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Keeping hold of God’s promises can be a real lifeline through the challenges of life. When things seem less like they are going wrong or heading in the opposite way to what you thought would happen, holding on to what God has said is a lifeline. Trusting that what God has spoken will come to pass and not fail is an anchor in the midst of life’s storms. There are many moments in life when we can’t see the way through, and it can be distracting and distressing to spend time worrying about what next. However, the more we lean on God, trust in His word, we grow in confidence. This confidence is not in our ability but in His faithfulness. In these life moments we learn to rely on ourselves less and upon God more. It isn’t that we become idle sitting back and letting God do the driving, we still keep ourselves busy serving Him, but we trust Him for the outcome. In this way we find the burden lifted, this is what Paul meant when he wrote to the church at Philippi—”and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds…” (Phil. 4v7). It is one of the reasons we must read and learn God’s word (the Bible) and learn what it means, how it applies to our each and every circumstance. When I understand the meaning, I have a far better grasp of the promises that God is making. Otherwise, there is a danger that we misquote the bible or fail to understand what is meant by the words we are reading and reach for promises that God hasn’t made. If we start looking to God for things, He has not promised we will end up getting disappointed, and the fault will be ours not God’s. Knowing God’s word is the only way to know God’s promises.

God is faithful and the more we read, the more we discover how He is faithful. There are promises to take care of us, promises to provide for us, promises to give us direction, comfort, love, encouragement and especially eternal life. There is so much for us to hold on to, to keep hidden (as the bible puts it) in our hearts. I have found over years in ministry that when people lose heart, become discouraged or give up, it is not because God has failed them but that they have failed to hold onto our heavenly Father and His promises. Often weaker believers hold onto others, those who seem to be more mature in their Christianity but that is a false hope, after all we are all dependent upon His grace. We must learn to stand upon God’s word, that is to accept and trust in what God says. The more we trust, the more we determine to see what God says come to pass in our lives the greater the strength we will find growing within. God has no desire to see anyone fail or fall, He has said as much in His word. God is more committed to our spiritual growth and success than anyone, sometimes even ourselves. Let’s learn to take God at His word.

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A daily word from God is a real source of strength and encouragement. As we read the bible it becomes more and more evident that this word is a daily word. God speaks to us every day, the verses we read can often help speak counsel into the everyday circumstances of life. After all it would seem strange to be in a relationship with God and not want to hear from Him every day. Over the years I have been amazed at just how often God has spoken to me through my daily reading. I can assure you that God wants to speak to you too. Whether you subscribe to a daily bible reading booklet such as every day with Jesus or Daily bread, or if you use a daily reading plan from the internet or You version bible app, they are all great ways to hear from God as you read a daily portion of the bible. It is particularly important to keep on reading when life doesn’t seem to be going too well, this is often the place where we are tempted not to bother. However, in the tough times it is disciplines like keeping up with your daily reading that helps guide us through. Without it we are left without the daily input from God that we all need. I have written before about this, but it is such an important practice of basic Christianity that I am raising the issue again. We need a daily reading plan and to develop the habit of reading the bible every day. Over the years I have spoken with many Christians who have expressed difficulty in reading the bible. Usually, it has been because they have been going through a particular season in their Christian walk. Sometimes it is because they have been reading a version of the bible that was difficult to understand what was being said. My advice when it comes to daily reading is

use a version (translation) of the bible that you are comfortable with and find easy to read. There is no religious or spiritual merit in any particular bible translation over another as long as it is accurate. What we need on a daily basis is to be able to read and understand what we are reading from God’s word so that God can speak to us and encourage us by His Spirit and the Word. After all, reading the bible that God has so graciously given to mankind is not meant to be a chore, it is meant to be a pleasure. If we can understand, then we can enjoy. So, I encourage everyone to read a portion from the bible every day and ideally get a reading program or guide, you’ll be amazed just how frequently God will speak to you directly through the words you are reading. I’m not on my own in believing this, countless believers around the world subscribe to daily reading programs. If you want to get closer to God, then this is by far the best place to start. God is just waiting to speak into your life in a very rich and meaningful way, pick up that bible and read it, it will do you the world of good.

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The word of God is a word of power because God is a God of power so then His spoken word also bears that power. When we think of the account of creation in Genesis, we see God speak the worlds into being, a revelation that the writer to Hebrews reminds us of when he speaks of faith (Hebrews 11v3). As we read through the good news messages (Gospel accounts) about Jesus’ life on this earth we see God’s delegated authority, Jesus declaring “all authority has been given to Me” (Matthew 28v18). Again, as we look at the accounts of Jesus life, we see not only verbal affirmation but demonstration, Jesus didn’t claim to have authority, He demonstrated it with works of power. We read of Jesus healing the sick, causing the lame to walk, the blind to see, commanding demonic forces to leave those in captivity (deliverance). Just as the very word declares, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;” Luke 4v18

So, we don’t just read about theoretical power we are told that God and Jesus demonstrate power by their works of righteousness. In doing good and doing right they exercise power to accomplish their purpose. What is their purpose, to demonstrate God’s glory, to help lost humanity to demonstrate the love that God has for us all. It is important to see why God shows His glory, to understand the motive and purpose for such divine demonstrations of power. When we understand what it is that God seeks to achieve, the very purpose of the Christ, we are able to see the reason that Jesus empowers His church. It is clear from scripture that Jesus requires His church to continue the work, to do the works that the Father also sent Him to do (John 14v12). When we speak, declare, proclaim God’s word it has no less power because it is God’s word! As believers we need to learn to have far greater confidence in this fact and recognise where the authority in the word is coming from. We also as His church need to come to a place of revelation, that we might recognise and understand the sovereignty of God. After all it is God whom we represent, it is Christ who has given us the command and His Spirit who empowers us to do the work He has sent us out into the world to do. Far too many Christians have yet to realise their God given calling and that those Christ calls to serve Him in daily mission He also empowers with delegated authority. We then are to continue as our Jesus Himself began, through works of love, compassion and power that Jesus is alive, and God is sovereign. Called, equipped and empowered by God’s word and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to find your confidence and faith and go do His work.

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