I am the disciple who Jesus loved

John 20:2 – So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

The Bible refers to “the disciple Jesus loved”.  Today I was thinking that is actually each and every one of us.  The Bible doesn’t give exclusivity to one person and I truly believe that the love of Jesus is enough for each of us to be in the position to say, I am the disciple whom Jesus loves!”

Psalm 93:4 – Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

THE DISCIPLE WHO JESUS LOVED

I am the disciple who Jesus loved, I am that person, the wonderful thing is he calls me beloved, loved at my darkest, loved as an outcast, he loves the ones the world loves to hate, he takes ashes and sees beauty, as he looks at me his love is mightier than the waves of the sea, he knows that I’m broken and I know I’m not perfect, but I am forgiven, seeking to live my life in such a way that those who know me will come to know God, I want to be recognised as the girl who knows Jesus, I want to go out into the world and keep his commandments, humble myself and seek his face, be impactful when I pray, be unafraid, I want to stop comparing and start celebrating, for if God is for me, who can be against me, if God loves me what more do I need, I am his and my gratitude overflows, my joy is of infinite worth to Jesus, my love reciprocated by the man who died to save us, who died for me simply because I am the disciple who Jesus loves.

I’ve developed a faith and it’s bearing good fruit

It’s sometimes hard to recognise the power that is in us or at least believe that we have the same power as Jesus.  But when I think that the Holy Spirit now lives in me and consider how I am changing, I start to get it.  I am not just a new creation, I am a new creation with the power and might of Jesus within me, I just need to learn to harness this power to live out my anointing to bind up the broken hearted, heal the sick and free the captives.

The Holy Spirit gives me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  The Holy Spirit gives me wisdom (James 1:5).  The Holy Spirit makes me peace loving, submissive, full of mercy and a yielder of good fruit (James 3:17).  The Holy Spirit is there for me in my weakness and helps me to pray effectively (Romans 8:26).  The Holy Spirit helps me to resist and overcome Satan (James 4:7)

HOLY SPIRIT YOU ARE WELCOME HERE

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, at the name of Jesus demons will flee, the prisoners will be set free, at the name of Jesus a power is released like you’ve never before seen, power to heal, power to raise the dead to life, power to overcome wars and strife, at the name of Jesus I proclaim I am redeemed, baptised in water and baptised in the Spirit, my life changing daily as I challenge the limits of human understanding, as God is transforming me through his Spirit, I’m growing in wisdom,  resisting temptation, I’ve even found patience despite my weakness, growing in kindness and goodness, I’ve developed a faith and it’s bearing good fruit,  resolute in my prayer, I’m becoming effective in battling and fighting the lies and deception of Satan who comes to kill, steal, destroy, but instead I’m filled with uncontainable joy

I need more of my God and less of this world

After the resurrection, Jesus appears to his disciples on a few occasions.  How blessed they were to see him in the flesh and hear from him.  They don’t recognise him though in the way they did before, his appearance has changed, yet in their hearts they still know it is him.

John 21:12 – Jesus said, “Come and eat!” But none of the disciples dared ask who he was. They knew he was the Lord.

I suppose this got me to question whether I always recognise when God is talking to me.  Sometimes it’s clear and other times I question, was that me or was that God?  God can appear and talk to us in many different ways.  I believe that it’s important for me to recognise that so I remain open to hearing from him at any time, in any place and in any circumstance.

SURROUNDED

Surrounded by persuasive voices, voices that shout, voices that whisper, condemning, accusing, voices that whine and voices that whimper, strong words, weak words, meaningful and meaningless, as I listen my head’s a mess, I need more of my God and less of this world, more truth, less lies, more love, less despising, praise is rising in my soul, the Lord is close to all who call, discovering his ways nourishes my soul, they bring me joy, I stand strong and beautiful in his presence, no longer oppressed, the voices that drowned out my joy silenced forever as I hear directly from my heavenly Father, I’d rather spend one day in his presence than a thousand elsewhere, I know that he is near, I know he hears my cry, I wonder, do I hear every word he speaks to me, do I allow him to release me from the chains of humanity, do I believe consistently, do I seek him as desperately as my need to breathe, Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me, fill me with a new found ability to hear you in my time of need, to hear you in my time of plenty, knowing your words are never empty, never condemning, never accusing but always words of love, words of wooing, words of a God who is forever pursuing.

Avoid the temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval

Are we scared to speak out?  Are there times where someone says something about Christianity and we try and merge into the background, not wanting to comment for fear of judgment or ridicule?  Are there times we avoid those conversations altogether, steering the conversation away from anything challenging?

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats refuses to answer directly the question, does he think homosexuality is a sin.  Tim is a Christian politician and avoids the direct question by answering that we are all sinners, which is indeed the truth.  But how much stronger would his message be if he spoke out about his beliefs and the word of God.  God tells us it is a sin and if we are followers of God then we are called to be obedient to his word.  More important than calling out people’s sin is the message that we should not judge, God calls us to love others as we love ourselves, to forgive others as God forgives us and to be salt and light in this frail world.

I’m not condemning Tim, indeed he has been open about his faith, I’m just maybe a tad frustrated that we are so beaten down by the secular world we seek to fit in with their views rather than shout out God’s message of love and salvation from the rooftops!

2 Timothy 1:8 – So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

RUFFLE SOME FEATHERS

Don’t conform, born into this world not to fit in but to ruffle feathers, not born simply to indulge in earthly pleasures, born to fulfil a plan, born of man but a citizen of heaven, stand firm in your faith, avoid temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval, renewal of the mind is liberating,  negotiating life’s potholes not a problem when moving in the right direction, swimming against the tide it’s better to abide in God’s truth alone than stand with a crowd who will never know him, I have absolutely no desire to fit, refusing to let the world corrupt me, God didn’t make me different to be indifferent, he didn’t give me freedom so that I would join those beaten down by the need to conform, harmony with the enemy not part of my story, I will never influence the world by trying to be like it, never effect change if I remain silent, I won’t be compliant or anxious to match my opinions to earthly dominions, I am a Christian, proud of the Gospel, stand with me in truth for the fight is colossal.

I will praise you from here to eternity

I was reading Psalm 63 today.  Because God’s kindness is better than life, my lips will praise him.  What a great lesson for us all.  Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in life and forget to praise God, yet thinking of all the things he has done for me there is no way I should ever forget the importance of praise.

I wrote my version of the Psalm below:

MY LIPS WILL PRAISE

Yes, you are my God and that brings praise to my lips, I worship you with songs and poems, with prayers of devotion, there is an ache in my heart, a place reserved for you to fill and I long for you, without you it’s like I am in a scorching desert devoid of water, scanning the horizon for an oasis until I see a stream of living water reflecting your power and your glory seen only in that place of sanctuary, your love means more than life to me and I praise you relentlessly, I will praise you from here to eternity, singing joyfully as one excitedly awaiting their invitation to the banqueting table, I am unable to sleep without thinking of you, in the silence of the night I speak to you, reflecting on your sheltering arms, knowing that I’m safe from harm as I sing happy songs of adoration, I lay my foundations close to you, knowing that it’s you who supports me, you are my tower of strength, shielding me from those who would seek to drown out my praise, to stop me from making a noise for you Lord, you lift up your sword and protect me from evil, because of your love I celebrate, one of your faithful followers, one of the Lord’s own warriors, protected from lies and deceit, reprieved because of my beliefs.

 

 

 

I’m no longer concerned about public opinion

Jesus calls each of us by name.  If you are reading this as a Christian there will have been a moment in time when Jesus called your name, and you responded.  It came to me today that Mary Magdalene was the first person called by the risen Lord.  The first of us who believed in our “risen” Saviour.

  • John 20:16 – Then Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him, “Rabboni.” The Aramaic word “Rabboni” means “Teacher.”

She is the model we should all follow, what did she do when Jesus called her name.  She went and told others that she had seen Jesus.  This is exactly what Jesus calls us to do.

  • Matthew 28:19 – Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

CALLED

He has called me by name and I am his, he has called me, my name was on his lips, my name that was engraved on his hands spoken out loud, picked out, selected, not just one of the crowd, chosen by Jesus to be victorious, elected to receive his glorious grace, a place reserved for me in his heavenly Kingdom, I’m no longer concerned about public opinion, cos he who counts the stars and knows them by name is the same God who has redeemed me and called me by name, he sees me as worthy to no longer go thirsty, his rivers of living water flow through me, he calls me to share, to dare to be bold, to speak life into those who are weary or out in the cold, he calls me to go out, make disciples of the nations, his desire that all will receive his salvation.

Talk about the “Big Bang”, talk about a life changing man

Happy Easter, what a glorious day of celebration.  After Friday and Saturday where death and uncertainty were rife, we now come to a day of excitement and rejoicing that our Lord Jesus is raised from the dead, he is risen, glorified, lifted high.

Luke 9:22 – And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life

Psalm 16:8-11 – I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us

BIG BANG

Talk about the “Big Bang”, talk about a life changing man, this the greatest day in history, the day Jesus bought victory over death and sin, the day Jesus changed everything, “he is not here, he is risen”, yes death has lost its sting, death could not contain him, nothing could keep him away from us, no love could get more serious, he had to suffer many things, but was not shaken, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices, my voice sings out in praise and worship to my God who considers me worth the ultimate sacrifice, laying down his own son’s life, so that I will never be abandoned to the realm of the dead, he will never see me rot or decay, because he has led the way and conquered sin,  death could not contain him, he has made known to me the path of life, I turn my eyes towards him and am filled with joy in his presence, today the evidence speaks of victory, resurrection of the Son who died to save me.