Saturday 21 May 2022 – Transformed week 2

Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

What wonderful freedom this verse contains! When we become Christians by deciding to give our lives to Jesus, he begins a good work in us, transforming us gradually to become more like him. This verse reminds us that Jesus will continue to transform us throughout our lives, until we are completely transformed when he returns. He is the one who began transforming me, and the one who will continue to transform me.

So, what is my role? It is to remain connected to him – to continually submit my life to Jesus, humbly asking him to fill me with the Holy Spirit and do his work in me. The fuller I am of the Spirit, the more I will be changed to be like him. The Bible also tells us that our speech (and actions) flow from what is in our hearts (Luke 6:45). As the Holy Spirit transforms my heart, my whole behaviour will improve.

Lord, thank you so much that you are the one transforming me, and that your action in me means I will become more like you. I ask you today to keep working in me, changing me, and helping me grow. Amen

Written by Megan Cornell

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Friday 20 May 2022 – Transformed week 2

Proverbs 3:7-8 (NIV)

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Here is a directive from King Solomon, the author of Proverbs chapter 3 to not rate your own wisdom gathered over the years but rather fear the Lord and turn away from evil. If you do this, then God’s word promises that it will bring health to your body and strength to your bones.  Clearly there is a link between revering God, seeking his wisdom, turning away from what is wrong and our physical health.

The Message version of verse 7 reads, “Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!” I do like this! It makes things very apparent particularly in light of the “Transformed” series we are doing church wide.  I do want to be transformed. I am personally challenged to take stock of existing thought patterns and the way I do life day to day.  Often, I am on auto pilot and I feel a fresh need to seek God’s wisdom in all I do even if I think it has been working for me! I also feel the need for God to bring to light that which is wrong.  I do so want to be the beneficiary of healing to my body and strength for my bones!  God has promised as much but it’s up to us to take hold of it.  Now is a great time to seek God’s wisdom in all areas of our lives and see positive changes to our health.

Dear Lord, thank you for the promises in your word that bless our bodies.  Help us to make changes that will enable us to honour, revere and trust you in all we do.  Please also help us to turn from evil.  Amen

Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods

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Thursday 19 May 2022 – Transformed week 2

2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Thinking about our physical wellbeing involves the things we do when our physical health is not going well but it also involves the things we do to make sure our physical wellbeing goes as well as possible. This verse tells us about what we can ask God for in relation to our physical wellbeing (and other life aspects). I must admit I have thought about this verse previously as a statement – something that is just true, however, thinking about this verse today reminds me that it is also an invitation from God to ask for help. The verse says He gives us power, love and self-discipline and that He doesn’t give us fear and timidity. One translation says he wants us to be bold, loving and sensible and not to be shy with His gifts.

When we think about our physical wellbeing, it is easy to be fearful when we get a diagnosis from the doctor and it’s easy to be fearful and timid when it comes to making changes in our lifestyle to help our wellbeing – like committing to do exercise or eating in a more healthy way. Here God tells us that living in fear is not His plan for us. He wants us to feel like we can change, like we can do hard things. We can ask for His help knowing that this is something He WANTS to help us with – there is no doubt about that – He states clearly here that this is what He wants for us. That word self-discipline still makes it sound like I have to do it on my own. I think God wants us to invite Him into the situation so we can form a team to get it done.

Lord, thank you that you walk beside us, that you want to give us power, love and self-discipline, that with you anything is possible. Help us to remember to ask you to be involved. Thank you for self-discipline but help us to remember that it is really about connecting with you to make better choices each day. Also help us to remember that self-discipline comes teamed up with power and love – its not just us struggling through. Lord I invite you to walk with me to help me make good choices in regard to my physical wellbeing. Amen

Written by Therese Manning

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Wednesday 18 May 2022 – Transformed week 2

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

I ran a race over the weekend that I had not properly trained for, and man am I feeling it now! Every muscle hurts! But this got me thinking about the ways that God strengthens. 

Sometimes God gives supernatural one-off strength. For example, the return of Samson’s physical strength right before he died (Judges 16), or the disciples sudden and temporary ability to speak languages they’d never learnt (Acts 2). 

But more often He builds strength in us through day-by-day relationship. Brick by brick. Just like good physical training requires repetitive exercise and slow muscle build-up. I think of Peter, who followed Jesus and went from impulsive immaturity to the rock on which the church was built. He was able to do all things through God who strengthened him, but it took time – daily small decisions, daily exercising of his faith, growing from his mistakes, walking with God. Brick by brick. 

Lord, please help me be patient! To trust that as I’m walking with you each day, I am growing to be more like you. When the end comes may I finish strong in You, not exhausted by a race I wasn’t prepared for. Amen

Written by Rhiannon Mellor

4 replies
  1. Richard says:

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
    I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me
    I can DO all things through Christ who strengthens me
    I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me
    I can do all THINGS through Christ who strengthens me
    I can do all things THROUGH Christ who strengthens me
    I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me
    I can do all things through Christ WHO strengthens me
    I can do all things through Christ who STRENGTHENS me
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens ME

    Placing the emphasis on each word as we speak this verse out loud gives clarity to the verse.

    Reading it in context gives greater clarity as well. In context this verse is about living life in Christ in the best of times and the worst of times. It is about finding contentment in Christ – not having it all as a means of contentment, but having Christ and His sufficiency as contentment.

    Father help me to find my contentment in You and in so doing the ability to do all things through Christ.

  2. robWise says:

    ..someone once alluded to my walk as being like a flagstone path, each step having its own wisdom. Sometimes i feel like a tiny little hedgehog negotiating this path, making it feel more like an urbanathlon, where every step is a more like a climb, and wisdom appearing like cryptic crossword clues…
    Lord, please give me the strength and understanding i need to negotiate this flagstoned lifepath with its ruts and obstacles..
    ..(reposted on correct day)…

    • Florence Farjandi says:

      Awesome. Yes I can do everything. Because He promised me. Amen
      God bless you multiple ❤️

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Tuesday 17 May 2022 – Transformed week 2

Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)

29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Weariness, tiredness, sleepiness. I feel all of these at least once per day. If I am lucky, not before 9pm.

To get tired is to be human. We are told on multiple occasions in the gospels that Jesus grew tired and weary. We also see him full of zeal and life as he lives out His Father’s mission for him on the earth. Jesus knew well the truth of Isaiah 40:29-31.

Renewal of my entire being is mine as I hope in the Lord. I fix my hope in the Lord as I take time to pray and sit in silence in the presence of his Holy Spirit. I fix my hope in the Lord as I play some music of worship and join in the praise. I fix my hope in the Lord as I let his words written in scripture soak into every corner of my soul. I fix my hope in the Lord when I gather with the church and seek him on the earth.

“Lord, you are life and strength! I fix my hope in you today. Renew my weary body. Amen!”

Written by Andrew Mellor

2 replies
  1. robWise says:

    ..someone once alluded to my walk as bring like a flagstone path, each step having its own wisdom. Sometimes i feel more like a little hedgehog negotiating this path, where every flagstone step is more like a climb, and wisdom sometimes appearing like cryptic crossword clues…
    Lord, please give me the strength snd understanding i need to negotiate this flagstoned lifepath with its ruts and obstacles

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Monday 16 May 2022 – Transformed week 2

2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Someone I know climbed Mount Everest a few years ago. The preparation, research and training were years in the making. The ascent was going well but on the night before the last day to the summit he developed gastroenteritis. Such a weakness would surely prevent his finishing the climb and getting back down safely. However, as he shared later to many people, God’s strength brought him through to make it to the top and down again. God’s power was accomplished in his weakness.

He shared that he was forced to trust God as his body and physical health were on the edge. He told the story not leaving out that this physical problem made the situation even more challenging.

Paul says in verse 9 that he rejoiced even more gladly in his weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on him. Who rejoices in weakness? I haven’t rejoiced lately in the increasing limitations of getting older or of catching Covid.

Some people can overcome physical limitations or disabilities and achieve great things. They inspire us.

But rejoicing or boasting in weakness?

Society tells me that is unattractive.

Here is where following God takes me on a divergent path to society. When I recognise my weaknesses, my inabilities, and trust in God to bless me and others through me, his power accomplishes so much. This is the meaning of Jesus words “my power is made perfect in weakness.” I am strong when I expect to be weak, I know his power is with me in situations which wear me down. As I face my physical limitations (inabilities, sickness) his mighty power is demonstrated despite them. It is demonstrated as I trust he is in control, as I seek his plan for my life, which is for the best he has for me. His grace is sufficient for me.

Let’s not be fooled – following Christ does not guarantee a life of ease or free from health challenges. No matter how much I have trained or stayed healthy, things go wrong. John 16:33 reminds us of this reality. How will I respond? To get angry at God for not “fixing” me, to feel cheated? Or will I boast of the weaknesses I have so people can see the glory of God in my life?

Dear Jesus. Your grace, your loving, never giving up love I don’t deserve, sustains me when my body and mind fail. Somehow your power works through me by faith. Thank you so much for your overwhelming grace and for reminding me that you are in control. All I have to do is to trust you.

Amen.

Written by Claire Moore

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Sunday 15 May 2022 – Transformed week 2

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Before becoming a Christian my idea of God was this nebulous being out there, somewhere, in the universe, not that particularly reachable or interested in me. But in this whole chapter Paul gets very personal and brings God from being out there somewhere to right inside our very bodies as he takes the Corinthians to task over various issues happening within the church.

  • But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. V11
  • The body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (paraphrase v13)
  • Your bodies are members of Christ himself v15
  • Whoever is united with Lord is one with him in spirit v17
  • Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit v19

God is not out there as a nebulous being, as I once thought, but now that I have made Him the Lord of my life, He has come and lives within me, I am His temple now, He is personal. If we stop and think about that for just a moment, how should that transform our lives? Yes, the Holy Spirit transforms us but we make choices too. What is it that we should be more aware of choosing – doing, saying, seeing, hearing, eating, spending, as we walk through life in partnership with the Holy Spirit and being Gods’ very temple, where He lives?

Lord, I know I forget this fact too often, that I am your temple, that I am one with you. Forgive me. The world would have me think that my body and all that I do is all about me. But it’s not, my life and body is all about you. Continue to transform me Holy Spirit to be fully one with you and a temple for your glory.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Saturday 14 May 2022

Psalm 78:1-8 (NIV)

1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.

Today, my Windows login has a wonderful picture of the remnant of the G29 supernova. One of the great things about astronomy is that it gives a whole new understanding of myself in my truly enormous world.

And here I am sitting in the twenty-first century, hearing God’s praiseworthy deeds and commands that have been passed down to me over thousands of years. Hundreds of generations of God’s faithful people have taught them, written them down, protected them, passed them on, translated them, and spoken them out – from one generation to the next – all the way down to me. Sometimes it’s good to be humbled by how small my part of what God is doing is. But as small as my part is, God does give me a part passing it on to the next generation and on to generations that have not yet been born. And that small part is important.

Verse 7 says that the key to not forgetting and to obeying, is to put my trust in God. Romans 12:1-2 tells me that the key to understanding is embracing God’s renewal of my mind. And his Spirit in my life is the key to being a faithful witness (Acts 1:8). The relationship between God and his people is so important to him that he works in partnership with us to pass his story on.

Lord, thank you for all those faithful people working in partnership with you who passed your story down to me. I’m amazed and a little scared that you’ve given me a part to play in passing it on. I want to speak your power and wonder and faithfulness and grace out today. Please take the lead in my life today, so that my mouth will be filled with your truth and your grace, especially to my children. And please transform their minds and hearts and lives to receive it as you intend.

Written by David Cornell

(You can read the rest of this Psalm at Bible Gateway.)

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Friday 13 May 2022

Psalm 77 (NIV)

(For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.) 1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. 2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. 3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. 4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. 5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; 6 I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: 7 “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” 10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” 13 Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? 14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. 15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. 16 The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. 17 The clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. 18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. 19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. 20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

It would seem the feeling of being all alone in the midst of our worst and most challenging moments is being echoed by the psalmist’s own despair and feelings of isolation in these opening verses. Yet as the psalmist chooses to include God in his journey, his perspective (if not the actual circumstances) begins to change. Facing a crisis is not unique, but how we choose to journey that will set us apart as believers in the most High God. The psalmist’s relationship with God in better times stands him in hope during the challenging times. This is a good reminder that no matter what our feelings, God is faithful and constant in all times. What he has done before tells us what he can do now.  Our challenges are not abandonment of God rather a chance to see the greatness of God at work in our lives.  I have known this in my life, and I know no matter what season or challenge you are facing God is there with you too. 

Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love and faithfulness to me. I pray for those who are struggling that they will know your peace. Help me to see you at work in my past as well as my present. I invite you to walk with me today. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Written by Christine Knight

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Thursday 12 May 2022

Psalm 76 (NIV)

(For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song.) 1 God is renowned in Judah; in Israel his name is great. 2 His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. 3 There he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords, the weapons of war. 4 You are radiant with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game. 5 The valiant lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep; not one of the warriors can lift his hands. 6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still. 7 It is you alone who are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? 8 From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet— 9 when you, God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. 10 Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained. 11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. 12 He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth.

In the busyness of life, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of family life and work.

And while I know that God is alongside me, sometimes it’s like I put him on par with me, as though he were another person in my life who can help me get things done.

But reading this psalm reminds me of God’s sovereignty and pre-eminence. Who else is well known amongst the nations and makes the city his home? Who else speaks and armies lie still or people grow quiet? No one can lift a hand against you. You have no equal. You are the God of the universe, the creator of heaven and earth. Because of your greatness Lord God you command praise – yet you don’t demand it from me.

When you speak Lord, things happen. And when I offer you praise there is a shift in my perspective. Praise reminds me of your greatness and worthiness, and it creates a doorway that lets you into my life – close and personal, yet above it all.

Father God, I thank you that you are a good God and that you are for me. You are worthy of all praise.

Written by Gab Martin

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