verse of the day

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Suddenly the lights went out. [Luke 18 v 20- 37 ]

Last evening we had a short power cut,suddenly the lights went out, and we were sitting in the dark, we were not expecting this, but we were prepared as we had a good supply of candles. There is a story in the Bible of five people who were not prepared, we read about them in Matthew 25v 1-13 , they are known as the five foolish virgins,the point of the parable is, to be ready for when Jesus comes back again. Jesus is coming back again, there is much speculation as to the events leading up to His coming, only God knows when Jesus will return, to collect those who are His, and also to judge those who are not.The true believer must live in the light of Christs coming, the unbeliever has an opportunity now, to be saved, they must take it, or suffer the consequences, on that day, crying ,pleading will not avail, if they dont know Christ as their own and personal Saviour then, He will declare, I dont know you. [Father we thank You for sending Jesus the first time, we know that this is not the end of the story, He is coming back again, help all of us who know Him, to live in the light of His coming again, and grant that those many who dont Him will turn from their sins, and trust Him, so that they also will be ready on that day, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

What is going on? [ Matthew 11v28 ]

Im am sure we have asked the question, what is going on?, as we look at this world, the world wide credit crunch, the never ending conflict in Israel , and many other things. There is also personal problems we have to deal with, there the list is endless, the on going problems, the unexpected problems, and we find ourselves asking what is going on?. In the OT we have the prophet Habakkuk who asked the question , what is going on ,evil appeared to be abounding, the future looked very bleak, the prophet could not figure it out, so he struggled. As we come to the end of the book of Habakkuk , the prophet gives up his struggling, and falls into the arms of God. To all of us who are struggling, let us follow Habakkuks example, and fall into the arms of God, listen to the words of Jesus, /Come unto me, all of you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens,and I will give you rest, [Matthew 11v28 ] [ Dear Lord Jesus there are so many things we do not understand, so many things we struggle with, right now we would fall into your arms, those everlasting arms, Amen ]

Monday, 29 December 2008

The parties over [ Matthew 28 v 18-20 ]

How many days is it to Christmas? it seems a silly question,yet my wife has started to buy presents for next Christmas. There is a Christmas song which goes,/I wish it could be Christmas every day/, someone jockingly said it was written by Tescos.I know we are still in the season of Christmas but because of the pressure, it is with a sigh of relief when it is all over.and yet cutting through all the commercialization, the true meaning of Christmas, can leave with us a lasting blessing, and a challenge. The blessing , God is with us in the person of Christ, and we can have no greater blessing than this, it will not be Christmas everyday , but Christ will be with us every day. The challenge, to continue to be as generous, as we are at Christmas, in our giving, loving , sharing, and caring. [ Dear God we thank You for Christ, who is the reason for us celebrating Christmas, yet we rejoice that He is with us all the time, help us to manifest the reality of Christ ,in us, everyday, Amen ]

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Thank You God for prayer. [ Luke 18 v 1- 14 ]

I heard a preacher on the God channel say,/ Thank God for prayer/, it may amaze us how many people pray. I agree with that preacher , we should thank God for prayer. It is such a blessing to pray, through prayer we recieve so much, calmness , guidance, needs met, both phyisical, mental,and so the list goes on, it is also a means to help others. Prayer involves many things, there are no experts, only one , Jesus, He is our example, He was continually praying. It is possible to have answers to our prayers,we must prove this ourselves, and we can.It is important that we dont compare ourselves with others, although we can learn from others. We do have a helper when we pray ,the Holy Spirit,[ Romans 8 v 26-27 ], so pray,in your weakness, pray inspite of your limatations, but pray ,pray,pray. [Dear God we thank You for prayer, help us to pray and help us to be guided by Your Spirit, we ask this in Jesus name ,Amen ]

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Change [James 1 v22 - 25 ]

In the 19th century a Dr Arnold took over as principal of Rugby Public school, this is were the game of rugby originated, it was Dr Arnold who sought to bring change to this school. Public schools were noted for bullying,cruelity,and nurseries of of vice, so change was needed.[The story Tom Browns schooldays was written about Rugby school and Dr Arnold ]. Dr Arnold sought to introduce ,moral principals, gentlemanly conduct, and lastly intellectual ability.The message of Christianty is about change, we cannot be a Christian without change in our lives, the initial act of salvation, when we trust Christ involves change, from sinner to saint, but that is only the beginning.The coming days will bring challenges to all of us , to change, the sad fact is, many of us will resist change, many of us will listen to Gods word,but thats all we will do, no change will take place. [ Father in Heaven You sent Jesus Your Son ,to save us,and to change us, grant that we may not only be hearers of the word of God, help us not to be concerned about the faults in others,rather help us, to change, by Your grace, we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen ]

Friday, 26 December 2008

Courage [ Joshua 1 v 9 ]

One of my favourite movies is the ,Wizard of Oz, and one of my favourite characters is the lion who lacked courage, there is an old hymn which reads,/ Courage brother to not stumble. Though thy path be dark as night, Theres a star to guide the humble, Trust in God and do the right/. This is Boxing day also known as Saint Stephens day, Stephen was the first Christian martyr , he was stoned to death , yet in his dying he showed great courage and even love to those who were killing him.[ we read about him in Acts 7] We may not have to face martydom, [ we may ] but I believe that we are all called to face life with a degree of courage,to say no in certain situations, to face each days challenges, with courage,the Christian life is not for cowards. [ Father grant us the grace to face life with courage each day, we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen. ]

Thursday, 25 December 2008

The cost of evil [ John 3 v16 ]

I found myself saying as I watched TV ,there is always a cost for evil, it may seem inappropriate saying such a thing on this Christmas day,yet at the very core of the Christmas message we have a child who was born to die on a cross. Sin costs and it would cost God everything, the death of His dear Son, we can only begin to imagine the depths of what God felt in giving Jesus, for our salvation. Yes there is a cost to evil , the evil of sin, consider the pain caused by sin,the pain God feel as He looks on His broken world, as he hears the cry of children neglected and abused,of the rape victims, of the violence of so many conflicts, yes there is a cost where ever evil raises its ugly head, but rising out of the ashes one solitary figure stands Jesus, and declares I will go and redeem and rescue poor fallen humanity, and He did just that ,on the Cross. [Dear God thank you for Jesus your Son who You give, that through Him we may escape the eternal consequences of our sin, Amen ]

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Be very sure.[ 1 John 5 v13 ]

I have concerns for so many people, especially my loved ones, I want to see them in heaven,yesterday I spoke to an old aunt on the phone, a church goer all her life a believer in God,and I love her, but is she saved?.I asked her when she prayed that night, to simply ask the Lord to save her, she said she would, I hope so. I share this with you because I want you all to realise ,and I quote words from some thing I read recently,/You can go to heaven without health, without wealth, without fame, without culture, but you will never go to heaven without Christ/. There is an old hymn which goes, / Be very sure/, are you sure you are going to heaven?, if you are not ,well I will say to you, what I said to my dear old aunt, simply ask the Lord Jesus to save you right now. [Father we thank for Jesus who died to bring many to glory, we pray that many at this time will trust Him to be their Saviour, we ask this in His name and for His sake, Amen. ]

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

I was not expecting it [ Proverbs 27 v 1 ]

As one reads the bible , you notice how God breaks into lives, when they were not expecting it, people were just going about their business when God interrupts their plans.Think about the Christmas event , starting with Mary, being told she was going to have a child, she was not married, but she rose to the challenge. Think of the conversion of Saul, it was the last thing in the world he was thinking about, one moment hating Christians and Christ, the next moment he had become a Christian. Yesterday I was going about my business when suddenly I was faced with something, unexpected , that something was from God it was unexpected. I believe we should be ready for God , to act in unexpected ways, and what is most important for us, is the challenge to response in a right way. [ God of the unexpected, we long for You to act in our lives and in the lives of others, help us to responsed in a right way when You do, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Monday, 22 December 2008

What can I give Him? [ 2 Corinthians 12 v 1-10 ]

This is the time for singing carols which I like, one of my favourite carols is, /In the bleak mid-winter/,I have been criticised for choosing it in our carol services, the reason being Christ was not born in the bleak mid-winter. I am sure the writer of that carol knew this ,mybe she was seeking to make it more real to us in England. It raises the challenge for all of us to convey the Christian message to non-Christians in a way that they can identify with. It is the last verse of this carol that strikes a cord with me, it reads,/What can I give Him,poor as I am?.Last evening I took a carol service, they are a small church, no one can play a musical instrument, I was asked could I play my guitar, I did, in much weakness,and God helped. As I drove home the words of that carol came to mind,/What can I give Him ?/, and I found myself saying, I will give Him my weakness, thats what I will do, I will give Him my weakness.[ Father in Heaven You tell us that Your power works best in weakness, and so we yield up to You all our weaknesses , in Jesus name we ask this, Amen.]

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Evidence[ 1 Thessalonians 1 ]

In a national newspaper I read these words,/ Yes , Scientists believe in God/, I found it interesting and helpful ,particularly what a professor Burgess said,/The most moving evidence for Christianity I have seen is when a person with a broken life puts their trust in the Lord Jesus and finds healing, peace and purpose/. During the week I was asked by someone why I appeared to be calm, what was my secret, I simply replied ,if there was any calm in my life it was because of the Lord/. When Christ saves us He brings a change into our lives,He does trully bring healing, peace and purpose,and by His grace He gradually by different means, His word, prayer, a yielding up of our will ,to His will, make us better people. [Father we confess that we are far from what we should be, but we also give You thanks that through Your Son Jesus we have changed for the better. Amen ]

Saturday, 20 December 2008

December [ John 1 v1-14 ]

December is such a dark and dreary month in England ,in many ways depressing, yet there are things that lift the gloom, Christmas lights. I stood outside my home last evening, and noticed the many homes that have lights displayed, these light displays do a lot to lift the gloom, and I enjoy them. I noticed in my diary that on the 22nd of December the Jewish festival of lights is taking place. It is William Barclay, who writes about this festival at the time of Jesus, when in the temple four great candelabas were lit, lighting up the darkest recesses within the temple, and it was during that festival that Jesus cried out,/ I am the light of the world, if you follow me, you wont have to walk in darkness, because you have the light that leads to life [ John 8 v12 ]/,again it is W.B. who points out that the Rabbis declared that the name of the Messiah is Light. It is Graham Kendrick who writes,/Darkness like a shroud covers the earth, evil like a cloud covers the people/,December may be a dark and dreary month, but there is a greater darkness as G. K. rightly points out,to all who are in darkness the words of Jesus is, if you follow Me ,you wont walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.[ Dear God we ask that He who is the light of the world, Jesus Your son, may shine into the hearts of men and women , this Christmas, Amen ]

Friday, 19 December 2008

Hide and seek [ Luke 15 v1- 7 ]

When I was young I remember playing hide and seek,it is the first game that humanity ever played,we read about it in Genesis 3. There was three involved in this game of hide and seek, Adam and Eve, they were doing the hiding, God was doing the seeking, and surprise , surprise, God found them. In Romans 3 v 11, we read,/ no one is seeking after God/, these words remind us that humanity is still hiding from God, foolish though it be , for the fact is ,one cannot hide from God, read Psalm 139, there we are left in no doubt, that there is no hiding place , when it comes to God. In Luke 19 v 10, we read these words, / For the Son of man came to seek and save those who are lost/,people are still trying to hide from from God, but praise His name in His Son, Jesus, He is seeking them out, to save them. [ Dear God and Father thank You for Your Son Jesus the seeker of souls ,who are lost, help us ,to see our part,in this seeking process, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen. ]

Thursday, 18 December 2008

All the answers [Habakkuk 3 v16-19 ]

The fact of the matter is I do not have all the answers, oh yes I am a Christian a long time, been to Bible college, been a minister full time, I preach regularly, read my Bible everyday, but I still dont have all the answers. Sometimes the hardest thing for a person to admit is , they dont have all the answers, I wish the scientific community would admit this, and also Christian writers, we all need a good dose of humility. The not having all the answers, for the Christian, demands trust, in 1 Corinthians 13 v 12, we read,/All that I know now is partial/,this side of Glory, many things will not make sense, a death of a child, an incurable illness, oh I know God heals, but often He does not. As I write this I have a hymn playing in the background, the words go like this,/I dont know about tomorrow, I just live from day today, I dont borrow from its sunshine,For its skies may turn to grey, I dont worry oer the future, for I know what Jesus said, And today ill walk beside Him, For He knows what lies ahead/,let that suffice us. [Father forgive us for our lack of trust,we freely acknowledge our limatations, we ask for grace to leave all those things,that we dont know, things that frustrate us,pain us, with You , we ask this in Jesus name, Amen. ]

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

My loving Heavenly Father.[ Matthew 6 v25 - 34 ]

It is so easy to fall into despair, as I listen to the news on the economy ,and crime,despair can so easily creep in, it does look like we are in for a rough ride.Well I know a little about the rough times, I have experienced unemployment, bereavement, living on very little,I can look back to my childhood, being brought up in a one parent family, my wee mum the only wage earner, that was a time when women where paid less than men, I remember as a boy going to the pawn shop, of going to the local shop for out of date bread. Why am I telling you this ? , just to let you know I survived, and I am not bitter, hopefully those things taught me valuable lessons. Now I have not mentioned that from a very early age, I saw God as my Father, and came to trust Jesus as my Saviour, and as I look back inspite of my background , weakness, and failure to live as I should, God looked after me, and brought me through. [ Father in Heaven we thank You that when we come into Your family by accepting Christ as our Saviour, we come under Your care, Amen ]

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Safe. [ Romans 8 v 31 - 39 ]

Sometimes a wave of uncertainty sweeps over one, can we make it to our ultimate destination?, Heaven, I am sure many people think this. I was thinking like this recently when a verse of scripture came into my mind , written by a man who was in prison, and facing death , this is what he wrote,/ I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day/[2 Timothy 1 v12 . a v ]. What had he committed ?, his soul, the soul descibes the most important part of our being, to loose that is to loose everything.Next, to whom did he commit his soul to?, to Christ, and because of this he had confidence that all would be well. Barnes in his commentray writes,/ If the soul is safe, why need we be disturbed by the loss of health, or property , or other temporal comforts?, these are secondary comforts/.[ Father we thank You for your saving and keeping power that is in your Son Jesus , and the tremendous assurance that in Him nothing is able to seperate us from Your love, Amen ]

Monday, 15 December 2008

Nahum [Genesis 18 v 25 ]

Who was Nahum? well he was a prophet , one called by God , he proclaimed Gods word , to whoever God told him to. Nahum spoke Gods word to the Assyrian empire, addressing his words to their capital, Nineveh, the same people Jonah had prophsied to, with success, but they had gone back to their old ways, of being cruel and oppressive. God had showed them mercy, but now the time for Him to act had come, He proclaims Himself to be their enemy, the Lord who is slow to get angry, was angry, judgement was going to fall. I read these words in my study Bible,/Those who do evil and oppress others will one day meet a bitter end/. God is merciful and loving , but when people or individuals oppress others, they better watch out, for God will judge. [Dear God we thank You that You are just, and are not pleased with those who oppress others, please help those who are living under oppression, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen ]

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Surrender.[ Galations 5 v 16 - 26 ]

Yesterday we looked at what it means to become a Christian, the surrendering of the will, let us further consider what it means in the Christians life. When we become a Christian we bring many things with us, habits, attitudes ,that we need to change, we all have something that clings to us. It has been said that though God brought Israel out of Egypt, there was still much of Egypt in them, they continually lusted after the things of Egypt, and where so prone to idolatry. For us as Christians we still carry with us many things that continually , we return to,wrong sexual ideas, lying, unforgiving natures, the list is endless, we all know our particular demons, today God is calling us to surrender these things to Him, for many of us it is a daily surrendering. [Father in Heaven , you know how we struggle with so many things that potentially are so destructive,give us the grace we need to not surrender to them but to surrender them to You, we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen]

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Surrender. [ 1 Corinthians 1 v18- 29 ]

I was watching on the God channel , a Bill Gaither presentation , and was blessed as he and others sang many old hymns which I knew. One of the the hymns was ,I suurender all, and the first verse goes, /All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give, I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live/.I believe one of the important aspects of the Christian life, is that of surrendering to Jesus ,that in order to be saved we must surrender our will, to Him, and simply trust in the claims of His Gospel, we will never be saved until we do this, but once we do surrender,and submit ourselves to Him ,we are saved. I know church people who have never surrendered to Jesus, religious people can be the most resentful of the fact that a surrender to Jesus is what they need to do most of all, that they have to come to Him just as they are, and acknowledge their lostness, their spiritual poverty. [Dear Lord Jesus help us all to see the importance of surrendering to You , as our Saviour, Amen ]

Friday, 12 December 2008

What the Lord wants.[Micah 6 v6-8 ]

In the book of Micah [6v 6-8 ]the question is asked,what does the Lord want?, the Message puts it like this,/ Would God be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil? Would He be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child, my precious baby, to cancel my sin?/. I wonder what we consider , the Lord wants from us?, faithful attendance of church,going to the prayer meeting, reading the Bible every day, praying everyday, witnessing, giving a tenth of our wages, etc.Now all these things are legitimate, as was what we have read in Micah, but as 1 Corinthian 13,, reminds us ,they count for nothing if love is missing. Micah 6v8[ The Message ] says, / what God is looking for in men and women. It is quite simple, do what is fair and just to your neighbour, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And dont take yourself too seriously./ [Dear God we confess that we get it wrong so often as to what You want from us, help us to change, help us today to understand, that rules and regulations are not what it is about, we ask this in Jesus name. Amen ]

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Confess and move on.[1 John 1 ]

Yesterday I felt pangs of guilt, I felt I should have acted different than I did, what could I do?, well I confessed it to God, as Joyce Meyer says it is hard, living with a guilty conscience. As long as we are in this body we will sin, we will not always act as we should, so what should we do? we confess ,and believe the promise of God, that He is faithful, and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all [note that word all] wickedness, [ 1 John 1v 9 ]. When we have confessed we must move on, and pray that we will act differently the next time we are tempted, believe the word of God, not our feelings, or satan, when God forgives He chooses not to remember, those sins we have confessed to Him. [Father thank You that through Your Son Jesus you trully forgive us, and continue to love us, we praise Your name for such amazing grace, mercy, and love, Amen ]

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Is it a wonderful world?. [Revelation 21 v 1 - 5 ]

As I write this blog I have Elvis Presley singing that well known hymn ,/How great thou art/,one of the verses go like this,/ When through the woods and forest glades I wander and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees, When I look down from lofty mountian grander, and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze, Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee, how great Thou art./. I was watching a TV program last night , showing an area of Portugal , with its wild life, and it was very lovely. I have personally saw the Swiss alps ,very beautiful, and I can think of many other places, it appears to be a wonderful world, God surely did create a wonderful world, yes He did, but, here is that but again, sin entered in , that which was perfect became flawed, and the crown of His creation, human kind, became a rebel,and nothing has been the same since, a dark shadow hangs over this world, sin. But it is the Christmas season which reminds us of a child , a very special child, that was born, and that child grew to manhood, and died on a cross,to change this world and its inhabithants, those who trust Him, and eventually in His time,He will make a new heaven and earth, and on that day it will trully be a wonderful world. [Father we thank You for the wonder of creation, but most of all we thank You for Jesus who will make all things new, Amen ]

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Kept back. [ 1 Samuel 25 v 1-36 ]

In Matthew 6v13 we read those firmilar words,/ lead us not into temptation [ av], do you ever wonder why , we are prevented going to certain places, why we are held back in our endevours or aspirations?. Could it be that God is preventing us in order to save us from temptation, that position that was denied us, could have held temptations that could have harmed us, that relationship that was denied us, would not have been good for us. In Genesis 20v6 we read, /I kept you from sinning/,these are very meaningful words, John Calvin, says this,/ The Spirit restrains, by His bridle, those who are gliding into error, He proves Himself the faithful guardian of His own people, to prevent them from rushing forward, from lighter faults to desperate crimes/, in other words He restraines by denying, and in so doing keeps us from harm.[ Dear God thank You for watching over us, keeping us from sinning, even though we didnt realize it, thank You for deneying us those things that could have harmed us, we pray this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Monday, 8 December 2008

Prayer and faith. [ Luke 1 v8- 25 ]

There was a man called Zechariah, he was a priest, he was married, but he had no children, so he prayed that he might have a child, but nothing happened. Mybe Zechariah felt his request was not going to be granted, both he and his wife were old, but one day while serving the Lord an angel came and spoke to him. The angels presence filled Zechariah with fear, but the angel told him not to be afraid, and told him that God had heard his prayer, and that his wife would have a son. We are told that instead of rejoicing that his prayer was going to be answered,he doubted that such a thing could happen, because of his unbelief he was struck dumb,for a period of time. One can appreciate Zechariahs reasoning, but that is what it was , his reasoning, it was divorced from faith, faith see,s the promise and says it shall be done. [Dear God we come to You and ask that you help us to be people of faith, to believe those promises You give us, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen]

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Poverty [2 Corinthians 8 v 9 ]

I remember years ago someone saying to me that I was poor,and I suppose I was , materially I had not much, yet by the grace of God I was rich in faith. There are many in this world who are poor, little or nothing to eat, or to wear, there are the have,s and the have not,s.As I looked at the nativity scene in my living room the words of scripture came into my mind,regarding the Lord Jesus,/ Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that through His poverty He could make you rich,/ [ 2 Corinthians 8 v9 ]. My study Bible says,/ that there is no evidence that Christ was any poorer than most first-century Palistinians,/ yet the scriptures do indicate, that our Lord ,did rough it. The point is this,who He was and what He choose to become, He was God, He became a man as Philippians 2v7 , tells us, / in other words He gave up His divine privileges, now that is trully becoming poor. [Dear Lord Jesus we thank You for Your great humility in becoming poor for us,help us show the same spirit in our lives, Amen ]

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Indifference [ Revelation 3 v 14 -22.]

In the book of Revelation we read of a church that was indifferent, oh yes they still met together, to sing hymns etc,but as Christ looked at this church, they made Him sick. This was a rich church, rich materially, and they knew it, this filled them with pride, and they boasted about it.Mybe they even felt it was a sign of Gods blessing, now of course it can be, but in this case it had become a blight on their relationship with their Lord, to such a point,that He was outside the church, knocking to get in. For churches as indeed for individual Christians ,material prosperity can bring dangers, the church of Laodicea was in great danger of self destructing. The story is told how during a time of persecution , that soldiers broke into a church and demanded of the leaders of the church, to hand over their riches, the leaders took them to a hall at the rear of the church, which was filled with the poor and the sick, they pointed to them ,and said these are ,our riches.[ Father in heaven we thank You for all Your blessings,as you have blessed us help us to bless others, may your blessings never take Your place in our hearts, we ask this in Jsus name, Amen ]

Friday, 5 December 2008

Struggling [Psalm 103 ]

It may surprise us to know that people are struggling, people we think have it all together, our heroes . In my time I have read many books on famous people , missionaries, preachers, I have also met many well known Christians. We can so easily put them on a pedestal, but the fact of the matter is they struggle at times, they dont always wake up with a song, as the Bible tells us, they are as human as we are [James 5v17 ]. I am not pointing this out so we can judge them, rather that we can see things in a realistic way, and keep our eyes on Jesus, Everyone of us without exception, struggle and everyone of us need the Lord to help us, which He will. If you are struggling today ask the Saviour to help you, he understands, and He will grant you the grace you need. [ Father in Heaven You know everything about us, nothing is hid from You, You see behind the outward show, the fears, the pain, the weakness, and so we ask in the name of Jesus for grace, for this day, Amen ]

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Welcome. [ Revelation 3 v 20 ]

There is a song the Irish sing and it goes,/ If your Irish come into the parlour theres a welcome there for you/, there is also a church in Belfast called the Welcome Hall. It is nice to feel welcome when we go somewhere , there have places I have gone to and I have not felt welcomed. Being a Christian can mean that you are not always welcome, because you have witnessed to people, and they didnt like it, there were times when our Saviour was not welcome, and the fact of the matter He is still not welcome, in the vast majority of lives today. As a Christian I remember when Jesus was not welcome in my life, when He knocked on the door of my heart, and I refused to answer,yet thankfully He kept knocking, and now He is the welcome presence in my life. I wonder is He knocking on your hearts door?.[ Dear Lord Jesus thank You for Your patience ,we ask that you will help us to welcome You into our hearts, as Saviour, Amen ]

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

What would Jesus do ?.[ 1 Peter 2 v 21 ]

Many years ago a dear friend read a book which had an deep impact on his life, I cant remember the title of that book, but I do remember the thing that impacted on his life, and it was this, /What would Jesus do ?. / What would Jesus do ?, a simple thought, yet if one thinks about it, it is a profound thought, and a very challenging thing to put into practice.What would Jesus do about giving, forgiving,helping, and so on, can we put it into practice ,can we rise to the challenge?. Lets ask ourselves as we go through this day, what would Jesus do, in every situation we find ourselves in, let us pray,[Father we call ourselves Christians, but we are so conscious that we are but poor reflections of Christ, help us this day, to be more Christlike,in everything, Amen.]

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Faith [Hebrews 11 v 6 ]

There is an old hymn with the words,/ only believe/, in it, it is telling us that faith is the key , only believe, seems so simple, and it is. To become a Christian we must believe in the Lord Jesus,when we do this then we enter into a life of faith,that means we face ever problem, by faith. The Christian life is a life of faith , that means you must live this day by faith, whatever you face you are called to face it by faith. It all sounds so simple as I have said, and in reality it is , yet it is one of the things we find hardest to do, as we read the Bible we see people struggling with the life of faith, compare, Numbers 13-14 , Mark 4 v36-41, we are no different,if we are honest. The great cry of the reformation was,/The just shall live by faith,[ Galations 3 v11 ], nothing has changed, and never will , while we live, so today let us live by faith. [Father we come to You by faith, we confess our weakness and failure to rise to to the challenge of living by faith, please grant us the grace we need, to face this day by faith, we ask this in Jesus name ,Amen ]

Monday, 1 December 2008

Leave it.[1 Peter 2 v 23/ 5 v 7 ]

While I believe in human responsibility,if I have to preach, I know I have to pray and study, if I want the good things in life then I have to work, and save, if I am ill I need to go to the doctors, thats human resonsibility. I also feel constrained to leave certain things by faith in Gods hands, to pray , and not to interfere, I cant change people, nor can you, life is also full of situations we cant change, the temptation may be to do something, remember what I said yesterday,learn to live in God, and so often that means leaving things in His hands. The scriptures tell us to,/ Give our burdens to the Lord and He will take care of us [Psalm 55v22 ], [ Dear loving Heavenly father ,we cast all our burdens upon You, our problems with people, our circumstances, our needs, give us the grace to leave all these things in Your hands, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Sunday, 30 November 2008

When will I ever learn.[ Psalm 91 ]

It is Van Morrison who wrote the following words, / When will I ever learn to live in God?, when will I ever learn?, He gives me everything I need, and more, when will I ever learn?.As I listened to those words which Van sings, they struck a cord with me, what about you?.It appears that so many of us flit in and out, in our relationship with the Lord,the words ,when will I ever learn to live in God, bring to us all a challenge. Here are some words from Psalm 91,/Those who live in the shelter of the most high will find rest in the shadow of the almighty,/ here is a place of security, peace and rest. Today let us all learn this valuable lesson of living in God,. of living under the shadow of the Almighty, safe and secure, from all alarms. [ Father in heaven we come into Your presence and ask for the grace to live in You today, for it is only as we live in Your presence will we experience, peace,and all we need, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Sin and Hell. [John 3 v16 ]

In the little epistle of Jude ,we read about Sodom and Gomorrah , that these cities were destroyed by fire, and that what happened to them serves as a warning of the eternal fire of Gods judgment. We dont hear much about Hell these days it is not fashionable, its like it does not exsist, but according to the word of God it is real place, for all those who die without Christ. Dr Johnson the famous 18th-century character was gripped by a fear of it, and rightly so, for Hell is an awful place, its a place of suffering, and it is eternal, with no possiblity of escape. In my Bible I wrote, /sin has a terrible price/, the Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, what a terrible price to pay. There is only answer , Christ, if we are to be saved from Hell then we must, we must,trust Him to forgive us our sin, if we dont then Hell is our destiny.[ Dear God help us to view sin as You do,to see that to die unforgiven, is to go to Hell for all eternity, we ask this in Jesus name Amen ]

Friday, 28 November 2008

Rejection [ Hebrews 4 v14- 16 ]

Rejection is a painful experience, which some people never come to terms with,I remember a friend called Charlie,his mother had given him up for adoption, when he was a child. Charlie found it hard to accept, he tried to have a relationship with his mother when he grew up, but his mother did not want to know, I believe this contributed to his death. Our Saviour experenced rejection, we read that He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him, [John 1 v 10 ] when He preached at His home town they tried to kill Him, [Luke 4v24 ]. The human situation throws many things at us, rejection is one of them, what can we do? well we can come to Jesus, He understands, for He was rejected,simplytell Him how you feel and let Him bring healing into your life, He can, and He will. [ Dear Lord Jesus we bring the pain of rejection to You, we ask You, to bring healing into our lives, Amen ]

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Messed up lives.[ Luke 8 v26- 39 ]

On the front page of a daily reading I read these words,/ Stories of lives changed for good, /as one reads the Bible, we read of lives being changed. In Luke 8, we read of a man whose life was messed up, he was controlled by demons, he lived in a place of death, a cemetery. There were attempts to control him, but to no avail, he was homeless, naked, and violent, his truly was a life messed up, he couldnt help himself, nor could anyone else help him, but then Jesus came. When Jesus comes into the life , He brings forgiveness and freedom. We read the result of Jesus coming into this mans life,/He was sitting at Jesus feet,fully clothed and perfectly sane/, We sometimes forget that Jesus came into the world to save sinners, those whose lives are messed up, those whose lives are being controlled and destroyed by sin and satan .[Father thank You for Jesus Your Son who has come to seek and to save those who are lost, we thank that no life is so messed up that He cannot save and set free, thank You , Amen ]

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Power. [ Genesis 1 ]

When you think of power, what comes to mind ?, the power of the atom, the worlds strongest man, let us consider the Word of God [1 ] The power of the word of God is described as being a mighty hammer that smashes the rock in pieces ,[ Jeremiah 23 v29 ][2]. No power on earth can stop it being fulfilled, [ Isaiah 55v11 ],[3 ] it is a living word, that can cut through all our defences and pretences, exposing us for what we are [ Hebrews 4 v12 ]. When believed on it can revolutionize our lives,comfort us in our sorrows, guide us in our walk,strengthen us in our weakness,encourage us in our endeavours. [ Dear God we honour Your word, we thank You for it,help us to read it ,meditate on it , and most of all to obey it, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen ]

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Questions [ Acts 16 v 30- 31 ]

I am old enough to remember a radio programme,called twenty questions, a paniel would try to find out a given secret subject in just twenty questions. The secret subject was either, animal , vegtable, or mineral, it was a very popular radio programme. Questions, I am sure there are questions on all our minds, some , unimportant,some important,and some very important, I wonder do you know the most important question in life?, well let me tell you, it was asked by a man who was suicidal, and it this, /What must I do to be saved? /. Have you ever asked that question?, and is there an answer ? , yes there is, and here it is, / Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, [ Acts 16v 30-31 ]/, its as simple as that, have you done this? [ Dear God thank You for showing us the answer to the most important question in life, how we can be saved, thank you that no one needs to be lost,thank You that by simply believing on Jesus Your son we can be saved, Amen ]

Monday, 24 November 2008

My most treasured possession. Matthew 10 v 37- 39 ]

There are a number of things that I value, my books, especially my commentaries, my car, my job, my music, especially Kate M, and my health, and so the list goes on. I also value relationships, friends, family, my dear wife, if you made a list what would at the top of it ?. It is in Matthew 13 v 45 - 46 ,we read of a man who discovered a pearl of great value, what did he do ?, he sold everything he owned, and bought it, he valued that pearl above everything else. That story reminds me of what is my most treasured possession, Jesus ,is he yours?, when our Saviour spoke to Peter in John 21, He asked Him a question, / do you love me more than these? /[ v 15], how would answer that question?, would you be able to say ,Lord I love You more than these,[ whatever the these is ]. [Dear Lord Jesus we praise You for your great love for each of us,a love that took You to Calvary, help us to treasure You most of all ,may You be our most treasued possession Amen .]

Sunday, 23 November 2008

He remembers. [ Psalm 103 v 8-17 ]

In Psalm 136 v23, we read, /He remembered us in our weakness/, He remembered, but do we remember?.The most gifted person in Gods eyes is weak, they think they are strong,but they are not,the king of Babylon ,who ruled over , one of the greatest kingdoms ever, was weak, [Daniel 4 ]. David , Israels greatest king was weak ,[2 Samuel 11 ], and the great apostle Paul was weak,[ 2 Corinthians 12 ]. The fact of the matter is we are all weak, it does not take much to disturb us, todays heroes can be tomorrows villians, one minute we can be standing , the next minute we can be flat on our face,but listen we can be strong, let me repeat that, we can be strong. How can we be strong? by acknowledgeing to God our weakness, in fact we never can be saved until we confess our weakness, that we are sinners and we need Jesus to save us. Weakness is were the Christian life begins,and continues ,till we go to heaven. [ Almighty God we thank You that You remember that we are weak, we confess that so often we forget the truth that we are weak, so today we bow before You in all our weakness, clothe us in humility,and a reliance upon You, in Jesus name we ask this, Amen .]

Saturday, 22 November 2008

A closet atheists [John 21 ]

I recently heard on the radio of a man who lost his faith, he had been a closet atheists for years, so eventually he declared his atheism. As a christian I feel sad when anyone looses their faith, but it happens, there are many reasons for this, we need to pray for them. Also we need to realize that we are all vulnerable, many things can cause doubt to come in, it is easy for any of us to become closet atheists. The thing that is most important to me is my relationship with my Saviour, I love Him, and He loves me, He is my dearest friend, He has been with me through so much, and he alone has brought meaning into my life, to loose faith, would be to loose Him, and that is unthinkable. [ Dear Saviour thank You for your friendship and love, thank You for being there for us in the hard times, and in the good times, thank you , we love You, Amen ]

Friday, 21 November 2008

They are watching.[ Matthew 5 v13-16 ]

In Luke 4 v 20,we read ,/All eyes in the synagogue looked at Him [ Jesus ] intently, it wasnt just in the synagogue that people watched Him,He was continually under observation, His every action every word was judged. If one is a believer then people are watching, we may not think they are, but rest assured they are,it has always been the same. In the book of Daniel ,we read how the enemies of Daniel, searched for some fault in Daniel, and this is what we read,/ they couldnt find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy,/[ 6v4 ]. We may not like it but the fact is we are being watched,and the challenge for all of us is to show forth Christ in our words, and actions. [ Father help us to live godly lives,help us to be faithful, responsible,and trustworthy,help us not to bring dishonour on You, in Jesus name we ask this, Amen ]

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Should I .[ Luke 10 v 30-37 ]

I was driving back to the office when I noticed a man sitting on the rail of the bridge I was crossing over, and I thought was he going to jump of that rail into the traffic below,or I thought , was he just sitting, resting ?. I wondered what shall I do ?,go back or just keep on driving ?,if I drive on and he jumped, I would feel guilty for not doing anything, so I turned and drove back and was relieved to see he was not there, it had been, a should I ,or should I not moment, I am glad I turned back. This all reminded me of the story of the good Samartian, a story of missed opportunity ,by two men, and one man who took the opportunity to help someone in need. Today we may be faced with an opportunity to help someone, it may be a false alarm, or it may not. [ Father in Heaven help us to responed rightly to those opportunities to help others ,that present themselves to us each day, help us to not just look , and then walk by,we ask this in Your name ,Amen ]

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Bravery. [ Daniel 6 ]

I wonder how you would define bravery?, we often relate it to the battlefield, but of course it includes many areas of life. Stop for a moment and think of someone you consider to be brave, a person battling with an illness, physical or mental . I am reading the book of Daniel at this time and in that book there are four brave people, people who were prepared to put their lives on the line. I often wonder how brave I would have been if I had lived in Nazi Germany, I will never know. To be a Christian in many areas of the world takes bravery, places like North Korea. The bravest person I know is Jesus, He left the security of Heaven, and came into a very dangerous place, earth, He knew what awaited Him, a cross,with all its phyisical suffering, but also the spiritual suffering as He experienced the wrath of God for our sin, He deserves a medal, but He deserves more than that, He deserves our trust, love and our loyalty. [ Lord there sometimes seems a fine live between being brave, and being a coward, helps us today to be brave, to face this day with courage ,a courage that comes to us as we trust in You, we ask this in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen ]

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Gods will.[ Jude v 24 ].

We are all different, some of us are natural optimist others are pessimist, I use the word natural, to describe the way we are born, but if we are Christians, we have been born again by the Spirit of God. Being born again means that we have entered into Gods kingdom, the Spirit of God dwells within us, and His task is to change us. As I look at my life I see how God the Holy Spirit has been changing me,moulding me, continually challenging me, convicting me, I am not the person I once was, indeed I am a work still in progress. Most of us as Christians would agree that we need to change, but let me stress, change is not optional, it must take place, we can co-op-er-ate or we can resist, the choice is ours, but God will have his way, He leaves nothing unfinished. Here are words by Daniel Iverson , let them be a prayer for all of us today,[ Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me,break me melt me, mould me, fill me, Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Monday, 17 November 2008

It may happen.[ Matthew 6 v 25-34 ]

It is so easy to be gripped with the thought , it may happen, I may loose my job, I may get cancer, and so on. The,/it may happen/, sydrome, can take over our mind paralysing us with fear, robbing us of peace, and sleep. Our Saviour warned us of the dangers of falling into this pattern of thought, in Matthew 6 v25-34. In these verses Jesus stresses that our heavenly Father provides for His creation, the birds are fed by Him, and He adds that His children our of more value than them. He then tells us what we should be focused on, /seeking the Kingdom of God above all else/, if we do that ,then God will give us all we need. Lastly, we are to concern ourselves with today, not tomorrow,the whole emphasis is on trusting and obeying, not to let ourselves be gripped with what may happen.[ Loving Heavenly Father we ask for the grace to live in the present, and not to be gripped with what may happen, we ask this in Jesus name Amen .]

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Balance [ 2 Timothy 16 - 17 ]

We must be balanced Christians, very important, rest ,work and play, and also with our theology , God is balanced, yes even in the O T. Gods attributes are many, and they are all of equal importance, God forgives, but He also judges, He is all powerful, but He is also forgiving, you see what I mean. The fact of the matter is, most of us are inbalanced,in our personalities , and in what we believe. I believe James wrote his epistle to bring balance,Paul emphasized the grace of God,we are saved by grace,not by works, [Ephesians 2 v8-9] although in verse ten, he brings in the importance of works, yet his main thrust is on the grace of God that saves us. What James seeks to bring is a balance , stressing that works are an evidence that we are saved, that they witness to the reality of our salvation. [Father we confess that so often we are out of balance, we are prone to excesses, help us to be balanced Christians, to be more like You , we ask this in Jesus name. Amen ]

Saturday, 15 November 2008

An unnnatural act.[ Matthew 6 v 43-47 ]

I borrow the term,/ unnatural act/, from Philip Yanceys book, /Whats so amazing about Grace/, it is a book that we all need to read, again and again.An unnatural act,what does it mean? ,it is Yancey, who uses the term ungrace, to describe the hate,revenge,lack of forgiveness, that is manifest in the world, it is what we do naturally.As I hear of awful wicked things happening, to children and others , my natural desire is that those who carry out such things should be dammed to hell for all eternity, thats ungrace. Being a Christian demands of us to act in an unnatural way, a way of forgiveness, a way that blessing those who hurt us, and those we love, we cannot do this naturally,we just cant, but we can by the grace of God, that amazing grace which we sing about. [Father we ask You to help us to act in an unatural way, to love the unloveable, to pray for those we would naturally hate, pour out Your grace into our lives, that we may show Calvary love, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Friday, 14 November 2008

Things that make us sad.. [ Mark 1 v 41 -44 ]

As I get older I find myself shedding tears as I watch the news on the T V, sadness often fills my heart, as I hear of child abuse, or some awful tragedy, like a suicide bomber, and so on. There are many things that make me sad , this is not a bad thing for often it drives us to pray, for those situations. It would be a tragedy for any us to feel no emotions ,one of the dearest thing about Jesus is that He is touched with our situations, our hurts, our pains. [ Hebrews 4 v 15. av] So today if you are feeling sadness for whatever reason , tell Jesus about it, the old hymn says,/ no one understands like Jesus/, and it is true, the poet wrote ,/ with every pang that rends the heart the man of sorrows has a part/. [ Dear Lord Jesus we bring to You all those things that make us sad, we ask that we may never grow indifferent to others suffering,or overwhelmed by our own, we rejoice that You care for the whole human situation, and we praise You , that You are never indifferent ,to our pain and the pain of others, Amen ]

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Vunerable[ Psalm 121 ]

When one is engaged in certain work, you can be very vunerable to people making accusations against you,or by the possiblity of one acting inappropriate. There are so many areas of life in which we are all vunerable, the question is what can we do to protect ourselves?. Well we have at all times to act wisely, a fridge magnet we have, reads,/ Lead me not into temptation, I can find the way myself/, one thing God does not take away from us is human responsiblity,we are to do all we can to avoid situations , that could lead into, moral and spiritual danger. We must trust God to watch over us, and He has promised to do this,the scriptures are full of words of assurance of Gods protective and preserving power, I would encourage you to read Psalm 121,there we are assured that our all powerfull God , promises to watch over us, and He will. [ Father we admit there are many times we feel vunerable, and afraid,so today we ask that You watch over us, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen ]

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The best book.[ Matthew 7 v 21 - 27 ]

I do not like borrowing books, for a number of reasons, because they are not mine I cannot write comments in them, or I may forget to give them back, and then I would be remembered as a book - keeper. Books are very important to me, I treasure a good book, especially a good commentary , I have books on the lives of famous people, such as Churchill, Nelson ,and many others, but the book I treasure the most is the Bible. What makes it so special? well it is the word of God,and in that wonderful book we have many things revealed to us, and the key theme of the bible is Christ, it tells us who He is, and why He came. There is a little chorous which goes, / The best book to read is the Bible/, it really is. [ Father we thank You for Your word the Bible,help us to value it greatly, to read it and understand it, and most of all to obey it, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Anniversary [ Lamentations 3 v 22- 23 ]

Today is for me is the anniversary of my coming to live in England, 30 yrs ago my family and I set out from Craigavon in Northern Ireland in a little Morris Minor. On our journey we got a puncture, also the fan belt had to be tightened ,we had to travel from Scotland right down to our destination in Kent, and then to our final destination , Grays, where we have lived every since. As we set out on our Journey God give us a wonderful word from Exodus 23v20, /See I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you/, and He did. Many things have happened in those 30 years, painful things, joyful things, disappointing things, but in it all, God has remained faithful, and by His grace we are still trusting, still following, still seeking His will for our lives. [Dear loving Heavenly Father we give You thanks , for anniversaries,that remind us of many things,our losses, crosses,our gains , our tears, our joys, but most of all Your faithfulness, Amen .]

Monday, 10 November 2008

A motto [ 1Chronicles 4 v 9 - 10 ]

David Livingstone the great Victorian explorers parents family motto was, /Be honest/,I dont have a motto myself , mybe you dont have one either, but I am sure that we could all adopt the Livingstones motto , of being honest. The world needs honest people, people who will not cheat, people who will not go along with the crowd. One may refrain from having a motto because , like new years resolutions, we usually fail to keep them,most of us if we are honest are far from being one hundred percent successful in our resolutions, thats one reason why we should not judge others. So what can we do?, well we can very simple, be honest to God, and ask Him for the grace, to live each day in a manner that will glorify Him, and He will. I close with the words of a hymn , which we can all pray, [ Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it Jesus this my plea, I am weak but Thou art strong, Jesus keep me from all wrong, Amen ]

Sunday, 9 November 2008

A new nature . [Isaiah 11 v 6-9 ]

The first world war was suppose to be the war to end all wars, it should have been ,but it was not, we are all aware of the history of the 20th century, wars and more wars. We should not be surprised at this , in Matthew 24, our Saviour said ,/nations will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom [ v 7 ]. We may ask why, people blame it on religion , and there is doubt ,religion may be a cause, but that is not the reason , the reason is our fallen nature, a nature that has within it violence , [Romans 3 v10-18], and this was shown in its fullness, when Jesus was crucified. So let us not be surprised at the violence mankind manifests, it is the nature of the beast. We all know the thoughts of murder that arise in our mind, and how it is so easy to loose our temper, and to damage someone if not physicaly,then with our tongue. When we trust Jesus as our Saviour a change takes place ,His Spirit indwells us, and it is He, who will help us to change. [ Father we acknowledge that we are fallen creatures ,so often controlled by our fallen natures, we ask that Your Holy Spirit , may fill us and control us, we ask this in the name of Jesus , Amen ]

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Masks [ 1 Peter 5 v 7 ]

The story is told of a person who visited his doctor, he felt depressed, so the doctor said, there is a circus in town, and I am told there is a very funny clown performing there, go and see him, that will lift your spirits, his patient replied I am that clown. In Proverbs 14 v13, we read,/Laughter can conceal a heavy heart/, so true, behind a smiling face there can be a heavy heart, it does not only apply to the entertainment industry.Many of us wear masks , and it is only God who really knows us, success does not necessary mean happiness, whatever hidden burdens we may be carrying, let us remember , God does know, and does care. No one understands like Jesus, so today bring your unhappiness to Him, who loves you the most, be it lonliness,rejection, feelings of not being loved, or whatever, remember He cares for you. [Dear Lord Jesus you know all about us, those hidden fears,heavy hearts, which we hide from others, we ask that these things may not overwhelm us, and that You may fill our hearts with Your comfort, peace and presence, Amen ]

Friday, 7 November 2008

Purpose [ John 4 v1 -26 ]

In the movie I Robot , one of the robots says,/ I believe father made me for a purpose/,he is of course talking about the person who made him. As a Christian I believe my Father in Heaven has made me for a purpose, and I believe he has made us all for a purpose, and that purpose is a good purpose. Before I came back to the Lord I was thinking, that life had no purpose and no meaning, I was looking into darkness, I had lost my way,taken my eyes of God, but then one fateful evening , God met with me and the knowledge that I was made for a purpose came into my life, and in the words of the old hymn ,/ my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed Thee/. [Dear God thank You for sending Jesus , thank You for the grace to trust Him,, thank You that in Him I discover purpose for being, and purpose for living, Amen ]

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Life is not a fairy tale.[ 2 Corinthians 4 v 8 - 10 ]

When I was a young boy I loved going to the cinema, it was the time before T V , and one of earliest movies I remember seeing was , the fairy tale Cinderella. Such stories end with the baddies getting their due deserts, and the goodies living happily after, this is alright in a fairy tale, but the fact is life is not a fairy tale. The fact of the matter is ,the baddies do at times win, and the goodies dont, and for many there is no happy ever after. I dont want to depress you, but being a Christian means being a realist, things dont always get better, Christians can experience heartache, and pain.Being a Christian, brings one into a new reality, that of faith,and hope, based on the greatest reality of all ,God. This reality helps us to face life with courage, gives us strength. and peace, and a belief that all things are working together for the Christians good [ Romans 8 v28 ] [ Father help us to face life as it is, give us the grace, to persevere in all things, we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen ]

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Change [ Mark 5 1-20 ]

So America has a new president, Barack Obama, what a change for America, it seems such a short time ago, the civil rights movement were protesting, led by Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. The theme of Barack Obamas election was change, will this happen ?,we will have to wait and see. There will be many who will be hoping that this one man will bring change that will help them to a better life, I hope they will not be disappointed. So many people desire change ,so many things blight peoples lives, the question is , how can this happen?. Well the answer is Jesus, when a person trusts Jesus they are trusting Him to change their lives, millions have experienced their lives being changed in miraculous way. In 2 Corinthians 5 v17 , we read,/ that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person, The old life is gone, a new life has begun/. [ Dear God we thank You for Jesus ,who saves, and changes lives, Amen ]

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Home [John 14 v 1-6 ]

I read the following quotes in the Readers Digest about home life/, A home keeps you from living with your parents/ Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in /, Margaret Thatcher said,/Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country/. I wonder what you think of ,when you think of home?, which reminds me of the old hymn , which says /, this world is not my home, I am just passing through/. Our homes here are important, but they are temporary dwelling places, in John 14, our Saviour tells His followers that He is preparing a home for them, I wonder what that home will be like? [Father sometimes we get homesick for our heavenly home, that dwelling place,which is being prepared for us , by our Saviour,help us to hold lightly to the the things of this life, and to keep our eyes firmly on our eternal destination, in Jesus name we ask this ,Amen .]

Monday, 3 November 2008

Gain [ Hebrews 12 v 1-12 ]

We all know the saying ,there is no gain without pain, it may appear an uncaring thing to say, especially to those who are suffering pain. If we are a Christian, the word of God tells that God is causing all things to work together for our good [Romans 8 v28 ], that means even the pain. Pain is not something any of us wants, be it physical, or emotional,but I do believe that we are gaining something from our pain, in fact I believe it is a very effective instrument in Gods hands, to make us better people. In 1 Peter 1v 6-7 , trials are seen as a purifying experience ,that shows that our faith is genuine,also in 1 Corinthians 1 v 4, because we have recieved comfort from God in our troubles, so we are then enabled to comfort others who are suffering ,we can identify with others in their suffering, there is, a gain from pain . [ Dear loving heavenly Father help us in our pain not to rebel against You, grant us the grace to trust You, and not to become bitter, we ask this in Jesus name Amen. ]

Sunday, 2 November 2008

The power of words.[ James 3 v 1-12 ]

In Proverbs 12 v 6, [NLT ] we read,/The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the Godly save lives/. Let us be very clear, words are important, as this verse tells us ,they have an affect , for bad or good, we can literally kill someone with our words, sad to say Christians are not immune from doing this. It is easy to speak without thinking, but it is so sad when we do think , and use our words in a calculating way to really hurt someone. The verse also reminds of the good we can do with our words, we all need to hear positive words spoken to us , many dear people are carrying burdens, whiich we do not see, let us not add to their burden, by speaking unkind , and hurtful words. There is a world out there that needs to hear the word of life about Jesus, let us ask God to help us with our words today. [Father forgive us for those hurtful ,painful words that we have spoken to others, help us to change, touch our hearts in such a way that our words would be healing words, comforting words, saving words, we ask this in the name of Jesus , Amen ]

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Shine [ Matthew 5 v14-16 ]

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam , to shine for Him each day ,in everyway try please Him, at home at work , at play, so goes the little childrens chorus, we used to sing. There is so much darkness in this world, so many are stumbling around, involved in so many things that are wrong, so Jesus tells us to let our light shine, [Matthew 5 v 16 ]. The little chorus stresses three places were we need to shine, [ 1 ] Home, am I the light in my home ? I often think, the home is the hardest place to shine, [ 2 ] Work, your workmates are watching, so shine, [3 ] Play,a legitimate activity,but even there we can move into the darkness, pornography. Today the challenge is, to shine, to be a sunbeam for Jesus. [Oh God of light, and holiness, help us to shine, to say , ill be a sunbeam for Jesus, grant it Lord, Amen ]

Friday, 31 October 2008

I was reminded [ Matthew 17 v 20 ]

I had a visit from one of my sons and family, ane he reminded me of how God had answered a need, many years ago. It was a time when as a family we needed a car, as a family we prayed together ,so one evening the boys and I prayed about our need, when we finished praying, my oldest boy said , I believe God can give us a car in fifteen minutes. Well I left the boys and went down to the living room ,and there was a knock on our door, a fellow Christian was there, and he said I have a car for you. [Father we thank You for answering our prayers, in the past, help us to believe that You will answer our prayers in the present, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Do it.. [ Matthew 7 v 24-27 ]

In Ezekiel 12 v 7, we read these words, /So I did as I was told/, and he was called to do strange things,called to speak difficult words , to a difficult people. Most parents have said to their children, why do you not do what I tell you. As you read the history of Israel , a disasterous history in many ways, a nation that at time prospered, but more often than not, they didnt, and the reason was, very simple, they didnt do what God said. Time after time God spoke to them ,but they just did not listen, they continually , resented what God said to them, the result was they suffered untold misery. This disobedience came to a head when their Messiah came , did they listen?, no,we all know what happened, they crucified the Lord of glory, if only they had listened and believed, they would have spared themselves so much pain . Today let all of us see the importance of not only listening , but of obeying what God says to us. [ Dear Lord Jesus help us to obey you in all things ,Amen ]

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A Gideon moment [ Judges 6 ]

I was meeting with some lovely Christians recently, yes there are some about, and one of them used the term, it was a Gideon moment. Gideon became a leader of Israel at a time when his people were being oppressed, and it was then God called him, to challenge and fight the oppressers. Gideon was a cautious person, needed reassurance from God, and God give him it, God is very understanding , more than we give Him credit for. But Gideons faith was challenged , he was faced with a enormous task, yet God appeared to strip him of the needed resources, humanally speaking defeat stared Gideon in the face. Inspite of the size of the task and his limited resources Gideon obeyed God and won a great victory, Gideon was honoured and God was glorified. When any of us are faced with God given tasks remember let us remember that Gideon moment. [Dear God thank you for the story of Gideon, a story that reminds us that You can use us, even with our weaknesses, the main thing being is that You recieve the glory, we pray this in Jesus name ,Amen .]

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Significant [Psalm 8.] T M ]

As a young lad I joined the army boy service, and I remember one of the adult service men in charge of us, a corporal Ward, bawling us out, making us feel insignificant, words like,/ imagine you lot are all we have between us ,and possible communist invaders, dear help us/.I think he used more flowery language than that, but you get the point ,in his eyes we were insignificant. If you you look out of an airplanes window, at people on the ground ,they look insignificant, and if one considers the universe, we are made to feel very insignificant. Mybe today you feel insignificant, and you are asking yourself, do I really matter ?, well let me say this, you and I are, in Gods eyes ,the most significant and valued beings in all the universe, and to prove it He gave the most valued thing He had to save us, Jesus his Son, simply because He loved us so much. [ Father thanks for giving Jesus Your Son to die for us on Calvary, thank You that You value everyone of us, Amen ]

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Sovereign Lord. [ Matthew 28 v 18 ]

Who rules? , an important question, sometimes it seems no one rules, events personally and nationally appear to be out of control. It is in the Old Testament especially we have these words,/The Sovereign Lord /, these words were penned by men of God who often were struggling. As they observed life, with its injustice, cruelity, and pain, it could have been easy for them to give up faith in God, and fall into despair, but they didnt, they saw beyond, their hurts,their pain , to a Sovereign God, a God who was in control, a God who ruled . We all have a choice to make, and its this,to rise above the the darkness, to put faith first, and declare to ourselves, and to the world, the Sovereign God reigns. [ Dear God help us to simply believe that You are a Sovereign God, and to rest in this, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen. ]

Sunday, 26 October 2008

He does speak. [1 Samuel 3 ]

God spoke to me personally today, the word was totally suited to me, this week has been difficult, I was struggling, and so it was good to hear God speaking. How does God speak to us?, well there are many ways He may speak ,with me , it is usually through His word,or as in this case a devotional reading, it can be and often is through a sermon. Many years ago a Belfast city missionary,told me how God spoke to him ,in relation to a call he recieved, to be a minister in a church, the Lord give him the same promise a number of times, he obeyed that call and went on to minister in that church for many years. If we are going through a difficult time, it is important that we dont run with our feelings, we need to wait upon God to speak, and I believe He will. [ O give me Samuels ear, the open ear, O Lord, alive and quick to hear each whisper of Your word, like him to answer at Your call, and to obey You first of all, Amen ]

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Grace [ Ephesians 2 v 1- 9 ]

Only by grace can we enter ,only by grace can we stand, so goes the words of a modern song, it reminds us a wonderful truth, that our relationship with God is depended on one thing the grace of God. I have just finished reading a wonderful book , / The knowledge of the Holy, by Tozer/, it is a book worth buying and reading, if I could ,I would make it compulsory for every Christian to read. The book reminds us of the greatness of God ,pointing out His attributes ,such as His mercy, holiness, God of course is greater than any of us could ever imagine, yet there is one phrase Tozer mentions which is so meaningful,its this ,/we live under a friendly sky/, even though God is awesome, and could justifable cast us all into Hell, He is a God of Grace, so that the vilest of people, who look to Him ,can recieve forgiveness through Jesus, and be accepted. [God You are so awesome in your being, yet we thank You that in Your great mercy and grace, You have made a way, for all mankind, to be accepted through your Son Jesus, Amen ]

Friday, 24 October 2008

Stop pushing [ Psalm 48 v14 ]

So often we waste energy and become frustrated in trying to push our way in, and we find it does not accomplish much .Take my present position, as a support worker among the mentally ill, I was in my forties, had no recognised qualifications, yet after a simple interview, I got the job. To me it has been the best job in the world, I have loved working among the mentally ill, and have been doing it for over 18 yrs, looking back it all seems so simple, that door open to me without much effort, I didnt have to push. There have been many positions that I have gone for, that have not opened to me,I pushed and I pushed but to no avail, in Revelation 3 v 8 we read these words, /I have opened a door for you that no one can close/,let me assure you that wont need to push that door. [Dear Lord Jesus, we confess , that we need You to guide us,help us not to push our way through those doors that are not your will for our lives,and help us to trust you to open the right doors for us, Amen ]

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The church [1 Corinthians 12 v12-31 ]

I have for most of my life been a keen follower of football, it is a team game,while one man may make a difference, he needs the rest of the teams support. So it is in the church ,it could be likened to a team game, the right leader can make a difference, but he needs the support of others, it can never be a one man team. On a football team you have different positions, you need defenders, you need attackers, so it is in the church we need the different gifts, the attackers , one could liken them to the evangelist, the defenders could be likened unto those who teach, the word of God, defending the truth of God, oh yes then there are the supporters,they are vital, in their giving,encouraging , and practical help. The point is this if you are a Christian you are a vital member of the team, and it is important that we all are invovled,in the work of God. [Father help us to see how vital it is for us all to be invovled , and help us to serve you faithfully ,within the church you have placed us, we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen ]

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Dont touch [ Matthew 6 v 9-13 ]

While on holiday recently I visited a museum, mainly of old cars, and right through the museum,there were notices with these words, dont touch.Now it was a very clear message, I understood fully what it said , but I have a confession to make , I touched a number of the cars. I knew that I shouldnt but temptation got the better of me, and I yielded to temptation. It is the apostle Paul who writes of a similar but more important experience, in Romans 7, he writes about the struggle he had ,to obey the law of God,and his failure in this. Like Paul there are so many things we know that are wrong, things we shouldnt do, we know them but we blow it, time after time,and like Paul we despair. But Paul moved on from despair to that place of victory, here is what he wrote,/ Thank God, the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord, [v 25] , and in the next chapter he goes on to tell us that there is victory over temptation , through Christ who has given us His Spirit.[ Dear Lord Jesus help us to know victory over temptation by the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen ]

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

God repeating Himself. [ Revelation 2 v7 ]

Yesterday I was worried, it was not a major problem, but it was worrying,there was a moment when I said to myself , dont worry, and then I spoke to God, Your always telling me that. It is so true ,God is continually speaking to us,repeating the same things over and over again, because we continually forget what He has told us. The words of the old hymn come to mind, / for I forget so soon/, it is so true, we are all without exception a forgetful lot.I rarely preach the same sermon twice, but God is continually telling us the same things, dont worry,pray,read My word, keep meeting with other Christians,our bad habits, and so on, God will keep talking to us, until hopefully we obey what He is saying to us. and by the way that problem I had was solved. [Father we are sorry that you have to keep repeating yourself to us, we are so forgetful, , and often disobedient, it is to our shame that it is so, help us to change, in Jesus name we ask this, Amen ]

Monday, 20 October 2008

Timely advice [ Proverbs 8 v32 -36 ]

In James 1 v 19, we have the following wise and timely advice, it is threefold, [ 1 ] You must all be quick to listen/, how often have we heard the words, you dont listen to me, that could be said of all of us, today let us be listeners. [2 ] Slow to speak/, the idea is to weigh up things before we speak,remember wrong words can cause so much damage, [3 ] Slow to get angry,/ many of us are quick tempered ,let us remember that God is in the business of changing our temperament. [Father help us by your grace to heed what you say to us, to treasure your words, for in so doing we will be blessed, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen ]

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Detached giving [1 Corinthians 13 ]

I woke up recently with the words, detached giving, in my head, I dont know why, so I looked up the meaning of the word detached, it means, disinterested, seperate,aloof , and impartial. It is in 1Corinthians 13, we are told that it is possible to help the poor,to have faith that can remove mountians, to exercise spiritual gifts,etc , and for those things to have no value in Gods sight, the reason being an absence of love. It is easy for a doctor to sit behind his desk and write prescriptions, it is possible for ministers to take funeral services, and just go through the motions.In Gods eyes love is to be the vital ingredient in all we do, if love is missing then what we do is of no worth, let me stress this again, no matter what we do, be it ever so noble, artistic, sacrificial, painful, in the service of others, and God, if love is lacking, it is of no value. [Soften my heart Lord, soften my heart, from all indifference set me a part, to feel Your compassion, to weep with Your tears, come soften my heart, O Lord, soften my heart, Amen ] [ The words of the prayer are by Graham Kenndrick ]

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Doubts [Romans 4 v 18 - 25 ]

I wonder if you have doubts?, is it a sin to doubt?, the answer is no of course, the disciples appear to have doubted even after our Saviour rose from the dead. [Matthew 28 v17 ]. Most of us will have doubts , we have to face that fact, it is what we do with our doubts that is the important thing. When God promised Abraham and Sarah a child, they both initially doubted, [Genesis 17v17/18 v12, but faith was triumphant. There are many reasons for us to doubt, we just have to watch the news, our own personal lives, sickness, unemployment, the list is endless, some things touch us very deeply, we experience things that mar us for life. There are no easy answers, think of Job , think of Jesus , they both suffered, and suffered tremendously.Whatever doubts you may be having ,commit them to God in humility, let us remember we are called to walk by faith. I took down an old Bible from the shelf recently ,it belonged to someone who was very precious to me, and I read the words of an old hymn on the fly leaf, it read,/ O for a faith that will not shrink, Tho pressed by many a foe, That will not tremble on the brink of any earthly woe, That will not murmur or complain, Beneath the chastening rod, But in the hour of grief or pain,will lean upon its GOD/[Father so many things bombard us , pushing us into the darkness of doubt, grant us the grace of faith, so that inspite of our doubts,we will not give up, but will press on towards our ultimate goal, heaven and home, we ask this in Jesus name Amen ]

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Glorify God.[ 1 Corinthians 10 v 31 ]

In the , Westminster Shorter Catechism,[ A cathechism is a hand book of questions and answers for teaching the pricipals of religion ], in this catechism there are 107, questions and answers. The first question is ,/ What is mans chief end ?, the answer- Mans chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever. So many have different aims, many see lifes aim, is to be successful, to make money, to be happy, and so on, now of course there is nothing wrong with those things, but, ah that but again, most people, dont have a thought for God in their aims, or indeed for others, hence so much pain and hurt. Fellow Christians let us make it our aim to glorify God, by obeying His word, and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, that must be our chief aim in life. Let us always ask ourselves the question, is the thing I am going to do, say , or think ,is it going to bring glory to God?, if not decide against it.[ Dear God help us to make it our chief end to glorify You in everything, we ask this in the name of our precious Saviour, Jesus , Amen ]

I am going on holiday until next Saturday, keep that thought in mind of glorifying God, apply it to every situation ,the Lord bless you all.



Friday, 10 October 2008

Obedience [ 1 Samuel 15 v22- 23 ]

In Proverbs 4 v23-27, we are advised to not be distracted, Look straight ahead, dont get sidetracked, guard your heart.The Christian life demands a singleness of vision, keeping our eyes on Jesus is vital . There was a prophet in the O T, we read about him in 1 Kings 13 who turned back, when God told him plainly not to, the result of his disobedience , he died. Obedience to God is not optional, it is vital, obedience to God is not a take it or leave it option. Consider that all the woes of life , have been caused by one thing disobedience. God made a perfect world ,imperfection came in when our first parents disobeyed. So dont run with your feelings, walk in obedience, dont yield to temptation, say an emphatic no, dont be fooled by the devil, and his lies, resist the devil and he will flee from you. [ Father it is so easy to loose sight of You, so easy to be distracted, and so easy to fall into sin, help us in the name of our Saviour your Son to have a singleness of vision, a vision of obedience. Amen ]

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Debt [ Matthew 18 v21 - 35 ]

As I look at the credit crunch , it makes me realize how much the whole financial world is built on debt. Long gone our the days when people would only buy something when they had the ready cash, it is buy now pay later. It seems that every one owes someone,even the money people invest is used by the investors to grant loans to others. We all know how easy it has been to get loans, and it seems that the present credit crunch, has been caused by irresponsible lending to people who could not afford to pay their loans back. The bible uses the idea of debt in relation to our sins, and makes it clear that not one of us can pay that debt , years ago people who could not pay their debts, where put into the debtors prison,and there they stayed until their debts were paid, as far as God is concerned we are all without exception in the debtors prison , because we cannot pay that debt. The fact is unless that debt is paid we are doomed ,but the good news is Christ by dying on the cross made it possible for our debts to be paid, when we trust Christ , God forgives us our debts[ sins ] [ Merciful God we thank You for Jesus Your Son who died that our sins can be forgiven, Amen ]

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

What is the Lord saying? [ Revelation 2 v 7 ]

It is Jeremiah the prophet who says, / You should keep asking each other. What is the Lords answer? or What is the Lord saying?[23 v 35]. Look at the situation now in our lives,and ask what is God saying to us ?, this is very important, we are inclined to go to friends, mybe get a book on our particular problem , but the most important question is, what is the Lord saying to us?. Look at the financial situation worldwide , what is the Lord saying about it ?, one thing I am sure He is saying to all of us is, that we should not trust in our money, which is unreliable, we should trust in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment, to use money to do good. [ 1 Timothy 6v 17-18 ], these words are aimed at the rich ,but they have meaning to all of us. [Father thank You for money, help us not to make money a god, help us to be generous, and responsible with our money, and help us to listen to what You have to say to us, in Jesus name we ask this Amen ]

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Let Him [ Psalm 47 v 4 av]

It was Eli the high priest who was told by Samuel, that God was going to judge him and his family, he replied,/ It is the Lords will, let Him do what He thinks is best, [ 1 Samuel 3 v 18 ]. The more I go on in my Christian life, the more I see the importance of letting God lead , guide, and choose. I see the importance of yielding to God in everything, of waiting on God , many godly people who acted out their own choice, have found themselves in hot water. Consider the words of Romans 8 v 26, /We dont know what God wants us to pray for/,it is the Holy Spirit, who knows, and intercedes on our behalf, the words of a hymn comes to mind,/ I loved to choose and see my path, but now lead Thou me on/. A Gerhard Tersteegem wrote these very meaningful words, Let Him lead thee blindfold onwards, Love needs not to know, Children whom the Father leadeth, Ask not where they go, Though the path be all unknown , Over moors and mountains lone/ [ Father God grant us the grace to trust You, to rest in You, to lead and choose what is best for us, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen ]

Monday, 6 October 2008

Making a vow [ 1 Samuel 1 v9 - 28 ]

Right throughout the Bible we have people making vows with God, Jacob in Genesis [28 v20 - 22 ]vowed if God would do certain things then he would likewise do certain things Making a vow with God is a very serious buisness, in Ecclesiastes 5 v4 -7 , we are told , it is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not to keep it. My study Bible says this, / In Israelite culture, making vows was a serious matter. Vows were voluntary, but once made,they were unbreakable/. In Matthew 5 v33-37 , our Saviour appears to be saying not to make vows, I dont think that is what Jesus is teaching, He was challenging the abuse of oath taking in His day,which was flippant in and insincere. So by all means make an vow , but be careful remember God is listening and He will expect you to fulfill it. [Father , You mean what You say, help us to mean what we say, help us to be people of our word ,in Jesus name we ask this, Amen. ]

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Success [ Philippians 4 v 13 ]

The Psalmist prayed, /Please Lord give us success, [Ps 118 v 25 NLT]/, in the margin of my Bible I have written a number of things I want to succeed in. I am sure if you think about it there are things that you want to succeed in, stop for a moment and ask the question, what do I want to succeed in?. Then , why not pray for success, in those things , I realise that life is not all about success, but we can know real success in our marriages, employment, and many other things.Sometimes we give the impression that the Christian life holds no success, but it is not true, we can be successful, temptation can be overcome, we can make a difference where God has placed us. [ Father grant us success in these lives of ours, pour out your blessings upon us now, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen ]

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Confidence [ 2 Kings 6 v 15 -17 ]

One of the major things that is affecting a recovery in the money markets, is a lack of confidence, the global economy depends on credit ,and because of uncertainty,those with money, are reluctant to lend. There is a genuine lack of confidence , and this is causing all sorts of problems, for millions of people worldwide. The question is what can one do when things appear to be falling apart?, well as a Christian, I do a number of things I pray. Of course prayer is not just for emergencies, but it is wonderful how emergencies ,can drive us to prayer. The next thing I do is look to God for a word, a word of assurance, a word that will give me confidence, that God will undertake. [ Father God in a world of uncertainties we look to You, to take care of us, in every situation, we bring to You all are uncertainies, and place them in Your hands, in Jesus name we pray this, Amen ]

Friday, 3 October 2008

Love [ 1 Corinthians 13 ]

I heard recently of a married couple , whose marriage is breaking up, the husband told his wife , /I dont love you anymore./ What a hurtful thing to say, what pain those words must have caused, and yet this is far from an isolated case. Having been married two times I really do know and appreciate the difficulties in a marriage relationship, yet I dont consider myself an expert. I have been married to my present wife 25 yrs, it has had real and difficult problems, but by Gods grace we are still married, oh yes that other thing which is vital ,I love her.It was Shakespeare who wrote love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds, he is right, love never gives up,never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstances. [ God of love we admit that we struggle so often to love others as we should, help us in our weakness to love, and love, and love, in Jesus name we ask this . Amen. ]

Thursday, 2 October 2008

If only.[ Isaiah 55 v 8 - 9 ]

I wonder do you ever think like I do? I find myself saying if only, in relation to sickness. I recently heard of a pastors wife who is suffering from a disease that will eventually kill her,before that happens, her mind will be affected. Then there is Wally ,an old bible college colleague, who is suffering from ,M S, and so the list goes on, I work among the mentally ill and one feels so much for those who suffer. This is where the if only comes in, if only I could lay my hands on them and pray, and see them healed. I remember feeling I should pray for a local minister who had cancer, I went to his home,was invited in, I prayed for that dear brother, but he later died, if only. [ Father we know that you are a God of miracles, and we long to see your miraculous power at work, there are times we think if only, and then out of the darkness we hear your gentle whisper, Trust Me. Amen ]

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Good luck.[ Psalm 121. Psalm 75 v 6 av]

She wouldnt pass me on the stairs, she said it was bad luck, but was it?, many people believe certain things bring them good luck. Consider a few of the things people consider lucky,lucky heather,being born Irish, [ the luck of the Irish ], reiligous trinkets, and acts like crossing ones self,[many footballers do this ], lucky numbers. Then we have the things that bring bad luck, a black cat,putting an umbrella up indoors, spilling salt, breaking a mirror,and many other things, I am sure every country have beliefs, about what will bring good luck, and what will bring them bad luck. The word of God makes it clear that our lives are in Gods hand, not influenced by superstitious ideas, that God watches over His own, and it is to Him alone we must look .[ Sovereign Lord help us to rid ourselves of all superstitious ideas, to look to you alone, for all things concerning our lives, we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen ]

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

He is not finished yet. [ Philippians 1 v6 ]

No ones perfect, and that is true, but God has a vision for every one of His children, perfection, when He saves us, he sees us as we are, filled with hang ups, bad attitudes . When the prophet Isaiah had a vision of God [chap 6 ] he declared, /I am a sinful man , I have filthy lips, and I live among a people of filthy lips/. He saw his and others inperfections ,but God was not finished with him or Israel, He was the potter they were the clay, He would perfect that which concerneth them [Isaiah 64 v8 ]. So it is with all His children ,God is in the business of making us all like Jesus, for all of us this is a difficult process, but God will not listen to our complaints, He knows what needs to be done, He will perfect that which concerneth us, so dont give up on yourself or others remember He is not finished yet , with any of us.[ Father often we despair at our failures and faults, help us to trust You, to perfect that which concerneth us, in Jesus name we ask this . Amen ]

Monday, 29 September 2008

A hero [ Hebrews 11 ]

I watched a dvd last night about George Muller one of my heroes , he lived in the 19 th century, he is remembered for the work he did for orphans. During his lifetime 120,000 orphans where cared for, he never made any appeals for funds, instead he prayed, and God answered , in todays money he recieved a staggering one hundred million pounds. When he died thousands of people lined the streets of Bristol, one news paper said of him ,he robbed the cruel streets, of those dear children who where destitute. George Mullers example influenced me and I am sure many others to trust God to answer prayer, he was an educated man , could speak seven languages, but his strength was his faith, a faith that leaned hard upon his God. [Father help us to lean hard upon You, to pray believing, we realise that this will bring testing, but we also realise You will be glorified, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen ]

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Always the same. [ Hebrews 13v 8 ]

I find it interesting to think that I have to use the word Yahoo to get into my e-mails, for the word Yahoo means , /a vicous coarse person, it was used in Gullivers Travels. Words and people change, the word gay, has a different meaning to what it used to have, I know many Christians find it hard to accept a new translation of the Bible, but I think it is important, simply because words of the 16th centuary, have changed there meaning. Yet there are words that will not change and in a sense must not change, words like ,sin, salvation, hell, and heaven. People even try to change the meaning of Jesus, which means Saviour, to mean other things.The Bible teaches us clearly, that He is a Saviour, He saves from sin, and Hell, and grants unto all who believe on Him eternal life. [ Dear God and Father in a world that is forever changing, we thank for Jesus who is the same yesterday ,today ,and forever, Amen ]

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Be on your guard [ Matthew 6 v 13 ]

One of the saddest stories in the Bible is to be found 2 Samuel 11, there we read of a great man of God, a man after Gods own heart, a man who wrote many of the psalms, we think of the 23 Psalm, what wonderful ,comforting words. David had a wonderful relationship with God, and yet we read how he sinned in the most dastardly manner, he committed adultery, then murder. When I read this I am reminded of how vulnerable we all are, if David the man of God could sin in such a manner then any one of us could. In 1 Corinthians 10 v 12, [ a v ] we read these very instructive words,/ let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall/, so let us be continually on our guard, lest we commit some sin that could damage our relationship, with God, and those we love. [Father help us to be on our guard today , help us not be overcome with lust, jealousy, hate, in the name of your Son Jesus we ask this, Amen. ]

Friday, 26 September 2008

Missed it [ Acts 26 ]

I noticed yesterday that the leaves on the trees are changing, we are about to enter a new season, the summer is almost gone, autumn is about to begin. This reminded me of a verse in Jeremiah 8v20, which reads /The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone, the people cry we are not saved/, it was a cry of despair from a people that had failed to respond to Gods mercy. The result of their actions would be judgement , a judgement from God, when the nation would be conquered and destroyed, thousands would die, the few that where left would go into exile. How important it is for us to respond to God when He speaks, if we are not saved, and have never trusted Christ as our Saviour, like the Jews of old, we are in danger of judgement, [ Romans 2 v16 ]. Dont miss the opportunity,now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation, so trust Jesus today. [ Merciful God help us to respond to your offer of mercy in Jesus, help us to see the importance of trusting Him now, before it is to late, Amen ]

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The will of God.[ Romans 12 v1- 2 ]

Oswald Chambers wrote,/ The aim of the missionary is to do Gods will, not to be useful, not to win the heathen, he is useful and he does win the heathen, but this is not his aim. His aim is to do the will of God./ Let me say, this does not only apply, to so called missionaries, this applies to every Christian. What should our priority be as Christans ? to do the will of God, what is the will of God for our lives? ,we are to be holy , that means we dont argue with this , or make excuses, the will of God for every Christian is to be holy.If God has placed us in a difficult place, that is the will of God, glorify Him in it, if He has called you to be a missionary, then obey that call, if, and so we could go on, today and every day the one thing we are to concern ourselves with, is to do the will of God. [ Dear God and Father help us to see that Your will is the most important thing in all our lives, give us a Christlike determination to fullfill it, in our Saviours name we ask this . Amen ]

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A promise [ 2 Peter 1 v 4. av ]

I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of, so reads the words on a twenty pound note, all of us expect this promise to be kept, and hopefully it will be. We have all made promises to our children, and to others, a brother in the Lord whom I met on holiday, said he would phone me in two weeks time ,he didnt keep his promise. Now I know it is easy to promise something, and so easy to forget, the fact of the matter we cannot always keep our promises, although I think we should try. When God makes a promise He always keeps it, His honour would be affected if He didnt, let me say when God gives us a promise He will keep it , so have confidence on what God has promised to you personally. [ Dear God thank you for the promises you have given to us in your word, for salvation, guidance , provision, protection, and many others, grant us the faith to believe them, we ask this in Jesus name, Amen .]

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Driven or led.[ Psalm 23 ]

We know the term, he was a driven man, many of us know this term, because often it seems that many of us are driven people. Recently I was rushing trying to keep an appointment,feeling a bit anixious,, and I thought,the Lord is not driving me, He leads.Are you a driven person or a led person? it is an important question, a driven person will become frustrated,a led person will experience peace. The led person will trust in the one who is leading, to navigate through the circumstances of this day, they will know the peace of God, that passeth all understanding, for the one who is leading them , makes no mistakes, and that one is Jesus. [Dear Lord Jesus help us this day to be followers, not driven, help us to trust Your leading , to know that You, will lead us the right way. Amen ]

Monday, 22 September 2008

I am glad [ Proverbs 3 v 5- 6 . a v ]

There is an old hymn that reads/God holds the key of all unknown and I am glad, If other hands should hold the key or if He trusted it to me I might be sad/.I am 64 nearly at the age of retirement , what about the future? what does it hold for me ?, what can I do ?, well I look back and learn from the past,first of all I pray, then I read Gods word, then I submit all to God. In the past I have tried many doors, and many have stayed shut, at the time , one felt disappointed, but with hindsight I see and understand, that God was doing what was best for me,and choosing what was best for me. It used to be when a person was 21 they recieved the key of the house, well let say this , as I have said I am 64, but I still want God to hold the key, for Him to open the right doors and to close the wrong ones, I have learned from experience , this is best, for if he trusted it to me I might be sad.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Why did He come ?[ 1 Timothy 1 v 15 ]

Why did Jesus come? , here is the answer ,/ Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, [1 Timothy 1v 15], another question one can ask , who are the sinners?, the answer is everyone, Romans 3 v23 tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The next question is what affect does this have on us, the answer is, we are lost,and in our sinful state we will remain lost. Here is a term that describe our lostness,we are perishing,and in that state we will eventually go to Hell, eternally lost, in John 3v 16, we read, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ,that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. When we believe in Jesus we are no longer perishing, we are saved, our sins have been forgiven, we are no longer lost, we have been found. [Dear God we thank You that there is a way back to You from the dark paths of sin , there is a door that is open that we may go in, Calvarys cross is where we begin when we come as a sinner to Jesus. Amen ]


Saturday, 20 September 2008

But I only spoke to him. [ 1 Corinthians 13 v 4 ]

I was walking through a local supermarkets car park, and I spotted a man sitting in an old Morris Minor, my first car was a Morris Minor. I suppose you always remember your first car, ours was special , a dear widow gave us it ,as a gift, it was an answer to prayer, and was a real blessing to us. Well I could not resist but to stop and speak to the man in the car, he had owned the car, nearly 40 yrs, and so we chatted, it turned out he was a believer, I then went to go on my way , and as I did he said , thank you for your kindness, my kindness I thought, but I only spoke to him. We live in a world that is on always rushing, if you drive you soon realise this, we are always trying to beat the traffic lights, always trying to get to our destinations before we have arrived, we never it seems have time as the poet says to stop and stare. So mybe it is a kindness to stop and talk to someone, mybe it may just brigthen someones day, that someone has taken the trouble to stop and talk to them.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Imagine [John 13 v1-17 ]

Imagine the Queen leaving her palace going into the poorest and dirtist place imaginable , rolling up her sleeves and cleaning it, and ministering to the sick, washing them,helping them go to the toilet, cleaning their bottoms, can you imagine her doing those things? The bible tells us of one who was God, one who was rich, the one who was the very creator of the universe,that He came into this cesspool of a world, to lay down His life in serving and saving others , one cannot imagine such a thing , but its true. This was Jesus , the one who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, what did He do? He gave up His divine privileges, He took the humble position of a slave, and was born as a human being ,and here is the most amazing thing of all, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminals death on a cross. [Dear Jesus, thank you, Amen. ]

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The money markets [ Psalm 46 ]

The money markets are struggling, money giants are falling, goverments are doing there best to support the markets,it is a real cause of concern. Psalm 46 is wonderful , it is full of reassurance, for I am sure that many people need to be reassured at this time, the psalm starts with God ,this is where we all need to start , for it is in Him and him alone, we find our security, not in the money markets, or whatever, God is our security. Consider the following words, God is our refuge and strength always ready to help in times of trouble. Read those words, memorize these words, believe them, for they will grant you that perfect peace, which the world cannot give,be still and know that He is God[v 10 ]. [Father so much in life is uncertain, we can feel so vunerable, help us to day to be still and know that you are God, we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen ]

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Forced labour [John 21 v15- 17 ]

It appears to me that Jonah was forced to yield to God, I wonder are we all a bit like Jonah? often prayer is the last thing we do, some of us only pray when we have to, and as for reading Gods word, well, we leave that to the preacher. If God spoke to us as he did to Jonah, would we react any different ?, we live under Grace, we are free, we are loved unconditional, those things are true, but surely the words of Jesus/, all who love me will do what I say [John 14v23 ]/ , tells us ,that love is a two way thing, and requires a loving response. One of my earliest memories of school was being forced to go,and the last thing a parent wants is for their child to only obey when forced to, you are not going to leave the table until , every parent remembers that. It does appears to me that so much of our relationship, with our Saviour could come under the term forced labour. [ Loving Heavenly Father, we thank you for that love which we have experienced in your son Jesus, we are sorry that so often we act like we are under forced labour, it is to our shame we admit this, soften these hearts of ours, for the sake of Jesus our loving Saviour, Amen ]

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Idols. [Exodus 20 v 1-17 ]

One of the great problems in Israels history was idolatry, time after time they created idols, and time after time, God sent His prophets to speak to them, it appears at times they had forsaken their idols, but so often it was a false dawn. Israel appeared to break free from this cycle after the exile in Babylon, then religion took over, we may not realize it but even religion can become an idol. It appears to me that mankind is very prone to idolatry, even modern man , sometimes this appears obvious sometimes it is less obvious, but it is there all the same, the dictionary defines idolatry,/ as an object of excessive devotion or admiration, as a pop star, etc./. The words of a hymn come to mind, /The dearest idol I have known ,whatever that may be, help me to pull it from thy throne and worship only Thee. [ Dear God , so many things can become idols,legitimate things, we are so prone to idolatry, it is a sinful tendancy that can seriously affect our relationship with You , help us to worship only You, we ask this in Jesus name , Amen ]