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Last week, I moved to a new house and it has been absolutely exhausting! Perhaps it’s my age or perhaps it’s the ‘down-sizing’ but it seems that there has been just so much to do! From the early days of preparing our property for the market and looking around for a potential new home, to negotiating a sale/purchase price, de-cluttering, packing, cleaning, liaising with estate agent/solicitors/removal firms, and finally to the move itself and the aftermath of boxes, sorting and settling somewhere new. NEVER AGAIN!!
But of course, however much we might feel our present home is going to be our ‘forever’ home, there is always going to be that one more move, into our ‘eternal forever’ home when we finally pack up our earthly life and move Heavenward! There is some preparation to be done now - some clearing out of the old, some de-cluttering of the unnecessary bits in our lives - but the good news is that Jesus is doing all the preparation for our new home and, according to the Bible (John 14:2,3), he’s been doing it for the last 2000 years!! Can you imagine the glory of a home that has taken all that time to prepare?! A place that will surpass any other you’ve ever known!
So if, like me, you are feeling a bit worn out and your “bones are in agony” (see this Sunday’s Psalm 6), look forward with hope and joy to that move to our eternal resting place where all things will be made new and all the work has been done for us already!
Have you ever been slandered?
Being accused of something malicious, false or defamatory is incredibly hard to deal with. There have been a few stories in the news lately about people who have been falsely accused of something, sometimes even serving prison sentences for things they haven’t done. The courts are full of people trying to clear their names or suing others for defamation or slander. Wars are often started because one nation feels they have been unjustly treated by another in some way. It is human nature to want to defend ourselves against perceived wrongs.
In this week’s Psalm (number 7) David implores God to be just and fair and mete out the ‘appropriate’ punishment for wrong doers and the ‘wicked’. It may make for slightly uncomfortable reading that David justifies himself as totally blameless. But let’s face it, that is how we feel when we are wronged and it’s a basic need that God is just - how could we trust our lives to a God who wasn’t? But here’s the difference: David is trusting God to clear his name, he is trusting that God will set the record straight, he believes his God will be fair, he knows God is an honest judge and he chooses to let God fight his corner for him. Of course it is right that we should fight societal injustice when we see it but maybe sometimes, on a personal level, we need to consider what could be achieved by ‘turning the other cheek’ and leaving it in the hands of God.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus returns to judge the world, he will reveal all hidden things, all wrongs will be righted, all records set straight, all injustices repaid.
Our God is just and fair and he WILL make everything right in the end!
My daughter is currently redecorating her bedroom with a night sky theme; the walls are covered in dark
ink-blue wallpaper and she is meticulously painting tiny gold stars all over it. She’s putting in such a lot of work and care and few people will ever get to see it, it’s simply for her pleasure and enjoyment.
It reminded me of this Sunday’s Psalm:
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place” (Ps 8:3)
I love the way that The Message Bible translates it:
“your handmade sky-jewellery”!
What intricate care God put into making our world that was simply for our pleasure and enjoyment. The sad thing is, he gave it to us to care for and we have abused it in so many ways.
With everything apparently going so horribly wrong in the world, with events seeming out of control and evil abounding, we might do well to look up at that huge expanse of night sky and remind ourselves that the Sovereign, Majestic God is in control and that by comparison, we are “mere puny man”. (Ps 8:4 TLB translation)
Have you ever seen a real Angel?
That might seem like a funny question but this is the time of year when everyone seems to suddenly believe in the supernatural, no problem at all! And many people do testify to seeing an angel or at least believing in their own Guardian Angel, maybe you have your own experience?
Well the Bible does tell us quite a lot about angels, including:
Guardian Angels are real...
Angels do not marry...
Angels were created before humans...
Angels live forever…
It is good to have a sense of the spiritual world beyond our own earthly dimension, indeed the Bible says that God sent angels to care for people who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). We also know that angels bring messages to us from God and that they fight for us and minister to us.
But it is important to remember that angels are not to be worshipped. Our focus should always be on God alone, angels are just his servants and we must be careful not to place too much importance on them.
The Bible only mentions three angels by name - Gabriel, Michael and Satan the fallen angel! Yes there are such things as bad spirits too and whilst the Bible has over 300 references to angels it also mentions demons, around 80 times! They are not just faces on pumpkins they are very real and have evil intentions.
So take care when entertaining thoughts of the supernatural, keep your mind fixed on Jesus and seek a real meeting with him - he is far greater than any angel!