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Faith(ful)

Christianity

When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him, “You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered. Half the tribe of Manasseh and the tribes of Reuben and Gad had already received their grants of land on the east side of the Jordan, for Moses, the servant of the Lord , had previously assigned this land to them. 
Joshua 13:1, 8 NLT

I myself will drive these people out of the land ahead of the Israelites. So be sure to give this land to Israel as a special possession, just as I have commanded you.
Joshua 13:6 NLT

Having faith and being faithful are not the same, though they are linked. Having faith means that you believe that something will happen. Being faithful implies that you are dependable – people can rely on you and trust what you say.

God listed the land which had still not been captured and cleared for the Israelites, but he told Joshua to include it in the land that would be shared out to the tribes as if it had already been overcome. He said that he would clear the people out of these lands. It took faith on Joshua’s part to include these lands in the share-out.

But it took more than faith to see it actually happen. God said he would clear out the land ahead of the Israelites – they had to do their bit: to follow God. They had to be faithful and serve him. In the end, they weren’t and it took 400 years of struggles to get the land.

I can have all the faith in the world but unless I follow God when he goes ahead, I’m not going to see what I have faith for.

I need to have faith and be faithful at the same time. 

Putting on a brave face

Christianity

The recent riots in England have been quite alarming, even just watching them on the TV. It must have been terrifying for those living nearby and especially for those who have been affected by them. One of the saddest parts for me was the furniture store which was burnt down. It was a quite unique building, housing a family firm with a history over 150 years. The photos of the building before the fire showed that the outside was really lovely, a building with real style. I have no idea what the inside was like, but I imagine that it was like most old shops – not quite right for today’s businesses.

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Well, well! Will, will!

Christianity

How big is your faith?
In our Celebrate Recovery programme, we have been talking quite a bit about faith and, to help people get a grasp of what Jesus said about faith (Matthew 17:20), we gave everyone a mustard seed. If we have faith that big, we can move a mountain. It has quite an impact when you do this – but I strongly recommend that you sellotape the mustard seed to a piece of paper – the last thing you want to happen is that they lose the mustard seed, because that is just a powerful anti-message that faith can be easily lost!

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Stormy whether

Christianity

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (Matt 8:23-26, NLT)
I am very aware of the fact that the Bible is a living word that speaks into the situation that you find yourself in. So often I read a passage and it means something different or something more than it ever did before.
Sometimes, though, I think this is often the case because I don’t think deeply enough about it – I just scan read, just as I have always skimmed the passage in the past, and I miss something, or put something in that was never there. This passage in Matthew is one such story.

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A sign of things to come

Christianity

For most of my life IT has been a very prominent feature. Information Technology has improved exponentially during the last few years, and we can get the information we are looking for at the touch of a few buttons. But we get loads of information without pressing buttons. Just look around you – it’s everywhere! I don’t know how many signs there are in the UK. It must be a huge number. Everywhere you look there is one in front of you, probably more than one.
During World War 2, the UK Government removed all the road signs so that if the Germans invaded they would get lost – or it would at the least slow down their advance. Can you imagine the chaos that would happen if they did that now? If every sign suddenly disappeared, there would be total disaster. Think about it – all the road signs, street signs gone in an instant! It would be OK for the locals, but others would get lost in no time. There would be jams as cars go the wrong way up one-way streets, accidents as drivers go straight across without giving way. Just imagine the house numbers being removed from people’s homes – how would you find anyone?

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