‘Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.’ Matthew 6:34 TLB
The story’s told of a clock that spent a great deal of time worrying about its future, reasoning that it had to tick twice each second. ‘How much ticking might that be?’ the clock thought. So it began to calculate that it would tick 120 times each minute, which is 7,200 times each hour. That meant in a twenty-four-hour day it would have to tick 172,800 times, and 63,072,000 times every year. By this time the clock began to get overwhelmed and sweat profusely. Finally, it calculated that in a ten-year period it would have to tick 630,720,000 times – and at that point the clock collapsed with a nervous breakdown.
Psychologists reckon that about 95 per cent of all we worry about never happens. What about the other 5 per cent? Four out of five times things turn out better than we anticipated, including a lot of outright blessings! In the end, only 1 per cent of all the bad we think might happen actually does, and of this it’s rarely as bad as we feared. That’s why Jesus said, ‘Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.’ The apostle Peter gives us the right perspective to live by in these words: ‘Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully’ (1 Peter 5:7 AMPC). So the word for today is – don’t obsess over the future.
This was todays reading from UCB. You can find it here –
From all of us here at ESPS Ministries, we wish you and yours a very happy and blessed year ahead.
I’m sure that none of us imagined that we would be starting this New Year in another National Lockdown. God knows though, and none of this is a surprise to Him. May all of us be able to rest in His divine peace and trust Him implicitly in every way in this season.
As promised, we are releasing today audio versions of all our seminars from our Annual Conference 2020. You will find these on our website in our ‘Conference & Events Section’. (https://espsministries.org/esps-conference-audio)
Fred Drummond (National Director of E.A.) - A wonderful message on ‘The Theology of Lament’ especially applicable in this season.
Rev Maggie Lane - Shares such a beautifully encouraging word for us all on ‘The Power of Perseverance’.
Donna MacNeil (National Director ESPS Ministries) – A motivational message for all who are married on understanding and balancing your marriage alongside ministry life.
Rev Tommy MacNeil – A timely and inspiring look at ‘Covid and the Kingdom’ and ‘How to thrive and not just survive’ during the pandemic.
As together we look forward to all that God has for us in the year ahead, be blessed by holding on and embracing the many promises of God’s word, as in John 14v27.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Had a dream last night that my car could be controlled remotely from home. In the dream I found It seemed to have a life of its own and was going where it wanted and was no longer being controlled by me! I laughed and laughed. This was not an “oh no!” moment, but a full of joy moment.
“Cars” in my language mean ministry. I think the interpretation is obvious and hardly needs a dream to teach it, but a dream was given nonetheless, and I thank the Holy Spirit for it. The meaning is that, ventures online for the sake of Christ whether by me or by you reach more lives and places than we would predict and have the potential to expand the truth and love of Christ into lives of people in this land and beyond with whom otherwise we would have no contact. It is certainly not a replacement to local gatherings meeting together, but it is powerful nonetheless.
In the dream I also shut an old bible in the back seat of the car. Through online ventures the truth and reign of the King can tour the land. All that is required is people willing to be a chauffeur. When you know you are a chauffeur to Majesty, well you treasure that in your heart, but no one really notices you when you open the door and the King steps out. All eyes are on him.
When you have been humbled by the honour of being called and chosen as a servant to Majesty, that direction of attention away from you is your deepest satisfaction. It is why you accepted the job offer at the start. It is what you live and work to see happen.
“The Word of God is not chained.”
“Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end.”
In many of our homes, and all around us, preparations are well underway for Christmas.
This year some have followed the idea this year of putting up Christmas trees and decorations just a bit earlier than usual. There are different competitions going on in many neighbourhoods- best outside light displays, best decorated windows, best decorated trees etc.. The shops are full of presents and tempting goodies, the tv is rolling out the Christmas movies and the internet is awash with recipes, fancy wrapping and gift ideas. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Whether it’s a scaled down get together or scaled back spending because of pandemic repercussions, we remain resolute on celebrating as best we can. We are all looking to find a bit more joy and kindness, familiarity and comfort as we embrace the season. And no wonder after such a tumultuous year.
Christmas may be becoming more secularised, but the core remains the same. The wonder of God’s Son being born. The greatest gift to our world. The hope of a Saviour and Redeemer, the blessing of knowing Jesus in our hearts and lives.
Before the pressures and preparations of bringing Christmas to everyone else, there is an ever-open invitation for each of us to embrace. A quiet time, with the Light of the World and King of Kings for ourselves. Just to be, to adore, to connect, to receive.
We know too well how operating in ministerial auto pilot can rob us of personal time with God. It’s beautifully restorative to just sit with a coffee and read the scriptures. Reflecting and listening for the voice of God. I remember a seasoned preacher once said that if you need encouragement and to hear God’s voice- then start reading through the book of psalms until your heart connects. That’s good advice! Or why not mull over the Christmas story in a different translation to your normal. Find a moment in a comfy chair, mute the phone, and play your favourite worship music or Christmas carols. It really is that simple. I know because I’ve done it, even when at times I had to literally drag myself to this sacred space. We never lose out when we do. God is always there. Watching, waiting, longing, loving, protecting, cheering us on. As we court His presence He can never resist. There is no sustenance like it, as we posture our hearts in awe of His Majesty.
Christmas is coming….and our beautiful Jesus is already here.