FRIDAY REFLECTION – Who is able to separate us from God’s love?

Friday Reflection
January 10, 2020

Who is able to separate us from God’s love?

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38‭-‬39 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.8.38-39.NIV

Good morning friends, happy Friday!

Today we are reminded of ten (10 ) things that cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord:

1. Death
2.  life
3.Angels
4. Principalities
5. Things present
6. Things to come
7. Powers
8.Height
9.Depth
10.Any  other creature
Today’s Reflection is a practical one that will need your input, not just for the benefit of one’s self , but to help others.

Paul in Romans 8:38-39 only listed  10 things that isn’t able to separate us from God’s love. In today’s society we face all sorts of situation that seek to separate us from God’s love. Sometimes we get drawn away because of our own lusts, but we are never separated from God’s love!

Today I am asking you, the readers, to share some of the things that this present world is using to try and separate us from God’s love. This is how I want you to begin ” I  (state your name) am persuaded that (list the things that confronts you) will NOT be able to separate me from the love of MY GOD.  Share them with me today, and thereafter, keep them as a reminder for 2020.

I will post a listing of the responses later today.
Together we are declaring, that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. Not this year!!!!!! Not EVER!

until later, I, Shaneka Simone Raymore-Euphfa , am persuaded that negativity, poverty and stress will NOT be able to separate me from the love of MY GOD.

BLESSINGS!

TUESDAY REFLECTION – Trusting God for the New Year

Tuesday Reflection – January 07, 2020 

Trusting God for the New Year 

The prophet Zechariah was born during the Babylonian exile and returned to Jerusalem during the time of the rebuilding. He prophesied at a time when the question of the day was whether to rebuild the temple or to rebuild the walls protecting the city. Zechariah receives a vision, his third, in which he sees a man measuring the city. As he measures, presumably to begin the construction of the protective walls, the Lord speaks to him. He is told that the city of Jerusalem will not need a wall because God will protect it himself and will be the glory in her midst. Today’s watchword is from Zechariah 2: 5. For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around Jerusalem’. 

Can you see what was happening here friends? One group of the people were concerned about their safety and decided that the best option would be to repair the walls first. That would guarantee their protection from the many enemies without and give them the time needed to reconstruct the temple and the rest of the city. The other group was convinced that if they rebuilt the temple first, the presence of God in their midst would offer them more protection than any physical wall could. This is not much different from the way we reasons today. There are those who put their security in physical things. Their jobs, their doctors, their physical structures, their wealth, and I could go on. Such persons feel lost without these physical securities for they represent their strength, their future and their longevity. They live their lives worrying about the security of these assets. Then there are those who place their trust fully in the Lord. Possessions are but tools to be used in God’s service and there will be nothing withheld from Him. This is total surrender and complete trust. While the group that depends on the physical security will be structured in their giving and service and always worried for their security, the group that completely trusts will be like the widow who gave everything, leaving their provision and protection to God. Which group do you fall in? The other aspect of the text is the limitations of our own visions versus God’s extensive plan. While the group that wanted to rebuild the wall was concerned about protecting those who were inside, God’s plan was for the growth and expansion of the city. The physical walls would not be able to contain the spiritual city that God was in the process of building. When our vision is limited, our efforts will not be far reaching or as impactful as they can be. We will waste valuable time worrying about the things that God has promised to take care of for us. If you worry easily, I implore you, replace your worry with trust. Worrying is lack of trust in God and says we place more trust in our own abilities than in God’s faithfulness. We cannot add days to our years by worrying. Matt 6: 27. So today if you have issues that you are trying to work through, or just a few thing on the mind to sort through, or even if you are just dealing with something, I say to you stop building that protective wall and find peace, presence and protection in the temple, the presence and plan of God. The Lord’s promise is to surround his beloved with a protective wall of fire. This wall will expand as the city grows. Today we too are surrounded by that protective wall and as such we have no need to worry but in faith we can ‘cast all our cares on the Lord, because He cares for us’. The doctrinal text is a fitting mantra as we go through today and indeed this new year. Whenever you become afraid, whenever you begin to doubt, whenever you become worried just whisper this question form the apostle Paul in Rom 8: 31: ‘If God is for us, who is against us?’.  Amen.
Bevon White

MONDAY REFLECTION – Our God!

Monday Reflection – January 06, 2020

Our God!

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Isaiah 40:27

The first section of Isaiah deals primarily with preparing the people of Judah for their captivity in Babylon. In chapter 39 verse 6, the prophet said to King Hezekiah: “Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord.” Under the impact of this crushing prophecy of doom, those Jews who were still trying to serve the Lord needed encouragement, comfort and assurance. The faithful remnant needed hope and consolation to endure the calamities of the exile. Thus, the second part of Isaiah begins here in chapter 40, and it was intended to give assurance to the faithful who would face seventy years of captivity in Babylon.

The text offers three truths about God:

1. God is Aware – To a people tempted to be impatient, forgetful and of little faith, Isaiah says in today’s Watchword, Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Why do you think that way? Why make such a reckless charge? Then he goes on to say, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable” (vs. 28). God is aware! He is aware of that affects us from day to day. We may be surrounded by all manner of hostility, and we may find ourselves tempted to fret and begin to think that God has forgotten us. Whatever our inadequate emotions and reactions may tell us, GOD IS THERE, AND AWARE.

2. God is Able – One sign of our frailty is the futile practice of thinking that God is like us. We get tired and want to quit, so we figure God gets tired and wants to quit. Well, God neither faints nor is weary! There is a vastness about the reach and depth of his power that is overwhelming. Not only does God not lack strength! He supplies it! “He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.  Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted” (vs. 29-30)

3. God is Available – He is available to renew the strength of those who wait on him. When we trust in God, we will would mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary; walk, and not faint (vs. 31). Life is a sojourn of trials and testings; temptations, successes, failures; dark and wearisome days. Yet, for those who wait on God, he is available to renew our strength. This is a sincere and steady dependence on God, with an obedient trust.

Postlude

I leave you with my usual New Year thought that I have found ever renewing at the start of each New Year:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light so that I may walk safely into the unknown.” He replied, “Go your way and place your hand into the hand of God.  That will be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

Let’s march forward resolutely knowing that God is aware! God is able! God is available!

Jermaine

FRIDAY REFLECTION – Delight in the Lord, He will take care of your needs

Friday Reflection
January 3, 2020

Delight in the Lord, He will take care of your needs

Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalms 37:4 NRSV
https://bible.com/bible/2016/psa.37.4.NRSV

“Many delight in wealth, status, material possessions, and other temporary things of this world, but they are never satisfied.” –  Unknown

Happy New Year Friends!
I have seen and heard many New Year resolutions, posted on social media or by other means. The more I read and listen, is the more I realise the things in which persons claim to get satisfaction from are null and void.
To take delight in someone or something means to be joyful, well pleased and satisfied. It is likely that we cannot be satisfied in the ways we think we can.  Today’s text is reminding us that we should take delight in the Lord and he will grant the desires of our hearts.

Taking delight in the Lord means that our hearts truly find peace and fulfillment in Him.  If we truly find satisfaction and worth in Christ, Scripture says He will give us the desires of our hearts. Does that mean, if we go to church every Sunday, God will give us a new car, a house, a husband, a wife, etc…??? . Not so at all!! The idea behind this verse and others like it is that, when we truly rejoice or “delight” in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to fall in line with His  will and we will never go unfulfilled. Matthew 6:33 reminds us, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be given to you as well.”

We will never be deeply fulfilled or “happy” with the things this world has to offer.  If we place our joy and hope in God first, He will meet all of our needs. He will even grant our wants, as our hearts’ desires begin to match up with His will. If we truly place priority on the Lord, it is very likely that our heart’s greatest desire will not be materialistic but eternal.

Until next week, This world can never satisfy our deepest longings, but if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Blessings!

Shaneka Raymore-Euphfa

THURSDAY REFLECTION – Persevere in Prayer

Thursday Reflection

January 2, 2020

Persevere in Prayer

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Romans 12:12”

Happy New Year Friends! It is already day two of the New Year. I pray that this year will be a God inspired one as we reach new heights with our walk with God.

Do you want to know how to live a Christian life? Of course you do! Romans 12 is a good place to start. The Apostle Paul writing to the Christians in Rome now switches his focus from the theological in chapters 1-11 to the practical ways of living one’s life as a Christian (chapter 12-16). In chapter 12 Paul urges us to present our bodies as living sacrifice to God and we do this through the short commands he gave in chapter 12. One of those commands is to “rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”

Rejoicing in Hope
Why is it important to have hope in this world? We live in world filled with sin, chaos, hate and fear. In such a world for many there is no hope. There is no expectation of anything better. The problems of life are overbearing, people are generally self-centered, and at times there is no form of help. Our bodies are dwindling away and some might ask what is the purpose. In such a world there is need for hope and that hope lies in Jesus. The hope that Jesus will help us through this mortal world. The hope that we will be renewed and our bodies will change. The hope that Jesus has gone to prepare a better place for us. The hope that despite the challenges we face everything will be alright. This is the hope we rejoice in. The command to rejoice in hope is not a command to always be happy; it is a command to have the right perspective and attitude to the various situations we will encounter. In other words knowing that Jesus will help us with our various situations is cause for joy and that is what we should focus on.

Patient in Suffering
We all will experience suffering, pain and tribulation. There is no doubt that when we experience such moments, we are going through a difficult period in life. It is hard dealing with pain and the reality is that we all have human emotions and will be adversely affected by it. Paul doesn’t say to abort the pain we feel, for that is difficult to do, but what he says is to be patient during suffering. When we face suffering we try all we can to alleviate the pain and the suffering we are experiencing and sometimes our actions make the situation worse. Paul again asks us to switch our focus from dwelling on the situation to focusing on the glory to come. Romans 8:18 says, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” Paul highlights our choices- we can choose to focus on the suffering or we can choose to focus on the glory that is to come. Might I also add that God is an on time God!

Persevere in Prayer
It is not easy to rejoice in hope and be patient in suffering unless we keep praying. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 puts it this way, “Pray without ceasing”. Prayer is crucial in our walk with God. It is the means by which we communicate with God. It is through our prayers that we possess the strength to do what God wants us to do as Christians. Without a meaningful and strong prayer life it is harder to be patient in suffering and rejoice in Hope.

As we embark on this new journey called 2020 let us Persevere in Prayer

Blessings!

Christopher Euphfa

WEDNESDAY REFLECTION – The Great Silversmith

Wednesday Reflection, January 1, 2020

The Great Silversmith

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths.
-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Happy New year friends! May 2020 be the year in which we are all closer drawn to God in order for His will and purpose to be done and seen in our lives.

Are you familiar with the story of the silversmith or how silver and gold are made? Malachi 3:3 says, ” he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” A refiner’s fire is the process used to remove impurities from precious metals. Since the heat required to melt silver and gold is enough to destroy other materials, this is the method used to generate purer alloys.

Simply put, the metal is put into the hottest fire to ensure the finished product is the best and strongest and most valuable. So too, the Lord requires only the purest and best. What we would today call, the highest grade.

In today’s watchword, the psalmist declares, “for you O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. ” Psalm 66:10

Brothers and sisters, Today marks the beginning of a new month and a new year, I imagine the countless resolutions that have been made…in whatever state this reflection finds you,  may you be encouraged. Trust that the Lord only wants what is best for you. Your season of purification may be in process, ended or hasn’t yet begun.

No matter where you are, I pray you will be strengthened and say boldly, “for I know in whom I believe and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

Until next week, I remind you to “trust the process”
Amen

Kerone Lamoth

TUESDAY REFLECTION – Stay Focused For 2020

Tuesday Reflection – December 31, 2019
Stay Focused For 2020

If you are hearing or reading this then you are blessed to have lived to see the dawning of the last day of 2019, the last day of this decade. That is a blessing since we are never guaranteed a new day. Someone said the most certain thing in life is death and the most uncertain thing is the timing of death. Let us give thanks therefore that we are counted among the living and let us maintain hope that we will make it into the new year. It is with this hope that I invite us to stay focused for 2020. Today’s watchword comes from Exodus 23: 7. Keep far from a false charge. A false charge or a false accusation is defined by the online dictionary as a claim or allegation of wrongdoing that is untrue and/or otherwise unsupported by facts. It helps to know that the rest of verse 7 says ‘and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked’. The caution being given here was for the people of God to be vigilant in the administration of the laws so that it be not used to take advantage of anyone. It was a call to care for rather than tear down others, knowing that God is the supreme judge, and no one will escape God’s justice.

Knowing this, the text calls on us to honor the eighth commandment, ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor’ Ex 20: 16. It is a call not only to be honest in what we say but also in what we support. To keep far, not only suggests we shouldn’t be the instigators of false accusations, but also that we shouldn’t spread rumors and we shouldn’t support something we do not know to be true. In other words, don’t ‘run with it’ because it sounds like it could be true. This seems to be society’s way today. We should also note that those who instigate such actions are impacted by it as much as those they seek to destroy so no one wins. God therefore calls upon those who know and follow Christ to be different. Proverbs 6: 16 – 19 gives us a list of things God hates. There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren. As we end 2019 we need to look back and take stock of our faith walk. Have we been doing any of these actions that displeases God? If yes, there is need for us to refocus for the new year. If no then I say to you maintain your focus for 2020.

Today’s doctrinal text points us in the direction we ought to grow for the new year. I leave it with us as spiritual compass for 2020. It comes from Philippians 4: 8 Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. These are words to live by and to build up ourselves and others through their practice. While false charges destroy others and us, living by what is good, right and pure is uplifting and spiritually enriching to us and those around. No need to worry about those who practice evil either for God has promised ‘I will not acquit the wicked’. May we all stay focused for 2020 as I wish for all a happy, blessed and prosperous new year.  Amen

Bevon White

MONDAY REFLECTION – The Battle is the Lord’s

Monday Reflection – December 30, 2019
The Battle is the Lord’s

All this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s. 1 Samuel 17:47

When Saul became king of Israel, one of his goals was to limit the power and influence of the Philistines. By the time we come to 1 Samuel 17, King Saul was successful. However, the Philistines did not give up easily. Here, the Philistines are trying to penetrate the highlands of Judah through the Valley of Elah, where they are met by Saul and his army. The Philistines and the Israelites arrange their forces on opposite sides of the valley. This makes it very risky for either army to begin an attack. By descending one slope, crossing the valley floor and wading its stream, and climbing up the other side, the attackers will make themselves very vulnerable. So the result is a stalemate; neither army dares to leave its position.

It is Goliath who provides a solution. He boastfully challenges anyone in Israel to a one-on-one confrontation. This encounter will then decide the battle; a victory for Goliath will entitle the Philistines to dominate Israel; on the other hand, a victory for whoever answers his challenge will entitle Israel to dominate the Philistines. Twice a day Goliath descends the valley slope and shouts taunts at the armies of Israel. He hopes his insults will make Israel angry enough to send out a challenger or perhaps begin a foolish attack. Goliath defies the ranks of Israel, the armies of the living God, and God Himself. Goliath, then, is God’s enemy.

It is the little shepherd boy David who answers his challenge. Yet, let’s not forget that David is the Lord’s anointed; he is God’s chosen instrument. David challenges Goliath not because he is an enemy of Israel, nor for the sake of his brothers, nor to save the honour of Saul and Jonathan. No! He challenges the giant because he is an enemy of God and David is God’s chosen instrument. David burns with a zeal and love for the Lord and the things of the Lord. The Lord’s enemies are his enemies. David also knows what is at stake here. He declares, “The battle is the Lord’s”. It is God’s struggle against Satan and the forces of darkness. The contest is not Israel against Philistia or David against Goliath, but God against Satan. It is God’s name that is being blasphemed; it is God’s honour that is at stake; it is God’s power and might that are being challenged.

Today’s text reminds us that the war between God and Satan rages on! Satan still hates and attacks the people of God and loves nothing better than to have us sin and fall from the faith. He loves nothing better than to destroy God’s Church. Christian soldiers, the war is on!!! Wake up and keep alert!!! Yet, we must realize that the battle is the Lord’s. Like David, we are called to be faithful warriors and instruments in the hands of God. We shouldn’t be scared and frightened into inaction, lose our perspective and focus on the might of the enemy. Rather, we should keep our eyes glued to the power of God and be filled with zeal for the Lord.

Soldiers of God, another year, another decade beckons. We know not what it will bring. What we know is that we are in a battle that is the Lord’s. What we also know assuredly is that victory is guaranteed by our Warrior God. We march forward in faith and with a deep resolve to follow Christ, for indeed, “Our Lamb has Conquered, Let us Follow Him!”

Jermaine Gibson

FRIDAY REFLECTION – Listen with receptive hearts

Friday Reflection

December 27, 2019

Listen with receptive hearts

O that today you would listen to his voice! Do not harden your hearts. Psalm 95:7-8

 Good morning friends,
Happy Friday…. I trust your holidays have been treating you well thus far. Have you heard anything from Jesus during this season of Advent? What did he say? Do you recognize his voice when he speaks? Are you receptive to his word? Lots of questions for you today. I trust that as you reflect on today’s word, you will  be challenged, encouraged and motivated.

I would like to share the following with you from today’s text:

1. Jesus’ voice is  not only calling you, but, commanding you, inviting you and encouraging you. Most of the time we associate the “call of God” with repentance..  it isn’t always that..  God calls us to repentance yes, but he also calls us to do his will, to  be more involved in church activities, to be brave and full of courage and to be the light in this dark world.  We are called not only to listen, but to obey

2. The word “today” in the passage means “the present time;” it means NOW. Albert Barnes puts it this way :  The purpose to obey should not be deferred until tomorrow. It should not be put off to the future. The commands of God should be obeyed at once; the purpose should be executed immediately. All God‘s commands relate to the present. He gives us none for the future; and a true purpose to obey God exists only where there is a willingness to obey “now,” “today;”.

3. The only way to know and do his  will is  if you are receptive to his voice, and act on his commands.  It is the same as being obedient; doing what he calls us to do. Not making excuses as to why we can’t, instead of finding means by which to accomplish what he commands. I pray we will be so receptive to his voice, that we act without question.

Untill next week friends, know his (God’s) voice, listen to him speak, act on that which he asks of you. *Harden not your hearts, listen and hasten to obey*

Blessings
Shaneka Raymore-Euphfa

THURSDAY REFLECTION – The amazing story of Christmas

Thursday Reflection

December 26, 2019

The amazing story of Christmas

Advent Greetings!

We have heard the story of the birth of Jesus being told every year at Christmas. For some of us we have even participated in the Christmas plays depicting the birth of Jesus. We have read the scripture lessons about the prophecy of the birth of Jesus and the actual birth of Jesus. For some of us we have even committed some of these lessons to memory. These activities have become part of our yearly experience. As I read the text for today and looked at the reaction of those who heard the shepherd’s account of the birth of Jesus I wonder if the story of the birth of Jesus still amaze us or has it become a repetitive story lacking meaning and purpose in our lives?

The birth of Jesus is no ordinary story. It has its origin in prophecy in the Old Testament. Imagine a prophecy so exact being spoken of approximately 700 years before it took place. The prophecy foretold that Jesus would come from the tribe of David, “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land … This is the name by which he will be called: the Lord our righteous savior.” Jeremiah 23:5-6

The prophecy foretold that a virgin would give birth to Jesus and that he would be born in Bethlehem. Isaiah 7:14 states, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and you will call him Immanuel.”

Micah 5:2 tells us, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

This amazing story is filled so much excitement and joy including the visits of the angel Gabriel to Zechariah, Mary and Joseph all highlighting the role they would play in this amazing story. Also angels visited the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night to speak about the birth of the savior of the world in a Manger.

This amazing story have wise men following a star, yes a star to where Jesus was born to worship him. This amazing story includes high drama as Jesus and his family had to flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod who killed children 2 years and younger in an effort to get rid of Jesus.

This story is further amazing because of what the birth of Jesus symbolizes. It is God’s wonderful gift of salvation to humanity. It is the gift of love to us. On this Boxing Day let us reflect on all that took place with the birth of Jesus. Let us reflect on what Jesus’s birth means for us and let us reflect on this amazing story that was foretold so long ago.

Until next week continue to reflect on this amazing story of Christmas.

Blessings!

Christopher Euphfa