Forget Me Not

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These beautiful flowers called Forget Me Nots are growing in my garden. Forget Me Not flowers symbolize remembrance.To me, they remind me of how God has promised never to forget us.

We are always on God’s mind.

Psalm 139:17-18 says “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I am awake, I am still with you.” God’s thoughts towards us are too many to be counted.

Isaiah 49:15 says,  Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you”

I nursed all four of my children. For a large proportion of their early life I nursed them, sustained them and met their every need. It was impossible for me to forget about a tiny, hungry, needy baby. Such is a mother’s instinct and love. Yet God is saying surely some mothers may forget their children (unlikely but possible) but God will never forget about us. Yes, sometimes we’re loud and needy but God will never turn us away. He is compassionate. God’s divine remembrance to us is even more tender than a mother’s love and He is ever mindful of us.

Sometimes when we are going through things, we are tempted to think that God has forgotten about us. That is not the case at all.

Isaiah 49:16 says “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands”

Your hands are always in your view. We wear rings on our fingers, often as a symbol of affection, promise etc and the right hand  in the Bible, is a symbol of strength.

God is saying how often He thinks about us.

Furthermore, in John 20:20 the risen Jesus showed the disciples His hands  which had been pierced by the nails of the cross-showing the sacrifice He made for us.

2 Timothy 2:13 says “if we are faithless, He remains faithful ;He cannot deny Himself.”

It is not in God’s nature to be faithless. He is a faithful God. And He will not forget you.

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Scriptures for Students sitting Exams

Exam season is fast approaching, so I thought I would share a few Scriptures to help calm those nerves

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It’s a very anxious time, students can feel overwhelmed, but can I just let you know that God is still in control and here are some Scriptures to help you.

1 Peter 5:7 “…casting all your care on Him, for He cares about you”

God cares about your wellbeing. You can entrust all your concerns and worries to Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Your future is in the hands of God, not in the hands of any exam board!

God’s plan for you encompasses all aspects of your life. His plan for your future is not going to be hijacked because you couldn’t answer one question on an exam paper. God’s thoughts toward you are only good.

One of my other roles is that of GCSE examiner. I mark French examinations, so I know from personal experience that the examiners are not trying to catch you out – they are looking for what you know and what you can do. You have learned a lot over your years of study. You have retained more than you think.

God has said in His Word: ” I will never leave you nor forsake you, so we may boldly say “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”” (Hebrews 13:5,6)

What’s the worst that could happen? You might fail? You can retake the exam if necessary. Furthermore, you might not fail, you might do better than expected! What can man do to you? You aren’t going to be put to death for failing an exam.

If you think you can’t do this, the Bible says , ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13″ Ask God to help you.

You are not defined by the grades you get, you are defined by who God says you are.

You are His creation.

You are loved by God.

You are a person with a purpose.

You are not forsaken.

You are not alone.

Proverbs 14:23 says ” All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

If you have worked hard, God will grant you success.

If you haven’t worked hard, you still have a bit of time left to do some more revision. Use your time wisely!

But, having done all you can, the only thing left is to trust.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6)

God will perfect that which concerns you.

Comfort

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In Matthew 5:4 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Jesus promises comfort to all who mourn.

In John 14:15-18 Jesus said  “I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him;but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you”

We have a helper – the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and He helps us to pray, even when we have no words to say. The Holy Spirit will never leave us. He will not abandon us in our hour of need.

Some things may happen in life that we can never fully understand this side of eternity, but one day, we will understand. No matter what happens  God is good. He loves you and He promises to help you because He cares about you.

The Holy Spirit comes alongside us in our disappointment and grief and He shares our load. He says, “Come to me, all you who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”

God’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Give your burden to God. He can handle your pain, your loss, your grief and He will help you through it.

 

When God says “No!” Part 3-Yes to Lydia

Acts 16:11-15

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The title of “When God says No!” is perhaps not a very catchy or appealing title  but actually when God is saying, “No” to one thing, He’s saying, “Yes” to something else. God’s  “No” to Bithynia at this time became a  “Yes” to Lydia and Philippi.

Timing is crucial.If Paul had tarried in Bithynia he may have missed the meeting with Lydia in Philippi. This meeting was a divine appointment. The Bible says that Lydia was a worshipper of God. God had been preparing her heart to receive Paul’s message.

God prepares us for a people and a people for us. We just need to trust His direction.

Lydia was a seller of purple. She was a well to do agent of a purple dye company from Thyatira. Purple cloth was extremely expensive – it was a symbol of status and wealth. The dye for purple was made from a juice found in minute quantities in shellfish. It took thousands of crustaceans to make a yard or two of purple cloth. So, to sell this cloth Lydia will have been mixing with very rich and influential people.

Lydia is believed to be the first European convert and the Orthodox churches have given her the title of, “Equal to the Apostles”  which signifies her importance and level of holiness.

The Lord opened Lydia’s heart and her and her household got baptized. Then she invited Paul to stay at her house. Later, when Paul had gone to jail and been released (Acts 16:30) he, along with Silas,  headed straight for Lydia’s house.

So after the  “No!” he received from God, Paul met this wonderful lady, Lydia, whose heart was responsive and open to the gospel  who became a big part of the Church at Philippi – a Church that was a constant source of supply for Paul – financially and spiritually. This connection was extremely significant

God’s  “No!” to Bithynia became a “Yes” to Philippi!

This happened because Paul listened to and obeyed the Holy Spirit

God has a plan for you. Don’t be discouraged if you sense a roadblock. God has a greater purpose.

God has good plans for you – to give you a future and a hope.

 

Eagles circling Part Two

I usually use my own photos in my blog, but I felt it was important to put a picture so please see the picture below:-

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Since I saw that vision of eagles circling together over a valley God showed me many other things.

Eagles soar without flapping their wings. In order to do this, they have to wait for the wind thermals to come up on them. It does not take any natural effort or strength to fly in the wind thermals. The eagles rely on the wind thermals to carry them.

This is like us as believers. The Holy Spirit is often depicted as the wind: Acts 2:2 (ESV), “And suddenly there came from Heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting ” This was the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:3,4 says, “Then there appeared to them divided tongues of fire, and one sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

In these last days we cannot do anything in our own strength – we must rely on the Holy Spirit’s strength to take us through.

If we do things in our own strength we will wear ourselves out. We need God’s strength.

Just like the eagle has to learn how to fly on the wind thermals – we, as born again Christians, have to learn how to fly on the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

More to follow later.

Resurrection!

 

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Did you know that at that moment when Jesus died on the cross and the veil of the temple was torn in two that graves opened and other saints who had already passed away came alive and went into the town?

It tells us about this in Matthew 27

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This is amazing! Can you imagine your relative – Aunt or Grandfather, brother or sister who you have mourned and buried suddenly turning up on your doorstep? This is what happened!

You see, when Jesus made that ultimate sacrifice, something significant was put in motion. Resurrection power!

Even at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross a hardened criminal died and went to Heaven and people were resurrected from their graves. Grace, mercy and the miraculous was released over the Earth.

The fact that other people experienced resurrection shows us that this victory over death is also for us. If you are a Christian and have accepted Jesus into your life the power that raised Jesus from the dead abides in you. We have victory over death because of what Jesus did. We can say to death, “Where is your victory? Where is your sting?”

Furthermore, Jesus Himself rose from the dead on the third day and appeared to Mary, the disciples and around 500 people.

Praise be to God and thank you Jesus for this indescribable gift!

Sow the seed and be encouraged

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Today a former pupil recognised me and came up to me in a supermarket and greeted me. He was with his parents, grandfather and sister and I know  they are Muslims. I asked how he was doing, introduced my family and spoke to his parents.

I taught him 6 years ago.

What I found really significant was that this young man remembered me as an RE Teacher (and he said that twice) but I had never taught RE at that school, and I told him, I was a languages teacher.

When I thought about this, I realised how often at that Church of England High School I had shared my faith with the pupils. I shared my testimony with my form and lived my Christian life in front of them.

And six years on this young man remembered that more than any foreign language I taught him.

You see, I had sowed a seed of the Gospel in his life. He was so pleased to see me, his former teacher, and God spoke to me that tonight He is going to speak to this young man. God did not forget about that seed. He WILL make it grow.

How many seeds of the Gospel have we sown in people’s lives? I have sown many over the years. I can’t remember how many I have sown, how many times I have shared my faith or simply spoken one word. But God remembers each one and He is carefully watching over them. He is watching over His Word to perform it.

Psalm 126:5,6 says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping , bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

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I am so expectant that God is going to bring a harvest of souls! Those seeds that have been sown are going to start growing this year. Some have been lying dormant. NOW is the time when God is going to breathe life into them. Be encouraged, brothers and sisters and keep sowing the seed of the Gospel.

Elisha and the Widow’s Oil

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This woman was in dire need. Her husband had died and a creditor was coming to take her two sons away to be slaves. This woman’s husband had been the son of a prophet; he was a man who feared the Lord and Elisha had known him. So, the woman appealed to Elisha to help her. She was not in a good situation and she sought the man of God.

Elisha was willing to help her and asked what she had in her house. This woman did not have a house full of belongings. All she had was a jar of oil.

A quick question – what do you have that God can work with? If she only had that jar of oil, that is what God was going to use.

Elisha told her to borrow empty vessels from all of her neighbours, which she did. She shut the door behind her and started pouring out the small jar of oil into ALL of the vessels. Amazingly, the oil just kept on flowing until ALL of the vessels were full.

This was a miracle! This miracle was dependant on the woman’s faith. Elisha told her, “Do not gather just a few.” She was told to make room for God to do the miraculous. I say to you today, “Do not gather just a few.” Expect God to move mightily on your situation. If this woman had gathered just a few vessels she might not have had enough money to repay the debt and live off the rest. Please, brothers and sisters, do not limit God in your actions, in your thinking, in anything …

You do realize , of course, that God did not need the small jar of olive oil to perform the miracle. But He wants us to commit ourselves fully and take a step of faith. He requires us to lay the foundations for a miracle to take place.

This woman was a spiritual woman and she did not hesitate to respond to the instructions of the Lord’s prophet in faith and obedience, even if it seemed crazy to her. Will we do that?  Naaman was asked to bathe in the River Jordan in order to be healed from his leprosy. He went away in a rage when he first heard this, because he thought this idea was ridiculous. But, eventually he did bathe in the River and was healed of his leprosy.

The things God asks us to do may not always make sense but we must trust Him. He knows what He is doing.

God is our loving Heavenly Father and He wants to provide for us, His children, when we are in need. Psalm 34:10 says, “…those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” God provided enough oil for the lady to pay the debt and enough for her whole family to live off. God is not only a generous provider ,but He  has unlimited resources.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it”. Our Father in Heaven owns everything that is in the world – the animals and the crops etc. He sends the rain and makes the sun shine – He brings the perfect conditions for harvest. He is a rich Heavenly Father who delights in giving us all things.

Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things.”

Accepted by God – an antidote for rejection

No matter who has rejected you – the Lord has accepted you. Isaiah 54: 5 says, “your Maker is your husband” and verse 6 says,” “For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused, ” says your God, “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you””

You are precious to God and He loves you dearly. You are totally accepted by Him. In Ephesians 1:6 it says, ” … to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Because of the grace of God, given freely to us through Jesus Christ dying on the cross for us, you can be totally and completely accepted by God.

Jesus has promised never to leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). If you have given your life to Him He will never let you go and will never abandon you.

Psalm 27:10 says, ” When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me”. Friends and family may forsake you,  but the Lord will never forsake you. he will take care of you. Jesus is closer and more faithful than a spouse, a mother, father, brother, sister or friend. He loves you more than anyone in the world ever could. Even in their best days of loving , the people around you cannot match Jesus in His love for you.

If you were the only person left in the world, God would still have sent Jesus to die on the cross so that you could have a relationship with Him.

Your life is important and worth something.

No matter which earthly person has rejected you, give your heart to God. The Bible says He binds up the broken-hearted (Psalm 147:3). Let God heal your broken heart. Experience the power of His unconditional love and acceptance of you.

Grace

You could define grace as

GOD’S

RICHES

AT

CHRIST’S

EXPENSE

Grace is completely undeserved. It is a free gift from God. We can not earn grace.

Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

We can not earn our way to Heaven. We are not saved by doing good works. Good works will follow a person’s salvation, but we are not saved because of them. We are saved because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and the sins of mankind.

In Luke 23:40 a man who had spent his whole life committing crime gave his life to Jesus and received the assurance of eternal life with Christ in Paradise. It was only that simple prayer of faith that saved him, not any good deeds (for he had none) This is the grace and mercy of God in action.

No matter what you have done, you too can receive this grace of God. Tbere is no sin too great that Jesus can’t forgive. Bring your sins to God and with a repentant heart allow Him to wash you clean and give you too the assurance of eternal life in Heaven.