How many of us have actually counted the cost of following Jesus?
We tend to think that life is about you and him; her; or maybe, about them, but it’s actually about Jesus and yourself.
Jesus calls us to a life of obedience when we pick up that cross and allow Him into our hearts. It’s a lifetime of saying yes and amen when it doesn’t make sense.
I did not truly understand that it’s about following the One who loves me, unconditionally. The One who died on a cross to ensure I could live for eternity.
There is a cost to following Jesus.
I love the analogy of running the race that Paul speaks about, because some will be more ahead of others, but, it’s realising that no matter where you are at this point, it’s about finishing well.
Counting the cost means we look to what is to come, because, the Bible makes no attempt to cover up the hardships that we must endure throughout life, so we need to reflect on whether we will be tempted to stop our race, or turn back because it’s easier.
Where are we in our Christian walk?
Are we sold out for Jesus – pursuing Him with everything we have?
Do we even know that we are alive to fulfil a purpose?
And so, today, I encourage you to think about, if Jesus returned today, would our lives reflect the life we were pre-destined to have?
Moses has just spent time in the presence of God – face to face – in the Tent of Meeting outside of the Israelites camp.
Joshua had witnessed many miraculous events, being by Moses’ side…the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of the whole Egyptian Army, Manna from the Sky, and Water from a rock…but the pillar of cloud must have been an awesome sight!
It could be seen for miles around and when God’s people saw the cloud, they stood and worshipped outside the tent – millions of people.
I have read past the last part of Exodus 33:11 in a nonchalant way for many years and then today, I paused, and God spoke to me.
Joshua remained in the Tent of Meeting once Moses had gone back to the Camp – he lingered for more. In God’s presence.
Maybe Joshua was protecting the Tent from worshippers, who could have dared to have gone inside, only to meet their fate. He was after all a warrior, but I felt God say this morning that “Joshua wanted more.” To know more, or to feel more of God’s presence.
Whatever the reason, Scripture tells us that Joshua was mighty in God. He had the faith to go in and scope out the promise land. He boldly stood for God when others failed to see how God would hand it over for them. And he was Moses’ successor in eventually leading God’s people, in what Moses failed to do.
Imagine if we stayed behind for a period of time in God’s presence. What would God speak to us? What would He show us? How would our lives be changed? But more importantly, how would we change others, from that experience?!?
Today, ask God’s presence to fill the room, wherever you are, and I pray that you will linger there
The recap on Moses’ life in the book of Acts really spoke to me this morning, because I feel that there are some of us feeling disheartened or discouraged that God has not released you into what you feel you are ultimately called to do.
“Moses assumed his fellow Israelites would realise that God had sent him to rescue them, but they didn’t.” Acts 7:25
It’s amazing to think that Moses assumed that “the time was now” when he stuck up for a fellow Israelite, and that God was releasing him into his destiny, of bringing freedom to God’s people.
Yet, 40 years…yeap…40…God sends Moses back to Egypt to set His captives free, and Moses became one of the greatest Leaders in the Bible.
God places dreams in our hearts for a reason, and although the people around you might not see your God-given purpose, keep waiting and seeking God. Keep drawing closer to God with your relationship, because it just simply isn’t the right time…yet
This Psalm is one where the Israelites were ascending to the temple for the annual feasts, but I love the image of people walking to higher ground, together, in order to reach God.
God calls us to higher living when we are His children because we then become a witness to those around us when we follow His ways.
Yet, it can be all too easy to take our troubles to other people, rather than God, especially when we are accused of things that aren’t true.
To ascend means “to climb up” and generally it entails us to look in the direction that we are walking.
So the next time we have troubles…remember to look up and walk towards God, because He is the One who will help us overcome
I have been able to see angels and unfortunately the demonic since I was a little girl – which is ironic because I didn’t know God until my mid-twenties, but as I child, I would call the angels “fairies” because that was the only description I could use at the time.
Growing up I witnessed spiritual warfare. I would witness battles between the angels and demonic in the sky, and my teachers would write on my school reports about “Rebecca-land,” because I would literally watch the sky.
When the demonic would come and try to scare me at night, I would scream out and my Mum would come running into my bedroom and tell me to “think about my fairies at the bottom of the garden.”
There are some people who still struggle with the concept of the spiritual realm, there are some who love the angels, and even unbelievers who worship the demonic, but whatever your stance, the Bible is clear on the spiritual, God Himself, and His angels.
Since becoming a Christian, I have gone back through my childhood with God and He has unpacked what happened to bring understanding and clarity, but I have learnt that angels have a rightful place.
Generally, when I see the angelic, it’s always in three circumstances…
Over the years I have realised that if I can see God’s creation, that is the world, and even the angels – which some are indescribably beautiful – how much more will Jesus and even God be when we are with them in Heaven!
If an angel told John in Revelation 22:8-9 to not worship them, then we shouldn’t either, because they are servants of God, simply here to help us reach our final destination
Can you imagine being Solomon and being asked directly from God in a dream, what was his one true desire – Solomon could ask for anything in the world and it was his.
Have you ever considered why God asked Solomon what he wanted?
This was at the time when Solomon had just become King, and Scripture tells us that he sacrificed 1,000 bulls, yet the requirement from the Mosaic Law, was only one.
Solomon extravagantly gave to God in what would have been seen as a great cost, due to the value of bulls, but also, sacrificially, bulls were used as a sin offering.
This was a bold statement that Solomon was making and it certainly didn’t go unnoticed by God.
Sometimes we can be so preoccupied with what we want from God, that we forget our relationship with Him is what’s important. Solomon showed his love for God by putting God first.
Solomon then asks for wisdom to carry out his job – not that God would do the job that He had given to Solomon – that’s a big difference, because we should not ask God to do FOR us what He wants to do THROUGH us.
Solomon became the wisest man that has ever lived, and this part of Scripture shows, that when we put God and His work for us first, He will satisfy our deepest needs, to bring glory to Him.
God has been really pressing on me these past few days about encouraging us to remember who Jesus is and the truth of the Scriptures.
Have you hit a brick wall in your faith?
Are you looking for answers?
Or maybe, you are drifting away from Christ?
The writer of Hebrews wrote this book as a reminder of the truth. To not look around. To not fixate on the Old Testament and become chained again to the Law.
He wrote this beautiful book, to encourage and uplift us.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Listening to what Jesus says is not only hearing the words but also obeying.
If you have hit a brick wall, then I encourage you today to remember that God has put Jesus in charge of everything and His true position and authority is at the right hand of God. He is Lord, and one day he will rule the earth, but until then, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
Don’t settle for anything less
When you think about your faith, what is the foundation based upon?
Looking back through the book of Acts, we can see that the Disciples caused a lot of unrest when they started preaching about the resurrection of Jesus.
Peter and Paul weren’t persecuted for talking about the Old Testament Scriptures, but about Jesus dying and ascending to Heaven.
Our faith, therefore, needs to be based upon the resurrection, and not the Bible.
The early church survived because they saw or heard from actual witnesses, about the Good News of Jesus Christ, and therefore, if that kind of faith can last over 2,000 years, then that is what we must focus on, because, if our Bible’s were taken from us, just like many around the world today, remember, we still have Jesus, and that’s all we truly need
Every time I read this part of Scripture, it sends chills down my spine, because we now have a way to break what was, a complicated system to atone for sin.
It’s fascinating that the Priests in the Old Testament were never allowed to sit down – there is not one mention of a chair – because their work to cover the Israelites sin, was never done.
Yet, we read in Hebrews 1:3 – that once Jesus died and had fulfilled all that God had asked, and arose to Heaven, “He sat down in the place of honour at the right hand of the majestic God.”
Because it was done. Finished. Or the Greek word is “Tetelestai” which means, paid in full.
And yet, we still continue to strive for our sin to be forgiven…
Think we have something to do…
Feel ashamed for past events…
Or just not feeling good enough to come into God’s embrace.
There are so many of us still yet to receive this revelation that Jesus is sat down – our debts have been paid.
So, I encourage us today to read John 19 and to pull up a chair, because there is simply nothing more for us to do, but to live a life, loving God, and loving others.
Have you ever said things like:
I have nothing to wear…
Staring at a wardrobe full of clothes.
Or what about:
There’s nothing to eat…
With a pantry full of food.
It can be easy to see the lack in our lives, but actually, when we shift our way of thinking, we start to cultivate gratitude and thankfulness.
Paul writes in Colossians about being grounded in Christ because our ways are not Christ’s way.
Think of when Jesus fed the 5,000. The disciples saw lack, whereas Jesus thanked God for what they had and with gratitude, God blessed them but from that, the faith grew from the disciples.
We need to remember that our words or our thoughts have power, so when we shift the negative to a positive – things change. Life’s are transformed. Breakthrough happens.
Because just as a plant draws nourishment from the soil through their roots, so we draw our life-giving strength from Christ.
The more we draw from His ways, His thoughts, His strength, the less we will be inclined to think about what we need, rather than what we have.
This then brings freedom, it brings joy, peace, thankfulness, love, forgiveness, guidance, and gratitude but it also brings so much more than we can ever comprehend…it brings eternal life.
When I was talking to God this morning, He suddenly dropped a revelation into my spirit.
Usually, when I have a question, it starts with, “What does the Bible say about…” because I love to learn and explore.
Yet, today, God revealed that that is an “Old Covenant” way of thinking and actually the new way needs to be, “How does God’s love allow me to ______ (fill in the blank)”
Reading the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians shows that when we apply God’s love to any situation, the result of it is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness etc…
Jesus’ death means that we no longer need to ask the endless questions because we cannot love God without loving others and therefore when we have good “fruit intake”, we know that we are asking the right question