Thoughtful Word: God’s Provision On a particularly hot day, eight-year-old Carmine McDaniel wanted to make sure his neighbourhood mail carrier stayed cool and hydrated. So he left a cooler filled with a sports drink and water bottles on their front step. The family security camera recorded the mail carrier’s reaction: “Oh man, water and Gatorade. Thank God; thank you!”
Carmine’s mom says, “Carmine feels that it’s his ‘duty’ to supply the mailman with a cool beverage even if we’re not home.”
This story warms our hearts, but it also reminds us that there is One who will “meet all your needs,” as the apostle Paul phrased it. Though Paul was languishing in jail and uncertain about his future, he expressed joy for the Christians in Philippi because God had met his needs through their financial gift to him. The Philippian church was not wealthy, but they were generous, giving to Paul and others out of their poverty (see 2 Corinthians 8:1–4). As the Philippians had met Paul’s needs, so God would meet theirs, “according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
God often sends vertical help through horizontal means. Put another way, He sends us what we need through the help of others. When we trust Him for what we need, we learn, as Paul did, the secret of true contentment (vv. 12–13).
Sourced “Our Daily Bread– Marvin Williams”
Ever had difficulty in praying?
We read Bible verses like Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful”. And whilst our intentions are there sometimes we just find it difficult.
You know what though? Our God knew that we would struggle even before we were.
Jesus is not only our Saviour, He is our example. We can learn a lot by looking at the prayer life of Jesus, the Gospels show us:
Jesus prayed for others. Jesus prayed with others, He prayed alone, He prayed in nature. Jesus could pray as a sprinter or a marathon runner. Jesus prayed regularly. The prayers of Jesus were heartfelt. Jesus prayed on His knowledge of God and His truths. Jesus taught persistence in prayer. Jesus knew that not all His prayers would be answered as expected.
The Bible also shows us that Jesus speaks to the Father on our behalf. Jesus ‘is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us’1. He is our “advocate with the Father”2 and Jesus ‘always lives to intercede for us.”3
Although we have struggles, we know that we are not alone. We can gain assurance and encouragement from the fact that God has not abandoned us. Jesus came to this world to share our trouble and defeat the powers that are too strong for us to conquer. His death on the cross could have been the end of it. But we know and celebrate the fact that it wasn’t. Jesus rose again and He is now with the Father, He sees us, and through His Spirit He is with us and He is praying for us.
So let us keep on persevering and praying. It doesn't have to be eloquent it can be as simple as...Lord, I am struggling, help me to know that you are with me and praying for me. Use me to share this comfort with others, In your name Amen.
1 Romans 3:34 | 2 1 John 2:1 | 3 Hebrews 7:25
When trouble comes knocking ...
Trouble comes in all forms - family problems, financial problems, emotional stress or personal illness, just to name a few. Sometimes it seems like an onslaught of bad situations and other times it is little things that happen every now and then. Troubles are what we call them, but God calls them trials and testings.
May I pass on some good news? God is not sitting in the heavens saying, “How can I send chaos on My children today?” No way! He is the One who will make a way of escape. He is our Deliverer and our Rescuer.
Ok so exactly how do we all survive when troubles come our way? The answer is always in prayer and reading God’s Word.
The mind can mentally assess the difficulties and sort them out, but the heart can’t cope. A pastor once quoted “It is hard to wrap your heart around trouble when it pierces your soul.” What a profound statement! It is one of those statements you want to tape to a mirror or to your refrigerator. .
We are not to cope with our troubles; we are to give them to God:
“Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day. 7 Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you”.
1 Peter 5:6-7
If you cope, you hang on to it. If you give it to God, you can let it go.
“May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. 4 He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.”
2 Cor 1:3-4
We see here that the Lord will comfort us, and that is what we need. Once we are comforted and pass through our problems, we will be able to help others. Next time trouble knocks at your door, send Jesus to answer it!
Thoughtful Word ... The Power of Words
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Have you ever been on the receiving end of life-giving words? Then, at other times, has something cruel or unkind been spoke to you, where the words lodged in your brain, bringing you sorrow each time you recalled them?
This very day, you will have many opportunities to use your words. In our interactions with the people who cross our paths—family, friends, co-workers or complete strangers—we can utter words that instill hope, wholeness and courage to others. Or our statements can kill—dashing dreams, crushing confidence and dragging someone’s spirit down.
Whether we are speaking face-to-face, talking on the phone or using our digital tongues in a comment thread or text message, remember this: Our words are powerful, and they have consequences. Will your words be a weapon of demolition or a wonderful tool that creates something of beauty?
May we be ever mindful of the way our words might impact those to whom we speak. Let’s aspire to use our speech with Godly purpose.
To build...not to break
To bless...not to badger
To praise ...not to pounce.
Father, please help me carefully craft my words so they impart life and encouragement to those around me. Help me honour You with everything I say. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
[Proverbs 16:24](http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?t=niv&q=pr+16:24), “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (ESV)
[Hebrews 3:13](http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?t=niv&q=heb+3:13), “But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” (CSB)
“In him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” [Eph. 2:22](https://bibles.org/eng-NIV/Eph/2/22)
Who has ever heard asked or wondered themselves…”where does God live?"
As Christians we might answer that God lives in heaven and in my heart, and in the hearts of everyone who loves Him.
The verse above from Ephesians in the New Testament of the Bible provides another answer to the question. God lives in His church, the body of believers. God has designed and built a wonderful home for himself. While it is true that God lives in heaven and in the hearts of His people, God also lives among His people. He has built this wonderful home in our neighbourhood, and it is filled with all who follow Jesus. The church has as its cornerstone none other than Jesus Christ.
This wonderful house of God is a marvellous temple, a true mansion beyond our imagining. But the most incredible thing about God's house is that you and I are invited to live in it. We are not simply invited as visitors and guests, but in Christ we are part of the family--brothers and sisters of Jesus. We are heirs--"heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" ([Romans 8:17)](https://bibles.org/eng-NIV/Rom/8/17). Welcome to the church--welcome to the family.
If you have not yet accepted the invitation—why not today? If you would like prayer or to chat to someone about what this means for you, please ask a Pastor or put a note on your Care Card.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 1:5-8
Ask a child how old they are and they will tell you their age, but quickly add that they are nearly….
Most Christians want to grow in the Lord, especially when they are new in the faith. But often, as time goes on, the enthusiasm to grow begins to fade. We settle into the humdrum routine and grow spiritually complacent. Good news is that God wants us to grow. Until we are perfectly like Jesus Christ, which won’t happen until we see Him, we still have room to grow. Not so good news is that we won’t grow without deliberate discipline and effort. It is interesting that Peter, a man known in the gospels for his impetuosity, sets us a deliberate, disciplined approach to spiritual growth. If Peter the impetuous fisherman could become a disciplined, godly man, then anyone else can do the same.
Let’s be like the child who is keenly eager to grow up to the next stage.
Excellence ‘Be excellent to each other’
We are saved by grace no doubt, but if there's anything the grace of God should result in, it's to inspire us to work harder and to be diligent in loving others and laboring for God. The grace displayed to us through Jesus and His finished work should never be an excuse for us to slack off.
In your work place, are Christians the most diligent and hard working? If it's Christians who make the most excuses, have the worst tardiness records and miss quotas the most, something is wrong. While God does not oblige us to excel, He gives us His unending grace so that we will become examples of His excellence.
The God we serve is an excellent God. When He created the world, He made it to be very good. When He blesses us, He blesses us abundantly and graciously. And when it came time that He would give the sacrifice that would justify the whole world, He gave His very best -- His only begotten Son.
As God has given and served us with only His very best, who are we to withhold our best from God? If we truly understand God's grace, we will respond in giving excellent service and grace to God and to others. Here are just a few of a number of Scriptures that will encourage us to always be excellent in all we do.
Psalm 150:2. "Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness."
Proverbs 10:4. "A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich."
Proverbs 16:3. "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."
Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
God has no shortage of names—He is called by almost 1000 different names in the Bible. One of these names is Yahweh. We don’t have an exact translation of the word in our English language so we would see it written as “LORD”. It is a sacred name, in Exodus 3:14 we see that God uses ‘I AM” and “Yahweh” interchangeably. So why is it so significant that God’s name is ‘I AM’?
Names are very important and through the Bible we learn a lot about God and His character and nature by the names that are used.
Yahweh is the Self-Existent, Eternal God
Yahweh is a Relational God
Yahweh is with us
Yahweh is the Unchanging God
Yahweh is Holy
Yahweh keeps His covenant with us
Yahweh is full of mystery….but is so worth seeking!
We worship a God of mystery, yet a God who is closer than our very breath. Yahweh is a paradox, one we will never reach the end of when it comes to our understanding of Him. But we can always seek more, and that should be our daily goal to move one step closer to know the God who is.
In the meantime we can use God’s names, that show us His character and nature to help us give Him thanks.
Thank Him that He is eternal, relational, ever present, unchanging, holy, and reliable yet mysterious. Just to name a few.
His love is so rich and full and awaits anyone seeking to know Him, the One who would do anything to have us. Even if it means sending His One and Only Son!
We have so much to be thankful for!
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” 2 Peter 4:10
Birthday gifts have your name on them because they are meant for you. In this verse though, it shows that God’s new-birth gift has your name on it but it is meant for others!
God has given us each a gift, and He calls us to use it for His kingdom. A pastor often is heard saying that “none of us ‘feel’ adequate for the jobs before us, but maybe we should step up and fill in until the perfect person comes along. Along the way, we may discover gifts and talents that we never knew we had!”
Of course none of us are perfect….yet anyway.
God has gifted us to serve others and to care for one another. God doesn’t want His gifts hoarded or ignored; He wants us to channel our talents into serving others in His name.
As we celebrate the 40 years MCC has been serving, may we remember that we haven’t finished yet. There is still lots of people to serve.
How can we use our time, talents and treasures to bless others? Let’s thank the Giver of our gifts by using our gifts to serve Him each day!