Isaiah 43:2-3 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour."
Your portion as a child of the Most High God is a life filled with bravery and courage. The Lord desires to take what brings you fear and force it out with an infilling of courage rooted in the truth of his word for you.
Psalm 95:1-3 "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods."
Worship through song is one of the most powerful ways to connect directly to the love, compassion, power, and grace of God. In worship, walls we've placed between ourselves and God get torn down, just as God tore the veil at the death of Christ.
Matthew 4:4, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
Scripture is meant to fill us with life by leading us directly to our heavenly Father. The power of Scripture lies in the fact that its pages are filled with the words of a God who is still active, powerful, and loving. I went years using Scripture incorrectly. I viewed it as a set of rules I needed to read and try to keep rather than as a guide to experiencing the adventure of communion with my heavenly Father
He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgmentandpersonal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]2 Timothy 1:7b
I enjoy being a passenger. I love to be driven so I can relax and enjoy the view, but I know a lot of people who hate to be driven. They sit in the passenger seat pressing the phantom break pedal, sucking in their breath if they think the driver is getting too close to the car ahead and ending up exhausted at the end of the journey.
…And you will be like a watered garden,and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11b
I’m sure many of us have an image of an oasis – palm trees and a spring in the middle of the desert. I also remember the stories about travellers who thought they saw water in the desert – but it was only a mirage, the closer they got, the further away it became until in their despair they gave up hope
And the Lord will continually guide you,and satisfy your soul in scorchedanddry places,and give strength to your bones; Isaiah 58:11a
In times of drought the government will impose a hose pipe ban to conserve water supplies. During that period gardeners watch their lawns turn an unappealing brown and despairing that they will never be restored to their former glory
Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To thispeaceindeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always]. Colossians 3:15
Rest is much, much more than the absence of physical activity. Have you ever lain in bed, seemingly relaxed, but your mind is going nineteen to the dozen full of anxiety and concern.
For the kingdom of God is not based on talk but on power. 1 Corinthians 4:20
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘talk is cheap’. It’s easy to make promises you can’t or won’t keep, say things to flatter others that you don’t really mean and to be discouraged by a throwaway comment that’s made and quickly forgotten by the speaker.
God doesn’t make promises that He doesn’t intend to keep. Every promise He has ever made has the power and authority that brought the Universe into being backing it up. That’s the best guarantee you can have. We have the assurance that God doesn’t make off hand comments but imparts deep truths to us through His written word, the Bible, and the Incarnate Word, the person of Jesus.
He loves, heals, restores, redeems us – He makes us new all through His power and truth.
There’s no cheap talk in God’s economy – only solid gold truth. Step out today confident in the promises of God.
“12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
I love to hear stories of people doing well. I have so many friends, relations and acquaintances who have gone on to engage in fantastic jobs or life experiences that just blow me away. From playing with well-known musicians and bands to taking up senior roles in government or becoming sports men and women who make their mark in their respective fields, these people have become amazing at what they do.
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
This week we’ve been working through our most recent series Grow. It’s a series of steps to encountering, discovering, growing and thriving in Christ. It’s an amazing series and has really inspired us to really grapple with the idea of our identity being rooted and grounded in Christ.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
There are times when our identity can get a bit lost. We find ourselves in the cycle and groove of “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” and the flashes of colour that allow us to be true to ourselves soon disappear
Matthew 6:26. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
I’ve been a fan of Musicals since I’ve been no age. For me it’s always been about the songs. So much emotion can be conveyed through music and lyrics that we find ourselves identifying with characters and their stories
John 21:22 – Jesus said to Peter, “If it should be my will that he wait until I come, what is that to you?”
John died and went to heaven, so we know that it was not the will of Jesus that he remained here on earth centuries later. His point to Peter was that it was none of his business. He wanted Peter to concentrate on what Jesus had for him to do – care for the sheep.
I mentioned Romans 12 yesterday in the context of our power to choose. Consider it again today, it is very helpful in revealing God’s plans for each of us
John 1:12 - “But to all who did receive Him, to those who have yielded Him their allegiance, He gave the right to become children of God.”
The rights as a child of God bring with them the power of attorney, as in the right to call on the name of Jesus and to pray in His name.
We also have the power of choice - our right to make decisions for ourselves. People call that freedom. It is that choice Paul describes in Galatians 5 as the choice between being filled by the Spirit or to feed our sinful nature. In Romans chapter 12 he encourages us give our lives over to God as a living sacrifice; a choice to obey Him and live for Him.
1 John 3:1 “How great the love that The Father has shown to us! We were called God’s children and such we are.”
John knew that he was loved by God and was His child. From that knowledge came his sense of purpose in life. That purpose was to know, love and share Jesus.
As I read through his books, I have to ask myself the questions, do I have purpose in my life and what is it? I will admit that on some days my purpose is just to get through, to survive the daily grind without collapsing in a heap of exhaustion or stress
1 John 1:3 – “What we have seen and heard we declare to you, so that you and we together may share in a common life, that life which we share with The Father and His Son Jesus Christ.”
John’s is my favourite gospel. It was written by a man who caught fish for a living. Before he followed Jesus, he was drawn to the wilderness to listen to a strange figure dressed in camel hair, who spoke of one to come who would change the world. This strange man introduced him to Jesus.
“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.””1 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT
As we begin this new year, the talk of New Year resolutions appears again on our TVs and in our own conversations. The main resolve always seems to be a fresh dedication to do more exercise and eat healthier food. Gym memberships increase and diet books top the bestseller lists as we try to live healthier
"A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn't speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all."Matthew 15:30 (NLT)
When Jesus was walking through Israel he attracted crowds of people. What a sight it must have been to see probably thousands of people seek after our Lord. The bible tells us that people brought their sick to Him and he healed them all. For me that is such an encouragement. Jesus said that he was only doing the work of the father, (John 6:38) so when Jesus healed everyone he encountered who was sick, I believe we can proclaim that our Father in heaven wants to see everyone healed too!
"The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you." Romans 8:11 (NLT)
A few months ago we experienced a power cut in our house one evening. It only lasted an hour or so but in that time we were plunged into darkness and our house went eerily silent (which it rarely is).
“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.””I Corinthians 11:24 NKJV
The message of Gods grace and unearned favour for us has changed my life and I know many people can testify how it has changed theirs. Through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, we are no longer under the law mentality of "do good - get good, do bad - get bad". God loves us and wants to bless us because of Jesus in our life, not because of our own efforts
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands”.
Whilst on holiday in Lanzarote, we took a trip to Timanfaya National Park to visit the active volcano. We were guided around the various bits of ground that had been damaged and destroyed by previous eruptions.
This land is barren and is made up of dry volcanic ash and rock
"Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord" Josh 6:6-8
Yesterday we looked at how when God steps into your circumstances to lead you to victory HE reminds us that we rest in His work. He does not need our sweat and effort, He needs us in a position of trust in what He has done for us at the cross. As sons & daughters we receive grace upon grace every day because of the powerful love and favour of Jesus