Mountains..

I was having a look back in my journal today and noticed that earlier this year I had made a few scribbled notes about mountains. As I read my notes again, I realised that this year I have certainly and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, encountered some “mountains” in my life. Mountains I didn’t even know existed especially pre COVID 19!

I’ve realised that sometimes these mountains just have to be conquered. It would be much easier to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist, to try and find another easier way around them (my preference usually if I’m honest) but if we are to make progress in life then I have learnt that they have to be tackled.

These mountains, and they certainly come in all different shapes and sizes and may be different for each of us, have to be climbed and overcome. These are the experiences that God uses to teach us. We persevere and as we do so we encounter the love and faithfulness of God who walks with us each step of the way. He strengthens us and equips us.

The satisfaction we get when we eventually stand on the top, that sense of achievement knowing that we can do it ….when we see life from a different perspective is awesome. We see things we couldn’t see on the way up…hidden things become revealed. We get new perspective.

It can be done. Nothing is impossible with God

Some mountains of opposition are intended to be crushed under our feet. Strongholds that need to be brought down and demolished through the authority of Christ Jesus and the Word of God. We crucify our flesh and walk in the Spirit. We take captive thoughts and imaginations and submit them to Christ.

“ Who are you , oh great mountain, before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain “. Ezekiel 4:7

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. 2 Cor 10:4

Strongholds can be demolished

Some mountains are to be moved in faith…Jesus said to them. “If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible” Some mountains in our lives which are blocking us need to be be moved out of the way by faith. Mountains of insecurity, doubt, anxiety, inferiority…choosing instead to believe what the bible says and not what I think or what others say about me.

Other mountains we can leap on and over like a deer as the Lord fills us with His joy. It is amazing that we can experience the joy of the Lord despite the realities of our current difficulties and circumstances. We don’t deny those difficulties but we can rise above them as we praise Him and as we dance with the knowledge of the joy of our salvation. We can jump with joy on the mountains.

“The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deers feet ..and He will make me walk on the high hills”. Habakkuk 3:19.

James 1:2. “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience but let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.”

God is there on the mountains. God met Moses on the mountain. He meets us in our circumstances too. God came down but Moses also had to choose to go up. It was a fearful sight to behold and the mountain trembled, there was smoke and fire. It required boldness and faith to approach the mountain of God.

“Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire…..Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”

Moses did not let fear hold him back. He overcame any fear of approaching the mountain of God’s presence. Do not let fear hold you back either. The Lord says do not fear because the truth is as the bible says that we have not come to the mountain that cannot be touched. In Christ we can have confidence that we can boldly approach God’s throne of grace for help in times of need. Jesus has made the way and prepared the way for us.

There is good news we can still receive in every mountain of our life. For every difficult situation we have the word of God to comfort us, guide us, encourage us, lift us and remind us of the hope we have in Jesus our Saviour.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of Him who bring good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings, who proclaims salvation,”. Isaiah 52:7

What is the mountain you are facing today? Be encouraged it will not defeat you.

“Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth. You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small and make hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away and the whirlwind shall scatter them, you shall rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel”

Blessings to you in Jesus.

A course correction – the right direction

The Lord has been speaking these same words “a course correction” to me over the last month or so. It has certainly got my attention and through various scriptures and pictures, I keep coming back to this theme of a “course correction”. As I have been reading and praying, I believe that the Lord is emphasising that whether it is on a personal level or even governmental and national – there is need of a “course correction”.

I have this sense that some may have gone “off course” in terms of following God, or in doing what God wants us to do in our lives or doing what is pleasing to Him. The degree of “course correction” required is going to vary depending on how far we have wandered from the right path or direction that God wants to take us. It could be just a small correction or adjustment to get us back on track or if we are going in the wrong direction entirely then it will mean a complete “U” turn – whether that is in terms of mindsets and/or behaviors to get back on track.

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For some I believe it means they will find the right way in God through Jesus for the first time. It will be a complete revelation of truth to them. They will hear the good news and receive the gospel and believe. There could be opposition, trouble and persecution to this new direction in life and for some people it will mean going in the opposite direction to those around you – people you may have journeyed through life with for a long time. There will be challenging times ahead but Jesus will journey with you and take you through.

You might be led to take a different path and for some there may be a literal parting of ways with certain people – this even happened with the Apostle Paul when he parted ways with Barnabas and they went in different directions in their missionary journey. I see this happening in certain ministries – people are going to part company but God will show the timing of this and trust Him to give you peace about the decision. It may mean for those who do not discern God’s hand and direction that there could be hurts along the way and difficulties to overcome, so I pray for God’s grace in these situations and a covering of protection of hearts & minds. That no root of bitterness will spring up or jealousy among fellow believers leading to disunity and trouble.

At the start of Covid 19 we certainly seemed to be having a time of “reset” and people took the opportunity of an enforced lockdown to review lots of aspects of their lives. Even Churches were not immune and had to review their practices and make changes to the way that they functioned in terms of meeting together, teaching & helping each other and their local communities. Lots of changes were made, there was innovation & new practices undertaken – but recently people seem to be wanting to get back to “normal”.

People are saying more and more that they can’t wait until things return to normal. I can understand this because there has been a lot of confusion and changes of rules/regulations and this has unsettled us -there are restrictions on our every day lives and we are longing for a return to normality, but I don’t think God wants us to return to the old “normal”. I believe God really wants us to embrace a course correction. God does not want us to return to old habits and ways of doing things especially if they were wrong. There is something better that God has for us.

The Lord first got my attention on a “course correction” with a reading in the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was a prophet in the Old Testament and in Chapter 2 he says “I will stand my watch and set myself on the ramparts and watch to see what He (God) will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected“.

Habakkuk actively sought correction from God – he prepared himself to listen and receive it but in my experience (this may just be me) -we usually try and avoid correction or disciplining. I don’t think I have met anyone yet who really likes being disciplined and told they are wrong but it is good for us and its necessary. We can make wrong choices or we move and act impulsively or at the wrong time. God loves us and correcting us is a sign of His love for us – If we are children of God then it is a given that He will correct us. As a loving Father, God wants to correct us and show us when we are “off course”. God wants the best for us. He showed Habakkuk plainly – God said “write the vision and make it plain i.e. clear so that he may run who reads it” – in other words God speaks clearly to us through His word and shows us what is required for Godly living.

When I was thinking about this scripture from Habakkuk the Lord showed me a picture of a sail boat. It was just a small simple boat with a sail and a person sitting at the helm with his hand on the tiller. The tiller is the “course corrector” – without the tiller the boat would just go with the currents, the winds & tides which would dictate its course. However, the sailor constantly adjusts the pressure on the tiller to keep the boat going in the right direction. God is the tiller in our lives. There is always going to be a “wind” or a “current” in our lives which tries to influence us and take us in a certain direction. It’s identifying which is prevailing and influencing the direction of my life – is it culture, relationships, work, fears, lies, anxieties, my desires, my assumptions etc. there are so many things – or am I allowing the word of God and the breath of the Holy Spirit to lead me in the right way – with my eyes fixed on Jesus. It’s challenging to take time and ask God to identify what is truly influencing our decisions and the direction we are travelling.

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The good news is that Jesus comes to set us back on track if we are going the wrong way. Jesus set two of His followers back on the right course. In Luke 24 starting at verse 13, we read the story of two followers of Jesus, one named Cleopas, who were travelling from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus. Both had been in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified and were discussing everything that had happened with Jesus’ death and also the story that the women had told them that morning of Jesus’ tomb being empty. They were confused, sad and didn’t know what to believe. They had now left Jerusalem & the other believers – we are not told why- and were travelling to Emmaus – 7 miles away – going in the wrong direction. Jesus took the time to go and meet them on the road and explain the truth to them – he took them through the scriptures and explained the truth about the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament. These men both knew Jesus but they didn’t immediately recognise Jesus on the road but something compelled them not to let this “stranger” go on but to hear more from Him. The story ends with them doing a “U” turn and heading back to Jerusalem.

I love this story – Jesus shows His love and compassion as the good shepherd for these two followers. He actively seeks them out because they are headed in the wrong direction but they don’t realise it. They need to be in Jerusalem. They need to go back to where they headed out from. Jesus eventually reveals himself to them when they all sit down to eat & break bread together (this speaks to me of a time of intimacy and fellowship) and then immediately once they recognise Jesus it all makes sense – they get up and head back to Jerusalem – even though it is late at night to tell the rest of the disciples the good news – Jesus is alive – He has been resurrected.

This story made me think – What would have happened if those two followers had not returned to Jerusalem. Not only did they encourage and immediately witness about Jesus’ resurrection to the other disciples when they returned which must have had an impact especially when their story was verified when Jesus appeared again to all of them there, but I also think they could have missed out on receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit which Jesus had promised His followers. It is not recorded in scripture, but I do believe those two men were part of those 120 who were recorded as gathered in the upper room in the Acts of the Apostles and received the infilling and power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not want them to miss out on the fullness of what He had promised and it’s the same for you and I today. Jesus does not want us to miss out on the fullness of what He died and rose from death to give us – life in all its abundance.

I think Jesus wants to cause an intervention in some lives to get us back on track. We hear of “interventions” being made in secular terms – someone might be in a desperate situation and there has to be an “intervention” by friends or authorities to get them to stop and change – to get them to realise truth. Jesus does the same and the New Testament is full of stories of Jesus intervening in people’s lives and totally changing them and their circumstances. The apostle Paul is another example who comes to mind- Jesus meets him on the road to Damascus and totally changes the direction of his life – instead of persecuting and killing Christians as Saul – he becomes Paul – a believer and follower of Christ who becomes a witness of Jesus – an apostle and missionary.

Isaiah 55 v 7 says “Let the wicked forsake his way, …….Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God for He will abundantly pardon”. The good news of Jesus is that salvation -believing in Jesus and accepting Him into our lives – the biggest course corrector to lead us back into fellowship with God – is available to everyone. Repenting means doing a “U” turn – a “turn around” – turning away from our former sinful and self-centered lives – and following Jesus as a disciple. It is not too late to make that decision to get off the wide path that Jesus says leads to destruction and instead choose to take the narrow path which Jesus guides us to and puts our feet on – the path of salvation and to eternal life with God. Restoration in all its fullness.

And what of those of us who are followers of Christ already- where could we possible need a course correction. Jesus speaks to the churches in Revelation and showed them some course corrections needed -Firstly – the church who had forgotten their first love. I was really convicted of this recently – My love for Jesus – it needed rekindling. My passion for Him as I had at first as a young believer – when I first came to know Him and love Him. Those verses in Revelation 2:4 spoke right into my heart “I have this against you – that you have left your first love”. Remember from where you have fallen – repent – a course corrector – it’s always first and foremost about Jesus. It’s about our relationship with Him. It’s not what we do but why we do it – Jesus is the reason – our love for Him.

It’s not just losing our first love, Jesus also points out in these early chapters of Revelation the churches who are tolerating immorality, idolatry, false teachings, tolerating false prophets, the indifferent church – neither hot nor cold and the dead church – having a name for being alive but actually dead. Jesus has words of correction to all these churches but also words of encouragement to keep the churches on the right paths of His presence and teachings. To help them get back on track and overcome all trials and temptations just as Jesus did – with His guidance and the Holy Spirit at work in us and through us. We, who are the Church – the body of Christ – a living, breathing body with Christ as our head need to take these words of Jesus on board – They are relevant to these times that we are living in. What is Jesus saying to His church today – what words of correction is He bringing to us.

I pray that this blog will be an encouragement, challenge and help to you. It may resonate with you and may you be blessed in Jesus’ precious name.

Truth will always out

Matthew 5 v 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. 

There is a very dramatic scene in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” when Lady Macbeth is observed at night sleep walking and “washing” her hands over and over in an attempt to clean them from the “blood” which only she can see on her hands.      She keeps repeating over and over “out damned spot out” but no matter how often she cleans her hands it has no effect.    The “blood” is still there and she knows it. 

Those watching her think she has gone mad because they cannot see any blood on her hands.     As far as they know she hasn’t murdered anyone or spilled blood– her hands are to all intents and purposes clean.     

Her unconscious actions whilst asleep however betray the truth.  

Lady Macbeth was to all intents and purposes a murderer. She had persuaded her husband to murder the King and now she was suffering from guilt and revealing through her actions what had previously been hidden in her heart.      Her heart was certainly not pure as it was full of murderous thoughts, jealousy and scheming ambition.   Consequently, her apparently clean hands were not really clean at all. 

She was the ultimate hypocrite whose heart betrayed her.  

The story of Lady Macbeth is rather an extreme example but I hope it might makes us stop and think and consider our own hearts and what motivates us.   We can all put on a good show (myself included) but impurity in our thoughts and character will eventually come out no matter how much we might try to hide or pretend it’s not there.  

Jesus taught his disciples that it wasn’t enough to just observe the religious rituals of the day because it was the evil thoughts which came out of their hearts which actually defiled them and shaped their actions. 

Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrisy and wasn’t shy to challenge the religious people of the day.  

I believe Jesus issues the same challenges to us, His followers today.   

Jesus didn’t mince His words.   He called the Pharisees “whitewashed” tombs and accused them of being too concerned with appearing holy to others but actually inside they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.     

The religious leaders of the day were so meticulous in enforcing, and on the face of it obeying all the laws and traditions, but in practice they were not living out a pure life but were full of “extortion and self-indulgence”.   The outside of the cup may have been clean but not the inside.

Matthew 5 v 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. 

These words of Jesus show us that it must be possible to become pure in heart otherwise Jesus would be lying.  I believe that Jesus is truth so this statement would on that principle be true.    

The bible teaches us that we cannot be pure through our own efforts – it is impossible.  

The Old Testament points us to the need for a Saviour.    I believe that Jesus is that Saviour who makes this possible. Jesus is the only one who can make us clean from sin by His sacrifice on the Cross and His blood shed for us to cleanse us from sin. 

The apostle Paul teaches us that “Jesus loved the church and gave himself for her that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the Word in order to present her as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that she should be holy and without blemish” i.e. pure.    

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross ensures that we can daily come and take hold of His blood to cleanse and purify us.   However, we must not treat his sacrifice with contempt and pay lip service when we are convicted of sin.      True repentance means turning away from sin. Changing our behavior. Replacing the old wrong behaviors and thoughts with the right and Godly ones.

I believe in the biblical promise that one day when we die in faith we will then be with and see God.    To be absent from the body as Paul put it and present with the Lord.    However, I think that Jesus’ promise that we will see God can be evidenced in our behavior in our everyday lives.  

When we are hypocritical and our actions do not mirror what we say we believe or what God requires of us in his Word then we do not “see” God at work in our lives or in the lives of others around us.  

However, when we submit ourselves to God and allow Him to work in us and to change us by the power of the Holy Spirit, then I believe we “see” God at work in the changes we experience in our character and motives.     We become more Christ like in our attitudes and so we see God’s character reflected in us and our actions to others.   

I know for myself and I am sure that others can testify to the changes that have taken place in them since becoming Christians.   Some of the immediate changes in my behavior were more obvious and noticeable (my lifestyle changed dramatically when I came back to the Lord) and I think it can be the same for a lot of people.   The lifestyle changes are usually the first to be seen. 

However, some changes in character and behavior are a deeper work of the Holy Spirit especially if we are “blind” or don’t want to acknowledge those character flaws within us.    This is when the Word of God and applying the Word is so important as we can use the Word to hold ourselves to account.   1 Peter 2 says “Lay aside all hypocrisy –desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby” and   Romans 12:  “Let love be without hypocrisy”.  

True Christian love in our hearts will show itself through our actions.   These are certainly the days for action.

We are because of Covid 19 in a new day of opportunity in how we live out our Christian faith daily- the old pattern & structure of church attendance is not the same any more. We are not pew fillers and were never just meant to be “Sunday believers”. I believe we are now less “building focused” and more “body of Christ” focused.

I am not perfect by any means and some days the thoughts and motives of my heart are anything but pure.  I would be lying if I said otherwise, but I love the fact that God’s grace is at work in my life.  I take confidence from the fact that “He who has begun a good work in me will complete it” Phil 1:6.

It is difficult to acknowledge that our hearts might not be right before God and to humble ourselves. 

There is an encouraging prayer in the Psalms – Psalm 51 –A prayer of repentance which can help us. 

David acknowledged that he needed to be cleansed from his sins and that God “desires truth in the inward parts”.  David certainly knew what he was talking about – the sinful desires of his heart had also led him to contrive a murder (rather like our fictional Lady Macbeth) which he then tried to cover up but God revealed the truth through his prophet, Nathan.   David was truly repentant and experienced God’s redeeming love.     

Can I encourage us all that our prayer to God this week is “Create in me a clean heart O’ God”.

Shepherds – after Gods own heart

“Then I will give you Shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding”. Jeremiah 3:15

We live in times when good shepherds are certainly needed in the body of Christ. In Hosea, we are warned that Gods people perish or are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Ignorance is certainly not bliss and especially at these times when there is so much false news and deception out there. There are false teachings and practices which try to lead us astray.

All wisdom & knowledge are hidden in Christ Jesus. Godly shepherds will lead you in the true gospel of Jesus Christ so that we are not deceived by false doctrines or as Paul said to the Colossians “fine sounding arguments”. Their teaching will be centred on Christ Jesus and the gospel so that we are rooted in Jesus and have a solid foundation of faith to build on. We need such shepherds.

If you are blessed to have a good shepherd or shepherds in your life then value them and respect them. They are a covering for you and watch over you. They will lead you in the right direction and help you make wise decisions. If you are without such a shepherd then I pray that you will find one and God will provide such a shepherd or shepherds for you. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we need shepherds according to His heart.

Perhaps you could be such a shepherd? Is God calling you to be a shepherd and help shepherd His people.

The bible has a lot to teach us about the value of knowledge and understanding. I believe that we are living in days when God will accelerate knowledge and understanding for Christians. This will help not only us but also others, so that we can bring words of knowledge and wisdom into all sorts of situations where it is needed. Not just in Christian circles but to guide and lead in the world. To be influencers for good. To be the Daniels and Josephs for these days.

God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning to Daniel and his friends. They used this knowledge to help the King make wise decisions. God gave Joseph a strategy to prepare for a famine. He helped the Egyptians prepare for this time and saved many people in the process.

Ignorance is dangerous and wilful ignorance even more so. Burying our heads in the sand helps no one. It is our responsibility to seek out knowledge. A wise person said that foolishness is doing the same thing time and again and expecting a different result. Let’s not fall into that trap.

Confusion can lead to an inability to see clearly what needs to be done. We stagnate and can’t move forward. Fear can also result in paralysis so decisions are not made and things wither and die. If you find yourself in this position then I pray God will show you the way ahead and give you shepherds with His heart to help you along the journey.

Created for a life with God

Morning all – what another beautiful day it has been.

Creation – In the beginning God spoke.   There is always as starting point for creativity.  Your Father in Heaven is a Creator but satan is a counterfeit.

A counterfeit is a copy of the original & the unique creation.  It is merely a copy.  It looks appealing.  It looks as though it will do the job, but it can never bring that true sense of satisfaction because it will never be as good as the original.

The original has a purpose unique to it.   You are unique.  You are a created being – You were made to give glory to your Father in Heaven.  You are truly unique.   There has and never will be a good enough copy of you.   You are the original – God looked at you and said – It is GOOD.   If God can say that about you – then  please don’t say anything else about the beautiful human being that He has created you to be.

Stop living a counterfeit fake life, full of sin & deceit and start living the life which God created you to live.   A life of freedom, holiness, joy, love – A life of grace, mercy & kindness.  It is possible to throw off that old life & embrace a new life in Jesus Christ.  He was the son who knew no sin – human yet divine.   He is unique and there is none like Him.  There is only one Jesus Christ the true son of God.   Any other Jesus is just a counterfeit & a fake.

Don’t be fooled.  There is no-one else who can make a way back to Father God in Heaven – Only the true son of God – Jesus Christ.   He alone is the one true God.  He alone is the one true path of righteousness & salvation.  Believe in Him.  The true King of Kings & Lord of Lords & do not be deceived by the counterfeits.   They lead to death but Jesus leads to life and life in all its fullness.

God created you for a purpose.  He loves you and cherishes you and longs to be reunited to you.

For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him will be saved.

John 3 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

May your faith be genuine.  My your love be true and may your heart not deceive you.

Believe in Jesus and be saved.   Believe & be saved.

Alleluia to the Lamb of God – forever & ever.  For He was slain but now He lives.

Amen, Amen & Amen.

hands people friends communication
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Hey Jude – it’s good advice

Jude – it’s that small book in the bible just before Revelation – very easy to miss.    It might be small but it certainly packs a punch and it’s probably not the subject of a sermon that we hear much in church these days.   It’s key messages are as relevant for today’s church as they were when Jude wrote them.

Jude warns us to:

  1.  Watch out for people who are just pretending to be holy but abuse the grace of God & sacrifice of Jesus and keep right on sinning, then repent & sin again – especially sexual sin.  There is no intention of true repentance.  Don’t follow their example or be led astray by their behaviour.
  2. Watch out for people who despise authority -they are not submissive but proud and will not listen.  They cause division and stir up trouble.
  3. Watch out for those who speak disdainfully & disrespectfully about things they do not understand – especially things of the spirit realm.
  4. Such people are selfish & motivated by greed and a desire for recognition.   They are takers not givers.
  5. These are people who will change their opinions and allegiances – they are easily swayed.   They will agree with whatever view is popular.   They have no firm faith.
  6. These people are grumblers & faultfinders – always moaning and complaining.  Nothing is ever good enough.   They are dissatisfied & disappointed.
  7. They are boastful and living for their own pleasures – people who will flatter & manipulate for their own benefit.
  8. These people follow the flesh and not the Spirit.

We need to be aware of any such behaviour so that we do not agree with it, align ourselves with it or fall victim to it.   Jude’s advice is:

  1.  Build our faith up in Jesus,  keep praying in the Holy Spirit and rest in God’s love & mercy;
  2.  Discern those who are doubting or weak in faith – help to disciple such people and build their faith;
  3.  Show mercy and reach out to help those that are weak – treat them with compassion.      We can all stumble and fall and need a helping hand from each other.     There is a difference between those who are wilfully being disobedient to God and doing ungodly things and treating the sacrifice and blood of Jesus as an excuse to sin.
  4. Warn about the consequences of such ungodly behaviour (in a Godly & truthful way).

A day of Celebration – Beloved of God

During our time of worship this morning, I heard God say in my spirit ” Rejoice, for this is a day of Celebration.   I have brought you all to My banqueting table and My banner over each and every one of you is LOVE.    God said again, Rejoice and be glad for you have been brought out of darkness and into His glorious light.   We are now seated at His banqueting table and there is a chair for each one of us there.

God wants you to know today that you are His Beloved – His word over us today and He is speaking over each one of us – You are My Beloved.  Each one of us is His Beloved – he has no favourites – we are each His Beloved.    He sees each one of us individually and we are His Beloved.

He has clothed us with a garment of salvation (in Christ Jesus) and dressed us in a robe of righteousness.  He has written our names in the Lamb’s book of Life and He has inscribed our names onto the palms of His hands.   Each one of us is so precious to Him.

God says – Rejoice – for you are My Beloved.   My word over you to today is that you are Beloved of Me.    Hear My voice say – You are My Beloved.

I pray that you will know today how much God loves you and that you will hear Him say – YOU ARE MY BELOVED.

person holding purple badge you are loved text printed
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New shoes or

In my case new wellies!

I love that God speaks to us in the day to day things of life. If we take time to ask & listen then there is usually something to learn from what is going on around us.

Part of my daily routine is to take the dog out. The ground is so muddy at the moment from all the rain that wellies are my usual footwear.

I was halfway across the park the other day when I suddenly noticed or rather felt that something was wrong. My foot was getting wet. Weird I thought as I had only just been given these “new” wellies.

I looked down to see a large hole in the side of my welly. I looked closer and realised that I was actually wearing my “old” pair. I had grabbed them quickly on the way out the door and not realised that I had picked up the wrong ones. I now had no option but to walk all the way round the park with a very wet foot. The dog wasn’t bothered. He just wanted his walk. I was committed.

God has been speaking to me recently about new things & preparation. So what was he saying about this? Everything is a learning opportunity 😀. As I thought about it I felt God say that you have to get rid of the old things otherwise you are in danger of unwittingly picking them up again. The old has to go and make way for the new. If I had thrown my old wellies away then I wouldn’t have made the same mistake. Goodness knows why I had kept them. They were no use.

There are “old” things in my life that I believe God wants me to get rid of so that I am ready for the new. I may be hanging on to things which are hindering me moving into the new things that God has for me. I know God in his grace & love will reveal it. He will prepare me and equip me for the good works He has ready for me to do.

Expectation – What is my expectation

I have been thinking about this today and it is a challenge.   What am I hoping/expecting to receive from God when I pray to Him or seek Him for direction in my life?

Do I have a confident expectation in the goodness of God?

I sense God is saying– What is your expectation of me?   Don’t be limited by past experiences. Widen your expectation – expect the unexpected.

God can do immeasurably more than we can do or think.   Do I come to Him with a limited expectation based on past experiences or disappointments and a misunderstanding of His word and character?   The truth is that God can do awesome things & totally surprise us by His grace & mercy.

It is easy to get in a rut and expect the same to happen all the time. Expectation can be stifled through habit & tradition. I am being encouraged to look for the new and expect something different – After all – God’s ways are far above our ways.

God reminded me of the story in the Acts of the Apostles of the lame man who was seated outside of the gate Beautiful begging for money.  He must have sat there day in and day out holding out his hands expecting to receive money from the people going into the temple. He had the same expectation of Peter & John, but they gave the lame man so much more than he expected. They gave him healing & restoration by the power of Jesus Christ.

It was interesting that the story also says that the people around did not expect a miracle of healing either because the man was said to be “old” – he was above 40 years of age – goodness what an expectation.  Does our age and what other people think of us affect our expectation of God – that we are too old or don’t qualify for him to move in our lives in power. God forbid.

The beautiful aspect of this story is that the lame man received so much more than he expected to receive. It is such an amazing demonstration of God’s abundant love & mercy.

I pray for a right expectation in the goodness of God, not limited by my past experiences but to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to increase my expectation and expect the unexpected.

Healing & Wholeness

The other week during worship in the Sunday Morning, I was reminded of the story of the lepers who Jesus healed.

As I was thinking of the story, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that one of the lepers returned to Jesus and thanked him for healing him.    Jesus then told him to go -“your faith has made you whole”.

I believe the Holy Spirit was emphasising that there is a difference between healing and wholeness.    Even though you may have experienced healing, you can still bear the scars from your experience.   Physical or emotional.    The illness may have been healed but its effects are still apparent.

In the case of the lepers – leprosy devastated your skin.   You only had to look at someone to know that they had leprosy – it was not a hidden disease.    I believe the man who was sent away whole was not only healed from his disease but his skin was also completely restored with no evidence of the leprosy.   The effects of his illness was no longer evident.

Some of us still have the scars of our illnesses or experiences.   They are still evident in the way that we behave.    We have been effected on deep levels and the physical and emotional scars still affect us.

This is the day that Jesus can make you whole again.  He wants you to be whole.   Totally restored in Him.   Jesus is in the business of restoration.

Ask Jesus to make you whole.    Thank him for healing you but ask him for full and total restoration of every part of your life so that you are whole physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Blessed by His name.    May His face shine upon you today.

close up of wheat plant during sunset
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