Examining Biblical Scripture



I have no idea what 2017 has in store for us. But I felt deep within me as we approached the end of  December that this next year was going to be like none other before in my lifetime.

So, my thought and advice for us all is to live as though this is our last year of opportunity. Our last year to minister, our last year to witness, our last year to prepare, plan, propose and promote what is vital to us.

This is the Time to fulfil the Call of God on our lives. Let’s be deliberate, determined to arrive to our destiny. Let’s pray: seek, ask, follow His plan by obeying His prompts and focusing on the path He places before us. Let us run.

Jesus is the reason for our lives. So Jesus needs to be at the centre of our planning.

My prayer, for myself is a total clarity of focus and mission. I have books to write, blogs to post, news and views to share… But all of that is meaningless without an awareness of the prescribed direction, knowing what is most important to fulfil my purpose at this Time.

I have several priorities. It has always been difficult for me to decide which are the most important and usually have become caught up in the urgent instead of the essential. So my prayer is that this year I will not. This year, may I – and you – be caught up and taken forward in what is the main purpose to our being on this planet at this time.

We need to discern this. And then to act upon it.

To begin, let’s pray. Then let’s each brainstorm our desires and must do’s. Then we’ll pray again, to build on what’s key and lay aside all else. Let us “run the race” like we’ve never run before, let us look forward and not back, let us forget old habits and fears. Let us put absolute faith in the Author and Finisher of that faith, and let us climb to the summit of the mountain that is our ultimate purpose. Let us know Jesus and through who we are and what we do, let us make him known to those around us, whether overtly or subtly. Let us give him glory and honour.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

As for me, I’m aiming to “Run the Race” this year, as though it is the last year to run; to make the work moments and the ministry moments count, the family time worthwhile, and to take nothing for granted. For me, this is the year of intention; this year is imperative.

So, I’m urging us all to RUN: like we’ve never run before… headlong into hope and faith.

BTW: Someone has agreed with me. See The Year of Fulfillment (Pastor Ron Hawkins, First Assembly Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA) and Ezekiel Chapter 12.

Politics and Society today

Focus for 2017

“Do not put your trust in princes,

Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;

In that very day his plans perish.

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,

Whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:3-5)

The world’s politics seems to be turning upside down. Beginning with Arab Spring six years ago, and culminating in the US election result this past November, national governments are changing significantly.

In the West a clash between progressive social views and conservative politics is more evident that ever before. All across Europe, democracies are calling for conservatism, with liberal perspectives being rejected after years of an acceleration in social freedoms. Both extremes loath censorship, while each side points an accusing finger at the other.

Violence and radicalism is on the increase; fewer people seem able to discuss politely and agree to disagree than in times past. In the West, political correctness seems to have created a genuine fear toward any viewpoint contrary to the liberal media’s perspective. In the Middle East there is war.

Even in the natural world, there is an increase in natural disasters: earthquakes, floods*, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes.

Because of all these things, and the disarray of the world economy, poverty and disease are on the increase.

Many who believe in Jesus are saying we are in End Times (Matthew 24). Hollywood is producing film after film which depict an Apocalyptic plot or a post – Apocalyptic universe. There is increasing intensity in people and extreme perspective, and it is as if we are heading for an unavoidable explosion.

As Believers in Jesus, what are we to do?

We can recognise: “Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) Now is not the time to take our faith lightly, nor our cause casually.

We can come together: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).

We can lead: discern where others are fearful and model calm wisdom, use sound judgment in difficult relationships and circumstances, and love others as we love ourselves.

We can pray: that God’s will be activated upon the earth and that those who are called to Him will be saved, that those already called will remain in Him, and that those in rebellion will soon return to Him. In Matthew 24, Jesus does warn us that some will fall away. Let’s pray for those near to us to ‘hold fast’ to their faith.

We can praise: God is sovereign. Though the earth trembles and mountains fall into the sea, He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Nothing passes His notice. And so we can be confident that we are in the right place, in the right time and circumstance, and God is training us, leading us and teaching us to be all He has created and called us to be.

When we keep our focus on Him, we have peace and can offer that peace to others in trying times.

There is an old song, which goes like this:

“Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,

When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift or firm remain?

  We have an anchor that keeps the soul

  Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,

  Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

  Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love…”

How firm is your foundation? How solid is your anchor? If you need support to prepare you for the tasks ahead, turn to the word of God, recognise He’s in charge, be confident in that truth. As you pray and praise, the world will see your love and passion, others will calm down, and God will be glorified.

This is the power we have within us, based on the promise the LORD gave to Abram because of his faith.

“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

The Father God has promised and His Word will never return void. So, we can trust and stand on His promise and know we are safe and secure in Him.