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Archive for November, 2010

Focus on God and be strengthened.

If your focus is on yourself then you will struggle and lack contentment because you will be aware of your faults, your inadequacies and your weaknesses. However if your focus is on God you will be guided by him into his good and perfect will for your life. Remember he is your heavenly Father and therefore he knows and wants what is best for you. He will show you that when you are weak, he is your strength and that his grace is sufficient for all your needs and his love is unconditional. Every task you approach will become manageable because if your focus is on God and his will then you will find your strength in him and he will never let you down. As he is victorious, so will you be. So fix your eyes on Christ and learn to listen to him through his word. Remind yourself of his love for you. Worship him with all you are. Sing songs of praise. Speak words of love and adoration as you recall all the things he has done and is doing for you and through you.

“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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)

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This last week has been a difficult week to endure but despite the challenges much good has come from it. I have already written about my experience at the mission worship weekend away which left me feeling rubbish all week and struggling. Last night however God blessed me in such a way that i never expected that i am still shell-shocked and tearful. If you have read my first blog on forgiveness you may understand this better. Basically i was hurt deeply by someone close to me many years ago and it affected my relationships with others from there on. Since becoming a Christian i have seen God working in my life, helping me to move on from such hurts and forgive and experience healing. I shared this with the person that hurt me as he wanted to know why we were not close so i wrote of the hurts and the fact that i had moved on and wasn’t holding it against him.

Last night the person in question turned up on my doorstep and said ” I am sorry ” – i never thought i would hear those words from him and to top it off he said he was proud of me too. I felt lost for words and could only say that i appreciated his apology as well as the compliment. We talked for a while and when i was alone it finally sunk in and i could feel all the release of the painful memories like i hadn’t felt before.

I can still barely believe what has happened. It has shown me the importance of saying sorry to those we hurt. I have also felt my love grow for him and for God too. Today has been a day of praise and worship (as it should always be), but with a strong heartfelt love and adoration that i have not felt for a while. I want to always worship and praise our Lord out of the love i have for him. He really does bring good out of the suffering. It’s amazing how free i feel from that part of my past now. I felt free when i chose to forgive him for what he did but to receive such a personal heartfelt apology is like the slate has been wiped completely clean and the new has begun. This has been great insight into God’s grace as this is exactly what he does – we say sorry and he forgives us and wipes the slate clean. Thank God for Jesus Christ who has already paid the price for our sins on the cross by the shedding of his blood. Perfect Grace!

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5)

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A Glimpse Of God’s Holiness Breaks Me.

What a fascinating talk i heard this weekend at the mission worship conference. It was a talk on Isaiah 6:1-8 by Andrew Wilson. I have struggled to pray since hearing it. As he explained the train of God’s robe filling the temple in symbolism to the beauty of a bride; the seraphs whose voices cried out ” Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;” and their voices shook the doorposts as the temple filled with smoke – yet they covered their faces because the Lord God is too Holy for them to look at; and as Isaiah cried out ” Woe to me; I am ruined! For i am a man of unclean lips … and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
The Holy Spirit convicted me of my lack of worship, true worship, to my God. As i listened and gained understanding of God’s holiness i was filled with great remorse at my pride and how much i lacked humility. God had been leading me up to this moment with passages here and there about being humble and i was so sure these passages were for the church as a whole (i guess they are really) but i didn’t think to apply them to myself as i thought i was a fairly humble person. If ever you think you are humble i advise you to get on your knees and start praying because you probably are far from it.

Oh my Lord God how can i turn to you now when i am so stricken with grief and remorse at my sin towards you. I have failed you and have not seen you as you truly are. Yet i was only given a glimpse of insight into your holiness. Please help me Lord Jesus to respond to the grace and love that has been so abundantly poured out for all by your precious sacrifice and shedding of blood on the cross, for i am poor in spirit and feel too broken to approach the throne of God in prayer.

” The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.” Psalm 51:17

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Loving those that don’t love you.

Well i guess many of you will know exactly what i mean when i talk about loving those that don’t love you, like you or want anything to do with you. It is difficult and painful but we have to accept that there is nothing we can do about it. Jesus knows how this feels more than anyone. Was there ever anyone who suffered as much rejection and betrayal by those he loved as Jesus. To love others with a godly love, unconditional, compassionate, jealous, pure … and yet have them avoid you, deny you even exist, want nothing to do with you or even hate you and want you dead – yes Jesus understands our sufferings more than we can imagine. But still we must also suffer with him and experience the same rejection and hurt from those we love. Just remember that God is all loving and desires for us to ‘love others as he loves us’ (John 13:34). “Therefore do not harden your hearts” – (Heb. 3:8), “but in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord” – (1 Pet. 3:15).

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” – (Prov. 4:23).

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