I remember the first time I saw the flowers pictured above. I was amazed because I’d never seen anything like them. They looked strange to me and they looked plastic from a distance. It was only when I took this photo that I realised they don’t have a waxy shine, but a soft fur.
My mind boggles at the thought of all the amazing and wonderful things our Lord has created. There is so much variety, so much beauty, in this world. When we grow arrogant enough to think we understand all that He created, He shows us something new and reminds us we can’t even begin to understand.
These flowers took my breath away. What takes your breath away and reminds you of God’s wonder?
The story of Jesus waking on water has always captured my heart. It’s an amazing miracle that sets Jesus apart from us. But the thing is, He isn’t apart from us. His power is with us always.
Many forget that Peter stepped out of the boat as well. He too walked on water, however brief. The only thing that stopped him was his fear and doubt.
What I love best about this story was that Jesus didn’t hesitate to save Peter from drowning. The scripture says, “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” (Matthew 14:31 NIV)
Jesus didn’t wait to watch Peter splash about or gulp in gallons of water. Jesus didn’t punish him for his failure or lack of faith. Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
This is what Jesus does for us every day. He reaches out his hand. He will catch us when we need to be caught. He will carry us when we need to be carried. Yes, through Jesus’ power we too can walk on water, but we are no less loved if we can’t. So there is no reason to hold back. There's no reason to be afraid.
Have you recently held back because of fear or doubt?
With the recent flooding we’ve had here in Australia, lives have been lost, homes destroyed, crops devastated. This has been a terrible time for many of us. It would be all too easy to blame God. He has the power to save us, so why doesn’t He?
In times of tragedy, heartache and misery, we have to remind ourselves that God has already saved us. He is in control and in all things He works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He loves us too much to let us fall.
We may never understand why He protects us from some tragedies and not others, but we can trust that God will work even the worst of things for our good. Already we have seen the community come together to help those in need, we’ve seen amazing acts of bravery and selflessness. Though it might be hard to believe, many of us will forever be changed for the better.
Please pray for all the people who have been touched by the terrible floods, pray for those who grieve, and those who are on the verge of giving up. Pray that they find strength in God’s comfort.
When I first became a Christian all those many years ago, I thought I didn’t need to do anything else. I knew we can’t earn our salvation so I thought all the hard work was done. I was a shy little thing with mostly non-Christian friends so I also told myself I didn’t need to share my faith. My life didn’t change at all except that I quietly believed.
But then I learned something remarkable and wonderful: our Christian faith is not a passive thing. Our faith is not meant to be contained. It is not meant to be hidden or quiet. We are made alive in our faith and so we are called to live that life.
And that requires action.
When we live fully and openly in God, our lives are enriched in ways we could not have imagined. We are called to be no less than holy so only our best efforts will do. We no longer need to drift aimlessly through life. We no longer need to pretend we are our own masters. We can shout out God’s praises with joy and be proud of our membership in His Family.
There is something special about this time of year. Everything seems new, with a fresh dose of hope thrown in. Possibilities are grand and the feeling of positivity is strong. This is the time of year we can put aside our past mistakes. We can change, be better and start anew. This is what we tell ourselves.
But what generally happens is our resolutions hold for a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, and then we begin to fall back on old habits. Old reactions surface, old thought patterns return. We begin to lose hope. This is because we have it wrong.
The true hope we have doesn’t come from us. We can’t fix ourselves under our own power. It’s God’s power that changes us. And it’s not just this time of year we have new hope. God offers us new hope every single day, every single minute. We constantly live in new hope because of our Lord Jesus.
He gave us this hope because He has already forgiven us. He has made us perfect in His eyes. All we have to do is accept His forgiveness, embrace Him in our lives and Trust Him.
Yes, we will make mistakes. Yes, life won’t always be easy, but He will always, always be there for us. Our natural response to Him is to keep trying, keep striving, and keep sharing our joy of Him.
How does God's offer of a new beginning every day change your life?