Weariness

Many well known sayings come from Bible verses such as ‘you reap what you sow’ which comes from Jesus’ words…

‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’

But there’s more, Paul goes on to say ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’

Firstly who are you sowing to? Self, the world and the devil or the Holy Spirit?

We are either servants of God or servants of self and Satan, we cannot faithfully serve both.

‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’

Who are you living for Friend?

Denying self is hard and taking up your cross means self must be crucified but in truly following Jesus there’s immeasurable joy and peace!!

‘Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’

Are you weary with trying to right? Are you weary of denying self and living for God.

Are you exhausted with living for God’s glory in the mundane day to day tasks.

Another nappy change, another meal to get, more laundry to do, that book to read for the tenth time to today.

Or that same task at work, another difficult lesson at college, another difficult client, that person that grates on your nerves that you just want to snap at etc!

Jesus said…

‘he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’

Friends, there’s life in living for Jesus!!

But how do we not get weary with it?

By not doing it in your own strength or for yourself.

‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Do you see?! When we walk with Jesus the burden becomes light because He carries it with us and the yoke isn’t hard, Jesus shares the weight of it and guides and steers us if we’ll just lean into and trust His will and not pull against it!

So Friends, ‘let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’

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Gal 6:7-9, Matt 6:24, 10:39, 11:28-30

When the Burden Feels too Heavy

There’s verses you feel as though you’ve known all your life then you read them again and God shows you something new: don’t you just love that?!

I’ve been thinking about these verses a lot the last few weeks after God opened my eyes to something obvious but that I’d never seen so clearly before…

‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

We’ve got a command to come then a promise followed by another command and another promise and then a reason why we should come.

It’s the last sentence, the reason why that I wanted to share about…

‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Have you ever read that and thought my burden certainly doesn’t feel light?

Friends, if we’re weary and heavy laden Jesus has said come and receive this promised rest.

He’s said be joined with me and find rest so why is the hard sometimes still so hard?

If Jesus has promised then it’s true and if it’s not true in our lives then there’s a reason!

Friends, the yoke is only hard if we pull against it and the burden is only heavy if we try to bear it alone or pick up burdens that were never ours to carry!

Simple!

Have you come with your burden to Jesus?

Are you walking with Him or pulling against Him?!

If you’re struggling then ask God to open your eyes and then search your heart and see where you’re going your own way or not trusting because His yoke IS easy and His burden IS light!

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Matt 11:28-30

Some New Year Thoughts

As I’ve contemplated the New Year these words have been running through my mind.

‘See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’

Friends, as we enter this New Year we’re to walk carefully, wisely, redeeming the time.

Why?

Because the days are evil.

How are they evil?

We see sin all around us, man living for self and pleasure rather than for God.

But if we’re true believers, we have been called, as Paul says earlier in this letter, from darkness into light and as such we are to redeem the time.

What does it mean to redeem in this verse?

‘To rescue from loss.’

‘To make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good,’

Friends, we are to redeem every moment of time, to rescue those precious minutes from being lost to the world and claim them for the glorify God.

Just as Christ redeemed us, just as he bought us back from slavery to sin with his blood so we must redeem the time buying back each opportunity we are given, taking each moment from self and living it for the glory of God.

‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’

Not doing to earn God’s favour but doing because we love Him and as an overflow of that love, living for God and His glory.

‘For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen’.

What does that look like?

We’re doing a mundane task, maybe photocopying in the office or ironing, we can use those moments to meditate on God’s word or to pray for our colleagues or family.

What about in the tasks that take concentration? What is our why? Why are we doing it, how are we doing it?

Are we doing it grudgingly because we have to or to gain favour with others or are we doing it joyfully, cheerfully for God’s glory?

How? By God’s grace, with His help, through the power and wisdom of God that is in each true Believer through Christ Jesus, redeeming each moment, living each moment for Him!

We may make resolution as we begin a New Year but it’s only by God’s help that He will glorified through us in 2022.

We may resolve to lose weight and exercise more, a good resolve but what is our why?

So we look better, so we’re more attractive or so that God might be glorified in our life?

Do we want to be healthy so we can better serve God?

Friends are we walking in the light, redeeming the time?

Believe me, I’m far from perfect but by God’s grace may we each be helped to live moment by moment for the glory of God in 2022!!

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Eph 5:15-16, Col 3:17, Rom 11:36, Eph 5:8

Sacrifice and Surrender = Joy and Peace

I started reading 1 Corinthians but didn’t get any further than this description of who Paul was writing to ‘to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…’

‘Sanctified’.

‘Called to be saints!!’

So I dug a bit deeper, what exactly does it mean to be sanctified and a saint?

Sanctified – ‘to separate from profane things and dedicate to God’.

‘To purify internally by renewing of the soul’.

Saint – I’ve heard it described as a sinner sinner saved by grace but the meaning that stood out to me the most was the word consecrated!

Are we consecrated to God? Set apart from the world, exclusively His?

And how does this play out in our lives?

Is it looking set apart, dressing differently and avoiding the world?

No! It’s living through Christ for the glory of God!

If we truly love God this will affect the way we live, if we’re walking close to Him we’ll have no desire to dress or act in a way that grieves Him but that won’t be our focus!

We won’t want to be one with the World instead we’ll be reaching out to it with the love of Jesus as Jesus did with His love.

Loving the despised and rejected in our society just as Jesus did in His life.

Consecration is not set apart looking, it’s set apart doing!

It’s following in the footsteps of Jesus as he leads us!

It’s easy to put Jesus in the place of a servant, asking Him to do things for us and asking for His help when things get hard or we need direction.

And yes He’s both able and willing to help us but there should be so much more to our relationship with God than just getting the answers and help we want.

Relationships need love and love that is poured out in practical ways and that love going both ways.

The Christian life is a beautiful life of surrender and sacrifice of self for Christ and the glory of God.

It’s living for God and His glory through Christ and the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit who is in us as believers.

Growing in Grace = Growing in dependence on God

It’s walking in complete dependence upon God but not for our own will and way but for help to walk in His will and way.

That hole we’re so often try to fill with shopping, social media etc can only be filled with Jesus and by living for God, nothing else will satisfy for long!

It’s ‘no more Me just all Christ in me’!

It’s sacrifice and surrender which = joy and peace.

Friend, are you willingly, cheerfully living the surrendered, set apart life? Because it’s the only life where true happiness is found, the way where that peace that passes all understanding and that joy that transcends circumstances lights the darkest path!

Keep leaning in Friend and live by God’s enabling grace with open hands and heart, eyes fixed on Jesus!

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1 Cor 1:2

David and Goliath, Faith in a mighty God.

I’m sure you all know the account of David and Goliath well. A giant challenging the Israel army and none brave enough to accept the challenge except a young shepherd boy!

But what made David brave enough to set aside Saul’s armour and go out against Goliath armed with just a sling and a few pebbles?

It wasn’t that he had more courage than these seasoned warriors in the Israelite army it where His faith was placed.

David didn’t go to fight Goliath alone, he went fully trusting that God would fight for him! He knew the battle wasn’t his but God’s!

What was David’s reply of faith when Goliath mocked him?…

‘Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.’

But David doesn’t stop there, his faith isn’t just empty words!

When Goliath stepped towards David he ‘hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.’

David didn’t just stand there, yes he trusted God but he also steps forward in faith!

Faith seldom means sitting back and watching God do all the work it often mean stepping out in that faith trusting God to work through and for us.

So David steps forward in faith and with just one God directed sling the stone flung from his slingshot and Goliath drops to the ground defeated!

It was an unequal fight, not because Goliath was a giant and David a small shepherd boy BUT because it was Almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth against this feeble man Goliath!

David went in the name of the Lord, he wasn’t fighting for himself, He wasn’t fighting for fame, he wasn’t fighting for king Saul, he wasn’t fighting for Israel, he was fighting for God and His honour and glory!!

Friends there are no giants too big when our desire is for the honour and glory of God!

Those mountains, those impossibilities, they’re totally unequal to our God and can melt away as easily as the giant Goliath fell before the little shepherd boy!

The God who holds each star in the sky, the God who faithfully makes the sun to rise and set each day, the God who directs each wave and commands each drop of rain is in perfect, loving control and Friend, with God NOTHING is impossible!

Yes hard things come but dear child of God ‘we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’

So will you step out in faith like David and fight your Giant through Christ trusting that whatever the outcome God will use it for your good and His glory?

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1 Samuel 17, Romans 8:28

Putting on the Armour of God

How are you going to be starting today Believer?

How will you be strong enough to fight temptation, doubt and fear?

Will you ‘be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’?

Are you battle ready?

No soldier with an ounce of common sense goes into battle unarmed or without testing his weapons.

Physical soldiers fight earthly battles, battles for territory or principles.

We enter a far greater battle each day, the battle for our souls!

Photo by Bex Suckling

Friends, we fight in enemy territory against a formidable foe!

An enemy far stronger than we can ever defeat alone. Do you go into battle prepared because you can’t expect to win if you leave behind the weapons God has given you or forget the armour He’s given you to defend yourself with!

Friend, take a moment each morning to reflect on your armour, test each piece and use it to defend yourself.

First remember that belt of truth that surrounds you, tie it tight so your fears don’t flap about and hinder you.

Now don’t forget that breastplate of righteous, take time to reflect on the righteousness of Christ that covers you, remember that it protects your heart from the lies of the enemy and gives you access to God!

And then remember those sturdy shoes of gospel peace and truth, they help you to stand firm in your faith. Shoes to walk in and carry the gospel of peace with you wherever you go.

Then we get to the armour you have to pick up and wear or use each day.

The shield of faith, pick it up Friend and have it always ready to use when the fiery darts of unbelief and fear are fired at you.

Photo by Georgina Hickman

Hold that ‘I believe’ firm between you and those poisoned darts, the lies, the what ifs and the imaginations!

Then protect your mind, protect that hope that you have in Christ by putting on the helmet of salvation remembering whose you are and who you serve.

Then pick up your sword, God’s word, the word He has preserved over thousands of years so that He can speak through it to YOU Friend!

This is your sword, Jesus used it and with an ‘it is written…’ fought off Satan and it has the same power for you today!

Did you pick it up before you started the day? Do you have those truths hidden in your heart ready to attack relation, doubt and fear?!

And finally how does Paul wrap these commands to Christ’s soldiers up?

We pray! We pray for ourselves and others…

‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;’

Friend, are you ready for battle today?

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Eph 6:10-18

God Will Provide

Abraham didn’t know why God asked him to offer up his son Isaac. Abraham didn’t understand how God could fulfill His promise if he killed his son through whom God’s promise was to be fulfilled.

He didn’t understand why or how but he obeyed regardless!

It’s easy to forget that faithful obedience includes obeying when we don’t understand why or how.

Maybe the Lord has asked you to do something that feels impossible. Maybe you feel as though you haven’t the time or the strength or the means but God has Friend!

It was faith and grace that enabled Abraham to go forward wondering how he could fulfill God’s will and why God was asking him to do this.

It was faith and grace that caused Abraham to say ‘God will provide…’

And Friend the same grace is available to you in Christ if you’ll just grasp it by faith, however small that faith may be and go forward in cheerful obedience trusting that God will provide!

Can we not trust the One who died to save us?!

‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.’

Are you willing to sacrifice your will to God’s even when it doesn’t make sense trusting Him to provide along the way?

Friends, ‘he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.’

‘God will provide.’

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Rom 12:1, 2 Cor 5:15, Gen 22:8

Goodness and Mercy…

‘Goodness and mercy’!

These three words keep running through my mind so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper with you today.

‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.’

I’m sure most of us are very familiar with these words and probably know them by heart but how often can we say them, believing them with faith as David could?

Surely… see how certain he is!

David went through some incredibly hard times yet through it all he trusted God.

The saying says that ‘seeing is believing,’ but for the believer, ‘believing is seeing.’

Do we really believe that God will work all our hard things together for good? Because if we do then God will open our eyes and we’ll start to see Him at work in even the tiniest circumstances in our lives.

Photo by Abi

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: …’

Wherever the child of God goes God’s goodness and mercy follows! Surely…!!

It’s a certainty Friends!

Surely God’s goodness and mercy will follow His children all the days of their lives!

So what is this goodness and mercy?

Goodness – towb – good, beautiful, best, bountiful, gracious, kindness, loving.

Mercy – checed – loving kindness, favour, goodliness, pity, merciful kindness, steadfast love.

Friends, just look at all these words that describe the goodness and mercy of God that follows us!

It’s His loving kindness in our hard things, it’s His steadfast love that carries us through the trials, it’s His kindness and love that holds us up in our grief and His pity that comforts us in our distresses.

Do you believe it, will you trust it? Will you rest in His loving arms both now and for ever?

‘Surely goodness and mercy SHALL follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.’

Psalm 23

Ps there’s a new free download up on my site for you. The password is SOSFREE

Encouragement in the waiting…

However old we are waiting is hard and waiting patiently is even harder!

I wonder how many of us have prayers that we’re still waiting for the answers to?

But we’re not the only ones waiting…

‘therefore will the LORD wait…’

When our prayers aren’t answered straight away God is waiting too!

He’s waiting for His perfect timing. He’s waiting until we’re relying only upon Him for the answer, He’s waiting for His own wise purposes, He’s waiting so…

‘…that he may be gracious unto you and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.’

The Hebrew word translated here as wait means ‘to adhere to, long, tarry, wait: through the idea of piercing’

This doesn’t make waiting sound easy does it but it’s a clinging waiting, it’s a persistent waiting!

Friends, God hears our prayers but sometimes the answer is wait but that doesn’t mean give up, it means keep pressing in, keep clinging, keep pleading, wait ON the Lord, trust Him and don’t give up!!

Again I think of the children of Israel, what if they’d given up marching around Jericho on day six?!!

Friend wrestle hard with God in prayer, don’t give up, keep waiting on Him and He WILL answer in His own perfect way and time!!

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Is 30:18

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength

As I stood looking out at the pink tinged clouds yesterday morning while thinking about God’s faithfulness, I spotted a cloud that looked a bit like an eagle and it reminded me of these words…

‘they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’

Photo kindly donated

It’s a passage full of encouragement…

‘Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?…’

It’s as though God is saying stop and think a moment, He the One that ‘sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:’ is in control!

Lay down all your burdens for a moment at Jesus’ feet and consider… ‘Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.’

‘Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?’

Look around Friend, look at the sun and consider how God has faithfully made it rise again. Watch the little birds and remember that God is also watching them for ‘are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?…’

Photo kindly donated

So what about you Friend?

‘…even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.’

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.’

Friends, God sees, God knows, God understand and God cares about even the minutest details of your life! Even down to how many hairs fell out when you brushed it this morning!!

He knows the new number!!!

‘He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.’

There’s no doubt here, He does and He WILL if we’ll just believe it!

‘Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…’

It’s only when we acknowledge our weakness that we are in a position to prove the strength of God!

Photo kindly donated

It’s those that wait on the Lord, seek Him and lean upon Him, whose strength He renews, so lean in Friends, lean in again and again!!

Lean into His strength in your weakness.

The grace of Jesus Christ is always sufficient, it’s a river that is always flowing, kneel down and drink all you need, He’s the Water of Life for thirsty souls and will give you His inner strength and carry you through!

‘… they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’

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Is 40, Luke 12:6