Be still my soul

Be still my soul

The Lord is on thy side

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain

Leave to thy God to order and provide

In every change He faithful will remain.

Be still my soul: thy best, the heavenly Friend

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still my soul

Thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as He has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still my soul; the waves and winds still know

His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still my soul

The hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord

When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, loves purest joys restored.

Be still my soul; when change and tears are past

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

1752 Katharina A. von Schlegel

Apologies

I am so sorry for how long it has been since I last wrote anything. It has been so crazy busy in our home and I just havnt had time to think.

Our church are looking at revival, and it has been a burning prayer for some of us for a while now. We are not interested in the numbers game, but desperately want to see souls saved, especially those around us within our friends and family circle. It is a cry from our hearts, but is it something we are willing to get our hands dirty for? It is a question I have been asking myself and this is not aimed at anyone but me first. What am I willing to do or say to bring those I love to Gods mercy seat? Am I willing to be laughed at, to be derided, to be a fool for Christ? Am I willing to put the hard work in place to be there whenever anyone needs me to be? These are very serious questions I am asking myself, because I need to make sure I am not putting my own needs first, not putting my feelings or fears before telling those around me the gospel.

I see a worrying trend within the Church of allowing the World in. Our conversations are full of it, our love of things, of money, of power, of position. It is on our lips more than God and His Word are. We are getting to the point of more interest in the world than seeing our loved ones saved. Can this really be true? Can all our topics of conversation be that lacking in heavenly things?

Watchman Nee says in his book, Love not the World, “Never in this sphere of things have we needed to know the power of the Cross of Christ to deliver us as we do at the present time”. And he goes on to say, “When we are faced with alternatives and a choice of way confronts us, the question is not: Is this good or evil? >Is this helpful or hurtful? No, the question we must ask ourselves is: Is it of this world, or of God? For since there is only this one conflict in the universe, then whenever two conflicting courses lie open to us, the choice at issue is never a lesser one than: God…or Satan”.

Now Watchman Nee wrote this a long time ago, and my book of it was copywritten 1968. It seems to us that he lived in a different time than the 21st century, but if so, then how is it that what he wrote is so relevant to us today? He could have written those words this week! We need to ground ourselves in Christ and His Word to us. Do we want to see more souls saved and if so how much? Do we long to see it? Is it something we are desperate for? Is it our hearts cry? If not, then why not?

I feel it is time for the Church to be seen in communities, to make ourselves visible. I think it is a wrong attitude to expect the community to come to us for answers. We need to show that we have the answers already within us, our changed lived are the proof we need. With God on our side, what do we have to fear? Living for God is our answer to any question.

Amen Lord, come Lord!!!

Made for each other

God made us for relationship. He made Eve for Adam because he was on his own and needed someone of his own kind to be in relationship alongside God. We need others in our life, its just the way God made us.
God made us in His image, in His likeness. To be like Him. In the same way, God is not isolated and wants to be in relationship with us and this is the way He reveals Himself to us. He is a triune God. Three in one, and in relationship with all who come to Him from every part of the world.
We need others, and this is how we are made. We need to be involved in healthy, safe, enriching relationships to become more of who God made us to be. To be in relationship with others can be costly, can be challenging, but they can be so valuable.
I have to be able to bring to God and deal with anything that could stop me developing relationships with anyone. Do I need to forgive? Do I need to let go of something? Do I have preconceived ideas of who you are and how you will be? Am I put off by some of the challenging things that I can see? Have you let me down before, and I feel unwilling to let you have another chance? Is it something I did to wrong you? Did I let you down? To relate to you properly, these all need dealing with.
Don’t fight starting or moving forward in relationships with each other. Work with it and don’t let any challenge put you off. Being with church family, friends, family, work colleagues, they will enrich your life and enrich your relationship with God. We are made for relationship, its just the way God made each and every one of us.

Looking still to revival….

I have to say for a while now I have longed for revival and equally been scared for what I was actually asking for. Revival starts with ourselves and our hearts along with the heart attitude of the Church we live and belong to. It begins with total repentance and giving ourselves fully over to God, to be sanctified/made holy.
Duncan Campbell said of the Hebrides ref
vival, “The difference between successful evangelism and revival is this: in evangelism you have the two, the three, the ten, the twenty and possibly the hundred making confession of Jesus Christ. And at the end of the year you are thankful if half of them are standing. But the community remains untouched….But in revival when God the Holy Spirit comes, the wind of heaven blows, suddenly the community becomes God conscious. A realisation takes hold of the young, middle-aged and old.”
If the Church praying for revival was truly sanctified, they would’t be able to sin any more. It would’t even enter their heads. They possibly would have a greater resistance to temptation because they felt so close to God and His Spirit. The Church needs to be set apart from the world around it. Why would anyone want to be part of a Church that is no different to anything or anyone else. When it comes down to it, they don’t.
We need to seek God and His holiness as this could be the key to reviving our areas.

The World

Watchman Nee says that the three definitions of the world are 1) the material earth or universe, 2) the people on the earth, 3) the things of the earth.
Each of these three contribute to the whole picture of the earth, some are tangible some are intangible. They need each other to function.
Scripture gives us some understanding of the world around us, and explains why it functions as it does and how the intangible effects the tangible.
Jesus tells us “My Kingdom is not of this earth”. Adam opened the door for sin to enter, making our world hostile to God. Creation tries and in a way, can’t, know God, and the human race pulls against God. Even though Adam allowed sin in, Jesus overcame sin. He was of this world and not of this world, he was human and God. He was born of the world, but was fully God, so overcame and allowed creation to be drawn back to God. At the Lords return there will be a Kingdom. This world will become part of that Kingdom. It will know no sin then, it will return to the beginning when first made.
We are in the world, but not of it. We belong to God as soon as we give ourselves to Him. We grow more and more like Jesus. We live in a fallen world, a world if sin and death. We need to make sure that how we live in this fallen society, we radiate the love and power of God. We are a witness. No one is too small to make a difference or work for the Lord.

Money happy?

John Wesley said , “When I have any money, I get rid of it as quickly as possible, lest it find a way into my heart.”
He felt that the more possessions we have, the harder it will be to leave it or give it up. We have to leave it all behind anyway, so is it important to hold things of this world lightly?
1 Tim. 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
There is nothing wrong at all with money, or having it, I am not suggesting that it is bad or evil as this verse is often misquoted with saying. Loving it, not wanting to lose it, and this love of it is where the problems can arise.
Kept in check and a good perspective, money can be used for so much good, and can be a blessing to us and those around us. It can be life changing in so many good and amazing ways.
Nearly half of the parables Jesus told were about money or generosity. It is important enough for our Lord to talk that much about it to those around Him.
Someone once said, “Generosity is not measured by how much you give. It is measured by how much you have left.”
Does our depth of spirituality show itself by how we handle the money we have? Does money make such a difference to how we worship? Are we only happy if we have more than others? Can money really buy happiness?

What church….

January is the month when some churches including my own look forward for the rest of the year and see if our vision has changed, needs changing, what has worked, what hasn’t and what the shorter and longer term visions are. When I look at my own church I see a good vision for both now and the future with ideas and community.
What do you see when you look at your church and the vision it has? We need to stop every now and again and make sure what we are doing fits in with the vision God has given you. Does God want you to change direction slightly, as nothing really stands still for very long. Do you see a vision that has a main point of spreading the gospel to all the borders of your land? Is it a church which looks outward, and not always inward at itself?
Do we belong to a church that is totally God – centred, and puts Him first, that the spiritual life of the people keep growing, and they are equipped and enabled to be released for the glory of the Lord. Is our church committed to the lost, to the lonely especially in their own church family. Do they love and care for each other as a family, bringing hope and purpose to those who belong?
Each Church is individual and different. Your church family may be small or large, but it needs to be asking questions of whether it is being the church of God and doing all the amazing work He has for you. Some of the questions are more personal and need to be asked between you and God. A family takes care of itself, so do we do that? These are also questions that I ask myself, especially whether I am fulfilling my purpose and how I belong to and relate to my church family.

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