Shedding Light Moments

Shedding Light Moment 23rd January 2023.
(Romans 5:1-11).
In life we often accept labels and allow them to define who we are. We also very easily assign them to others. But God’s grace defies labels because it is rooted in His love, not in our self-perception. Whether we see ourselves as wonderful or terrible, capable or helpless, we can receive eternal life as a gift from Him. The apostle Paul reminded the followers of Jesus in Rome that “at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly”(Rom 5:6).
The Lord does not require us to change by our own power. Instead He invites us to come as we are to find hope, healing, and freedom in Him. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (v:8) The Lord is ready and willing to receive us just as we are. So ponder this SLM:-
“God’s forgiveness defies our labels of failure or pride.”
…Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 25th January 2023.
(Psalm 46:1-11).
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God” simply reminding us of the necessity to take time to focus on the Lord. Many people find that a “quiet time” is an essential part of each day–a time to read the Bible, pray, and consider the goodness and the greatness of God.
When we, like the writer of Psalm 46, experience the reality that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”(v.1), it drives our fear away (v.2), shifts our focus from the world’s turmoil to God’s peace, and creates a quiet confidence that our Lord is in control (v.10).
No matter how chaotic the world may become around us, we can find quietness and strength in our heavenly Father’s love and power. So ponder this SLM:-
“Each day we need to be still and listen to the Lord.”
…Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 27th January 2023.
(Matt 6:1-6, 16-18).
In Matthew 6, Jesus told His disciples to give (vv.1-4), pray (vv.5-6), and fast (vv.16-18) in order to please God, not to gain praise from people. “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you”
(v.6). Whether giving, praying, or fasting, Jesus said, ” Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”(vv. 4, 6, 18).
Something within us makes us want to be seen and recognised for our good deeds. While there’s nothing wrong with some encouragement and appreciation, a desire for praise can really undermine our service because it shifts the focus from others to ourselves. When there is no public “thank you”, we may feel slighted. But even when we serve God in secret, He sees it all. So ponder this SLM:-
“It is better to earn recognition without getting it than to get recognition without earning it”.
….Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 16th January 2023 .
(1 Thess 5:9-28).
Paul learned by experience about the value of words in shaping relationships and outcomes. Before meeting Christ on the road to Damascus, his words and actions really terrorised followers of Jesus. But by the time he wrote his letter to the Thessalonians, he had become a great encourager because of God’s work in his heart. Now by his own example he urged his readers to cheer one another on. While being very careful to avoid flattery, he showed how to affirm others and reflect the Spirit of Christ.
In the process, Paul reminded his readers just where encouragement comes from. He saw that entrusting ourselves to God, who loved us enough to die for us, gives us reason to comfort, forgive, inspire, and lovingly challenge one another. See 1 Thess 5:10-11.
Paul shows us that encouraging one a other is a way of helping one another get a taste of the patience and the goodness of God. So ponder this SLM:-
“What could be better than working to bring out the best in one another?”
….Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 18th January 2023.
[Romans 12:3-8].
Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Rome, “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us”(vv.5-6). Each gift according to 1Corinthians 12:7 is to be exercised freely for the good of all. In one sense it’s like playing in concert.
One definition of in concert is “agreement in design or plan; combined action; harmony or accord.” That’s the Lord’s plan for us as His children through faith in Jesus Christ. In Romans 12:10 we read, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves”. The goal is cooperation, and not competition.
In a sense, we are “on stage” before a watching and listening world every day. There are no soloists in God’s concert band, but every instrument is essential. The music is best when we each play our part in unity with others. So ponder this SLM:-
“There are no soloists in God’s orchestra.”
…Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 20th January 2023.
(2 Cor 4:7-18).
In New Testament times, it was customary to hide valuables in unlikely vessels of simple clay pots. Paul describes how the treasure of the gospel is contained in the human frailty of followers of Christ : jars of clay (2 Cor 4:7). He suggests that the meager, and even at times broken, vessels of our lives actually can reveal God’s power in contrast to our imperfections.
When God inhabits the imperfect and broken pieces in our lives, the healing hope of His power is often more visible to others. Yes, His repair work in our hearts often leaves the scars of cracks. But perhaps those lines from our learning are the etchings in our beings that make His character more visible to others. So reflect on this SLM:-
“Brokenness can lead to wholeness.”
…Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 9th January 2023.
(Genesis 13:1-18).
To avoid conflict, Abram suggested that he and Lot part company and generously gave Lot first choice of the land. His nephew took the fertile Jordan Valley, leaving Abram with the less desirable land.
Abram did not insist on his rights as the elder in this situation but trusted his future to God. In Gen 13:8-9 he said to Lot “Let’s not quarrel…let’s part company…If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left”. Lot’s choice eventually led to dire consequences for his entire family (See Gen 19).
Today, as we face choices of many kinds, we can trust our Father to guide us in His way. He has promised to care for us. He will always give us what we need. So ponder this SLM:-
“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him”
….Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 11th January 2023.
(John 12:1-8).
To worship Jesus, Mary was willing to be thought of as immodest, perhaps even immoral as the respectable women of that day never let their hair down in public. But true worship is not concerned about what others think of us.
Some of us may feel pressured to be perfect when we go to church so that people will think well of us. Metaphorically speaking, we work hard to make sure we have every hair in place. But a healthy church is a place where we can let down our hair and not hide our flaws behind a façade of perfection. In church, we should be able to reveal our weaknesses to find strength rather than conceal our faults to appear strong.
Worship doesn’t involve behaving as if nothing is wrong; it’s making sure that everything is right; right with God and with one another. When our greatest fear is letting down our hair, perhaps our greatest sin is keeping it up. So ponder this SLM:-
“Our worship is right when we are right with God.”
…Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 13th January 2023.
(Galatians 6:1-10).
The apostle Paul urges us to be patient in helping one another through the stumbles and struggles of life. When he writes “Carry each other’s burdens” and so “fulfill the law of Christ”( Gal.6:2), he is comparing our task to the work, time, and waiting it takes for a farmer to see a harvest.
How long should we keep praying and reaching out to those we love? “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”(v.9). How many times should we reach out? “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”. See verse 10.
The Lord encourages us today to trust Him, to remain faithful to others, to keep on praying, and to not give up!…Ponder then this SLM:-
“In prayer we call on God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”(Eph 3:20).
…Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 2nd January 2023.
(Genesis 2:4-8).
When God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground He also breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen 2:7). He also gives life to us and to every living creature. All things come from Him–even our very breath, which we inhale without even thinking about.
We may be tempted, living with today’s conveniences and technology, to forget our beginnings and that God is the one who gives us life. But when we pause to remember that God is our Creator, we can build an attitude of thankfulness into our daily routines. We can ask Him for help and we can acknowledge the gift of life with humble, thankful hearts. May our gratitude spill out and touch others, so that they also may give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His faithfulness. So ponder this SLM:-
“Give thanks to God, our Creator, who gives us the breath of life.”
….Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 4th January 2023.
(Exodus 17:8-15).
In the battle against the Amalekites whilst ever Moses hands were raised the Israelites would win the battle and when he lowered them they would lose. When Moses got tired, his brother Aaron and another man Hur held up Moses’s arms so the Israelites could win.
We aren’t told much about Hur, but he played a crucial role at this point in Israel’s history. This reminds us that unseen heroes matter, that those who support and encourage leaders play a key and often overlooked role. Leaders may be the ones who get the “press” attention but the quiet, faithful witness of those who serve in other ways is not overlooked by the Lord. He sees the person who daily intercedes in prayer for friends and family. He sees the one who puts away the hymn books each Sunday in church. He sees the neighbour who reaches out with a gentle word of encouragement.
God is using us, even if our tasks feel insignificant. And may we notice and thank any unseen heroes who help us. So give thought to this SLM:-
“Unseen heroes are always seen by God.”
….Pastor Ross.
Shedding Light Moment 6th January 2023.
(1 Thess 1:1-10).
When the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica, he commended them for their bold and joyful witness to Jesus. “The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere” See 1 Thess 1:8. The message of the gospel we would say today, went viral through these people whose lives had been transformed by Jesus Christ. In spite of difficulties and persecution, they could not remain silent.
We convey the story of forgiveness and eternal life in Christ through kind hearts, helping hands, and honest words from all of us who know the Lord. The gospel transforms us and the lives of those we meet.
May the message ring out from us for all to hear today! So ponder this SLM:-
“There’s no better news than the gospel so spread the word!.”
…Pastor Ross.