For years, my Bible was used as a coaster, and so, it gathered dust on my bedside table
I thought that my intentions were good because every so often I would consider reading the Scripture’s – although I would get distracted in thought, or decide that I was too busy, and thus more time went by
Then one day, I decided to start reading the Bible-in-one-year plan on YouVersion, and although it took probably closer to 18 months, I had begun to desire to read God’s Word.
It was only when I made a conscious choice to stop making excuses, and start making God a priority, that my life started to change for the better.
Friends, there will always be 101 ways to not spend time with God, because our mind naturally goes against God’s will for our lives. Yet, sometimes it’s having to make ourselves do it daily, that then creates a desire to spend time with God, which then creates a love for Him, and His Scriptures
The words started to ”jump out” at me, and the previous inability to understand the ”made up” stories (that I thought the Old Testament was), became life-changing truths that simply point me to the way to Jesus
This world is gripped by fear. The news always loves a good scaremongering, dreams remain so, purpose dies, and we are stuck in a perpetual state of anxiety
My Dad used to tell me that I was ”afraid of my own shadow”, but after reading my Bible, I realised my authority over fear, my identity in the Living God, and the Hope for what is to come
Spurgeon put it so well when he said that, ”Half our fears arise from neglect of the Bible” – and I honestly couldn’t agree more
”Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:8
I remember reading this Scripture and thinking that I had missed the boat (or banquet in this case), but I didn’t understand at the time that the Scripture found in Matthew 22:14 is the general call to all people.
This is where we are all invited to the “banquet of the King”, and Jesus uses this illustration, or parable, as the call God is making to all nations, through the Great Commission – ”Come. If you believe, you will be saved, and feast with the King.”
The sad thing is, many people in the world have heard the call (through people sharing the Gospel, or God actually moving in their lives) and yet, those individuals turn a blind eye or know God’s real, and again, still choose to live life how they want
This is why few are chosen, because we can think, that is it. Say a prayer, and we’re in, but Christianity is so much more…
It’s direct call, not just a general one. For those who love God because we have found Him, and therefore want to know Him intimately…
So we know His voice because our Spiritual eyes and ears have been opened – we hear Him. We have chosen Him
Honestly, our true calling from God requires action or obedience from our part
Friends, I have heard so many times lately about people not knowing which way to turn, or God’s purpose for them, but in both of these “calls” I have mentioned above, the result is the same – turn to God
God is calling each one of us, to Him. That’s what this life is for – to build our relationship with God first, and then others.
So, are we called?
Yes, but are we listening?
God desires us all to be chosen, and that’s why He breathed life into us in the first place. So, I want to encourage us all today – don’t just say the prayer to accept the invitation God has asked you too, and continue as you were.
Life is so much more than doing our ”9 to 5” until we die
This Psalm brings so much truth to our Christian-walk, but verse five is what captivates me
In one verse, David brings the basis of our relationship with The Lord
That God will continually lead us as we walk with Him, but also that we would be taught His ways
How many times as a child, would we be taken somewhere by our parents, but it’s only when we paid attention in later years, that we see the way to reach our destination?
David shows that although God may lead us on His path, we still need to be taught His ways. It’s a two-part transaction that sees us put our hope and faith in Him.
It’s a place where we no longer trust our instinct but surrender our thoughts to His
Friends, we may all know that the sky is blue, and the grass is green, but there is so much more to learn when we allow God to take us deeper in life
As an adult, we can forget the little intricacies that have us in wonder as a child, but it remembers to come to God with a ”child-like-faith,” that allows us to be then taught, to be moulded, and guided, to where God has called us
And so today, don’t only ask God to lead you, but to teach you His ways, His thoughts, and start to understand that these truths are the only way in life
John 17 is Jesus’ last prayer, but have you ever noticed that He prays for us?
What would your last prayer be? If you knew that that would be it before you died – what words would you speak?
The more that I thought about Jesus’ prayer, the more I thought about how fickle I probably would be because I would want to pray for everything and everyone. I would pray about whether my life had been enough. If I had followed God’s path. I would also undoubtedly be repenting! But I would pray for loved ones I was about to leave behind – for God’s continued faithfulness, mercy, love, and guidance for them
Yet, for Jesus, He knew His identity. He knew His relationship with the Father was secure. He knew His path. Therefore, He prayed for us.
Jesus prays that we will know God as He did, and that we would be in perfect unity together so that the world would know that God had sent Him
Friends, there comes a point in our lives when we focus on what truly matters. This is the time when we die to our selfish-ambition. We are at peace with who God created us to be so that we become a light for Jesus without striving. The world around us breaks our hearts because we see the brokenness and we pray that others will find what we have with God
My heart is burning with compassion for God’s world. There are people still yet to hear the name, Jesus. Others who believe they can piggyback into Heaven based on others faith. Or worse still, some who don’t even care
We need to get on our knees and pray, like Jesus, for the world to know God. For His love to be poured out as it is in Heaven, but also, for unity.
Friends, it starts with you and I. So today, ask yourself truthfully – what would your last prayer be, and is it a true reflection of the heart of the Father?
When Jesus said, ”Remember Me” (Luke 22:19-20) it was at a time when He broke the bread and drank wine, so that, we would be reminded, continuously, about His sacrifice at Calvary
In other words – to consistently remember what Jesus did, is to remember what we need to do in our lifetime
Jesus was broken to set us free, but what most of us don’t realise, is that we also, need to come to God, broken, as a sacrifice too
I want God to break me…I know that might seem crazy – to desire the pain and heartache of a broken Spirit, but when we break, it releases something within that draws us to the only One who can truly restore us
To be broken, is to understand Who the Lord is, because when Jesus went to the cross, it was through free-will…Choice…Love
When we ask God to ”break us” it reveals our heart. Our daily sacrifice to have Him as Lord, and Saviour. To know that no matter what, He is good, and therefore, we put our trust, our faith, our hope, our dreams, and our future into the Hands of our creator, and say, ”let Your will be done.”
Are you ready to be broken?
Are you ready to say ”yes”…daily?
Friends, God doesn’t want us to do anything more than to run to Him
He wants us, like Jesus, to lay down our lives, and trust Him.
Do we trust God in the midst of our brokenness to repair, rebuild, and restore our souls to how they were always intended to be?
Many of us scroll through Social Media, looking for who we want to become…
We ”like” posts. Share stories. Comment on other people’s photos about how amazing they are, but what do we genuinely think about ourselves?
I realised that I was incapable of love until I learnt to love who I was. Not who I wanted to be. Or who God had called me to be…but, now.
The person stood in front of the mirror needed acceptance – no matter how broken – that was who I needed to love. I needed to stop looking in the magazines. Online. On social media platforms. It was about God and I…
I needed to realise that He hadn’t made a mistake. That I was right where I needed to be. That the person looking back didn’t need to pretend anymore, because when I did, I was actually doing God an injustice!
Friends, every person in this world – past, present, and future reveals Who God truly is. He created billions of individuals to showcase uniqueness, His brilliance of design, and intentionality.
There is no one like you, for a reason.
We are different, for a reason.
No one can reach the people you were called to reach, and no matter what those numbers are, we need to accept ourselves and love the person God created us to be. Embrace you!
I feel like this is a message for someone…
You can not love others – as God intended – if you do not love yourself, first.
Jesus gave us the two greatest commandments for a reason (Mark 12:31) and that is because we will ultimately treat people how we allow ourselves to be treated
We need to realise that God doesn’t want clones. We don’t actually need to change…it’s always been about you and God.
So, do yourself a favour this morning, and check that you ”like” yourself before you start ”liking” others
”You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.” Song of Songs 4:7
I remember the nights were always the worst for me. My life was paralysed by fear, and so, I developed insomnia.
Events, choices, arguments, past, and present would play over and over in my mind. I survived on a few hours sleep a night for a long time, but my relationships, and especially my ability for intimacy with God, or Kieren, suffered because I thought I was pre-destined to be alone.
I thought being alone was good because I could control ”alone” – or so I thought. Therefore, I stopped going to Life Groups. I stopped going to the Toddler/Mum’s Group with Sarai. I stopped going out for coffee with friends. I even stopped going to Church. I just stopped going out…
Every part of me was fearful of failing, of not being good enough, making the wrong choice. I thought I was being judged as a Mom, a wife, and even a friend. In my head, alone was where I could breathe, and yet, alone terrified me all at the same time
Friends, my heart was closed – it was encased in shattered glass, waiting for the tiniest shard to pierce my brokenness, but I want to encourage you that there are people around you that God has placed in your life to help you.
For some, it might be that coffee date that you have been putting off. Or even, going to that group at church. For me, it was talking to a trained Christian counsellor that took away the shards of glass and rewriting what I thought was truth, with God
Anything or any place that holds fear in our lives is where God has not truly been allowed to go
I want us to understand that we are not alone, and we were never created to be alone, either.
Brokenness is what stops us from allowing God to remove those shards of glass, permanently, and so today, if we can’t speak out to someone about our fears, or even if we can’t speak about anything, allow your tears to be your prayers to God, and when possible, in your head, say ”help me.”
Then watch what happens, because I promise, when we open our hearts to God, and go on that journey with Him, fear will flee
”Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:18