But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. Psalm 73:2-3

Here was a man confused by something in the world around him; in this particular case he was confused and upset because of the number of people who had apparently rejected God yet still seemed to prosper with healthy bodies and bank accounts. And he, and the people around him, asked the question, “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”

There are many things people question in the society around us. One such question that seems to be cropping up frequently these days is whether or not we should have the anti-Covid vaccination. Arguments abound about risks. About the shortened length of testing time. Social media is awash with fake news and conspiracy theories, all adding to the general confusion. And then thoughts about the ethics of it all emerge to further muddy the waters of discussion, if that was even possible. Unfortunately a specific answer to this question is not something that we can find in the Bible. And if we turn to the internet to find out the answer, we end up even more confused than before.

Further on in Psalm 73, the psalmist wrote these verses: “Yet I still belong to You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.”

‭‭In spite of his dilemma, the psalmist was able to put his hand into God’s and, in faith and trust, receive counsel that put his mind at rest. And it is the same for all of us. We have the same opportunity to snuggle into God and feel His heartbeat, and hear the answer to our earthly questions.

God may not give us a specific answer but I’m sure He will help us make the right decision. If we let Him. 

Set the Sails!

What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.Ecc 3:15

Ecclesiastes is not the “go to” book you pick up when you are looking for encouragement. But it has some real gems within it, as the verse today shows. Who would have thought, this time last year, that the world would be ravaged by a viral pandemic? Of course, we have had pandemics before, even more deadly than Covid, though thankfully not in living memory. So many will ask why God has allowed another one. It is His prerogative, as the verse above records, for God to repeat things again and again. One day perhaps we’ll get the opportunity to ask Him why.

We head into a new year, probably facing into more months of lockdowns, masks, social distancing, economic woes, limited church functions and so on, but it is how we set the angle of our spiritual sails that will determine how we get through it. If we keep our sails down and stay in our metaphorical ports, then 2021 may be a hard year for us, harder than it need be. But as we unfurl our sails, weigh the anchor, and allow the wind of God, His ruach, to blow us into the New Year and beyond, we will find new opportunities waiting for us. We read above that, “God makes the same things happen over and over again“, so why shouldn’t He allow revival, a new awakening, to be repeated in the coming year. Or perhaps healings, miracles, salvations, marriages and families restored, financial stability returned. Perhaps this is the year that you will receive an answer to those prayers for family members. But I’m sure that as we allow His Spirit to blow us into an exciting year of opportunity, then amazing things, “Beyond all we ask or imagine” will happen. The transition from 2020 to 2021 is almost upon us – is that a wind I can hear blowing in the rigging?

God and Neighbours

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37-40

Jesus was asked for His opinion about the greatest commandment. And what He said was recorded in the verses above. At Christmas time there is a danger that God and neighbours somehow disappear in the excesses of presents and pudding, in the turkey and tinsel. Around where I live there are lonely people. People who, probably for the first time ever, are on their own this Covid-blighted Christmas. No company except perhaps a pet, or the television in the corner. Let us not forget them this Christmas. Whether we are on our own or in company, perhaps there is something we can do to bring a smile to their faces, a memory to sustain them through a lonely day. And, of course, we mustn’t forget our wonderful Father in heaven, and His Son, Jesus, “the reason for the season”. Remember that God is always there for us with His message of hope. 

Have a great day tomorrow everyone.

The Word

John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14a The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
John 14:29. Jesus answered: …..“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father….”

Words. We use them constantly. Written, spoken, in our thoughts. Emailed, texted, whatsApp’d, phone calls, conversations person to person. Different languages, different expressions. There is an almost unlimited number of ways in which we communicate using words. But the problem with words is that they can mean different things to different people. For example, the word ‘Home’ might mean a place of warmth and love for some people, but a place of abuse for others. The word ‘God’ might mean a loving Heavenly Father to some, but is a swear word for others.
So how can God communicate with us about who He really is in a way that cannot be misinterpreted? 2000 years ago He came up with a way, a breath taking solution, universal and eternal in its scope and consequences. God wanted to communicate His love for mankind in a way that was unambiguous, that would be so radical that it would put on record forever everything we need to know about Him. And He did it by sending His only Son Jesus, who not only showed how much God loved us, but who ultimately would die for our sins, enabling all those who believe in Him to be with God forever as His children. Jesus is the Way and the Word who is God.