Philippians Ch 4 verse 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I have often thought that to be content is a great position to be in. Not striving for more, not envious of others, not moaning or complaining about our lot in life, but just content with what we have. I have often said to my children that ‘all you need is enough’, enough for today, tomorrow and for the future when it comes.
Sadly, society has drilled into us the feeling that we need to have everything planned out for the future now. Pensions, investments, savings are the language of a society trying to cover every eventuality with regards the future. The result is that it becomes hard to trust in the enough of today whilst worrying about tomorrow.
Paul makes an important point here, he has ‘learned to be content’, it did not just happen. This learning process probably encapsulated the whole of his Christian life, through his experiences of seeing God at work and slowly trusting him more and more. Paul experienced both persecution and blessing, he saw the miraculous and yet lived a life constantly moving from place to place, with no obvious pace to call home.
All of this and more were part of the learning process that meant he could say that he had ‘learned to be content whatever the circumstance’. With the root of this coming from the trust that he had in God, and the knowledge that all of this life is transitory.
Dear Lord Jesus, help us to learn from you, to trust you in the highs and the lows, and to enjoy the enough of today without worrying about the needs of tomorrow.
Psalm 121 verse 3 ‘He who watches over you will not slumber’
This Psalm begins with the words ‘I lift my eyes to the hills’. I’m sure you can think of times when on holiday or out walking you have looked up and marvelled at the hills or mountains around you. I am often drawn to their grandeur but equally reminded of how small and insignificant they make me feel in comparison! The Bible here though reminds us that the Lord is our helper. The creator of all the wonder around us always has His eyes on us and never sleeps. God’s Word therefore reassures us that we are special, so special that God always listens, protects, sees and loves us. The mountains may tower over us; but God the creator of all things is always watching over us, His chosen ones.
Almighty God, thank you that you are always attentive to our cries. We pray, naming before you, those in hospital, care or in need. Please watch over them. Amen.
John Ch 21 verse 12 Jesus said to them “Come and have breakfast”
It’s lovely when a friend rings up to say come and have a coffee with me or can you meet me for lunch? It makes you feel cared for and you can say things to each other that perhaps you can’t say to others
But when the Lord of the universe says Come and have breakfast with me. Wow!! That is amazing.! This was Jesus meeting the disciples in their everyday life they had gone back to after his death and resurrection. It’s not clear quite when this happened in relation to all the other appearances or how soon before the coming of the Holy Spirit.
This intimacy between Jesus and his disciples, having breakfast together, is the same intimacy we can have with him too. Not in bodily fashion maybe, but Jesus is present via his Holy Spirit in every part of our lives and he wants to be our intimate friend. The friend to whom we can say anything to and with whom we can totally be ourselves.
Let’s remember that next time we have breakfast.
Exodus Ch 14 verse 14 The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.
This verse is totally counterintuitive, when faced with danger or feeling that we under some sort of attack or repression our natural response is to fight back, verbally, physically or in any other way at our disposal.
A number of years ago I faced a difficult situation where I knew that I had done nothing wrong and that it was all being blown up out of all proportion. My natural response was to fightback, but I was reminded of something that was said to me many years before by a wise older member of our Church. He said that ‘if you fight God can’t, but if you don’t fight God will on your behalf’. So that is what I did, I refused to fight back in a way that I was naturally inclined to. Its not that I did nothing at all, but that I refused to respond as I wanted to, and I trusted that if I did not respond, then God would on my behalf. With the ultimate end being that justice was done.
Dear Lord Jesus, when trouble and difficulties rouse our passions, let us not respond to our earthly desires but let us trust in the justice of Almighty God.
Habakkuk Ch 2 verse 14 ‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’
The verses before this one speak of the arrogant, unjust and evildoers. It can be hard for us to see the majority in our nation going about their daily lives, seemingly without a care for the spiritual realm and certainly not for worshipping the Living God and following His ways. The verse above leaves us in no doubt though: one day everyone will see and know for sure that God is in control, Christ is alive and that all will have to give account for their lives. Philippians 2: 10&11 say it all: ‘…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow …and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…’ Of course we know the urgency and call of God in Christ to turn, confess and live for Him in the present before it is possibly too late in the future.
Lord may the blind see and the deaf hear your Good News. Praying today for wedding couples, baptism families and funeral contacts through Church – that they would be touched with the love of God.
1 Cor Ch 13 verses 4,7 & 8 Love is patient, love is kind…. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Our son got married last Saturday so love is in the air so to speak in the Wigglesworth household.
True love is amazing in a human relationship whether it be a love between a couple, family love or friendship love.
Faithfulness in keeping on loving and being committed no matter what is a hard thing to do, but with the grace of God it’s possible.
God, of course, is the supreme source of love. God is love. He sent His Son to earth to show us the depths of his love for us. Love that went to suffering and death.
Remember God loves you, no matter what!
Romans Ch 8 verse 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace
In considering this verse we need to be aware that for Paul any reference to the ‘flesh’, is a reference to our old sinful nature. This old nature has a propensity to ‘do its own thing’, to do what suits us often to the detriment of others, and often leads us to act in direct opposition to what we know is right. It is in direct contradiction to the mind directed by the Spirit [of God].
So, the simple question is ‘who is governing your mind’, who are you following, where are you getting the information from that informs your decision making? From the media, friends, financial advisers? Or from the Spirit as we read the Bible, spend time in prayer, or immerse ourselves in following Jesus?
When Jesus called people [including us today] to follow him, he was not just referring to the physical act of following, but for us to follow him with the whole of our being. To allow him to influence every part of our lives, and most specifically for the Spirit to guide us.
This verse highlights the outcomes of following two vastly different paths. If we follow our ‘fleshly’ nature then the result is death, for as Paul says in Chapter 3 ‘the wages of sin is death’, whereas if we are led by the Spirit, we are promised life and peace.
Dear Lord Jesus, Help us to immerse ourselves in the values of the kingdom of God, that the Spirit may lead us and guide us to life and peace.