Sunday, October 28, 2007

Know me that you may trust me

It’s so easy to say 'trust in the Lord', or 'trust God on this one', but do we really understand what we’re saying when we encourage & challenge ourselves and each other with these words?

Take a step back from trusting God though, and ask yourself why do you trust a person you know, say, a friend, your boy/girl-friend, spouse or a family member? What is it about them that you trust? Is it their kindness, their reliability, their wisdom or maybe other character traits? Is it the things they do, or have done for you or others? Now imagine you’re introducing this friend of yours to someone else, and wanting for them to be able to trust your friend as much as you do. The truth is that no matter how much you tell them, they can’t trust them as much as you do on the outset; the simple reason being that they don’t know your friend like you do. They don’t know their habits, their great character traits, their care or their reliability, their wisdom or their humility – they only know what you’ve told them. Word of mouth, is not the same as knowing someone.

Can we, therefore, expect ourselves to just trust in the Lord? Simply, we can’t; not if we don’t know the person of God, his ways and promises; not if we don’t know past examples from his word & our own lives that remind us of his goodness & faithfulness. To equip us for trusting God, we must truly know him – not in the sense of being able to recite bible verses, sermon notes and good ideas, but in the real sense of walking each day with God, and reading and meditating on his word each and every day.

If you really want to trust God’s will with your whole heart, and know what it is to have his peace in you each day, then that has to involve total surrender to him in that heart of yours – and you will only do that, if you know who you’re entrusting your heart’s desires to. To trust him, you must know him. And to know him, we must immerse ourselves in him – know his word (to teach you who he his), remember his grace (to remind you each day, what he’s done for you in Jesus), and walk with his spirit (to know what he’s wanting to work out in you each and every day).

If we are in the business of truly wanting to trust God fully – or maybe it’s just a situation that you’re having difficulty submitting to God – then remember who he is; that he is the God of love, the God of compassion, the God of power and strength, the God of the broken-hearted, the God of justice, and he faithful God, who hears our cries and always answers.

Remember who he is, and trust him.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

I'll praise you as I ought

'Weak is the effort of my heart,
and cold my warmest thought;
but when I see you as you are,
I'll praise you as I ought.'

-John Newton, 'How sweet the name of Jesus sounds'-

I sang these words in church today and they struck me afresh. Here we are, trying to give praise to God that rightly glorifies his name, and we then realise that no collection of words could ever fully describe his glory, his majesty, his love, compassion and beauty. The Almighty God is just too far beyond our imagining to put into mere words! When you remember this, the spirit's work in praise becomes clear, 'interceding for us with groans that words can't express' (Romans 8v26).

That verse by John Newton doesn't just acknowledge our meagre, yet heart-felt praise falls short of fully glorifying God, but gives a wonderful reminder that there will be a time when we will be able to praise him as he created us to, and that time is coming! Hallelujah! Come to think of it, how can we describe anyone fully if we've never seen them face to face, let alone expect to praise God in such a way that fully describes his gloriousness and beauty?

Praise God that that time is coming, when we will stand before him and praise him as we ought! Praise his name, that he accepts our heart-felt praises just as they are, and is pleased by them. Praise our glorious heavenly father, that he gave up Jesus for us; whatever our circumstances, that alone is worthy of our heart-felt praise for our whole lives!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dealing with hatred

It's a bit of a strong title, but hatred is something we should be very wary of as Christians, as it can divide us from our friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and most importantly it distances us from God. This is why we must be wary!

In my bible meditation, I am working through Acts a verse or 2 at a time, and today's verses were Acts 23v14-15:

'They (the group of 40+ Jews) went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."'
(emphasis added)

This God-following group of 40 Jews had sworn themselves under a curse to kill Paul because of his professed belief in Jesus. As the passage says, they went and tried to get the chief priests and elders in on this plot born out of unrighteous anger.

We have to be wary not just of hatred in ourselves, but of hatred in others as well, and how quickly it can spread - from us to others, and others to us if we are not guarding our hearts. But I was immensely encouraged again at God's provision against hatred, anger & a host of other sins - and that is his love as the guard in our hearts.

What does this mean for us? It means we must be vigilent & discerning by the holy spirit, not just for our hearts, but for those around us; that they'd be protected from other people's hatred, and that they'd have God's love melting that hatred away whenever it threatens to flare up.

Most importantly for us, are we confessing this sin to God when it first occurs in us? We must confess it & ask for God's love to cover it, if we're to be that shining light of righteousness, grace & mercy that we're called to be. If we're discerning by his spirit, testing the things we hear & think, and rooted in his love, then we will stand firm. Hallelujah! Hatred has no place to stand in a heart that's full to the brim with love.

Let's strive & seek God earnestly for hearts like this!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Sunday, October 07, 2007

4 weeks in

I'm still alive!

Much to the surprise of, well, no-one to tell the truth, though I feel that someone might possibly be surprised.


I've had a grrreat first 4 weeks thus far. I'm being fed ridiculous amounts of education type stuff, and I've had 1 day in school so far (year 6), and have found that they're to be my class for the term - meaning I have 2 days this coming week, and then 3 weeks with half-term in the middle coming up the follow 4 weeks. Woo! I am very excited about being in school in general, and am loving the fact that I know I'm where God wants me, so I can just give each day up to him and get on with it. Huzzah! :D

This weekend was a nice respite, with Cat coming a'visiting from Saturday til Sunday, enjoying a spot of cookie-baking, Hero-Quest (board game version of Dungeons and Dragons), and going to church and 'spoons on Sunday. All in all a fantastic weekend, much fun had by all - Dave & Marie included, and there are even some cookies left.

Yum :)

Above is Cat following my instruction to 'put all the ingredients in the pan'. I did rather ask for that though!

Pics for the weekend are viewable on facebook here: Cookies and Hero-Quest

Time to sign off as I need a good night's beauty sleep for school tomorrow. I'll be back soon, stay tuned for more :)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal