Then…

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.

Dear brother Alan posted the other day about prayer warriors still being required. You can read that post here which I recommend if you have not yet read it. https://devotionaltreasure.wordpress.com/2021/12/31/2022-prayer-warriors-still-required.

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.

Bless you my friends.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

547 days..God’s perfect timing

My dear friends, I want to share a reworking of this post today from last new year’s Eve 2020. It was a specific time when the Lord got my attention very clearly about timing and being prepared. God’s timing is perfect in every way. His ways are not our ways. The Lord prepares and uses each one of us for the good works He prepared for each one of us to do. What has God prepared for you and I today and each day my dear friend for His glory to be shown among the nations?

This is what I discovered last year:

I was reading back through my prayer journal and something I had written from a church prayer meeting on 3 July 2019 got my attention. I had written 547 days. That was all.

As I was curious, I decided to find out when 547 days was and so did a google search. I searched backwards.

The result blew me away. It was the exact same date of the prayer meeting 3/7/2019 when I made that note.

So what was the Lord saying on that night in 2019 and why was He on this New Year’s Eve 2020 pointing towards it now.

On that night of 3 July 2019 there was a call to preparation.

God said that He was calling the lost and were we ready to receive them.

I believe God is asking us the same question today. Are we ready to receive the lost?

When there is an incredible revival of people coming to Jesus Christ then we as believers need to be equipped and ready to teach, shepherd, disciple and restore the lost.

There will be a great need to establish sound doctrine and teaching on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of our faith and teaching the whole gospel. Sound biblical teaching.

To see people baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

To see people set free and healed from the effects of their pasts and discover true freedom in Christ Jesus.

In 2008, I had a vision of a small cloud and God reminded me of the bible story of Elijah at Mount Carmel after the defeat of the false prophets of Baal. After the fire, Elijah prayed for rain and sent his servant back to check for any signs of rain coming as he had already heard the sound of rain in the spirit.

On the 7th time of looking the cloud was seen and Elijah knew the rain was on its way so he hitched up his garments and ran. He ran so fast that he overtook the kings chariot. There was a deluge of rain.

I believe God is encouraging us to look and listen and discern what is coming and understand what He is doing in these days so that we are not unprepared but are like the virgins with our oil ready and more in reserve.

I pray that all God’s people and those called as Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers appointed for these days will rise up for the days ahead to prepare the body of Christ for maturity and to be ready and prepared for all that God is calling us to do in these days.

That each one of us believers will be rooted in Christ, will grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and will discover the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has given each of us. That we will be bold in our witness for Jesus and our faith and the reason for our hope. That our family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues will know that we are followers of Christ and where to come in times of need. When people need answers or have needs which only God can provide.

Bless you all in Jesus name.

Awake Awake

My dear friends, I was awoken in the early hours by the sound of a loud alarm clock. It was only one long note before the sound stopped but it was loud enough to waken me. I looked at my clock and it wasn’t my alarm clock that had sounded but the sound was so loud I thought my alarm had gone off.

I believe it was a sound in the heavens which had woken me. This has happened to me before and so the Lord was getting my attention. I checked my previous posts and it is 3 months to the day that I posted this post called Awake, Awake which was also a repost of 3 words. Perhaps there is someone who will be blessed by this today. Please follow the links and they will take you to each post.

Morning my friends. The Lord has reminded me of 3 words which I posted in 2020 which started with a post called “Awake Awake”. This post is a warning that the Lord God is a God who will judge righteously. We are called as followers of Jesus to stand for truth, justice and righteousness and not conform to this world. It’s a call to be ready and persevere in the times we are in. Trust in God.

I am re-posting these words again as I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. Please read them again or for the first time. I hope they bless you and speak to us all in some way for God’s glory and to advance His Kingdom. Perhaps there is a word in season for someone that will speak to their heart today.

The second post that linked to Awake Awake was The Heavenly Steed which talks of Jesus’ second coming and the glorious horse that bears Him. A reminder that Jesus is Lord and is coming again. The time is set and will not be delayed. He is the King of Glory. It’s a call to salvation for those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord. Call on Him whilst He is near and there is time.

The third word in the series is Take hold of today – Make it count which reminds us as followers of Christ that we are called to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus and do His good works. The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in each one of us who has been born again into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus. One day we will each give an account to our loving Master Jesus.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Time for a Stretch

Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited”. Isaiah 54:2-3

I want to share this word of encouragement that was brought at our prayer meeting a few weeks ago as I was reminded of it today by the Lord. It may also be a timely encouragement for someone reading.

Many of us, if not all of us around the world, have been through a season of confinement and restriction. If you picture a baby in the womb the limbs are all restricted but when the baby is born it is released from its confinement and can fully stretch into its new environment.

There are people reading this who have found themselves in this position but now I believe we are coming into a season of birthing of new opportunities and it’s time to stretch out in the Lord. We are to be expectant. There is fresh vision that the Lord is releasing and doors being opened which will require us to step out of our comfort zones. To stretch ourselves.

The problem is that we can get too used to being in that place of confinement. There is some security and comfort in being there. We become settled but it’s time for a bit of unsettling for growth. Time for a stretch.

My friend was reminded of her time as a PE teacher. The children used to crouch down and make themselves as small as possible and then they slowly started to uncurl, stand up and then stretch themselves as tall as they could possibly be, reaching as tall as possible. Try it. It feels great.

Do not despise the day of small beginnings says the Lord because there is going to be expansion and fruitfulness in the Kingdom. God can do abundantly more than we can think or imagine so let us not restrict the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. Let’s stretch out as God leads us. We walk by faith and not by sight.

The first thing a baby does when air gets in the lungs is cry. The baby finds their voice for the first time. For some this time of stretching will mean you find your voice for the first time. You are being released to speak God’s truths and your voice will be heard. You will make yourselves heard and find your voice. God will bring opportunity to speak for Him in places and to people that you would have not thought possible.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Have a good stretch

The Good News

“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.”
― Carl F. H. Henry

We have been privileged and blessed as a church fellowship this weekend to have Simon Guillebaud come and speak to us for our Kingdom Weekend when we focus on missions both near and far.

Simon has been a missionary in Burundi and shared his story of how God took him to that African nation and the incredible way that God has used him and his fellow believers in that country to show the love of God and salvation through faith in Jesus.

Simon came with the purpose of stirring our faith and exhorting us as believers in Christ to share the Good News that we have received wherever God has called and appointed us to be His witnesses. He warned against the dangers of apathy and other distractions of life which can interfere with our sense of urgency to share the Good News.

Simon’s teaching this morning was from the passage in Romans 10 verses 9-15

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

So fellow believers in Christ how wonderful it is that we are the bearers of Good News but as Simon reminded us today as Carl F.H. Henry said: “The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.

I have an encouraging testimony to share with you about how the Lord answered our prayer for the Good News to be given in time for someone. My friend’s son was diagnosed with terminal cancer just before Christmas last year. He has undergone much chemotherapy and is now on his second course but the Consultants have told him that it is terminal and he does not have much time left. We have prayed for him that he will hear and receive the Good News of salvation before it is too late. My friend has shared the gospel with her son but sometimes with family they won’t really “hear” what you say to them. I am sure if you have family who are not saved then you can identify with that.

We had been praying that the Lord would put someone else across his path. He lives hundreds of miles away from us. Last week the Lord answered those prayers. During a visit to the hospital a man (a complete stranger) asked my friend’s son if he had faith and then proceeded to share Jesus with him and why he needed salvation. Wow – thank the Lord that this man who we do not know was faithful and obedient to share the good news and that the message “got there in time“. My friend’s son called his Mum to tell her about this and we now pray that he will respond – our responsibility is to be obedient to share our faith but it is for the person who hears to respond. We cannot do that part for them but we continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will convict him, his heart will be softened and he will call on the Lord and be saved.

Lord today I pray that those who need to hear the message of salvation, the Good News will hear it and receive it in time. Stir our hearts with a sense of urgency our dear Lord and Father to share the good news when we have opportunity to do so. Thank you Jesus for the privilege of being co-workers for your Kingdom. Amen

First Snow

Don’t get toooooo excited but we woke up to our first snow of the winter today as a result of storm Arwen. It wasn’t very much but it was still snow. We don’t get much snow where I live so for the children it’s great excitement. Making snowmen, sledging and all the fun things then you get cold, wet and can’t wait to head back in 🤣

I posted yesterday about our sins being washed away and becoming as white as snow in Pure Whites by Jesus’s blood and posted this bible verse:

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities”. Psalm 51

I love the snow and so it’s wonderful that it gives me another opportunity to blog these bible verses again today and be thankful for salvation in Jesus who cleanses us from all our sins. As I enjoy the snow today I am reminded again of this truth.

Bless you my friends and have a joyous day.

The dog enjoying his morning walk in the snow

Pure Whites

Pure whites

After a recent time of fellowship and ministry during which we took communion, my friend had a picture of pure white washing pegged out on a clothes line.

It’s a simple picture really but it spoke deeply to me about who I am now in Christ. I’m as clean as that white washing.

In order to be truly cleansed from sin and it’s effects it can only be through faith in what Jesus has done for me through his death and resurrection. I believe as a Christian that we receive forgiveness for our sins through confessing our sins, repenting of them and believing Jesus has paid the price for our wrongdoing. As a follower of Jesus, I believe that it is Jesus’ sacrifice and his blood alone which has cleansed me from sin.

You might not feel clean like that or might feel you still have some dirty linen but there is no stain or dirt that can’t be made clean, pure and washed as white as the washing in this picture. Just like new. No stains, no grey, no streaks, no spots no matter how filthy. How do I know this? The bible tells me and I believe it.

Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

When we as followers of Jesus take Communion and we break bread together and drink the wine, we remember the Lord’s death until He comes again. We remember with thanksgiving all Jesus has done for us. We have opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to convict us if there is anything we need to confess or put right before we take Communion.

When we were in lockdown many did not have the opportunity to take Communion together. As I joined with my brothers and sisters in Christ this week I was reminded how powerful it is when we recall and thank God for what Jesus did for us all through His being broken for us and being poured out for us. How powerful it is to confess and release sin in my life and receive cleansing.

He (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Matthew 26:27-28

Jesus shed His own precious blood so that we can be cleansed from sin. A free gift of grace that is available to everyone no matter who we are. The bible tells us that all have sinned so all need to take this cup of forgiveness. Have you my dear friend? It’s freely available to you. If you want to be truly clean then I believe there is no other way.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Acts 2:38-39

Do you hear the Lord calling you to repentance? I pray that you will hear and respond to God’s grace and mercy today and be ever thankful to God who through His great love has reached down from heaven and rescued us from sin and death. Praise God.

Six Things…no wait 7

Ephesians 5:8-10 – “Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases God”

As followers of Jesus we are to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. The bible tells us about 6 things, actually 7 behaviours that God does not like at all.

I’m sure you’d agree that some of these behaviours we too would think are extremely bad but some like being proud or telling lies we could be tempted to ignore but this is what Proverbs 6:16 tells us:

“Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,

a tongue that lies,

hands that murder the innocent; and

a heart that hatches evil plots,

feet that race down a wicked track,

a mouth that lies under oath, and

.

a troublemaker in the family”

Lord we want to live our lives in ways that are pleasing to you. Help us keep our feet on the paths of your right ways as you reveal to us in your precious Word, the Bible. Let us live today and tomorrow lives that are pleasing to you as we walk out our faith in your son, Jesus Christ. May your Holy Spirit convict our hearts of sin and wrong and may we turn in repentance to you through the richness of the grace and mercy that you pour out through Jesus on us as your children. Thank you Lord that when you look at us who are hidden in Christ Jesus you see your Son in whom you were well pleased. Thank you that in Jesus and through the work of the Holy Spirit we are empowered to live a life pleasing to you. Praise God. Amen

Seeing is believing? 👀

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. I’ll call it a conversation but it did get a bit heated on his part. He was convinced that if God would just turn up out of the blue and show himself then a lot more people who have no faith (like him) would start to believe in God. He thinks that if God did this then people would stop behaving so badly and there wouldn’t be so much evil in the world. Mmm🤔

My friend wants God to pop up out of thin air- a bit like the genie from Aladdin’s lamp- before he will believe. He’s disappointed because in his opinion if God existed then God isn’t doing enough to stop all the evil and bad things. He doesn’t understand (yet) that God has already provided the answer in Jesus and that it’s God’s loving mercy that is giving people the chance to find Him before it’s judgment time.

I guess my friend is not alone in thinking like this and there are people who want to see God appear for themselves before they will believe. For my friend seeing is believing-but what is seeing and many people are blinded to the truth by Satan or are wilfully blind from seeing. My friend certainly was not going to believe my testimony or anything I told him. His mind is made up (at the moment) and he thinks I’m deluded as a Christian believer 🙁

However, the truth we read in the bible tells us that since the world was created God has made Himself known and revealed Himself to mankind. God walked with Adam & Eve regularly in the garden and talked to them before sin separated them and consequently us from His presence.

God appeared to Abraham and made a covenant with him. God hid Moses in the gap in a rock and caused all His goodness to pass before Moses. Moses couldn’t see God’s face because as God said -no-one could look on His face and live.

God revealed Himself to His chosen people, the Israelites, but they still even with all the miracles and incredible things they witnessed of God with their own eyes still went their own ways, did wicked things and didn’t obey His commands. This is unfortunately the reality of human behaviour.

These were the same people who saw God come down for themselves in a thick cloud on Mount Sinai but the manifested presence of God was too much for the people to cope with. They were too afraid of His awesome and powerful presence when the cloud of His glory came down and they witnessed its effect around them. The mountain cracked, there was thunder and smoke and there was fire. It was a terrifying sight. Moses and the elders went up the mountain though because they had prepared and purified themselves to meet God.

Then they climbed the mountain—Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel—and saw the God of Israel. He was standing on a pavement of something like sapphires—pure, clear sky-blue. He didn’t hurt these pillar-leaders of the Israelites: They saw God; and they ate and drank.”
Exodus 24 9-11

If God in all His glory and power did make an appearance as my friend wants then my friend wouldn’t be able to cope with the reality. He’d be struck down in fear at the glory of God. If God appeared as he did on Mount Sinai then my friend would be completely undone because of God’s holiness.

However, God did the most amazing thing out of His great love for us so that people could see Him and touch Him and get to know Him. He came in the flesh as Jesus as a baby. The people of the time saw Jesus with their own eyes, touched him, saw all the miracles and good Jesus did but yet again they still rejected him and didn’t change their ways.

To see Jesus was to see the Father. Jesus revealed God.

Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”

“You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act. “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. John 14:8-9

The wonderful truth for us as believers is that God is also present here now with us as the Holy Spirit. We can’t see the Holy Spirit but we know His presence and we see the evidence of His work and power in us and through us in the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit whether through gifts of healing, speaking in tongues, prophecy etc. We don’t see the wind but we know it exists and we feel it and see where it blows. So it is with the Holy Spirit. I don’t need to see the wind to believe in it or to see the air that I breathe.

Jesus told a parable about the rich man in hell who wanted his family to be warned about hell so that they would not go through the torment he was experiencing. The rich man believed that if Lazarus was sent back from the dead and spoke to his family as a witness then they would change their ways and believe. Sadly Jesus knew that even that wouldn’t convince them because they already had unbelief in their hearts.

The rich man said, ‘Then let me ask you, Father: Send him (Lazarus) to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment.’ “Abraham answered, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them.’ “‘I know, Father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but they’re not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways.’ “Abraham replied, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:27,29-31

I think Jesus summed it up with these words to his disciple Thomas.

“But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”

Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.
John 20:24,26-29

How amazing, Jesus tells us that we who have believed in Him without seeing with our own eyes have better blessings in store.

The sadness for me is for those, like my friend, who are blinded to the truth of the gospel. I pray that their eyes are opened to see Jesus and know Him and the truth by the power of the Holy Spirit. To understand their sin and need for God’s forgiveness and that God exists and has shown His love for them by sending Jesus to die in their place. May they come to know God and be reconciled to Him through the death and resurrection of Jesus before it is too late. May their hearts be softened and faith take root. Amen.

Awake Awake

Morning my friends. The Lord has reminded me of 3 words which I posted in 2020 which started with a post called “Awake Awake”. This post is a warning that the Lord God is a God who will judge righteously. We are called as followers of Jesus to stand for truth, justice and righteousness and not conform to this world. It’s a call to be ready and persevere in the times we are in. Trust in God.

I am re-posting these words again as I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. Please read them again or for the first time. I hope they bless you and speak to us all in some way for God’s glory and to advance His Kingdom. Perhaps there is a word in season for someone that will speak to their heart today.

The second post that linked to Awake Awake was The Heavenly Steed which talks of Jesus’ second coming and the glorious horse that bears Him. A reminder that Jesus is Lord and is coming again. The time is set and will not be delayed. He is the King of Glory. It’s a call to salvation for those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord. Call on Him whilst He is near and there is time.

The third word in the series is Take hold of today – Make it count which reminds us as followers of Christ that we are called to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus and do His good works. The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in each one of us who has been born again into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus. One day we will each give an account to our loving Master Jesus.

Have a blessed day my friends.