Friday

My brothers and sisters, when I first came to proclaim to you the secrets of God, I refused to come as an expert, trying to impress you with my eloquent speech and lofty wisdom. For while I was with you I was determined to be consumed with one topic—Jesus, the crucified Messiah.

I stood before you feeling inadequate, filled with reverence for God, and trembling under the sense of the importance of my words. The message I preached and how I preached it was not an attempt to sway you with persuasive arguments but to prove to you the almighty power of God’s Holy Spirit.

For God intended that your faith not be established on man’s wisdom but by trusting in his almighty power. (‭‭1 Cor 2:1-5‬)

The word on everyone’s lips right now seems to be: “What will the Church look like after lockdown?” What are people ‘really’ looking for?

Many will just go back to what they know. Clever preaching. Amazing worship. Great crèche for their kids and a chance to meet up with friends and mates and have a laugh over a good cup of coffee.

But … in the pattern that Jesus gave us, isn’t Church meant to be about standing with each other in Awe as our Gracious Father speaks the truth into our broken lives, while He mends our hearts, minds and bodies through His Holy Spirit? ❤️

Wednesday

All you lovers of God who want to please him, come and listen, and I’ll tell you what he did for me. I cried aloud to him with all my heart and he answered me! Now my mouth overflows with the highest praise.

Yet if I had closed my eyes to my sin, the Lord God would have closed his ears to my prayer. But praises rise to God, for he paid attention to my prayer and answered my cry to him!

I will forever praise this God who didn’t close his heart when I prayed and never said no when I asked him for help. He never once refused to show me his tender love. (‭‭Psa ‭66:16)

Thank you my Father for constantly showing us the way out of the holes we dig for ourselves. Hallelujah! ❤️

Tuesday

When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil (‭‭Ecc 12:13)

If GOD has ever touched your heart in any way, then you will have begun to know some of his characteristics:

He is Faithful
He is Kind
He is Loving
He is Life
He is Healer
He is Able
He is Worthy
He is Great
He is Awesome
He is Wise
He is Gentle

Now think on your own testimony. ❤️

Saturday

“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” This is GOD ’s Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool. If you’ll willingly obey, you’ll feast like kings. But if you’re willful and stubborn, you’ll die like dogs.” That’s right. GOD says so.” (‭‭Isa 1:18)

I checked with St Google this morning as to what was the most common sin, and it appears that the most common DEADLY sin confessed by men is lust, and by women, pride.

You might think that these two are no big deal and why worry if everyone body’s doing it?’

We know that’s not true though and that our Father specifically left His estate in Heaven to come down and redeem a lost and broken mankind and help us to walk in the light. And whatever you think, it’s fundamental for us to see that these two major sins managed to get Satan and his armies permanently thrown out of Heaven. (Gen 6:1) and (Eze 28:12).

So, how do we break the chains of lust and pride over mankind …?

“… let him cling to My strength and rely on My protection [My stronghold], Let him make peace with Me, Let him make peace with Me.” (‭‭Isa ‭27:5‬) ❤️

Friday

Listen to how they whisper their slander against me, saying: “Look! He’s hopeless! Even God can’t save him from this!”

Pause in his presence

But in the depths of my heart I truly know that you, Yahweh, have become my Shield; You take me and surround me with yourself. Your glory covers me continually. You lift high my head when I bow low in shame. I have cried out to you, Yahweh, from your holy presence. You send me a Father’s help.

Pause in his presence

So now I’ll lie down and sleep like a baby— then I’ll awake in safety, for you surround me with your glory. Even though dark powers prowl around me, I won’t be afraid. I simply cry out to you: “Rise up and help me, Lord! Come and save me!” And you will slap them in the face, breaking the power of their words to harm me. My true hero comes to my rescue, for the Lord alone is my Savior. What a feast of favor and bliss he gives his people! Pause in his presence” (Psa ‭3:2)

Our Father tells me that we need to hear this today and that we should take time to PAUSE IN HIS PRESENCE . ❤️

Thursday

We reject every shameful cover-up and refuse to resort to cunning trickery or distorting the Word of God. Instead, we open up our souls to you by presenting the truth to everyone’s conscience in the sight and presence of God. (‭‭2 Cor‬ ‭4:2‬)

I used to play Squash in my youth (a lot). One year we had the championships and our local hero took on another guy from another city. The match started well with all the points going to our guy, but then as the other guy started losing, he began playing a really dirty game.

Although we were all jeering and booing, it didn’t faze the referee. Finally the ‘bad guy’ beat our ‘good guy’ and as he exited the court he turned to us (the crowd) and said: “I don’t care what you think, I play to win – and by whatever means I can!”

As a youth, this impacted my greater than I ever realised and it’s one of the things GOD had to really stamp out of me! I had to ‘unlearn’ all the sneaky and dirty tricks I’d gathered in my weapons arsenal and ‘learn’ to trust GOD.

Did I always win? No. So what was the point – my ‘soul’ (my standing before our GOD) is far more important than anything I can ever do down here.

Trust Him – He loves and will empower you. ❤️

Wednesday

We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously. (‭‭1 Cor‬ ‭10:13‬)

Well … we finally did it! The kids have flown the nest and we finally made the move to ‘downsize!’

Looking back, at almost 10 years ago today, my world was falling apart. I was diagnosed with cancer and watched in frustration as a business I’d thrown everything into (prayer, time, money), collapsed right before my very eyes. GOD IS FAITHFUL…!!

The chemo was awful, I couldn’t work and as such couldn’t pay the mortgage repayments and so the banks wanted us out – even though they allowed us to run up an eye-watering overdraft that I would never manage to pay off. GOD IS FAITHFUL…!!

I took a job (the only one they’d give me was working in a warehouse). They promoted me and gave me a permanent job. GOD IS FAITHFUL…!!

10 years on, a Pension company contacted me and told me that I had a pension with them from back in the 80’s. (I genuinely didn’t know)! The pension had matured and I paid off ALL my debts! GOD IS FAITHFUL…!!

So what’s the message from my heart to yours today – WHATEVER you are going through just now, be encouraged, because our GOD IS FAITHFUL…!! ❤️

Tuesday

“He told me everything I ever did!” (John‬ ‭4:39‬)

My wife and her friends wanted to start a worship fellowship and as I was the only one who played guitar it fell on me to lead. We sang and gave testimony and even though we never advertised, the fellowship grew from 5 to about 50.

She came in with another woman that we knew and although we could see she was struggling with something, she wouldn’t open up much. She broke down during the worship, tears streaming down her face and just ran out. We didn’t see her again for two weeks when she returned and asked if she could give a testimony.

Apparently, she’d had an abortion some time back and even though she’d had 3 children since, the memory wouldn’t leave her. She told us all that the experience became so intense during the worship that she couldn’t cope. She told us that it was like being back in the nightmare, she was back in ‘the room’ surrounded by the nurses and doctor…!

“This time though,” she said sobbing, “YOU were there,” she said looking up and pointing straight at me! “I heard you say to someone “it’s a BOY,” as you passed him on. I looked to see who you were passing my son on to and turning saw Jesus. He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll look after him for you …”

Her freedom rubbed off on so many others after that night. Her testimony broke the dam for so many other broken hearts.

GOD hears, GOD knows, GOD will act. ❤️

Saturday

“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes…” (‭‭Jere 29:12)

I remember listening to the amazing testimony of a man who ran a huge drug and prostitution ring. He was into money laundering and pretty much every vice going – all for money. In his own words ‘he modelled himself on evil and ruthlessly ran his empire that way.’

He took his pleasure wherever he found it and nothing touched him … until he met a certain lady!

This lady was different, she was ‘special.’ In face he became so engrossed with her that he took her as his special woman. When she became pregnant to him, he built a house for her and placed her and his new daughter safely miles away from the dark side of the city he worked in.

In effect he ran two lives. One as kingpin of his evil empire, the other as a loving, doting father. Until his secret life became known and he was challenged by one of his subordinates. He was beaten severely, his body, legs and hands broken and unceremoniously dumped in the trash to die.

As he lay there, bleeding out the last of his life, he met with the Lord … He turned his life around and is now a minister for the Lord.

“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes…” (‭‭Jere 29:12) ❤️🙏🏻❤️

Friday

Then the people of the region came out to see for themselves what had happened. When they came to where Jesus was, they discovered the notorious madman totally set free. He was clothed, speaking intelligently, and sitting at the feet of Jesus. They were shocked! Then eyewitnesses to the miracle reported all that they had seen and how the demonized man was completely delivered from his torment. After hearing about such amazing power, the townspeople became frightened. Soon all the people of the region of the Gerasenes and the surrounding country begged Jesus to leave them, for they were gripped with fear. (‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:35)

This got me thinking that like a child, fear comes through uncertainty – in effect, we fear the unknown, we fear getting it wrong and suffering the consequence (and shame).

If we were faced with a ‘possessed madman’ as a child, we’d probably hide behind our mothers, or as we grow older, our friends or colleagues… we’d adopt their ways, their bravado, their swagger – but taking on a role isn’t believing it!

Only when we can can truly face the unknown can we begin to discover who we ‘really’ are in Christ.

Lord, please let me feel your calming Presence as we walk together today throughout all the ‘unknowns’. ❤️