On the way they were discussing how they could ever roll aside the huge stone from the entrance. But when they arrived they looked up and saw the stone – a very heavy one – was already moved away
and the entrance was open!”
Mark 16v3&4 LB
Today as I read this scripture I want to share two points that the Holy Spirit has comforted me with.
- These dear women were on their way to care for the body of Christ. It cost them to purchase the embalming spices needed. Their love for the Saviour moved them to be committed and serve in this manner. This is a picture of us too as we come to offer our love to Christ for all He has done for us on the cross!
The cost of loving and serving Jesus in your life and mine can be described in many ways. Here’s a few. Ridicule from those with whom we share Christ with, separation from family members who mock or even disown us, work colleagues who are unbelievers or even so called “Christians” who think we take our relationship with Jesus too seriously.
Yet we see these three women prepared to pay the price and at early sunrise set about to see Jesus.
- As much as we love and trust Jesus, our humanity will always think and see the things we can’t do in life, the impossibilities, the limitations of our weaknesses. “they were discussing how they could ever roll aside the huge stone”.
Lots of talk and discussions have been made about the “huge stone” called COVID-19 and we can surely wonder how on earth it’s going to be moved.
Yet as our GOD always does He goes before us and takes care of the way ahead! It is but for us to exercise faith in Him. “They looked up and saw the stone – a very heavy one – was already moved!”
We need not fear, doubt or be anxious our GOD knows what we have need of so let us rest in Him!
Let me finish with another song in my heart! “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness all I have to do is to follow! Strength for today is mine always, all I have to do is to follow!”
God be with you church! Love you all in Christ!
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.”
1 Peter 1v5&6
When I read this scripture this morning I thought of the many trials I have experienced throughout my years of walking with Jesus. And still going through them!
Yet the Holy Spirit has here in this portion inspired the apostle Peter to write “a little while”?
Often we can feel that our troubles and hardships are always with us and we never seem to get rest. This little while is taking such a long time, and yes we are ‘grieved by various trials!’.
Beloved, maybe that’s where you feel you’re at right now. Even before lockdown you were struggling with keeping your head above water, what with hardly making ends meet financially, sickness, future looking bleak, stress in the home, relationships not what they should be? Let me encourage you and remind you today that you belong to Jesus and He will never fail you!
Look at v5 you are kept by the power of God! Keep holding on and believing Him!
It was well over 20 years after Joseph was sold by his brothers that he was able to say after all he went through with his many trials and hardships, ‘but God meant it for good’ (Gen 50v20)
Hezekiah after God healed him from grave sickness said, ‘Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness’ (Isaiah 38v17)
I finish this morning with what Peter tells us in v7 ‘that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ’.
God keep you today and always!
Love in Christ.
‘By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.” (Psalm 137v1&2)
What a picture of isolation and longing as we read here how the people of God find themselves sitting beside the rivers of a strange land (Babylon) with much time to reflect on why and how their God had allowed them to be in this situation.
Many understood that it was through their disobedience to God and a neglect of His ways that they ended up here!
Staring into the flowing waters and watching their reflections with tears falling as they thought about the way it used to be when they were in the comfort, security and familiarity of Jerusalem their home their hearts longed for things to be back to the way it used to be. And discouragement had set in!
Oh dear ones let us beware of the subtle tool Satan uses of discouragement!
God’s people had become so sad and in despair that the song that they had in their hearts had been silenced. Their voices which once sounded with melody and praise unto their God were now silent and their harps hung up on the branches of the willow trees.
Church we can find ourselves in a similar condition if we are not watchful where the circumstances we are currently in can overwhelm us to where we long for being back to the way it used to be, and we forget that God is still on the throne and His love and care for us never fails!
Let us not be looking at what brings discouragement and fear, but that our prayer may be “O Jesus increase our faith!” “Show me what you want me to learn through all of this.”
So that we like the Psalmist can say “Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the health of my countenance, and my God!” (Psalm 42v11)
“For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me.” (Ps 40v12 NKJV)
In living for Jesus sometimes we can be overwhelmed with our own sinfulness and failure. So much so that we can sink into a place of despairing of ourselves, feeling we’re not good enough Christians and that the number of our sins is far too dark and heavy!
When life is easy and things are going well sometimes we don’t seem to care too much about keeping a close watch on our walk with the Lord. But it’s when trouble hits us unexpectedly and we are forced to look up and cry out to God that we find, because of a lack of commitment to Him and communion with Him, we have no confidence in Him hearing our cry let alone answering.
Look at this verse in Ps 40 where David has his eyes on the many iniquities that are overtaking him, the evils that encompass him. He’d obviously been thinking about it to the point where he’s counting all his sins and concludes “they are more than the hairs of my head.” He despairingly says “I am not able to look up; therefore my heart fails me!” Yes the condemnation and guilt that sin brings is a weight too heavy for any of us to carry.
David, with faith enough in his heart to look past all his sinfulness, appeals to the Mercy of God “Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me! (v13) David knew that “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart O God, You will not despise.” (Ps 51v17)
Beloved, if ever you find yourself where David was, don’t stay under the weight of sin but remember God’s promise to you that “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2v1) Appeal to the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and you will say like David “let those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, ‘The LORD be magnified!’” (v16)
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Wayne Yandall
“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.” (Ps 40v1 NKJV)
I like the (CEB) version..”I put all my hope in the LORD, He leaned down to me; He listened to my cry for help.”
What an encouragement it is to read how David the Psalmist in his times of trouble and distress cried out to the LORD to help and rescue him! We see in this Psalm that whatever David’s affliction was he was in a “horrible pit” where he was sinking in the “miry clay”.
Have you ever been in a place like David? Where you’re sinking because the circumstances of your life have been so overwhelming you’ve felt like the walls around you are squeezing you in and you don’t know how things will ever get better? Maybe you or a loved one has fallen ill, you’ve lost your job, your husband or wife walked away or hurt you deeply, a son or daughter hooked on some addiction, you’re fearful or panic stricken and you’ve cried out to GOD for help and it seems He’s not hearing you, He’s so far away? Beloved, take heart. In this Psalm we see that you are always on His mind, He is always thinking about you “Your thoughts towards us are more than can be numbered” (v5) and also Psalm 139v17 David’s conversation with GOD “How precious are Your thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” How wonderful to be reminded that He will deliver you, His tender mercies and loving kindness will preserve you! (v11).
Praise GOD! He is Faithful. Let us keep trusting and rejoicing in Him like David did! As you read this Psalm I pray you be blessed also!
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Wayne Yandall