Shedding Light Moment 29th May 2023.
A line in an old hymn says “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” At times we all find ourselves distracted and drifting.
In those seasons of wandering, our heart of hearts doesn’t want to drift from God– but, like Paul, we often do what we don’t want to do. See Rom 7:19. It’s then that we desperately need to turn back to the Shepherd of our heart who can draw us to himself. David wrote of this struggle in his great anthem to the scriptures, Psalm 119, saying, “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me wander from your commands!” See v.10.
Sometimes, even when our hearts long to seek God, the distractions of life can draw us away from Him and His Word. How grateful we can be for a very patient, compassionate heavenly Father whose grace is always sufficient, even when we are prone to wander! So consider this SLM:-
“Our tendency to wander is truly matched by God’s willingness to pursue.”
Shedding Light Moment 22nd May 2023.
We often think that spiritual maturity and success result from how much we know about biblical facts and principles.
Jesus showed us, however, that real success comes from something else–from loving one another in the same way He loved us. He made it clear that we can do this if we “remain/abide” in Him (John 15:7).
This means that we must stay close to Him through prayer and willingly obey His commands (v 10). Our web of relationships must extend first to God and then to others.
The secret of spiritual success is not just in acquiring individual knowledge–it’s in combining that knowledge with love in all of our relationships. So ponder this SLM:-
“As Christians draw close to Christ, they draw closer to one another.”
Shedding Light Moment 24th May 2023.
In Genesis 3, we find the first record of buyers remorse. The whole thing began with the crafty serpent and his sales pitch. He persuaded Eve to doubt God’s Word (v.1). He then capitalised on her uncertainty by casting doubt on God’s character (vv.4-5). He promised that her eyes would “be opened” and she would become “like God”(v.5).
So Eve ate. Adam ate. And sin entered the world. But the first man and woman got more than they bargained for. Their eyes were opened all right, but they didn’t become like God. In fact their first act was to hide from God (vv.7-8).
Sin has very dire consequences. It always keeps us from God’s best. But God in His mercy and grace clothed Adam and Eve in garments made from animal skins (v.21), which foreshadowed what Jesus Christ would do for us by dying on the cross for our sins. His blood was shed so that we might be clothed with His righteousness– with no remorse! So ponder this SLM:-
“The cross, which reveals the very righteousness of God, provides that righteousness for humankind.”
Shedding Light Moment 26th May 2023.
The power of music to heal and help is a gift from God that comforts many. Perhaps that is why the Psalms speak so deeply to us. There we find lyrics that connect with our hearts, allowing us to speak to God from the depth of our spirits. “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble” (PS. 59:16). Amazingly, David wrote this song as he was being hunted down by men seeking to kill him! Despite his circumstances, David remembered God’s power and mercy, and singing of them encouraged him to go on.
May our God give us a song today that will remind us of His goodness and His greatness, no matter what we may face. So ponder this SLM:-
“I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel”…Judges 5:3 (NLT).
Shedding Light Moment 15th May 2023.
Used as a handy navigational tool in the 15th century the star formation the Southern Cross guided mariners through the seas.
The Bible tells us of an even greater cross– the cross of Christ. When we look at the stars, we see the handiwork of the Creator; but when we look at the cross, we see the Creator dying for His creation. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus…who endured the cross scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”
The wonder of Calvary’s cross is that while we were still in our sins, our Saviour died for us (Rom. 5:8). Those who place their trust in Christ are now reconciled to God, and He navigates them through life (2 Cor. 1:8-10). Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the greatest of all wonders!
So consider this SLM:-
“Christ’s cross provides the only safe crossing into eternity.”
Shedding Light Moment 17th May 2023.
Sometimes our perceptions prove to be a reality. But that’s not always the case. This is especially true with respect to our perceptions about God. When Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a small fishing vessel, a sudden storm threatened to sink the boat. With Jesus asleep and the disciples on the verge of panic, they began to stir Him asking, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” See Mark 4:38.
Their question sounds familiar to questions I’ve asked at times and no doubt you have too. At times I perceive God’s apparent inactivity as a lack of care. But His care for me goes well beyond what I can see or measure. Our God is deeply concerned for what concerns us. He urges us to place all our care upon Him, “for He cares for us” (1Pet 5:7). That is true reality. So ponder this SLM:-
“Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.”
Shedding Light Moment 19th May 2023.
(James 4:11-17); ( John 16:13).
In a world of great uncertainty and stormy seas we all need guidance. In fact, Jesus addressed this very need during His Upper Room Discourse. He said that after His departure the Holy Spirit would play a crucial role in the lives of believers. As part of that role, Jesus promised, “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth”. See John 16:13.
What a marvellous provision! In a world of confusion and fear, guidance is often needed. We can easily be misdirected by the culture around us or by the brokenness within us (1John 2:15-17). God’s Spirit, however, is here to help, to direct, and to guide. How very thankful we can be that the Spirit of truth has come to give us the guidance that we often so very desperately need. Set your course by His life, and you will reach safe harbour. Ponder then this SLM:-
“The Spirit is a reliable guide in all of life’s seas.”
Shedding Light Moment 8th May 2023.
Perhaps you feel that your service for God goes unnoticed and is nothing more than ordinary deeds that others might think a waste. But God wastes nothing. Every act of love rendered for His sake is noted and has eternal rewards. Every place, no matter how small, is holy ground. Influence is more than lofty acts and words. It can be a simple matter of human helpfulness: being present, listening, understanding the need, loving, and praying. This is what turns daily duty into worship and service.
The apostle Paul challenged the Colossians this way: “Whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” (vv17;23-24). God takes notice and delights is using us. So ponder this SLM:-
“The way to accomplish much for Christ is to serve Him in any way we can.”
Shedding Light Moment 10th May 2023.
In Psalm 40, David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord.” The original language suggests that he “waited and waited and waited” for God to answer his prayer. Yet David was able to reflect on the fact that when the answer did come, God “put a new song…a hymn of praise” in his heart (v.3).
We could actually write a book on God’s delays! As someone has well noted “God’s delays house the mysteries of educating human spirits to the finest temper of which they are capable.” Through the discipline of waiting, we can develop the quieter virtues–submission and humility, patience, joyful endurance, and persistence in well-doing–virtues that take the longest to learn.
What do we do when God seems to withhold our heart’s desire? He is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to accept the delay with joy and to see it as an opportunity to develop these virtues–and to praise Him. So ponder this SLM:-
“Waiting for God is never a waste of time.”
Shedding Light Moment 12th May 2023.
As believers in Christ, we have the privilege as well as the responsibility of encouraging one another in our faith. The writer of Hebrews said, “Iet us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb.10:24).
The church is not just an institution or mere social club. It is where we, who have been brought near to God and washed from sin, can help one another grow in Christlikeness. The purpose of meeting together as a corporate body is to exhort and encourage one another (vv.19-25).
No believer can function alone. To live as our Lord Jesus wants us to, we need the community of believers. As you meet with other believers, think of who you can come alongside and encourage by your words and actions to be more like the Christ we love and serve. So consider this SLM:-
“A healthy church is the best witness to a hurting world.”