Saturday 31 July 2021

Can Mercy and Judgment coexist?

Let us leave the judging to the Lord and let us come to Him

Source: DailyVerses.Net
We have been thinking and exploring the repercussions of the book of Jonah and the relevance to our daily living.  That led me to Romans 2:1-6.  Paul, in the New Testament, ratifies the stand of the Old.  Jonah was a prophet and as such was in personal relationship with God.  

Paul, writing to “All in Rome, loved by God and called to be His holy people” (Romans 1:7), brings out the subject again.  Can mercy and judgement harmonise?  Warning us against judging others and falling in the same traps, Paul encourages us to examine ourselves.  Do God’s riches of extraordinary kindness make us take Him for granted and despise Him?  Have we experienced the kindness and understanding of God in a personal way?  Do we realise that the extent of His extravagant kindness is intended to melt our hearts and lead us into repentance? (Romans 2:4)  And Paul makes a staggering declaration to us, people of God, not just the Roman believers, our calloused heart and refusal to change direction, leads us to deliberately storing up wrath, in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. (Romans 2:5)  

Jonah refused to call the Ninevites to repentance because he knew God would forgive them if they did.  Paul was persecuting the believers because his eyes and heart were blind to Jesus being the Messiah.  The consequences were, Jonah being thrown into the sea and Paul being blinded, in his encounter with the Lord.  


So what are the symptoms of a calloused heart?  The Bible is amazing at explaining the terms there are used throughout its books. 

Psalm 17:10  Closed up hearts and proud speech.

Psalm 119:70  Hearts unfeeling like fat minds, dull and brutal.

Proverbs 11:17  Cruelty attracts trouble and destroys.

Matthew 13:15  Hearts grown callous, ears dull of hearing. 

Mark 6:52  Hearts grown callous, become dull and lose the power of understanding.

Acts 28:27; John.12:40 Blind eyes, hardened heart, preventing conversion and healing.

Ephesians 4:19   Given over to promiscuity, practice of every kind of impurity, desire for more and more. Hardened hearing, oblivious and indifferent to His amazing works

2 Timothy 3:3 Unloving, devoid of natural human affection, inhumane, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control (intemperate, immoral), brutal, haters of good.

We may have been hurt, suffered injustices and disappointments but let us leave the judging to the Lord and let us come to Him.  Let us allow Him to turn our bitter waters sweet because of His extravagant love.  God’s forgiveness and redemption lead us to repentance and to entry into the abundant life He has made provision for us to enjoy.  

Author: Betty Plumb

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Saturday 24 July 2021

Looking at Things Differently

To see things as God sees them is not to see them with the natural eye........Only the eye of the Holy Spirit can truly enable us to see clearly for these things and our walk with Jesus.

Isaiah 40 v 30

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint

Soaring on eagle’s wings – speaks of a renewing of strength so that we can not only walk and run but “fly”! What comes with soaring is seeing things from a different perspective – looking at things differently.

Eagles have a highly developed sense of sight which allows them to easily spot prey. In the eagle, the retina's “sweet spot” (fovea) has one million cells per mm2 as compared to 200,000 per mm2 in humans. Eagles have excellent 20/5 vision compared to an average human who only has 20/20 vison. This means Eagles can see things from 20 feet away that we can only see from 5 feet away. An eagle in flight can reputedly sight a rabbit two miles away.


There are a few things that help the eagle see differently to an equivalent animal on the ground. Two important ones are:

    How the eagle’s eye is designed and

    The position from which the eagle is viewing the world


I was thinking about this to share with some young men the other Sunday and thought that this helps us in a spiritual sense as well. To see things as God sees them is not to see them with the natural eye. Paul tells us that the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit because they are spiritually discerned – they can only be viewed with an inner eye that God has made to see. Again, He has designed this eye. We sing: “Open the eyes of my heart Lord – I want to see You”. How we need that vision in everything: For example, in:

    Reading the bible

    Discerning truth in what we are told

    Judging rightly

    Giving counsel to others

    Getting the right focus for our prayers

    Obtaining guidance for the future …


Only the eye of the Holy Spirit can truly enable us to see clearly for these things and our walk with Jesus. So here is where the eagle gets into the right position to use those amazing eyes! The eyes are no good on the ground they have to be in the air – so the eagle rises and soars in the thermals. We are never nearer to the heights of God than when we praise and worship Him. By “praise” I don’t mean “sing” necessarily. Although God gave us music to praise and exalt Him, praise and worship comes from the heart and manifests itself in any way that a Christian either bows the knee to Jesus (worship) or cries out in adoration “Look at Jesus” (praise). This can be in actions that directly offer worship and praise (bowing or falling prostrate before Him, raising hands, crying out, singing, playing instruments, reading or quoting scriptures or other texts that exalt Him etc.) or in actions that come from lives offered to Him that bring forth fruit, showing the love of Jesus to others and openly declaring that our lives belong to Him not ourselves (in this is my Father glorified; that you bear much fruit).

Sourse: Pinterest,com
The object of worship and praise is to bring glory to Jesus and our Father in heaven, and the effect of worship and praise is that we soar in heavenly places where our spiritual eyes can be put to good use! The background to all of this though – the premise – is that we are walking in the Spirit; day by day. Jesus constantly stresses that it is not the hearers of His teachings that receive the promises but those who hear and do them. To have eyes and wings at all we must follow Him and walk with Him day by day. Here are some challenges from scripture starting with Jesus Himself:


Matthew 13:13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand”.

·         If in our hearts we are not really interested in doing things God’s way, will we see things from God’s perspective?


James 1:22-24  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 

·         If in our hearts we are not really interested in doing things God’s way, will we see ourselves as God sees us?


1 Corinthians 2:9-14  But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God … 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

·         If in our hearts we are not really interested in doing things God’s way, will we see God’s plans for us?

Author: Chris Pearson

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Sunday 18 July 2021

Be An Encourager

If you don’t like what you are reaping, change what you are sowing! It is not enough just to be courteous to others, we actively have to show unconditional love

Source: Harper Collins Publications
1 Thessalonians 3:1-3 ‘So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God's service is spreading the gospel of Christ to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials’

Recent Time - This last year, has been challenging for us all with the pandemic and it will have affected us all in different ways. Some folks, living on their own, unable to socialise, unable to go to church, because of age, infirmity or vulnerability. Many folks we have spoken to, are just longing to have a cuddle, to feel loved by others. As Christians, we know that Jesus embraces us, and keeps us under the shadow of His wing (Psalm 91). However, as humans we were created to have fellowship with one another. Thank God for social media and the internet, but not everybody is fortunate to have these facilities, especially those of the mature generation!

Paul's Journeys - Paul and his companions had arrived in Thessalonica on his second missionary journey in AD 58 and planted the first church in that city. Thessalonica was also a seaport trade centre, on the North-West corner of the Aegean Sea in Greece. Previously, Paul had been with his followers in Philippi, and were treated outrageously; 1 Thessalonians 2:18 ‘For we wanted to come to you, certainly I, Paul did, again and again, but Satan blocked our way'. So, Paul sent Timothy to visit, to strengthen and encourage them in their faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials.

Building Each Other Up - As Christians, we all have seasons in our lives of discouragement, opposition and separation. Many folks are starved of encouragement and acceptance. Our stiff British upper lip denies us from admitting our needs. We are afraid of being thought of as weak or being rejected. We all need each other; we are all equal in God’s sight;

James 5:16 ‘Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’.

John 13:16 ‘Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him’

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just in fact you are doing’. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we are comforted by God’.

Source: The Living....Tumblr
Fruit From our Labours - The dictionary defines encouragement like this; ‘If someone is encouraged, by something that happens, it gives them hope and confidence’. For example, by telling them what they are doing is good, and telling them that they should not give up if things are not going so well! Victory in Jesus will come if we persevere and ‘keep pressing on’.

My wife was given a prophecy many years ago; ‘Don't let a day go by without blessing somebody’. She has endeavoured to do that either by prayer, phone, text or letter etc, regardless of perhaps needing encouragement herself. Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 3:10 ‘Night and day, we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and again, and supply what is lacking in your faith. It brings joy to a Christian, to see fruit from their labours’. Paul had experienced this joy countless times. Only God can change a person’s life. But He will use His people to be an instrument in the process to do it. If you don’t like what you are reaping, change what you are sowing! It is not enough just to be courteous to others, we actively have to show unconditional love.

Having an Increase of God’s Love – In 1 Thessalonians 3:12 Paul continues; ‘May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for, everyone also, just as ours does for you’. Only God can increase our love for one another. How? Jesus tells us in John 13:35 ‘If you have love for one another, they will know that you are My disciples’. People will be attracted to you. Although it has been difficult during lock-down to express our love to others, ask the Lord who needs encouragement today. Send a text, card, or cal them, just to tell them you were thinking of them. If your feel that your capacity to love has waned, ask God to fill you again with His never-ending supply. Paul encourages us; Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me’.

1 Thessalonians 3:13 ‘May He strengthen your hearts, so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of God and Father, when our Lord Jesus comes with His holy ones’.


Author: John Yates

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Saturday 10 July 2021

But now…………….

We were as far away as we possibly could be from God’s grace before Christ came into our lives to rescue us from sin and death.

During this period of lockdown my husband and I have been watching programmes such as ‘Garden Rescue’, where they take an uninspiring, run-down, overgrown garden and transform it into somewhere beautiful. Then there is ‘Money for Nothing’, where they take a tired, broken- down and often ugly looking object from the tip and transform and sometimes repurpose it into a desirable and useable object. By far my favourite ‘make-over’ programme has to be ‘The Repair Shop’, where hugely talented experts use their amazing skills to restore old but much-treasured items, that have seen better days, to their former glory. At the end of any make-over programme they will show the place or the item as it used to be and then, with a dramatic voice they say, “but now….” And there before your eyes is the wonderful transformation.

This phrase ‘but now’ ran through my head for a few days. It is a transitional phrase. If you use ‘but now’ there is always going to be a change after it. In the dictionary transition means:  passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another, change, a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another. It got me thinking about how many ‘but now's’ we have in our lives after we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

Ephesians 2:12-13 says:  remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

1. We were separate from Christ 

Isaiah 59:2 says: But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you that he will not hear.

We were as far away as we possibly could be from God’s grace before Christ came into our lives to rescue us from sin and death. Isaiah was writing to the Jews. They were separated even though they had the option of having a relationship with God and the promise of the One to come. The Gentiles, however, had no such assurance. The same applies to us. We are Gentiles and as such we were separate from God until Jesus came into our hearts. Once we were separated from God. 

But now…….

through the blood of Christ, we have been brought near.

2. We were excluded from citizenship

Citizens tend to adopt the culture and practices of the nation or kingdom to which they belong. We were all born into the kingdom of this world, in which Satan rules Consequently, we grow up adopting the culture, practices, and values that he instigates. We were captives in this kingdom of sin, heading for total destruction.

But now….

Colossians 1:13 says: He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.

Ephesians 2:19 says: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

Philippians 3:20 says: But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Once we we had no citizenship in Christ but now, we are not just citizens, but a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

1 Peter 2:9-10 says:  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

3. We had no covenant

God’s covenant in the Old Testament was made with the Jews. Jews would actually thank the Lord that they were Jews and not Gentiles.  The old covenant was a list of dos and don’ts and were always going to fail. Everyone is a sinner and, as it says in Romans 3, nobody can be declared righteous by trying to adhere to the old covenant law, in fact, this law just makes us conscious of our sin.

But now…..

Romans 3:21- 24 says: But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Now both Jews and Gentiles can rejoice and receive this gift, which was planned before the foundation of the world. This gift is entirely by God’s grace, and open to all.

4. We were without hope

The Jews lived with the hope of the promise of a Messiah, someone who would deliver their people, but sadly, when He came, many of them did not recognise Him. We continue to pray today that the Jewish nation will come to know Jesus Christ, who is the only hope for the salvation that is desperately needed by everyone. The Bible says that without Christ people have “no hope” and they are “without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). Without Christ no-one has any hope beyond this life. John 3:18 says that those who do not believe in Jesus are spiritually lost, they are “condemned already”

But now…

1 Peter 1:3-5 says: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

5. We were without God

The Gentiles had many pagan gods. They worshipped all sorts of pagan gods, made by their own hands, such as the goddess Diana at Ephesus.  Before Christ, they never had the opportunity to know the One true God. They sometimes would see examples of His power but they had no one to intercede for them. They thought the God of Israel was for the Jews alone. We still have idols today. The late evangelist Billy Graham once said, “Some people today worship their money or social position or possessions just as devoutly as people in the ancient world worshipped an image made of gold or wood or stone. The difference, of course, is that most people don’t think of money (for example) as an idol, or as something they worship. In reality, however, many people do; their whole lives are focused on money, and they serve it just as faithfully as other people serve an actual idol. In fact, money has become their master, and they have become its servants. In other words, money has taken the place of God in their lives.”

But now…

Romans 5:10 says: For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!

I am sure you can think of many more ‘but now's’ in your own lives, if you are a believer. Our transformation is ongoing as God fits us for heaven. He will keep on showing us, through His holy spirit, where we need to change our thoughts and actions and behaviour and so we will continue to have ‘but now's’ until we go to be with the Lord or Jesus comes again. As we go through this journey together let us pray for each other that we will have an increasing number of ‘but now's’ in our lives as God prepares us for His purposes and for eternal life with Him, where our ultimate ‘but now’ will be: We once lived a flawed life on earth but now we live a perfect life with Him. Hallelujah!!

Author: Thelma Cameron

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Sunday 4 July 2021

Yahweh Rapha - God Who Heals

God can use anyone at anytime even in the most mundane tasks or everyday routines.

Today is 25th May 2021 and I find myself writing this testimony way past my bedtime on a school night but I just could not sleep without sharing the incredible miracle that happened today 

let me start at the beginning… 

For a good few months I have had trouble with the windscreen in my car, I had people look at it, fix it (and charge a big bill) but it still was causing major issues. Then to top it off one day I heard a SMASH and there it was, a crack in my windscreen which started off tiny but as they do  - it slowly grew bigger and bigger until I could no longer ignore it .  It was at this point my mum kept telling me that I needed to get it fixed and I did intend on doing that but as life is so busy I never got around to it. Little did I know that God had it all in hand and everything about this fell into place today about 3 months later.

So about 3 months ago I opened my doors to my class (I am a teacher) and after I had welcomed around 15 children the office staff came running in with urgency telling me not to let anyone else in.  There was a positive case and my class has to self-isolate for 10 days. After talking with mum about the events she saw this as a fantastic opportunity for me to get my windscreen fixed and said she would arrange it I just needed to be at home and pay the bill.

Within an hour a lovely and very helpful guy named Tim knocked my door and after explaining everything began fixing my windscreen.  Once he had finished we began talking and it was in this conversation he mentioned that his mum had cancer.  Through communicating with him I had told him that I would like to pray for his Mum if that was okay and even though he is not a Christian he was very grateful and accepted the offer.  From that moment, myself and many brothers and sisters have been praying for his mum. I have had no contact since then and knew no more about his mum or her situation but trusted God through continual prayer to work with Tim’s mum and the family.   

Source: Faith focus

Then today I received news that his mum had been given 5% chance of survival (It was her second time around, it was everywhere and more aggressive) but they went to the hospital for MRI results and every single bit of cancer in her body had completely gone!! Not a trace! I was told the hospital staff were baffled and everyone was amazed.  I know it is the power of prayer and our amazing Lord!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6

God can use anyone at anytime even in the most mundane tasks or everyday routines. God always knew my class would get sent home that day, that Tim would be the one to come and fix my window, and that we would talk and as a result we would pray for his mum and best of all that his mum would be healed.  None of that was a coincidence only a God-incidence. 

God is never early, never late but always on time” Psalm 31:15

God Bless you all

Author: Joleana O'Neill

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