THURSDAY REFLECTION – God Will Not Fail You

Thursday Reflection – February 13, 2020

God Will Not Fail You

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 NRSV


I believe we all have experienced failure in our lives at some point or another. Failure is not something that we like to experience and many of us try to avoid it. As a result of fear of failure we sometimes do not venture into the unknown. We stick to what we know or accustom to doing.
Moses was giving his farewell speech. He was now 120 years old and God had revealed to him that he would not enter into the promise land. He first addressed the nation of Israel encouraging them to remain faithful for it is God who will lead them into the Promise Land. He reminds them that God will not fail them and will destroy those before them as he did the cities of Sihon and Og. Moses then summoned Joshua who would be his predecessor to lead the people into the Promise Land and gave him the same encouragement. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Joshua was entering into the Promise Land. This was a land filled with many nations and cities that were considered greater than Israel, but Moses reminded Joshua God will not fail him. The Promise Land was filled with many uncertainties and the people were considered as giants amongst the Israelites, but Moses reminded Joshua God will not fail him. The Promise Land would take years to conquer, but Moses reminded Joshua God will not fail him.
What a reassurance to know that God goes before our every uncertainty and certainty; our known and unknown. What a reassurance to know that despite all our fears of failure, God will not fail. This reassurance does not mean we will not face failure or disappointing situations. What it means is that failure and disappointing situations will not have the last say in our lives, because we serve a God who will not fail us. A God who is honest and trustworthy. Joshua did face situations of failure, but he bounced back and continued to do what was required of him and God came through. Our situations of failure will not last forever, once we remain faithful to God we must be victorious. Rest assured God is on the case. He’s better than all at keeping his promises.
Until next week stand on the solid promises of God. God will not fail you!

Shalom

Christopher Euphfa

TUESDAY REFLECTION – Never Give Up!

Tuesday Reflection – February 04, 2020
Never Give Up!

As Christians we recognize the inequality of the worldly society in which we live. The disparity between the rich and poor continues to increase instead of decrease. It is in this competitive and fast paced climate that we are called to be the voice of the marginalized, to measure the effectiveness of social systems in caring for the needs of the poor and vulnerable. We do this in a bid to establish a just society where all are guaranteed care, provision and shelter. This is the ideal, it is what we work towards. In the meantime, God has pledged to care for those who are in need. Today’s Watchword from Isaiah 41: 17 says: When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them.

Out text gives assurance and hope. Assurance is found in the promise that God will provide for them when they seek water and find none. The text must be understood within the context of God showing the difference between Himself and the idols of Israel’s Babylonian captors. While their gods made of wood and stone were powerless to respond, Israel’s God was the God who would never forsake them, who would keep his promise made to them through Abraham, and who had the power to rescue and restore them. It was important for Israel to be aware of the nearness of God. He was right in their midst, having never left them. Today we too can be assured that regardless of what we endure, God will never be far away from us. This nearness of God should be a source of spiritual comfort for us as God will always be on the lookout for us. In Deuteronomy 31: 6, we receive encouragement not to be too confident in ourselves but to trust God: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you”. Jesus assured us in John 14: 18 ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you’. It is because of this assurance that I say to you today, never give up, keep trusting God. 

The text also gives us hope. The thirst of the poor and needy mirrors the desolation of Israel as they live in captivity. Captivity, whether physical or spiritual, creates desolation, shattered dreams and lost hope. Even as this was experienced by Israel then, it is still experienced by those captured by sin and doubt today. We lose out when we allow sin to control us and rob us of our hope causing us to doubt God’s sincerity in keeping His promises. It is to those whose hope is in the Lord that this promise is made. When they are thirsty but cannot find water, thirsty to the point of their tongues hanging out, God will provide water for them. We must understand this as God miraculously providing what was not there. The God who promises highways through deserts, rough places made plain, and a way where there was no way, now promises water where there is none. It calls on us to exercise faith, to have hope that the God of the impossible will make possible what has been promised. What are you expecting of God today? What have you been praying for? Be assured that God is right there with you, hearing and seeing your travails. Have hope that God who has promised will be true to His word. He has never and will never fail. He heals the broken, restores the fallen and rescues the perishing. I can attest to the many times that I have been emotionally, physically, mentally dry, and my God has rescued, refreshed and restored me each time. It is based on this that I say to you, even as you go through your dry spell, even as you experience your time of need, never give up, keep hoping and praying for God will make a way for you.  Amen.   

Bevon White

MONDAY REFLECTION – Look and Live!

Monday Reflection – February 03, 2020

Look and Live!
All who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed. Isaiah 45:24

As we roam about in this world seeking for purpose in life and how we may achieve success and fulfillment, there is always the tendency to explore a myriad of options to accomplish this. The Israelites were no different and seemed to have mastered this attitude and behaviour. They often turned their backs on God and their covenant agreement and served idol gods. And, they always reaped the consequences of their wayward actions.

Isaiah 45 serves as another of God’s call to Israel to follow him; they should look to him and be saved. In this process God points out the how to do this:

Look to the God who chose Cyrus to act on his behalf. God outlines the call and mission for Cyrus (vs. 1-3) and the purpose behind God’s calling and mission for Cyrus (vs. 4-7).

Look to the God who created everything. Hear God calling to creation in verse 8: “Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I, the Lord, have created it.” So God points out the foolishness of resisting the Creator (vs. 9-10) and this God of all creation will raise up Cyrus and deliver His people (vs. 11-13).

Look to the God who is above all gods (vs. 14-17). Here God declares His greatness and the foolishness of idolatry (vs. 18-21). He closes this chapter by calling all to look to him and find salvation, in full surrender (vs. 22-25). It is in this closing section that God warns in today’s Watchword that all who are opposed to God’s governance and laws shall be ashamed. The enemies of God shall see their own folly and they shall be ashamed that they have dared to oppose one so mighty and so glorious as the living God.

Today’s text invites us to submit ourselves to the lordship of the Sovereign God for there is not a better choice to make. As we do so, we should also challenge others to surrender their lives to the Lord. They must be made aware of the joylessness and emptiness that accompany those who live outside of God and the dire consequences of such actions. Yet, there is awesome joy and fulfilment in serving God.

Charles Spurgeon tells his own story: “I had been wandering about, seeking rest, and finding none, till a plain, unlettered, lay preacher among the Primitive Methodists stood up in the pulpit, and gave out this passage as his text: ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.’ He had not much to say, thank God, for that compelled him to keep on repeating his text, and there was nothing needed, except his text. ‘…if he looks, the promise is that he shall live.’ Then, stopping, he pointed to where I was sitting under the gallery, and he said, ‘That young man there looks very miserable.’ Then he said, ‘There is no hope for you, young man, or any chance of getting rid of your sin, but by looking to Jesus;’ and he shouted… ‘Look! Look, young man! Look now!’ And I did look; and when they sang a hallelujah before they went home… I am sure I joined in it.”

Today, look to Jesus and live!

Jermaine Gibson

SATURDAY REFLECTION

Saturday Reflection – 01 February 2020

“Christ Jesus became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”                                                                                          1 Corinthians 1:30

Wonderful, Wonderful, Jesus is to me,
Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God is he,
Saving me, keeping me, from all sin and shame,
Wonderful is my Redeemer, Praise his name!

As Paul writes his first letter to the Corinthian Church, he brings to us, by today’s doctrinal text, a total understanding and appreciation of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World. Christ is everything to us – in that, he from God, gave us the true way to live, showed us the perfect example, dispensed for us grace and reconciled us to God, and we now have new life in him.

Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 1 centers around the problems that arise in the Church and in the latter part of the text (vs 18-31) after speaking to divisions in the church, now considers the importance of Christ as the center of our faith. We declare Christ to be the Lord and Master of our lives. That declaration comes from an understanding that he is the potter and we are the clay. That he is in charge of us and we surrender all to him.

This is important even so, that Paul writes to the church, to discredit our limited human wisdom and wavering human strength that we many times depend on, entrust our lives or consider of utmost importance. The danger then not only comes from our reliance on human standards, but also a departure from the spirituality of our relationship and service to God.  In this construct, we are reminded that Christ is the source of all things and the giver of all things and everything else is meaningless.

The text reminds us, that even the experience that led us Christ was divine, our interpretation of his love, presence, sacrifice and our response to it comes from God and not of own effort. When Peter declared Christ to be the Messiah, Jesus’ response to him highlights the fact that flesh and blood did not reveal it to him, but our Father in heaven. Our construct of worship and service should always be that we are led by Holy Spirit and that we follow in obedience. Truly Christ is the light of the world and in following him we will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

Christ is everything to us – our Lord, friend, brother and Saviour. By him, we understand the true nature of God. And if we truly consider it, we will find that everything about Christ was special and teaches us something. It is for us to draw on these experiences and lessons as we live as his children. Let our worship become our lifestyle as we worship in spirit and in truth and let us always strive to seek the will of God and do it – and in doing, give of our best. In him, is all truth and is life eternal. Let Go by Let God, through Christ Jesus, save us, fill us and lead us to eternal life.

Until next week, let us discern the Holy Spirit as we seek the Christ who taught and showed us the way to live and who reconciled us to God. And may we in this new relationship with God experience the true wisdom and strength, the solid joy and lasting treasure poured out to us in his amazing grace and unending love.

Dominic J. Blair

FRIDAY REFLECTION – Leggo all a yuh problem pan Jesus

Friday Reflection
January 31, 2020

Leggo all a yuh problem pan Jesus

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/1pe.5.7.NIV

Good morning friends, happy Friday.
Apologies for last week’s reflection, I was not feeling well.

Today’s Reflection text is not new to us, but I believe it’s a timely reminder , with all that has been happening around the world and here inna wi likkle island!.

Hear the word of the Lord today, “leggo all a yuh problem pan Jesus, em a di one weh bizness wid yuh” ( Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you).

Women, men, and children have been dying, earthquake shaking, gender activists breathing down our necks and so much have been happening. Everyday we hear of destruction and devastation on the news. The violence against women and children are seemingly increasing day by day. The problems of life are just becoming Giants in our land. However, I hear a voice saying “the giants you see today, you will see them no more”.

It is high time brothers and sisters in Christ, and it is easy for us to tremble in fear. But Jesus is saying to us today “cast all your anxiety on me”. Why is Jesus saying this? Because he knows that on our own, by ourselves, we are not physically, emotionally nor mentally able to withstand the wickedness of this present evil world.

Then he went on to say “because I care for you”. Jesus is reminding us that he is our care giver, our daddy, our provider, our refuge, our strength, a present help in the times of trouble*. This is why we cast all our cares on him, because he cares! No human can care for us, in the way he can. He’s ultimately our everything!.

Therefore friends, I urge you in these last days, to seek him while he may be found, to call upon him while you are able and to pray and seek his face daily. There is no other hope in this cold, dark world, our only hope is in Jesus.

Untill next week, “dash all a uno problem pan Jesus, coz a Em care fi uno”.

Blessings!
Shaneka Raymore-Euphfa

THURSDAY REFLECTION – Do not show favoritism

Thursday Reflection

January 30, 2020

Do not show favoritism

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” James 2: 1

Greeting Friends!

Today’s text teaches us to show equality. In our text James, the brother of Jesus, speaks against showing favoritism as children of God. We cannot treat some people good while ignoring others and mistreating them. James gave this example:

“Suppose someone comes into your assembly dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “you can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”- well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgements are guided by evil motives?

Friends, those who believe in God are called to treat the rich, the poor, the educated and the not so educated in the same manner. We cannot treat the rich and educated better than how we treat the poor and not so educated. We cannot speak ill, or speak down to others, because we feel that they are below us. This type of behavior is not reflective of Jesus. In fact it is contrary to the teachings of God. Matthew 7:1-2 states, “Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Showing favouritism means we have judged others. Our role as Christians is not to judge others, that role belongs to God. Our role is to love everyone as depicted by the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We have allowed the world’s standard to impress us- being well spoken, good education, richness, fame and the likes- while ignoring those who are in need. James encourages us to view everyone on the same level. He encourages us to have the same respect for everyone. He encourages us to treat the poor just like how we would treat the Prime Minister or anyone else in authority. We must remember it is not the fancy clothes that impress God, it is the sincerity of heart.

In like manner, the poor should not show favouritism and speak ill of the rich or of each other. As Christians we all are called to show love and care to each other. We have to be careful of the cliques we form at church that cause division amongst church members as you favour one group over the other.

Until next remember to treat everyone the same, that is with love and respect.

Shalom!

Christopher Euphfa

WEDNESDAY REFLECTION – A Gentle Savior

Wednesday Reflection, January 29, 2020

A Gentle Savior

A bruised reed he will not  break and a dimly burning wick he will not quench – Isaiah 42:3a… today’s watchword.

Brothers and sisters, today’s watchword reminds us of how loving, kind and gently the Lord our God is. We being born in sin and shaped in iniquity are fragile beings. We are produce that really could be considered as a “bad batch”

Sin defiles us, places limitations on us that God did not intend and yes, sin appears as if it makes us healthy and happy, providing a perpetual high but in reality, what the practice or habit of sin does is to  distract us from reality and then defeats us, further by blocking us from our true purpose which is to serve God wholeheartedly.

God in His infinite wisdom and grace, continues to make provisions for us for although sin has rendered us incapacitated,  Jesus’ loving arms remain opened to us, welcoming us into His gentle embrace though we be bruised reeds and dimly burning wicks. The gospel according to Luke 19:10 reinforces the fact that “the son of man came to seek out and to save the lost”

There will always be those among us who are expecting God to be to them the type of superhero the world has come to love and magnify, however,  we know that those types of heroes are based on vain imaginings.

In Christ, lies all we need.  His hand is always outstretched and his arms are ever ready to receive us especially after sin and life has left us poor reeds bruised with our wicks dimly lit…

Drained and weary from a life of confusion,  uncertainty and pain, our Father God, bids us come. Until next week,
May you find all you seek in the will and presence of the Lord.

Amen

Kerone Lamoth

MONDAY REFLECTION – God and God Alone!

Monday Reflection – January 27, 2020

God and God Alone!
Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord—with the first of them and with the last—I am he. Isaiah 41:4

Isaiah 41 begins with God summoning the people from the coastlands or distant lands to appear before him. They are to come near so they can address him. Yet, they are to keep silent before him because they are coming to his courtroom. Hear the latter part of verse 1, “Let us come near together for judgement.” These idolatrous people were being summoned before Yahweh as judge where they should keep silent, but they will get their opportunity to speak. They were also charged to renew their strength. Indeed, if they are going to contest with God, they better come fully ready and prepared.

Yahweh lays out his case by asking six questions, rhetorical ones too. Hear him: “Who raised up one from the east? Who in righteousness called him to his feet? Who gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? Who gave them as the dust to his sword, as driven stubble to his bow? Who pursued them, and passed safely by the way that he had not gone with his feet? Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?” Yahweh provides the obvious answer: ‘I, the Lord, am the first; and with the last I am He.’ (Vs. 2-4 -NKJV) Hear the Message Version beautiful rendering of verse 4: “Who did this? Who made it happen? Who always gets things started? I did. God. I’m first on the scene. I’m also the last to leave.”

God invites those in distant lands to come and reason with him. He shows them his greatness over all creation, and over all history. They must ask themselves, “Who is in control of the course of human events?” This is always an important issue to reflect on. In this confusing world, people are asking many questions including, is there a point, a direction to human history? Is it just a random, meaningless combination of undirected events? Is it a cycle whose fate is endless repetitiveness? Or, is there a God in heaven who directs human events, always moving to a final resolution and fulfilment? Our answer to these questions influences almost everything in our lives.

God is the first and the last and the in-between. He has a plan for everything and everyone. Our lives are not given over to blind fate, random meaninglessness nor endless cycles with no resolution. God is directing all of life and invites us to place our hands in his and allow him to lead us to purposeful living and triumphant victory. Indeed, only he alone is the sovereign God of the universe!

Jermaine Gibson

WEDNESDAY REFLECTION – A Call to Faith

Wednesday Reflection, January 22, 2020

A Call to Faith

Brothers and sisters, I greet you well. If we should search for a definition for the word faith, we’d find that like so many other words in the dictionary, this one word has many meanings and applications,  however,  none of the dictionary meanings mean more to me than the definition given to us in Hebrews 11:1 faith is the assurance of what we hope for (divinely guaranteed) and confidence in that which we do not see…

True enough, this is another of those words people throw around casually. Faith may either be a woman’s name, confused with Fate and it’s power and purpose are often times misunderstood.

If I should ask, how is your faith? What kind of faith do you possess? Is is the fickle type? Considered to be a noun, you know, something you tell others easily you have? Or is it faith the verb, the state of being, the process of standing still in the face of adversity or affliction so you may witness how the Lord will deliver you? It is one thing to know something, but to believe in that which you know is another thing.

It is not enough for us to be believers of the word but doers also. Most of us believe in God but how many of us have experienced who God truly is? Travelling mercies and grace renewed every morning is not just for those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, so what then differentiates us from others?

Our faith!

Isaiah 7:9b “if you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all” today’s watchword.

Faith is that total, complete and unwavering trust in God. It is that which keeps us anchored during turbulent flights and stormy seas. Faith enables and encourages us by the help of the Holy Spirit to be confident, to know, accept and see the things the Lord has promised. All of which cannot be seen through the physical or natural eyes.

Today’s watchword is reminding each of us to stay grounded. Not to get distracted, but instead,  fight the good fight of faith, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Brothers and sisters, the believer who makes a commitment to be faithful in prayer will find that their spirit is ever recharged, refueled and refreshed.

Until next week, be faithful and have Faith!

Amen

TUESDAY REFLECTION – The Completeness of God’s Action

Tuesday Reflection – January 21, 2020
The Completeness of God’s Action

In Leviticus 26: 1 – 13 God reminds Israel of their promised obedience to the Law and the blessings they will receive for keeping them. The promise to them is that those who walk faithfully with God will be rewarded with peace, prosperity and power. Israel is then reminded through today’s watchword of God’s action of deliverance in their lives which has continued to be a source of blessing to them. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. Lev 26: 13

When God freed Israel from slavery he did not leave them in the land of Egypt but led them out of the situation and the place of bondage to a place of freedom and safety. God also reminded them that their yoke was broken. The yoke represented the bondage of slavery. While slaves they could not live like normal people. They could not stand on their own two feet because they were not allowed to do so. The breaking of the yoke allowed Israel to walk upright again, standing as men and women, as people who were free and not as property of the Egyptian slave owners. Egypt represented shame, shackles and suffering, the burdens of which caused them to look down in shame. Freedom meant they could look at each other unashamed, they could hold their heads up and they could square their shoulders and face the world as freed people. God did not just bring them out of slavery, God completely changed their situation of shame and captivity to one of freedom, pride and joy. Such is the completeness of God’s action, giving them full freedom to serve Him as they should. Who the son sets free, is free indeed. Jn 8: 36

Yesterday Martin Luther King Day was celebrated in the United States of America. Dr. King was a Civil Rights leader who fought for the full freedom of the black population in America. Although given freedom from slavery in 1865, 31 years after the English-speaking colonies, Americas black population has been faced with every manner of hardship one can think of as there has been a consistent effort to keep blacks dehumanized. The yoke of the black person has been broken but blacks have not been allowed to walk upright. Dr. King recognized that this was caused by the actions of men standing in opposition to God’s intention. Thus he proclaimed in his dream of 1962 ‘when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!” Lord haste that day.

In today’s society that which spiritually binds and shackles us is sin. God sent Jesus Christ to free us. While sin enslaves us and causes us to stray from God, Jesus offers us forgiveness, freedom from a sinful life and a return to God’s presence. This is accomplished purely through God’s grace. Grace releases us from the bondage of sin, removes us from the presence of sin, makes us cease the practice of sin and protects us from the threat of punishment for sins. Grace gives us the pardon needed to start over and begin living a new life, a life in which we are no longer slaves to sin but can walk uprightly, not as bondsmen but as free. In this new-found freedom we are encouraged to turn fully to God through Jesus and living fully for Him. God in this way brings about a complete change in our lives. May our lives constantly reflect this change as we live for Him, being a visible sign of His grace and His presence in the world. Amen.

Bevon White