Embracing Life: Don’t Rush

I had a driving lesson today, one issue I struggle with is that I rush. When I rush, I make mistakes because I forget to take in all that is around me. It made me think of my life in general and I tend to rush a lot through life. I always want to get things done so that I can move on to the next thing. Instead, of engaging with what is right in front of me. I miss widening my perspective because I am solely focused on the one goal of finishing. However, when things pop up that I did not expect I get easily frustrated and frazzled.

It is a goal that I need to set up in my life, to take life at a more steady pace. To be embracing the good around me and to be facing my problems with strength and courage. I need to remember that when I am behind the wheel, literally and figuratively, I am in control. I need to be aware of where I am and of those around me. I do not want to be the person constantly racing against other people and trying to be the better person. I want to work on being a better person for myself and living life with a heart of gratitude and engagement.

As I reflect on rushing, one place I have been slowing down this week is in my quiet time with God. Normally I would open up a chapter of the Bible, have a quick prayer and be done for the day. I have been learning the importance of engaging with the text in front of me. To meditate on the way that Jesus spoke to people, how the people engaged with Jesus and the truth that was being revealed. Not about making my Bible time about me but about learning about those people’s lives. Learning more about who God is and how to serve God and people better. It has been a real blessing. Even though Jesus knew that his death was near. He did not rush his encounters with people but met with them and blessed and transformed their lives. It is a calling for us to love our neighbour as ourselves and I am not loving my neighbour well if I am constantly rushing through life.

In embracing life, I need to learn to be a little kinder to myself. That although time is fleeting, it is not my master. That I can go at a steadier place and still get tasks done. To be honest I might enjoy doing it more, when I actually engage with the task. I am thankful for the advice that I was given with my driving and I will add that lesson to my life in general. It is a daily practise, that will need grace and peace to go alongside it.

On my goals I set up last week. I have been given an incredible opportunity to go into ministry work abroad. That has utterly transformed my life and my perspective on life. My driving is still a working progress and I am continously taking on board the advice I am being given. Lastly, I am continuing to learn about incredible people and how they gave used their life to bless and minister to other.

My goal this week is to engage with slowing done and going at a steadier place. To continue engaging in my quiet time and finally to make the preparations to begin the next step on my journey.

Keep moving forward,

Love Victoria. Xx

Lessons I’m learning from: Luke 15 (The lost get found.)

Luke 15 is made up of 3 parables, that all look at the theme of something being lost and found. While these may be familiar parables, I learned some fresh lessons through my reading of these.  v1-2 ‘Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”These verses give the context to the parables.I am not going to go into great depth of everything in each parable, I would highly recommend reading them for yourself. Here are some ideas that I explored while reading.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep.

 v4 ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? The 99 that were left in the open country could be trusted. They knew and understood the dangers of wandering off. As with the one who had wandered off, he had lost his way and was wandering into unknown dangers. The Shepherd knew the sheep could not save itself. v5 ‘And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.’. Even when he find the sheep he joyfully receives it back, protecting it and putting it out of harms way by putting it on his shoulders. They even have a party to rejoice this lost sheep being found. The purpose that the Shepherd poured into finding that one sheep, is a beautiful image of who our Saviour is. There are many people who have already been saved, Jesus does not stop there. He welcomes the sinner into his presence because he sees their purpose and their worth. In the context of this parable, the Pharisees can be seen as the 99 sheep. The Pharisees know what it takes to be righteous. They can choose whether to abide by it or not. The sinners have lost their way, they do not know how to find there way back without someone leading them home. That is why there is so much rejoicing because they are finally in the place they were always meant to be. v7 ‘I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’.

The Parable of the lost coin.

v8 ‘Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and searches carefully until she finds it?’ . One coin has worth on its own. There is an intense amount of effort put into finding this coin, every area is searched so that the coin will not be missed. There is rejoicing when it is found. It reminded me of our own individual worth, our worth is made complete through Jesus. We are forgiven due to our repentance and the grace of God that comes through Jesus. Amazing grace, that we will never be forgotten or missed by God!

The Parable of the lost son.

The two previous parables put into a human context. One son is righteous and the other a sinner. The younger son was greedy and believed that he deserved to be granted what he had requested of his Father, despite the cost. v12 ‘Father, give me my share of the estate,’ so he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a far country and squandered his wealth on wild living.’ The younger son was very clueless and got lost in his worldly ways, he was not prepared for any misfortune. It leads to: his highest high, to lowest low, humility, surrender and salvation. v19 ‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.‘. He had his speech ready and his heart surrendered and was on his way home again. His father saw him at a distance and filled with compassion ran to him! He embraced him and kissed him, showing those around them that although what his son had done was dishonourable the Father was accepting him back and forgiving him.  He dresses him richly, reminding him of his worth and who he belongs to. This is what God does for each of us, he reminds us who we are and who we belong to. He reminds us that we are so loved, that we were worth dying for. That in our brokenness and mess, God saw hope that was made complete through Jesus. v24 ‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found,’ So they begun to celebrate.

On the other side, we see the jealousy of the righteous brother who is feeling hard done by. He has always been faithful but his goodness has never been celebrated in the way his brother was. Instead of rejoicing over the blessing of his brother returning and being saved, he feels rejected. The Father reminds him of all he already has, that he knew his worth and convictions so did not have to go running off like his brother. At this moment his jealousy was misleading him, he did not need to feel rejected for he was already part of something bigger. We have to be careful, that our jealousy does not get in the way or allowing new believers to thrive and come into who they are meant to be. We are not a rejected people, we are greatly blessed  because we are saved. May we not lose sight of that because we believe that someone’s portion is better than ours. v 31 ‘My son’, the Father said, ‘you are always with me and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ 

I hope that you will have a blessed week and will continue to explore the passages found in Luke’s gospel. I pray that you will continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge. You are loved and cherished. Love Victoria. xx

 

 

Sunset!

I was immersed in the beauty of this sunset this evening. Time seemed to slow down and my mind stopped racing. I was amazed at how the beauty of a sunset which is an ordinary experience is absolutely extraordinary. The way that it explodes all these incredible pastel colours over the sky. How it gave the water a new lease of life. How even those walking by, stopped to take in the beauty that was around them. We miss a lot in life because we rush around too much. In taking the time to embrace the beauty of creation that is around us. Reminds us that there is many things that are out of our control. However, the sun still sets at the end of the day and it throws out all this beauty regardless of how good or bad our day was. It reminded me that there can always be hope, beauty and life even on the darkest day. That God still gives a lot of purpose into each day and never stops showing his glorious creation to us. A beautiful blessing to end the week.Love Victoria. Xx

Embracing life. ( A new series)

(This is a new series that I am starting, that will be uploaded during the week. Alongside, the ‘Lessons I am learning from’ series.)

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This new series is a commitment for myself, to get my butt in gear and actually starting living the life I am blessed to have. I have been in a stale place for a long time, I stopped dreaming about the life I could have and just accepted that this was my lot. I am not dreaming of being any sort of millionaire and living a life of luxury. Instead, I want to learn to start enjoying life and actually sitting behind the wheel and taking some control. I fully trust that God is in control of my life but it falls on me to take action and have faith to walk through life. I have been imprisoning myself due to my fears and beliefs of who I am, it has led me to wondering what is my point of being here. Thankfully God’s good grace never fails to meet me in those moments. For too long, I did not realise that it was me, that needed to speak purpose into my life. Trusting in the promises and the truth of who God has called me to be and walking in that. The one promise that I am keeping at the forefront of this whole journey is 2 Timothy 1v7 ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.’ (NLT)

A little context to how I have got to this place to begin with and then I will speak about the changes I want to make. Truthfully, I have always been a little bit ashamed of myself. I was bullied from a young age, I can remember when we lived in Wales ( we now live in England) and this was before I was five I was bullied for my voice. That is something that carried on all through school. It was due to me having a deeper voice and I would pronounce words differently to my peers. In high school I developed horrendous acne, this was really painful and cytsic acne. I also had braces and dorky NHS glasses, I looked a picture. I felt insecure and people were cruel. As I went through my high schools years I started to struggle with understanding my school work. I would have an interest in what was being taught but I could never write it well on paper. My friends were always smarter and I felt behind. I got through school and even have a university degree (Yay), I even feel like I did not do the right thing at uni. I found out at University that I have dyslexia, which helped me to understand why I struggled through school but it did not make it any easier to do my assignments or debating in class.

All these things in a big and a small way have impacted my life. I normally act silly around my family and friends because I feel that I am not as intellectual and knowledgeable as they are. It is better to be known for something than just being dumb. When I do speak my words come out quicker then my mind has time to process, what I say normally comes out jumbled. Around those I do not know I am normally quiet but kind because I love people but I am scared of them getting to know me.

I am learning that what has happened in the past cannot be changed but I am in control of making positive changes for the future. Some will work out and others will not. I cannot change the way I have been made to feel but I can stop it from allowing it to impact the person I am becoming. I can learn to grow and embrace life again, to shake off everything that has been holding me down.

This series is a motivation to keep moving forwards. To set goals, that enable me to push myself but to love myself too. The way I began doing this was through getting rid of social media. Which sounds dramatic and weird but I have been off it for over a week now and I do not miss it. It gave me a negative mindset and I wasted too much time on it. The time I would have spent on social media is now spent reading or doing something productive. The next step is finding a new job/volunteering, in which I am going to learn new skills and embrace new challenges. I am currently in retail, which helps me pay my (few) bills but is not pushing me to be the best that I can be. I have grown incredibly complacent, I have accepted that because I am earning money then that is enough. Retail is not a bad, there are plenty of opportunities to grow in leadership in the job. However, I have known for a long time that I want to do a job that makes a change and that has a positive impact. That is one of the main reasons I started my blog. Not as a job but to do what I was passionate about as I awaited that job. I need to now have a commitment to start pursuing that, looking into different companies to see what they have to offer and what I can offer them, which skills are required. That is my first goal for this week, is to start researching these companies.

My second goal is to have confidence with my driving, in my lessons I am now at the point where I am working up to my test in a few weeks. That terrifies me. I feel like I cannot do it, which is an utter lie because I can. Driving is enjoyable but it something that takes experience and courage to do. I am going to be keeping that Bible verse from 2 Timothy at the forefront of my mind and trusting that I have not got this far to fail. When I make mistakes, that the best thing to do is to learn from them.

My third goal is to start learning more about the topics I am interested about. Learning about an important person or place that is significant for a certain reason. All our lives are important, they all have a story to tell. I love reading about how someone has used their life to bring about positive change and how they achieved it. I am interested to learn about what it means to embrace all that life can be. It may not always be easy for the individual but their sacrifice brings change for good. The world needs more of those people.

I am starting off with small goals because all my mindset and the way I live life is going to take a while to transform. As I start reaching these goals, it will enable me to push myself further and to step into new areas of life. I want the next few months to be purposeful. As I commit to this blog series, I will share with you the highs and the lows. How I am growing and developing. Maybe even what I have been learning about the people who have used their life for good. Possibly, you are in the same boat I am or you have been. It is important that we all learn from each other. Let us not do life alone but walk together with confidence and power.

Keep moving forwards,

Love Victoria. xx

Lessons I’m learning from: Luke 7 (Come as you are)

v 50 ‘Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”‘.

Luke 7 presents these one on one accounts between Jesus and others, they are intimate encounters which result in healing and forgiveness. Beginning with the faith of the Centurion, which is not face to face but an intimate demonstration of faith. We also see the depth of Jesus’ emotional connection with the raising of the widow’s son. Finally, Jesus being anointed by the sinful woman. An outcast who was saved by her beautiful act of faith. Mixed in with these encounters is the conversation between Jesus and John’s disciples.  I repeat what I wrote in my last blog. Hope was rising and God was using the most unlikely heroes to do it. For there is power in a willing and obedient heart.

The first aspect that struck me in the account of the faith of the Centurion, was how the Centurion was portrayed to Jesus. The account tell us how the servant of the Centurion who was highly favoured was gravely ill. The Centurion having heard of Jesus, sends some of the elders of the Jews to meet him. What struck me was how the elders spoke to Jesus. v4-5 ‘When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”‘. Their belief that due to the Centurion’s good work he deserves and is obligated to receive this healing. It reminded me of what our prayer life can be like. We are told to ask, seek and knock. Our asking should be in faith and in trust that God will give us what we need in accordance with his will. Truthfully, many of us believe we are entitled to good things and healing because of the ‘good’ deeds we have performed. That is totally the wrong mindset. God does not need us to do anything for him because he is God. The deeds we do are in gratitude and trust in God who has already given us so much.

Their request is met by Jesus going with them, only for them to be halted not far from the Centurion’s house . v6-7 ‘He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord , don’t trouble yourself. for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word and my servant will be healed.”‘. A complete contrast to how he was being perceived by others. The Centurion was aware that nothing he had achieved would be able to save his servant’s life. That power and authority came through Jesus. The faith that it was a word from Jesus that was needed not his physical presence, for the centurion understood power and authority when he saw it for that was the life that he knew. Through the centurion’s faith, Jesus is amazed and proclaims to the crowd. v9 ‘When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him and turning to the crowd following him, he said. “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”‘A humble pursuit of healing, putting trust and faith in Jesus even without needing his physical presence. Putting faith in who Jesus is rather than demanding him to be who you want him to be.

The second account is the raising of the widow’s son. Another incredible miracle that takes place, The aspect I want us to focus on is the emotional response to this situation. v 12 ‘As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out- the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.’ This verse helps to give context to the account, how much the woman had lost and the social status she had now received. v 13 ‘When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said “Don’t cry”.’ It is a reminder for us all. Jesus is very aware our human emotions, he felt them too. He wept when Lazarus died and was enraged when the temple was being misused. Jesus loved, cared and lifted people up. Jesus does not disregard our emotions, he knows our heart and sees the brokenness of the situation we are in. In the case of the widow he turned a hopeless situation into one of hope and renewed purpose. Which bought hope not just to the widow and the son but also to the people who witnessed the miracle. v16 ‘They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great Prophet has appeared among us”, they said, “God has come to help his people.”‘. 

Jesus can and will work in incredible ways in our lives. This account shows no demonstration of the widow’s faith. However, as the light of the world Jesus enters into this bleak and dark situation and brings life and healing. There will be and have been times in our lives, were Jesus has pulled us through without us even realising. Where Jesus has shown up when our minds and hearts have been over-whelmed. It reminds me of the words written in ‘The footprints in the sand’, ‘He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. Never, ever, during your trails and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints. It was then I carried you”‘. Let us not give up our hope too easily, for we have a Saviour that never leaves us or forsakes us. Jesus will meet us in our happiest and our darkest circumstances. Regardless of how the situation may end; we have a Saviour who holds us through it all and knows what exactly we are going through.

The final aspect to look at (there has been a lot this week) is the widow who anoints Jesus. v 37 ‘A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisees house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.’.This account is incredibly beautiful and intimate, she would have had to rise up above the social stigma to end up at the feet of Jesus. She is incredibly humbled before Jesus as she does not even face him. She gives her entire self to this action. v38 ‘As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.’

Many of us, myself included, can learn a valuable lesson from this sinful woman. For she knew her shame and came to the Lord and sacrificed all she was to serve him. I think the fault of many of us is we attempt to be on the same level as Jesus. Which is never what was intended. The Pharisee show this best v39 ‘When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is- that she is a sinner.”‘ Jesus promptly puts him in his place, for he is no better. For he regarded himself too highly that he even forgot the custom of serving a guest. It is a fault that we are all capable of. That we all become too complacent, that we forget to come humbly before the Lord as we have become too familiar with our belief of who he is. May we never forget that we are no better than the sinful woman. We have such a vast amount of love and grace poured onto us, that we should never think we are on level with Jesus. v47 ‘Therefore, I tell you, her many sins are forgiven- as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little’.

There is much more that can be uncovered in Luke 7, I have only highlighted a few aspects. I pray that it has been an encouragement and you will explore the text for yourself.

This wraps up the June blogs,we will continue to explore the gospel of Luke throughout July.

May you have a blessed week. Remember you are loved and cherished. Love Victoria. xx

Lessons I’m learning from: Luke’s gospel, Chp 1. (Faithfulness, Transformation and Promise.)

Luke 1v14 ‘He will be a joy and a delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth’.

I  was going to do chapters 1-4 but on reflection there is much to learn from the first chapter. In honesty, when I decided I was going to read Luke’s gospel I was going to skip the first four chapters so that I could get into the main bulk of Jesus’ ministry. There is value in each chapter within the gospel or it would not be there as it would take away from the truth of the good news Luke was trying to share. The people who helped pave the way, there is much to learn from their faithfulness.

Chapter One of Luke is a long chapter with a lot of information. That includes both the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus being foretold. There is Mary visiting Elizabeth and Mary’s song. Then there is John the Baptist’s birth and Zechariah’s song. It is a beautiful chapter to take your time to read through because it is full of promises, faithfulness and transformation.

I want to focus on Elizabeth and Zechariah who were people known for their faithfulness. v6 ‘Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.’ However, Elizabeth was barren and to those looking at her and Zechariah’s life they would have claimed that they were not blessed by God. v 7 ‘But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.’ Throughout the Bible, we are reminded that there is no barrier that can stop God’s blessing on our lives. Elizabeth’s story is familiar with the Old Testament story of Sarah and Abraham. Both Sarah and Abraham were advanced in their years, Sarah was beyond child bearing age. They were promised that in a years time, from the visitors that spoke with them that Sarah would bear a son. The account continues that Sarah laughed, understandably she looked at herself physically and the years that had passed and saw frailty. Her doubt is questioned when the Lord says, Genesis 18v13-14 ‘ Then the Lord said to Abraham , “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child now that I am old?’ Is anything to hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 

Similar to the account, when Zechariah is told of the child Elizabeth will bear he has doubt too. That comes, again, by looking at the frailty of who they are. Luke 1v18 ‘Zechariah asked the angel, “How can  I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”. Again, God proves them wrong and Zechariah is silenced until the birth of his son because of his doubt. v20 ‘And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.’ There is a blessing in the silence as we will look at later in the chapter. The context of where Zechariah is at the time is important, he was in the temple of the Lord burning incense. He was chosen by lot through his priestly division. When he came back out and had been silenced, the people were made aware that he had seen a vision but because he did not speak there was no knowing what it was.

What struck me was the words that the angel used to describe the child that Elizabeth and Zechariah would have. It was no ordinary child, in their waiting they were blessed with a child who had great purpose. v16-17 ‘He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous- to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” These were the notes that I wrote after reading these verses. Through the faithfulness of Zechariah and Elizabeth they were blessed with a child, they also enabled others to be blessed due to their faithfulness. I do believe that there is always fruit within faithfulness, whether it is fruitful for our own life or for someone else either is a blessing. I would encourage you to read Hebrews 11 to see this in action. Through their faithfulness it brings transformation. For Elizabeth, when she finds out that she is pregnant she rejoices. v 25 ‘”The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown us his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people.”‘ 

In looking at how God transformed their life, not for their glory but for his glory is a reminder for us all. In our faithfulness, we are not doing it so that we can be rewarded. Sometimes that can be our mindset, we believe because we have a great faith we deserve all these incredible gifts and blessings. That is not true. Their is truth in God using our life for his good and his purpose, where it may bring blessing upon our life or it may be through our suffering that someone else is blessed. We have to learn to trust in God’s timing and in his will. It is easy to write but it is not easy to do. That is why day by day we need to surrender and be obedient to who he has called us to be. There have been many faithful servants who have gone before us to pave the way so that we can have our faith and freedom. May we not take that as our right but keep on fighting the good fight, for all those who are suffering and oppressed. Through faithfulness there will be transformation, may we trust that it is all in accordance with God’s will.

Lastly, let’s go back to Zechariah. After the birth of his son his voice is returned to him after the naming of his child. Filled with the Holy Spirit his song is recorded, these are the verses that I would like to highlight.  v76-79 ‘And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the path of peace.’ Hope was rising and God was using the most unlikely heroes to do it. For there is power in a willing and obedient heart.

I am going to continue looking at Luke’s gospel for the next few weeks. Not chapter by chapter but thematically. I pray that they would encourage you in your faith and allow you to pursue God’s word within your life.

You are so loved and cherished. Have a wonderful week. Love Victoria. xx

Lessons I’m learning from: Comparison (Part 2, Purpose)

Matthew 25v14-16 ‘Again , it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags of gold, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.’

I begin this blog by looking at the parable of the bags of gold. It was a parable that I was reminded of when I was having some quiet time with God. The question that popped into my head was, is that one bag of gold still significant? My answer was yes, it still has worth and purpose. To give some context on why this parable served to be a reminder, I had finished listening to a podcast on comparison. I was praying over areas of my life that I had been comparing and wanting to surrender them to God. This parable linked to my comparison of my social media and my blog, neither have a high number of viewings or following. I needed that reminder that what I was doing still had worth but also to be humbled too. The reason I shut down my original Instagram was I wanted to have a page that was focused on my blog and on ministry work. It was no longer glorifying myself but about getting God’s word out there, it did not matter about the followers it mattered that it was a place where encouragement and truth would be found. In getting distracted with the numbers, I forgot my purpose. This is the message of the blog today, I pray that if you have been going through the same thing or lacking courage to start something that you have been called to do then this will be of help.

Let’s go back to the Parable, these servants have been given various amounts of gold bags. The one who was given five put it to work and gained five more, as with the one with two gained two more. As for the servant who had one, what did he do with it? 25v18 ‘But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.’ I have read this parable many times and rolled my eyes when it came to the servant with one bag. Why could he have not followed what the other servants were doing? What I came to realise this week, many of us are the servant who was entrusted with the one bag of gold. We look at what the other servants have been entrusted with and feel belittled and unworthy. An important point to remember from the verses at the beginning was that the bags of gold they were given, were in accordance with their ability. That means that they were not given too much or too little. That man who was given the one bag was entrusted with it because the Master knew that the servant could use it purposefully. It was the servant’s choice to bury it. Capability was seen in him but he lacked knowing the purpose behind what he had been given. This is an important reminder for us all, That no matter how small we may feel our purpose is in our creative outlets or even in our jobs, that we need to learn to be faithful to build on what we have been given. We never gain more by doing nothing but our pursuit in life should not always be about having thousands of followers or friends etc. We lose our purpose quickly when we go running after what other people have.

I will put myself in the servant”s shoes with the one bag of gold. I have been entrusted with writing this blog, it is something that I choose to do faithfully each week regardless of the amount of people who read it. I know that my family always read this, hello everyone. I know truthfully that there are people with many more followers on their blog who are writing about the same topic that I am and are receiving a lot more from that. There are times where it could be so easy to bury this blog, to get rid of it and to spend this time doing something else. I know there is fruit in the faithfulness, even in this blog makes a change in one person’s life then it has never been wasted. Even if it makes a change in no ones life reading it, it has made a change in my life by doing it. It has enabled me to see how the purpose of God flows through everything and how his word truly is the living word.

I feel that there are many people who are called to do things creatively but who look at influencers who have so many followers and everything else and believe that what they are called to do has no purpose. Take your eyes off of what other people have and trust what you have been given. Many of us are not called to have millions of followers and we need to realise to have millions of followers would really impact how we live our life. It certainly would not impact it in a positive way, a lot of the time. I have 79 followers on my Instagram page,  that is still 79 different people who follow me which probably includes some bots.  Imagine sitting in a room with those 79 people, what you post online will have a possible impact on some of them or all of them. It is important that what we are putting online is not misguiding or something that is just been created for those people. I use my Instagram to post encouragements from God’s truth, that I hope will inspire and give hope to people. It is about planting those seeds, not about me seeing the reward but it is about God being glorified.  This links back to the Parable well, the Master returns each of the servants are asked to give an account of what they have done with the bags of gold. The servant entrusted with five bags gives five bags more and the one with two bags gives two bags more. The Master replies 25v21 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant ! You have been faithful with few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness.’

As for the one who had buried his one bag, v24 ‘Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ May we not be like this servant, who gives back to God the incredible gifts and talents that he has blessed us with. Having wasted our life running in fear because we do not compare to the worldly comparisons around us. I pray for each of you reading this, that you would allow God to enable you to step boldly into what he has called you to do. Do not allow your life to fly by you, missing out on all the opportunities that you have been called to serve and bless. There is much more to life than our social media standing or even our social status with our peers and work colleagues. Many of us will bury the good blessings that we have been entrusted with because we do not know the capability that God sees in us to use them. It is only through surrender to God that we come to know all that he has called us to do. That we take the focus off ourselves and realise that the life that we live is not for our glory, it is a life in which we are called to glorify God. It is through our relationship with Jesus that we come to that intimate place of surrender and humility and we enable our lives to be used for God’s glory. It will not always be the easiest path but it will reap the greatest blessings.

What was the Master’s reply to this servant? 25v26 ,28-30‘…You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? … ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be reaping and gnashing of teeth.’ The servant lost his purpose, lost his worth and was cast away from all that he could have had. May we keep surrendering all that we are and all who we want to be to God. May we allow his guidance and transformation over our life, to get us to the end. May we cast aside comparison and rejection and lies. May we as the church build each other up. Supporting one another and coming together to create something beautiful which honours and lifts up the name of Jesus not us.

‘Our life is a small life but a powerful life when lived inside the heart of God’ – Heidi Baker

Have a blessed week, you are loved and cherished. Love Victoria xx