I was reading this great chapter from the New Living Translation and it came in such a fresh way that I wanted to share it with you. David is in need and looking to the Lord.
Verse 1 says: “Bend down, O Lord and hear my prayer; answer me for I need your help. Protect me for I am devoted to you. Save me for I serve you and trust you. You are my God. Be merciful, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord for my life depends on you. O Lord you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask your aid. Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry. I will call to you whenever trouble strikes, and you will answer me.”
You may have noticed how often he says “Lord”. Here we see what it means for someone who loves God to be truly dependant on him for all their need. It is also a lovely reminder of a God who is so good and loving towards those who follow Him. I trust that you may know this reality in the coming week and if you do not yet know the Lord, that you may come to know Him even today.
Despite many people (or is it just my wife!) being allergic to football in any form most of you will have some awareness that the past 2 weeks have provided the most dramatic finales to any year. It is a clear reminder to persevere to the very end even when all appears to be lost.
In the Christian life James similarly challenges us to keep going.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” We have a far greater reward than any trophy awaiting us if we remain faithful to the Lord, so let me also encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on Him and keep on loving Him even when times are tough.
What an incredible, sunny week this has been. I hope you were able to get the benefit of it. Everyone feels brighter and even in Scotmid the customers were not moaning about the long queues!
I went for a walk to the front at Queensferry on Monday not realising a) how far it was and b) just how hot it was. Despite my personal obliviousness it was kind of obvious later on in the day to those around me that I had been over-exposed to the sun’s rays. I was reminded of the story of Moses who came down from the mountain top and his face (and if uncovered like me, the top of his head too!) was shining. He was unaware of it but it was clear to any onlooker.
As you go out from our time of worship today may you cause a watching world to see that you have been in God’s glorious presence.
Colossians 4 v 4 “...make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
I was remembering the old BT advert catchline “It’s good to talk” and thinking just how many conversations we each have over a week. What a wonderfully practical message from these verses.
Be aware of your responses and conversations and see each of them as Spirit led opportunities to reflect something of God, to make a difference in the lives of others.
This week I read of a body that was found buried with a cross – possibly one of the earliest believers in this country. Coincidentally this took place in the week that a ruling was made that Christians are no longer allowed to wear crosses at work. As we unpacked the ramifications of this ban at homegroup it became clear that this is in fact a very secondary issue.
What difference would it make if every Christian wore a cross?
What we left with was the greater challenge to live out a cross-transformed life – not silently showing that we are believers but demonstrating it by what we say and do. In Ephesians 2 v. 10 we read
“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We will not need to look too far, just be obedient to the leading of the spirit every day.”