Valuing to the Full


St Wilfrid's Devotional Blog - Valuing

Posted on: 7th October 2019

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4

Whenever I watch a programme that I have recorded on a Sunday evening, my first few minutes of watching is the tail end of a previous show. I see a person with a family heirloom, listening to a professional describing the period of history their item is from. I can see past their fake interest. Just like me, all they want to know is, “What’s it worth?”

During this week we are considering the value we place on others. In 1 John 3:1, we read that God has called us his children. Children and heirs. That is valuable. This implies that we are richly blessed. In Ephesians 1, Paul writes to the church, telling them that they have already received, “Every spiritual blessing through Christ Jesus.” We too are heirs of those spiritual blessings as God’s children.

Jesus tells a story in Matthew 13:44. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

My challenge for us all this week is to consider that there is treasure in everyone we meet. When we spend time talking to others we realise this treasure and are able to help others find their worth. But this process takes time and may cost us. Are you prepared to pay the price to help someone else know what they are worth?

Lord direct us to live life to the full

Praying for Blessing


Praying for Blessing

Posted on: 7th May 2019

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3

I love the Bible. I love it when I find a story that seems out of place with the clean, sanitised, serene picture we can sometimes portray the message of the Bible to be.

In Numbers chapter 22, there is an amazing account of Balaam. Israel, God’s people, were defeating their enemies left, right and centre. Balak, king of Moab was rightfully worried. Enter Balaam. Balak spoke to him saying, “I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.” Imagine having that super-power! What would you do with it? What did Balaam do? I challenge you to read the rest of the story and let me know what you think!

In Proverbs 18:21, King Solomon says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

What if we did have the ability to bless and curse with our words like Balaam?

Reflect on the times you have spoken life and hope to someone who is down. Did it bring life? Have you experienced the critical, hurtful words of another that have caused part of you to feel dead and sick inside? Have you ever been critical of yourself, putting yourself down? The words we speak to ourselves are just as crucial to the words spoken by and to others. Do you need to repent of negative self-talk?

My challenge for you this week is to listen carefully to the words you use. Take time teach day to reflect on the effect your words have had on others. If you have spoken death, ask for forgiveness. If anyone has spoken life to you, thank them: they may even do it again!

Praying for Unity


Unity

Posted on: 29th April 2019

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Ephesians 3:16

What would you do if praying made a difference?

Every Tuesday we have been meeting weekly in the Chapel to pray. During this time we have prayed for the school, for events, for those connected to the school, that there would be a sense of the presence of God in everything we do. Some of our prayers have been for loved ones who are sick. Many of these prayers have been answered. We continue to pray for people and situations that bring discomfort and pain and you are always welcome to come along.

Paul prayed. You can read the letters he wrote to the churches that were growing after the death and resurrection of Jesus. In Ephesians 3, Paul is writing to the group of believers in Ephesus. Paul had visited this city on his travels and lots of people had believed in Jesus and were choosing to live differently. The difference made by the message of Jesus had caused some to riot and oppose Paul and his companions. The message of Jesus had been accepted by some but was opposite to the way of life of others.

Jesus prayed. Throughout the gospels, Jesus went to be alone with God to pray. He taught his disciples how to pray. In Matthew 18, Jesus promises that when we gather in his name, he will be with us. He also promised that whatever we agree on in his name, will be given. What an amazing promise.

What would you do if praying made a difference? Prayer and meditation is a strong part of all major faiths. It is an opportunity to deepen our beliefs and faith. It can strengthen our inner beings and can make a difference in our lives. During the exam season we will be joining together to pray. We will be praying before exams. We will be praying during exams. We will be asking for prayer requests. We will be sharing praise reports. I invite you to begin a habit and a pattern in your life of inviting God into your world, through prayer.

Love to Pray


St Wilfrid's C of E Academy - Devotional Blog 2019 - Pray

Posted on: 9th January 2019

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Ephesians 3:16

What would you do if praying made a difference?

We have been meeting weekly in the Chapel to pray, every Tuesday. During this time, we have prayed for the school, for events, for those connected to the school, that there would be a sense of the presence of God in everything we do. Some of our prayers have been for loved ones who are sick. Many of these prayers have been answered. We continue to pray for people and situations that bring discomfort and pain and you are always welcome to come along.

Paul prayed. When you read the letters, he wrote to the churches that were growing after the death and resurrection of Jesus. In Ephesians 3, Paul is writing to the group of believers in Ephesus. Paul had visited this city on his travels and lots of people had believed in Jesus and were choosing to live differently. The difference made by the message of Jesus had caused some to riot and oppose Paul and his companions. The message of Jesus had been accepted by some but was opposed to the way of life of others.

Jesus prayed. Throughout the gospels, Jesus went to be alone with God to pray. He taught his disciples how to pray. In Matthew 18, Jesus promises that when we gather in his name, he will be with us. He also promised that whatever we agree on in his name, will be given. What an amazing promise.

What would you do if praying made a difference? Prayer and meditation is a strong part of all major faiths. It is an opportunity to deepen our beliefs and faith. It can strengthen our inner beings and can make differences in our lives. Whatever your resolutions for the New Year, consider prayer. What if this was the year that you began to ‘Love to Pray’.

Heartbeat – Love Brings Your Spirit to Life


Heartbeat

Posted on: 23rd April 2018

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 2:10

One of the fruits of our spirit as the bible states is love, we read about it in Galatians 5:22-23. Now the fruits of the Spirit are not for ‘show’, they are for sharing with others; otherwise, they’re no better than fruit that was never grown in the first place. Suppose you visit the market with your heart set on buying fresh vegetables. You see home-grown tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and several varieties of peppers – everything you need and more. Just as you start to select your items, the farmer who owns the stand says, ‘Sorry, this produce isn’t for sale. I just like to grow it and enjoy looking at it until it rots. Then I throw it away.’ Can you imagine your reaction? Now you likely haven’t encountered such a bizarre situation, and probably never will. That’s because farmers and customers know that produce is for eating. Sure, when all the colours are on display it’s beautiful to look at, but its God-ordained purpose is to bring nutrition and health to people.

If all we do is go to worship and speak about fruit, analyse fruit, and examine each other’s fruit, we are failing miserably. It’s not enough to have fruit, to have love, we must share that fruit and love with others, so they can be blessed and impacted by the kingdom of God.

In Ephesians 2:10 Paul writes, ‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’

This week, don’t only bear fruit in your spirit but let it come to life, so others can see it too.

Easter


St Wilfrid's C of E Academy - Devotional Blog - Easter

Posted on: 26th March 2018

What do you think of when you think of Easter? Eggs? Holidays? Jesus? The Cross?

For some it is these four things: Forgiven. Family. Freedom. Future.

Why?

Well it’s simple really, each time we read the Bible we have new revelation of who God is, what he has done and why. When we read the Bible bearing in mind we know the Easter story and Jesus, we can’t miss these four things.

Firstly, at Easter time, we remember that Jesus’ agonising death on the cross means that He paid the price for our sinfulness and selfishness. Easter reminds us that we can be FORGIVEN by God – ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’  (1 John 1 v 9).

And through this loving, sacrificial act, we can become adopted into God’s FAMILY – ‘Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of His household.’ (Ephesians 2 v 19). God is our Father, Jesus our ever-present older-brother, the Holy Spirit our constant helper, and the Church is our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Then, the fact that Jesus defeated death through His resurrection, reminds us that nothing is impossible for God and we can experience FREEDOM from our struggles and suffering. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5 v 1).

In this resurrection is our hope for the FUTURE, that we will one day be with God forever in His perfect new heaven and earth – “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21 v 4-6 NIV)

Be encouraged this Easter that when Jesus died on the cross and the plan to rescue eternity was set into motion, God had YOU in mind.

Compass – Everyone has a Moral Compass


St Wilfrid's Devotional Blog - Compass

Posted on: 26th Feb 2018

“Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.”
Ephesians 5:15-16

This week’s theme is about our compass, our moral compass, something that we all have that enables us to gage and react to situations around us. But our moral compass also allows us to set the direction for our life.

From time to time we may twist and turn learning new things about our world around us but as our compass surface area expands, we may question more of how we feel and what we believe.

It’s here where we have the opportunity to make the change. See, if you change your direction by one degree now, in the future you will be facing a whole different direction.

In Ephesians 5 v 15-16 it says: Be Very Careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.

We are thrown so much in life, trouble, love, anger, adoration, but when we get the opportunities to use our moral compass, be careful how you live, wisely making choices and make the most of every opportunity.

Courage


Pebble - Courage

Posted on: 18th September 2017

He will empower you with inner strength.
Ephesians 3:16 (NLT)

Have you ever watched a super hero film and been convinced that you have super powers that you haven’t discovered yet? Or looked at a freshly run bath and thought, “It can’t be that hard to walk on water!?”

As much as we can close our eyes and convince ourselves we can teleport from our desk to somewhere lovely and warm especially in this September rain we seem to have, we sometimes feel pretty weak. In fact, for most of us, not having super powers is probably our version or normal. We’ve all had moments of sheer helplessness, where it’s almost impossible to get out of bed because we are physically/emotionally exhausted. Yet in those moments, as hard as it is we can trust God, then if you are willing to, His power goes with you. Isaiah 40v 29 says, “He gives STRENGTH to the weary and increases the POWER of the weak.” That’s a pretty cool encouragement, right?

We may not have teleportation powers, but that verse tells us that even in our weakest moments, we have power that God will build on. That verse means that we don’t have to live in extortion and weakness but that we can live in His power, His strength and His courage.

What does this mean for us?

When we try to do things on our own it can seem hard but have courage. Have the courage to trust in God, in our weakness he is strong. Have the courage to believe with Him you can do more that you can on your own.

This week, have courage, step out and try something new.