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Biblical lessons Archives - Ruth Chesney
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Letting go of lesser things

A toddler has a penny clenched in his chubby little fist. Kneeling down to his level is a well-dressed gentleman, holding a cheque for a million pounds, made out in the child’s name. It’s clear to see the child is not interested, much happier with the small coin, oblivious to the great riches that are being offered to him. He has no intention of letting go of his little treasure for anything.

As adults, our treasures may be more valuable than a penny, but our struggles to let go are no easier. In fact, sometimes it is what we most value that is the very thing God is asking us to let go. Take Abraham, for example. In Genesis 22, God tells him to take his son Isaac, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him for a burnt offering. If you’re at all familiar with the story, you’ll know how precious Isaac was to Abraham. He was a long-awaited son, the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham, the one through whom God would make of Abraham a great nation. For Abraham to offer up his greatest treasure was going to be costly. It was going to hurt, more than we can imagine.

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Whatsoever things are true

I have an overactive imagination. As an author, you’d think that would be a good thing. And it is – when it comes to writing books. But sometimes my imagination grows legs and gallops off across the hills to places that it was never intended to be. Like the time I was convinced that the middle-aged hotel cleaner on our Cyprus holiday when I was sixteen stole my favourite skirt. The disparity in our fashion sense and clothes size never registered with me! Or when I lay trembling in bed as a six-year-old, sure that the BFG was outside my bedroom window, ready to snatch me away in the dead of the night. I should point out that the story was new to me, and the school day unfortunately ended before I discovered that the ‘F’ in BFG actually stood for ‘friendly’!

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I know not, but God knows…

New Year celebrations are usually big, bold and bright. People dress up and gather together with family and friends to welcome the coming year. It’s meant to be an occasion to celebrate, but I do wonder if there’s anyone who, deep down, doesn’t have any misgivings or fears about what may be ahead for them or their loved ones. I know I do.

We’ve all seen what can happen, unexpectedly and out of the blue. A little chorus we used to sing as children in Sunday school begins ‘What know I of the coming year, or what ’twill bring to me? Whether its close will find me here, or in eternity…’READ MORE

What has God promised?

Promise. There’s something very special about the word. We use it often, right throughout our lives, in many situations. Little Peter could be promised a reward for behaving at Great-Aunt Edith’s house, Sally might whisper some secret to her best friend Tessa as long as Tessa promises not to tell anyone, and Jimmy will present a gorgeous diamond ring to Jenny as a promise that he’s going to marry her.

These promises, though, are nothing compared with God’s promises. Tessa might pass Sally’s secret on to Amy, and Jimmy might realise that Jenny isn’t the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with after all, but God will never, ever break a promise. He is totally trustworthy, so it’s impossible.READ MORE

Immigrants, racism, and our attitude

Racism is a hot topic these days! Never a week goes past that we don’t hear or read of some racially-motivated attack or discrimination. It happens not only across the world, but locally as well.

In recent times, our world has become a smaller place. Advances in aviation mean that we can now travel colossal distances across the world in one 17.5-hour flight. The internet has opened our eyes and introduced us to people, places and cultures that, thirty years ago, we could only observe by reading National Geographic. We know more about each other, cultures have much more in common than they used to have, yet it seems that the cohabitation of different ethnic groups is fraught with as much tension as ever, if not more.READ MORE

Everlasting love

I have loved thee with an everlasting love… (Jeremiah 31:3)

Love. If any word was ever overused, yet undervalued, it’s this one. We use it to speak about people, places, objects or food, and then, when we want to express our truest, deepest sort of love, we find we need to add more words.READ MORE

When God Waits

Waiting. We all know what it’s like, whether simply standing in a queue in a supermarket, or waiting for a phone call, the bride’s arrival at a wedding, results of a medical test, acceptance to a school or job… On most occasions, we know that our waiting will, sooner or later, come to an end. Other times, we don’t know if what we’re waiting for will ever come to pass. We pray, crying to God day after day, but nothing happens. We don’t understand the delay. Wouldn’t what we’re praying for help us to live better lives for God?
A bigger house would mean we could serve others in a much fuller way.
Surely it would be easier to do certain things for God if I was married.
A miraculous cure to this chronic illness would show how great God is.
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Teens making choices: Daniel – the pressure to conform

Being a teenager is hard! Home life can be hard – maybe you and your parents don’t quite see eye to eye on some issues. School life can be hard – all the exams and study, pressure from teachers, or maybe there’s a classmate who gives you a tough time. Social life can be hard – both online and in the real world – who doesn’t feel the pressure of wanting to fit in? And on top of it all, you’re having to make choices you’ve maybe never faced before.READ MORE

Who am I? – Identity, and what the Bible says about it

Identity – a word that has not only become vastly popular, but has even taken on a new shade of meaning in recent times. Instead of being used in contexts such as crime or botany, nowadays we generally hear the word used with prefixes like ‘social’, ‘self’, or ‘gender’. Never before have people been so concerned with ‘Who am I?’… nor have they been so confused as to the answer to that very question.

What has happened? You don’t have to have lived too many decades to notice that culture and worldview have changed rapidly over the past number of years. By far the biggest shift that I’ve observed is that Christianity has become exceedingly unpopular. The Bible, the Word of God, like the sole precious life raft on a sinking ship, has been cast overboard, and humanity is vainly attempting to keep the leaky vessel afloat by sheer human effort.READ MORE