Featured

Why does God allow threats and difficulties in our lives?

Times which bring difficulty also bring the good of rebuilding our dependence on God and His goodness.

Image credit: Ian Greig

Verse

The punishment you brought me through was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me Your ways.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:71‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Summary

Times which bring difficulty also bring the good of rebuilding our dependence on God and His goodness.

Prayer

Lord, as I reflect on this latest threat and the fear I experienced
(tell Him about it and how you felt)
it has been good to be reminded of Your nearness and faithfulness.

I turn to You again, praising You for Your goodness and kindness to me
when faith has been weak.
Thank You for bearing with me when I have been paying too much attention
to the lies and threats from the enemy of my soul.

I choose to focus, not on the steepness of the mountain,
but Your ability to lift me to a higher perspective —
and show me Your way through.

I put my dependence on You again, through Jesus
Amen.

Link

For a reflection that explores this verse further, go over to www.believethegoodnews.com

Featured

Who is looking out for me now?

We used to find security in belonging — it was a more institutional age. That’s changed — which has brought clearer focus on our belonging to the kingdom of God

Image credit: Who? Du! Nelson on Unsplash

VERSE

“Then call on Me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory.”

Psalm 50:15 NLT

Summary

Our need to belong in the traditional ways of the world has become unfashionable. Paradoxically, this has made it easier and more attractive to belong to God through accepting Jesus — and to know who we turn to, when things get difficult.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for being close to me.

You never turn, even if I turn away at times.
You never absent Yourself, take a holiday, become preoccupied
or block us out —
and You are patient and ready to restore us, when we do these things ourselves.

Forgive me for my times of faithlessness.
I turn to You again now, thankful that Jesus has made a way for me.
Amen.

Link

For a reflection which explores this verse further, go over to www.believethegoodnews.com


Featured

What is happening when I pray and nothing changes?

Sometimes, prayers are answered instantly and clearly. Often, there’s a ‘stretch of faith’ that tests us — as we keep praying and trusting God.

Clifton Suspension Bridge. Image credit: Gothick, wiki commons

Verse for today

O LORD, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

Psalm 22:19 NLT

Summary

“O LORD, do not stay far away!” When we cry out to God and nothing seems to happen, it is good to be reminded that this is normal! Faith is like a bungee rope which just pulls out for a time… But this ‘free fall’ is where faith is generated.

Prayer

Lord God, I am sorry for relying too much, too often, on my own imagined strength, and not having confidence to trust in Your Father nature of love.
What is happening to me (this attack on……. (name it) is more than I can handle. I lack wisdom, I can’t see a way through. I thank You that through Jesus I can turn to You.
O God, You are my strength. Come quickly to my aid! Thank You for hearing me. Amen.

Link

For a reflection exploring this verse further, go to this page on www.believethegoodnews.com

Featured

God’s blessing on Weobley and neighbouring villages

Blessing Weobley schools.    Image credit: Ian Greig 03332

“This is how… say…”

Numbers 6:22-27 NIV
The LORD said to Moses:“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:”The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” ‘
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

PRAYER

Lord God, to know You is to know Your Your goodness and generosity to us – Your desire to bless. And so in humility we call down Your blessing on our community.

We pray Your blessing on our village,
its shops and businesses,
homes and gardens,
farms, crops and livestock,
workshops, suppliers and factory.
Bless them and prosper them together.

We remember before You hairdressers, dentists, doctors,
carers and all whose calling involves close contact with others.
Bless them and prosper them together.

We bring before you our returning schools and teachers,
children and parents,
Bless them and prosper them together.

We raise to You both those working to create a safe school experience,
and those who need a return to the discipline and work of learning.
Bless them and prosper them together.

We submit to You the spiritual lives and spiritual awareness of our wide and diverse community.
We ask for and participate in Your blessing on each one,
young and old, professing faith and not,
in the working in hearts of Your Holy Spirit.

May we all become more aware of Your love,
Your purpose – and Your Son.
May we as a community find ourselves turning to You
and coming to know You –
discovering the greatest blessing.
Amen

03332

How can I overcome anxiety?

Knowing where our security comes from, and praising God for it, gives us peace.

Illustrative view of how Weobley Castle appeared. Image credit: Ian Greig

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13 NLT

SUMMARY

Living free from anxiety is about knowing where our security is and where our supply comes from. Too easily we forget, and fail to praise the God who gives us everthing. When we think we’re on our own, He is looking out for us.

PRAYER

Thank You, Lord, that Your provision and protection is sure
in times of plenty and in times of lack.
We thank You for the many safeguards and protections we enjoy,
which previous generations never knew.
We regard every source of provision,
every comfort of life
as coming from You,
every ability we summon up as coming from Christ,
and we honour You as the Giver.
Amen.


For a reflection on this verse, go over to www.believethegoodnews.com

What is an encounter with Jesus about, in a nutshell?

Possibly the most concise statement of what Christian faith is all about

Three monks from Mount St Bernard monastery, Leicestershire
Filmmaker Nick Hamer recently spent three years visiting the monks of Mount St Bernard Monastery, Leicestershire and learning about how they value quietness and listening and reflection — few words, not many. Image credit: Nick Hamer, www.outsidethecityfilm.com.

VERSE

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Ephesians 1:7 NIV

SUMMARY

This one short sentence packs in five foundational truths about Jesus’ saving work. (1) Believing in Him, we become joined spiritually to Him and gain new life in Him; (2) the shedding of blood, needed for forgiveness, was a sacrifice Jesus made for us; (3) we don’t have to strive to be forgiven, but through faith receive God’s forgiveness — He loves us! (4) He purchased our freedom, often called redemption.

PRAYER

Lord, even a great many words would not express the magnitude of what You have done for us in Christ Jesus.

May we be people who show our gratitude and share our new life, not in pious words but in ways that touch and bless others.

Thank You so much, Lord Jesus! Amen.

LINK

For a short reflection on this verse (and an interesting story about the monks), go over to www.believethegoodnews.com

How can God help me handle false accusations?

It’s wrong and Scripture forbids it, but we still find ways to murder the reputation of those we don’t like — and it happens to us. Scripture’s promise here is that this strategy of the devil against believers will not prevail — God’s truth will.

Image credit: Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken!

Summary

Murder is abhorrent but we find ways of justifying the murder of a person’s reputation, although strongly condemned by Scripture, from the Ten Commandments to the letters to churches. Scripture’s promise here is that this strategy of the devil against believers will  not prevail — God’s truth will.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, no one knows the pain of betrayal and false accusations like You do. Thank You for believing in me, and being my comfort when others have sought to create discomfort — or worse.

Where I am wrong — show me my fault.

Where others are wrong — show them the truth.

I praise You, Lord of heaven and earth, as the great and good Creator who is over every created thing — including Satan and his accusations.
I praise You that Your truth and Your  justice will prevail, and I trust Your promises. Amen.


For a reflection based on this verse, go over to this page on www.believethegoodnews.com

What does God do for us, that we couldn’t do for ourselves?

“Love makes it impossible to harm another, so love fulfils all that the law requires.”. Romans 13:10 TPT

Summary

To live better by doing more good and less harm is a general objective of many religions. Christian faith looks at it differently — God’s love, which becomes part of us when we say ‘yes’ to Jesus, changes us so we find ourselves shying away from the harsh response or the uncaring attitude. We find we are enabled to love others without condition.

Prayer

Lord, I’m so grateful that I don’t have to reach up to you with my attempt at love,
because You have already reached down to me with Your all-powerful and personal love shown at the Cross.
How can I love others unconditionally?
Only with Your love filling me and overflowing from me.
Fill me now, Lord, and change me into more of You.
May others see Your love in me — and be drawn to You. Amen.

Link

For a reflection on this verse, head over to this page on www.believethegoodnews.com

How do I receive God’s guidance?

Only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

Image credit: Ian Greig 03228

Verse

I set my heart on Your precepts and pay close attention to all Your ways. My delight is found in all Your laws, and I won’t forget to walk in Your words. Psalms 119:15-16 TPT

Summary

What guides us through life? Our upbringing, the peer pressure of friends, family and colleagues and the traditions and expectations of the community we live in all seek to influence, but only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

Good news

God is constantly revealing Himself, especially through different dimensions of His word. That’s how He speaks to us, personally, as His children, as we listen.

Prayer

Lord God, You have shown me Your way over and above all other ways.

The way that is true has been shown by Jesus, and His Spirit is active in helping me to see it……

If I listen, and if I remember, and If I avoid all the the other distractions and influences.

Lord, I come to You for help.
Give me eyes to see with insight, and spiritual ears to hear Your voice.
Help me not to quickly forget what You have shown me, but rather, to walk in it.

May this point others to Your Son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Link

For a reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com
on this page.

God’s Call to All

Watch a one-minute video introduction to the theme for Sunday, August 16 (church &chapel).

This links to the article in The Living Word God’s Call to All for Sunday, August 16.

In all life’s uncertainty and change — what is God saying?

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution

Image credit: Ian Greig 03529

But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. Psalm 33:11 NLT

Summary

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution, rather than the requests of those overwhelmed by immediate concerns.

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, You are constant, unchanging in Your love and forbearance and faithful towards us when we lack faith.

We praise You for Your goodness, and also for Your greatness in perspective and eternal timescale.

Forgive us for being so short-sighted and so concerned with the provision of today rather than seeking Your kingdom and living by its values.

We pray for true spiritual revival of turning towards Jesus, receiving what He has done for us and recognising His Lordship. We pray for this to bring Your goodness and Your new life, widely among our neighbours and across our communities. We ask this in and throughYou, Jesus. Amen.

For a brief reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com and this page