Encouragement From The Word

Looking for a sign

Signs:  they’re everywhere.  Whether it’s the little red octagonal stop sign at the intersection in front of you, or the big yellow stylized M on the main drag advertising the local Slurp ‘n’ Burp™, signs are everywhere.

Sometimes, they’re so ubiquitous that we become overwhelmed and fail to see even the signs we need to see.

Advent is a season of waiting, a season of looking, searching for the perfect gift.  We look for signs, whether it’s to yield to traffic or to find the store we want to shop in.

Ironically – or maybe not – the greatest sign is already among us.  So is the most perfect gift.

All right, then, the Lord himself will give you the sign.  Look!  The virgin will conceive a child!  She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)” (Isaiah 7.14, NLT).

That prophecy has come to pass.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem, he lived and undertook his ministry, he died to atone for our sins, and rose again to bring us eternal life.  He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father to pray for us.  And he gave us his Holy Spirit, so that he would continue to live in us and through us.

The sign is before us.  The gift is within us.  Look no further!

Encouragement From The Word

Let God surprise you!

Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. Young David, who can’t even walk in a suit of armour at his age and strength, volunteers to take on the mammoth Philistine, Goliath, who has been the poster boy for the enemy of God’s people in that time. With God on his side and five smooth stones in his satchel, he takes aim with his slingshot and beans Goliath in such a way that he is felled like a giant redwood tree, and slain.

The unlikeliest of heroes, David the youngster slew Goliath the giant. And for that reason, among others, David lives on in infamy.

This week, at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, there has been some outstanding women’s curling going on. Perhaps most remarkable, at least as of this writing, has been a David-and-Goliath story: the Nova Scotia team, with a losing record, beat both Manitoba and Team Canada – two of the three top contenders – on Wednesday. Nobody expected it, which is what made it particularly remarkable. Even though Nova Scotia isn’t going to win the Scotties, that team will be remembered for its surprising victories.

There are times that we aren’t convinced we have what it takes to undertake a task. We might question our gifting, our ability; or we might think that someone else – maybe anyone else – would be better suited to the job. When that happens, let me encourage you to step back from the situation for a few moments, and prayerfully consider whether God has drawn you, maybe even called you to the task. And if God has called you to it, you can be sure God will give you the requisite tools to accomplish it.

Don’t think, “I’m too young,” or “I’m too small,” or “Jane would be better at this than I would.” If you’ve been asked to take something on, the individual who has asked surely believes you have what it takes; do you believe it? Believing that you and God together can make it happen can be all the encouragement you need. Remember David; remember Team Nova Scotia. Remember your gifts! Let God surprise you.

The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (1 Samuel 17.37, NLT).

Biblical Messages

Why Do I Need The Holy Spirit?

Many mainline churches have a different idea of the Trinity.  Instead of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, they have “Father, Son and Holy Bible.”  The Spirit doesn’t come into play, and there are varieties of reasons for this – none of them legitimate!

The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to the church, and today’s message highlights that the Spirit should not be the “Forgotten God”.  Based on John 14.15-31, you can listen to this message here: