Posted by: lepages | April 14, 2010

Reflections…

Last time I posted some of my reflections was over 3 weeks ago… its been a busy time since then (when’s not? I here you say!) but at one point I was starting to feel a bit stressed, longing to escape and have some time away, but then as usual the Lord came and met with me as I spent time with him, and set my thinking back on the right track. I also managed to get some exercise in which always helps to clear a muzzy head….

My first scripture notes after diarying about my feelings of stress and desire for escape was from Isaiah 64:8 (Holman Christian Standard Bible):-
‘Yet LORD, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You are our potter;
we all are the work of Your hands.’

What a wonderful and challenging reminder that God is about shaping us into the people he wants us to be, and he can use the circumstances we face to help do just that!
Thank you Lord that you are the potter, you’re the one who shapes my life, and I don’t believe you’re finished yet – Lord, continue your work and make me into what you want me to be.

The next scripture I recorded was this from Isaiah 66:13 (Amplified Bible):-
As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.’

How encouraging to be reminded that the Lord wants to comfort us in our struggles. Thank you Lord for seeing me through. Please comfort others known to me, and readers of this blog and those known to them who need your gentle hand of comfort at this time. I bring to you particularly those who grieve over loss, please comfort them, comfort those who are struggling in their circumstances. May the New Jerusalem, the church be where they meet with you and know you meeting with them and comforting them.

On to a different tack completely!
Psalm 32:1-5 (New Living Translation)
‘Oh, what joy for those
whose rebellion is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
I was weak and miserable,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide them.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.’

Confession is good for the soul – and for the mind – and for the body! But how often we hold back – we feel we have failed and can’t come before God again – we stay at a distance – and yet this is the last thing he wants us to do! Jesus has dealt with the judgement for our sin – taken it upon himself and through him we now stand cleansed and purified before God as we put our faith in him.

But sin is powerful and when we commit it, it has a power to hold us back from God – it makes us weak, miserable and negative in our thinking – until we come and confess it to our God and he cleans it out, acknowledges that it is gone, extends his forgiveness and then oh what joy – being at one and at peace with God!

Psalm 67:1-3 (English Standard Version)
‘May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!’

What a magnificent prayer! It is as God shines his love and his grace upon our lives that he is reflected to others and his saving power is made known, resulting in much praise to his name. So we can justly cry out ‘Lord bless us! Lord bless me!’ because as he does that the blessing will flow to others.

At our cell group that night we prayed for one another for gifts that we desired – we prayed for Julie for gifts of knowledge – since that time she has had several dreams of the church meeting in a new building, and the church being filled with people of many different ethnic backgrounds – Lord, let it be so – let all the people’s praise you!

Zephaniah 4:14,15 (Amplified Bible)
‘Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice, be in high spirits and glory with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem…. the Lord has taken away the judgements against you; He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, even the Lord Himself, is in the midst of you; and after He has come to you, you shall not experience or fear evil any more.’

We have so much to rejoice in; so much to shout about – but we’re not very good at doing that in Western Christianity – being in high spirits, glorying with all our hearts – rejoicing to the extent of shouting out loud, but boy do we have a reason to do so – the Lord is in the midst of us, he makes his dwelling amongst his people – in the context this is written in my mind went to the sign written over Jesus at his crucifixion ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ – and there as he hung he took our judgement and God’s judgement against us is removed, and when he comes amongst us, as it felt like he has done afresh several times recently, he delivers us from fear. Praise you Lord for the abundance of your grace.

In my next ‘reflections’ post I shall have some thoughts and quotes to share relating to prayer and worship.
All for now.

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