Ephesians 5: Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Ephesians 5:2, The Message

Philippians 3: The power of his resurrection

Does that sound as though my account was well in credit? Well, maybe; but whatever I had written in on the profit side, I calculated it instead as a loss – because of the Messiah. Yes, I know that’s weird, but there’s more: I calculate everything as a loss, because knowing King Jesus as my Lord is worth far more than everything else put together! In fact, because of the Messiah I’ve suffered the loss of everything, and I now calculate it as trash, so that my profit may be the Messiah, and that I may be discovered in him, not having my own covenant status defined by Torah, but the status which comes through the Messiah’s faithfulness: the covenant status from God which is given to faith. This means knowing him, knowing the power of his resurrection, and knowing the partnership of his sufferings. It means sharing the form and pattern of his death, so that somehow I may arrive at the final resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:7-11, New Testament for Everyone

Philippa Hanna: Thorns in the Straw (featuring Graham Kendrick)

Love the words, melody and feel of this song on Philippa’s 2020 Christmas album. It’s an old song written by Graham Kendrick and she brought him on to duet with.

And as she watched him through the years
Her joy was mingled with her tears
And she’d feel it all again
The glory, and the shame
And when the miracles began
She wondered, who is this man
And where will this all end…

Graham Kendrick

Here’s them singing it together Live.

Here are Explore’s website’s Top Posts from 2020, voted by you!

Thank you for following us!  Here’s a countdown of the five most-read posts on Explore’s website in 2020: 

The fifth most popular post was the article China: Inside the biggest revival in history. You can read it here.

The fourth most popular post this year was a Pete Grieg‘s Devotion A Sabbath Prayer. You can read it here.

Number three is a interview ‘We’re going to feel stupid for eternity if we waste this life’ with Jackie Pullinger.  It was viewed 132 times.  Find it here.

The UK Blessing | Diocese of London

Number two was the classic song The UK Blessing from worship leaders released in the first UK Covid-19 Lockdown.  Find it here.  It has had more than 170 views. 

And the Number one, the most viewed post was 24/7 Prayer’s Lectio 365 Devotion,  I Can’t Breathe by Izwe Nkosi, his powerful response to the death of George Floyd.  It had 260 views.  See it here.  It’s well worth a read. 

The Explore website had more than ten thousand views in 2020, more than ever before.  We posted more than 250 times.  Thank you for following us;  Please tell your friends, and click ‘Add comment’ on any post to add your own thoughts and start a conversation and help build the community.

Lost Voice Guy: Shall I Pray for You?

I enjoyed Lost Voice Guy’s biography Only in it for the Parking. Lost Voice Guy is not a Christian. He has cerebral palsy. When he was a teenager his Aunt took him to a faith healer. I was challenged with this short passage in the book, about people commonly asking him ‘Shall I pray for you?’

When you’re disabled, people tend to pity you a lot. When people find out more about my disability, they start to tell me how sorry they are. Everyone is so sorry all the time. Sorry to hear I can’t talk, sorry about my walk and sorry I’m both ugly and disabled. They say ‘sorry’ is the hardest word, but I can safely say that it isn’t, because I can’t say any of the other words in the dictionary either. And, let’s be clear, you haven’t really tried to say the hardest word until you’ve attempted to type ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ into your iPad without making a spelling mistake.

The whole pity thing means people often come up to me and say that they will pray for me. I’ll be honest with you: I’m not at all sure why they do this. I presume it’s because they think my disability is a burden and I need to be healed. Or a sin ‒ either in this life or some past existence as the despotic ruler of a remote jungle kingdom ‒ for which I’m now paying. Or maybe their hearts go out to me because they realize I’ll never appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

Luke 2: No normal living quarters

So that’s where they were when the time came for her to give birth; and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him up and put him to rest in a feeding-trough, because there was no room for them in the normal living quarters.

Luke 2:6-7, New Testament for Everyone