In The Midst Of Turmoil

9th & 10th July

Weekend Edition

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him.”

Psalm 34:8

Turn the news on and you will be bombarded with a wave of negativity, depressing facts, hate, killings and economic insecurity. It is a bleak sight. As Christians, we too are obviously effected by the circumstances of the world. However there is a big difference in our approach to them. We can still maintain our joy, even when joy seems a long forgotten emotion. That is not to say we are not sad, concerned or even disturbed by the news and facts but it is to say that no matter what is happening around us, if we take refuge in Him (in God), we will not be shaken. Furthermore, refuge in Him, gives us the motivation to fight injustice, stand up for people’s rights and practice true religion.

Be encouraged, God is for us and will fill us with His joy. Good things are coming.

Bless The Lord

9th November

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within in me, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not His benefits!

Psalm 103:1-2

It is always good to be reminded to remember God’s goodness to us. So often we can be going through a really hard time and not see any hope or light at the end of the tunnel. Yet if we remember God’s goodness, and His countless blessings, victories and benefits towards us, then we can take courage in knowing that the pain wont last forever.

Matt Redman wrote a wonderful song called ‘10,000 reasons’ a few years ago. In the first verse we sing this wonderful declaration to God…. ‘Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me…let me be singing when the evening comes. It is almost like it was taken straight out this wonderful psalm. Matt Redman commentating on why he wrote this song said the following:-

We live beneath an unceasing flow of goodness, kindness, greatness, and holiness, and every day we’re given reason after reason why Jesus is so completely and utterly worthy of our highest and best devotion.”1

The reason we can praise the Lord each day is because He deserves our praise. Even in the middle of the storm, there are always reasons to worship and thank God for His goodness. Let us not get caught up in sadness or sorrow, but encourage our hearts to be filled with praise and thanksgiving towards God. He heals our sickness‘, forgives our sins and redeems our lives. Be encouraged, lift up your hearts and forget not His benefits and blessings. As the saying goes,

‘GOD is good all the time and all the time GOD is good!’

Salvation Is God’s Alone

28th September

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It is not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

Today’s verse has a two fold message. The first being that salvation is God’s work alone. There is nothing we can do to make the seed of salvation grow in someone’s heart. Salvation is God’s work alone. He provides the increase. The Holy Spirit is the One who opens our hearts to Jesus Christ and His work of grace. It is the Holy Spirit’s revelation, that we are so loved by God that He sent His Son Jesus Christ for us, that helps us to believe and accept and be transformed by that love.

The second message is that although salvation is God’s alone, we too can partner with Christ to share His message. It is then God’s work to open our hearts to receive it so that the seed of salvation may grow and bear good fruit in our lives. Paul was addressing the issue of fractions within the body as some were following Paul’s teaching, some Peter’s and some Apollos’. Yet Paul was highlighting that they were all working in partnership with Christ to share His message of love however, it is God work alone that makes that seed grow.

Let us not forget the responsibility of sharing Christ with others; but more importantly let us remember that it is God who makes the seed of salvation grow in someone’s heart. We do not need to have a title over our heads to be qualified to share Jesus with others. As Paul said, “It is not important who does the planting or watering.” What is important, is that we allow the work of salvation to be God’s alone, so that He alone can get the glory!

Enter His Gates

16th September

Acknowledge the Lord is God! He made us, and we are His……Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His Name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.

Psalm 100:3a,4-5

Praise God that we are not only His but that through Jesus Christ, we have a way to literally enter into His very throne room and to worship Him freely. We are now seated with Christ in Heavenly place. God’s presence is no longer confined to a building with four walls, or a High priest who mediates for us, but rather He lives in us.

So often places of worship are seen as sanctuary’s to escape lives difficulties, places to find refuge and peace, places of security and sources of hope and joy. Yet what we now know because of Jesus’ resurrection, is that His very presence has made a home in our hearts. God’s presence is no longer confined to a building, but is found in us, His children.

When we enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, it is an attitude of prayerful worship, thankfulness for His goodness, rejoicing in song and praising His Name. Why? Because the Lord is good and His unfailing love continues forever. When we wake, thankfulness should be on hearts. When we sleep praise should be on lips. The Lord is good and deserves to be praised.

God Is Good All The Time

21st July

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.”

Psalm 86:5

Newsflash…. God is on your side. He is not against you, He not sitting in Heaven pointing His finger at you waiting for you to slip up and to condemn you. On the contrary, God is your number supporter. He is willing you on in life’s race, ready to pick you up if you fall, answering your prayers, and carrying you when you have no energy left. If your image of God is not any of these, then you have misunderstood who God is.

There is a reason why God is constantly referred to as Abba Father in the bible. Why? Because He is our loving, kind and gracious Father. Even when situation may look bad, look like there is no hope, God is still working in the background to bless you and make a way out for you His child. He is so good. He is full of unfailing, unwavering and unending committed love. His love never runs out even if you behave badly, even if you make wrong choices or even if you you don’t want to believe it. His Fatherly heart is always caring for His children. His love is just always there, our job is to accept it.

Know this day that whatever you may be going through, God is on your side, willing you on, ready to forgive and pick you back up again, free you from bondage and is leading you to His Son Jesus Christ. God’s love is consistent and best of all, free!! As the old saying goes, God is good all the time and all the time God is good. He never changes even when our circumstances do. Put your trust, hopes and desires in Him and let Him transform your life.

The Generational Faithfulness Of God

25th – 26th April

Weekend Edition

For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”

Psalm 100:5

Throughout the Bible, there are so many verses about God’s faithfulness and goodness. Why is it that so? Is it because we need reminding on a regular basis of the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord? Or is it because God doesn’t want us to forget that His faithfulness ‘continues to each generation’? Or is it simply because the authors that wrote about God’s faithfulness experienced it on a regular basis and wanted to share their experience with us, the readers?

Well you could answer yes to all the above questions. The underlying truth is, that God is faithful and His love continues forever! This verse is almost like a summary of the whole Bible. It is not about our doings or works, it is about who God is. A life spent getting to know God’s character and learning more about the attributes of God, as stated in this verse, is a life well spent. The simple truth of God’s goodness, faithfulness and love, is a wonderful message for us today, but also for the generations to come.

Let us join the writer of this wonderful psalm and pass on the news to our children, friends and foes. God is faithful. God is love. God is good. His character does not change when ours does. His mood does not change when ours does. His love for us is not dependent on our love for Him. He is faithful even when we are not.

Surely that is reason enough to enter His courts with joy and thanksgiving!! Shake off your worries and woes and rejoice in the goodness of God!