Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.
Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour”?
No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’
Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ John 12:23-28
Last week I thought a lot about this scripture and Jesus’ words. There have been many, many Christian seeds that have fallen to the ground since Jesus himself suffered and died. Through the obedience of the Son to death there has been seeds of everlasting life sown for us all. We reap life eternal through Jesus’ death. The Seed sown for us who sprang to life in resurrection glory. Praise God.
Many Christian believers have been prepared to follow Jesus even to the point of death and martyrdom. Were those deaths in vain? Not at all.
In their deaths, the truth of Jesus’ words are revealed. I understood this a bit more last week when visiting Rome. What was once a pagan city, culture and nation turned to Christ and became Christian.
Those seeds that fell to the ground and died produced many seeds. Those seeds gave birth to life, grace, love, mercy, truth, endurance, faith, forgiveness and righteousness in Christ Jesus.
There are lots of voices clamouring to be heard. Trying to influence us. Lots of voices with differing opinions. Lots of voices which tell us untruths, particularly in the media, but the Bible tells us that God’s voice is powerful, full of majesty and can shake the wilderness and strip the forest bare -Psalm 29.
The voice of the Lord is “over the waters” and when the “floods have lifted up their voice” then we need to remember that “the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea” -Psalm 93.
Whichever voice or voices are currently raised or rising up against you or trying to come against you today- whether it is the voices of doubt, unbelief, confusion, accusation, lies, manipulation, intimidation, threats, bullying then disarm them with the truth from the Bible, declare the Word which is powerful, living and mighty into that situation.
Let it be the Voice of God that speaks to you and answers you.
When Jesus was out on the lake with his disciples and the wind and waves rose up in a fierce and violent storm, the disciples thought they would die. Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and said to the Sea “Peace, be still“. Immediately the wind & waves were still.
The voice of Jesus was more powerful than the wind & the waves and was truly “over the waters“.
You may be facing or in a storm today but let it be God’s voice that powerfully speaks to the storm and not the voice of fear or doubt.
The Lord will bless you with His peace in the midst of the storm.
This is a reworking of one of the early posts which I wrote on this blog in 2018 when I started writing. I hope it has blessed and encouraged someone today.
Sadly, my time in Rome has come to an end but it has certainly been a great trip and I realise how fortunate we have been to be able to travel at this time. The city is a living outdoor museum with incredible sights and history at every turn. If you do get the opportunity to visit then I definitely recommend it. There is so much to take in, almost too much for one short visit. The beautiful works of art and architecture and so many churches everywhere you look…apparently over 900 of them and at one point it felt like I had almost visited most of them!!
We were blessed with the weather, blue skies and sun. Cold at night but clear. Our Roman family told us that the weather in January is usually good so worth considering if you want to avoid the intense heat of summer. There were very few tourists in the city compared to normal (probably due to the Covid travel restrictions) so we were able to visit St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel with no problems or queuing. This would have been unheard of in other times.
I wanted to share some photos with you from my wanderings around the city. There is a mix so I hope you enjoy them.
Inside St Peter’s. What can I say. It was an overwhelming experience to be here. It’s absolutely huge and full of beauty. This is where it is said the tomb of Peter, disciple of Jesus, was found. You hopefully can get some idea of the scale from the size of the people. I felt like an ant.
Statue of the Angel Michael at Castel Saint Angelo who is said to have appeared in a vision to the Pope of the time in response to their prayers to announce the end of the Plague. If only Covid would end in the same way.
Typical side street filled with restaurants. Sunday was busy with families eating out. The city had a lovely relaxing feel to it. It felt very safe.
Queuing for the delicious Trapizzino in the local neighbourhood.
So dear readers, God willing I should be in Rome on Thursday for a short trip to visit my youngest daughter who is working there. I’m really looking forward to visiting this historic city. The beautiful St Peter’s Basilica and seeing it’s stunning interior. Hopefully I will also get to visit the Sistine Chapel and see the famous painted ceiling with my own eyes.
Paul desired to go to Rome because it was God’s Will revealed to him even though he knew what awaited him there, chains and death. I don’t think I would be so keen to go if I knew that awaited me. Paul redeemed the years whilst under house arrest in Rome wisely by teaching and writing and continuing to share his faith even in those difficult circumstances. What an example of perseverance under trial. Paul took every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus.
“Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” Acts 28:30-31
I hope I can also make the most of this God given opportunity and have some inspiration to share in my blogs on my return. What awaits me praise God should not be imprisonment like Paul (unless I unwittingly break the complicated Covid travel rules) 🤔😷 🤪.
Paul’s letter to the Romans includes some of my favourite bible verses:
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:7-11
The beauty of the gospel message summed up in theses verses is that it’s for everyone because we were all sinners who needed a Saviour. There is no-one who is not able to be saved through faith in Jesus. Jesus has redeemed us through His sacrifice and cleansed us by His blood so we are now reconciled to God. We are saved from God’s wrath to come and judgement. Praise God.
I’ll finish with these encouraging verses:
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38- 39
As a Christian, I have heard quite a number of sermons and teachings over the years about finding our purpose in God. This can cause some confusion or worry for believers especially if they think they haven’t yet found their purpose. If that is how you feel today then can I encourage you to remember and refocus on our primary purpose which is to glorify God.
That is what I have been taught over the years. That man’s purpose is to glorify God. It is my understanding that there is no greater way to honour and glorify God than in believing on His son, Jesus Christ who was sent by the Father to save us from our sins, taking up our cross daily and following Jesus. Living our lives each day as Jesus showed us.
A key part of glorifying God is in and through our prayer lives. If I want to glorify God then I must humble myself and pray. God on the throne in my life. Prayer reminds me daily that God is on the throne. God who is mighty and powerful loves us and cares for us. God leads us and guides us as we pray. Prayer is so beneficial. I have not found or ever heard a good reason not to pray.
Prayer is so powerful and it brings about change as God hears and answers. We align ourselves with God’s purposes and plans. His Kingdom reigns in us. Jesus taught his followers how to pray. Yet my experience is that we can easily forget and neglect to prioritise prayer in our lives. It can be so easy when we are busy to sacrifice our prayer lives to other things when the first priority should be prayer and reading God’s Word.
I have been so challenged about my prayer life since reading dear brother Alan’s post on Prayer Warriors Needed. So I had to do something in response to that challenge. I have had a good look at my prayer life and found it is lacking in terms of the time and energy I give to prayer. I could make excuses but I won’t. You may wonder what I mean, as if you follow and read my blogs, you will know that I do pray, seek God and hear from him. I am blessed with spiritual gifts but I know in my heart and I discern the conviction of the Holy Spirit to really consider more deeply my prayer life and to prioritise it. I accept that my prayer life has not been glorifying to God. There is so much more. Forgive me Lord.
I was also reminded of a series of teachings I did many years ago on prayer, which I am encouraged to re-work as bite sized blog posts to encourage us and help others to pray. I hope these coming posts will help other believers to understand more about prayer and develop a lifestyle of prayer. Passionate Prayerful People.
Before we realise it sometimes, we can get caught up with teachings or books promoting the latest “best thing” or “new thing” in Christian living especially if there is a hunger for God and the power of the Holy Spirit to move in and through us for His glory and the salvation of souls.
I am not criticising those things (unless of course they are false teachings which then please clearly avoid) but firstly, can I recommend that we take stock of where we are. Have a self examination. Let us ask ourselves. How is my prayer life? If like me you have found it is not what it once was or you haven’t yet developed a prayer life then focus on change in that area. Prioritise developing a healthy and powerful life of prayer which will revolutionise not only your life but I believe also the lives of those around you. Let’s become Passionate Powerful Prayers.
Do you need some joy in your hearts today my friends? A re-discovering of the joy in knowing the love of Jesus that is down deep in our hearts – a deep, deep, deep joy.
I was reminded this week of the deep, deep, deep down joy of the Lord. Have you experienced and can you remember that deep, deep, joy of when you found Jesus as Lord and Saviour. When you realised that you were forgiven, loved, cleaned up, restored, healed, redeemed and part of God’s family.
There is a praise song about that deep, deep, deep joy found in Jesus. It’s a children’s song but the words are so profound we adults can definitely benefit from the reminder that because of Jesus we have a deep, deep, well of joy inside us that we can tap into. It’s rooted deep in our hearts.
When things get tough and we are going through hardships, trials and all sorts of tests we need to dig deep into our faith. The Joy of the Lord is our strength and how precious it is to know that deep down in the reserves of our heart and soul there is that deep, deep, deep joy just waiting to be re-discovered.
If you need a reminder of that joy today (and you might think this is a bit silly) but I encourage you to have a listen to the words of this children’s praise song again – I hope it will have you smiling, tapping your toes and singing along before you realise it. You might even have a dance around the kitchen!! I dare you. Guaranteed joy x.
Then is such a little word but it is can be so powerful. It’s a word which speaks of change. There is a before and THEN something happens which changes the story.
In Genesis, we read the story of Noah. The flood has come upon the earth and Noah, his family and the animals are in the ark. They obeyed God’s instructions and went into the Ark and then God shut the door.
“So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.” Genesis 7:16 NKJV
It was after obedience that the THEN came and God shut the door. Sometimes, we are waiting for God to act and the THEN to happen but we maybe haven’t done our part to enable the THEN. Something at our end needs to change.
There is an often quoted portion of scripture which contains one of the most powerful THENs in the bible.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
Prayer changes things and brings about the THEN. If we want to see change then let us seek God’s Will and act on it. Let us be Prayer Warriors for change.
Happy New Year to all of you. May you be blessed with the peace of God. As I have been praying today and asking the Lord about the coming New Year, these are the words that I heard in my spirit – Action Stations!
Action Stations – it’s the command that is used to tell everyone to get ready immediately to do the particular jobs that they have been given to do. Ready for Action.
Everyone has an assigned role and is prepared, ready, confident to play their part and equipped ready for action. Committed to the common cause at hand once the signal for action is given. Everyone ready to do their part when called upon to act or when they see the need to act. Soldiers ready to go into battle. Sound familiar.
So I believe that is what the Lord wants me to hear today – Get ready Nicola – Action Stations. I also believe that is what the Lord wants us to hear today – Get ready my children – Action Stations.
As I listened to what the Lord was speaking to my heart today – I wrote down the following. Please read, pray and test and hold onto the good and Godly and discard whatever does not sit well with you. This is what I heard.
My Children have been in a season of preparation but now it is the time to take Action Stations. To be in position, prepared and ready to move on My command and in My timing.
This is the time to listen carefully and act on My Rhema Word that I decree. As I spoke to the churches in Revelation so will My Holy Word come through the Spirit of God to bring direction and clear guidance to My people.
This is the time to be equipped and ready My children so that you are not deceived and led astray by the evil one. His days are short as he knows and he will try to deceive, distract and cause you to stumble but My power, My anointing will be on you so that you will overcome by the power of your testimony and that you will lay down to surrender all to Me. Fully surrendered and prepared. Rooted in Me, Rooted in My Word and nourished and fed by My Holy Word, My Bread – the bread of life.
You will hear me very clearly My children. Those who are prepared for action will spring into action – They are ready.
Those of you who are not ready – hearken to My voice. Be ready. For you know not what hour the Master will come so be prepared for action. Be ready when I send you out to do all that I have for you to do.
Know the day of Action is just ahead – you will be called to Action. None who have My name upon them will be left out or overlooked. All will hear the call to Action. The trumpet will sound and all will hear who bear My name.
Take up your Action Station and Be ready to respond to Me. Amen.
The Lord then brought these bible verses to mind:
Matthew 25:13 “Watch, therefore for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming”.
Revelation 3 2-3: “Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard, hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch I will come upon you as a thief and you will not know what hour I will come upon you”.
Jude 1:24 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”
Isaiah 55:2 “Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance”.