And Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Many years ago I was in China on business and on one particular day during that trip, (It was a Thursday as I remember it very well as if it were only last week!).. I was busy in meetings with a number of business people when my phone rang. It was a message saying that our youngest daughter had been involved in a car accident and was in hospital and that they were trying to reach my wife!
Immediately panic, panic and more panic set into my heart! My mind began to race at 120 miles an hour thinking of all the things that I was in no position to do anything about as I was thousands of miles away in China! How badly was my daughter hurt? What if she’s seriously injured? Could she die? Someone should be with her and I’m not there! Where’s my wife? (actually she was in church)
I walked out of the building and found a quiet spot outside and weeping I cried out to Jesus to be with my little girl (actually she was in her late teens) and to please touch her in the hope she wouldn’t have suffered any injuries, and that everything would be alright. At that time the peace of God flooded my heart and a quiet assurance so overwhelmed me that it was okay, she was fine and Jesus was taking care of everything. My tears turned from panic to tears of joy and I began to praise and thank Him for His faithfulness, love and mercy.
Jesus said He would send us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and at that time so long ago, and many times since, I have truly experienced the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Let me leave you today with the lyrics to one verse of the wonderful song we sang at Thursday evening prayer service:
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, Where can mortal be more blest?
There I lay my sins and sorrows, And when weary, find sweet rest…
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, There I love to weep and pray..
While I from His fullness gather..
Grace and comfort every day.
Remember beloved, every day in our Christian living He is in You and with you!
God be with you today and always.
Philip answered Him, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little!”
John 6v7 (KJV)
Have you ever asked anyone a question about doing something really difficult, and you already knew the answer? That’s exactly what Jesus did to Philip one of His disciples. In John 6v5 there was a huge crowd of people who followed Jesus to watch Him heal and teach. It was getting late in the day and Jesus wanted to feed them. It’s estimated that the crowd would have been in the vicinity of 10,000 – 12,000 or more, and Jesus asked Philip “Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?” (v5) Philip’s answer of “two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient” was about a year’s salary’s worth of bread and then only enough for each to have a “little”.
When I read this I see that I would be just like Philip thinking naturally of a way of solving things and even saying within myself “it’s too hard! I can’t do anything! It’s way beyond me!” when JESUS the Bread of Life is right next to me! You see, Jesus is always wanting us to have our faith in Him increased and so He tests us. And that’s exactly what He was doing with Philip in this scripture. Philip should have said…”Master You’re the Miracle Worker! You are able! I know You can do all things!”
Beloved, we must be careful with the doubt we may have in ourselves and the thoughts that we have, “Am I a strong enough Christian?” “Do I have the Holy Spirit’s power in me?”
Christ has called us to great victories and great works as we believe in Him! (John 14v12) No matter what we face in life let’s remember that our sufficiency is of God and not of ourselves!
Go in the strength of the LORD this week and rejoice in Him always!
Love in Christ.
“Open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things in Thy Word” Psalm 119v18
Yesterday, I was making a delivery to one of our daughters in Mission Bay who was sick and I had to make a stop at her local supermarket to pick up a couple of things she needed. I parked the car and quickly ran into the New World supermarket. As I was focused and thinking about what I had to get I rushed through the entrance past two shop assistants covered with COVID-19 masks and gloves, one who called to me and said “HEY! were you in the line?”…I was inside the store now so stopped, turned to her and said “what line?” she pointed to a line of waiting customers with their trollies that must have been at least 50-60 people and I had pushed in front of them all and entered the store without even seeing them!!
Shocked at what I had done I apologised and said “I’m so sorry I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t even see the queue!”…”well, she said, at least you’re honest about it! You may as well get what you want now!”
We can read God’s Word a bit like that sometimes, hurrying through it without really noticing what it’s saying to us! Seeing the words but not really thinking and meditating on them.
In our scripture today David the Psalmist is asking God to ‘open his eyes’, slow him down, so that he wouldn’t miss the wondrous things God wants us to see and learn.
Remember we have the Holy Spirit who reveals the Truth to us as we read the Bible. He makes alive the Word and shows us JESUS beyond the sacred page! He gives us the desire to spend time reading it, and quickens our understanding of it as it enters our hearts! “the entrance of Thy Words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” (Ps 119v130)
I don’t want to just read the Bible as a book, but as a love letter from God to help me and guide me throughout my daily walk with Him! He is speaking to us through it and we never want to miss His voice!
So every time you read the Bible ask JESUS to give you the Holy Spirit to ‘open your eyes’ and help your understanding.
Well that’s my moment with the Master today and I trust you’ve been encouraged!
God be with you all! Love in Christ!
“O Come let us sing unto the LORD, let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.” Psalm 95:1-2
What a wonderful reminder from David as he urges us to come sing and make a joyful noise to God!
In case we miss the importance of being joyful in our noise and not just making noise from an empty kerosene tin, David mentions it twice in the first two verses.
I know for many of us we find it hard to make noise let alone noise that’s joyful! But here David the Psalmist turns his attention away from himself and centres his heart on his God! And so must we! That’s why he can be joyful!
Look at verses 3-5; he gives us reason to shout and sing and ‘come before His presence with thanksgiving’.
David knew the faithfulness of his GOD and that He is a great GOD and great King above all gods who not only had preserved him, provided for him, and protected him from all his enemies, but also encouraged strengthened and deepened him in his daily walk with God so he expresses his thanksgiving with a joyful noise! It’s like David knew the song we sing with our children ‘My God is so big so strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do! The mountains are His the rivers are His the whole world is under His smile!’
Make sure we are not like these who are mentioned in (v10) ‘Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, it is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’
When we think about the LORD and all He’s done for us how can we not but shout the joyful noise of thanksgiving! Do it today!
Enjoy your day! Blessings to you all!
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