Wasn’t it windy this week? Then as quickly as it arrived it died down...until the next time. It reminded me of Elijah (1 Kings 19) when the wind came, the earthquake, then fire, then the still small voice. God was in the still small voice. Despite His almighty power to send a booming voice from heaven, He was in the still small voice.
Our challenge in the busyness of life is to take time and out and be still before our Lord and listen for His voice. Let’s make every effort to do this, this very day and every day. Let’s take time to listen to our God, draw closer to Him as He draws near to us.
“For salvation that comes from trusting Christ—which is what we preach—is already within easy reach of each of us; in fact, it is as near as our own hearts and mouths. 9 For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.[[a](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+10&version=TLB#fen-TLB-25258a)]
11 For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed. 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect: they all have the same Lord who generously gives His riches to all those who ask Him for them. 13 Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
14 But how shall they ask Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them unless someone sends him? That is what the Scriptures are talking about when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace with God and bring glad tidings of good things.”[[b](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+10&version=TLB#fen-TLB-25263b)] In other words, how welcome are those who come preaching God’s Good News! “ Romans 11:17 TLB
There are lots of faux things around. Leather, art, you can even buy a synthetic diamond. The dictionary meaning of faux is ‘not genuine, fake or false. Made to look valuable usually in order to deceive.’
Churches, being made up of people can be so varied, that it can become confusing about what it really means to be a follower of Christ. Can anyone discern the ‘real deal? Is it possible to know what functional practical Christianity truly looks like?
James, the brother of Jesus, says yes—and he give us a simple test.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world ([Jas. 1:27](https://biblia.com/bible/esv/James.%201.27)).”
James provides a short, two-item checklist: (1) love—helping those in need, and (2) holiness—separating from worldly influence. These two traits summarize the practical outworking of a life changed by the gospel.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
“Jesus worked all His life. But the greatest work that Jesus did was not in the carpenter’s shop, nor even at the marriage feast of Cana where He turned the water into wine. The greatest work that Jesus did was not when He made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, nor even the dead to rise. The greatest work that Jesus did was not when He taught as One having authority, or when He scathingly denounced the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. The greatest work that Jesus did was not in the great ethical program He presented to mankind—that program which has become the foundation for Western culture. What, then, was His greatest work? His greatest work was achieved in those three dark hours on Calvary. Christ’s greatest work was His dying for us.” Billy Graham
Families can come in all different ways. But no matter what family we are part of we can be part of a second family at the same time. That is very special and so all of us can have two families.
We have the family we were born into or the family we live with and if we believe in Jesus we can also be part of God’s family.
The Bible says anyone can be part of God’s family if they believe that Jesus is real and is God’s only Son. It all seems so easy but it is amazing how many people never believe in Jesus, never ask God to forgive them for their sin and consequently never become part of God's family.
If you are not part of God’s family and would like to be in God’s family you can pray that prayer right now. Just talk to God and tell Him you are sorry for disobeying and tell Him that you want Him to forgive you. Once you pray and ask God, He does forgive you and you are then part of His family.
If you want to know more, please let us know, speak to a Pastor, write on your Care Card or contact the Church Office.
Often we need a gentle reminder to take time to simply dwell in God, to have time with Him and keep putting confidence in Him. This is what revitalizes us and keeps us going. Try reading Scripture out aloud and let God speak to you personally. Psalm 62:5-8 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him for God is our refuge. Jeremiah 17:7-8 …”But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to be fruit”.
A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45
God calls us to focus.
To keep our eyes on Christ.
To avoid looking at what everyone else is doing, being, and saying – and to instead see Him.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God (Hebrews 12:2 The Message)
When our eyes are on Christ, they are not on the world.
And, when our eyes are on the world, they are not on Christ.
Lets fix our eyes on the One who provides all direction, all hope and all purpose by keeping focused eyes.
The result is a life that is full of Christ, abundant in love, strong in purpose, weak in pride, engaging in relationships, authentic in grace and powerful in faith. We all want this...don’t we?
“So, what is this love for Jesus that gives rise to keeping the commandments of Jesus? Jesus has no defects. He has no demerit. Therefore, we cannot and dare not love him graciously, the way God loves us. We dare not love Him with a love that overcomes some fault or ugliness or sin in Jesus to treat Him well. No. Love for Jesus is entirely deserved. He is infinitely worthy of being loved. He is perfectly lovely. He is loved not in spite of what He is, but because of all that He is.
Which means that love for Him is a response to beauty and greatness and glory. It is not a response to need or weakness or defect. Which also means that love for Jesus is pleasurable. It’s desiring Him because He is infinitely desirable. It’s admiring Him because He is infinitely admirable. It’s treasuring Him because He is infinitely valuable. It’s enjoying Him because He is infinitely enjoyable. It’s being satisfied with all that He is, because He is infinitely satisfying. It’s the reflex of the awakened and new-born human soul to all that is true and good and beautiful, embodied in Jesus.
In short, loving Jesus is not a matter of doing excellent things. It’s a matter of delighting in an excellent Savior. Jesus says doing excellent things — keeping my word — is the result of delighting in the excellent Savior. ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word.’”
Excerpts from John Piper www.desiringgod.org