The Darkness Cannot Hide the Light

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Our pastor shared this wonderful truth with us in his sermon: “The darkness cannot hide the light.” You can be one single light in the darkness and the darkness will not be able to hide even one candle burning.

There is a lot of darkness in this world and sometimes it is hard to be different, but do not be tempted to hide your light. We have a responsibility to shine our lights brightly for the Lord, giving glory to Him.

Darkness represents so much evil and when there seems to be an abyss of darkness, be encouraged that even one little light cannot be hidden by it. You are making a difference in the World.

It is always a relief to see light when you are in darkness. It is attractive, and it offers hope. That’s what we offer to the World through Christ. The hope of eternal life with Him.

Fortunately, we are not called to be one single light in the abyss of darkness, we are called to walk with Jesus. Sometimes, in trials it can feel like we are alone, trying desperately to keep burning our one little candle, but God comes alongside us and strengthens us. Through His Word and when we set our minds on things above, we can shine our lights for all eternity.

My thanks goes to Pastor Bill Foss of Harvest Church for allowing me to use his illustration.

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The Need to Read

I love books and I love reading. My Granny use to say, “A good book is like a friend.” My Mum says I am a lot like her and it is lovely to know I share the passion for books with my Grandmother. A good book is very good company indeed.

The Bible is more than good company, God speaks to us through it. His Holy Spirit enlightens us to His scriptures. It guides us through life to be the person God created us to be and it helps us to truly know Him and His will for our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

The Bible is the only self-help book you will ever need. His word completes us, it equips us, it teaches us and corrects us. Every word of the Bible is meant to be there, that is why it says that all scripture is God breathed. Every single word has a purpose.

God’s word is powerful!

The Bible reveals the condition of our hearts. It reveals our need for a Savior. When Jesus walked the earth and taught the people he said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31)

Reading this book sets us free! Once we realize the condition of our hearts and ask the Lord Jesus to be our Savior, we are set free from sin and death.

My parents used to sing a Christian children’s song to me and my sisters, which included the words “the best book to read is the Bible.” And it is a fact. The best book, that will change your life, is the Bible.

It’s okay to be Shy

We have all been made intricately and uniquely. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” He created us for a purpose and each one of us has our unique gifts that he has blessed us with.

I have learnt that the Lord has called me to build friendships individually, getting to know people one at a time. I am shy, I use to have a big problem with it. I used to think that shy = boring. I used to be so insulted when someone would say, “you’re so quiet!”

I really wanted to be an extrovert, I wanted to be the loudest most popular and entertaining person in the room. People love those people! I wanted to be just like them. But, after my first year at University, where I was meeting new people all the time, I realized that I cannot keep up the pretense that I am confident in a crowd and getting to know people all at once.

I reacted physically to the stress of constantly meeting people and talking to them, I came out in big dry patches on my skin that looked to me like some sort of disease and when checked over, it was identified as stress. Since then, I’ve realized that it’s best I do not try to stretch my limitations.

God has taught me something beautiful about resting in the person He created me to be and that for me it is being shy. When resting in this knowledge, I strangely have more confidence, I’m not self-conscious about being quiet and worrying what people think of me.

I know that my strength is in individual conversations, building up friendships individually. It takes me a while to make friends, but it’s amazing how a smile and a listening ear goes a long way.

In our service to the Lord, we are all unique, we all have different gifts that work towards the same purpose, to give glory to God. I love extroverts, they keep me calm when I am around them because they talk and do not mind being the center of attention. Those who share the gospel to crowds of people are amazing to me.

I want to encourage those who are shy that sharing God’s love does not have to be to a crowd, individually is necessary too and needed. If we were all the same, we would be so limited to who we can reach, but together we can shine our beautiful lights for the Lord and share His word throughout the world.

There is Something in the Air

I have been really enlightened this week to realise that Satan really is “…the prince of the power of the air!” There is definitely something in the air this week, I’ve been having nightmares regularly and it has been a hard week of depression.

In this state of mind, it is really easy to give up on fighting the good fight. But, that’s just what the enemy intends when he sends even the most subtle of attacks.

It is quite scary thinking about letting the enemy take a hold, giving up and just leading an easy life. Or, a seemingly easy life, going the way of the world and suffering the consequences. I read this this week, “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve” (Luke 22:3). I shuddered at the thought, Judas was taken over by the enemy and then he betrayed Jesus.

I think it is no coincidence that in the same chapter of Luke that it says Satan entered Judas, Jesus tells Simon Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32.

We have our Lord Jesus who can pray for us that our faith does not fail. Jesus, our Saviour wants us to keep on fighting the good fight. In fighting this fight, we need to understand that it isn’t us who fights, it is our Lord. We may struggle with this, but giving it over to the Lord is actually how we fight. We need to rely on Him to fight for us. We can be used as his tools, but He is the one who does the work.

Exodus 14:14

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Oh the peace of God, knowing that it is our Lord that fights for us. Thank the Lord that He is good!

God Hears All Our Prayers

God truly hears all our prayers, 1 John 5:15 says He hears us in whatever we ask. We do not need to worry that our prayers are a message in a bottle that we just have to hope reaches Heaven. God hears all our prayers and he answers them.

We have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit living within us, so that God is always with us. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” John 14:16. This Helper is the Holy Spirit, helping us through everything we face here on earth.

Not only do we have the Holy Spirit, but we have the Lord Jesus: “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34. The Lord Jesus intercedes for us, he takes our prayers and speaks to the Father on our behalf.

God wants us to know that He hears us and have confidence in praying to him. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:14. We need to pray in his will, and this means knowing our Bible, reading it and praying it to our Lord. The perfect words of the Bible gives us all we need to say in our prayers.

Often, I pray in my anxiety, I pray that whatever is worrying me will turn out okay. Anxiety is not something God wants for us: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6. God wants us to have peace by praying to Him and He listens to us.

Prayer is a wonderful, beautiful thing! And God hears everyone of our prayers and he answers them. Keep praying to the Lord, He hears you.

Christians are not perfect

I’ve been asked a couple of times why Christians are not understanding of depression and judgemental on people with weaknesses, for example drinking. These questions always surprise me because my particular circle of Christian friends would totally sympathize with depression and would admit that they have weaknesses just as much as anyone. The difference is, we have been saved by grace, God has forgiven us our weaknesses and given us the strength to overcome them.

Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

I am privileged to know true, humble believers who have accepted the Lord Jesus into their hearts. I’m not sure I can get on with someone who would say that they are a Christian and not be humbled by the fact that we are in need of a saviour. Jesus saved us from our sins. Those who follow Christianity, but do not show the love of Jesus Christ in humility have totally missed the point.

Here is a confession, I am a horrible sinner. Paul speaks truth when he says in Romans 7 verse 18: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”

As much as I try to be a good person, I fail! I cannot do it on my own, so those who judge others for failing, do not truly know the Lord Jesus. If they did know Jesus, they would know they are not perfect themselves.

It is only with a gentle, humble heart we can tell others their need to get right with God. There should be no self righteousness, people thinking they are any better than anyone else and especially Christians because we know the truth, that it is only through the Lord Jesus that we have been made righteous.

Galatians 6:14 “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Agreeing to Pray

Matthew 18:19
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

Recently, my family has had an astounding answer to prayer. It has been amazing! To see God working and making things happen is always exciting!

I realise that often prayer is the only thing we can do in situations. But, praying to our Heavenly Father is the best thing we can do.

What seems like a very short time ago, my sister Jan asked us to pray that she’d sell her flat. (That’s a studio apartment to those in the USA).

She was worried that her flat wouldn’t sell, her neighbor’s flat had been on the market a year and hadn’t sold. But, I think maybe because it’s not my situation but my sister’s, rather than worry, I could see that if we pray, God is sovereign and He can sell their flat.

It is a great privilege to pray for my sister, my brother in law Matt and their baby boy Jack. They are such godly examples to me and they’re so humble. I really felt that God would bless them, they are walking in God’s will.

So, I petitioned to the Lord, please bless my sister and her family, please sell their flat.

My parents, my sister Susan and Jan’s friends all agreed to pray too. And in doing so, Jan has found a buyer for her flat. They put their flat on the market on 25th July and it was sold 13th August! Wow!

The next step was to find a new home. Again, my family and I all agreed to pray, and God answered this prayer so quickly too! Jan and Matt have found a family home near their church and they’re excited to move in.

God is so good! He heard our prayers and He showed us how quickly He can work for our good. It’s an encouragement to keep praying and He is sovereign over every detail of our lives. He can truly move mountains.