Gates-The Fountain and Water Gates

Two gates today which I have mentioned together as they are both water related. The Fountain Gate and the Water Gate.

These gates have been very much in my thoughts and prayers the last week or so. At church we have been considering wells. We are all wells for Jesus. Sometimes our wells can become blocked, capped, or run dry. There are some people whose wells have been capped by others. Perhaps capped intentionally or sometimes unintentionally by a thoughtless criticism or harsh word.

The Lord wants to see those wells uncapped. I am sure you can recognise some capped wells that you know. Could you pray for them to be released. For healing of those hurts of the past and the restrictions to be lifted off people. It’s time to uncap those wells. Spring up oh wells is the cry of our hearts.

The enemy will seek to hinder us from being wells and we need to guard the wells of our heart. Sometimes our wells become polluted because it’s not pure water that we are allowing in. As my friend Paul wisely said this week, if we are pouring out a drink offering for others then may it be the pure living water of Jesus Christ, the Living Word that we offer them. May we be cleansed and purified by Jesus.

The Fountain Gate

Nehemiah repaired the Fountain Gate.   This gate reminds us of Jesus, who is the fountain of living water and the Holy Spirit freely given to us, who lives in us and fills us daily by His power.

There is a living well of spiritual water for us to draw from daily.   

It is an inexhaustible supply that will never run dry.      

Jesus said we never need to thirst again when we come to Him because He is the living water.   He can satisfy our thirst in all areas and bring refreshing to us.   

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 7:37-39

When we are tired, weary or discouraged then we can come to the Fountain Gate and be refreshed.   We can drink deeply of Jesus and be restored.     

If we forsake the living water then we will be dry and empty with nothing to give.  Our source of spiritual life is Jesus and the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. The promise in Jesus’ words is that if we believe in Him then rivers of living water will flow from us. That’s a promise from Jesus. We have to thirst, come, drink, believe and let the river flow. No capping.

timelapse photography off water fountain
Photo by Gabriel Peter on Pexels.com

 

The Water Gate

This gate speaks to me of the power of the Word of God (Holy Scripture) which is at work in our lives.    The bible teaches us that we are washed by the Word of God.   The Word of God is living, powerful and true – a test of our thoughts and intentions of our hearts.  

When we read, meditate and act on the Word of God then we see the fruit of its out-working in our lives and it keeps us on the right path.

The Water Gate was the only gate which it seems did not need to be repaired by Nehemiah as it doesn’t mention the repairs. They repaired opposite that gate and then the next section after it.

Palal son of Uzai worked opposite the angle and the tower projecting from the upper palace near the court of the guard. Next to him, Pedaiah son of Parosh and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate towards the east and the projecting tower.”

Nehemiah 3:25-26

This speaks to me powerfully.

The Word of God endures for ever.     

God’s Word does not need to be improved, added to or altered. It is complete just as it is.   It is the best instructions, which are never irrelevant or outdated, for a life lived to God’s glory and fulfilling in every way. It’s the manual for successful living in God’s eyes. Not worldly success as we know it but Kingdom living.

False Anointings and Manifestations

I want to re-share this post today which is from a word that the Lord gave me in August 2020. I believe that it is still a warning the Lord wants us to hear especially in these days and in times ahead. Please read, pray, weigh and test.

You will hear a rumour or a word that “The Lord is there ” – Jehovah Shammah”  but the Lord says do not be fooled.

This morning the Lord impressed this word to me:

The Lord says that in the past many have run after the manifestations of who they believed was the Holy Spirit, because of a deep hunger to meet the Lord and encounter His presence, but these have often been false manifestations and have led people into the wrong things and opened up a door in their lives to the enemy by accepting a false anointing or a false spirit to oppress them.

The Lord says that you don’t have to run after manifestations of His glory. The glory of the Lord is coming to you. 

Wait patiently for the Lord he says – He will come.  He will not disappoint you.

The Lord says that He has already warned us in His Word not to run after such manifestations or people that claim to be Him.  He says not to do it -for if you do then you will be deceived.

As the lightning streaked across the sky as it did in the storms that roared across this nation in the night and which all could see clearly in the sky, then so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

Do not be deceived.  Do not go running after false manifestations of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s glory. 

You will know the awesome presence of the Lord for He is Holy and where He is – is Holy.  

You will not be able to stand in His presence.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.   He is Lord and there is no other.

The Lord does things according to His Word (the Bible).   He does not act outside of His Word

Keep the Word of God close to your heart.  Feed on the Word of God.  Be guided by the Word and do not be deceived for many false prophecies and false words are circulating at the moment.

Many false prophets and leaders are rising up in this hour to lead His people astray.  Do not be deceived says the Lord.   Say true to His Word – Put your trust in God and do not be deceived.   God is faithful and He is true.  He will sustain you and protect you at these times.

Watchmen – Take your place on the city walls.  Arise and look out at the horizons. 

What do you see?    Warn the body of Christ.  Sound the alarm.  You need to watch in these days ahead says the Lord.  

There is an acceleration now occurring and things will happen fast.  There is a suddenly approaching – Look & Wait. 

Sound the alarm when the time comes and warn the body of Christ.

I am reminded of these scriptures from Matthew 24:

24 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives,( the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming( and of the end of the age?

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.(For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.( You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted( and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets( will appear and deceive many people.

12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom( will be preached in the whole world(as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place(‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop( go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equalled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders( to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning( that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[

 

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven,with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[ is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father.(37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,(up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.( 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.(43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant,(whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

blue body of water with orange thunder
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Plumb line

If you search for the definition of a biblical plumb-line then the reference to the book of Amos will often come up.

“Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said: “Behold, I am setting a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore.” Amos 7:7-8

Amos pleaded with God to relent his judgment and, in their place, God places a plumb line.

A plumb line is a weight suspended from a string used as a vertical reference line to ensure a structure is centered and straight.

It’s the same with our Christian faith. Jesus who is the truth must be the cornerstone of our faith so that we build on our faith correctly. It’s the Jesus revealed in the bible (not a Jesus of our own imagining), the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached (not a false gospel) and His commandments which we live out.

Deception means we are no longer centred in God’s truth. As followers of Jesus Christ we are to guard against deception. Jesus himself warned us against being deceived particularly in the time before He returns.

It can be easy to get carried away as “charismatic” believers particularly when we belong to a Spirit filled church and it is so important that the Spirit and the Word are in harmony with the right emphasis on both.

The Word of God is our plumb line and any teaching, tongue and interpretation, prophecy or revelation that does not line up with the word of God is false. It may not all be false but test, weigh and discard the false.

The apostle Paul teaches us that the enemy has strategies against us and one is deception. He loves to lead us astray and cause confusion. Any moves of the Spirit need to be discerned to make sure it is the Holy Spirit and not the wrong spirit at work. It is vital to be rooted in God’s Word and filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.

It’s a really good exercise to ask yourself and write down what you believe about Jesus and what the gospel is. If you had to explain to someone who didn’t know Jesus or had never heard the gospel. What you believe and wrote- Does it pass the plumb line test of God’s word. If it does then we are building on a correct foundation and we are centred but if not we have to dismantle the wrong beliefs and re build. We have to re-centre ourselves in truth.

The belt of truth and our sword is such an essential part of our armour for defence and discernment of truth. Every piece of armour would not fit together or be effective without the belt or sword but we can rush or just neglect that part of our preparation. It takes discipline to read and study the bible, to pray but I encourage you to do it daily and to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in truth.

The Lord showed me a picture once of a plumb line and the effect of deception. At the start it only takes a tiny bit of deception to lead you away from the truth but the more you follow that wrong idea or false teaching the further and further you eventually end up away from the truth.

If you draw a straight vertical line on a piece of paper you will see what I mean. Draw the plumb-line and then draw another line from the bottom at a slight initial angle away from the line and see how far the line deviates away from the plumb line as you draw.

The thing with deception is how subtle it is. Be on your guard against it. Deception is so close to the truth that we can readily accept it as the truth because it sounds right but when you hold it up to the Word of God you will see the error. Satan knows the Word of God too. He quoted it to Jesus when he tempted him but Jesus knew that satan had twisted it’s true purpose and used the word of God in response correctly.

Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to help us. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who will lead and guide us into all truth. That is why the Word and being filled with the Spirit are so essential to the believer and our walk of faith.

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is discernment and I encourage you to pray and ask and seek this gift. When you operate in the gift of discernment you get that sense in your spirit that something is just not right. People refer to gut feelings and it can be like that. I have heard false tongues and just knew in my spirit that it was false and not the Holy Spirit. You hear an interpretation and again it just doesn’t sit right. That is the Holy Spirit helping you to discern the truth. When you talk to other believers they will often have discerned the same.

Have a blessed day.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

Praying People

Over the last few weeks, I have been considering how meditating on and confessing the names of God, discovering the character of God (which is revealed through His names) can help us in our times of prayer.   

Other things which can also help our prayer life to develop are:

ATTITUDE; – The word “confess” comes from the Hebrew word “Yadah” meaning “an open or extended hand

In prayer we are reaching out to take hold of God and Him alone and declaring that we are putting our trust in Him.  

We are acting humbly by putting God in His rightful position and focusing on Him.

A humble attitude is I believe a KEY to God hearing and answering our prayers:

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 v14

A humble attitude in our hearts can also be demonstrated physically in prayer by kneeling, lying on our faces before God, raising our hands etc.

Jesus’ model prayer that he taught his disciples demonstrated his humility.

FOR YOURS (God) IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER AMEN”.

Let us not forget (particularly when prayers are answered or when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation) that the glory always belongs to God and Jesus.

THE WORD OF GOD;- If we are going to give voice to our faith and understanding of GOD’S Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory and confess our belief in God, His promises and His Word then it is really good (for me a necessity) to have a bible or other access to the Word of God to hand whilst praying so that we can confess scripture out loud or meditate on God’s Word.

I encourage you to try and get into the habit of praying with your bible to hand or other access to the Word of God through your phone, tablets etc. The Holy Spirit will bring a scripture to your mind and that can form the basis of your prayer.

Isaiah Ch 55 v 11So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth: It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing which I sent it“.

When you proclaim the Word of God it builds you up spiritually and encourages you in your faith.

You are also proclaiming God’s Word boldly to the enemy -to spirits, principalities & powers as you resist the enemy. Wielding the Sword of the Spirit against the lies of the enemy. Demolishing arguments and strongholds.

If I am praying about a situation where I am declaring God’s victory then I will often read aloud the song of Moses from Exodus 15 verses 1-18 about the time God rescued the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians.

When I want to declare Christ’s sovereign position and authority over a situation then Revelation 19 verses 11- 16 will often come to mind.

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

It will take some effort initially to look up relevant portions of scripture when you are praying but the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians Ch 6 ) and the weapon of our warfare, so we need to know how to use THE WORD of God effectively in prayer.  

I wouldn’t advise just picking out bible verses without any thought to throw at situations but by prayerful meditation on the Word of God allow the Holy Spirit to direct you to relevant passages of scripture.   The Word of God is living and powerful.

When you meditate on the Word of God in your prayer times it allows the Lord the opportunity to speak to you through HIS WORD and you will hear His still small voice in your spirit.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Seeing but not seeing..

They say familiarity breeds contempt. We see what we often expect to see rather than what is actually there especially in familiar environments. My husband will often say to me “noticed anything different”? That’s a statement that always brings a certain amount of blind panic to me. There’s obviously been a change which I’ve missed. I’ll look around and be like “noooooo” which will prompt a “look more closely” and then illumination hits..I see what has changed. Usually it’s so obvious I can’t believe I’ve missed it! Please tell me I’m not alone in this.

It’s quite ironic how often I can miss what is right in front of my face especially considering the name of my blog. When the Lord inspired me to start writing this blog, He also gave me the name for the site as well. I was very shy of using the name “EagleSight”. It was putting me out there in a way which was well outside my comfort zone. I thought the domain name would definitely be taken and I’d be able to use a different name but God had other plans. When I searched, the name was free and so it confirmed to me it was part of the Lord’s plan for this blog.

Today, I just want to encourage you to look around you with fresh eyes. There may be something near, perhaps even right under your very nose, that the Lord is calling your attention to and wants you to see. We sometimes ask the Lord for things in prayer and God may have already provided the answer but we have not recognised it. For someone, the ministry field the Lord has given you a passion and vision for may be closer than you think.

As a lawyer I have to prepare and read very long legal documents with multiple paragraphs, definitions, cross referencing etc. Often the same document is in preparation and being amended very many times. I sometimes go “Word blind” which means I start reading what I expect to see rather than what is actually there. I’ve learnt I need to go away and do another job and come back to the text. When I read it again with fresh eyes, I might see a mistake that I have missed or some text I have interpreted wrongly.

This can happen when we read our bibles. If we are sometimes very familiar with the text or a version of the bible story we may have heard we don’t sometimes “see” or “read” what is actually written. We can miss things, I pray the Holy Spirit will illuminate God’s Word to us afresh.

Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law”
Psalm 119:18

A picture of my daughter..what big eyes she has!

Simple Instructions

Did you collect stickers as a child? These are two stickers I put in a bible given to me in 1976 by Glenrothes Baptist Church when I was a young girl. I’ll stress the young 😊

Two simple instructions:

1. Follow Jesus

2. Read the book of God

If you asked me for advice today then I don’t think I could put it any better than that. It’s served me well for the last 45 years. Follow Jesus and read God’s Word. Simples as they say 😊

We sometimes have a tendency to over complicate things and then can’t see the wood from the trees. It’s good to remind ourselves of simple truths which help us and bring us back on track when we get a bit lost, discouraged or wander away from God and His plan.

2 simple instructions that we can all apply.

Are you following Jesus? Have you submitted your life to Him as Lord? If not then there is no greater joy. If you have-are you still following His leading? Walking in the Spirit and being led by the Spirit.

Are you reading (or listening) to the Word of God, the bible for yourself? Do you know sound doctrine? There’s no substitute for studying the bible for yourself. Sure we have appointed teachers in the church to help us with our understanding, there are great books, teaching manuals, guides etc out there to help us but don’t neglect to read and study the Word of God for yourself.

My friend Heather told me this little verse which was passed on to her;

The bible is a mine of gold, of precious gems and wealth untold. Read now and pray that you may find, rich treasures for your heart and mind. Amen 🙏🏾

Be blessed today my friends x

The Narrow Gate

So this week, I am blogging “en vacances” as the French say, but from the Peak District and the Derbyshire Dales and not the belle France ….which is where we should be this week coming with the family. Sadly, because of Covid restrictions it was not meant to be. C’est la vie. However, new opportunities beckoned.

It’s been about a 2.5 hour trip from home to get to our new camping ground, so not far, but this is a good opportunity for us to visit some areas we have not considered previously and take our minds off France. Although Covid changed our travel plans, we are blessed in that we live in a tourist destination already. The U.K has beautiful places to visit and although the sun is not guaranteed….as we were always told as kids when sheltering on a windy cold Fife beach, “there is no bad weather wee girl, just bad clothing” 😂

If you have never been to this area of the U.K. then I recommend a visit. The Derbyshire Dales is beautiful and seems much less busy or well known than the Yorkshire Dales, but if you like limestone gorges and beautiful river valleys with babbling brooks then this is for you.

The high Peaks of the Peak District are also great for stretching those legs out, walking to Mam Tor, Kinder Scout. Not that I made it up Kinder Scout (I’m not that energetic) but Mam Tor was just perfect to get my heart pumping. I like a nice river walk me – usually flat but as my husband says, “if you want the views then you got to get up there to the heights”. I tell him “that is why they invented cable cars”.

River walk
Lathkill Gorge
View from Mam Tor

So, to get to the inspiration for this post..the narrow gate. On our first evening here, we ventured for a walk and discovered the “narrow gate”. Here it is..it was the first of many we encountered on our walks in these parts but our first experience of such a gate. As you can see the gate is made of two massive stones, positioned to enable walkers to enter the next field but not the livestock. Let others through and keep others out.

Photo taken at Youlgreave

I seriously struggled to get through it. I literally had to squeeze myself through. I know I’m carrying a few extra Covid pounds but this was ridiculous. My husband thought it was hilarious as I was trying this way and that way and eventually sideways to get through. I don’t know what was going wrong because I should have easily got through the gap. It is very narrow at the bottom and then widens out (a bit) but I seemed to approach it all wrong.

And there lies the rub…with finding and entering through the narrow gate which Jesus talks about. The gate that leads to God and eternal life. We have to approach and enter through the gate (Jesus) in the right way. We can’t take any of our selfish ambitions, pride or get through the gate by belief in our own goodness or good works. My own righteousness and good works are just filthy rags and will not do. They just get in the way and count for nothing.

The good news is that you can enter through the gate by simple faith in Jesus alone. Simple childlike faith. The gate is available to be found by everyone from every nation to find and walk through. There is an entrance fee but Jesus has already paid it for us. He died and paid the penalty for sin so the price is paid in full.

Have you found the narrow gate dear reader and entered through? Or are you approaching the gate in the wrong way and making it too difficult for yourself. Don’t let the things of this world get in the way of walking through that gate. Divest yourself of them and simply come as you are. Believe in Jesus and follow Him.

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Matthew 7:13-14

“so he (Jesus) explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. John 10:7-18

Reading the Bible aloud

Do you remember being at school and having to read aloud? I used to break out in a cold sweat at the very thought of it. I’m a natural blusher so the minute I became the focus of attention, I used to burn bright red in the face. I could hear my class mates sniggering and I was so self conscious then that I could hardly get the words out. It was torture to me and I used to dread it. 🥵

When I was in church though it was common for the Bible to be read aloud in a Sunday service, in the prayer meetings and in the bible studies. I became used to the practice of reading God’s Word out loud and started to be able to read out loud more easily and even sometimes from the front of the church. I still blushed like mad but I didn’t seem to let it bother me so much. There was usually a sea of encouraging faces agreeing with the spoken Word of God as the bible was read.

The Lord has been impressing upon me again recently that reading aloud God’s Holy Scriptures is very powerful. We read in Genesis how God spoke creation into being. His Word is in the very fabric of creation. As we speak out the Word of God I believe that creation itself responds. A word spoke in season and in Gods timing does not return void. Isaiah 55 v 11.

You may never have read the Bible out loud before and I encourage you to try it at home, outside or wherever you find yourself at the present time. Reading the Bible with my friends over FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp is a real blessing at the moment especially with the Covid situation. God has been encouraging us through His Word. For some I know it can be really hard to read out loud especially in front of others but I have found it to be such a help that I hope you will too.

I believe there is an impact in the spiritual realm when the Word of God is declared out loud. As truth is declared into the airwaves. There is so much false and lies being circulated over all communication channels that speaking out truth is so important. Faith also rises in your heart as you read and hear God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17.

I really enjoy being outside and I know from reading other blogs that many of you do too. If you have read some of my other posts you will know that my friends and I will go and pray and read God’s Word at different locations around where we live especially up on the hills and from our local ruined castle walls. You get such great perspective over your town or city from a high viewpoint.

During COVID restrictions it has not been possible to gather as we used to, but where it has been permitted to walk with one or two others then we have continued to do this as the Holy Spirit leads. Last week, we went out for our daily exercise and prayed and read Psalm 18 on our walk. We walked in pairs in different locations in our local area which were all high points from which you could see all over. We read Psalm 18 out loud at the agreed time of 12 noon turning to the North, South, East and West as we did so.

I find during these walks, the Lord shows us different things and brings things to our attention. I always try and look closely at what is happening around me. Last week we noticed the birds. There was a bird in the distance sat right at the top of a tree. It couldn’t have got any higher unless it was flying. It was there for ages but as we read the Psalm the bird flew off at a certain point. God reminded me of some verses in Ecclesiastes which say that a bird in the sky may carry your words and a bird on the wing may report what you say. Ecclesiastes 10:20. It made me think what if the birds themselves carry the word of God as we speak it and repeat it into creation. The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.

Here’s the little bird perched on the treetop

Below are the words from Psalm 18 if you feel encouraged to do some reading aloud today. Blessings to you in Jesus precious name. Amen 🙏

“I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.

The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind.

He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.

Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O Lord, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.

Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight. With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks.

For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.

He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.

I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them. Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets.

You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; You have made me the head of the nations; A people I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me they obey me; The foreigners submit to me. The foreigners fade away, And come frightened from their hideouts. The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.

It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. Great deliverance He gives to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore.
Psalm 18:1-50

The One True God who can save us -Our Father in Heaven

Isaiah 45 v 18-22  “For thus says the Lord

Who created the heavens,

Who is God,

Who formed the earth and made it,

Who has established it,

Who did not create it in vain,

Who formed it to be inhabited:

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth;

I did not say to the seed of Jacob,

Seek Me in vain,

I, the Lord speak righteousness,

I declare things that are right.

Assemble yourselves and come;

Draw near together,

You who have escaped from the nations.

They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image,

and pray to a god that cannot save.

Tell and bring forth your case;

yes let them take counsel together.

Who has declared this from ancient time?

Who has told it from that time?

Have not I the Lord?

And there is no other God besides Me,

A Just God and a Saviour:

There is none beside Me;

Look to me and be saved,

All you ends of the earth!

For I am God and there is no other.

I believe that there is only one true God in heaven whose son is Jesus Christ who died and rose again and has conquered sin and death.  

He alone is able to save us from our sins.   

Look to God in these days and put your trust in His unfailing love & mercy.   

He is a merciful & gracious God.  Cry out to Him for help and He will surely hear you and answer you.

There is none other able to stretch forth His hand from heaven and save us apart from Him.   Trust in Him and He will not let you down.

Psalm 9: 9  “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed.  A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in you: For you Lord, have not forsaken those who see You.”

God’s glory and righteousness will be revealed.  

I pray and ask God to arise in these times and have mercy on us, to move on our behalf and to save us from this dreadful disease Covid 19 which is ravaging the nations and killing people. 

Rescue us O Lord we ask as there is no-one who can help us at this time to stop this disease and miraculously deliver and heal us. 

There is only you who can do this.  Only you Oh Lord who have the power to do this. 

Show your mighty power in these days.  Hear our prayers God through the precious name of your son Jesus Christ who makes intercession on our behalf before Your throne.

v19 “Arise O Lord; Do not let man prevail, let the nations be judged in your sight.  Put them in fear O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men”.

 

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).