Christianity

Discover the many names of God

Recently, I have been sharing with the UCB team some of my own discoveries about the names of God. I have often said: ‘If you want to know who God is, look at His names’. Throughout the Bible, God is given many names, and each of them reveal a precious truth about his qualities and character. I find it very encouraging to read these names as they help me to understand more and more about God’s ‘character’ and what He feels about us, His creation.

Jehovah-raah – The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23)

In Psalm 23, David describes the Lord as ‘my shepherd’. I love the way David personalised it by saying not the Lord is THE Shepherd but MY Shepherd. Praise God that He is our Shepherd too, for God is a relational God. This picture of ‘The Lord Our Shepherd’ reveals some of His characteristics: He is good, He protects, He guides, He nurtures, He lays down his life. And in times of confusion or grief, let’s never, ever forget that He is OUR SHEPHERD too.

Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14 and Philippians 4:19)

In Philippians 4:19, it says ‘My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’   We are reminded that Jehovah-Jireh knows our every need because He sees everything, including what you need. If the Lord was able to meet Abraham’s need by providing a ram caught in the thicket that was offered in place of Isaac, He’s also able to meet our needs at just the right time. Fear not, the name Jehovah-Jireh guarantees that your Heavenly Father is able to provide any need you have.

Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our peace (Judges 6:24)

The Hebrew word ‘shalom’, translated as ‘peace’, not only speaks of the absence of noise, strife or conflict – it speaks of wholeness, completeness, trustworthiness, and happiness. True and ultimate peace is found in God alone, and this comes to us when we focus our lives on God and put our trust in Him. His Word says ‘Are you weary and troubled? Well why not place your total trust in Jehovah-Shalom, and He will keep you in perfect peace’ (Isaiah 26:3).

Jehovah Rapha – The Lord who heals (Psalm 23 and Exodus 15)

It was in the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites that God first revealed His name as Jehovah-Rapha. After crossing the Red Sea, Moses led them into the Wilderness of Shur, where they went 3 days without water. Eventually, they came across the waters of Marah, but they could not drink from the waters, for they were bitter. So the people complained against Moses, and Moses then cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, which he cast into the waters. In a moment, the waters were made sweet. The Lord does not only heal waters, He heals people too. If the Lord was able to heal the waters at Marah so that His people could drink, He is also able to heal us from any disease (Psalm 103:3). When we’re weak, Jehovah-Rapha will renew our strength the same way He did for David (Psalm 23:3 NLT).

Living in a stressful and chaotic world in these unprecedented times, the name Jehovah-Rapha speaks to us that our bitter experiences can be transformed into sweet ones, and yes, we are confronted with new problems every day that make us sometimes want to give up and give in. But we can count upon the Lord to heal and renew our strength. Jehovah is the Great Physician who not only heals our physical and emotional needs, but He also heals and restores whatever spiritual needs we may have.

Stand upon God’s promise today! His Word declares that ‘The Lord is Your Keeper/ Your Provider/ Your Peace/ Your Healer.’ Don’t ever allow the enemy to tell you otherwise.

Christianity

When the disciples were in isolation…

Right across our world, we have not just a physical pandemic of sickness but we also have a ‘pandemic of fear’.  Right from the start of Genesis, fear has always been used by the enemy of our souls, but praise God that His Word has so much to say about how we can face fear with faith! As we are approaching Easter, it is a good time to reflect on the death of Jesus and how, even after his execution, the close disciples became imprisoned in fear and went into hiding and isolation. And one could even say ‘and rightly so’ because there was a very real threat to their lives.

John 20:19 tells us that on the evening of the first day, they were together, not just hiding in a room, but in self isolation ‘behind locked doors’. It must have been a very distressing time. Their best friend and Saviour had been publicly executed, and they must have been very shocked by all they had witnessed. In fact in fear for his life, Peter had denied knowing Jesus, and now they were all hiding behind locked doors, isolated from the whole world.

This picture hidden away in a room is an illustration to me of what the enemy tries to do in our lives – he wants us to isolate from each other. I am not in any way belittling the pandemic that we are currently facing, but I believe the enemy knows that fear is his greatest weapon in all of this. With just one news headline or a phone call from a friend repeating something they have heard, whole families and communities can become paralysed by fear of ‘what might happen’. It might be the fear of the coronavirus, any other ill health, or losing your job, etc. It does not matter, for it all has the same outcome – it holds us back from all that God wants us to do. It was the same for the disciples in this account in John. Just a few days before, they had been enjoying a Passover meal with Jesus, and now they were in hiding, trying to preserve their lives. They were unable to move forward, and they were in total isolation.


The amazing part of this story is that when Jesus appeared to them, He asked them ‘Why are you frightened?’

In Luke 24:36, Jesus asked them ‘Why do you doubt that it is really I? Look at my hands! Look at my feet! You can see that it is I, myself! Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost! For ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!’ As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see the marks of the nails and showed them the wounds in his feet.

Luke 24:41 says ‘Still they stood there undecided, filled with joy and doubt.’ Even when Jesus appeared to them in power and wonder after being so brutally killed, they were still not sure whether they could believe their eyes!

In whatever situation we find ourselves in, even if we are in total isolation, Jesus has promised to be with us in every situation, for His Word declares: ‘I will never leave you nor never forsake you’ (Heb 13:5).

From my own experience, I found His manifest presence to be the strongest when I have been in the middle of the fiercest, raging storms of life.

The journey of faith is not always an easy one, and sometimes even when we know and experience Jesus in the middle of the situations we face, we wonder if He really will save us.

This story speaks to us of the heart and mercy of Jesus. He appeared to the isolated disciples in the middle of all their doubt and confusion, and then he ate a meal with them. As they listened to all that he said, the Word of God tells us that they ‘opened their minds to understand at last the Scriptures.’

I believe that faith is a journey. We do not always feel full of faith, but we can make a decision to trust in all that God has said to us.

Faith is not the absence of fear – it is the mastering of fear.

For me, the story of Easter speaks to us of hope, of life, and of Jesus meeting us in the middle of our confusion and reminding us that we have nothing to fear.

Christianity

A Christian response to Coronavirus

The news about coronavirus is all over the media and is heard in almost every conversation. This is a very unusual situation, and we can choose to respond in one of two ways: with fear or with faith.

It is very interesting to see how people around the world are reacting differently. Some people are reacting by panic buying (and emptying the shelves), while others seem to be almost indifferent. For me, the question is how should we, as believers, respond?

First of all, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this sickness: individuals, families, health services, and communities as well as national leaders and governments. They all need God’s wisdom and guidance as they deal with this situation. And for us as a nation, where do we find healing when every day, the news seems to grow even more serious?

For me personally, my only advice is to stand firmly upon God’s Word, for that is where I find my comfort and strength. God’s Word has been the anchor for my own family in very desperate times, and it is the one thing that we can ALWAYS rely on. God’s Word never changes, and it contains all we need for hope, comfort, healing, wisdom and guidance.

If you are fearful, grieving or broken today, let the truth of God’s Word sink into your heart.

But you may say ‘What if we can’t stop this virus? What if it becomes widespread in the United Kingdom or wherever I live, as some experts predict?’

Well let’s stand firm upon His Word! Psalm 112:6-8 is a great encouraging reminder as to what our response should be. It says: ‘For the righteous will never be moved, he will be remembered forever, he is not afraid of bad news, his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord, his heart is steady, he will not be afraid.’

We all have to face bad news at some point in our life. If it’s not the virus, it will be something else. Let’s remind ourselves that we live in a fallen and broken world where suffering and even death are inevitable. To deny this truth would be lying to ourselves, but we as Christians do not need to fear bad news. It is important to not be in denial, and as a nation, we should take all sensible precautions, but we do not need to be crippled by the fear of what ‘might happen’. The psalmist demonstrates that it is possible to look bad news right in the face and say ‘You will NOT rule my heart.’ Our emotions may sway, but we will not be blown off course.

You might think that is easy for me to write, but practically, how can we rise above the circumstances when we are surrounded by fear?

Well, here are some practical responses:

Prayer

Pray in FAITH. Remember faith is not denying fear but mastering it. What you fear the most reveals where you trust God the least. Therefore, put your faith in God and watch as He starts to eradicate your fears. ‘Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer… believe that you have received it… and it will be yours’ (Mark 11:24).

Prepare

Prepare WISELY. Don’t deny the facts, but plan wisely and let’s be aware of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12 KJV: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ And the preceding verse tells us to be well prepared to ‘put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.’

Proclaim

Proclaim HOPE. In this world of uncertainty, we can have great confidence as we hold on to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. And it enables us to ‘Rejoice in hope… be patient in tribulation… continue steadfastly in prayer’(Romans 12).

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit‘ (Romans 15:13).

Christianity

Watch your words…

When I was a child on my first day at a new school, a teacher asked the class what we wanted to do when we grew up. When it was my turn, I told her I wanted to be a surgeon, and she laughed. She said ‘Do you realise David, that is a lot of studying? I can’t see you doing it. I can see you emptying bins.’

For many years, those words stayed with me and sometimes informed the decisions I made. Was there any point in trying if I wasn’t capable of achieving much? However, when I rededicated my life to the Lord when I was 18, everything changed! I discovered what God thought about me, and I discovered that His Word could delete the past and delete all the harmful words that had impacted my life. Although I had no educational qualifications, the Word of God showed me that man’s labels do not matter. The only labels I should be concerned with are God’s labels!

Over the years, I have discovered that while God’s words are the most important, the words we use and what we choose to believe as a result can also have an impact on our lives. Proverbs 23:7 says ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’, and I believe it’s important to be aware of the reality of our words and our thoughts.

Our thoughts will affect what we say and our words will affect who we are. Proverbs 18:21 says: ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue’, and so we should never underestimate the power of our thoughts and our words to shape destinies and our own future. Words can kill marriages and relationships and destroy churches and ministries. But words can also bring life, hope, healing, and reconciliation.

In a world which seems to be more divided than ever before (especially on social media), we need peacemakers and reconcilers, believers who will use their words to reflect the life and peace that is found through Jesus. Luke 6:45 says: ‘A good man produces good deeds from a good heart. And an evil man produces evil deeds from his hidden wickedness. Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech.’

I want my heart to be full of God’s Word, full of praise to Him, for what is in my heart will flow out into my words and then out into my actions.

Can I challenge you today? What are you thinking about? What are you saying? What are you believing? Are they words of life and hope that reflect what God says about you and the situations you are facing? Or are they words of death and despondency?

As a young man, another person’s negative words could have shaped my whole life, but I am thankful for the revelation of God’s Word which showed me the truth.

Christianity

What is your purpose?

Sometimes, if I ever drive past a cemetery, I don’t think about the people who are buried there but about the purpose buried there. How many songs went unsung? How many poems and stories went unwritten? The truth is, many people leave this world not knowing or realising their purpose. And today, many more are also living without knowing or realising their purpose. Many people simply do not know that God breathes purpose into every living thing, and He has also breathed purpose into you and me.

For me personally, I discovered my purpose when I rededicated my life to God. I did not yet know what God’s plans were for my life, but I knew I had a purpose. It took me many years to discover God’s plan, but because I knew He had a purpose for me, I was just as content back then being a janitor as I am today being a CEO.

So, how do you find your purpose?

Don’t confuse plans with purpose

The definition of purpose is, the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

The definition of plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. An intention or decision about what one is going to do.

We all have plans for our lives. Someday I will do this or someday I will do that. That is not your purpose; those are your plans. And all our plans are meaningless if we do not understand our purpose. God first puts a sense of purpose into our heart. We might not know what the plan is, but He will use our lives, our natural gifts, and our sense of purpose to help move us into His plan.

If we knew the plan in advance, we might run away

In the Bible, God gave Joseph a clear purpose. Joseph knew through dreams that he was to be a leader. He did not know that to get to that point, he would face rape allegations, prison and isolation. If God had revealed the plan up front, he might have run in the opposite direction. But through all of those trials, God was shaping Joseph, making him ready for the plan of leadership

It’s not about you

When God started to reveal His plan for my life, I began to realise His plan was not about me at all. It was about Him using me to reach others. God wanted to take my passion, my gift, my sense of purpose and use them all to bring about His plan in my life and also help to release that in others’ lives. So many Biblical characters were used by God to bring about change for others. Mary was handpicked to deliver a messiah who would save the world. Paul was given the task of leaving everything behind in order to carry the message of salvation all across the Middle East. They were not ‘special’ people. They simply knew they had a purpose, and they allowed God to use them (and their gifts) to bring about His plan.

Can I encourage you today that you have a purpose. Everything God creates has a purpose, and we each have a job to do. If you do not feel that you do, ask God to plant His sense of purpose into your life. He might not show you what is ahead, but when you know deep down that you have a heavenly purpose, everything in your life will change.

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Devotional, Evangelism, Faith

What will be your legacy?

In the 1980s, I attended some of Billy Graham’s meetings as part of Mission England.

At the time, I was struck by how much preparation, and particularly prayer, went into the planning and execution of these events. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association had a structure which was modelled around prayer and the Word of God. This was a structure that Billy had used with his own family. His son Franklin recalls that as a child, their days started and ended with family devotions, and Franklin credits the longevity of his parents’ marriage to the fact they read the Scriptures together every day.

As news broke recently that Billy had gone home to be with the Lord, news sites across the world told the story. For younger audiences who did not know who Billy was, his story was re-told. Even here in the UK, our major news and radio channels covered his passing, and for me, it was remarkable to see the amazing legacy that Billy Graham had left behind.

Billy was very much the ‘front man’ of his ministry, but it was not something he sought or chased after. His message was always faithful to the Gospel, and he used every opportunity to tell people about Jesus.

He started his ministry on radio, and by the end of his life, by preaching in auditoriums, stadiums and travelling globally, millions had been won to Christ, not just through his direct ministry but through the ministry of those who had come to faith because of attending a Billy Graham event. George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilisation, was one of them. He accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour at a Billy Graham crusade, and years later, his ministry has impacted the lives of many, many more around the world.

In many ways, this was a revival that we never really called a revival. We tend to see revival as being an experience of the manifest presence of God, which compels people en masse to turn their hearts to Jesus. This is what happened throughout Billy’s ministry.

During Mission England, I saw it with my own eyes as thousands streamed to the front to accept Jesus into their lives, filling the front and the aisles. How we long to see this again!

Last week, as we heard the news of Billy’s passing, I thought of Mark 4:8-9, where Jesus tells the parable of the sower: ‘Still another seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.’ If anyone’s life produced a ‘hundredfold’ crop, it was Billy’s!

There is much we can draw from the example of one man’s life. We might never reach millions with the good news of Jesus, but each of us has a circle of influence. We might never be a Billy Graham in terms of numbers, but we can each reach people we know. We all have a story to tell, and even the way we speak and live our lives can be a powerful testimony to a world looking for answers.

And we can pray! We can pray for the people we might never meet or reach, and a life soaked in prayer can reap so much.

Can I encourage you today? You might never speak in an auditorium of thousands or have a public ministry, but you can make a difference to one person by sharing with them the love of Jesus.

Let our legacy one day say that we were men and women of God who shared the Gospel with all who ‘had ears to hear’.

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Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Devotional, Faith, Forgiveness

How to have hope

Our country has been rocked by a terrorist attack.

Although I am from France, I have lived here for more than 40 years, and my wife and I raised our family here. The UK is our home.

I was in France in November 2015 when terrorists attacked Paris. I was in the middle of an exciting week of mission at my brother’s church, and we were seeing incredible miracles, lives set free, and people commit their lives to Christ.

We were full of excitement at what God was doing, and then we heard the horrific news. Our hearts were broken, just as they are today, for the people of London, for all those who have been injured, for all those who have lost someone.   

We have seen some incredible acts of bravery, a MP who fought to save the life of an injured police officer, doctors, nurses, police and ordinary members of the public who have put their own lives at risk to help protect ours.   

We are so thankful to live in a country that is able to respond quickly and with deep compassion in the face of a tragedy.

As Christians, we sometimes wonder what to say in the face of such a terrible situation. But on the Sunday morning after the attacks in Paris, our church in France took great comfort from God’s Word in Psalm 37:

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong 

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.  

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. 

Let us always go to God’s Word for our answers. His Word (John 1:5) says that the darkness in the world will get darker, but that darkness will never extinguish light. In fact, that light (His light) will continue to shine brighter, and the darkness CANNOT overcome it. 

That is where I get my hope.

Let’s pray with passion for our world and all those who are suffering and grieving today.   

And may God’s light, His inextinguishable light, shine ever brighter in the middle of the darkness we see.

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Devotional

The power of telling your story.

I believe that we each have a story to tell, and I think it is important that we are ready (at any time) to tell it, both in words and in the way we live our lives.

In Mark 5, the story is told of Jesus healing the daughter of Jairus. She had been very sick, and as the daughter of a religious leader, it is likely she would have been well-known in her community. But as Jesus arrived at her home, it was too late. She had already died.

All around and inside the house were mourners, people yelling and crying about the loss of this little girl. Jesus was confronted with the reality and finality of human death. He immediately told all the mourners to leave the house, and then he took the girl’s hand and restored her back to life. And then in a puzzling verse, Jesus told the family to ‘tell no one’. It was not just a suggestion, it was a command.

In other parts of Scripture, we are told about the power of testimony, so why would Jesus command the family to keep quiet? I read this story again recently, and I believe there is a simple answer. As Jairus was the leader of the synagogue, he and his family would have been well-known and respected in the community. When Jesus arrived at their home, the house was already full of mourners, so the locals already knew that she was dead. So when Jesus brought her back to life, there was no need to tell anyone. She was a living, breathing testimony. She was the story.

Saint Francis of Assisi once said: ‘Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary.’ Many have debated this saying, but personally, I believe it means that when we have been transformed by the power of God, our lives are a walking, living testimony. We can use words to tell our story (and it is important to do so), but the words need to be backed up with evidence of a life which is changed. We can all debate words and philosophies and theology, but no one can argue with a story and a life which has been transformed.

When Jesus healed a blind man in John 9:13-25, the Pharisees questioned the man to ask how this had happened. They wanted to debate theology with him, but he simply replied: ‘I was blind, but now I see.’ Who can argue with that?!

We all have a story to share. Some may have been healed and set free or restored. For others, it may be that they were aware of God’s presence in a difficult time, but I believe we should always be ready to demonstrate and tell our story.

Here are some practical ideas:

Tell the truth

This might seem obvious, but it is important to not tamper with or change the details of the story. It can be tempting to add (or take away) details, but in doing so, we can remove all the power. Tell your story and allow God to add power to your words.

Tell your story in chapters

Imagine your life story as a book – full of different chapters. You do not have to tell the full story, but you can share different chapters at appropriate times. Depending on who I am speaking to, I use different ‘chapters’ of my testimony. Sometimes I will share the story of how I, as a rebellious young man, came to England and met God powerfully. Or I might share about the time we had no money or petrol in the car, but we prayed and God provided in a miraculous way. Or, as I have shared here, I might tell the chapter when we lost our son Jamie. You do not have to tell the whole story. The individual chapters can be just as powerful.

Some stories don’t end well

In 1988, a few weeks before we lost our son Jamie, our friends’ daughter Sarah was taken very seriously ill with meningitis. I will tell her story in a future blog post, but God stepped in and healed Sarah in a miraculous way. A few weeks later, we lost our son, and it led to many questions about why God would heal one child and yet take another. Even though our family’s story did not end the way we wanted it to, it is still a story of God’s amazing provision and faithfulness. Even if your story did not conclude the way you wanted it to, you can still tell of how God sustained you in the difficult times.

The enemy will try to stop you.

I believe the enemy knows the power of testimony. The original Hebrew root of the word ‘testimony’ means to ‘do it again’.  In other words, when we share our testimony, we are literally encouraging others to believe that God CAN ‘do it again’. The enemy will try to quench the power of stories, and he will try to stop you from sharing yours, but when you tell your story, you are saying to the world ‘God is alive and He is at work in my life.’ There is huge power in that.

I believe that God wants to ‘do it again’. Do you have a story to share? Why don’t you start to tell it?

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At UCB, we love to hear your stories. If UCB has helped you in some way (either through something you have read, heard or watched), we would love to hear from you. You can fill in the form below and one of our team will contact you for more information.

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Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity

How to be a good leader

As the UK welcomes Theresa May into the top job at Number 10 (and she assembles her new team) I have been thinking this week about what makes a good leader.

We are all leaders of one kind or another. You do not have to run a country or a big organisation to be a leader. You might lead a group at church, you might be the leader in your home. Nearly all of us have the capacity to lead, and there are some good principles about leadership qualities in Psalm 15. However, I think the way Jesus lived His life gives us the best model of how to be a good leader.

Jesus wasn’t self-promoting

As leaders we can sometimes fall in to the trap of thinking we are better than others. Sadly some leaders have achieved their position by self-promotion and by dishonouring others on their way to the top. But Jesus never promoted Himself. He did not have to. His good works were so obvious that others talked about Him, and news about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee (Mark 1:28).  

Jesus was all about relationships

Jesus knew how to assemble a good team, but unlike selecting a new Cabinet, He did not always pick people with experience and the right skills. The disciples were a mixed group of individuals from very different backgrounds. Jesus was more concerned about relationships and about releasing people into their full potential. True leadership should be relational, not transactional. In other words, leadership is not about what I can get from other people but about the relationships and the people I can develop. I believe a strong leader builds a good team in order to eventually release them to go into all the world (Mark 16:15).

Jesus knew who He was

Jesus knew who He was. He wasn’t threatened by others or insecure.  We have to get our ultimate security from who we are in Christ, not in our job, in leadership, or our position in life.

Jesus wasn’t afraid of confrontation

Jesus wasn’t afraid to deal with issues as they came up. He confronted the Pharisees, and in one very famous scene, overthrew the merchants’ tables in the temple. As leaders, we should not be afraid to confront issues, but at the same time, we have to be discerning about the issues we do confront. It is easy to confront the wrong thing, so we need to know when to speak and when to remain silent.

Jesus knew when to stop talking.  

When facing the toughest test of His life, standing before Pilate, Jesus did not speak. He was being confronted with vile, untrue allegations and was being mocked, but He chose to remain silent. Sometimes we feel the need to defend ourselves, and it is true that sometimes we do need to speak up and stand for what is right, but we must also learn when to remain silent. Sometimes saying nothing at all is the best thing we can do.

Jesus was compassionate

Jesus met many sick and dying and distressed people, and His heart was always filled with compassion for them. I think compassion has to ‘possess’ us. We need to feel compassion for those around us: dream it, live it, and experience compassion in all areas of our lives. It is easy to become hardened to the things we see around us, but Jesus’ life was all about compassion, about seeing the needs of people and releasing them into freedom.

The UK is in a time of unprecedented change, and with a new Prime Minister and Government in charge, we need to keep the leaders of our country in prayer. My personal prayer for Theresa May is that God would bless her and that He would enlarge her capacity for peace, compassion, care, love and mercy.

I pray that as the government leads our country into an unknown future, that God would give our leaders wisdom so that together, we can stand united once again.

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Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Devotional, Evangelism, Faith, Healing, Hope, Miracles

Look to the future – what do you see?

Over the last few weeks, I have been spending some time with God, seeking the way forward for UCB as a ministry. I have been rejoicing about the past and those who have gone before us, but also rejoicing about the many lives which have been changed and transformed by the power of God’s Word.

I recently met with a group of UCB supporters and shared what I see for the future. I want to share the same message with you and give you a glimpse of what I am seeing today. It is a glimpse that came from the challenge Jesus gave to his disciples when He said to them: ‘Lift up your eyes, and look at the fields and see how white and ready they are for the harvest’ (John 4:35).

Instead of looking at the gloom and despondency and brokenness that is in our world today, God wants us to see what He sees.

Here is what I see.

I see God turning the hearts of a godless society back to Himself.

I see a church living and operating in the power of the Gospel.

I see our government, our laws, our society being reshaped by the truth of God’s Word.

I see family units coming together into the knowledge and the transformation of God’s power, from the toughest parts of the cities to the most rural parts of our country.

I see every generation, should it be young or old, knowing their worth and experiencing value and a purpose for their lives.

I see people standing for what it is true and becoming intolerant for all the right reasons – intolerant of wrongdoing, intolerant of injustice.

I see people getting ready to answer God’s call like they have never done before. I see people standing together totally united for their cities and not afraid to say ‘We are the Church’.

I see the Church mobilised to take the Gospel to the towns, villages and the cities, making disciples and being totally committed to what God has called them to do.

I see changing statistics: relationships being restored, addictions broken. I see miracles to be the order of the day in the life of our society because the Church is acting like true light and salt like never before.

I see an army of young people having visions, and I see older people, instead of being put ‘on the shelf,’ having dreams like they have never had before, supporting and standing with the younger generation.

I truly believe and see a day coming when God will pour His Spirit upon all flesh. I see the young and the old, the children and the grandparents lifting the banner of victory, looking at their society and truly believing that God has a message of hope, and using every means possible to lift up that message of truth.

You might say ‘Dave, you’re living in cuckoo land, you’re dreaming!’

But I am seeing only what Jesus spoke of to his disciples, and I am saying that it is time that we lift up your eyes from the negative, from the oppressive, from the depressive, and recognise that the fields are white for harvest.

And therefore it is time. I believe that we as a ministry, and you as partners and supporters, must actually start to switch on and see what God wants us to see.

And let’s believe that the enemy will not have the upper hand.  He may think that he has the best strategy – to steal, to kill, to destroy – but the verse does not stop there because Jesus says even to us today through His Word that He came that we might have life – and not just life, but life to the full (John 10:10).

I strongly believe we are moving into an unprecedented hour and that we as a ministry need to be ready like never before. We need to be ready for people to be resourced and helped in their faith. And we need to be ready to resource the church, for I believe they will not be able to cope with the amount of people who will be coming in.   They need to have reliable content.

There is a saying in media that ‘content is king’. This means that all our strategies are of no use if our content – if what we write or share on air – is not good. I believe today, though, that God is turning that around and saying: ‘The KING is the content.’

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