My thanks this week to Alan Kearns for asking me to write a guest blog for his site DevotionalTreasures. If you have not visited Alan’s site then I recommend it. I particularly like, not only his writings which are very insightful and encouraging, but also the beautiful photos of Scotland which remind me of my childhood there and my dear Dad who was a proud Scotsman. He is no longer with us here as his home is now in heaven but his memory lives long in our hearts. I really hope you enjoy my small contribution today. Bless you all 😀
My Favourite Walk Photo by Nicola Reeve This week’s guest post is written by Nicola Reeve, who writes beautiful devotionals on her blog EagleSight. …
Following on from this week’s post about the good gifts that God has for His Saints, I am going to share a picture which my friend Deb received which may bring some further insight.
Deb had a picture of a very large retail store which was stocked full of loads of items on the shelves. There were rows and rows of shelves packed full of lovely items as far as she could see and she knew she could pick absolutely anything in the store as a gift from God. Instead of choosing something from the shelves though she headed down to the bargain basement to the cheap, reduced items.
She suddenly asked herself what was she doing. Why when she could have anything in the store was she headed down there to the bargain basement. Why was she settling for less than the best God was offering her? This picture speaks of self-worth and believing that we are not deserving of God’s best gifts. We settle for the crumbs from His banqueting table rather than take our seat at the table and enjoy the feast He provides for us.
Does this picture strike a chord? Do you struggle to accept the best that God wants for you. Some of God’s children don’t believe that they are worthy to receive such good gifts and blessings from God. The Lord is saying – Yes you are. He wants you to have His best. You are His child. It’s time for us to get out of the bargain basement mentality.
We as God’s children are worth so much more than the items left in the bargain basement. God has the best in store (excuse the pun) for His children. Let us change our mindsets and bring them into alignment with God’s thinking. He is not a bargain basement God. He has the best in store for you.
Mercy….the Lord our God is truly a God of Mercy and Justice. The Lord has been speaking to me recently about the day that everyone will have to appear before His throne.
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15
For all God’s children, all of His children, whether good or evil, there is a day of reckoning. Each will appear before His throne, whether great or small, famous or of no account. God is just and He grants mercy, favour and grace to those He chooses as He alone can judge correctly as He sees the intents of a man’s heart.
One day all will be laid bare for all to see. There are those who have been the great deceivers, deceived the whole world by their displays of pretence of goodness, who have loved the praises of men but not to God. Their works will be burnt up like dross. The true heroes of faith will be made known. Those who have been faithful to God. He will reward them according to the thoughts and intents of their hearts.
God will open His books on that day of reckoning. All heaven and earth will know the truth. The truth will be revealed for all to see. That is why the Lord urges His people not to judge each other without cause because they do not know the truth unless the Spirit of truth has revealed it to them. There are not many who can judge correctly with Godly wisdom and knowledge but Solomon was one of those that God gave such wisdom.
Make no mistake, each person from all time from the greatest to the least will appear before the throne of glory to give account of themselves. The reasons for their actions and the reason for their hope. God will be merciful to those He will be merciful to and show grace beyond the understanding of man because He sees the heart. His grace and mercy is the book of life. If your name is written in the book of life then grace and mercy triumphs over judgement.
James 2:13 judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
If you do not have confidence today that your name is written in the lamb’s book of life and that you will receive God’s mercy on that day of reckoning then you have an opportunity to say sorry for your sins, accept God’s forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ His son as your saviour. By repentance and saying sorry and by faith in Jesus you will be saved and your name written in the book of life. You will experience the grace of God. This is the start of your new life as a believer in Christ. Find a local church or a believer who can help disciple and teach you how to be a follower of Jesus and live out your new life.
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:23- 27
When Adam and Eve sinned and stepped outside of God’s glory, God made a covering of animal skins for them because their nakedness made them vulnerable to their changed environment. They had tried to cover themselves with fig leaves but God knew that fig leaves alone would not give them enough covering for warmth and protection.
The ground itself was now cursed because of their sin and disobedience and would bring forth thorns. God gave them a covering to protect them when they left the Garden of Eden and went into that new hostile environment. God knew that Adam and Eve would still need His continued protection. He covered them with His love.
God does the same for us. He covers us with His love. He covers our shame and our sins are covered and washed away forever by the blood of Jesus. An animal had to first die to provide the skins to cover Adam and Eve. Jesus also had to die on the cross as a sacrifice for us to cover our sins. He was the lamb of God who was sacrificed for us. His blood covers us.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”John 1:29
“For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” Isaiah 53:12
Through prayer & love in action we too can also be a covering of love and support for each other. In the body of believers, our pastors and shepherds are a covering for us. We are so blessed to have good shepherds over us. They are responsible for teaching, discipling, supporting and leading us and accountable to God for us. What a responsibility they have. Let us pray for God’s protection, strength, wisdom and grace to cover them.
Families also cover each other. A husband covers his wife. He is to cover her with the same love which Christ has for His church. This is why God’s heart is for widows who have no husband’s covering and He becomes their covering instead. He becomes a husband to them.
For your Maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5
Parents cover their children with love until it is time for them to step out from under that covering and mature and grow. This is why Gods heart is also for orphans who have no one to parent them. He calls to others to adopt them into their families as God has adopted us as sons and daughters into His family. His love is over them.
We can consider who we are covering today and who is covering us. We cover in love those who God has given and entrusted to us. We cover our brothers and sisters in Christ. When one part of the body suffers the rest suffers with it. We should not expose or cause pain to anyone but love one another in accordance with Gods teaching. We must not be triumphant over those who have erred or wandered from the truth but in a spirit of gentleness seek to restore them. Pull them back from the fire. Let us cover each other with love. Not a love that excuses or hides bad behaviour or sin but a love that also disciplines and corrects. We do not cover sin but we rather expose the works of darkness in the right and Godly way. Speaking the truth in love.
Jesus took our shame and nailed it to His cross. We are all saved by His grace lest any of us should boast. Our hope and assurance is in Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith. Praise God. Let us be holy in all our conduct as He is Holy.
Blessing to you this day in Jesus precious name.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” Genesis 3:7
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Romans 4:7-8
My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin. Job 14:17
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
My friend Mary shared a story with our prayer group the other day about being an atmosphere changer.
Mary lives at home alone and during the afternoon she had gone into her bedroom and found it was freezing, freezing cold. A really Icy cold. She couldn’t work out why as the heating was on in the rest of her house.
Mary soon discovered that the cause was her air conditioning unit which had been switched on. This really puzzled my friend because she hadn’t switched it on. No-one else had been in her bedroom so there was no reason for it to be on.
Now if you are like me then I probably would have just switched the unit off and not given this another thought, but my friend is a very wise and discerning lady. She wanted to know more so she asked the Lord if he was trying to tell her something through this.
She felt the Lord say that just as an air conditioning unit changes the atmosphere around us, Jesus wants us to be atmosphere changers wherever we are or wherever we go because we carry the Holy Spirit within us.
This is such a simple truth but really powerful when we grasp hold of it. We are already atmosphere changers because of what we already carry within us through Christ.
Have you ever noticed that there are some people who when they walk into a room everyone notices. The atmosphere changes. These people influence the behaviour of those around them. We often refer to these type of people as charismatic.
The root word of charisma in the Greek is charis which means grace, kindness, life.
We have received all of these things in Christ so we are Charismatic people. You can say that to yourself today with confidence. I am charismatic because of Christ Jesus in my life and I am an atmosphere changer. I am carrying grace, kindness and life with me today wherever I go.
With this in mind let us go out today with joy..let the mountains and the hills will break forth before us. Let’s see what atmospheres we can change today. Amen