to be a blessing to and walk alongside one another?

So where do we go from here? If you’re anything like me, it can be so easy to hear such helpful teaching, and then a few days later when the business of life crowds in, to let it become more of a nice idea than a reality which changes the way I live. But please dear Father God, let this not be the case! Where can you and I, in God’s strength, be the 100 times more to each other? And don’t get me wrong, I know that so many are already being wonderful family to each other in so many ways, but I am challenged to think how we can show more family love to those in the church who we might not normally lean towards – those who are new, those who are different from us, from different ages, backgrounds or cultures? And as we do so, to remember that we need and interdepend on each other. This isn’t about seeing those in church who seem lonely and trying to be there for them, it is about seeing that we need them and they need us! And on that point, if you are ever new in a church family, know that your family needs you too! You don’t have to been at a church for 3 months before you can be family to those who have been there much longer.

At The Globe Church people can come and go often and it is hard to know how long people will be in London, but we can and should still humbly reach out to others as their family, however long we or they are here (Philippians 2:1-11 is a good place to start for this!). How beautiful will it be in eternity to see those people who have been family to us in this life, whether for days or years, and to say to them my dear brother, or sister, let us stand shoulder to shoulder worshiping Jesus in His glorious presence.

Dear Father, thank you that we who follow you are your family! We are far from a perfect at this, show us how to love and care for each other well, for your glory! Amen