Posted on: 2nd March 2020
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What is your light? How can you let it shine?
A man went to the police station and said, “I’d like to report a crime.” The police officer said, “What crime has taken place?” The man replied, “Sodium Chloride.” The police officer looked puzzled, saying, “That’s not a crime.” “No” the man replied, “But it is a salt.”
When you consider the chemistry behind salt you notice an amazing transformation from the elements that it is made from to the properties of the compound. Sodium, a reactive metal; Chlorine, a poisonous gas. Sodium Chloride, used to flavour and preserve food. Even this speaks of the difference an encounter with God can have. Jesus’ challenge to the disciples was for them to realise their mission; to add flavour and bring the good news of salvation and to maintain their ‘saltiness’.
How can we apply the words of Jesus today? In what areas of your life do you carry a message of hope, of salvation, of preservation? In your words and thoughts about others, do you speak life and truth? When you consider your own opportunities and future, do you speak life over yourself or are you self-critical and negative?
This week, consider the challenge of Jesus, to be salt and light. Salt and light both impact those around them. They are used to make a difference. How are you making a positive difference to others? Have you lost your saltiness? Were there great things you used to do that you have stopped? Ask God to give you fresh opportunities to add salt and light to others this week.
Devotional Prayer – S Gornall
We remember your words: ‘let your light shine before others’. We ask that you may help us use Jesus’ example of being the light of the world to enable us to think of others before ourselves. We also ask that you may spread light on situations that we may be finding difficult at this time – help us find the right path. As we look forward and prepare for Easter Sunday during lent, we remember Jesus’s good deed by dying for us on the cross. We give thanks for Jesus’ love and we pray that we may be able to set Jesus’ example by helping others in our local community.
Posted on: 11th June 2018
“ ‘…will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope’ ”
When we’re facing a tough situation, or a hard time in our lives that doesn’t seem to be ending, we can sometimes start to lose hope.
We feel like things will always be this way and that there’s no possibility of anything changing. We may have been praying for years and not seen any change. It can be discouraging.
When we lose our hope, we lose our ability to see beyond our circumstances. We can become consumed by fear, disappointment and resentment that our situation isn’t changing. But God says He ‘will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope’ (Hosea 2 v 15). Achor means trouble. So here God is saying that He’ll turn trouble into hope. And the Bible says that ‘those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’ (Isaiah 40 v 31).
We have spoken about the Israelites before on their journey to the Promised Land. When the Israelites were in exile, there must have been days when many of them doubted whether they would ever be allowed to return to the Promised Land. They may have even thought that God had abandoned and forgotten about them. But Jeremiah the prophet (one who God talks to about the future) says, ‘They shall come back from the land of the enemy.’ The word ‘shall’ is a definite; that was what was going to happen – and it did. And we can have that same expectancy.
When God promises us something, He’ll always come through. He is faithful and always keeps His promises. He has the power to completely change our situations and turn our trouble into hope.
Posted on: 2nd October 2017
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Somethings are outside of our senses, somethings we can explain, something’s we can’t yet, we know they are there.
For example, when a leaf blows through the air we don’t question what it is that is making it move, and though we can see the leaf moving, the effect of the wind, we know it is just the wind.
We can’t touch the wind on our skin either, we can feel it’s effect, maybe something blows into you and taps against your skin, we don’t question it for we know it’s the wind.
We hear the effect of the wind passing through alleyways and between houses, we sometimes say the wind is howling but it is simple the effect of the wind navigating its route over hills, through trees and houses.
We don’t question that the wind has an impact on us yet our five sense might not always be the first receptor of the wind but the things it makes happen.
The same could be said for our faith and God.
We can’t always see, hear, smell, touch or taste God, but we can see the effect of His works.
For some we might see God when we look at creation, for others, the songs of praise and worship may be how they hear God speak. Some people may consider sitting and eating tasty food with friends and constant reminder of God’s blessing around them or maybe the smell of freshly cut grass in the spring may be the sense that reminds them of God. For some, a gentle hug from a friend or a high five is the reminder God is there.
We may not always be able to sense God but our faith is the explanation, the confidence, the assurance that what we believe, in our God that we cannot see will come into fruition.
This week consider what does the idea that our five senses might not explain everything mean to you? Why might there be more ways to understand the world than just our five senses? Can you share a personal experience that is not easily explained by just your five senses?