verse of the day

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 ]