29 August 2017

Do I Believe In Prayer?

I was introduced to the ministry of George Müller yesterday. His life story really challenged me.

Here was a man whose faith in God and absolute belief in the power of prayer literally changed the lives of thousands of people.

Attached is a link to a Wikipedia page about the man, right here. Read about the details of his life. There's plenty of other websites about his work, if what you read interests you. I think it will!

"If you believe indeed in the Lord Jesus for the salvation of your soul, if you walk uprightly and do not regard iniquity in your heart, if you continue to wait patiently, and believingly upon God; then answers will surely be given to your prayers." - George Müller

26 August 2017

Z is for Zodiac

The stars are awesome things - they tell us so much about God’s power and His infinite abilities. However, can we divine the future from the movement of these stars? Those people who studied the skies many years ago certainly thought so, and that's how astronomy and astrology developed.

No, I don't believe in astrology, in what people can see in the Zodiac. I do believe in the stars. We can and do use these stars to keep track of time and place. They constantly remind us of God, the Creator of these heavens.

I am assured that our wisdom comes from God, not from the stars (James 1:5).

Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these...
Daniel 2 27-28 (ESV)

25 August 2017

Y is for Yes

In whatever situation we find ourselves, God expects His children to be straight-forward with their words or actions. We aren't supposed to be 'grey', 'wishy-washy' or 'lukewarm' in what we do or say.

We are supposed to be people who speak plainly and truthfully, a straight-forward answer to a straight-forward question. And we are supposed to act in the same way.

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
Matthew 5:37 (ESV)

24 August 2017

X is for Excuses

“Don’t give in to excuses that can keep you from really living the best life God has for you.”
Joyce Meyer

When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.’
Jesus replied: ‘A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, “Come, for everything is now ready.”
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, “I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.”
Another said, “I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.”
Still another said, “I have just got married, so I can’t come.”
Luke 14:15-20

23 August 2017

W is for Walking (with God)

When you walk with someone, obviously you're not going in the opposite direction.

So, when you walk with your Lord, your will is going to align with His will.

"Those who walk with God, always reach their destination."
Henry Ford

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.
Deuteronomy 8:6 (NIV)

22 August 2017

V is for Victory

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.
Deuteronomy 20:4 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NIV)

21 August 2017

U is for Ungrateful

Why are some people so discontent nowadays?

They seem to relish complaining about things. If they get something, it's rarely exactly what they want and they moan about it. They don't seem to see that there are others around us who have nothing.... there's simply no sense of gratitude for anything they possess. Whether this came from man or God...

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3 1-5

20 August 2017

T is for Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3 5-6

See, God has come to save me.
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
The Lord God is my strength and my song;
he has given me victory.
Isaiah 12:2

19 August 2017

S is for Sabbath

God doesn't get tired, but even He rested on the seventh day after creating the universe.

The Sabbath was made for us to rest. Our bodies and minds need rest. All around us, people are struggling with fatigue and one of the reasons is a lack of rest.

As we rest from our labours, we not only renew our body, but our spirit as well.

“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.'”
Mark 2:27-28

18 August 2017

R is for Regeneration

We hardly ever hear the term "regeneration" in our churches nowadays. You are more likely to hear it on Doctor Who!

Another way of talking about regeneration is talking about being "born again." Here's a more familiar term to our modern ears. A work of the Holy Spirit, the term speaks of a spiritual transformation where the believer is radically changed, becoming someone new. Without that spark of the divine, a person is spiritually dead, but God steps in and makes that person spiritually alive.

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
Ezekiel 37:3-5

17 August 2017

Q is for Quitting

I'm not immune from all this. When things get tough, I have often felt that I have wanted to quit. Walk away, try and find something a bit easier to do.

God knows this. And assures me of His love.

Difficult times like these are opportunities to build your prayer life. To get closer to the Lord and draw upon His grace.

Don't give up! Jesus doesn't give up on you ... or me!

“Those times when you feel like quitting can be times of great opportunity, for God uses your troubles to help you grow.”
Warren Wiersbe

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

16 August 2017

P is for Perfection

Why can't I get it right?

“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:48

But even I get it wrong. I've just discovered that I've made a couple of errors this week in this very blog, and have just spent a couple of minutes kicking myself about it. Argh!

And that's the whole point of today's entry.

I regularly fall far short of God’s glory. I always aim to hit the target and constantly miss the mark.

It is only through Christ that we might have even a chance of reaching His own righteousness. Only in the context of our relationship with Jesus does God see us as perfect.

I'm informed that the Greek word for “perfect” here is telios. It means “fully grown, completed, or perfect.” So, to be “perfect” in this sense is actually to be spiritually mature, and completed in Christ.

That is our true aim. To grow more and more like Him.

15 August 2017

O is for Getting Older

I'm reliably informed that Old Age is a blessing from the Lord. We are called to give respect to all people, but there is a certain type of respect that we give to those who are our elders.

This is particularly poignant now that my own hair is starting to turn white. Yes, my body is now aging, and I am acutely aware of the things that I used to do so easily - things that now take me a while to do. It doesn't stop me doing these things, just slows me down a little.

And yet, I am assured that an elderly Christian never truly gets old. You only get old when you stop working for others in Christ and instead turn to watching television all day. There's still plenty to do!

Even to your old age and grey hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)

14 August 2017

N is for Neighbours

There are many verses in the Bible that speak about our neighbours. We should love our neighbours, we should treat our neighbours as we would want to be treated. So, who then is my neighbour? The man who lives next door, who I only see every so often.

Nope. It's more than that.

Everyone. All of those other people that we come across every day. The man in the queue ahead of you in the supermarket; the lady on the train; the youths on the street corner. All of 'em.

One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: “Which is most important of all the commandments?”
Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

Mark 12: 28-31 (MSG)

13 August 2017

M is for Mercy

Mercy is God not giving us the punishment that we deserve for our sins.

"Justice is for those who deserve it; mercy is for those who don’t."
Woodrow Kroll

The LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon you, destroy you, or forget the promise to your ancestors that he swore he would keep.
Deuteronomy 4:31

12 August 2017

L is for Laughter

Laughter is quite an amazing gift from God. When things aren't going quite the way I'd planned, a laugh or two can lift me out of some of my lowest points of my day, and can help me feel so much better.

God wants us to be happy. Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and what better way is there to express joy than through laughter?

"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."
Job 8:21 (NIV)

11 August 2017

K is for Kindness

It's not enough just to say kind words. You've got to mean what you say, actually live it out! Stop pretending to be someone you are not... you'll be found out!

Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
all the while conniving against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice,
eventually his evil will be exposed in public.
Proverbs 26: 24-26 (MSG)

10 August 2017

J is for Justice

I don't need to add any observations. :)

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)

9 August 2017

I is for Integrity

Integrity is defined as: "the quality or state of having strong moral principles; showing honesty and sincerity".

Doing the right thing. Each and every day. Because you want to, not because you want to be seen doing it...

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
Proverbs 2:6-8

8 August 2017

H is for Hypocrisy

Several of my work colleagues tell me that I should "Fake it till you make it." It's all about having confidence. If you don't feel confident, you should pretend you are until you gain the experience or tools necessary to real.

I'm not convinced. I struggle so often in this area, trying to be the best that I can be but constantly failing to hit the mark. In fact, it only reinforces to me the fact that I need to be more understanding when I come across others who don't get it right either. Lord, help me to understand, to be more honest and to be myself rather than someone I am not. I also need to be more forgiving!

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)

7 August 2017

G is for Gossip

We might think we're just passing on the news from the local 'grapevine'. Are you sure about that? Often it is just gossip. Plain and simple. Unsubstantiated and often derogatory in nature, it can be so destructive.

There's plenty of verses about gossip in the Bible. Stuff about learning to tame your tongue. Here's another good one... can you be really sure that it's the whole truth? You could be someone else's lies with every word...

“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness."
Exodus 23:1 (ESV)

Plus of course, it's often seen merely as a way to waste a bit of time and have some fun into the bargain. Except of course, for the nice bit of vicious character assassination that you are engaging in...

Yet we hear that some of you are living in laziness, refusing to work, and wasting your time in gossiping. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we appeal to such people—we command them—to quiet down, get to work, and earn their own living.
2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 (TLB)

6 August 2017

F is for Forgiveness

Yes, I kind of get the idea of forgiveness. It's tough, but I can forgive other people...

Forgiving myself? That can be an awful lot tougher...

God reminds me that forgiving yourself is not about forgetting. It is all about not dwelling on that stupid thing you did for hours on end.

If God has moved on, has declared that He 'chooses not to remember', shouldn't we do the same?

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)

5 August 2017

E is for Encouragement

It costs you nothing to take the time to build up others around you. You're not that busy. Try it today!

Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up.
Proverbs 12:25 (The Message)

4 August 2017

D is for Darkness

How dark is it when you live without hope, without justice, without freedom? There is a light, though. Can you see it?

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:4-5

3 August 2017

C is for Charity

I am often reminded by those who don't want to help other people that "charity begins at home". Perhaps, but does that mean it should end there? How can I show them a better way?

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
Isaiah 58:10

2 August 2017

B is for Bitterness

Holding on to bitterness can mean big trouble. I know this from my own experience. That's when we need to support one another...

Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God's best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.
Hebrews 12:15, TLB.

1 August 2017

A is for Anxiety

Worry doesn't solve anything. Instead, I need to replace it with something much better.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 6-7