You can’t go through life without falling down, the question is, will you get up? Will you stand again after a fall? I grew up, getting up. I would fall, I would get back up again. Sometimes slowly, but I always got back up. Every when you thought you heard the whispers of ‘stay down, stay down’, my bloody minded stubbornness and determination would make me get up, wounded and broken I would still get up, trying to learn each time, trying to not make the same mistake again, trying to live knowing that I am enough, that I cannot add anything to what God has given, that I am enough for him. He doesn’t need my works, he doesn’t need my offerings, his grace is sufficient. The works and the offerings come later, but they are never to add to the essential offering of myself. When getting back up is all you know you expect others and want others to do the same. You want to help them, you want them to get up too.
But what do you do when you cannot help someone get up, when everything you say doesn’t make a difference? When all the prayers … Read More »
Sometimes the one who wins is the one who manages to stand the longest. This is often how I feel when under pressure of the enemy. If I can stand and keep standing then I can win. Doesn’t it say resist the devil and he will flee from you? If I can stand despite the pressure of the enemy then I can overcome. I have learnt that the pressure of the enemy can come for a few days before it lifts, it is in those moments that my perspective can be skewed; It is a dangerous time to make decisions as there is a temptation to be irrational or hasty. I am better off waiting until the pressure has lifted, not drawing conclusions from things that have been said, being careful to hold my tongue. When you write it down it all seems so easy! In the middle of it all it can sometimes feel like your world is falling apart.
I have to remind myself that to win I need to stand. That is all. Sometimes there will be a moving forwards, but to overcome I just need to keep standing. I have found during these times of pressure … Read More »
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,”
Ephesians 1:13 NKJV
I haven’t visited this passage for a while but found myself being drawn to it this morning. It is reassuring and comforting to read the promise of being sealed by the Holy Spirit, but part of that comes from knowing what sealing means.
The sealing that Paul is talking about is the mark of identification often placed upon important documents to show authenticity, ownership and authority. The seal was usually made from hot wax and then impressed with a signet ring. Thereby identifying the document with the owner of the ring.
As a believer, the Holy Spirit is the seal of my salvation. He marks us as belonging to the Lord, by His authority, an eternal security. It is difficult to reconcile this image with the idea that some have that we can lose our salvation. But it is images like this that assure me of the amazing grace that is from the Lord in salvation. It is His work and not mine. It is not by my effort that … Read More »
On Christmas Eve in 1865, Philip Brooks, a minister of Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia, travelled through the fields from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. He wrote about this journey:
“After and early dinner, we took our horses and rode to Bethlehem. It was only about two hours when we came to the town, situated on an eastern ridge of a range of hills, surrounded by its terraced gardens. It is a good-looking town, better build than any other we have seen in Palestine. . . . Before dark, we rode out of town to the field, where they say the shepherds saw the star. It is a fenced piece of ground with a cave in it (all the Holy Places are caves here), in which, strangely enough, they put the shepherds. The story is absurd, but somewhere in those fields we rode through the shepherds must have been. . . . As we passed, the shepherds were still ‘keeping watch over their flocks,’ “or leading them home to fold.”
They followed the path of the shepherds into Bethlehem and assisted in a midnight service at the Church of the Nativity. He wrote of this service : “I remember standing in the old church … Read More »