Replenish

Replenish…what a satisfying word just in itself.

When you say that word “Replenish” it automatically has a positive influence. It’s a word with good vibes.

This was the word that the Holy Spirit prompted to me when I was praying with fellow UK Christian Bloggers on Thursday night. I used that word Replenish as the basis for my prayers for us all.

Since then the Lord has kept bringing me back to this word “Re-Plenish” so I wanted to have a bit more of a look into the meaning of the word and also understand more what the Lord is speaking through this word.

Replenish definitions are:

1. To fill something back up again;

2. To restore something (stock or supply) to its former condition;

3. To make full or complete again by supplying what has been used up or is lacking;

4. To put fresh fuel on a fire; and

5. To inspire or nourish.

A similar word would be “top up”.

My husband’s parents used to have a drinks party for their friends and neighbours each Christmas. One year they asked my twin nephews who were about 8 at the time to be the “drinks waiters” and to refill the guests glasses. Young Jack took this job very seriously and you could continually hear this young voice moving around the guests asking them in a loud and sometimes assertive voice if they wanted a “top up”. Most would have a “top up” whether they wanted it or not.

Plein in French means full. In Latin the word is “Plenus”. There is a sense then that what was once full is depleted and needs to be replenished. Does this speak to you because it speaks to me. I know areas of my life that are depleted/used up and need to be replenished.

Do you also need a top up today? It might be a top up of spiritual refreshment through fellowship with the Lord in His Word, through prayer, a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit, fellowship with other believers…there are many more we could list.

It might be a top up of other resources which have become depleted. Is your store cupboard or finances in need of replenishing.

Here is a promise from the Lord

For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” Jeremiah 31:25

I know there is more to come with this…..look forward to your comments. Have a blessed day.

Replenished

UK Christian Bloggers

It’s been such a blessing and encouragement to me to connect up with other Christian bloggers. I’ve learnt so much and been inspired by chats on various topics. Andy Brown has summed it up excellently in his post which you can read below. Have a blessed day.

Hi! My name is Andy Brown, you may remember me from such blogs as andy-brown.org…! It has indeed been some time since my last proper post, although I…

UK Christian Bloggers

Someone to notice us

Do you sometimes feel invisible? Overlooked? That people just don’t notice you.

A visiting preacher from Turkey once told us that Mission begins with Seeing.

In chapter 2 of the story of Ruth we read in verse 5 – Boaz said “whose young woman is this?”

Ruth who was a foreigner, a stranger, a refugee and destitute is noticed by Boaz.

From that moment on when she is noticed – everything in her life changes.

When we notice someone or when someone notices us – things change.

There were a lot of reasons for Boaz not to notice Ruth or pretend he hadn’t noticed her- she was a woman from another culture. She was poor – not a worker in the field just there to pick up the leftovers – but Boaz noticed her.

When he noticed her – he also did something proactive to change her circumstances forever. He showed her favour, gave her advice, gave her his protection and then redeemed her in marriage.

Ruth needed Boaz. Ruth was a widow from another country who had gone to Bethlehem with her mother in law Naomi, also a widow, to escape a famine in the land. They had heard that there was food in Bethlehem.

Ruth was a Moabite and was an outsider from a different culture. The Jews and Moabites were often in conflict. Ruth as a widow had no husband to represent her. She had no voice and no legal rights. She had no-one to protect her. She is living in a desperate situation having fled from a country suffering a severe famine. She has nothing other than her mother in law Naomi. She no doubt felt shame about her destitute circumstances.

Ruth was someone who desperately needed someone to notice her and help her.

Boaz was at the other end of the social scale. He was a wealthy landowner who has power, influence and privilege. He is a Jew. He has a voice. He has a position.

Sometimes “having” can stop us seeing how others – the “have nots” are affected and living, but not Boaz. He sees Ruth. He notices her situation and then uses his position to help her. He doesn’t ignore her plight.

This story is set in Bethlehem which is called the “House of Bread”.

Hungry people come to the house of bread to be fed.

When Ruth and Boaz marry and have children their descendants lead directly to Jesus. Jesus is from their line. Jesus who is and called himself the bread of life.

Hungry people need Jesus who is the only one who can truly satisfy their hunger.

Do we notice spiritually hungry people and signpost them to the true bread of life. Do we notice those who are actually hungry and feed them.

We are all refugees like Ruth in one sense in that we too as mankind lost our original place with God when sin entered the world through Adam & Eve eating of the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.

We all need a Boaz – a saviour to step in and help us. Someone who notices our plight and has the ability to be able to save us from sin – there is only one who can truly do that – His name is Jesus the son of God who through his death and resurrection saved and redeemed us from sin.

We are then refugees no more as our home is now in heaven with God forever and ever. We are now part of the family of God as Ruth became part of Boaz’s family on marriage.

If you feel invisible, insignificant or overlooked then I want you to know today that God is a God who sees us – God sees you.

God notices you. He is just waiting for you to notice Him. He sees you right where you are.

When Hagar fled to the wilderness and hid it was God who saw her – She called him “you are the God Who Sees” because God saw her in her predicament and helped her.

Even if those around us don’t notice us, if our families don’t notice us – God does. God always sees us. He loves us.

We are God’s eyes too – who does he want you to notice today so that you can show His love. Who does God want you to see?

Mission begins with seeing.

Whether you identify with Ruth or Boaz in the story, I pray that you will be encouraged today. You will know that God has noticed you – He sees you and loves you.

I pray that we will also notice those who God wants us to see, notice those who are in need today and help them.

Have a blessed day.

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Faith for the Race

Some days are better than others aren’t they. We encounter set backs and discouragement sets in. We feel like not a lot has been achieved or we don’t see growth as fast as we want. It takes time though for green shoots and fruit to appear or re-appear especially in some seasons of our life. If you can identify with that then I hope to encourage you with this post from 2020. It was inspired by a message from our pastor at church who encouraged us to run the race of Faith set before us with these words:

You can run a lap of faith;

One Step at a time – Mark 1

Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:17-18

One Command at a time – Deuteronomy 11

Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Deuteronomy 11:1,8

One Day at a time– Colossians 1

In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. Colossians 1:6

One Seed at a time – Matthew 13

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’ Matthew 13:18-23

One Test at a time -James 1

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Whatever lap of your race you are on. Keep going..you will cross the finishing line and win the prize.

Have a blessed day 😀🙏

Staying close to the source

There have been some wonderful and inspiring things I have seen this weekend away in the Derbyshire Dales. I love how the beauty of nature reminds me of God. You see His hand in creation. The wildlife and scenery.

Some man made things have also inspired me- like these old drinking troughs which were built to collect the fresh spring water for the nearby village. The men and women would collect it daily and even sell it for a penny a bucket.

The spring feeding these troughs has never been known to run dry
Even the dog knew which trough was the best water

The first 2 troughs which collected the spring water were clear but the furthest ones were filled with weeds.

It reminded me how we keep pure and fresh by staying close to our saviour, Jesus and staying in and being obedient to God’s Word. The more we stray the weeds in our lives start to choke out Godly purity.

The last trough filled with weeds

Gates-inspirations from Nehemiah

All my recent posts on gates can be found here:

Gates-The Sheep Gate,

Gates-The Fish Gate,

The Rubbish Gate,

The Valley Gate,

The Fountain and Water Gates,

The Horse Gate

Gates – The Inspection Gate

The trap of deceit

I was inspired to repost this today when I read this post from Alan Kearns of Devotional Treasure yesterday which you can read here https://devotionaltreasure.wordpress.com/2022/06/08/traps-on-your-wayside/

Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people. Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful.” Jeremiah 5:26-27

Among My people – That is a sobering thought. I believe God is warning His people again now to beware of the wicked one’s trap of deceit. If we fall into that trap, we will be in great trouble. If our minds are deceived then our eyes become blind to the truth and our ears do not hear correctly. The communications we receive are tainted. We see through a distorted lens of deceit and hear through a filter which corrupts us.

The messages we receive become mixed and we are in danger that wrong things are heard and not discerned.

The trap of deceit sucks us further and further into it. The door of the gilded cage is shut and we cannot fly and soar in truth as free as we should be. We are ensnared and our wings are clipped by deceit. Yet we do not see it or hear it.

Let us avoid these traps by keeping to God’s Word revealed in Scripture as our plumb line of truth, stay close to Jesus, follow His paths. We encourage each other to weigh, test and discern the truth. It is Jesus, who is The Truth, who sets us free from deceit. The bible teaches us that –Who the son sets free is free indeed. Lies and deceit are a snare to God’s people and the father of lies, satan loves it so. Let us rather submit to God and resist Satan’s lies. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and Jesus teaches us that He, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.

Peter in his second letter to the early churches reminds them that there were false prophets throughout history and that there would also be false prophets amongst them and the same is true for us as believers today. There are false teachers and false prophets at work still.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
2 Peter 2:1-3

Peter warns us that such people will deny truthful aspects of Jesus, are greedy, exploitive and goes on to say that such people despise authority, are bold and arrogant, boastful, appeal to the flesh, entice people with promises of freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity. If we follow them the consequences are dire, and as people who once knew truth we are worse off than before we knew Christ. What a terrible thing.
2 Peter 2:10,17-20

I pray that we will pay attention to these warnings and not be like the people who Jeremiah spoke of:

“An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land. The prophets prophecy falsely and the priests rule by their own power and My people love to have it so.”

I pray that we as followers of Jesus are not be deceived by flattery or words that “tickle our ears” and appeal to our flesh. The Word of God is like a fire 🔥 which refines and purifies us to be more like Christ.

Behold I will make your words like fire and this people like wood and it will devour them” Jeremiah 5 v14

Please Lord keep us from the trap of deceit and reveal to us if we have been entrapped in any way.

Blessings to you in Jesus name.

Pouring the oil on you

Today I wanted to share this picture that the Holy Spirit inspired in my heart last year. It is Pentecost Sunday today and I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Truth glorifying King Jesus in and through us, His body of believers. Thank you Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit to us.

I had a beautiful and encouraging picture during worship at our church service this morning which I want to share here too, as I believe there are people reading this blog (or people you know) who will be blessed and encouraged by this picture.

In the picture I saw a shepherd who was pouring oil onto and over a sheep’s head.

The Shepherd was rubbing the oil into places that were wounded or infected but otherwise the oil was freely flowing down and over the sheep’s head onto its neck and then onto the ground.

File:Pouring Oil.jpg

We know that we are the sheep of God’s pasture and the great Shepherd of the flock is Jesus.

Jesus is pouring the oil of His grace and love through the ministry of the Holy Spirit over your head today. It is like the balm of Gilead dripping down over your head.

The Lord Jesus wants to bring healing, wholeness and restoration to those who are currently experiencing attacks on their thoughts – those experiencing anxiety, depression, fear, self doubt, confusion and whose thoughts are being assailed at this time.

Just as the Shepherd pours the oil over the sheep to protect it’s head from disease and to heal its wounds so the Lord is pouring out His grace and love upon you today.

Receive His love. Receive His grace.

I pray that every thought and imagination will be taken captive to Christ and we will know and experience the extravagance of His abundant love for us today.

That we will know and experience God’s amazing love and grace from the top of our heads – the crowns of our heads – to the soles of our feet.

This oil of grace and love is being poured out upon your head today – receive it and allow yourself to surrender to His loving grace and mercy working in every area of your life but particularly your thoughts today.

Bless you today my friends in the precious name of our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Gates -The Valley Gate

Nehemiah re-built The Valley Gate.       This is a difficult gate and one that we don’t much want to go through- the valley experiences.    We would all much prefer to stay on the mountain top and enjoy those experiences with God but life for most of us is not like that – even the Christian life – it has mountains and valleys. We will face difficult times and times of struggle. It is in such times that our faith is tested and stretched but often it is these experiences which can lead to growth and strength in our faith.

The valley gate can be a necessary path to what God is preparing in us and for us.   The valleys develop our faith and trust in God and we learn from these experience that God is loving, faithful to His promises and His Word and able to sustain us.    We also develop empathy and compassion for those in or who will also go through similar circumstances. We have testimonies to share.

Humility and the valley gate in my experience can sometimes go together hand in hand.   I have had to humble myself under God’s mighty hand before I realise that I can’t handle situations on my own or with my own wisdom and little understanding.    Once I submit and surrender to God and acknowledge my dependence on Him, then I have felt His peace and His presence even in the most difficult of situations.

Valley Gates are painful. Jesus went through a valley gate when He went from Mt Olives through the Kidron Gate into the Garden of Gethsemane and then to the Cross.   Jesus was in agony in the garden but He yielded to God’s will to be done.  

Most of us will go or have been through valley experiences but the encouragement is that we are never alone at those times and we can get through them with God’s strength and support.   Jesus promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. He will lead us through the valley – even the valley of death. The words of Psalm 23 encourage us that God is with us and will not forsake us and will comfort us in time of sorrow, grief, difficulty and pain. 

If you are in a valley situation right now – I pray that you will have the strength and faith to keep going, don’t give up. I encourage you to ask for God’s help and help from others. God will show you the way and lead you through to the other side.

 

Gates -The Rubbish Gate

Just as the name suggests this gate which Nehemiah rebuilt was the one used to get rid of the rubbish and waste from the city. The rubbish has to go somewhere.

I don’t know about you but even after being a Christian for over 40 years, I am still a work in progress. Working out my salvation. I sin (even when I don’t want to or intend to) and get things wrong. However, I don’t write myself off. Even though I sin, I know that the power of sin over me has been broken because of the work of Jesus Christ at the Cross.

I repent when I know I have done wrong or when the Holy Spirit convicts me and I am forgiven and cleansed by the power of the blood of Christ. The rubbish is swept out of the door. When the accuser comes to me I just point to the blood of Jesus and he has nothing on me. The slate is wiped clean.

I don’t use the grace of Christ as a licence to sin though but I rely on the grace of God in my life and the work of the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin. Keeping short accounts and pursuing a life in Christ.

If there is still rubbish in your life or you are carrying it around then I encourage you to get rid of it. It is only choking the word of God and the fruit of the Spirit from maturing in us. If we allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts then He will convict us of sin. Keeping our hearts soft so they do not become hardened by sin and disobedience.

Guard the gate to your heart. There is so much rubbish out there in the world, don’t let it through the gates to contaminate and pollute your soul and mind.

What rubbish needs to be out of our lives today? Let’s be ruthless with it and get rid of it – once and for all through Jesus.

Photo by Emmet on Pexels.com