All Posts By

Ashleigh Robinson

2 John

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To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.
2 John 1: 1-4

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In 4 verses, John refers to the ‘truth’ 5 times. Personally, these verses can feel a bit confusing or like a tongue twister to throw us off. But the gist I get, is that truth is incredibly important to John. It is the guiding light, the absolute life changing, relationship binding, course correcting, unchanging nature of the gospel. Throughout the ages, the truth has not, and will not change, regardless of how much our culture shifts around us.

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As important as truth was to John, it should be to us. How do we walk in truth, pursue truth, identify what is true, despite the world around us that sometimes leads us astray? Even people who mean well can lead us away from God’s truth. 3 tools really help me with discerning the truth of God and walking in his truth. The Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the Church Community. The word of God reveals the nature and character of Christ. The Spirit breathes on us and leads us when we allow Him to, and uses the Word of God to give us revelation. The Church is a gift to all of us and in community with others believers, we can discern truth together ‘as iron sharpens iron’.   

Pray//
Lord, may we always be a people that walks in your truth. You have given us everything we need to live a godly life, a surrendered life, a life that exudes your nature and character and reveals it to the world. When I go astray Lord, pull me back into your embrace, that I may

1 John 5

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for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:4-5

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Now as children of God, we overcome the world. Overcoming the world is a pretty big statement to make. David Guzik in his commentary of 1 John 5 describes this as ‘overcoming the pressures and temptations of this world.’ We overcome the world not because of what we do, but whose we are – Born of God. I love the popular phrase, ‘Love Wins’. I am convinced that love has the power to break every curse this world has to offer. In Christ, we learn what true love really looks like and as his children, have the power to love like he does. In this way, we can tackle anything the world throws our way.

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 Christ is the only way we can bring wholeness to this broken world, and hope of restoration. What areas of your life feel too far gone even for God to restore? What situations, relationships, hardships feel too broken for even Him? We need to remember that Christ has already conquered sin and death, and his LOVE for us was what did it. LOVE conquers all. The goodness of Jesus is that anything we have experienced, He experienced too, as a man, flesh and blood. He gets it. And he wants us to ask him for help.

Pray//
God, give me faith to believe that in you, I can overcome the temptations and struggles of this world. Only in YOUR name is there the opportunity for restoration and healing. Thankyou that through your son, we have the victory over sin and death, and our inheritance is in a greater hope than what our eyes can see, and our mind can comprehend.

1 John 4

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There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.  Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

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The judge and jury of our eternal fate is God. But now that we are in God’s love, we should have no fear for our fate. For us to be children on God, we need to simply completely accept the gift of grace given in love and respond. The way we love therefore should be a reflection of the way He first loved us. Unrestrained, unhindered, lavishly and with arms open wide.

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There are people in our life that are hard to love. But that presumes the fact that we are easy to love. Loving me cost God something and yet he lavished his love on me whilst I was still a sinner. If we hate a brother or a sister, we have undermined the basis on which we too were saved. God’s love for that person is equal to His love for me. Are there people in my life that I am struggling to love? How can I change my heart to reflect Christ in His love for me?

Pray//
God, forgive me for not loving like you first loved me. Soften my heart Lord to those who I find it hard to love sometimes. Thank you that by your love, I have eternity with you.

1 John 3

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See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:1a, 16-18


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Sometimes it is hard to see the God of the Old Testament as a loving God. But here, we see His true character and nature in the person of Jesus Christ. We know what real love is – true love is, because of the behaviour of Jesus. In spite of our fallen-ness and sin, He died a painful, humiliating death for the sole purpose of having a relationship with us. If we now, as followers of Jesus have fellowship with God, and have been adopted as sons and daughters, should we not have the characteristics of our father like biological offspring?

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What does it look like for me to lay my life down for others? We are privileged in this western world to not be under pain of death for our beliefs. But I can still lay my life down in service to the cause of Christ, and it will definitely cost me something. Jesus’ death cost him everything and yet it was given willingly. When I lay my life down for another, I want to epitomise the love of Christ so that people can see the true nature and character of Jesus. With no motive but simply to love, what is an opportunity today that you can take to serve another, even if it is inconvenient or even painful?

Pray//
Lord, provide me with opportunities to love, even when it is hard. Help me to love like you do, to seek out the lost and broken, that they may know the love of their saviour by the way I reflect you, as your daughter.

1 John 2

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Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17

 

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This world and everything in it is temporary. Every earthly kingdom will fade. Every important name in history will pass away. Apple, Telstra, Trump, Coca Cola – these empires will not remain. Loving the world does not mean we cannot care for people OF the world, or be passionate about righteous causes or just pursuits. He is not saying here that we shouldn’t enjoy the world he has created for us. But anything that causes us to desire something that takes the place of God in our lives will inevitably lead us astray.

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re we investing in kingdoms that are temporary? Are we ‘storing up for ourselves treasures on earth’? Or is our allegiance to building the kingdom of our creator and Lord? I am certain there are things in my life that distract me from Jesus. Momentary satisfaction like having status or importance in the eyes of others, financial superiority, ‘pretty’ things around me that make me feel like I have ‘made it’. These things in themselves aren’t sinful, but when we make them the object of our desire, they become sinful pursuits. All of these things take my eyes off what are really important. The rewards I gain in this world are only temporary but if I submit my life and my desires to God, the rewards are eternal.

Pray//
Lord, reveal to me what areas of my life are taking my eyes off you. Reveal to me where my allegiance lies and point me back to true north. Thankyou God that your name ever fails, and that your faithfulness is unending.

1 John 1

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This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

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1 John is centred around the idea of having fellowship with God, through His son Jesus. Even that is and was a simply radical idea. That the creator of all the universe, of stars, planets, every living organism on this planet, the orchestrator of life itself wants fellowship, relationship with me, a measly human, a sinner, should blow our mind. God is described here as the light – perfect, and without sin. We too need to walk in the light to have fellowship with him, and with one another of the faith. Living out the truth does not mean being without sin (which is impossible for us), but acknowledging a need for a saviour because of our sin and being open to transformation by his power.

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In addition to the moment of our salvation, there is a constant need to surrender our hearts and minds to that of Christ Jesus, for the purification of our souls. As I pursue the light, pursue righteousness, I still inevitably stumble and sin. If we desire to be more like Jesus, this constant repentance and returning to God means that God can shine a light on any part of our lives for correction and conviction. Am I living a wide-open life for God to have authority over? If not, I am actually missing out on the fellowship of God, the walking in-step with my saviour for the sanctification of my soul this side of heaven.

Pray//
Who am I that you would want a relationship with me God? Yet, by your loving mercy I have this opportunity to know my creator. Lord, you have permission to take my life and transform it by your power, that I may walk in the light with you. Convict me, mould me, shape me, that my life would reflect Jesus.

Colossians 4

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Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
Colossians 4: 2-6, 12

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In Colossians, Paul emphasises the importance of prayer. Devote yourselves, he instructs, to prayer. The phrase ‘devote yourselves’ according to Strong’s dictionary, is defined as ‘giving constant steadfast attention to, or to be constantly diligent with.’ In verse 12, he even explains that Epaphras, a fellow follower of Jesus is ‘wrestling in prayer for you’. Verse 5 goes on to explain that equally important to prayer, is the way we witness to the unsaved. Salt preserves food, and also adds flavour. Conversation seasoned with salt would look like us preserving the integrity of Christ in all our conversations, remembering Him as we have every little opportunity to witness to his love and grace in the lives of those who don’t know Jesus.

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Would my prayer life be described as devoted? Is it something I give diligent attention to? Or is it more a cursory full stop or ‘amen’ to my time spent with Jesus? I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as someone who wrestles in prayer like Epaphras, and so often my prayers are tempered with personal needs or wants, rather than the cause of others. God is not only wanting us to have a rich prayer life, but also be compelled by the cause of the unsaved, making the most of every interaction to reveal Jesus. These responses to God go hand in hand. When we are passionate prayer warriors, we know the voice of God and are able to be his hands and feet in this world.

Pray//
God, may my prayer life not end here. May I be compelled to converse with you throughout the day, for your cause and purpose, that Jesus may be evident in my speech, and conduct with everyone I encounter today. Amen

Hebrews Chapter 12

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No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Hebrews 12:11-13

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We could spend a week on this chapter alone. Every verse is gold. Verse 11-13 touches on the uncomfortable topic of discipline. Discipline is necessary for a child to learn, grow, and be safe from harm. It is no different with us and our heavenly father. God’s sentiment toward us is not one of anger or condemnation, but of love, conviction and a desire for us to grow in Christ-likeness. And it is not only for our own benefit. The additional fruit of discipline is discipleship, that may make straight a path for others to walk.

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Are we responding well to God’s attempts to discipline us? What is God saying that we are choosing not to hear? If we choose to accept the guiding hand of God, there is no end to what he could use us for. That the lame may be healed! That the blind would see! That people would come to know Christ! Growth is painful, but the fruit is eternal.

Pray //

God, forgive me for being disobedient to you. I am humbled by your patience with me. May I become more like you in all I do, that my life reflects your glory.

Hebrews Chapter 11

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Hebrews 11:1-2, 13

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This chapter is known as the great faith chapter of the bible. It details the chronological heroes of the Old Testament, who, without actually getting to see the fulfilment of Christ, believed there was a future hope. These heroes lead faithful, obedient lives, ‘welcoming from a distance’ the fulfilment of the promise God gave them ‘admitting they were foreigners and strangers on earth’. Yet because of their faith, we have inherited the promise of Christ.

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What lives of faith that we live here and now will be the inheritance of those to come? Though we may not see the fulfilment of our faith in our lifetime, we need to press on to pave the way for the salvation of those to come. Sometimes we forget that God sees in full, and we see only in part. Faith is believing that God has everything in hand, and we only need to be obedient.

Pray //

Lord, we thank you that you see the grander picture of our lives, and the part we play in your kingdom. Help me to be faithful when it seems there is no fruit. May we never grow weary of pressing on for the cause of Christ.

Hebrews Chapter 10

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Hebrews 10:19-25

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In the knowledge that we are now saved completely, there is nothing holding us back from abundant life with God! And an essential element of our redeemed life is community with other believers. We need each other. God commands that as believers, we continue to meet as His church, as fellow pilgrims, awaiting glory to encourage, admonish, seek God and sing out the praises of Him who called us into His wonderful light.

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I don’t know about you, but I need people. This life isn’t easy. The beauty of a faith community is the gift of encouragement and edification of each other. We were not made to do this journey alone. When the mysteries of God are explored and discovered corporately, there is amazing spiritual growth! How can we grow and learn from the faith of others? What burdens can we bring to the body of Christ that we may bear them together? How can we be a place where people are discipled to be more like Jesus?

Pray //

Thank you, God, for the gift of your church. I pray that we may always hear the guiding voice of your Spirit as we learn to reflect your character and nature in the corporate gathering of your people.