Defender of the Faith
Hebrews 12:1
 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us
Three things we can learn from Queen Elizabeth
Endurance
During her reign she has had many highs and lows, many of them in private and some of them in public. I am sure everyone can recall the public outcry after the death of Diana, the Queen didn’t live up to their expectations and many questioned the validity of the monarchy. However, as Christians we are not judged upon by our individual mistakes or triumphs; we can safely say that no matter what mistakes we make, our God is a forgiving God. He remembers our sins no more. How amazing! I am convinced that the Queen has a personal faith in the Son of God, Jesus, and because of this she ‘runs with endurance’.
Perseverence
As children of The King of Kings we too can run with endurance. Just this weekend at church we were reminded that:
“No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Why? Well, when we look back we become, downcast, we remember pain and it causes us to be fearful. If you have ever seen a baby taking his first steps you can see that he is joyful, even excited but after a few bumps he becomes more cautious, more hesitant to leave the strength of a chair or a hand of love. We need to remember that wherever we go, we have the hand of love. God is always with us and He promises not to let go!
Queen Elizabeth could have said, it’s too hard, the people hate me, she could have sat broken over the breakdowns of her children’s marriages and so on but she didn’t. She persevered towards the goal. I am convinced that her faith would have strengthened her during her darkest hours. She knows that the Son reigns as servant and she follows after His great example. We need this kind of perseverance.
Devotion
Queen Elizabeth has repeatedly and consistently tended to her ‘flock’: the nations of the world, her family, her subjects and even her animals.  We too are called to be good stewards of all that God has given to us. Through faithful obedience may we run with endurance, purpose and devotion to all that God has given us.
Diamond Jubilee Prayer
I will leave you with the  following Prayer, written at The Queen’s direction by the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, will be used in the Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday, 5 June.
God of time and eternity, whose Son reigns as servant, not master;
we give you thanks and praise that you have blessed this Nation, the Realms and Territories
with Elizabeth our beloved and glorious Queen.
In this year of Jubilee, grant her your gifts of love and joy and peace
as she continues in faithful obedience to you, her Lord and God and in devoted service to her lands and peoples, and those of the Commonwealth, now and all the days of her life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let us join with the Queen and become ‘Defenders of The Faith’ through endurance, perseverence and devotion.
Shine brightly
Julie
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