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Stress the truth

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So, have you ever been stressed?  Everyone has the potential to get stressed; maybe over money, relationship challenges, others complicating simple matters, forgetting stuff, gossip, change and many, many other things.   However, stress is not mandatory and can be avoided it if we follow what the bible teaches: There's a few simple things that word tells us that will help us remain at peace in a stress-filled world and today I want to start a little series on how to avoid stress. The first, and probably one of the most challenging ways to avoid being stressed, is  "Don't be focussed on yourself!" That may seem strange but the bible teaches that pride is at the heart of all our trials.  Proverbs 13:10 says that " Only through pride comes contention " Only refers to ' no one or nothing more besides; solely.' Pride can be defined as  a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements Contention is the Hebrew word 'm

Where you live

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There are certain things that most Christians would say they want - things like peace, to hear God's voice, to feel loved,  and that sort of thing, but whatever it is, people seem to be waiting on God to provide these things in our lives for us.   This verse in 2 Peter 1:2 says "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" We're not waiting for God to give us peace, but when we know  (learn, experience, recognize  and understand)  God the Father and Jesus then his grace, his love, his peace increase in our lives.  Our confident trust in his word, and our desire to love and serve him in return for his wonderful goodness and kindness increase too. Equally when we don't know God, these things are diminished in our lives.   The things like grace and peace that we desire to live in and experience on a daily basis, are not given in the sense that God is deciding when and how to pass them out to us, but they are wrapped up

Whatcha got?

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Today as we are preparing for an excellent church service, I was thinking about why we go to church.  During the last 18 months, we've been locked down, and online church has created many wonderful opportunities for believers to stay connected when meeting together was not possible.  However, now that church are coming back in person, there are many people that still think that it's ok to stay in their pjs and watch the service from their living room, or catch up later if the weather's nice and they can go off for a walk instead of attending the service. There are multiple reasons why I think that going to church in person is an absolute necessity, but one of the lesser discussed reasons for that is because I truly believe what Paul told us in Corinthians and Romans, when he tells us that we are part of a body, and that we each have gifts, and we should be bringing them into the church setting to minister to and encourage one another.  If you're sitting at home watching

Up and down

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Balance!   It's a word the Lord gave me many years ago, and it keeps coming up in my life and walk with the Lord. This week I was thinking about the balance of peace and trust.  There are things in life that are on a metaphorical scale. One goes up and something else goes down. Peace is on one side of the scale and self-reliance is on the other. When we trust in the Lord, our peace level goes up,  when we trust in ourself or something other than Jesus, our peace will decrease.   It sounds obvious, but it's about trusting God do what he says he will, and letting go of the stress and worry about how we are going to fix it, control it or change it, will bring us peace.  Being a Christian is all about realizing we can't do it ourselves.  It starts with the fact we can't pay for our own righteousness, and is all about the truth we can't really make it in life ourselves, no matter how strong, competent, rich or intelligent we think we are.  There are always people and cir

Drive

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Just a short thought today. What drives you?  That's it!  Everyone is driven by something.  What moves you to read the bible, or pray or worship God?  Sometimes we are driven by the problems we face.  Something happens that is negative, challenging or sad, and we turn to Christ for an answer.  That is ok, but what is better is when we are driven by our knowledge of the love of God, and his wonderful promises to us.  When we know God's love and we know his promises, we will worship, pray and desire the word. It's a bit of a catch 22 though.  If you don't know how much you are loved, and what God has promised you, you can't respond to or live in that love.  To know God's love you need to be in the word, talking to the Lord (praying), and listening to his voice.  If you know that you are driven by external things, then you will struggle; one crisis to another things will come your way, but there is great peace and security in knowing that we are loved, and reading

The complete peace

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I 've been talking about the divine exchange; what Jesus took from us on the cross and what he gave us in return.  What an amazing deal from our perspective.  He has given us so much, and yet so many Christians are ignorant of what belongs to us or they chose not to walk in the blessings and promises of God.  If we continue to look at Isaiah 53 (KJV), we see in verse 5 it reads: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. This week I want to mention the 'peace' noted here.  Quite often we think of peace as the absence of stress or strife, but in the Hebrew, the word used is 'shalom' and it means SO much more than this.  Olive Tree Enhanced Strong's Dictionary defines it as: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, completeness, safety, soundness (in body) welfare, health, prosperity, peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment, peace, friendship of human

Give and Take

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So, following on from my post a few weeks ago regarding the 'divine exchange' I want to think about give and take.  On the cross Jesus took a whole lot of things from us, but in return he gave us some things in return and while most Christians mentally assent to this, they do not walk in the benefits of this exchange.  Let's consider some of what Jesus took for us and what he gave us in return. Isaiah 53:4-5 (KJV) Surely he hath borne our griefs , and carried our sorrows : yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions , he was bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. I want to focus today on that first statement - Jesus took our griefs!  The Strong's concordance states that the word used for 'griefs' means: malady, anxiety, calamity ( an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster);  disease, grief, (is) sick(-n