I am reminded today of this post about experiencing true joy in the really difficult times of life that we go through. If you are going through such a time then please read this post Joy in the hard times and I pray it will encourage and bring fresh hope to you today.
After a recent time of fellowship and ministry during which we took communion, my friend had a picture of pure white washing pegged out on a clothes line.
It’s a simple picture really but it spoke deeply to me about who I am now in Christ. I’m as clean as that white washing.
In order to be truly cleansed from sin and it’s effects it can only be through faith in what Jesus has done for me through his death and resurrection. I believe as a Christian that we receive forgiveness for our sins through confessing our sins, repenting of them and believing Jesus has paid the price for our wrongdoing. As a follower of Jesus, I believe that it is Jesus’ sacrifice and his blood alone which has cleansed me from sin.
You might not feel clean like that or might feel you still have some dirty linen but there is no stain or dirt that can’t be made clean, pure and washed as white as the washing in this picture. Just like new. No stains, no grey, no streaks, no spots no matter how filthy. How do I know this? The bible tells me and I believe it.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18
When we as followers of Jesus take Communion and we break bread together and drink the wine, we remember the Lord’s death until He comes again. We remember with thanksgiving all Jesus has done for us. We have opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to convict us if there is anything we need to confess or put right before we take Communion.
When we were in lockdown many did not have the opportunity to take Communion together. As I joined with my brothers and sisters in Christ this week I was reminded how powerful it is when we recall and thank God for what Jesus did for us all through His being broken for us and being poured out for us. How powerful it is to confess and release sin in my life and receive cleansing.
“He (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28
Jesus shed His own precious blood so that we can be cleansed from sin. A free gift of grace that is available to everyone no matter who we are. The bible tells us that all have sinned so all need to take this cup of forgiveness. Have you my dear friend? It’s freely available to you. If you want to be truly clean then I believe there is no other way.
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39
Do you hear the Lord calling you to repentance? I pray that you will hear and respond to God’s grace and mercy today and be ever thankful to God who through His great love has reached down from heaven and rescued us from sin and death. Praise God.
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
The Lord has impressed upon me recently that He is the one who we can put our trust in 100%. He is able to keep us and help us in all circumstances of life especially those unexpected changes and difficulties. What is unexpected to us is not to Him who knows all things. He has already gone before us and prepared the way. He is preparing us, his body of believers, for more difficult and challenging times ahead so that we can persevere in faith and be overcomers in Him. Holding fast to the confession of our faith in Jesus.
As I was praying I wrote the following which the Lord spoke to my heart about His church, the bride. His unfailing love for us.
My beloveds, I am calling My bride to Me. It is time. I have come to search her out and gather her to me as a hen would gather her chicks. I am come to cover her and protect her in the times ahead. I put my arms around her and hide her under My wings – My arms of protection are all around her.
I will keep her safe and I will protect her. Come to Me in these times ahead which will be very distressing and troubling. There will be great upheaval. There will be a mighty shaking. I will support, protect and look after My bride in these days. She is my beloved. The apple of My eye. My father has entrusted her into My hands and I will present her radiant before My father’s throne.
Hold fast My bride to the confession of your faith. Keep rooted in Me. Keep your eyes fixed on Me. You can rest assured that I will sustain you in the times ahead for all things are in the power of My hand to give to My beloved. Ask of Me and I will provide for you. I will sustain you and protect you. Keep close to Me and I will not let you down. You can trust in My unfailing love for you. A love which will sustain you through all things. Blessed are My children. Blessed are those who put their hope in Me for I will not disappoint them.
I am looking after My children in the times ahead. I will keep them and preserve them from the evil one, for I alone hold the keys of death and hell. They are mine now and I will keep them forever. No-one who belongs to Me will see the second death for I have written their names into the Lamb’s book of life and they are safe in My hands. Whatever may lie ahead of you My beloveds, take heart for I have already walked the path and I will sustain you as you go. Be still and know that I am God. Be at peace in Me. Amen.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12
So this weekend I am in Somerset, visiting my old home and it’s such a beautiful place that I wanted to share some photos with you. I was fortunate to grow up here. We visited Old Cleeve, where my ancestors on my Mum’s side lived in the 1700s. There is a beautiful church here, St Andrew’s, which has an ancient churchyard with views over the sea.
The church itself dates from the 15th century and there has been a church on this site since at least 1066. There is a tomb in the church that dates back to 1420 of a knight who was believed to be in service to Richard 11. That’s a lot of history. The church is a reminder to me of my past but also that we are blessed to have such a longstanding Christian heritage in this nation of ours.
The font where babies were baptised dates back to the 15th century. My great great great grandad William Langdon born in 1787 was baptised in that font. I stood in that same church today where my ancestors stood and baptised him as a baby. How awesome is that.
This post may seem at odds with my last post on church but buildings themselves should not be the focus of or define our worship or faith in God. They were built for the glory of God and point us to Him but we in our humanity can make idols of them so easily. The church, the monument, can become our focus rather than the source. The community this church served has changed dramatically since it was founded. Over time families, mine included, moved away to the larger towns and cities looking for work and the village populations decreased dramatically. Times changed. It’s good and right to remember our history as the Bible encourages us to do but we must not get stuck in the past. God wants us to advance His Kingdom in this generation and those to come.
We do need to be reminded though of God’s faithfulness, His ways and the wonderful things He has done for us so that we can tell our children and the generations that follow us. We can so easily forget otherwise. Just as I have retraced my ancestors today to the place they worshipped. Psalm 37 includes this exhortation:
“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.” Psalm 78:4-8
Each generation is to set its hope anew on God. I pray that will be the case. Let hope arise in the hearts of the younger generation in these days that they will discover a hope that will never let them down in Jesus Christ, God’s own son who died that we may live.
It’s so quintessentially English around here in this part of Somerset. If you had to picture a typical English village then this village of East Quantoxhead would be it. Thatched cottages, cream teas and there is even a village duck pond with its own house for the ducks.
This lovely village also has a beautiful ancient church with views over the adjoining fields.
It is good for the soul to get out into the countryside again after Lockdown restrictions and enjoy nature and these lovely ancient places which put us in remembrance of our great and glorious God who has created all things. He is the ancient of days. Blessed be His glorious name forever and ever.
I do like to take a rest from walking too though…..
Have a blessed day my friends and I hope that we remember the good that God has done for us.
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalm 103:1-5
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
Today we were encouraged to guard against apathy and allowing our love for Jesus to grow cold. As believers, we can be vulnerable to this at the moment because of not being able to meet together as easily (or at all for some people) because of the COVID restrictions. We can become discouraged by the lawlessness and wickedness we see around us, by false prophecies and words.
Let us watch out for each other and not become isolated and allow our fire to diminish but let us keep the bonds of love, encouraging each other with Palms, hymns, spiritual songs, teachings, words etc, and above all keep the fire burning within each one of us for Christ Jesus. Lord, I ask that you please breathe on the embers today and fan the flames into fire again.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:10-12
Believers are trying to come together in different ways at the present time whether it is over zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, teams, this platform or other ways to stay connected with each other. It is not easy and some may find it difficult but let’s not give up. We can reach out to each other in different ways. Where two or three are gathered together Christ is in the midst of us. Praise God. We are Christ’s body and connected to each other in and through Christ who is the head of us all.
I pray for those who may be feeling isolated or disconnected at the moment that you will know that you are still connected and to draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. If the Holy Spirit is convicting hearts of apathy or a lack of fire and zeal then I pray that repentance will come to our hearts and we will stir ourselves up and put our hands to the plough at this time. It is not wise for us to sit back and do nothing in these days.
The Lord is all sufficient for us in these present days. His grace is more than sufficient for us. The Lord is encouraging us to come to His table and eat and drink of His provision and not to leave the table until we are satisfied. When we eat our meals we know when we are full and the Lord wants us to know that same feeling of fullness in and through His Holy Spirit. He is a God of abundance. Let us fill ourselves up in Him. The Lord does not want us to be satisfied with crumbs but to come and feast at His table. We can also help feed each other out of the abundance that God gives to us.
When restrictions start lifting let us not to get distracted by the things which do not truly satisfy us. The Lord says “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.” Isaiah 55:2
May we use this time of confinement wisely and redeem the days God has blessed us with. May God refine us in His Holy Fire so that we are ready to do His will.
My friend Heather, sent our fellowship group these encouraging words and I wanted to share them with you today. I hope you are blessed x
Morning all, as I was awake in the night I believe the Lord said to me “LOOK UP” and then “COME UP”.
Where I thought? Psalm 121 says “ I look to the hills it’s where my help comes from. The Lord maker of heaven and earth”.
As I looked up I saw the eagles up there soaring way above the storm.
Isaiah 41 verse 30 says “those who Hope in the Lord will soar on eagles wings. They will run and not get weary, they will walk and not faint”. I encourage you to read all of Isaiah 40.
Did you know the eagle puts her chicks in a hole in the rocks and then she faces in and spreads her wings across the hole to cover them and stays there till the storm has passed.
Psalm 91 says “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, in the shadow of The Almighty will say He is my refuge, my God in whom I trust. Verse 4 says “He will cover us with His wings”. I encourage you to read the rest of psalm 91.
We have meditated on Psalm 46 recently which says “God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in time of need”.
These scriptures tell us that God is in charge. Let us look up, stay strong and know we are under His wings. God bless xx
The Lord drew me to Psalm 46 yesterday and so we read it aloud last night in our fellowship group over WhatsApp. We prayed through the words to declare and affirm our faith in God and call upon Him in our times of trouble because He truly is our ever present help. He does not abandon us at these times but is right there with us in the middle of times of pain, sorrow, suffering and grief.
I hope you also take comfort and strength from these words today:
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Psalm 46:1-11
Emmanuel, God with us. He is our ever present help. Call on Him today.