Faith…

as small as a mustard seed.

That might be the extent of your faith for a particular situation today.

If so then I want to encourage you today to keep faith in God and in His word. He is the God of the impossible. He can work with that small seed of faith (if that is all you have at this given moment for a particular situation). If you have faith then don’t give up as the Lord is faithful and is working out His purposes and plans according to His Will. Trust in His unfailing love, mercy and justice.

If you are struggling with something today, praying for a situation for yourself or someone else -whether a family member, friend or even someone who is a stranger to you then be encouraged because as a believer in Christ you have already exercised great faith in accepting Jesus as your saviour and receiving through faith the gift of salvation and eternal life.

You have believed through faith that Jesus died for your sins, was raised to life by the power of God and has redeemed you. You are sanctified and righteous in God’s sight because of Jesus’ blood which has cleansed you from sin.

You have already shown great faith to believe for the greatest miracle of all..the gift of salvation and Jesus’ victory over sin and death. I believe that the Lord is reminding you today that you have shown such incredible faith in Him so persevere and don’t give up.

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed then be encouraged because you still have faith and where there is faith then there is hope. I pray that the gift of faith in you will grow and increase by the power of the Holy Spirit. Bless you today in Jesus name.

These bible verses from Isaiah 43 have been on my heart today and I hope they bless you too.

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43:1-7

Curve Balls..

Life has curve balls. For me, For you. For our families. For our friends. Even for Christians. Things happen, shocking news comes that we weren’t expecting to receive. Times of pain, hurt, disappointment, unsettling times of trouble. It shakes us, throws us off track and then we remember that we serve a God who knows all things, is our Rock, our Fortress and an ever present help in times of need.

In such times, the Lord draws us to Him with love and reminds us of His faithfulness and goodness. That He is a good, good God and we can trust in Him.

Recently, the Lord gave these promises from His Word to sustain us in the difficult and painful times ahead. I hope that if you are experiencing such times yourself that you will also find hope and comfort in these verses. I have meditated and spoken them aloud especially at the start of the day. They have uplifted my soul.

Psalm 91:2. “ I will say of the Lord:He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in Him I will trust”

Nahum 1:7. “ The Lord is good; A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”

Psalm 25:5. “ Lead me in your truth and teach me. For you are the God of my salvation on you I wait all the day.”

Psalm 96 1-3. “ Oh sing to the Lord a new song, Sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name, Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”

John 3:16. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Lamentations 3: 22-23. “Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning:Great is your faithfulness”.

Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever He is the rock eternal

My friend also gave this wise advice.

I believe the Lord wants us to stop fretting and to rest in his love and goodness for this season and also to look and see His beauty in nature all around us.

Have a blessed day.

One of my favourite places in Wales
La belle France
The amazing rock formations in southern France

God’s Healing Power

Sometimes, it’s important to be clear about what you believe. I felt convicted of that this morning. I am not ashamed to say that I believe in God’s power to heal us from sickness and disease, not just in days of past but also for today. I worship and believe in a God that heals yesterday, today and tomorrow. God boldly declares it about himself, it’s part of God’s character. He is a healer. He calls himself Jehovah Rapha..the God who heals. That’s a bold statement.

God doesn’t just say empty words about himself. He demonstrates that what He says about himself is true and reliable. We can have faith in Him that His words are true. There is a continued thread throughout the bible of God demonstrating His healing power in the Old Testament and continued by Jesus in the New Testament and then by the Apostles and other believers. There are many stories of healing and witnesses who testified about God healing them.

Healing was a major part of Jesus’ ministry when He was here on earth. He had such compassion on people that He did many healings and miracles which the gospels tell us about. I believe those accounts.

“They had come to hear him (Jesus) and to be healed of their diseases; and those troubled by evil spirits were healed. Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone.”
Luke 6:18-19

The bible teaches us that God’s healing powers did not stop when Jesus returned to heaven because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to continue His work through His believers. The Apostles and other believers filled with the Holy Spirit also healed in Jesus name.

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’

“What should we do with these men?” they (the leaders) asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot.

For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.

After their release the disciples prayed:

“And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 4:8-11,16,21-22,29-30

Healing didn’t stop there either as the bible teaches us through the Apostle Paul that the Holy Spirit continues to give the gift of healing through believers:

The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.” 1 Corinthians 12:9

We are encouraged to pray for those who are sick:

Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
James 5:14-16

Does everyone that we pray for get healed immediately or physically healed. The answer to that from my own experience is No. I don’t operate in a gift of healing continually. I can testify however that I have experienced people being healed immediately and I have felt the power of the Holy Spirit go through me by the laying on of hands. Yet on other times not.

Do I get discouraged sometimes when people I pray for or we pray for as a fellowship are not healed. Yes, I do. Do I understand why some prayers for healing are answered and some not. No I don’t. It doesn’t stop me though from stirring up my faith, refusing to give in to disappointment and praying again. I persevere because I know and believe that I serve a loving, faithful God who can and does heal. It is His Will which is to be done and He knows what is best in every circumstance. God wants people to be saved and spend eternity with Him through faith in His son Jesus.

I know there are other bloggers on WordPress who have also been healed and have shared their testimonies online. I have met people who have experienced God’s healing touch through faith in Jesus Christ and been encouraged by their testimonies. I have shared my own story of experiencing healing. God healed me once in a very different way than I expected. You can read about what happened here Healing – My story.

I’ll share my Mum’s story tomorrow. Pam was healed from Meningitis before I was born. The doctors had told my Dad that there was little hope of recovery but the Church held an all night prayer meeting and God moved powerfully on her behalf. I believe her testimony will encourage someone who need to hear that there is a God who heals and His healing power is available today.

I pray God’s blessing on you all today.

God Appointments

I was encouraged to write this post by dear brother Alan Kearns’ recent post Evidence for prayer and his prompting to ask for God appointments in our day. I just wanted to cheer when I read it and say…..Yes, Amen. It really does work. I have found it opens the way for God to use me in all types of situations and even in my weaknesses and messes to bless others. God loves people. He really, really does and longs to show His care and compassion.

If you’re reading this thinking I can’t do that. It’s for those Super Spiritual, amazing Christians and that sounds way too scary for me, I won’t know what to say or do…then join the club. I was just like that too but then I realised that there aren’t many of those “super spiritual walking on water Christians” around and anyway this was not about me, it’s all about God wanting to show His love and care to His children and God’s just looking for someone to say “I’m here…little old me, nothing special but I’m available for an appointment God, so please use me and do your work through me”..that was it, my prayer and God brought those appointments along.

God showed me that we can be the answer to someone else’s need by sometimes doing something so simple…..like just holding someone’s hand. This is what happened to me in one of those God Appointments.

I was in our local cafe one afternoon with 2 friends. It was a regular meet up as once a month we would meet for a coffee, chat and prayer. The manager of the cafe was a Christian from another local church and knew us. I went up to order my coffee and he asked if he could introduce me to someone. It was an elderly lady who was a regular customer at the cafe. She had recently been widowed and was lonely. I asked her if she would like to join us at our table and she did.

We chatted for some time and had a lovely time with her. We listened as she talked about her husband and their times together. Towards the end of our chat, I explained that we were Christians and asked her if we could pray for her before we left, She agreed and as we prayed, I felt prompted to take her hand. I asked her if it was ok if I held her hand and she said yes and then started to cry. She explained that the one thing she missed more than anything was holding her husband’s hand. Every time they walked anywhere together they held hands. She told us that as she had walked to town that day, she really missed her husband and had wanted someone to just hold hands with again. That had been the desire of her heart. That just blew me away and we all started crying. God had known exactly what she needed to comfort her and so He set up that appointment for her.

That dear lady wasn’t a Christian when we met but from that first meeting and then subsequent chats around the coffee table, she started to go to her local church and got confirmed. Praise God. From little seeds that are planted it’s amazing what God can do.

Have a blessed day and I hope you feel encouraged to ask God for an appointment for Him today. I’m looking forward to hearing and sharing more testimonies of God at work through these divine appointments.

A simple touch of love

Feed My lambs, Feed My Sheep

These were the instructions which Jesus gave to his disciple Simon Peter, when he met him again in Galilee after His death and resurrection.

This was the same Simon Peter who had denied knowing Jesus in his time of trial. Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him but Peter had protested that he was ready to go to prison and even death for Jesus. It wasn’t to be the case, but Jesus knew that.

It must have been really difficult for Simon Peter to face Jesus again after letting him down so badly, to believe that Jesus would still want him, Peter, to be involved in His ministry and to trust him to look after His flock. What a responsibility. What a calling.

Jesus did trust him though. Even when Jesus knew that Simon Peter would deny him, He comforted Peter by telling him that even after his denial Peter would return and be restored to relationship with Him.

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’
Luke 22:31-32

Jesus had a task for Peter to do..to strengthen his brothers. The other disciples would need Peter’s support, faith, encouragement and example of humility. I can imagine it was a different Peter who met with his brothers again after his experiences.

I was reminded today of a picture which was shared by a dear brother in Christ at one of our Sunday morning services many years ago. He saw in his vision a long banqueting table. On the table were bowls of soup ready to eat.

The guests at the banquet (members of the church) took their seats facing each other ready to eat. However, when they picked up the spoons they were far too long. It was impossible to get the spoon into the bowl and into their mouths.

Somebody then realised that their spoon could reach the bowl of the person seated opposite them. They started to feed the person opposite them. The others watched their example and started to do the same. Everyone worked together to feed each other.

Jesus has appointed different ministry roles within His church and has equipped His body of believers with every good gift so that His followers can be discipled and fed. Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists. We have the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God. The Holy Spirit has also come to us. We have the gifts and fruit of the Spirit to help us and to help others.

It’s love for Jesus that is to be the motivation and reason for our service to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Loving obedience to Him our Lord and Master. Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him when He gave him these instructions. Peter replied that Jesus knew that he did love him. Jesus then replied “Feed My Lambs and Feed My Sheep”.

It was Peter’s love for Jesus that was to be the motivation for service. Jesus restored Peter in love and forgiveness so that Peter did not have a wrong understanding and reason to do what Jesus asked. Jesus wasn’t asking Peter to serve him out of duty or penance in mistakenly thinking he had to make it up to Jesus for denying him. A pure love for Jesus will lead to a pure love for the brethren and pure motives for service.

I believe that there are those within the body of Christ who have not taken up their ministry roles or have laid down their roles and gifts for many different reasons. There will be so many different reasons but Jesus knows them all. Jesus wants to restore us just as He restored Peter. There is a way back to Jesus and there is a way forward to serve Jesus in love as He has called us to do.

As Satan wanted to hinder Peter and to sift him like wheat, so satan does not want any of us to take up our God given callings within the body of Christ. Don’t let Satan deceive us or rob us and the body of Christ of our service to each other.