Jesus The Rock

Scripture Ref: Zechariah 3:8-10

‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. Zechariah 3:8

The stone, Jesus, is referred to as the rock, the rock of offense, the cornerstone. A rock is something solid that remains. In Revelation 1, John sees the seven spirits of God before the throne. There are seven eyes upon this rock in front of Joshua. In several ways we see Jesus in this rock. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

And the LORD Almighty says He will (future tense) engrave an inscription on it and remove the sins of the land in one day. When were the sins of a nation ever removed in one day? And what was the inscription on the rock? What marks on the rock have to do with our salvation? Isaiah 53 tells us, “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted.” They are strikes of the Engravers tool on the rock.

Consider: There are the marks that verify our redemption, forever on display for the spiritual world to see.

Fay-Ann Swearing
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For The Good Of All

Galatians 6:7-10

Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all. Galatians 6:10

Today’s text reminds us to use our God-given talents to do what is right and good in the lives of others. What acts of kindness have you witnessed or performed recently?

As set forth by God, we — the church — will be truly committed to Jesus Christ, enjoying our freedom in Christ, living by the Golden Rule, and having passionate servant hearts. God empowers us to use our God-given gifts and talents in doing what is right. Such a Body will also consistently serve those around it.

A congregation whose members walk as Jesus walked and focus on people will also surprise, delight, and amaze their community. Those around us will see us showing loving and deliberate acts of kindness every day. Isn’t this a picture of God’s way for the family of Christ?

Thought for the Day: God empowers us to serve for the good of all.

Prayer: Dear God, fill us with zeal to be your people you called us to be in everything we do. Help us to focus on serving you and serving those around us. Amen.

Fay-Ann Swearing
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fayannswearing.wordpress.com

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When I Am Weak…He Is Strong

said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power i But he s made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me’ (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).

God created us according to His plan, in love and with purpose – weaknesses and all. We tend to view our weaknesses as liabilities. But if our worth does not depend upon us in any way, we can be honest about our weaknesses, knowing they do not diminish our value in the heart and mind of God. In fact, our weaknesses can become the areas through which God does His greatest work.

We sometimes try to ignore weaknesses, hoping no one will notice. We live in denial, assigning blame to others when we fail. Eventually, we attempt to bury our weaknesses – only to find them resurrecting themselves when we least expect it.

A powerful life embraces pain and understands that perfection is a lifetime process. The words of Paul are profound, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27).

When we are honest about our weaknesses we are conceding the fact that only God can accomplish anything good in or through us. God’s power is instantly recognizable in obvious weakness. To be continued…

Fay-Ann Swearing
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fayannswearing.wordpress.com

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Judgement Day Is Coming

2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

God has clearly put every Christian on notice that every one of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of how we have lived our life here on earth. And for those who have never received Jesus as their Saviour they will stand before God at the Great White Judgment Throne of God and be judged for their sins and will have to pay the just penalty thereof because they never accepted Jesus as their Savior and asked for and accepted God’s forgiveness.

As God’s Word says, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hell gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore God’s warning and don’t take God’s mercy for granted. “Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is ‘the day of salvation. If you have never accepted Jesus as your Saviour or have slipped along the path ask God for forgiveness for all your sins, I urge you, dear reader, to do that today.

Dear God, thank You for Your Word that tells me what I need to do to have my sins forgiven; and thank You for giving Jesus, Your Son, to pay the penalty for all my sins through His death on the cross. And thank You for giving me a clear warning that ‘As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. Letting me know that it is imperative that I make things right with You today as it is too late after I die. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name Amen.

Fay-Ann Swearing
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Foundation

A foundation is never optional. It is the most important part of a building. Our Lord Jesus taught the importance of building our lives on a solid foundation.

In Matthew 7, He talked about two men who built homes. One built on the sand, and the other built on the rock. Both houses looked good; they both had great curb appeal. The difference was what was underneath—the foundation. And another thing: there’s the impression they were near each other and were subject to the same storms.

Jesus put it this way about the house that didn’t have a solid foundation: “The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell.

You never know when a storm is going to blow through your life. So, all of us should make a wise choice, like in the old song: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

“One storm is predictable, and it’s one we all will face: the coming judgment. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).So we build only on solid ground, and as believers, that means the foundation of Christ, the framework laid by the early apostles and prophets. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness. It’s the only thing that will allow us to stand in the storms that we know will come.

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What To Do When You Are Messed Up?

So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21

Maybe you have messed up. Maybe you have made a mistake and have done a wrong thing. Guess what? We serve the God of second chances. So you can come to Him and say, “Lord, I have really messed up. Can you help?”

His answer is yes. God will come and redeem the mistakes we have made. Even Christians can wander away from the Lord. Even Christians can make bad decisions and do really bad things. We are effectively capable of doing anything, even as followers of Jesus, because we still have free wills and old natures. However, if you are a true Christian, even when you have blown it or gone astray, you always will come home again.

Hopefully you will learn from your mistakes. Hopefully you will not go and repeat them again. Hopefully you can fail forward, which means learning from your mistakes, determining to live a more godly life and helping others not to fall in the same area.

The good news is that God can forgive you and give you a second chance. He will complete the work that He has begun in you (see Philippians 1:6). So even if you have messed up, God still can turn it around.

Fay-Ann Swearing
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Consider Your Ways

Haggai 1:4-6 (NIV) 4″Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 5Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

The Lord says that the circumstances in our life are His call for us to consider our ways. If there is a lack of blessing or provision, then there is something we need to think about. There is some reason. That reason is often to have us consider the condition of our heart.

Problems in life should cause us to seek God. They should call us to give attention to what God is saying to us. It is the faithfulness of God to get us back on track.

Do you see circumstances as a natural set of occurrences, coincidences? ‘Coincidence’ merely means that two events coincided. The question of why they coincided remains. If your god is small, he had nothing to do with it. If your God is the Sovereign Lord of all, He, at least, allowed it for a reason. Jesus taught something very similar to Haggai’s message. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 Give careful thought to your ways.

Consider: Have I been ignoring the powerful hand of God in my life today? How should I respond?

Fay-Ann Swearing
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God Delights In Me

Scripture Ref: Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zep. 3:17

There is a need within the heart of man to be appreciated and valued. We desperately need that respect.

In Christ we are His children and God is delighted with us. Imagine that! Just like you are delighted with your children, or someone who is very dear to you, God delights in us. Your parents probably took great delight in you when you accomplished something. God takes great delight in you because Jesus accomplished something for you and you accepted it. When God sees you, He sees the accomplishments of Jesus. Think how delighted that makes His heart.

He is so delighted in you that He breaks out in song. Have you ever done that? Were you so delighted in someone you loved that you threw together a song that just came bubbling up from your heart? Think on God feeling that way about you! Whenever we feel unappreciated, a lack of respect and a lack of value placed on who we are, we need to remember these words. Of all those we could be valued by, wouldn’t you most want God to value you? He does. That should still our hearts.

Consider: Do I value my great God like He values me? When was the last time I erupted into a song of joy for who He is?

Fay-Ann Swearing
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fayannswearing.wordpress.com

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God Is Unchanging

Scripture Ref: Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls Habakkuk 3:17

JOY! It is not based on any circumstance in the physical world. That reactive happiness is fleeting at best. It is a shallow joy that knows no depth or duration. The prophet knew that the judgments of God were going to fall on his nation because of their rebellion against God. He declared that it would not affect his joy. He rejoiced in the LORD, Jehovah, the unchanging One. Though the world changes constantly, Habakkuk found reason to rejoice in the unchanging God. He knew the character of God was faithful and true, always loving and yet righteous. He would be joyful in God, his Savior, regardless of circumstances.

Do you really know this type of joy, or is your joy the shallow joy of circumstance? Do you know the greatness of the God who has said He will never leave you or forsake you? Can you rejoice in the love that will never change, and be joyful in the God who has saved you from sin and the wrath to come?

In the last verse Habakkuk declared the Sovereign LORD as his strength. He didn’t trust in his own ability, but in the endless resources of his God who rules over the affairs of men. He closed his prophecy with a declaration of where he finds his joy. “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to go on the heights.” Others may wallow in the world below, but God enables me to run with Him on the high places, far above worldly concerns.

Consider: Do you let the LORD enable you to run on the heights with Him? It is not escaping. It is putting things in their proper perspective.

Fay-Ann Swearing
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A Co-operative Effort

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

I love that God finishes what He starts. In contrast, I don’t always finish what I start. I will start a project, get all excited about it, and then lose interest in it and not finish adequately. And I’m not alone. People have unfinished books, unfinished songs, and unfinished buildings. Maybe it’s a lack of resources or power, but more often than not, it’s simply a lack of desire.

God never loses interest in us. Aren’t you glad? Imagine God saying, “I choose you to be My child. I love you. I have a plan . . . uh, . . . I’m going to move on now.” No, God doesn’t do that. He finishes everything He begins. He will finish the work He has begun in your life. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that He is “the author and finisher of our faith.”

Notice Paul didn’t say, “You who have begun a good work in you.” Rather, he said, “He who has begun a good work in you.” This work is not up to us to finish; it is up to God to finish. It is not for us to work out; it is for God to work out. There is our part, and there is God’s part.

However, it is possible to be resistant to the work that God wants to do in our lives. He has given each of us a free will. We can sabotage our lives. We can make stupid decisions and do bad things, even as followers of Jesus Christ. Now, true followers will come to their senses, repent, and turn back to God. But that doesn’t mean they still won’t face the consequences of the wrong decisions they made.

I know God wants to do a work in me, but God is also looking for my cooperation. How about you?

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