Worried about a financial need? Been there frequently and could see no obvious answer. I remember at one such point when I was trusting BUT trying to work out how God would probably meet the need. He said to me, “Get rid of the Abacus.” I am sharing His word to me in the belief it is a truth for all God’s redeemed family, including you. An Abacus would never lead you to a fish with a coin in its mouth, would it? Don’t limit God to the horizons of your calculations or imagination.
I know some of you are facing imminent unemployment this coming week and have no financial reserves. Some of you are single, but some of you are in that situation with a family to support, not just yourself. Whatever, you are not a failure. You have lived wisely, lovingly and faithfully. I hope this word does not taunt you. Don’t worry if you struggle to believe it immediately…
Another thought just came to me: God’s Spirit has probably placed you in someone’s heart and prayers, even though they don’t know why they have started to think about you and you have told them nothing.
Was remembering my Mum today. When I preached for the charge of St. Peter’s and St. Andrews, Thurso, hundreds of votes for and 2 against. My mum was furious about the 2! “Don’t you just want to knife them, Kenny?” What laughter ensued then and over all the years since!
Well, a mother’s love, and all that. I think of her and that memory when someone puts a thumbs down to my online preaching or when I see the odd angry face floating up my screen! It brings warm memories and laughter to my soul.
Preacher, don’t be worried by angry faces on screen or in a congregation. “Lord speak to me that I may speak in living echoes of thy tone.” If that is your prayer, leave the reactions up to him. Everything that truly comes from Christ will always have something about it that means it will be, at least to some extent, a sign spoken against that people’s hearts may be revealed. Irrational anger may be the first sign of hope that someone is awaking out of their own cherished religion to the Kingdom of God.
A wee P.S. Make sure it is the offence of the cross that people are angry at and not at you because you have been a stupid plonker of a messenger.
By the way , I think Jesus would have been laughing uproariously at my Mum when she said that! Let’s know when to lighten up about things. He understands what He made when He created the love of a mother, the heart of a lioness. It is a reflection of His glory, one of the most fearful wonders in all that He has made.
The Gospel is the same for everyone, regardless of our life story.
Getting from “A” to God’s “B.”
“From faith to faith!” Pray for converted preachers who preach from faith and who believe for faith to be awakened. I have sat through quite a few sermons from unconverted men and women in different settings from college days onwards over the years, sharing nothing but their own unbelief in the Word of God, creating nothing but ongoing spiritual death in the listeners. Pray for a fresh wave of born from above, saved by the grace gifted blood of the Son of God messengers, who preach from faith awakened hearts to faith awakened ears. We need the sparks that will cause faith in Jesus to blaze once more in Scotland and beyond…You may think “Judgmental” so I will just put that comment there on your behalf… You may think “old fashioned religion”… guilty as charged: “Like an old fashioned sinner I began to pray, and God heard me and saved me, in the old fashioned way!”
Sorry, there was a break in my internet connection, hence the 2 parts. An abrupt end to Part 1 and a scratchy beginning to Part 2! Apologies, though it was beyond my control as were the dogs yapping in a nearby garden! Maybe the difficulties mean this will be used in a significant way to help bring some into freedom. May it be so.
I can’t fully put into words the beauty and mystery of what I felt the Lord saying to those of you who may begin yet another day with raging anxiety dominating your heart and even your home at this moment, but here goes:
God may presence Himself with you today, draw near to you, like an unfamiliar bird to a garden, blown off its usual expected flight patterns. He may appear vulnerable rather than impressive, weak rather than powerful, storm battered rather than radiantly feathered. He may come to you as the unexpected Messiah with an unexpected rescue: to be with you in your weakness, to be the storm tossed presence in your storms. For you, he will not be found amidst the noisy chatter and competitive, confident, territory declaring squawking of other garden visitors. He stands aside from that, quietly. Look out a side window and there He is. Gentle and lowly. Bring him in without fear to your disordered heart and home. This is the mystery. As you receive the storm tossed bedraggled Saviour, as you give to him the attention and love he awakens in your heart, He will develop in you eagle’s wings.
“All our idols have feet of clay.” Your idol may be a Christian leader. They will have their blind spots and weaknesses that may surprise you and disappoint you. That does not mean they are hypocrites. It means they are followers of Jesus. He is the Shepherd, they are still learning to follow just like the rest of us. Give them the honour due as leaders, but don’t put them on a pedestal of your making from which they will fall in your estimation. The most influential leaders in my life got it wrong at points, but they all taught me as followers to look to Jesus, not them, as the author and finisher of my faith.
Fix your eyes upon Jesus.
Preached for a lovely fellowship of God’s people in Uddingston, Sunday 7th. June.
“Fact leads. Feeling follows.” Not a law, but a truth that helps us along the road of freedom in Christ.
Anger problem? More than management is possible in Christ.
This was Live, Monday afternoon on Facebook. You may need to get Facebook to listen and watch
Vlog 18: Lockdown Magnifying Lens.