As C.S. Lewis pointed out, ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ As far as forgiving yourself is concerned, he wrote, ‘If God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than him.’

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, 2001, New York: Harper Collins p.158 and Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, 2007, Zondervan, p.1591 (and BiOY 2020, day 70)

“Never forget that the word persevere comes from the prefix per, meaning through, coupled with the word severe. It means to keep pressing on, trusting God, looking up, doing our duty – even through severe circumstances.”

Robert J. Morgan

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV) The original Hebrew root of ‘Be still’ doesn’t mean “be quiet”; it means “let go.” Let go and know that I am God! Let go of trying to control your spouse! Let go of your worry about your finances! Let go of your unforgiveness! Let go of your past! Let go of what you can’t control – and rest in the knowledge that God is in control.

Sheila Walsh

Once we have been baptised we are to never quite dry off. We are meant to leave wet footprints behind us wherever we go.

“If my life is fruitless it doesn’t matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful it doesn’t matter who criticizes me.”

John Bunyan

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticise me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”

William Arthur Ward (writer)

Whilst effort has nothing to do with salvation, it has everything to do with spiritual growth. Seven times in the New Testament we are instructed to ‘make every effort’… towards becoming more like Christ. We are saved not by good works but for good works. If our faith doesn’t do anyone else any good then it can’t do us any good.

“Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered it. Nobody was there!”

Harold Sherman

The most common command in the Bible is ‘Do not fear.’ It occurs 366 times in the Bible (one for each day and an extra one to cover leap years).

“To be so much in contact with God that you never need to ask Him to show you His will, is to be nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith. When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight, you are God’s will, and all your common sense decisions are His will for you unless He checks. You decide things in perfect delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will always check; when He checks, stop at once.”

Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, (2000 edition), Worcester: Oswald Chambers Publications, p.86

“True humility is not an abject, grovelling, self-despising spirit, it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us.”

Tyron Edwards (1804-1894), U.S. Theologian

“Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love isn’t love, till you give it away.”


Don’t ever make the error of thinking you will never make a mistake.

As Joyce Meyer says, ‘We all have a past. No matter how bad your past is, you can get past your past. God can give you a new beginning; he can use you greatly and give you a future.’

Joyce Meyer, Everyday Life Bible (Faithwords, 2018), p.337 & Bible in One Year 2020 with Nicky Gumbel, day 112

Forgiveness is the FREE gospel offer. Repentance is the COSTLY gospel demand.

“The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth.”

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell (1865-1940), English physician and missionary

Romans 8:28 makes the promise that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” – ‘in all things’… REALLY? Yes, really. Even in painful situations God works things out for our good – ‘for the good of those who love him’. The prison of pain will one day become a prism of praise.

Let me challenge you and ask you this: Is the church there for you – to satisfy your needs, or are you also there for the church? Are you simply a consumer, or are you also a contributor? Sometimes we do need to come to church to receive, to just BE… to be a human being and not a human doing. There are seasons when we all need to do that but church is not just a place to attend; it’s not just a place to come and be ministered to. The living temple is meant to be an every man, every woman ministry. Church is not just a place to attend; it’s a community, a body to get involved with, to serve others, and help build this holy temple. We are the body of Christ; we need each other. You may recall these words written by St. Teresa of Ávila:

Christ has no body now but yours.

No hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.

Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes; you are his body.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

‘You are not under attack… the attack is under you. The enemy is under your feet and you are seated above him – in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. So change your perspective. Yes the enemy may be attacking you, but you are not under his attack – you are over them. Speak and act as if you believe that.’

Source unknown

Satan and his minions were defeated on the cross, and we are now involved in the final mopping-up operation before the return of Jesus. As Christians, we need not be afraid of Satan; he has a great deal to fear from the activity of Christians. We are called to pray. We are involved in spiritual warfare, ‘though the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds’ (2 Corinthians 10:4). Prayer was a very high priority for Jesus, and it should be for us. In the words of the hymn, ‘Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on their knees.’

Nicky Gumbel, Alpha Questions of Life, 2007 edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Communications, p.168-169

True friendship stands the test of separation. Friends, once they have become deeply involved with each other, can be apart for months or even years and then, after five minutes together, it’s as if they had never been separated at all. They’re really interested in each other as persons, not in impressing each other. So when they do get together, they spend their time catching up, not competing… It takes real friendship to be happy to see the other person do better than we have done.

Fred Smith, US businessman, speaker and author

If your vision doesn’t scare you it isn’t big enough!

Motivate but don’t manipulate: Motivation creates inspired energy but manipulation creates only stress.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), writer and lecturer

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare!

Eastern, oriental proverb.

Wherever God puts a full stop Satan puts a question mark.

An old farmer said, ‘The hardest thing about milking cows is they never stayed milked! – It’s the same with attitudes; they don’t stay changed; they don’t stay positive. You’ve got to work at them every day.

Bob Gass

Source: The UCB Word For Today, 20/12/2000

Voltaire, the eighteenth-century critic of Christianity, wrote that within one hundred years the Bible would be obsolete and would have gone out of circulation all together. Within one hundred years of his death, his own Parisian residence had been converted into a Bible depot, publishing Bibles by the hour.

Source: Nicky Gumbel, 1997, The Heart of Revival, Eastbourne: Kingsway Publications, p.27

Carl Laferton writes: For years I thought “Christ” was Jesus’ surname. I assumed that Joseph and Mary were Mr and Mrs Christ, and so Jesus’ full name was Jesus Christ. But actually “Christ” is a title not a name. Christ is a title which means God’s promised King.

Source: Carl Laferton, Christmas Uncut, 2015, The Good Book Company, p.19

Don’t be caught dead without Jesus!

The greatest opponent of excellence is the phrase, ‘That’ll-do!’

A bad habit is like a warm bed: easy to get into and hard to get out of.

People sometimes say to me, ‘I can’t believe in a God who sends people to hell.’ And I reply, ‘God doesn’t send people to hell. People make that choice for themselves. There is only one way to hell and that is to reject the only way to heaven.’

“A mistake is just a bend in the road; it is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.”


In the Bible the word ‘repent’ could just as accurately be translated, ‘re-orientate’. Repentance is more than just saying sorry. So when Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near’ (Matthew 4:17) he doesn’t just mean say sorry and be forgiven. He means lead a new life.’

Stephen Cottrell

Source: Pilgrim: Turning To Christ, 2013, Church House Publishing, p.50

If Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead we probably would never have heard of him.

Nothing is more central to the Bible than Jesus’ death and resurrection. The entire Bible pivots on one weekend in Jerusalem about two thousand years ago.

Don Carson

Tim Keller writes: ‘Jesus has said to his disciples, “I will rise on the third day.” He said it in Mark 8, again in Mark 9, and yet again in Mark 10. Given that repetition, something curious is going on. On the third day after Jesus’s death, there are no male disciples around; these female disciples do appear, but they are bringing along all the expensive spices and perfumes with which a dead body was customarily anointed. Nobody is expecting a resurrection. If you were the Gospel writer Mark, trying to write a credible piece of fiction, and you have had Jesus saying repeatedly to his disciples that he would rise on the third day, wouldn’t you have at least one disciple thinking this through after Jesus’s death and saying to the others, “Hey, it’s the third day. Maybe we ought to go take a look at Jesus’s tomb. What can it hurt?” That would only be reasonable. But nobody said anything like that. In fact, they did not expect a resurrection at all. It didn’t occur to them. The angel in front of the empty tomb had to remind the women: “You will see him, just as he told you.” If Mark had made up this story, he wouldn’t have written it this way. – And here’s the point: The resurrection was as inconceivable for the first disciples, as impossible for them to believe, as it is for many of us today.’

Excerpt from JESUS THE KING by Timothy Keller, from the devotional on YouVersion, day 9 of 9

No pain, no gain. No cross, no crown. No suffering, no inheritance. That’s the way it is.

“True friendship doubles our joy and halves our grief.”

attributed to Elisabeth Foley

Joyce Meyer asks: What are you hoping for? What are you expecting in life? Are you looking for something good to happen or are you expecting to be disappointed? So many people are feeling hopeless these days. However, Jesus did not die for us to be hopeless. He died so that we could be full of hope. The devil wants to steal your hope and he will lie to you. He’ll tell you that nothing good can happen in your life or that the things you care about won’t last. If you’re struggling with a difficult situation, he’ll tell you it will never end. But you have to stay full of hope and remember that the devil is a liar. God can change everything! Our Father is good, and He has good plans for your life. If you will maintain your hope, especially in the midst of troubled and uncertain times, He has promised you “double for your trouble”. So refuse to give up hope. Start expecting God to do something, something good!

Joyce Meyer, Promises For Your Everyday Life, daily devotional on YouVersion, day 148 of 365

“Patience is a bitter plant that produces sweet fruit.”

Charles Swindoll

William Barclay said: “More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world. And more people have been driven from the church by the hardness and ugliness of so-called Christians than by all the doubts in the world.”

Are you ready for the greatest coaching advice in all of recorded history? Are you ready for a game plan that will ensure your ability to walk in victory and to never again be a victim of depression or discouragement? – Be thankful, honour God, praise him! – Rejoice in the Lord is a New Testament commandment, which means you don’t really get a choice! The strategy for a victorious life is to “Keep on rejoicing!” Joy is not just a spin-off from obedience to God. Joy is obedience to God! Joy is an act of obedience and we are commanded to rejoice in the Lord and to take delight in His presence. C. S. Lewis put it this way, “It is a Christian duty for everyone to be as joyful as they can be!” The entire goal of your life is to glorify God every day that you live. The goal of your life is to honour His Name with every choice you make, every word you speak and every thought you think. You honour God when you choose the joy of His presence. You don’t glorify Him through whining, complaining, bitterness or unforgiveness. You glorify God when you choose joy and thankfulness!’

Source: A Jolt of Joy, devotional on YouVersion, day 22 of 31

We must correctly distinguish regret, remorse, and true repentance. Regret is an activity of the mind, whenever we remember what we’ve done and ask ourselves, “Why did I do that?” Remorse includes both the heart and the mind, and we feel disgust and pain, but we don’t change our ways. But true repentance includes the mind, the heart, and the will. We change our mind about our sins and agree with what God says about them; we abhor what we have done; and we deliberately turn from our sin and turn to the Lord for his mercy.

Warren Wiersbe

The Transformation Study Bible (NLT), Colorado USA: David C. Cook Publishers (2009), supplementary commentary by Dr Warren W. Wiersbe, p.1398

Mother Teresa said, “A day lived without doing something good for others is a day not worth living.”

“Many are the plans of a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21 NIV). We are not in control of life’s circumstances or masters of our own destiny – God is. It is God’s purpose that prevails, not ours.

Church attendance increases life expectancy: Yale University concluded a twenty-eight year survey which found that people who go to church are happier, enjoy better health, and live longer than those who don’t. Imagine that! The survey, involving 28,000 older church attendees, found that they have lower blood pressure, less depression, and stronger immunity to disease. Furthermore, the non-churchgoers had a shortened life span, roughly equal to that of smokers. An interviewer asked an eighty-year-old woman, running on a treadmill, what her secret was. She said, “When you walk with God you have purpose, so you live longer and you have peace, so you live better.”

Bob Gass

Bob Gass, A Fresh The UCB Word For Today, 1998, New Jersey: Bridge Logos Publishers, p.95, devotion for April 5th

Continually count your blessings not your grumbles. A grateful heart makes life so much more worthwhile and cheerful. The Bible tells us, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” – and – “the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:13, 15.) So then, continually count your blessing, not your grumbles, and develop an attitude of gratitude.

Repentance can be a dirty word in a society obsessed with tolerance, personal choice and individual rights. But because Jesus is God’s King, repentance is essential. Without repentance there is no salvation.

“Look at the stone cutter hammering away at the rock, perhaps a 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it will split in two and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Jacob Riis (1849-1914), US social reformer, journalist and author

We may not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.

For some people a new year’s resolution simply goes in one year and out the next.

‘When you read the gospel stories about healings, you notice that Jesus and his disciples never prayed petitionary prayers for healing. Instead they commanded in prayer every time. Their prayers were not directed towards God, but towards people’s conditions.’ [Robby Dawkins who has a powerful healing ministry says ‘you’ve got to tell the body what to do.’] ‘You are not commanding God to do what you say. You are commanding the body that needs healing to respond because you are an ambassador – a representative of God’s Kingdom with authority to heal the sick.’

Quote from Bill Johnson & Randy Clark, The Essential Guide to Healing, p.223

“It’s not how we handle the good days that determines how well we do in life. It’s how we handle the bad days.”

Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway Corporation

“There are 24 hours or 1440 minutes in a day. Invest just 1% of your time each day to learning new material or skills (that’s just 15 minutes a day, rounding it up) and over the course of a year you will have invested an extra 91 hours in additional study time. That’s like going back to college for three whole weeks every year!

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt taken from Maximise Your Potential

“The art of war is a science in which nothing succeeds which has not been calculated and thought out.”

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), French Emperor and General

“Say much of what the Lord has done for you, but say little of what you have done for the Lord. Do not utter a self-glorifying sentence!”

Charles Spurgeon.

“Success makes success, as money makes money.”

Chamfort (1741-1794)

“Our heavenly Father often sends troubles to test our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. It’s a poor faith that can only trust God when friends are true, the body healthy, and work or business prospers. True faith holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith that can say in the worst trouble, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” is heaven-born faith. The Lord is greatly glorified in the virtues of His people, which are His own handiwork. When “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope,” the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues… There must be night to bring out the beauty of the day. We would not be so supremely blessed in heaven if we hadn’t known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth. Peace will be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil. The recollections of past sufferings will enhance the bliss of the glorified.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning By Morning, October 7

“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”

Martin Luther King (1929-1968)

It was whilst commemorating the Passover feast and eating the meal of remembrance in the upper room (being literally Jesus’ Last Supper) that Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it and then gave it to his disciples saying, “This is my body given for you; do this is remembrance of me.” After supper he took a cup of wine and gave it to his disciples saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19-20). These are hugely significant words and actions that tell us Jesus’ own view of his death. In his commentary John Stott mentions three particular truths that stand out:

  1. The first is the centrality of his death. Jesus was giving instructions for his own memorial service. It was by his death that he wished to be remembered.
  2. The second truth concerns the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to Matthew 26:28, the cup stood for “my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” This claim is that through the shedding of Jesus’ blood came the promise of forgiveness of sins.
  3. The third truth concerns the need for us to appropriate personally the benefits of Jesus’ death. It was not enough for Christ to die; we have to make the blessings of his death our own. The eating and the drinking were, and still are, a vivid acted out parable of receiving Christ as our crucified Saviour and of feeding on him in our hearts by faith. The Lord’s Supper, then, as instituted by Jesus, is a drama rich in spiritual significance.

John Stott, Through The Bible Through The Year, Oxford: Candle Books (2006), p.233

One reason the Lord permits us to go through trials, is so we might not get too content or comfortable in our faith and stop growing.

“Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise physician prescribes, because we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust in his skill, and thank him for his prescription.”

John Newton (1725-1807) Church minister and hymnist

Sharing Holy Communion is a public Christian witness: It’s an acted-out parable; an act of remembrance in which we recall Jesus’ death and the promise of the forgiveness of sins. But it is also much more than this: Communion is steeped in symbolism. Here are seven things that we share in when we partake in the Lord’s Supper:

  • In the Lord’s Supper we share in the proclamation of Christ’s Death. The breaking of bread symbolizes Christ’s body broken for us, and the pouring of the cup proclaims Christ’s blood poured out for us. As Paul said: “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26 NIV).
  • In the Lord’s Supper we share in the benefit that Christ’s death achieved for us. Jesus instructed his disciples to, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26.) Of course, Jesus was physically present in body when he said this, and so he must have been speaking metaphorically, and using the bread, and then the wine, as pictures, symbolising that his body would be broken and his blood spilt for us, for the forgiveness of sins. So when we participate in Communion we signify that we share in the benefits achieved for us by the sacrificial and atoning death of Christ.

“Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. Instead be a jack-of-a-few-trades, focused on one.”

John Maxwell

“The happiest people I know are those who are busy working toward specific objectives. The most bored and miserable people I know are those who are drifting along with no worthwhile objectives in mind.”

Zig Ziglar

The church is not just a place to attend it’s a community, a body, to get involved with. Sometimes people shy away from getting involved… they think of church being like a giant helicopter. They don’t want to get too close in case the get sucked into the rotas! But it shouldn’t be like that. Many hands (or many parts) make light work. Going on a rota once a month or once every two months is an expression of love and commitment to the body (a body which we all know isn’t perfect)! There is no perfect church this side of heaven… we are all flawed, imperfect and broken, which is why we need each other. Don’t be a spectator. You are needed. Get involved. Where is there a team can you serve on, where is there a need you can fill?

There are lots of ways that God communicates to us: through his Word and Spirit especially, but also through nature and creation; through other believers; through music and worship; through circumstances and signs; though angels (maybe sometimes); through prayer and meditation; through prophecy and words of knowledge, and also through dreams and visions. We must never limit how God can communicate with us, but the primary way that God speaks to us is through his Word – that’s why He gave us the Scriptures, and through meditation/prayer – that’s why He gave us his Holy Spirit. So what’s the difference between a dream and a vision? A vision is given when a person is awake while a dream is given when a person is asleep. Visions are waking dreams.

Dr Warren Wiersbe notes that when Jesus said, “This is my body,” and, “This is my blood,” he did not transform either the bread or the wine into anything different. When the disciples ate the bread, it was still bread; when they drank the wine, it was still wine. However, the Lord gave a new meaning to the bread and the wine, so that, from that hour, they would serve as memorials of his death. In 1 Corinthians 11v24-25, Paul uses the phrase, “Do this to remember me.” The word “remember” carries the idea of a present participation in a past event. Because Jesus is alive, as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, by faith we have communion with him (1 Corinthians 10v16-17). This is not some “magical” experience produced by the bread and cup, it is a spiritual experience that comes through our discerning of Christ and the meaning of the Supper (1 Corinthians 11v27-34).

Source: The Transformation Study Bible (NLT), Colorado USA: David C. Cook Publishers (2009), supplementary commentary on Mark 14:22-24, p.1704 by Dr Warren W. Wiersbe

“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.”

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), writer, satirist and church minister

“For most of us, the unknown is so terrifying that we will remain with what we have long after it is apparent that it is punishing to do so.”

Daryl Conner

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

Vincent T. Lombardi (1913-1970), American professional football coach

‘I am not the man I should be. And I am not the man I could be. But I am not the man I once was. And I am not the man I one day will be!’

John Newton

No amount of success at the office can compensate for failure at home.

If you give to get you’re not really giving; you’re trading.

Charlie (Tremendous) Jones, writer, speaker

“First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits, or they’ll eventually conquer you.”

Rob Gilbert

“When you change from wishing and whinging to setting powerful value-driven goals, you move to a more positive and productive life. Negative emotions like frustration, fear, anxiety, stress, anger and depression plague people with no direction and therefore no focus or hope. Setting goals moves us from dreams with a remote possibility and reliance on blind luck to the results and relationships we are looking for. Living life with the attitude, ‘let’s wait and see how it turns out’ is a waste of your potential and your power.”

Jinny Ditzler

Source: Jinny Ditzler, 1994, Your Best Year Yet, London: Thorsons, p.139

Joy is the only commodity you can increase by giving it away.

Life without a mission is an omission.

Motivation is a contraction of the words, ‘motive-in-action’ – it empowers us to act.

Motivation fuels our desire to progress, to grow and develop.

Motivation helps us to persist in the face of adversity.

Motivation enables us to see new opportunities and then seize new opportunities.

Motivation gives us the energy and desire to win.

Motivation is the key to success – it comes from within.

Motivation is not something that we are born with, nor is it something that is simple learnt – it is a state of mind; an attitude.

Motivation, like a fire, has to be ignited and then fed continually.

R. Ian Seymour

Author, Philip Yancey, writes: ‘Jesus’ audacious claims about himself pose what may be the central problem of all history, the dividing point between Christianity and other religions. Although Muslims and, increasingly, Jews respect Jesus as a great teacher and prophet, no Muslim can imagine Mohammed claiming to be Allah any more than a Jew can imagine Moses claiming to be Yahweh. Likewise, Hindus believe in many incarnations but not one Incarnation, while Buddhists have no categories to conceive of a sovereign God becoming a human being. (…) It is an incontestable fact of history that Jesus’ followers, the same ones who were scratching their heads over his words at the Last Supper, a few weeks later were proclaiming him as the “Holy and Righteous One,” the “Lord,” the “author of life.” By the time the Gospels were written they regarded him as the Word who was God, through whom all things were made.’

Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, 2000, London: Marshall Pickering, p.260

“We don’t wait well. We’re into microwaving; God, on the other hand, He is usually into marinating.”

Dutch Sheets

Dutch Sheets, Intercessory Prayer , p.17

“We must govern the clock, not let the clock govern us.”

Golda Meir (1898-1978), Prime Minister of Israel

“Hard work often leads to success. No work seldom does.”

Harvey Mackay, US businessman and author

It is not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.

The five essential words for a healthy marriage are “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

We don’t worship God because He needs it, but because we need to do! Without worship our perception of Him is incomplete.

The only way to the throne room is through the servant’s quarters.

Let me share a piece of sentimentality, written by an unknown author and which was given to me on a card with the heading: ‘A Note From A Friend’. It reads a bit like a love letter – a little soppy, perhaps – but I’d like you to see through that and try to focus on the underlying message:

My Dear Friend

How are you? I just had to send a note to tell you how much I care about you. I saw you yesterday as you were talking to your friends; I waited all day hoping you would want to talk with me too. I gave you a beautiful sunset to close your day and a warm breeze to comfort you, and I waited, but you never came. It saddened me… but I still love you and I am still your friend.

I saw you sleeping last night and longed to be with you so I spilled moonlight on your face and, again I waited, wanting to rush down so we could talk. I have so many gifts for you! You woke up and rushed off to work. My heart was heavy again.

If you would only listen to me! I love you! I try to tell you in the blue skies, and in the green grass. I whisper it in the leaves on the trees, I breathe it in the colours of flowers; I shout it to you in the mountain streams and give the birds love songs to sing. My love for you is deeper than the ocean and bigger than the biggest need in your heart! Ask me! Talk with me! Please don’t ignore me or forget about me. I have so much to share with you! I won’t trouble you any further. I won’t force myself upon you. It is your decision. I have chosen you and I’ll wait… for a while longer yet, because I love you.

(Signed) Jesus.

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards or sideways.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr. (author)

“To each of his disciples, Jesus simply said, “Follow me.” That was an invitation, not a requirement. An invitation respects the freedom on the invitee to accept of decline. – That men and women can go to heaven is an expression of God’s love; that they can go to hell is an expression of the value he places on their freedom. – God desires, not requires, a relationship with us. It is not a one-sided affair; we are co-participants with him, both in our relationship with him and in our work in the world. God does not pull all the strings. He counts us too important to do that. To find without seeking, to hear without listening, to say yes without the possibility of saying no is to negate the value of my seeking, my hearing and my participating. God did not make us to be puppets.”

John Fischer

Change is inevitable; growth is optional.

How to witness? Jesus said, let your light shine, don’t hide it or cover it up or put it under a bowl. Put it on the table. Let it shine for all to see. – We are to let the presence of Jesus shine through us. – One man said, ‘I want to believe in Richard Dawkins but he’s not as happy as you are!’ He ended up becoming a Christian. There is something really attractive and compelling when we let the light and joy and presence of Jesus shine through us. Seek to live a beautiful life and overwhelm people with kindness. If we demonstrate God’s extravagant and unconditional love, with acts of charity and kindness, it won’t be long before people are asking us: ‘Why are you doing this?’ And if someone asks you a question like that you can bet they want to know the answer… what motivates you.

I asked God how much he loved me. He stretched out his arms as wide as he could and said, “This much” – and then he died!

The lives of great Christian leaders teach us that those who follow a God-sized calling need God-sized courage. Abraham left his home to journey to a place he wasn’t even sure existed. Moses overcame his speech impediment to lead the people of Israel to freedom. Joshua faced doubters who feared the Promised Land was too difficult to conquer. Gideon led an army of only three hundred to defeat an army of thousands. Daniel and Esther displayed tremendous courage in the face of death. Nehemiah overcame fierce opposition to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in fifty-two days. Jesus faced the cross and triumphed over death. Paul penned parts of the New Testament while nurturing wounds in prison; and nearly every apostle preached the gospel until being martyred.

Brad Lomenick

Brad Lomenick, The Catalyst Leader, day 3 of a 3-day devotional on YouVersion Bible app

One Bible student has counted 162 references in the New Testament which warn people of hell – 70 of these were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is because God loves us so much that He warns us about hell so much. Whether we heed God’s warning or not is down to us.

“Man has two creators – God and himself. His first creator furnishes him with his raw material and his moral conscience with which he can make of his life what he will. His second creator, himself, has marvellous powers he rarely realizes. It is what a man makes of his capacities that counts.”

William George Jordan (1864-1928)

As Christians, we should be aware that there is cosmic conflict going on all of the time; it’s spiritual warfare: a world of trouble; a battle between good and evil, between Christ and the devil. Jesus told his followers: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16v33): He warned us that troubles, battles and skirmishes would continue… but, friends, the good news is that the war has already been won and Christians are on the winning side. The war is won and victory has been declared but it has not yet been fully established.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.