The Soaring Eagle

Only your body is limited. Your spirit can 'mount up on wings like eagles'


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Living Word

“When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them”
(Luke 7:37-38)

Reflection:
There a two ways in which we can respond to the words of God. We can treat them as information or as a pointer to the Living Word – our Lord and Saviour.

Jesus challenged the religious leaders for failing to recognise the true significance of the Scriptures.

  • “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40)

On the other hand He recognised and applauded the woman who had not only been convicted by His words but had recognised that they pointed her to Him as the only source of her salvation.

  • “Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48)
  • “Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50)

As important as the Scriptures are our salvation and new life do not lie in them but in the Lord Jesus Himself.

  • “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
  • “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13)

The Scriptures are vital because they tell us of God and point us towards Him. But Forgiveness and Salvation, Life and Truth are found only in the Lord Himself. His words are powerful because He is powerful – and not by themselves. That is why prayer is so important – it connects us with Him!

Response:
Jesus called people to “Come to Me.” Be one who lives in His presence.

Prayer:

Lord God I thank You for Your word in Scripture. Please help me to learn from it but always to seek You the God of the Word. Amen.

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So Much More

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine”
 (Ephesians 3:20)

 

Reflection:
God is far more able than we imagine or ask.  His supreme majesty, almighty power and complete authority are far beyond the needs of any situation that may face us now or in the future.

Selwyn Hughes wrote that ‘the problems ahead of us are never as great as the power behind us.’ So often, though, we give the impression that the opposite is true. It is as if the more advanced our theology and scientific progress the less powerful and personal it has made God in our minds and lives. This is the result of developing great thought of man and little thoughts of God – who created humans in the first place.

This Scripture does not say or infer that God is some miracle-making genie waiting only for our command. Not at all. What it does say is that God is more than able do anything that He chooses – including things beyond the scope of our imaginations – like creating, sustaining and redeeming everything seen and unseen!

“nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

We are challenged to increase our vision of God to be more in line with the revelation of Scripture – and to approach and relate to Him in that light. The hints to our faith are all around us,

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse”  (Romans 1:20)

Response:
How mighty and able is God to me?

Prayer:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might – nothing is impossible to You in my life or in the life of the world itself. Help me to know this and allow it to build my faith and prayers accordingly.  Amen.

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Abundance where it matters

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in the heavenly realms
with every spiritual blessing in Christ”
(Ephesians 1:3)

 

Reflection:
Paul is almost in raptures as he begins his letter to the Ephesians. In fact John Mackay wrote that

  • This rhapsodic adoration is comparable to the overture of an opera which contains the successive melodies that are to follow.

In thinking of all the blessings that are available to Christians Paul identifies for us that each and every one has its source in God the Father. For it is He who has

  • Blessed us (v3)
  • Chosen us (v4)
  • Destined us … to be His sons and daughters (v5)
  • Freely given us His grace (v6)
  • Lavished His grace upon us (v8)
  • Made known to us His will and His purpose
  • And will work out everything in conformity with His will and purpose (v11)

It is a wonderfully uplifting and re-assuring list and filled with present and eternal significance. Paul stresses the fact that these particular blessings are spiritual. That is they are not material and for our present and bodily pleasures but are of the Holy Spirit Himself and with both a present and an eternal significance. Their source is God and their focus is love, intimacy of relationship and the building of faith and purpose.

Therefore we are not insignificant nobodies. As a Christian and an adopted daughter or son of God you are blessed, chosen, destined for glory, a recipient of His lavish and freely given grace and a part of His will and purpose which He is working out to His satisfaction. And as such we know with absolute certainty that no matter what the state of the world in general, or our particular world, at the moment

  • His name is and will be hallowed
  • His Kingdom has and will come
  • His will has and will be done
  • On earth as it is in heaven.

Response:
Receive the word on which to feed to day – and ask God to make it live within you

Prayer:

Father thank You so much for Your wonderful blessings, and particularly for the sacrificial gift of Your Son Jesus. Please let Your Word live within me and bear abundant and glorious fruit to Your honour and glory. Amen.

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My Child

“And as he was praying, heaven was opened
and the Holy Spirit descended on him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven:
“You are my Son, whom I love;
with you I am well pleased.”
(Luke 3:21-22)

 

Reflection:
We read so many words. They enter into our minds where a few stay and others merely pass through. But some are vital. Take these words spoken by God into Jesus as He was baptised in the Holy Spirit. There are three very important truths the Father wished the Son to know and carry within Him at all times during the days and years to come.

  • You are My Son
  • I love You
  • I delight in You

These words speak of the reality and intimacy of His relationship with the Father, of the Father’s great love for Him, as well as the pleasure and delight that the Father takes in Him.

As Christians we are baptised in the Holy Spirit and given a new life. And Scripture makes it clear that God wishes us to know His love and the delight He takes in His children; for example,

  •  “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17)

This is not what we have earned or deserve, it comes instead from the heart of God. To each one of His new children He says the same words that He spoke to Jesus, and also that He said to His people – wanting us to know these truths for ourselves and to carry them within us.

  • You are My Son/Daughter – I love you – I delight in you
  • “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” ( Isaiah 43:1)

To read and even remember them is not enough – they must become a part of us, something on which we feed spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  For this to happen we need to water these seeds with our prayers and attention until they open up within us and release their beauty, fruit and fragrance. Treasure and cherish them by saying them over and over whilst recognising that God is looking at you and speaking them into your life. They may be changed slightly on occasion to get the full impact

  • I am His son/ Daughter – He loves me – He delights in me
  • He has called me by name – I am His.

Response:
Help the words to move from mind to spirit where they will both live and bring life. Say and pray them there and do not cease before they delight you in turn.

Prayer:

Father thank You so much for choosing me, reaching out to me and taking me for your own. May I also know deep within me the wonder of Your calling me Your child, giving me Your love and delighting in me – even me. Amen.

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Abba Father

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit
that we are God’s children”
(Romans 8:16)

Reflection:
There are good reasons for our being called the children of God. One is that after our re-birth we have to grow up into our new identity and relationships, and learn to live as a part of the new world into which God has introduced us. Another is that God wishes to reveal Himself and His great love to us through this image.

We are not born again as mature Christians and Jesus warns us not to over-complicate things in our still very human minds and understandings.

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”  (Matthew 18:3)

Children also have a natural ability to expect good things from their parents. This passage from the Psalms ends with the lovely picture of a Father holding out His hand to His child, and waiting whilst they peel away the fingers to reveal the treasure that He has there for them.

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11)

There is also the heart-lifting passage in Zephaniah where God reveals Himself as a Father comforting His child.

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing”  (Zephaniah 3:17)

Then there is this passage in which God reveals that our names are forever in the scars on His palms, engraved there like deeply rooted tattoos in the hands of a proud dad.

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”  (Isaiah 49:16)

From the beginning to the never-end of our life in God each one of us is very special and greatly loved,

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made … My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place …your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”  ( Psalm 139:14-16)

Response:
Allow the humbling and uplifting truth to delight you – My Father loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)

Prayer:

My Father, You love me so much – and You have made me Your beloved child and heir. Help me to receive and rejoice in Your love and to live it out every day. Amen.

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Belonging

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
 a holy nation, a people belonging to God,
that you may declare the praises of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”
(1 Peter 2:9)

Reflection:
From the moment that Jesus Christ becomes our Lord and Saviour we are no longer outsiders. We are also not just lonely believers. We belong in a new and wonderful way to the body of God’s selected and elected people.

  • We become an essential member of His chosen people
  • We become a serving member of His royal priesthood
  • We are included in His holy nation
  • We are amongst those who belong to God
  • And of course we become one of His adopted children and heirs

In this world we may feel that we are of no significance to anyone or anything. However God has taken great care to ensure that we know that, in His eyes and His world, we have a special and eternal place and significance.

It is very important that we continue to remind ourselves and each other of these great truths – for the world would snatch them away from us.

 As we do so we will recall that we are the privileged ones – given the ministry of telling each other, and outsiders, of the wonder, the love, the glory and the majesty of our great God. He has done glorious things for us and to us – and He can do them for others as well.

Response:
I am not alone – I belong to the Lord and to His people – and I have good news for myself and others

Prayer:

Lord God thank You so much for reaching out to include me in Your great salvation and precious family. Help me to know and to trust You more and more and to share Your love and glory with those around me – in prayer, word and deed.  Amen.

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Seize the Day

“This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it”
(Psalm 118:24)

Reflection:
Yesterday has gone beyond reach and tomorrow is always just over the horizon. I cannot go back and I cannot go forward. Today is all that I have.

However the dawn found us this is our day. This is our now.  It is here, in these few precious hours, that tomorrow’s yesterdays are formed and a foundation laid for the future. These are my defining moments.

The minutes that are ticking by are the ones in which I may ask for and receive from God forgiveness for the past and new hope and strength for the way ahead. It is now that I may turn to Him again and be still for a while in the truth of His presence – letting His cleansing and healing Spirit wash through me.

Today is also my day to change a world. All around me there are people in need of something – whose silent screams for love are heard by God – and by me if I will listen with my eyes and my spirit. I can help one of them – with prayer, with words of acknowledgement, recognition and encouragement, with time, and even with a gift. I can reach out.

And of course today is also my day for me. I need someone to tell me that I am precious in God’s eyes and dearly loved by Him. I need someone to count and cherish the tears of my heart and to hug the fears of my mind. I need someone to love me and to tell me that I matter.

And so I will spend time with my Father. I will tell Him what’s on my heart and then, when I have finished, I will rest my head against His chest. I will think that I feel the beating of His heart, the softness of His breath on my cheek and His hand in my hair. And I will rest there whilst He sings softly of His love.

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17)

Response:
Just do it.

Prayer:

Lord let this day be our day – so that we may both look back on it and say that it was good. Amen.

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