Psalm 44 verse 1 ‘…our fathers have told us what you did in their days…’
I wonder if today is a day to remember and give thanks for those of faith who have gone before us. Perhaps our own forebears, who have taught us, passed on the Good News to us, and prayed faithfully for their and future generations. In these days, yes with many concerns and troubles, may we be seen to be Christ’s willing disciples boldly but gently handing on the love of God to this generation and beyond. Let us pray for those who come after us, that the hand of God would lead them to His truth, His way and His life as we heard in Sunday’s sermon.
Lord Jesus, thank you for all the saints gone before. We pray for our families, that faith in you would be kindled into a living flame shining out in a dark world.
2 Peter Ch 3 verse 8 & 9 With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness.
Time with God is not as we experience it, In these verses people were getting impatient because they thought the Lord was returning imminently So where was he?
Peter is explaining that God wants to give people time to know Him.
Often in the Old Testament God would promise something but it would be quite a long time before his promise was fulfilled. David had to wait many years before he became King after he was anointed by Samuel. Abraham and Sarah waited a long time before Isaac was born.
I must admit patience is not my forte. I used to think I was patient until I had children!!!
We are all learning to be patient at the moment while we cope with the varying rules and regulations to do with Covid. Waiting for a vaccine (if they manage to find one). Waiting to be allowed to see friends and family who are shielding or who are in a home.
Some of us may be waiting for particular answers to prayer.
As we wait, remember that God is faithful and kind. He does not make us wait for no good reason. He sees the bigger picture.
Let’s patiently wait upon the Lord.
Father God, thank you for your patience with us and your love and faithfulness. Grant us peace and faithfulness in prayer as we follow you .
Matthew Ch 11 verse 28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
This is one of those verses that we hear regularly throughout the year in Church, maybe because at every service there will undoubtably be at least one person who feels tired out & needs some sort of rest. But what sort of rest does it refer to, a fortnight on holiday somewhere warm? This could be construed as some sort of escapism, but also, we must return to face the same issues that were present before we went away. I don’t think that is what this verse is referring to.
I think the key is in the word ‘come’, which immediately removes the idea of escaping from the wearying and burdensome aspects of life. The coming to Jesus involves trust, and maybe consciously saying ‘I just can’t do this anymore, I’m tired and fed up, please help’! It’s a recognition that in our own strength we just cannot do it, that we are feeling overwhelmed and we need rest, not just for the body, but for the mind, and the soul.
As we come to God having exhausted our own ‘store of endurance’, and putting our trust in his immeasurable resources, then we can begin to bask in the peace of God that passes all human understanding. Not because the circumstances have changed, but because we have, because our focus is not on the problem but on the one who has the answer to every problem.
Dear Lord Jesus, ‘when we have exhausted our store of endurance, when our strength has failed ere the day is half done, when we reach the end of our hoarded resources, help us to be aware that our Father’s full giving is only begun’.
Titus Ch 3 verse 4 ‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.’
This verse made me stop and think about the word ‘kindness’ when describing God. I am more used to thinking of His love, grace and mercy but not kindness. Maybe it’s because our use of the word has changed over the years. Some definitions of kindness help – ‘generous, doing good to others, tenderness or goodness of nature.’ I think this all helps as we see something of God’s character here. I would often use the word to others when I feel they really shouldn’t have, or I really didn’t expect that! Actually, God saving us, as the verse shows is total kindness. We do not deserve-we are offered so much. This is enormous kindness. Let’s be thankful receivers and open hearted towards His kindness today.
Lord Jesus, our Saviour. May your kindness reach the needy, lost and searching in and through your precious name.
Eph Ch 3 verses 16 & 17 I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts.
Psalm 23 verse 6 And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Dwell is a word used a lot in the Bible. There is a lot in the Old Testament about God dwelling in the midst of the Israelites and then we come to the New Testament where it changes to God dwelling in our hearts through Christ and the Holy Spirit.
There is something attractive about peaceful dwelling in the presence of those we know and love.
It is an amazing thing isn’t it that the Lord and King of the universe dwells with us inside our imperfect being?
Whenever we feel far from God, or stressed or busy we can still ourselves and remember that the presence of our God who loves us is dwelling in our hearts.
Maybe try looking up and listening to the song Be still and know that I am God , or Be still for the presence of the Lord, at some point today.
Thank you Father-God for your presence with me now and forever
Daniel Ch 3 verse 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the fiery furnace is an oft told Sunday School story. Three young men who refuse to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold image, and when reported to the King and brought into his presence, are even more strident in their refusal. They are clear that God can deliver them from the flames, but also state that even if he does not save them, they will not bow before an idol.
These three have proved God’s faithfulness, having been taken from Jerusalem to Babylon and placed in training to serve the king. They sought to serve God in this foreign pagan country, with this being the ultimate test of their faith.
Tests of our faith come in various guises and are not [thankfully] all as challenging as that faced by those in this story. But they do come, often in more subtle ways, but still facing us with the choice to ‘go with the flow’, or to stand up and speak the truth that followers of Jesus are called to speak out.
Dear Lord Jesus, as your followers give us the confidence to speak the words of truth in love, and never to shy away from the tests that calling you Lord bring.
Psalm 105: 8 ‘He remembers His covenant for ever, the word He commanded, for a thousand generations.’
If we are struggling to put our trust in God and wholly turn to Him, maybe these words from Psalm 105 can help. The idea of God’s covenant love are not like man’s often slippery and short-lived agreements or promises. His, as the verse says above, are remembered by Him ‘for ever’. The New Covenant, which came generations later and which was ushered in by Jesus the Son of God, was given and effected by the very sacrifice of that same precious only Son. By trusting and turning to Him, we enter into all the promises and love of God which is God’s Word of Life to us all. Not only that, but his bond of saving love is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. As the song goes…we can ‘wholly trust in Jesus’ name.’
Lord I receive your covenant love. Praying today for the generations of our family and loved ones – that they may enter into the promises of God.