Ephesians 5:8-10 – “Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases God”
As followers of Jesus we are to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. The bible tells us about 6 things, actually 7 behaviours that God does not like at all.
I’m sure you’d agree that some of these behaviours we too would think are extremely bad but some like being proud or telling lies we could be tempted to ignore but this is what Proverbs 6:16 tells us:
“Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent; and
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath, and
a troublemaker in the family”
Lord we want to live our lives in ways that are pleasing to you. Help us keep our feet on the paths of your right ways as you reveal to us in your precious Word, the Bible. Let us live today and tomorrow lives that are pleasing to you as we walk out our faith in your son, Jesus Christ. May your Holy Spirit convict our hearts of sin and wrong and may we turn in repentance to you through the richness of the grace and mercy that you pour out through Jesus on us as your children. Thank you Lord that when you look at us who are hidden in Christ Jesus you see your Son in whom you were well pleased. Thank you that in Jesus and through the work of the Holy Spirit we are empowered to live a life pleasing to you. Praise God. Amen
I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. I’ll call it a conversation but it did get a bit heated on his part. He was convinced that if God would just turn up out of the blue and show himself then a lot more people who have no faith (like him) would start to believe in God. He thinks that if God did this then people would stop behaving so badly and there wouldn’t be so much evil in the world. Mmm🤔
My friend wants God to pop up out of thin air- a bit like the genie from Aladdin’s lamp- before he will believe. He’s disappointed because in his opinion if God existed then God isn’t doing enough to stop all the evil and bad things. He doesn’t understand (yet) that God has already provided the answer in Jesus and that it’s God’s loving mercy that is giving people the chance to find Him before it’s judgment time.
I guess my friend is not alone in thinking like this and there are people who want to see God appear for themselves before they will believe. For my friend seeing is believing-but what is seeing and many people are blinded to the truth by Satan or are wilfully blind from seeing. My friend certainly was not going to believe my testimony or anything I told him. His mind is made up (at the moment) and he thinks I’m deluded as a Christian believer 🙁
However, the truth we read in the bible tells us that since the world was created God has made Himself known and revealed Himself to mankind. God walked with Adam & Eve regularly in the garden and talked to them before sin separated them and consequently us from His presence.
God appeared to Abraham and made a covenant with him. God hid Moses in the gap in a rock and caused all His goodness to pass before Moses. Moses couldn’t see God’s face because as God said -no-one could look on His face and live.
God revealed Himself to His chosen people, the Israelites, but they still even with all the miracles and incredible things they witnessed of God with their own eyes still went their own ways, did wicked things and didn’t obey His commands. This is unfortunately the reality of human behaviour.
These were the same people who saw God come down for themselves in a thick cloud on Mount Sinai but the manifested presence of God was too much for the people to cope with. They were too afraid of His awesome and powerful presence when the cloud of His glory came down and they witnessed its effect around them. The mountain cracked, there was thunder and smoke and there was fire. It was a terrifying sight. Moses and the elders went up the mountain though because they had prepared and purified themselves to meet God.
“Then they climbed the mountain—Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel—and saw the God of Israel. He was standing on a pavement of something like sapphires—pure, clear sky-blue. He didn’t hurt these pillar-leaders of the Israelites: They saw God; and they ate and drank.” Exodus 24 9-11
If God in all His glory and power did make an appearance as my friend wants then my friend wouldn’t be able to cope with the reality. He’d be struck down in fear at the glory of God. If God appeared as he did on Mount Sinai then my friend would be completely undone because of God’s holiness.
However, God did the most amazing thing out of His great love for us so that people could see Him and touch Him and get to know Him. He came in the flesh as Jesus as a baby. The people of the time saw Jesus with their own eyes, touched him, saw all the miracles and good Jesus did but yet again they still rejected him and didn’t change their ways.
To see Jesus was to see the Father. Jesus revealed God.
Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”
“You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act. “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. John 14:8-9
The wonderful truth for us as believers is that God is also present here now with us as the Holy Spirit. We can’t see the Holy Spirit but we know His presence and we see the evidence of His work and power in us and through us in the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit whether through gifts of healing, speaking in tongues, prophecy etc. We don’t see the wind but we know it exists and we feel it and see where it blows. So it is with the Holy Spirit. I don’t need to see the wind to believe in it or to see the air that I breathe.
Jesus told a parable about the rich man in hell who wanted his family to be warned about hell so that they would not go through the torment he was experiencing. The rich man believed that if Lazarus was sent back from the dead and spoke to his family as a witness then they would change their ways and believe. Sadly Jesus knew that even that wouldn’t convince them because they already had unbelief in their hearts.
“The rich man said, ‘Then let me ask you, Father: Send him (Lazarus) to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment.’ “Abraham answered, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them.’ “‘I know, Father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but they’re not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways.’ “Abraham replied, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:27,29-31
I think Jesus summed it up with these words to his disciple Thomas.
“But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”
Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” John 20:24,26-29
How amazing, Jesus tells us that we who have believed in Him without seeing with our own eyes have better blessings in store.
The sadness for me is for those, like my friend, who are blinded to the truth of the gospel. I pray that their eyes are opened to see Jesus and know Him and the truth by the power of the Holy Spirit. To understand their sin and need for God’s forgiveness and that God exists and has shown His love for them by sending Jesus to die in their place. May they come to know God and be reconciled to Him through the death and resurrection of Jesus before it is too late. May their hearts be softened and faith take root. Amen.
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
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.
Colossians 2 v 6 “As you have received Christ Jesus, so walk in Him”
My friend Caroline sent me these encouraging words to share with you today. She said;
This verse of scripture stood out to me the other day, as I began meditating on it and studying it some thoughts began to crystallise.
I thought back to when I first believed on Jesus, not as a child, but later when I rededicated my life to God, the realisation that I couldn’t ‘do it’ without Him, that I desperately wanted and needed Him, that I had nothing to bring to the table, but that He was calling me anyway. He loved me and wanted me, the joy and faith of experiencing His love and acceptance. I remembered how I just accepted Him and loved Him for accepting me.
I also realised how easy it is to slip into legalism, and how this ploy of the enemy robs our joy. It may begin rather subtly as we desire to please God and ‘live right’ but instead of relying on Jesus, begin substituting this by our own effort, and trying to law keep.
I would gently like to remind us, that Christ is our righteousness and He alone by the power of His spirit can enable us to live out this righteousness that has been given as a gift.
Why do we find it so difficult to accept this truth? I would like to share a few thoughts, maybe it’s just my failing? Maybe I am only just ‘seeing’ this truth?
Maybe we are ignorant of the matchless righteousness of God and the standard of holiness He demands. We think that by keeping certain standards and duties, we are doing OK, when actually if we sin in one small thing, under the law we are condemned, this shouldn’t dishearten us, it brings us to a knowledge of the truth that we are dead to the law ( we cannot keep it, and are therefore condemned to death by it), Praise God that we can be married to another! Christ Jesus – Romans 7v4.
We do not see the glory of His righteousness, or the fullness of it, or the value of it to obtain the favour of God. It is the ONLY righteousness of which God is pleased. Help us never to try to establish a righteousness of our own, this is a proud ignorance and ignorant pride.
We can also tell if we have a legal soul, if we are wearied in the way. “He is wearied in his ways, but did not say it is hopeless, but found new life for his strength.” Just redoubling our efforts is not the way forward, but a total trust and reliance on God.
God wants His glory to be seen in the magnitude of His free mercy and grace, legal obedience leaves us deluded and disappointed thinking we can cover ourselves with the tatters of a robe of prayers and duties that we have performed for many years, and that this may cover us.
As long as we are under the command of the law, we remain under the curse of the law, if we pay any attention to the law as a covenant we are a debtor to the whole law. If we are alive in any form to the law, and it can be so subtle, we are not receiving Christ’s righteousness, but leaning on our works of righteousness.
If we would live unto God we must strive to enter the rest of Christ’s righteousness, in this way mercy and grace take all the credit, and Christ will have all the honour, and we will have the peace of God and be enabled to walk in His righteousness, by leaning totally upon Him.
The word is clear, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, not in ourselves, may we never be deceived by the enemy. I pray a greater revelation of these truths for myself and brothers and sisters. There is NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!! AMEN.
In late October I shared about my heavenly awakening in the night by the sound of a loud alarm clock.
I was awoken again this morning at 4.00 a.m by the same sound.
I believe the Lord is calling His people to pray in these days and to call out to Him with an urgency.
God wants to give us His heavenly perspective on what is happening and reveal the enemies strategies in this hour so that we can pray with wisdom and understanding as the Holy Spirit leads us.
We have been warned many times about deception in these days. The enemy has a great strategy of deception at work. His lies must be exposed.
We are living in unprecedented times but God has called us ..that’s you and me ….and appointed us for these days. We are the Esthers, the Daniels, the Josephs for these days.
We may feel weak and insignificant but in God we are mighty and powerful. When we humble ourselves before God and call on our Heavenly Father then we become more than conquerors in His name.
All of heaven is cheering us on and encouraging us not to give up but to remain faithful to Him that has called us.
All nations have been impacted by COVID 19. The scale of international debt is incredible and that will come with a heavy price to pay. There are economies of the world which have been decimated by this disease and the full impact is yet to be felt. The UK as a nation is now in so much debt.
America, Britain and Europe are all in the midst of turmoil with the presidential election and Brexit happening. We need Gods’ help in these days. Who is there to turn to except Him for He alone has the words of eternal life.
In October the Lord said that many are confused about what is happening. We have seen this following the U.S. election result but God is still sovereign. His word does not return void but accomplishes what it was sent forth to do. Gods word is powerful.
There is fertile ground for deception and much deception, lies and false news is being spread. Many are searching for truth and the Lord says if you Seek Him you will Find Him as He is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
Let us pray and encourage each other to pray. Blessings to you this day in Jesus precious name.
I don’t know about you but I really don’t like the word Condemnation.
Judges use it when passing sentences on an accused who has been found guilty and sentenced to a punishment which can include death. It must be a terrible thing to be condemned especially to death.
The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death but that through faith and salvation in Jesus Christ there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus has paid the price of our sins, all of them, and justified us completely.
It is sad that many of us are still struggling under the lie of condemnation and guilt.
The Holy Spirit convicts us as believers when we do wrong but does not bring condemnation.
If you still feel condemned and that you deserve everything that happens in your life. That it’s a just punishment for what you’ve done then God wants to remind you that He is a gracious and merciful God. Forgiveness means forgiveness. Please do not get trapped in condemnation. God blots out our sins from His remembrance and remembers them no more. It is by grace that we are saved.
He is a God who abundantly pardons us.
If we still have a definite intention to continue to sin and disobey God then that is not walking in the spirit but in the flesh. As followers of Christ we are new creations in Him and the old sinful self has been crucified with Christ.
We are called to be holy just as Jesus was holy so that we can proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. 1 Peter 2:9
We do mess up though and make mistakes and it is the mercy and forgiveness of God that we need in such times. That is the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He keeps us on that narrow path
Believing condemnation traps us and keeps us from moving forward and growing. Jesus wants to set us free from condemnation so that we can run the race He has for us.
The bible tells us that sin entangles us and ensnares us.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
Jesus intercedes for us before Gods throne of grace. He is our compassionate High Priest. He has overcome the world and persevered and He knows that we too can overcome sin through His strength and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
He believes in us.
Don’t give up even if you mess up.
Jesus doesn’t condemn us so let’s not condemn ourselves or allow others to condemn us.
We are called to help each other when we get it wrong. Speaking the truth in love to each other. We can’t ignore bad behaviour or turn a blind eye or sweep it under the carpet because that does not help anyone and the body of Christ becomes sick. Hypocrisy is not the way.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.’ Luke 11:34-36
In helping others let us not fall into the trap of criticism, condemnation and judging each other which can be wounding and lead to hurts that fester and cause bitterness.
Look up and see the King of Glory (JESUS). Do not be asleep when He comes.
Do not let Him find you beating and taking advantage of those more weaker than you. Oppressing those who are weak.
Rise up & shine. Dust off your garments. Shake them out. Let them see the light of day again. Step out into the light of His glory. Do not conform to this world but be different. Be children of the king. Act like children of the king.
In my spirit as I prayed I heard the Lord say:
Woe to those who are sleeping. Let them wake now. Let them wake now and put their hand to the plough before it is too late. I will take away from them and give to another if they do not act on my words and follow me. Deny themselves, take up their cross and follow the master.
I am grieved by some within my body of believers. I am angry with the corruption, hypocrisy and those who abuse My name. They take My name in vain. My name is Holy. My name has authority. My name is not to be taken in vain. My name has power & authority but woe to those who use it in vain & treat it with disdain. They will be undone. They will be destroyed.
Make your way straight before My face.
“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. Revelation 19:11-16
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:45-51
Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:12-13
Today whilst praying, the Lord spoke this word to me for this season: I heard the Lord say in my spirit:
I have sent forth a proclamation from My throne. The angels take My proclamation throughout the earth. They act on My command. The trumpet is to their lips as they blow My Royal Standard over the nations. They announce My will – This is My word which goes forth:
Arise & see the beauty of your King. Arise & fix your gaze on Him. Fix your eyes upon the Saviour of the world at this time. For He has the words of everlasting life. He is the bread of Life.
Everything you need is found in Him. Do not take your gaze from Him in these days ahead. Fix your eyes upon Jesus for He is the lover of your soul. All of you who have sworn allegiance to My Son, have made Him King of your life – Submit yourself in obedience to Him.
Look at Him as an example of endurance; Look at Him as an example of sacrifice; Look at Him as an example of humility. Be like Him. In this day you need to be clothed with humility. Do not puff yourselves up with pride & arrogance that you think you know best. Submit yourselves to My Holy Word and be obedient to those in authority over you.
For I have raised up My people for such a day as this. Be people of grace, mercy & Love. Be an example of My Son. Let Him live through each one of you. This is your opportunity to shine as stars for the Kingdom. This is your opportunity to show My goodness for I am a good, good, God. I have mercy & I have love in abundance but the judgment day is set and woe to those who have despised the work of My Hand & have puffed themselves up arrogantly against the knowledge of the Most High God for they will be brought down & brought to shame. For they are as dust & to dust they will return.
I, the Lord have spoken and say – Do not despise the day of the Lord or mock and scorn with the scoffers for there will be a place reserved for you in the fiery pit if you do so. Take up the Cross and follow My son & leave your flesh behind & live for Him. Follow Him for He has the words of eternal life.