Friend of God

But you, O Israel, my servant Jacob whom I have chosen, the offspring of Jacob, MY FRIEND… fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed for I AM your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Is 41:8-10)

Imagne being  called a friend of God! Wow! Abraham was called a friend of God, but me, am I called a friend of God?

Yes, I am!

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I call you friends, for all that I have heard from the Father I have made known to you. (Jn 15:15)

So am I known as a friend of God? Do I act as if I am a friend of God? Am I stunned that God should choose me as His friend? Am I amazed that God, the living God, the Almighty One should so stoop to be my friend? Am I in awe of His commitment to me?

if my answer is yes, then what should my response be?

🔹One of joy, praise, deep thanksgiving, and worship.

🔹 One of trust – This is my God, the creator of the ends of the earth, He is the One who is with me to strengthen, help and uphold me.

🔹 One of eagerness to nourish and protect this friendship at all costs, to make it count, to put it above all others.

So reflecting then on a new year, am I going to make being a friend of God a priority in my life? Am I going to seek to know Him more, love Him more, follow Him more, trust Him more, obey Him more? Am I going to make 2018 a year of friendship with God?

To do so, will take commitment, discipline, time, priority but yes won’t it be so worth it to be a friend of God!?


Peace not just for Christmas

With my lovely bible study ladies we have been looking at Jesus the Prince of Peace this week.  A couple of things have come out of it for me.

Firstly, that we can’t just expect to have peace in our hearts without being in a right relationship with God.  If Jesus is the Prince of Peace then that means He has to be Prince/Ruler of our lives; He has to be Lord and Master. “If He is not Lord of all, then he is not Lord at all”.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulders,

and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

To know Him as our Prince of Peace, we also have to know Him as our Wonderful Counsellor – that is be submitted to His rule and guidance in our lives.

To know Him as our Prince of peace, we also have to know Him as our Mighty God – the One who is able, the One who can and the One who is in control.

To know Him as our Prince of Peace we also have to know Him as Everlasting Father – that we are His child, safe in that place of love and security.

Then we will know Him as our Prince of Peace, His peace will reign in our hearts because we follow, we trust, we love.

Secondly, to let that peace reign in our hearts (Col 3:15), we have to practice that and be disciplined in it.  What I mean is we have to be disciplined in not allowing our doubts, fears, worries, anxieties rule in our heart, but to allow our trust in our Mighty God to rule there instead.

This is done one day at a time, one fear at a time, one worry at a time, one doubt at a time.

For example: if doubts about our salvation arise we choose not to dwell on them but on the facts of what Jesus has done for us.  Or  in times of “why”, when we don’t understand what is going on, we choose to trust that God’s ways are best.  Or in time of anxiety we choose to surrender our fears or worries one at a time, we surrender that control of always having to work out the outcome.

So to know Jesus as our Prince of  Peace we need to trust Him, we need to surrender to His ways and be disciplined in letting His peace rule in our hearts not just at Christmas time but all year round !



Isolation or part of the fold?

Psalm 100:3

“Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

He made us, and we are His.

We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.”

As an Introvert my tendency would be to isolate myself from the crowd, yes even from the flock of God, especially in times of stress or pressure.  But this verse tells us that we are part of the flock.  It is a corporate thing, not just isolate sheep wondering around on their own, but part of God’s flock.

What does this mean for us?

Well it means that we find a church fellowship/congregation and even though it is not perfect (it can’t be because we are in it!!), we commit to it we belong to it, we take the others as part of that flock and look out for them.  We come under the eye of the Pastor/Shepherd, where we can be fed, receive instruction (yes, and also rebuke!), but where we can be cared for and looked after.

This morning I have had to go up our field and search for one of our missing sheep.  She always had a tendency to isolate herself and just not quite be part of the rest of them.  The result – she has left herself vulnerable and open to prey and the snow and ice.  I couldn’t find her, she is probably lying in a ditch covered in snow, all because she isolated herself.

There is a definite lesson for me there.  If I feel I don’t quite fit, or I don’t quite have the right skills or attitude to be part of the flock, or even that I am hurting too much, or carrying too much then I can remove myself, even just ever so slightly away from folk.  The result – I carry my own burdens, I become insular, I listen to the lies of satan, I strive and fail, I am open to attack and even criticism.  I am alone, I vulnerable.

This is not right!  If I am one of God’s sheep then I should be in a flock!

Find a flock.  Stay in the flock, don’t stray, don’t try and do it all on your own.  Share your burdens, be honest  and at this time of year of busy preparation in particular stay close to the flock, take some feeding and some rest and stay in their protection.

He made us, We are His!

He knows us and He put us in families, in communities, in congregations so that we can have the love, feeding, rest, security and protection of fellowship.

I am not alone, you are not alone – WE are His flock, the sheep of His pasture.!

So let us stay in the safety of the fold, under the guidance and protection our Great and Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.




Advent – the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary

I love when I put out my Advent Set to think of those people long ago who didn’t know that they were all part of the plan and in their set places for God’s great revelation of His love in His Son.

They didn’t know that they were the ones who would see,

who would hear

who would tell

who would bow

who would present gifts

who would worship

They were going about their ordinary everyday when these things happened – the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary.

Same Saviour – we too can see and hear and tell

and bow

and worship.