The beauty of Holiness

Holiness – it’s a word we don’t hear a lot or generally feel comfortable using these days even in church.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 1:15 “But as He who called you is Holy, you also be Holy in all your conduct“.

Our Pastor says when you think of being Holy just think it’s being separated and different to the world because of Jesus.

It seems to me that when we try to be Holy ourselves (apart from Jesus) then it just becomes a religious list of dos and don’ts which lead to frustration and guilt when we fail.

We can end up doing lots of works with little fruit.

A wise person said “Holiness will take care of itself when we see ourselves as the Holy people of God with a Holy destiny“.

The way of holiness is living in and through Jesus.

In Revelation 2 Jesus says to the Church at Ephesus:

“I know your works, your labour, your patience and that you cannot bear those who are evil, and you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not and have found them liars, and you have persevered and have patience and have laboured for My name’s sake and have not become weary, Nevertheless I have this against you; that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the first works

Jesus said they were patient, hardworking, persistent, hated evil – but they no longer had a fervent love for Christ and God out of which their works were to flow.

They had lost their first love.

Jesus said the greatest commandment is “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” and then “to love your neighbour as yourself“:

I like to think this expression of love unto God and others is Holiness in action.

This is the way walk in it..

Isaiah 30: 21 says “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying “This is the way walk in it”. Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left”.

If you are looking for direction in your life and seeking the path that God wants you to take or a new door is opening up to you then take encouragement from the promise in these verses.  

God will direct your way.

This could be your season for stepping into the new things of God. 

It may be paths that you or no-one else has travelled before, areas which you have never ventured into, things you or nobody else has ever done but take comfort that God will make it clear that you are on the right path.   

God will direct you to move forward into new things.   

Don’t look back at the old or try to do things in the same way but with boldness step into the new.   

This may be a season for God to show you how to do things in a different way.  Don’t worry or be anxious that you don’t know what’s up ahead – trust God.    If you are walking where God wants you to walk then you are going in the right direction.

You may face discouragement – people may think you are crazy even to attempt something new but God will give you the vision and you will hear His still small voice saying “This is the way walk in it“.   

You will know that it is God speaking to you.   

I encourage you to be bold in faith today as you hear Him speak to you.  

Take hold of the opportunity or opportunities which God is bringing your way.

I sense this may be a season for some that God will completely turn things on their head.  God will flip things upside down but you will emerge unscathed.    Allow God to be in the driving seat.

I pray God will increase your vision in these days.  To stir in you a new vision, a bigger vision and to break new ground for Him.  

To see new things and create new opportunities for the gospel to be preached and people to be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ.

I felt prompted to share this post again today. I hope it is a blessing and encouragement to someone reading.

Blessings,

 

How Great Thou Art

I woke up this morning thinking of the words of this wonderful old hymn. Hymns are beautiful and declare precious truths about God. I hope these words from How Great Thou Art bless you this morning. I hadn’t realised but according to information I have read, the words were originally a poem by Swedish Carl Boberg. The title was translated as “O Mighty God”.

It was years later that a missionary in Ukraine heard locals singing the song who translated it into the English version we know today.

I pray today that with all this terrible situation in Ukraine that this song and it’s words will be once again be a mighty declaration over that country of How Great God Is. May these words be heard ringing in Heaven’s courts today,

Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

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.

Freedom Friday

I hope you enjoy this re-post today.

God wants us to be free.  He is the God who sets the captives free.  The God of deliverance.   

Jesus died and rose again so that we might live in freedom.   Not chained in any way.

The Holy Spirit desires to reveal to us those things in our lives or our mind sets which are obstacles or hindrances to us living fully as Jesus wants us to live. A Kingdom lifestyle.

The power of the gospel of the Kingdom working in and through us.  

Jesus wants to set us free from every oppressive work and lie of the enemy which is operating in our lives and restricting us.  

It might be fear, unbelief, guilt, lack of self-belief, un-forgiveness, trauma, depression, anxiety, sinful behaviour or addictions – there can be many things which restrict our spiritual growth as believers, hold us back and stop us stepping out in faith.   

Things which restrict the flow of the power of the Holy Spirit in and through us to others.

There is a word for this season from Isaiah 60:1

“Arise, Shine – for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you“.   

I heard the The Lord ask me -“What is stopping you from rising – what is trying to stop you from doing things for me?    What is stopping you from shining?   What is tainting the light shining from you?”

In my case it was fear – fear which I didn’t even realise was there.  

The Lord showed me that a traumatic event in my childhood had left a mark of fear on my life.  

It wasn’t a gripping, completely debilitating fear which paralysed me but it still used to rise up out of the blue causing me to question and torment myself over things I had said or done.   Decisions made and actions taken – Was I right or wrong?

Fear brought its friends along too..doubt, anxiety and worry.

It caused me to worry about making mistakes and over analyse the decisions I had made.   

Thankfully the Lord set me free and healed me from this fear.  

Who the son sets free is free indeed.

Fear no longer has a part in me because of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross and His resurrection power.

I encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal things which may also be holding you back too or which may be tainting your light so you are not shining as brightly for Him.  

Jesus wants you to be free and He alone can set you free.

Amen 🙏 blessings to you this day.

God Almighty

This week I continue the theme of starting our prayer times being focused on an aspect of God’s character. Every name of God in the Bible reveals a characteristic of God but God doesn’t just want us to know His names. In and through prayer, God wants us to experience true fellowship and communion with Him through Jesus Christ his Son and find out that God is all the things He says He is. God is the All Sufficient One.

Today’s name of God is EL – SHADDAI which is translated as GOD ALMIGHTY.

Genesis 17:1 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”

We worship God who is ALMIGHTY. Heaven worships Almighty God. There is none as Mighty as our God.

“They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!”
Revelation 15:3

GOD is revealed throughout Scripture as the God who is all-powerful, the God of impossibilities. God wants us to experience this aspect of His character.

God is mighty, unconquerable. He is the all-sufficient One. God is able to do anything and supply all needs. God is able to keep all His promises to us.

There is nothing that our God cannot do. Let us meditate on that thought today as we pray to God. Let it be our declaration of faith today.

It is so good to be reminded that God is Almighty today. The enemy tries to intimidate us and cause us to fear. He tries to make himself big in our eyes. Satan is not in any way comparable to God in might or power.

Do you need God to show himself mighty on your behalf today.

Today, Lord we declare that you alone are all-powerful. You are mighty and powerful. Nothing is beyond your capabilities. There is no-one or nothing more powerful and mighty than you. Our problems and needs are so small to you even though to us they can seem overwhelming. We declare our trust in your mighty power. We can rely on you in all situations. We declare today that nothing is impossible for you. You are the One alone who can fulfil all the promises in your Word. You are God Almighty. Lord come and show yourself mighty on our behalf today we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

God’s Voice is Powerful

There are lots of voices clamouring to be heard. Trying to influence us. Lots of voices with differing opinions. Lots of voices which tell us untruths, particularly in the media, but the Bible tells us that God’s voice is powerful, full of majesty and can shake the wilderness and strip the forest bare -Psalm 29.   

The voice of the Lord is “over the waters” and when the “floods have lifted up their voice” then we need to remember that “the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea” -Psalm 93.   

Whichever voice or voices are currently raised or rising up against you or trying to come against you today- whether it is the voices of doubt, unbelief, confusion, accusation, lies, manipulation, intimidation, threats, bullying then disarm them with the truth from the Bible, declare the Word which is powerful, living and mighty into that situation.

Let it be the Voice of God that speaks to you and answers you.

When Jesus was out on the lake with his disciples and the wind and waves rose up in a fierce and violent storm, the disciples thought they would die. Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and said to the Sea “Peace, be still“.   Immediately the wind & waves were still.  

The voice of Jesus was more powerful than the wind & the waves and was truly “over the waters“.    

You may be facing or in a storm today but let it be God’s voice that powerfully speaks to the storm and not the voice of fear or doubt.   

The Lord will bless you with His peace in the midst of the storm.

This is a reworking of one of the early posts which I wrote on this blog in 2018 when I started writing. I hope it has blessed and encouraged someone today.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Then…

Then is such a little word but it is can be so powerful. It’s a word which speaks of change. There is a before and THEN something happens which changes the story.

In Genesis, we read the story of Noah. The flood has come upon the earth and Noah, his family and the animals are in the ark. They obeyed God’s instructions and went into the Ark and then God shut the door.

“So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.”
Genesis 7:16 NKJV

It was after obedience that the THEN came and God shut the door. Sometimes, we are waiting for God to act and the THEN to happen but we maybe haven’t done our part to enable the THEN. Something at our end needs to change.

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

There is an often quoted portion of scripture which contains one of the most powerful THENs in the bible.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Prayer changes things and brings about the THEN. If we want to see change then let us seek God’s Will and act on it. Let us be Prayer Warriors for change.

Bless you my friends.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Awake Awake

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

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

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

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

Have a blessed day my friends.

A Know it all?

“Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.” Acts 18:24-26

We have a saying at work that we use a lot as a balance and check:

“You don’t know what you don’t know”.

Think about that saying for a moment.

It’s demonstrated here in the story of Apollos. He didn’t know what he didn’t know until two fellow believers told him and gave him a more full understanding of faith and explained the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes, we are deficient in our knowledge, but until we discover that or someone points it out to us, we are blissfully unaware. We think we are fully informed but we may not be. As a lawyer it makes me consider and research carefully before giving a client advice in case there’s something I have missed.

There are some keys we can learn from these verses.

Apollos knew the Scriptures. He had been taught about Jesus and he taught others. What he taught was correct but it wasn’t the whole story, He had limited knowledge. Whoever had introduced Apollos to faith had limited knowledge too because he only knew what he had been taught up to that point.

You will only learn as much as your current teacher knows.

Aquila and Priscilla had been given a more complete teaching. They had been with Paul and learnt from him. When they heard Apollos speaking publicly they realised that he was lacking in knowledge. They didn’t just leave him in ignorance though but they acted. They didn’t leave Apollos in the dark. Instead they took him aside and explained things more fully to him.

Note that Aquila and Priscilla didn’t publicly shame Apollos. They didn’t flaunt their knowledge or act in a superior way. They took him aside these verses say and so would have explained things privately to him. This was wise and respectful. It also meant that they didn’t squash his enthusiasm and his gifting. He was already an eloquent speaker.

Let us also be careful how we correct those who may not be as mature in faith or have more limited knowledge. We don’t want to be responsible for squashing the gift within them or dampening their enthusiasm in the wrong way. We also need to understand their current level so as not to overwhelm them and make things too difficult to grasp.

As we considered in the last post about Being Open-Minded it seems that Apollos was just that. It was to his benefit and then the benefit of others that he listened, was teachable and then went on to share with others what he had learnt.

I pray that today I won’t consider myself a know it all but will be willing to be shown a more excellent way when I am deficient or lacking in knowledge and understanding of God.

Have a blessed day friends.

Adding knowledge