Posted by: Jo | April 29, 2016

Putting On The Garment Of Praise

“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

(Isaiah 61:3)

image What to wear? Women of all ages will of course resonate with that question, but men also face the same dilemma when important dates or job interviews loom on the horizon. Dress code has changed dramatically since I was a child and I can remember my father quoting with a very serious voice, “Clothes maketh the man” and I can also see him in my mind’s eye, preparing himself for his weekly meeting with the Rotary Club (a service club in which he loved being a member). Every member of that club would not dream of attending a meeting unless appropriately dressed, which meant suit, waistcoat, jacket, tie and of course beautifully polished shoes! My father would emerge from the bedroom impeccably dressed confident that he met the standards expected of him.

Appropriately dressed. I was thinking what this meant when our Home Group came to the passage in Exodus 28 which we are studying at the moment, with the title, Priestly Garments. This lengthy chapter with its 43 verses is entirely devoted to describing in detail not only each article of clothing, but the skills needed to prepare precious stones, weave beautiful patterns in exquisite materials e.g.

“Make the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen- the work of a skilled craftsman…” (Exodus 28:6)

Our Home Group began the study with the big question, “Why would God go to such lengths with such detail in how the priests were to be dressed before they could come into his presence and what significance did this have for us today?

We were all surprised to find that as we read carefully the preparations for the priests, a feeling of awe began to surround us and we began to experience the feeling of anticipation that would have been flooding over those men. This was no ordinary meeting, God was promising to come and dwell with his people and the people were to learn what an incredible privilege God was granting them and one of the ways to remember was the beautiful array of the priests clothing with every part bearing its own meaning so that its significance would never be forgotten.

“They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.” (Exodus 29: 46)

image We know that Jesus Christ became our High Priest and fulfilled the sacrifices these priests were being trained for, and that intense detailed preparation is no longer needed, we can actually come and be welcomed into the presence of the Creator of the Universe but, at the same time, reading this passage in Exodus we realised that this incredible privilege should never be taken lightly. We began to think of the spiritual garments we could wear when we enter our Lord’s presence; a garment of praise/ a spirit of humbleness/ thank fullness/piety/ joy/gladness/so we never forget the price Jesus paid for our freedom to worship.

The most beautiful garment of all is the Lord Jesus himself and Paul urges us to clothe ourselves with his beautiful presence and what could be more fitting apparel than him.

“Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13: 14)

In fact, Peter reminds us in his letter that we are now all considered to be a royal priesthood so let us don those spiritual garments.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter2: 9)

Posted by: Jo | April 22, 2016

Facing Fear Boldly

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

(2 Chronicles 20: 12)

image I have always loved the incredible messages contained in the stories of the Old Testament and am constantly amazed how relevant they can still be for us in this present day. I believe that the Old Testament records some of the most powerful prayers found in Scripture and are models for us to follow when troubles of any kind loom in our lives.

Just recently I was studying the story of King Jehoshaphat found in 2 Chronicles chapters, 19, 20 He was a king who feared and honoured the Lord, his training of honest judges in 2 Chronicles 19: 4 – 10 should be part of the training for our judiciary system, (worth reading) but the part of the story I love is when this good king is informed that a vast army is advancing towards Jerusalem and he fears the worst is about to happen. What does he do? Rally the Troops? Try to find some allies? Give in to despair? No!

He gathers the people together, goes to the temple and in front of his people places all his fears in front of the Lord. He begins by praising the Almighty God, a great lesson for us, as we recognise the mighty powerful God who loves us, we become aware of his strength and with great relief we can then surrender our frailty/ our fears/ our human weaknesses. Jehoshaphat then acknowledges that when God’s children call out to him, they know with confidence that he will hear and save them.

“If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgement, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.” (2 Chronicles 20: 9)

image He ends the prayer with a sweet childish admittance of not knowing what to do, but is determined to keep focused on the Lord. We are often tempted to tell God exactly what we would like him to do, so this is again a beautiful gentle reminder of letting go of our will in times of trouble and to just remember to keep our eyes on the strength.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20: 12)

Our lives are very different from that of Jehoshaphat, but when ugly circumstances arise in what ever form, fear can overtake us and we forget the great source of strength we have and begin to think we have to fight our battles in any way we can. No wonder I love this passage. Just read what God says, through a prophet, to Jehoshaphat;

“This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)

image We often think we have to be strong when those ugly times come unexpectedly, or one after the other, but the message I see in this story is that yes we have to boldly come into the Lord’s presence asking for his strength, but then we take great comfort in the fact that it is not us fighting the battle, but the Lord.

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

P.S. Read the great ending of the story 2 Chronicles 20: 1- 30

God upheld his side of the bargain and won the battle for Jehoshaphat!

Posted by: Jo | April 15, 2016

Sweet Talk

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

(Proverbs 16: 24)

image Some friends and I were discussing our various likes and dislikes about food and some confessed how much they loved sweet desserts etc., and others how their favourites were the spicy and salty Asian dishes. I was telling them about two of my son in laws who both love chocolate so much the whole family have deemed them “chocoholics”. One of the ladies remarked that they each must have a sweet tooth and another made us all laugh when she posed this question, “Does that mean sweet talk comes out of their mouths?”

Sweet talk! That made me think of exactly the way Scripture describes how words should come out of our mouths. The verse in Proverbs 16:24 likens the source of pleasant words to be like a honeycomb and as they gather the sweetness of honey the words are endowed with the beautiful qualities that honey possesses. Honey must be one of the first foods known to man and in ancient days was also revered for it’s medicinal properties, so the writer of Proverbs also includes healing to be part of the power sweet talk has.

We all know and have experienced the opposite effect words can have if they lack sweetness and we can also recall the power to hurt that thoughtless words have.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings about healing.” (Proverbs 12: 18)

Again we are reminded that our words can be very powerful when they are overlaid with gentleness and can dissipate anger and can avoid ugly disputes.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15: 1)

So how do we develop the gift of sweet talk? What would be the honeycomb source for us in our present day? How could we be the bringer of healing just by our spoken words?

The Psalmists had the answer and it is the same for us;

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” (Psalm 119: 103)

image Our way of sweetening our words is found in God’s own word and it is interesting that taste is part of many verses in Scripture and I find a deep meaning behind the inference that God’s word has to be so much a part of us that we need to inwardly digest his wisdom so it permeates our very being, influencing our actions and sweetening our words.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34; 8)

Choosing to do this becomes a daily exercise, I know myself how easy it is to retort in a likewise manner when someone speaks rudely to me and I am equally aware to how I have caused pain to someone by a thoughtless remark. So how to guard against this? Again we have to go back to Scripture to see how we can plan, as my friend said, to be able to allow sweet talk to come forth from our mouths and the Psalmists had a great solution;

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119: 11)

Posted by: Jo | April 8, 2016

Prompting from the Heart

“The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”

(Exodus 25: 1 – 2)

image My husband and I have been watching a series on the television by a woman who is fascinated by the Nomads who still exist in our world and she seeks out these tribes and taking a television crew with her, actually stays with them to capture their way of life. It is a surprising, very personal insight into the relationships of a group of people constantly on the move, working as a very connected team, using all the skills each person has to ensure the best for their people as a whole. Working together for the common good. We were watching in fascination as their shelters were being erected for yet another stay and as they threw the animal skins over the wooden structure we both remembered the study our Home Group is doing in the book of Exodus and how working for the common good was so much a part of what God was teaching his children.

God speaks to Moses and gives him a detailed plan on how to build a tabernacle for him and promises he will dwell with them. I love the way the finances will be raised. No not by a fundraising campaign. Not by placing a guilt trip on everybody. Not by issuing tax receipts, but appealing to the hearts of the people. (Exodus25:1,2)

This was the wonderful result of people’s hearts being touched;

“The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done” (Exodus 36: 5)

And again

“No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary. And so the people were restrained from bringing any more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.” (Exodus 36: 6 – 7)

image We don’t often hear that in our present day churches!

The Lord gives us, for our present day, another example of how he would have us serve him if we have a willing heart, and assures us that he will provide the ability and skill for what ever he asks, if we provide the willing heart;

“Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given skill and ability and who was willing to come and do the work.” (Exodus 36:2)

Sometimes we forget that when we feel that prompting from the Lord we begin to doubt our own capabilities even perhaps argue with God about how inadequate we are to serve him in any way. That is when we need to reread this story in Exodus and see that the Lord calls those he has already endowed with the ability to do what our hearts are prompting us to do for the Lord.

The other stumbling block sometimes arises when we feel the prompting, but fall into the trap of assuming the role is ours alone and imagenot for the furthering of the Kingdom and Paul reminds us to keep this in mind;

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3: 23)

The lovely ending to the constructing of the tabernacle becomes a blessing for all involved, which is the same for us today when we work together for the common good, listening to the prompting of our hearts, using our God given gifts for his glory

“The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them.” (Exodus 39: 42 – 43)

Posted by: Jo | April 2, 2016

Recognizing Jesus

“As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him.”

(Luke 24: 15 – 16)

image Just recently my husband received a newsletter from his graduating class from university which pictured a reunion dinner which he was unable to attend, as it was held in Australia, but in the letter, along with all the news of fellow students were their current photos taken at the dinner and as my husband studied these (now old faces) he admitted that without the names underneath he would not recognise them. I was thinking about what recognition meant when we were reading our study this morning that featured the story from Luke 24 about the disciples walking to Emmaus after the resurrection and when Jesus joins them they are unable to realise who he is. Going to the dictionary gave me a little insight into the depth of this word, “recognition.” Some of the meanings are;

  • To treat as valid or having existence
  • To take notice of a thing or person in some way
  • To perceive clearly to realise

Those two disciples were not the only ones not to recognise Jesus after the resurrection. Mary Magdalene, overcome with sorrow, fails to see her beloved Saviour standing right beside her;

“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.” (John 20:14)

Again those disciples closest to Jesus fail to recognise him as he stands on the beach, urging them to cast their nets once again;

“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.” (John 21:4)

Mary’s sorrow had so overcome her, she failed to see the very one that was to lift that sorrow from her forever and then overwhelming joy replaces the sorrow as she hears Jesus call her name;

“Jesus said to her, “Mary.” (John 20:16)

The fishermen disciples were also experiencing confusing thoughts about the astounding events that had just taken place and resort to returning to what they know best and spend a disappointing night fishing in vain. Again their own emotions of bewilderment, sorrow perhaps fear of what will happen next, prevents them from recognising Jesus when he speaks to them from the beach.

“He said. Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:6)

Suddenly at the sight of this amazing miracle their eyes are opened and they cry, “It is the Lord

So what prevents us from recognising Jesus in our everyday lives? Do we allow circumstances to cloud our vision? At the time when we really need to be aware of our Lord standing beside us, do our emotions run riot and block out his beautiful presence?

image In our three stories the two on the road to Emmaus, listened to the Lord speaking through his word.

“They asked each other, Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

Mary heard the Lord call her name. She listened

The disciples obeyed the word to let the net down on the right side of the boat. They listened.

I read a beautiful prayer in a study I was reading one, that I am going to say often

Dear Lord,

When you call my name, teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily life and teach me to listen to your voice.

Posted by: Jo | March 25, 2016

New Life Out Of Death

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

(1 Peter 1:3)

image It is spring in North America and I am actually writing on the first official day of spring, and especially here in Vancouver, the strikingly, beautiful cherry trees are celebrating in glorious displays of white and pink blossoms which cascade over their branches as if the trees were wearing gossamer dresses. It is hard to believe that a few weeks ago these same trees were bare branches, so bare that the trees appeared to be lifeless. I don’t know why, but every year I am still surprised to look in the garden bed and see that little touch of green bursting forth from what last week looked like a bare patch of soil. Suddenly life is replacing the deadness of winter.

Life and death. Death and Life

Easter represents both in such a dramatic way that one writer described this week as the greatest story ever told. Good Friday with its shadows of death, sorrow, even perhaps loss of hope for Jesus’ disciples, is clouded by bewilderment disappointment, agony for Mary as she watches her precious son crucified in front of her eyes, the mocking of those whose taunting voices add to the pain of those who love Jesus. Who could believe that day of death and sorrow was about to bring about the greatest promise of new life ever granted to mankind.

Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for what was to come by using the illustration of how seeds and plants need to die before winter so new life in all its abundance will be greeted with joy in the spring;

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls in the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:23 – 24)

Iimage n their sorrow, those who loved Jesus had forgotten the amazing promise of the prophet, Isaiah, who had foretold this many years before and on this first Good Friday the promise was fulfilled;

“On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah25: 7 – 8)

So the tears we may shed on Good Friday as we remember the pain, the indignity, the agonising death Christ suffered for us, will also mingle with tears of joy and gratitude as we realise the beautiful gift of new life, that we had no way of earning, except through our acceptance of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, has now come to fruition.

When Martha, the sister of Lazarus, was confronted with her brother’s death, Jesus reassured her with these words which we too can claim as our promise of new life.

“Jesus said to her. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25 – 26)

Posted by: Jo | March 18, 2016

Dwelling With The Lord

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty”

(Psalm 91:1)

image I have always been fascinated with words and some especially appeal to me in the way they roll off one’s tongue and give the mind a mental picture of what they are describing. Dwell is one of those words. It is not without emotion like live/stay or reside. It is not the official address you fill in on forms, it conveys an overriding of so much more and when the Heavenly Father uses it a whole new avenue of who he is and who we are is opened up.

My husband and I have been restless movers around the world, living in many different locations, countries, cities, homes in fact one of my daughters remarked just recently, “You and Dad have been gypsies all your lives,” only now that we are old, finally staying in one place. We never found a place in all our travels where we were actually able to say with conviction, that we have found a place we were content to stay until, an amazing revelation occurred when we came to Canada 40 years ago. We discovered, not a place, but an invitation to become part of the household of God to discover the depth of that beautiful word, dwell, to discover that accepting his invitation, was moving in with the most incredible landlord anyone could imagine.

“They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among the. I am the Lord their God.” (Exodus 29:46)

There is no pressure from the Lord for us to move in with him, it has to be a conscious decision on our part and when we look carefully look at the definition of the word, it doesn’t mean; “I will see you on Sunday” The dictionary defines it thus

To remain as in a permanent residence, to have one’s own abode.

The Psalmists knew that the Lord first places that longing in our hearts and then we have to make the next step;

“I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” (Psalm 61:4)

The other incredible part of accepting the Lord’s offer is the wonderful benefits that go with it, no other landlord would ever guarantee to deliver what the Lord promises to do for us. If we dwell with him, we will live within a refuge that is overshadowed by the Almighty himself. How safe is that!

“If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you and no disaster come near your tent.” (Psalm 91: 9 – 10)

image Most of us don’t live in tents anymore, but we who live under the new covenant have an even deeper meaning to the word “dwell.” God chose to dwell among his people and when he gave us his only son, a greater extension of the beautiful promise was given. Jesus not only asks us to dwell with him he in turn will dwell himself within our hearts if we allow him to.

“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, rooted and established in love, may have power, together with the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:17 – 18)

Posted by: Jo | March 11, 2016

Wisdom Of The Old

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

(Job 12:12)

image Many years ago while I was minding one of my small granddaughters, who is now a young woman, she began to look very intently into my face and then asked me, “Are you old or very old?” In those days I didn’t consider myself to be old, so neither answer actually appealed to me. The next question didn’t appeal to me either; “Are you going to die soon?” Later when I shared with the family we all laughed, but we realised even though she was so young, my granddaughter was discovering what “age” meant.

Just recently a friend and I were discussing how technology has changed the balance of knowledge between the young and the old. It is hard not to feel inadequate when the young appear to absorb knowledge from the internet, text, use apps, etc. so quickly and seemingly with very little effort on their part. When I, myself, call on granddaughters to help me with my computer, I feel where have the days gone when knowledge was attained the hard way and took years to absorb and the young turned to the aged to learn from them and then my friend said a very wise thing.

It is not always knowledge that separates the young and the old, it is wisdom and experience. The young can still learn from the older generation.

imageAs I began to think through this I went back to the book of Proverbs which in itself is filled with wise words from a father to a son, and found the opening prologue which describes the purpose and theme, and discovered it gives great clarity to the need to have wisdom in the way we live the lives God has granted us.

“for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair” (Proverbs 1:2 – 3)

We who love the Lord have an even greater responsibility to pass on our wisdom to the young. We have been commissioned to pass on our own experiences of the Heavenly Father, making sure no youth misses out on discovering his great love for them;

“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.” (Psalm 145: 4 – 5)

The good news needs to be passed from generation to generation. Further on in this Psalm, David emphasises the fact that as the wisdom is passed on the youth take up the challenge and equally take on the responsibility to keep that wisdom circulating.

“They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness” (Psalm 145:6 – 7)

imageI love being with young people and find them stimulating and exciting as they make me see life through their eyes, but I never want to lose sight of the necessity to also let them see life through (definitely old now) my eyes, as I share the wisdom I have learnt from walking closely with the Lord and I would encourage the young to seek out old faithful followers in their churches, families, neighbourhoods to be encouraged by their wisdom.

Posted by: Jo | March 4, 2016

Developing A Habit Of Attention

“We must pay more attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

(Hebrews 2:1)

I read a very significant quote in a study I was reading this week, imagethat made me stop, reread and then stop again, as I thought through what the writer was saying. The quote was from Patricia Hampl and this is what I read;

“Prayer is a habit of attention brought to bear on all that is.”

Of course we often associate prayer as becoming a habit, but I was intrigued that this lady added another significant component to prayer just being a habit, it had to be completely encompassed by our attention.

I looked up the meaning of the word habit and this is what I found

hab·it

[ˈhabət]

a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up

synonyms: accustomed to · used to · given to · wont to · inclined to

As I was thinking through this new conception I had about prayer, I began to take note of my daily personal habits and how many of them I automatically accomplished without giving one thought to what I was doing; e.g. brushing my teeth, drying my hair, making the morning coffee etc. I began to grasp the importance of that word, ATTENTION and the danger of allowing my prayer time to become one sided with me doing all the talking while not paying attention to what my Heavenly Father wants to say to me.

The book of Proverbs has several verses about paying attention to the Father’s words.

“Listen my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.” (Proverbs 4:1)

The other truth I discovered in that short quote was the last phrase, brought to bear on all that is, our attention to the Father’s words has bearing on every aspect of our lives and is not limited to when we call upon him, we need to be attentive to the Holy Spirit’s direction what ever we are doing.

Many years ago a dear friend introduced me to the beautiful simplistic prayers of the Celtic Christians. I say simplistic because they grasped how to be attentive to the Lord by including him in those everyday chores they performed. imageThe chores were still habits they did every day, but with deliberately including the Lord they were transformed into being attentive to what he was saying to them. They prayed while lighting the fire, milking the cow, gathering grain.
One of the ones I like is a prayer on rising, not staggering out of bed bemoaning all we have to do that day, not complaining about the weather, not rushing in frantic haste, just including the Loving Father by thanking him in a simple prayer;

Thanks be to thee, O God

That I have risen today

I have risen to life

I have risen to love

Thanks be to thee O God,

You have opened my eyes

You have given me breath

You have made me move.

The beautiful reward of making, paying attention to the Lord a habit, is a deepening of our relationship with him and he promises us exactly that in the book of Revelation;

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Posted by: Jo | February 26, 2016

Holding One Another Up

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way.”

(Isaiah 35:3)

image I am always fascinated and amazed when I find a story within the Bible that so resonates exactly with what we as present day believers struggle with, and then am equally amazed at the solution provided by God’s word that is still applicable in our own lives today. The one story that grabbed my attention recently, I found in the book of Exodus. The Israelites are wandering in the desert, when they are attacked by a neighbouring tribe. Moses marshals the young men to fight them off, but knows they will need help from the Lord, so he assumes a symbolic position on the top of a hill, overlooking the fighting so all can see him, and he raises his hands in appeal to the one true God that can help them.

“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up- one on one side one on the other- so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (Exodus 17:11 – 12)

Our battles today may not resemble those of the Exodus period, but we can certainly relate to the same emotions racing through Moses, as we may have felt them also, when facing what looks like a terrifying ordeal for us, and know we need to seek the Lord to help us, but the thought of doing this alone without any help can be daunting. How will we find the strength! The reason I love this story so much, is that the solution is made so clear. Firstly, we need to ask for the Lord’s help and then, imagesometimes difficult for some of us, we need to accept the help of others.

If we look closely again at the story, we can see the necessity for God’s children to work closely together. Moses had to be humble enough to accept the help of Aaron and Hur and they in turn had to be willing to offer help in a practical way. Wonderful example for us as a family of believers to follow.

When Paul was writing to the Ephesians, he gives a beautiful description of how we can actively hold one another up;

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16)

In the last chapter of the book of Proverbs, we have a very detailed description of a lady who is described in the heading of my Bible as being, The Wife Of Noble Character, as we read through her virtues one verse stands out for me;

“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20)image

The message I receive from this verse is that, if we take seriously Paul’s words about upholding one another we need to adopt a welcoming, warm, arms and hands outstretched attitude, so that those that need our help will have no reservation about coming to us for help, then we will be fulfilling Christ’s words

“The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself….” (Mark 12:31)

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