Stand Firm, All Will BE Well

24th July

In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. All power to Him forever. Amen.”

1 Peter 5:10-11

Peter wrote his letter to encourage the churches to continue to persevere through persecution; to stand firm against any attacks of the enemy and against those who hated the church. Peter wonderfully finishes the first of his letters, with these uplifting and encouraging words. His words are so powerful and full of truth, that even believers today can take encouragement from them.

There will be an end to your suffering. Jesus will restore you, support you and strengthen you. You may too be suffering, perhaps not from persecution, but from a different source. May Peter’s words be a source of encouragement for you too. He will help you and place you on a firm foundation that cannot be shaken. That place is in the palm of His hands. Don’t fear. You are safe. God is your strong tower, a place of refuge and help in the time of our need. Be encouraged, all will be well. Put your hope in Him. He is reliable, steadfast and greater than all our problems or needs.

The Lord Is Always With Me

22nd & 23rd July

Weekend Edition

I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.”

Psalm 16:8-9

David knew that wherever he was, God was always with him. God never left him. This truth also led David to write the wonderful passage of Psalm 23, ‘Even though I walk through the valleys and in the shadows of death, You never leave me.’ David knew that whatever he faced, God was walking beside him. If you too knew that God was always with you in your life, would that change the outlook of how you see the problems you are faced with? Would it change the way you see yourself? David’s statement of faith was something that God Himself promised. God spoke through Moses to encourage Joshua with these words, ‘He will never leave you or forsake you’, and with the same words God also made a promise to the people of Israel and to us too. When God promises something, it is for eternity and never changes.

Today as you go about your day, know that God is with you, He is ‘right beside’ you. Let your heart be glad and rejoice in the Lord. God is with you. He is walking with you. He is your safety, your peace, and He is your God. Do not fear, He is with you. No wonder our hearts are glad!!

From God’s Perspective

21st July

When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers – the moon and the stars You set in place – what are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care about them?”

Psalm 8:3-4

Do you ever have moments when you just stop…. and take in all that God has made and realise that we truly serve a Mighty God. David, in writing this Psalm, must have had a moment like that. Not only does it realign our focus on God, but when we see ourselves from God’s perspective, it strengthens who we are in Him. Just think about it – the God who spoke life just through His words, the God who set the moon and stars in place, thinks about us, and has made us in His own image, giving us ‘charge over everything’ He made. We are God’s finest creation; His beloved and His own workmanship.

When you stop in awe of God’s creation, just know you are His best creation. In addition remember how much you are loved by Him too. The God who flung stars into space, think about YOU!

Peace To All Men

20th July

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

Romans 12:18

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness—not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. 1

The Great Dictator was a political satire comedy-drama film, written, directed and produced, and even starred in by Charlie Chaplin. It was his first full-sound production movie, and was even nominated for 5 academy awards. Yet more than the accolades or the political references in the movie, it will be remembered for the final speech at the end of the film; part of which is quoted in today’s devotional. His speech highlights the importance of peace with all men, something that is echoed throughout the Bible, especially in Paul’s teaching to the church in Rome.

There is good in this world. There can be peace among all men. We don’t want to hate and despise one another, as quoted by Chaplin. Our natural desire is to be at peace with one another. No one likes war. No one wants to hate. That is not the way we have been made. Rather, we have been carved and moulded into God’s image by God Himself. That is the original plan for all men. Moreover, we have been blessed with ‘Peace’ as Jesus lives in us and He is the Prince of Peace. Friends, challenge yourselves to invite the Prince of Peace into your life and let Him bring peace and joy in your hearts. Let it be contagious. As much as possible, live in peace with all men. In this world, there is room for everyone! Don’t let difference separate us, but rather unite us in peace and harmony, through the fellowship of the Spirit..

In Christ We Have All We Need

18th July

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a Godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvellous glory and excellence.”

2 Peter 1:2-3

Isn’t it wonderful that in our walk with Jesus, we do not need to have everything sorted out or have all the answers, in order to experience Him or have a relationship with Him. In fact, Peter tells us that it is by God’s divine power, that we have all we need to be in a right standing relationship with Him. Moreover, as we grow in the knowledge of who God is, God’s grace becomes clearer and more evident in our lives, allowing us to be more at peace with, and in our relationship with Him.

Knowing Jesus, is so much more than academical knowledge. It has the power to transform your life, and deepen your walk with Him. Praise God that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, not our works and deeds. We have everything we need to live for Him, to live Godly Christ like lives, because He has and is empowering us. As we grow in the knowledge of who He is, we grow in our understanding of who we are in Him. Let our prayer be that we would grow in Him, and daily be filled with more and more grace and peace. God wants us to know Him and He gives us the tools to do so. Seek Him and He will be found.

Finally…

15th – 17th July

For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcome all who visited him, boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.”

Acts 28:30-31

Paul’s last recorded journey in the Book of Acts, ends with Paul having reached Rome under house arrest, after God had saved him and the others on board with him from a shipwreck. Yet miraculously, Paul had the freedom to welcome all who visited him, enjoying a time of peace and contentment. Moreover, he could finally boldly proclaim the Kingdom of God and teach about Jesus, without fear of any one stopping him. Although scripture does not say how Paul died, we do know that he spent the next two years in Rome proclaiming God’s Kingdom.

Paul’s life, is a great example for us. It shows us that despite our limitations and even throughout tough circumstances, God is always with us and empowers us to do what we normally can’t. Paul’s life shows us, that we should never give up when we are facing adversary or danger, because in complete surrender, God does His best work through us. He always works things out for His good.

Let us remember that God is with us always, in-spite and despite of whatever we may be going through. There is an end. There is a point when it will be over. Just hold on. Take courage. Surrender fully to Jesus. Trust in His power and love and know He is with you always.

Not Always The Way We Think….But Take Courage

14th July

and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in His goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as He said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.”

Acts 27:24-26

After many years in prison, and after long and tiresome court cases, Paul’s request, as a Roman citizen, to stand trail before Caesar in Rome, was finally heard. However, yet again, Paul’s journey was not without drama. As they made their way from Caesarea to Rome, a great wind arose, and threatened to capsize and even destroy the ship they were on. Yet Paul knew that his journey would not end by dying in a shipwreck. He had been beaten, imprisoned and persecuted, and each time, God had rescued him from death. Re-assured by an angel of God during the night, Paul was once again encouraged, that although a storm was crashing in around him, he would survive and not die. Paul was full of faith in God’s promises. ‘For I believe God. It will be just as He said!’

Sometimes, even though God speaks to us and shows us clearly of the path we are to take, when hurdles arise, we can easily become discouraged and feel like giving up. But just as Paul took courage in God’s promises, so should we. Things might not always go the way we planned or the way we think they should. In fact sometimes, they might look like they are going in the opposite direction to what God had revealed to us, but if our trust and hope is firmly in God, then we have no reason to fear or doubt. We can be full of courage and confidence, knowing that God is with us every step of the way. We can join Paul and say, ‘For I believe God. It will be just as He said!’