Saturday 26 August 2023


God knows that we are incapable of keeping on being holy in our natural selves so He made it possible for us to find that holiness and righteousness 'in Christ'.

New Boston Church of Christ
The Bible sets high standards.  We would like to think that the character trait of holiness is an optional extra in our walk of faith, a nice add-on if only we could manage to maintain moral perfection.  However, from both old and new Testaments we are clearly told that holiness is an essential part of godly living.

Peter tells us: 

'As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  (1Peter 1:14-16). 

He quotes from the book of Leviticus, which is all about holy living for the ancient Hebrew people.

God is holy.  He is holy in every attribute.  His love is holy love, His mercy is holy mercy, and His righteous anger is holy wrath.  And He wants us to be like Him.

Before Jesus came the way to be holy was to be separate, set apart from the world.  God chose a people, a tribe, and a family within that tribe to be set apart and distinct from other peoples.  Ritual washings, special clothing, avoiding contaminants, all played their part in the complex structure of separation, then blood sacrifice made it possible to be restored from failures.   Thus the people could be 'kadosh', holy, and they had to learn the difference between the holy and the common.

Man's propensity to keep on sinning meant limited success in the practice of holy living.  And yet the command remains, not only for Jews but for all believers in all nations. The standard has not been lowered, so God sent us help, first in the form of His Son Jesus and then in the presence of His Holy Spirit, the Helper.

Paul tells us:

'It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.' (1Corinthians 1:30)

God knows that we are incapable of keeping on being holy in our natural selves so He made it possible for us to find that holiness and righteousness 'in Christ'.  The word for holiness in the New Testament is 'hagiasmos' which is also translated as 'sanctification'.  The difference is that holiness is a state of being, but sanctification is a process - we are being made holy.  The good news is that God hasn't finished with us yet.  Though He tells us to be 'perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect', we are pilgrims on a journey and justified by belonging to Jesus.  We, the redeemed, are on the 'Way of Holiness' (Isaiah 35).

Today, because of Jesus, we are no longer separated 'from' the world but set apart in our hearts 'to' the Lord who is rescuing and recycling us into the people He wants us to be.

'Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.'  (2Corinthians 7:1)

We have a relationship with the living God, set apart from the world, learning to live by God's Word and His Spirit.

Author: John Plumb

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others.

Sunday 20 August 2023

To be in God's waiting room

Even in times of frustration and waiting, God is still thinking about you and working everything out for your good and His glory
Waiting room - at doctors/hospitals, waiting in shopping queues, waiting in traffic holdups. The bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 "to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted".

So, no matter how hard we pray we can't pray our life's seasons away. There are some situations we aren't meant to change, but will survive. (Isaiah 43:2) "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you".

Again as stated by Paul in his letter of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart, even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal". So it just may be, not so much when we can't alter our circumstances, but we must learn to grow through them.
In winter trees take advantage of the season to rebuild their strength and prepare to be more fruitful next season. Their sap and substance goes underground, then in the spring they push their way back up again in the form of new growth. Looking back over our life we'll find that our achievements are seasonal. Growth comes, then struggle and vice versa. Each season has it's purpose. God has a reason/season for not wanting you to be proactive all the time. When He permits winter winds to blow through our life, He is preparing us to be productive for the coming spring. James 1:2-4 "My brethren count it all joy, when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience but let patience have it's perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing". So don't try to get out of anything prematurely, but let it do it's work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. 

One of the issues we struggle with in a waiting period, is the urge to hurry. To make premature/permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. Don't do it.  Every situation doesn't call for an immediate action. Remember, patience comes from trust, and you can't trust a God you don't know, that's why you need to spend more time getting acquainted with Him through reading His word and praying.  

If you're a seasoned air traveller, chances are you may or may not be familiar with the term 'holding pattern'. That's when your plane is unable to land because of unfavourable ground conditions, and the pilot announces that he's been told to maintain a 'holding pattern' pending an update from the control tower. It happens regularly, so planes have to carry enough fuel to stay airbourne till they can land safely. The bible says "Wait for the Lord, be strong let your heart take courage" (Isaiah 40:31). When God puts us in a 'holding pattern' it's not just a question of having enough belief to receive His promise, it's also a matter of having enough faith (fuel) to stay airborne until it comes to pass. That's why we need faith, to handle delays and wait for clearance. The bible refers to the Holy Spirit as a rushing mighty wind. Acts 2:2 "and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and filled the whole house where they were waiting". In Genesis 8:1 after God had delayed Noah long enough to accomplish His purpose, he sent a wind. Anytime a wind comes from the presence of God, it blows away all hindrances and obstacles, it dries the ground under our feet so we can move ahead, it demolishes the spirit of fear and heaviness that makes us want to quit.

David asked God, "What is man that you are mindful of him?" Psalm 8:4. Even in times of frustration and waiting, God is still thinking about you and working everything out for your good and His glory. His delays aren't denials, so when you sense a divine breeze in your spirit, rejoice it's a sign that He (God) is clearing you to land and good things are about to happen.

So be blessed, be encouraged and wait on the Lord.

Author: Herbert Jean

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others.

Saturday 12 August 2023


Jesus has left us amply prepared with everything we need to follow him, in His word. Its all there we just have to read and believe.
We recently planned to celebrate a couple of milestones in our lives with an outdoor party. We had chosen a venue and made lots of plans for what would happen on the day. But as the day neared the BBC forecast heavy rain all day. Oh no what should we do? Nothing for it but to change venue. We then had to frantically inform all the guests of the changes, parking arrangements and road conditions around the new venue. We wanted our guests to be prepared and not get lost or stressed on the day. My reading this morning reminded me of this, it is the chapter in John’s gospel where Jesus prepares his disciples for his departure from the world. In John 14:1-4 Jesus says “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father`s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you so that you will be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” The rest of the chapter is full of preparation for the disciples and for us for the time when Jesus will go back to heaven.    

To Thomas; who was alarmed that he would get lost because he didn’t know the way to where Jesus was going and needed clear and precise instructions, Jesus said  “I am the way the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (Verse 6 NLT) In other words dear Thomas just follow me because I am the way. You know this Thomas because you have been following me all this time. Don’t worry that you will get lost when things get hard and you cannot physically see me. You know me Thomas and so you know my Father, so just carry on following all I have told you and remembering all you have seen me do and you will not get lost. How we need to be reminded of this truth in our lives when the path ahead is unclear and we wished we had clear instructions. Jesus says I Am the way, just follow me. All you need is in me so trust what you know of me from your own experience and trust the word of God that describes me. I will lead you straight in all circumstances and bring you to me and to my Father.

To Philip; who just needed assurance that Jesus was who he said he was “show us the Father and we will be satisfied” (Verse 8 NLT) Philip needed to know that Jesus was who he said he was, that he had the power and authority to get him through. Jesus clearly laid out in the following verses that if Philip had seen and experienced Jesus in his life then he had experienced God and all God's authority. It's at times of change and confusion that we often need reassurance of who Jesus really is and what authority he has over the things that assail us. Thomas panicked because he was afraid that he would get lost because he couldn’t see Jesus. Philip panicked because he needed to know Jesus was the real deal, and that he was following the right person.

To the other disciples Jesus had some amazing preparatory promises.
Verse 18 “No I will not abandon you as orphans” (NLT) Jesus knew one of our greatest fears is abandonment and isolation. That feeling of having no one to look after us, of being totally alone. It’s a powerful fear. Jesus left his followers (us) in no doubt that He would be with us and we would never be isolated or alone. He said clearly that “I will come to you“. He also explained and prepared the disciples for how he was going to do that. “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate (comforter or encourager) who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit who leads you into all truth.” (Verse 16-17 NLT)   

And to Judas (not Iscariot) who was concerned about us (the world at large and those who would believe because of the message the disciples delivered) Verse 22 “Lord are you going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world at large?” He said “All who love me will do what I say My Father will love them and we will come and make our home with each of them” Verse 23 (NLT) 

He assured Judas (and now us) that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit will come and make His home in our lives. This is such a wonderful promise that God loves us so much and wants to be that close to us that He comes and lives in us.  In life we choose who we live with and that choice is based on lots of different things. Love, family, necessity. But on the whole, we like to choose who we live with based on compatibility. But Jesus says that the Godhead will love us and choose to make their home in us!! Wow, what a promise. 

And finally, the greatest preparation promise of all. “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Verse 27 (NLT) Jesus gifted us with peace of mind and heart. If we have peace, we have everything God wants for us in a single word. This is why Satan tries so hard to rob that peace from us. Because when we lose it, we start to feel all the concerns and worries that the disciples questioned him about. `Will I get lost or be separated from God. Has God got the power to keep me from falling, does Jesus really have the power to save and change my life. Will I be abandoned and left on my own to my own devises, will I fail? But the answer is NO! Jesus has left us amply prepared with everything we need to follow him, in His word. Its all there we just have to read and believe. And when we stumble the Holy Spirit steps in to lead us, comfort us, challenge us back on to the path the Lord has for us and cause us to grow in our dependence on Him every day. What a preparation. Our salvation was planned. Planned from the beginning of time, with everything we would need catered for, by our generous and loving Father.

Thank you, Lord, for making such elaborate plans for my life I am forever grateful that you have taken care of everything.

 Author: Jan Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others.

Saturday 5 August 2023

The Word of God

Every time we read God’s word it is His gift to us. It is His inspired, inherent, infallible, authoritative and all sufficient word for us.....

‘His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night’.  (Psalm 1:2) (all Scripture references are taken from the NKJV)

Knowing Jesus - Bible
In Jan’s recent blog of the 16th July she referenced a video clip, posted on the Church’s WhatsApp group, regarding a powerful testimony about Chinese Christians; I also refer to it here. Their hunger, desire and longing for the word of God (the bible) and the lengths they go to access it, receive teaching and imprint it on their hearts and minds, left me feeling incredibly humbled but more importantly challenged. It caused me to question just how much I valued the word of God. To what degree do I reach for it, dig into it, treasure it, memorise it, and believe it?  How do I and we, use it?

We are so fortunate and blessed in this country to have easy access to bibles. We remain at liberty to meet with one another freely, to read and discuss God’s word and to receive teaching from the Word by anointed preachers and teachers. The downside of this ease is that we can so readily take this blessing and these activities for granted and neglect them.

Every time we read God’s word it is His gift to us. It is His inspired, inherent, infallible, authoritative and all sufficient word for us which repeatedly and openly reveals the Triune God and in so doing we build and develop our relationship with Him. We have the wonderful account in Luke’s gospel, chapter 24, of Jesus’ view of Scripture. On the road to Emmaus He engaged with two travellers, v. 27 ‘And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself’. In verses 44-49 Jesus continues teaching them and ‘He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures’ v 45.  From this we see Jesus upholding the truth and validity of the Scriptures i.e. our Old Testament. 

Alistair Begg, in one of his devotionals clearly states that ‘the call to memorise Scripture is in fact a call to arms. Every soldier needs a weapon. Every Christian needs the word of God’.  In Matthew 4 we read how Jesus was tempted mightily and three times used the word of God, ‘it is written...’ to resist and rebut Satan and his misuse of Scripture.  Just in these two illustrations alone we clearly see what Jesus thought, taught and practised with regards to the Word of God.

Paul also instructs believers to ‘Take (use) the ... sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’.  (Eph. 6:17) - a vital part of the whole armour of God that is provided for Christians to ‘put on’ for spiritual defence to be able to hold position whilst under attack.

My thoughts and words for this blog are brief, under developed and certainly transient.  However and more importantly I leave you with some Holy Scriptures – to read and use and like the Chinese Christians we heard about, memorise.  They are the inspired, inherent, infallible, authoritative, all sufficient, timeless and eternal Words of God for every believer.

Love Worth Finding
‘For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.’ Hebrews 4:12

‘Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.  Blessed are You, O Lord!  Teach me Your statutes’ Psalm 119:11-12. 

‘Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.’ Psalm 119:73

‘Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven’ Psalm 119:89

‘Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path’ Psalm 119:109 

‘For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth’ Psalm 33:4

‘But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves’ James 1:22

‘The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.’ Isaiah 40:8

‘So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth, It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ Isaiah 55:11

‘As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.’ 2 Samuel 22:31

[The Son] ‘who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high ...’ Hebrews 1:3

 ‘All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work’.  (2 Tim 3:16-17)


Author: Irene Cherrill

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others.