No hiding in a corner because I am proud of God

I found this passage from Hebrews really inspirational this morning.

Hebrews 10: 22-25 – So let us come near to God with an honest and true heart. Let us come near with a faith that is sure and strong. Our hearts have been sprinkled. Our minds have been cleansed from a sense of guilt. Our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The One who promised is faithful. Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. Let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us cheer each other up with words of hope. Let us do it all the more as you see the day coming when Christ will return. 

This passage was explained in my bible study using the following four points:

  1. We must not hold back from entering confidently into God’s presence because Jesus has opened up the way for us.
  2. We must be faithful in standing up publicly as Christians, because the Lord is faithful to us.
  3. We are not in this alone, so we must encourage one another to love and act as we should
  4. Because we are in this together, and because our future is assured, we must not give up meeting together, but go on encouraging each other

NO HOLDING BACK

No holding back, enter his courts with confidence, his gates with boldness, Jesus already opened the door for us, no apology for a Saviour who spilled his blood out of love, no hiding in a corner because I am proud of God and I will not be pushed down, persecuted, oppressed because the best is yet to come, we are not alone we are members of a giant family with God as our Daddy, so encourage your sisters and brothers, encourage one another to love in all circumstances, take chances to act as we should, doing good in every situation, taking God’s message to all of the nations, enabling others to hear of salvation that Jesus purchased at the cross, and don’t get lost along the way, don’t let other things get in your way, meet with your family every day, raise them up, encourage and bless, helping them when they get in a mess, praying, praising and worshipping God with honesty love and a truthful heart.

A great cloud of witnesses gathered to cheer us

When you think about faith it seems like a straight forward concept, so how come we often fail to trust God in situations, how come at times we try to go it alone?

I was reading Hebrews 11 and 12 today and it really spoke to me about how important it is to keep faithful, to trust in God regardless of what is happening in my life and to know that whilst my plans may not seem to be working out, he has the most amazing plans which ultimately will serve to bring him the glory, so his power and glory can shine through each and every situation.

So for example I am praying for a Christian pastor and his wife in China who have been imprisoned for trying to prevent officials taking the cross down from their church.  I have to keep my faith as I pray for a seemingly impossible situation that God will release them.  However, just because I’m praying for their release doesn’t mean they will be released immediately.  God ultimately has a plan and a purpose for their lives and right now it might be that they are to witness to prisoners and prison officials, or it could be that God has an amazing plan timed to perfection so that when they are released it will really showcase his power and glory.  However, I still have faith that they will be released, I just have to keep the faith over time and trust God’s perfect timing and plans.

James 2:18 – 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

Hebrews 12: 1-2 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

VICTORIOUS

Faith, believing the impossible will happen before it happens, I face the impossible so that God’s power and glory can shine through me, I trust his purpose and I never give up cos I know that my God knows no impossibility, if you believe it then live it, and think on; there’s a great cloud of witnesses gathered to cheer us, Noah, Abraham, Joesph and Moses all great men of God who like us had faith in his promises, who never lost heart and never gave up, Noah spent years building an Ark just because God asked, now that’s faith!  So when you feel like your mountains aren’t moving, the water’s not parting, trust in God’s purpose, remember faith and obedience go hand in hand to execute God’s perfect plan, rely on the Holy Spirit who is the wind in our sails, proceed on your own and you’ll most likely fail, faith is a gift of God which comes from hearing his word, life is hard yes, but we are called to press on, to persevere and without faith we can never draw near to our God, continue in prayer, praise and obedience, never relent from reading God’s word, the sword of the Spirit is with us, we have a belief in God’s purpose, he wants the best for us and whatever way God chooses to use us we are victorious and when God is ready the breakthrough will come, I am an overcomer because through faith I will prevail, faith wins impossible victories, victories that emphasise God’s magnificent glory and this ain’t no story (although there is a happy ending) this is a truth transcending all understanding that with God nothing is impossible, nothing too hard for him who loves us, so strengthen your faith in God and fix your eyes on Jesus.

God is showing you that he wants to save you

Been talking to God about a closer walk with him, partially driven by a book I am reading where the author has some amazing encounters with God and partially driven by my desire to serve God in a tangible and fruitful way. I so desire to hear from God, to really know his desires for my life, to walk even more closely with him every day:

Hebrews 3:7 – So as the Holy Spirit says today if you hear his voice….

I have a strong faith and then I read about the faith of others, where God speaks directly to them, tells them a message to give to others and think WOW that’s amazing, would I have the nerve, the faith to pass on a message from God, particularly if it’s a difficult message for that person to receive?  I have been praying for Spiritual growth and talking to God particularly about hearing from him, I so desire to be used in that way and this morning the verse he gave me was Hebrews 3:7 just that one isolated verse, if/when I hear his voice, am I ready?  But then as I looked into Hebrews 3 more I was drawn to verses 12 and 13 and just felt that this was what I should be blogging about today.

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

“Sin’s deceitfulness” how often in the last year has this crossed my mind in various forms but often in relation to sexuality, how many people out there read the Bible and then say, but it’s OK being gay was different then, God understands and allows it now, it’s not clear in the Bible, Jesus never said, don’t worry I don’t think Jesus minds you being gay and so on.  Yes the enemy is the master of deceit and I feel drawn to challenge and support those whose hearts are hardened to the truth of the Bible, the truth of God’s word so that they too can be saved and have this amazing relationship with God.

SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY

Listen to God, listen and hear, I implore you not to turn a deaf ear or interpret his words in a way that protects you from fear, it won’t draw you nearer to God when you clear your mind of every verse or word that defines your actions as sin, when you fail to let him in because that sin of yours is causing you some worry, don’t hurry through the chapters that are challenging you, read them with a prayerful attitude, allow God to speak, allow God to explain, he doesn’t want to cause you pain but if you refrain from taking action and addressing the sin then you’re not really letting him in and when he’s not in your heart then you are apart, you are separated from God, from God who loves you so immensely, he created you, made you, nurtured and treasured you, hold fast in confidence, God is showing you that he wants to save you, he wants you to hear his inner voice and he needs you to listen, don’t come at this with a hard heart, closed ears and hands over your eyes so you don’t have to see, come at this with openness to receive all the great things he has in store for you, no unbelief, no trips, no slips or falls, today will never come again and God offers you blessings, he is your friend and I want to encourage you to pray about this every day, as long as it is called today there is an opportunity to say enough to your sin, and yes it’s tough to turn away from behaviour we’ve relied on every day but nothing is so tough that God can’t overcome, some of us were deceived by the enemy, believed the truth in his lies thrown out through jealousy of what he cannot offer, he thrills to deceive, God thrills to give, to provide, to redeem and God gives you freedom beyond all comprehension, Jesus died for your salvation so I urge you to turn your back on things that keep you apart from God’s love, and above all things I want you to know the love that I know from God, to know how it feels when he reveals his true self to you, to feel the weight of shame released from your body, no longer a nobody, God’s made you a somebody if you’ll only seize that opportunity.

I run the path he has marked out for me, just me

I heard a poem the other day about running the race, falling down, getting back up and it resounded with me and made me think about my race.  I came to the starting line late, but hey that doesn’t matter God restores all that the enemy has stolen and he is building me up, so I am not running away from my problems anymore, I am not running away from God anymore, I keep my eyes firmly on him, OK so yes I may stumble now and again but I will always get up and keep going, always..

Hebrews 12: 1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Psalm 119:32-  I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.

Matthew 10:22 – You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

OFF AND RUNNING

I’m off and running and I’m not turning back, my goal at the end of my life to stand up and say I’ve finished the race and I’ve kept the faith, I’m off and running after a poor start but now my heart is in the race and I fully embrace the prize that lasts forever, the promise of a place in heaven, a room in one of God’s mansions, not to mention meeting my Saviour face to face, now that is why I run the race and yes I will stumble and I will fall but I refuse to give up, I am a winner and God smiles every time I pick myself up and dust myself down, I run the path he has marked out for me, just me, this isn’t a competition with all of humanity, this is my journey, my race, my time, I race towards Jesus and with him I can do all things, he shows me how to escape from my sins, don’t quit, don’t cave in, use his word as a light to my path, when the race has drained me of all strength I remember God’s grace is all I need, his power works best in my weakness so I don’t compare my progress with others, like the Hare and the Tortoise it’s not about speed, it’s about seeing the journey through to completion, believing that God restores all that the enemy had stolen before I got to the starting line, believing that God loves me right here, right now despite my immaturity as a Christian he is able to use me to fulfil his vision, he’s building me and teaching me and cheering me on at every stage of my race, he is the face in the crowd that encourages, energizes and reassures, my biggest fan who knows I’m not an “also-ran”, he sees that I’m a winner, this humble sinner launched into eternity through Jesus living in me, at the end of my life I will stand up and say, “I’ve finished the race and I’ve kept the faith”, I will claim God’s unending love and amazing grace when at last I see him face to face.

When my God steps in miracles happen

Hebrews 11:1 Faith in action

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

As a church we are still praying for the young girl who is very ill in hospital and last night news came though that she is still struggling after 3 weeks , this prompted me to think about our faith and how important it is not to lose faith or start to doubt when things don’t happen in our timing, brought to mind the above verse from Hebrews and the following verse from 2 Peter, you know our timings are so different from God’s yet he is still so much in control (praise God) and that is an important lesson to me not just for this but for my life itself

2 Peter 3:8

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

FAITH

I have a God who can do great things, when my God steps in miracles happen, an everyday occurrence for those who realise that anything and everything is possible when God’s on your side, your faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, so what does that mean?  For me, well I believe there is power in the name of Jesus and we have seen that when God speaks the wind and waves obey him, when God says don’t worry about tomorrow he’s already been there, he fed five thousand people from scraps and morsels, he’s not mere mortal, oh no he is God, he doesn’t just part the water, he walks on water, he doesn’t just heal, he raises from the dead, makes blind men see, he sent out his word and healed them and in your helplessness he hears your cry, so listen to the voice that promises hope, despite the whole world shouting no, where there’s faith there’s hope, expect a miracle from the Lord of history, his timing is a mystery so remember God works things out in his own time, don’t rely on your own understanding, he gives us peace, he asks us to trust that his plans are perfect and correct me if I misunderstood but his love never fails, he reigns over every situation and since I was captured by his Holy calling, the God of heaven lives in me, I am alive because he died, because he lives, I live, and I give him all the glory, I trust his name, I trust his ways, how can I lack faith when I see how much he loves me, how much he’s done for me, he never gives up, never lets go, so it is well with my soul, I trust in the Cross of my redeemer, I trust in his redeeming love, I trust the Lord who guides me, feeds me, walks beside me, who do I say he is? He is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity living in me, living for me, giving me hope, the ability to cope and endure all things, the knowledge and conviction that he holds all things seen and unseen in his hands, my God I trust in your eternal plans.

It’s not God that changes, it’s me

I find my walk with God changes daily, due to my own personal feelings or circumstances.  Sometimes I feel much closer to God and understand his will for me, other times I feel further away, maybe a bit lost as to what I need to be doing to get back on track.  I sometimes liken my life to a roller coaster.

Today I believe God gave me Hebrews 13:8 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

That tells me that I shouldn’t stress when perhaps I am having a difficult day or feel more distant from God because he is constant, and when we say he is the same yesterday, today and forever that means he loves me every day, he cares about me every day, protects and shields me and watches over me, praise be to God.

CONSTANT AND SURE

The same.  The same yesterday, today and forever, are you kidding me, you never change, you never think so today I’m going to take a rest, I think it best, I’ll put my feet up and leave them to it. No, you never change, your love is constant, changeless, ceaseless; it leaves me speechless to think that you accept our weakness, take on my uniqueness with no second thoughts, you never look back, only look forwards, quite frankly it’s clear that you adore us, you’ve forgiven our sins, you’ve invited us in to your inner circle, despite us being so vulnerable to fears and doubts, you look out for us on every occasion, shield us from the enemies invasion, protect us from temptation, loved us since the foundation of time, you are constant, awesome just sublime.