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How do I receive God’s guidance?

Only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

Image credit: Ian Greig 03228

Verse

I set my heart on Your precepts and pay close attention to all Your ways. My delight is found in all Your laws, and I won’t forget to walk in Your words. Psalms 119:15-16 TPT

Summary

What guides us through life? Our upbringing, the peer pressure of friends, family and colleagues and the traditions and expectations of the community we live in all seek to influence, but only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

Good news

God is constantly revealing Himself, especially through different dimensions of His word. That’s how He speaks to us, personally, as His children, as we listen.

Prayer

Lord God, You have shown me Your way over and above all other ways.

The way that is true has been shown by Jesus, and His Spirit is active in helping me to see it……

If I listen, and if I remember, and If I avoid all the the other distractions and influences.

Lord, I come to You for help.
Give me eyes to see with insight, and spiritual ears to hear Your voice.
Help me not to quickly forget what You have shown me, but rather, to walk in it.

May this point others to Your Son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Link

For a reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com
on this page.

Featured

In all life’s uncertainty and change — what is God saying?

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution

Image credit: Ian Greig 03529

But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. Psalm 33:11 NLT

Summary

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution, rather than the requests of those overwhelmed by immediate concerns.

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, You are constant, unchanging in Your love and forbearance and faithful towards us when we lack faith.

We praise You for Your goodness, and also for Your greatness in perspective and eternal timescale.

Forgive us for being so short-sighted and so concerned with the provision of today rather than seeking Your kingdom and living by its values.

We pray for true spiritual revival of turning towards Jesus, receiving what He has done for us and recognising His Lordship. We pray for this to bring Your goodness and Your new life, widely among our neighbours and across our communities. We ask this in and throughYou, Jesus. Amen.

For a brief reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com and this page

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How can Jesus say, “Ask anything in My name”?

May Your kingdom come, more and more, evident in our world and lives.

Image credit: Ian Greig 03499

And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep My commands.   John 14:13-15 NIV

Summary

“Ask me for anything” invites the equal and opposite follies of asking God for what is inappropriate, and not asking for what tests our faith. The context of the verse helps us find the balance — Christ is drawing out from His disciples who He is. He alone is the way into the kingdom — and that kingdom life and kingdom order meets everyone’s needs, your personal ones included.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I praise You as the One who holds all authority in heaven and earth. You are the king of the kingdom of heaven. Before You, every knee must bow.

May Your kingdom come, more and more, evident in our world and lives. May Your kingdom come in a revival: many turning to You, coming to know the Father and experiencing the joy of new life.

As I ask You to to bring the renewal of Your good rule to my world, nearby and further afield, especially… I thank You that you know my needs… and are renewing me in spirit, soul and body. I receive this, remembering what You have already done for me, Jesus. Amen.

For a brief reflection on this verse (3 min read) see www.believethegoodnews.com on this page.

Featured

God’s blessing on Weobley and neighbouring villages

Blessing Weobley schools.    Image credit: Ian Greig 03332

“This is how… say…”

Numbers 6:22-27 NIV
The LORD said to Moses:“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:”The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” ‘
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

PRAYER

Lord God, to know You is to know Your Your goodness and generosity to us – Your desire to bless. And so in humility we call down Your blessing on our community.

We pray Your blessing on our village,
its shops and businesses,
homes and gardens,
farms, crops and livestock,
workshops, suppliers and factory.
Bless them and prosper them together.

We remember before You hairdressers, dentists, doctors,
carers and all whose calling involves close contact with others.
Bless them and prosper them together.

We bring before you our returning schools and teachers,
children and parents,
Bless them and prosper them together.

We raise to You both those working to create a safe school experience,
and those who need a return to the discipline and work of learning.
Bless them and prosper them together.

We submit to You the spiritual lives and spiritual awareness of our wide and diverse community.
We ask for and participate in Your blessing on each one,
young and old, professing faith and not,
in the working in hearts of Your Holy Spirit.

May we all become more aware of Your love,
Your purpose – and Your Son.
May we as a community find ourselves turning to You
and coming to know You –
discovering the greatest blessing.
Amen

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What does God do for us, that we couldn’t do for ourselves?

“Love makes it impossible to harm another, so love fulfils all that the law requires.”. Romans 13:10 TPT

Summary

To live better by doing more good and less harm is a general objective of many religions. Christian faith looks at it differently — God’s love, which becomes part of us when we say ‘yes’ to Jesus, changes us so we find ourselves shying away from the harsh response or the uncaring attitude. We find we are enabled to love others without condition.

Prayer

Lord, I’m so grateful that I don’t have to reach up to you with my attempt at love,
because You have already reached down to me with Your all-powerful and personal love shown at the Cross.
How can I love others unconditionally?
Only with Your love filling me and overflowing from me.
Fill me now, Lord, and change me into more of You.
May others see Your love in me — and be drawn to You. Amen.

Link

For a reflection on this verse, head over to this page on www.believethegoodnews.com

God’s Call to All

Watch a one-minute video introduction to the theme for Sunday, August 16 (church &chapel).

This links to the article in The Living Word God’s Call to All for Sunday, August 16.

How to feel secure

King David’s tried and tested solution to finding God’s peace to conquer anxiety

Image credit: Ian Greig

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
 Psalm 27:4 NIV

Summary

David knew all about anxiety, with his life and reputation under threat even from those close to him. But he also knew God and His goodness. He knew where to find peace. We are better equipped to practice the presence of God, even in our busy lives — we have the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who will always lead us to finds heaven’s perspective on our situation.

Good News

The good news is that we can ask Jesus into our heart and life and make that transition to knowing God personally. We don’t have to find Him in His temple because we ourselves become a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Lord, I feel assaulted by life, and fear and anxieties keep pressing in.
But I come to You in Jesus and I ask You this: that I might draw close to You, to know Your presence and gain Your true perspective.
Thank You so much that I have privileged access to You at any time, and I have Your promises all the time. Remind me again, as I regard Your beauty, Your kindness — and Your wisdom. Amen.


For a longer reflection on this verse, see this post on www.believethegoodnews.com

What do You think, God?

Image credit: Wikipedia/Apollo2005

Learning to focus on God’s thoughts, for a change

VERSE

How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17–18 NIV

Summary

Once we have become friends with God through Jesus, we have a conversation going with Him. But a listening attitude is important if we are going to hear His voice — not pretending we know best. Agreeing that His thoughts are precious is a good way of seeking His wisdom for our lives.

For more teaching on this verse and theme, see What do You think, God? on http://believethegoodnews.com

Prayer

O God, Your thoughts are precious, of incomparable value by the measure of man’s wisdom. You see all, understand all, and know the end from the beginning.

Help me to be a hearer and a doer of Your Word1. Where my thoughts crowd in — my anxieties and doubts, my wrong judgments and the opinions I proudly uphold‚ forgive me, help me to quiet my soul and — to make space for You to speak and me to hear.

My way too often proves to be no way, but Your way is life and salvation. Your words are like gold2 and taste sweeter than honey3.

Thank You, holy and Almighty God, that You delight in speaking to me as I come to You in Jesus. Amen.


  1. James 1:5–8 []
  2. Psalm 12:6 []
  3. Psalm 119:103 []

Why do we need to stay alert and on our guard?

Image credit: Ian Greig

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV

At strategic times God has sent angels to people to tell them what they needed to know. That tells us that heaven and earth are not disconnected, and what happens on earth has a spiritual dimension. Our spiritual engagement influences this. Following Paul’s advice in his letter to Corinth and being aware, prayerful and confident, can make all the difference.

To explore this thought further, see this post on Believe.

PRAYER
Forgive me, Lord, for being casual and unprepared spiritually. Your word instructs us to “pray continually” and my response is so much less.
Help me to begin to see not just everyday concerns but the spiritual realities behind them. Lead me to pray accordingly, and bring Your kingdom to earth. For Jesus’ honour and glory, Amen.

What is God’s kind of love?

Our romantic ideas of love don’t even come close to God’s love for us, which is UNCONDITIONAL. We come to know this through Jesus.

Image credit: Ian Greig 03434

Our casual definitions of love are a far cry from the kind of love which is God’s essential being, and which He grows in those who are His.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. ”  1 John 4:16 NIV

“God is love” is big, all-encompassing statement. John is repeating the statement he already made earlier (v.8), so he is emphasising his teaching here. But what does he mean?

Love, for us, means a lot of things…

continued here

… from the early icon pop song refrains “Love, love, love” (All You Need Is Love, Lennon and McCartney 1967) to a classical view from Plato, “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet”.

We start with romantic love — Valentine’s Day quotes — and in today’s society, quickly home in on sexual attraction. But love is bigger and broader, encompassing filial loyalty like David and Jonathan, the love of particular brands, pursuits or places. The biggest and broadest of all is unconditional, faithful enduring love which is the meaning of the agape word used here.

That’s the kind love we all need like emotional oxygen. Sociologists’ research has found how social breakdown and dysfunction comes from a lack of love. It is a powerful force for all kinds of healing,

Understanding something as abstract as unconditional love needs us to take a step back and find a wider perspective. To describe something we need a picture, and concepts don’t lend themselves to that. we can do better by thinking about what love produces.

Looking down from a hill on a patchwork of fields, we can’t see the fertiliser that has been applied. It might even be ammonia gas injected into the ground, invisible and buried! But it’s easy enough to pick out the effects, the darker green and vibrant growth. Similarly, where some mechanical glitch has caused a deficiency, the lack shows up on the overall picture.

Faithful, unconditional love produces the bonds and mutuality of relationship. If we say that God is relationship, this holds true because the Trinity of God is three distinct Persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit but at the same time the relationship is so close (in a way we can’t fully understand) that they are one Person. Our receiving of the love of God inevitably produces this kind of relationship in those experiencing it and living in it — as John puts it, “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”. He is saying, that is the evidence of new life that has encountered God’s love — we are people that value and grow loving relationships. This is what church is all about. This is what the breaking of bread in communion (koinonia, fellowship) celebrates. We are reminded of God’s unconditional love for us, in the context of how we relate to all the others breaking bread all around us, in it together because we all share Jesus.

And this kind of love is experienced in belonging. A lot of social dysfunction — drugs, alcohol, violence but also hopelessness and depression — comes down to a love deficit in early life, the pain of which spins off into all sorts of attempts to compensate.

What marks the Christian life in the kingdom of God as so indescribably valuable, like the precious pearl that the man in the Jesus’ story had to have, even at the cost of selling all he possessed is not just the assurance of eternal life. It is the assurance of a kind of life now where, whatever the past has attempted to dictate, we know we belong and in belonging, we have a resilient, strong kind of relationship that is so desperately needed in our world of no-fault divorces and constructive dismissals, of strategic redundancy and judgmental discrimination.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. ”  1 John 4:16 NIV

PRAYER

O God, as I turn to You I wonder how much I know, let alone rely on, this kind of love that I am learning You have for me.


Why would I deserve Your love? But I am slowly coming to see that this is the point — no one deserves Your love, but You give it anyway, without condition.

And as we come to know You personally, in the way Jesus made possible for us, we receive a life-giving and restoring force far greater than our popular and self-centred idea of love.


I draw near to You now, and agree that You ARE love. May Your love overwhelm me, change me, grow in me — and spill out from me.

To the glory of Jesus and His kingdom, Amen.

God loved us first

Mother goose watches over her gosling on Weobley Marsh common.     Image credit: Ian Greig 03412

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:10 (NIV)

Why should God love me?

“If you really knew me… knew what was in my life behind the front that I put up … If you really knew me (I suppose God knows me like that) you wouldn’t expect God to love me.”

It’s not a real quote but I have heard a version of that comment many times as a pastor.

The way we see ourselves and the way God sees us, are not the same. The way we value ourselves and the way God values us are not the same.

We work on the premise that our relationship with God works like the way we get to know anyone else. God has to get to know us, and hopefully He will see some things He likes and over time, become warm to us.

Wrong. God loved and accepted us first.

He may not love and accept all our attitudes or behaviour… but He created us and sent His Son Jesus to be the “atoning sacrifice”, to pay the high price to make things right for us.

Is this automatic? The fact of God’s love for us is not a maybe — that’s established. What is not automatic is our love for God, and our acceptance of Jesus for who He is. That requires us to make a choice!

We agree with Jesus about who He is and what He has done in our behalf. What He did was costly. Our decision also has a cost to it – the cost of our independence, of giving someone else a higher place in our lives. But now we realise the extent of God’s love for us that was there all along. We just had to make our move, to receive it.

As the Passion Translation puts it:

This is love: He loved us long before we loved Him. It was His love, not ours. He proved it by sending His Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins.” 1 John‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭TPT‬‬