Child of God

He's got the whole world in His hands!

“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house, you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

Hello again. I hope you’re all safe, well and not doing too much coveting! I’ve always found the Seven Deadly Sins of the Bible an interesting topic. Looking through them, I suppose we have all been guilty of at least some of them!

According to the Bible, to covet is to wish to have someone else’s possessions. It goes beyond simply admiring someone’s possessions or thinking you’d like to have one. It means resenting the fact that others have what you don’t. God knows that possessions never make anyone happy for long. Since only He can supply all our needs, true contentment is found only in Him.

Kev and I regularly take walks in the nearby countryside and frequently gaze enviously at big, beautiful houses and gardens. We live in a ground-floor flat with small communal gardens and it’s comfortable and perfectly adequate for our needs. But that doesn’t stop us dreaming! We certainly don’t begrudge the owners of these wonderful properties, so I don’t think we’re actually coveting.

“How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?” (Proverbs 6:9)

Proverbs warns against giving in to the temptation of laziness, of sleeping instead of working.

As previously mentioned, this is my favourite deadly sin! I am very fond of my bed; I’m a sleep addict. I’ve never been one of those people who struggle to get enough sleep, unlike Kev, my husband. It does have a downside to it, though, as I often sleep too late and then feel terribly guilty when I eventually shuffle out of my pit!

“And put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” (Proverbs 23:2)

The sin of gluttony is a form of idolatry, as you are using eating and drinking to excess as a way of self-comforting. Many people use food and drink to comfort themselves. When I’m upset or worried, I cannot eat but I have been guilty of over-indulging in alcohol for these reasons.

When I was young, I had a big appetite and could really put away my ‘grub’, although I was very slim. Sadly, with age, those days are a distant memory! I still enjoy food but cannot eat anywhere near the quantities I used to eat, but my body size and shape don't reflect that - oh the joys of getting older! But I can be a bit of a piggy where chocolate liqueurs are concerned!😀

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement.” (Matthew 5:22)

God regards anger as a great sin because it violates His command to love. It’s a dangerous emotion that could get out of control, leading to violence or even murder. There is only one kind of anger that God will sanction and that is righteous anger. We experience this when we witness injustice, hunger, hatred and cruelty. Looking at the news headlines each day, I have no doubt that most of us feel angry about what is going on in the world.

One of my many weaknesses is a short temper and I frequently have to bite my tongue but sometimes lose the battle. This results in my saying something that I am sorry for and my prayers are full of confession for ill-advised words!

Money - the root of all evil?

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Jesus says that the good life has nothing to do with being wealthy, so we should be on guard against greed. This is the exact opposite of what society tells us. Advertisers spend millions on enticing us to think that, if we buy more of their products, we will be happier and more fulfilled, and our lives will be better. We should learn to tune out these expensive enticements and concentrate on the truly good life of living in a relationship with God and doing His work.

My areas of greed definitely include books. I was born a bookworm, and a bookworm I shall die! My shelves are groaning with editions collected from charity shops over the years and I never seem to be satisfied, always wanting more. The Lord has made me aware of this weakness, though, and I have recently had a massive clear-out, filling carrier bags with offerings for the charity shops. The problem with this is that, post-Covid, most charity shops are strictly rationing how many donations they accept. I’ve had to make several appointments in order to get rid of my booty – but this is a sign of the times..

“For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father, but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)

This is maybe the last sin that people will admit to. Many have mistaken lust for love and then lived to regret it! As a happily married woman, those days are long behind me but I have certainly given in to the sin of lust many times in my younger days! This was in my pre-Christian times, mind you! 🙃

Pride comes before a fall!

“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.” (Galations 6:4)

When you do your very best, you can feel good about the results and there’s no need to compare yourself with others. Some people point out others’ flaws in order to feel better about themselves. Others just want reassurance that they are doing well. When you’re tempted to compare yourself with others, look at Jesus Christ. His example will inspire you to your very best, and His love and acceptance will comfort you when you fall short of your own expectations.

In every area of life, there will always be someone better off and worse off than you. God gives each individual different gifts and you can be proud to be a Child of God.

Pride is sometimes regarded as the most serious sin, as it can prevent people from admitting their need for Christ. No matter how good we think we are, we can never measure up to God’s standards; we desperately need the salvation of Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. Don’t let pride stand in the way of your relationship with the living God.

“Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.” (Romans 15:17)

I wish you a safe, well and pleasant weekend.

Love Ann ❤

No Christ, no hope - know Christ, know hope!

Sunset over Walton Gardens

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

Hello again. Hope all is well with you all. We went to Walton Gardens a few days ago and they have a children’s zoo. We’ve only been there once before, so decided to visit it again and I’m glad we did! They have the cutest baby goats – I wanted to bring them all home with us. We also saw lots of peacocks. I love their colours and the sound they make! One of the peacocks was white, an albino peacock, apparently – I’ve never seen this before!

God spoke, and galaxies whirled into place, stars appeared and planets began orbiting the sun. He spoke again, and the waters and land were filled with plants and creatures. Again He spoke, and man and woman were formed – thinking, speaking and loving. Eternal, infinite, unlimited – He was, is and always will be the Maker and Lord of all that exists.

Then He came in the flesh to a speck in the universe called Planet Earth. The Mighty Creator became part of the creation, limited by time and space, susceptible to ageing, sickness and death. Through love, He came to rescue and save those who were lost and give them the gift of eternity. He is the Word; He is Jesus, the Christ.

Jesus carefully instructed His disciples how to continue to believe, even after His death; yet, they could not take it in. After He died and the first reports came back that Jesus was alive, the disciples could not believe it. “Doubting Thomas” is especially remembered as one who refused to believe, even when he heard the eye witness accounts from other disciples.

On the third day after He died, Jesus rose from the dead. This was verified by His disciples and many eye witnesses. This fact is the foundation of the Christian faith.

Because Jesus is God, He lives for ever. Before the Word began, He lived with God and He will reign forever with Him. Jesus offers eternal life to us. We are invited to begin living in a personal relationship with Him, beginning now. Although we must grow old and die, by trusting Him we can have a new life that lasts forever.

Albino peacock

When we believe in Jesus’s life, words, death and resurrection, we are cleansed from sin and receive power to follow Him but we must respond by believing.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him”. (Psalm 62:1)

Even when we are among unknown people and surroundings, God never abandons us. His all-surpassing strength is always with us.

If you want to accept Jesus’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life, you only need to say a simple prayer (out loud or just in your head). If you say this prayer to Him, I can guarantee He will come into your heart and change you for the better.

Dear Jesus

I accept that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe you came into this world to die for me, so that I can have eternal life. I believe you rose from the dead and are now alive in heaven with God, your Father. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Saviour. Please help me to live in the way you want me to.