Saturday, 18 April 2015

My Soul Will Boast...

Today's REAP readings: 1 Sam 20,21 ; Psalm 34; James 4


"I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!" {Psalm 34:1-3}

As I came to sit in my usual REAP spot this morning, the sun streaming in through the window after an evening of rain, I was reminded just how good it is to wake up fresh each morning and come to the Word. How tempting it can be sometimes to pick up the phone and scroll the news or facebook but more and more the puffed up worlds of others, the constant boasting, the endless love of the material just aren't all that enticing to listen to anymore...

 I'd much rather spend some time listening to someone that truly loves me...

So when I read through the Psalmists initial words this morning, in my heart I felt the same, it really did become my morning prayer.

Listen to this;
"I sought the LORD; and he answered me; he delivered my from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant" (v4-5)
"Oh yes Lord! Help me to trust you more, help me to stop fearing the "what ifs", make me radiant too!"

Then moving on to the readings in James, I couldn't help but be drawn to this;
"Lord please help them to love each other!"

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it" (James 4:1-2)
We are nearing the end of school holidays here and well I have noticed the bickering and squabbles getting a lot more frequent. Discussing the book of James at the dinner table has been a perfect opportunity to discuss why all this "ungodly" behaviour is coming about.

We basically narrowed it down to "sin", as James puts it "Anyone, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (v17) and we were all guilty of it.

It was a good chance to say sorry to God and to each other and ask for his forgiveness which of course He lavishes upon us when we come to him with a sincere heart. I love these moments as a family when we all "get it", we realise there is something not quite right in us that needs fixing.

I used to want the perfect family...and thought if I tried hard enough I could have it

But God can't use a perfect family, he uses incredible messes like us, because they're the one's that understand that they need God's help, they need Jesus, they need forgiveness and the Spirit to enable them to really change and grow and become a godly family, one that is well on the way to perfection!

But not until they reach Heaven!

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you" (James 4:7-8)

Is your family perfect?








Sunday, 11 January 2015

Do you want to shine?




EXPLORE:

It's a rainy day here at our place, perfect for reflecting on what I've been reading in the Bible and thinking about how that works in real life. I've heard and read these words above said by Jesus in Luke many times but it seemed to be standing out just a little bit more today. You see I was sitting in church this morning hearing from Revelation 20, and as you do my thoughts were wondering and I scanned over to the next chapter in Revelation and I saw these words...

"I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it." {Rev 21:22-24}
All these thoughts came rushing to me and for a moment I got really excited because only that morning over my cuppa had I read all this talk about lamps in Luke. So I was thinking "The Lamb is it's lamp, Jesus is the lamp, your eye is the lamp of your body" and then I couldn't help be taken back to our readings in Genesis this week about creation;

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness" {Gen 1:1-4}


"Yes, yes" I thought, "God is the lamp that gives light to all the earth, this happened even before the sun was created and he made the light separate from the darkness".

APPLY:

Perhaps, then Jesus is saying in Luke;

'You need me. If you want to truly shine.. keep your eyes fixed on me, let me be the lamp in your life, let me shine the way, listen to me, let me bring you out of the darkness. Only I can be the true lamp that gives light to the world. I am the "Lamb".

PRAY:

Dear Lord, be the light in my life, let me trust in your perfect goodness and help me keep my eyes fixed on you when the darkness starts to creep in. May your lamp burn brightly in me so that others might see your goodness and love.

Amen