A life of Devotion

Life. It’s a funny old thing isn’t it? Everything can change in the blink of an eye. We have experienced an extraordinary few years, with a series of unprecedented events came unimaginable change.

Just as it felt that life was beginning to return to “normal”, we in the United Kingdom have now experienced the death of our Queen. Queen Elizabeth II was a constant of our nation for more than seventy years, she steadfastly led us through so many historic changes. This loss now feels quite daunting and we are on the precipice of a new era, many are feeling anxious and unsure.

The Queen was a wonderful example, the key thing which she has been credited for, is living her life through her faith. Whatever happened, it was her devotion to God which provided her with the strength to carry on.

God’s Plans for Our Lives

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

I love this proverb, it is one that I repeat to myself daily. It is a beautiful reminder that although we make all sorts of plans, ultimately God is in control and what comes to be, is always HIS will, not mine.

Give it all to the Lord

For me, it wasn’t until I began to give all of my concerns to God, daily, that I was able to stop feeling so overwhelmed by things outside of my control. I had to give all my worries to God and recognise that I can’t, but HE CAN! He tells us so in one of my favourite verses, Matthew 11:28-29:

“Come to Me, all of you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take up My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

When I took these verses to heart, I not only felt relief and comfort, but I found that He was leading me, helping me make big decisions with a clear mind and a real sense of relief! Sure, I still get overwhelmed, but when I do, it helps to remember what Deuteronomy 31:8 tells us: “The Lord is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not be fear nor be dismayed.”

How encouraged I was as I rested in those beautiful verses, finally beginning to understand the impact of each word. Another verse that has encouraged me in the hard times is Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.”

Did He say everything? Yes, Everything! I find myself talking to God many times a day. Sometimes it’s as simple as “Help!” And what’s so exciting is that we are told to come in confidence, knowing, with relief, that He loves us enough to want us there, right at His feet resting in His love.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Are you going through a big life change? Or feeling overwhelmed by the changes in the world around you right now? I invite you to seek comfort in the verses above and look to God and ask Him to guide and comforts you in the next steps of your life. We have a choice, we can either allow our concerns to consume us with dread – or to bring us closer, in our desperate need, to the One who created us and knows us better than anyone else!

While we begin a new era with King Charles III as our monarch, ultimately, we look forward to that great day when God will send His son Jesus Christ back to the earth to set up his everlasting kingdom of peace and reign as King evermore.

Quotations from The New King James Bible

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God’s Honours List

Once again  the Queen’s Birthday Honours List has been published. No doubt many of those so honoured deserve to be publically praised and rewarded. But do you know that in the New Testament there is an Honours List of men and women who faithfully served God? This list is found in Hebrews  11. Please do read the whole chapter.

Here we have a history of Godly folk who are mentioned in the Old Testament,  people who have not yet received their prize! For the writer says: “And these all (those in the chapter) having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (Hebrews 11:39-40). The prize for those in the Old Testament list, which includes many who are not named, (see verses 32-38), will be awarded when those of New Testament times and we ourselves, by God’s grace, stand before the righteous judge, the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:1 and 8). The dominant word in Hebrews 11 is faith. “By faith” they lived their lives acording to God’s imstructions. We are told in the Bible how faith is obtained: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). In God’s Honours List, those who are motivated by His Word, the Bible, to live lives which give him pleasure  will eventually receive God’s prize. They all looked forward in faith to the Kingdom of God. (see Hebrews 11:13-16) They were so motivated by the vision of that time that it changed their attitude and lifestyle. They were happy to confess that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (see verse 13).

But the day is coming, and signs in the world indicate that it is near, when God’s citizens will receive their reward. Not a title or letters after their names. Those on the list will experience everlasting life in a planet renewed by the judgements and the mercy of God. As the apostle Paul wrote: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself” (Phillippians 3:20-21).

How can one compare the honour bestowed by the Queen, to that offered by God through the Lord Jesus Christ?

May we all strive to be on God’s Honours List!

*Quotes NKJV

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