verse of the day

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Courage. [ Joshua 1 v9 ]

One of my favourite movies is the Wizard of Oz, I love Mr Tinman, Mr Strawman, and the lion, especially the lion.Now these three all wanted something ,Mr Tinman wanted a heart,Mr Strawman wanted a brain, and the lion the king of the beasts wanted courage. Let me tell you what we need for 2012 is courage, make no mistake about it,we need courage. Often ,to often,preachers ,tell us of a quick fix, of healing,of prosperity, but what we find is life , has its ups, but most certainly its downs. To give up may appear the only way, to turn back may seem the only way, but it is not the Christian way,we must have courage, thats the Christians way,courage to face whatever difficulties the Lord may permit us to go through. How can we get this courage?a good question, the answer is two fold, by fixing our eyes on the Lord,and by faith, hold fast to His word, of course there is a third thing, the grace of God.Take the word of the Lord to Joshua with you into the new year, and have courage,/Have not I commanded thee, be strong and of good courage,be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. [ 1 v 9 ].
A prayer...../Dear Lord for Your past help we thank You, but as we start a new year with all that it may hold grant us the grace of courage in Jesus name we ask this Amen ./
[No blog tomorrow back Tuesday]

Friday, 30 December 2011

Good out of our sin. [ Psalm 51 ]

Let us continue to consider what Augustine wrote,/that those who love God,everything works unto good,even sin/,the question is how, why, and what?. How ,well because God is sovereign ,that means He can do it,yet without compromising His holiness.Why?, because He loves His children even when they sin,I dont stop loving my children when they do wrong,the Bible continually teaches us of a God ,who loves, and loves, and loves,even when we sin, and sin, and sin.Next ,what?, yes what will we learn through the pain of sin,we will learn to hate our sin , as the hymn writer wrote,I hate the sin that drove You from my breast.There is nothing more painful for those who love God , than their relationship affected by sin.The most important thing for any true believer is that loving relationship that they have with God.When we sin and repent, we will be more understanding towards those who sin, we will not cast the first stone. Peter deneyed his Lord yes three times, but after that experience ,he never deneyed Him again,the pain it caused him,left its mark, sin will always leave its mark. The restored Saint, will be more able to tell others the way back to God,David pleaded with God to restore unto him the joy of salvation ,and then he declares,Then will I teach trancgressors Thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.[ Psalm 51 v 12-13 ]. We learn that our relationship is based on love and grace ,not on anything in us, and that we can always come to the throne of Grace, and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need [ Hebrews 4 v16 ]. I read an article on a local policeman, and they describe the policeman as a proud Christian, there are a lot of us proud Christians about. God is seeking to remove the sin of pride from our lives, David, and Peter were surely more humble after they sinned.
A prayer...../Dear God forgive us our sins,and we pray that in Your great mercy you will even work for my good,that my I may be a better person through Your grace,in Jesus name. Amen

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Temptation. [ 1 Corinthians 10 v13 ]

I wonder do you have a life verse? I do, it is Romans 8 v28 [AV ]which reads, /And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,to them who are the called according to His purpose/. I am reminded of these words continually as many years ago I had them framed ,and hung on my living room wall, of whatever home I lived in.These words are a constant reminder to me that God is in control of His childrens lives, and that no matter what difficulty they experience, God will cause it to work for there good. Today I thought on something Augustine wrote,/ That for those who love God everything works unto good, even sin/. How can that be? ,sin, surely not, let us consider how this might be so.James 1 v 13-14 reads,Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God,for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed./God does not play around with sin, no, mankind does,now it is not a sin to be tempted,it is what we do with the temptation that matters,we are all tempted everyday , now I know there is moment in every temptation,when I have choice, to run with it or to resist it. God has given all of us a conscience, if we are a Christian, we also have the Spirit of God, and the word of God. These three factors are more than sufficent to help us resist temptation, if we let lust or covetousness take over, then we will yield to the temptation,and sin . We will continue to look at what are the implications for us as believers in the light of what Augustine wrote.
A prayer...../Dear God we ask for grace to help us overcome temptation in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Christ way. [ 1 Peter 2 v23]

I have just seen, on the news a conflict, was it between ,Jews and Aribs,unionist and nationalist,north and south Korea,America and Russia?. No it took place in Bethlehem in a church building on the possible site of Christs birth, between Catholic,Orthodoxand Armenian clerics. They fought each other with broom sticks, this happened last year,it appears to becoming a regular event, my goodness what are they thinking of?. I must confess I felt very embarrassed as I viewed this on TV,I thought of the shame these events are bringing on Christianity. In 1 Corinthians 6, the Christians are challenged by Paul about certain actions they were taking, they were reminded of the folly of their actions, and then he rebukes them. /I speak to your shame/,is it not a shame what these clerics are doing? and then he asks,/ is there not a wise man,that can help them sort it out among themselves?. Next follows the challenge,/Why do ye not rather take wrong?why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?/ What we are being told may not sound fair, but is the Christ way, who when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously. [1 Peter 2 v23 ]
A prayer......Dear God help us all to always act in ways that glorify Your name,we ask this for Jesus sake. Amen.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Faithfulness. [ Luke 16 v10 ]

We continue to consider Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and also great effectiveness in witnessing, which brought him into conflict,with those who disagreed with what he was teaching.Often there is a price to pay when we preach the gospel,as we will see in Stephens case, Stephen is arrested and brought before the religious authorities. So we have this godly man,what would he do water down his message, would he be like Peter, and deny his Lord?, no, he faithfully proclaimed Gods truth.Brennan Manning writes in his book,the Ragamuffin Gospel,/What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness/.
The church in Smyrna were told, be thou faithful unto death [Revelation 2 v10 ],unfaithfulness stalks our land, but those of us who are followers of the Lord Jesus,are called to be faithful,in our relationshiips, in holiness,in witnessing,in all things.A prayer..... /Dear God help us to be faithful in all things, in Jesus name Amen /

We continue to look at Stephen,this powerful but humble man, up to this point one could say that

his ministry was successful, but then he is arrested. He is brought before the religious leaders charged with speaking blasphemous words,this was a very serious charge, we see it in Islamiic countries. Well as Stephen stands in front of the jewish council,his facile appearanced is changed, to look like the face of an angel. Unlike the Israelites of old who were affected by Moses appearance [ Exodus34 v29 - 30 ],these hardened Jewish leaders were unaffected by what they saw. They question him, and this man of God , faithfully proclaimed Gods truth ,he was not intimidated, but stood and spoke Gods truth . It is Brennan Manning who wrote,/ What make authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies,biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness./Stephen was a faithful witness yes even unto death.

Monday, 26 December 2011

By His Spirit . [Zechariah 4 v6 ]

Let us continue to look at Stephen ,this man who was full of faith, and the Holy Ghost,a man who was a servant, this man had a powerful ministry. For we read he did great wonders and miracles [Acts 6 v8 ], I would love to pray for people and see them being healed,but it does not happen, but in Gods sovereign purposes it can happen,the only thing I would be concerned with, could I cope with it ?.People can come to faith in Christ through witnessing the miraculos, and indeed some did believe as a result of seeing the miraculous[John 11v45 ] yet inspite of all the miracles Jesus performed He was rejected ,and murdered, we should not deney the miraculous ,but realise that sometimes the miraculous can be misunderstood and even hated. The fact of the matter is when it comes to miraculous ,very few people see these things happen, Jesus did perform miracles,but often he did not want these things made known .It is the Holy Spirits choice to grant unto any of us miraculous power [ 1 Corinthians 12 v 11],Stephen was not only used in the miraculous, but also was granted great wisdom and power in contending for truth.I read this morning in the book of Zezhariah 4 v6,/ Not by might , nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
A prayer.../Dear God we leave our lives,our ministries in Your hands,and pray that Your Spirit may have full control,in Jesus name we ask this. Amen/

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Boxing day [Acts 6/7 ]

The day after Christmas is known as Boxing day in this country and some other countries,so why is it called Boxing day,one of the reasons is connected to tradesmen collecting boxes with gifts in them from satisfied customers, it has nothing to do with the gentle art of boxing.But it is also known as Saint Stephens day, Stephen was the first Christian martyr, we read about him in the book of Acts 6-7. he was one of seven people who were chosen to be responsible for overseeing the practical help given to widows.Many see the seven as the first deacons,the term deacon is given to one who serves, as an office in the church its qualifications were very demanding [ cp 1 Timothy 3 v8 - 13 ].This office and that of elders gave a necessary structure to the leadership of the local church. Now what kind of man was Stephen?, Acts 6 v 5/8 tells us he was a man full of faith ,and of the Holy Ghost and of power. So here we have a mighty man of God, but a humble man, who was willing to be a servant, I believe the greatness of a Christian is shown in servanthood. In serving others we are following in the steps of our Saviour [ John 13 v 4 -17 ] and His defination of true greatness [Luke 22 v26 ]
A prayer.... Dear Saviour help us to be Your servants,to follow in Your footstep, Amen .

Saturday, 24 December 2011

No ordinary chid. [ Isaiah 9 v 6 -7 ]

Christ came into an imperfect world, people we are told ,sit in darkness , and in the shadow of death[ Luke 1 v79 ],this is so true of so many places, in this world today. Mybe this applies to were you live, nothing changes in this world, only the setting alters, in the horn of Africa ,death stalks the land as thousands starve to death, in Colombia hundreds of children have been killed by land mines.The angel of death stalks this world, and no one will escape him,sooner or later he will catch up with us, does this fill you with fear?. But consider why Christ came,/To give light......and to guide our feet into the way of peace [Luke 1 v79 ] It is only Jesus who is the light of the world that can deliver us from darkness , and it is only the Prince of Peace ,Jesus who can bring us into the way of peace.If we open our hearts and lives to Him we shall not walk in darkness,and we shall know peace and walk in peace. Remember the babe of Christmas was no ordinary babe ,He came from heaven to earth, He would grow this God child , to become the God man,who through His death and resurrection, would bring life and immortality to all who accept Him as their Saviour.
A prayer..../Dear God on this Christmas day we praise You for Jesus ,Your dear Son,grant that even today many will come to know Him. Amen /

Friday, 23 December 2011

The greatest gift of all. [ 2 Corintthians 9 v 15 ]

It was Clement Clarke Moore who wrote, / Twas the night before Christmas,when all through the house,not a creature was stirring,not even a mouse/. I am sure we all remember the night before Christmas as children and as parents, I most certaintly do,when I was young money was scarce ,as it was for a lot of people. As a parent I remember putting the presents under the tree, of buying a turkey,and preparing it, and indeed cooking it,slowly during the night. All that is a memory now, but a pleasent one,memories are important especially good ones,I suppose that is what Christmas is for many, a trip down memory lane but of course it is more than that .It is a declaration of not Santa but a Saviour , not a mythical pretend person, but a flesh and blood person,called Jesus, who didnt come from a mythical planet but from heaven itself, to bring unto all of us the greatest gift of all, Himself.
A prayer.....Dear God we thank from the bottom of our hearts for Jesus the greatest gift of all. Amen /

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Ostacles. [Matthew 15 v 21 - 28 ]

We said yesterday that these wise men possible came from Persia, in other words they travelled thousands of miles.Thousands of miles , this was not in a modern convenience,however we look at it,they took on a tremendous task. But here is the important thing they never turned back, they just kept on going,day after day, over rough and smooth terraine,irrespective of the cost, irrespective of any hardships,they just kept on going.They travelled thousands of miles to find Christ,if men would but seek they would find Christ, like those wise men of old. There may have been many obstacles in thier way,but they just kept on going until they found Him, He was that important to them,nothing was going to stop them, He was the most important person in the world to them.Let me ask the question, how important is Christ to you?,would you be willing to travel even a short journey to find Him?.I dont believe that God puts obstacles in our way, but rather He shows us the obstacles that we have erected,and then gives us the challege, to remove them[ Matthew 19 v21 ]Again let us consider those very wise men, when they set out on their journey ,they overcame every obstacle in order to find Jesus, and the good news is they did.
A prayer..../Dear God we thank You for the wise men for not only were they wise ,but they just kept on going,inspite of the obstacles, help us to follow in their footsteps, in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Not the norm. [ Hebrews 1 v 1 -3 ]

Let us consider the wise men, we dont know how many there were,that is not important,why they came that is the important thing,to find Jesus, that is the most important thing ,not just for the wise men ,but for all of us. It is thought they came from Persia near the site of ancient Babylon , my study Bible declares, that they could have been Jews who had remained in Babylon after the exile , some think that were astrologers.We read in the book of Hebrews 1v1,/Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways/.this is one of these times, many years ago while at Bible college a student called Billy, told how he heard a religious program, which was any thing but sound,but through it he trusted Jesus. This is not the norm, but it is in Gods hands and wisdom, to reach people as He sees fit,the main thing to all this is, He does not lead anyone into error but into truth , and He who is the truth even Jesus as He is revealed in His word.Let me say ,we must, I stress must, stay within Gods revealed truth , the word of God.
A prayer...... Dear God and Father we realize that we cannot tie You down as to how You may choose to work,but help us that we may not be drawn into anything that is in error,in Jesus name we ask this. Amen .

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

What if?. [ Isaiah 55 v 8-13 ]

The thought struck me what if the wise men had turned and gone home , what if the shepherds had ignored what the angels said? what if, now I know we can apply these words to so many things.What if Mary and Joseph had not wanted a baby,and had an abortion?,yes what if?,what if Herod had been sincere,and surrendered His throne, what if?. What if Christ had not come?. The fact of the matter is,none of those things happened,a lot of people wish that those things had happened.The wise men did not give up,the shepherds did not ignor what the angels told them, Mary and Joseph did not have an abortion, Christ did come, the fact is, nothing can stand in the way and purposes of God . I wonder if you have an, what if?,but God has no what if,s, what He says will come to past, what He plans will come to past,in an uncertain world,we can have faith in a sovereign God,His purposes and plans for our lives will come to pass,it may tarry but it will happen, with God all things are possible[ Matthew 19 v26 ]
A prayer......Dear God ,the what if,s are many in life,they make us feel unsettled, and even dissatisfied, help us to trust in Your certain purposes,in Jesus name . Amen/

Monday, 19 December 2011

Out with the old.[ John 4 v 21- 24 ]

I was listening to the radio in the car today, and a speaker spoke how when Christians visit the church of the nativity,many poor Palestinian Christians,mention how these Christian pilgrims never notice them. I wonder why the place where Moses was buried was kept a secret? [Deuteronomy 34 v 6 ] could it be God did it as a safeguard, to prevent an idolatrous practice coming into place. I ask the question why did people die and kill for Jerusalem? does Bethlehem or Jerusalem matter now?do they matter more than those dear Palistinies, who are ,our brothers and sisters in Christ, I dont believe so.Our Saviour made it clear that Jerusalem lost its significance, when the new covenant came in.[cp John 4 v21-24 ] One just has to read the book of Hebrews, to see that the old has been swept away, the new has come, in the person and work of Jesus, holy places so called are of no consequences now , their use is finished. Visit them if you must, but not as a holy place that we need to defend with our lives, or even preserve, and difinitely not as places we need to kill for.
A prayer...../Dear God we thank You that our relationship is not dependant on so called holy places, or buildings,or priests,or festivals ,or works, but on Jesus ,we ask that He will always take the highest station, praise His name Amen/

Sunday, 18 December 2011

My favourite carol. [ Matthew 2 v 11 ]

[I wonder do you have a favourite carol, I have ,some people would be critical of it, but I love it,I have just listened to Annie Lenex singing it,it seemingly has made the charts, and rightly so. So I wonder have you guessed what carol I am writing about?, well it is about winter ,an English winter,with frost and snow, and a little baby being born,of course a special baby, now of course all babies are special. It was said that a woman said to Winstone Churchill, that her baby looked like him, Churchill replied, madam all babies look like me. But now to that special baby the one we all know about,He was special because of whom He was ,Emmanuel, God with us,we try to explain this to our cost,it is a miracle, an unexplainable happening.Next He was special for why He came, for He shall save His people from their sins,consider what that meant, let the mystery of it grip you ,all our rottenness and inexcusable wickedness,He would bear, it would mean that no one, no matter how evil, could be forgiven. Now here is my favourite carol it was written by Christina Rossetti ,the opening line goes, In the bleak midwinter, I love the last verse.
What can I give Him,poor as I am,
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him, Give my heart.
A prayer....Dear God we thank you for Christmas and all that it means,in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Jesus a Saviour. [Isaiah 53]

Now let us consider the only true aspect of Christmas, that which is spiritual, it is interesting that when the wise men, who were gentiles came into Jesus presence , they fell down and worshipped the infant, Jesus. The fact that they were Gentiles, brings with it a pointer to Gods purpose for the world,for Jews and gentiles.The Jews, mybe even today see Gods purpose mainly for the Jews, the Gospel would bring in salvation for all, race would mean nothing,colour would mean nothing,wealth would mean nothing. I have a nativity scene in my home and baby Jesus arms are outstretched,if we could see Jesus now ,one would see arms outstretched to all, inviting all to come to Him. The wise men fell down and worshipped Jesus,many will attend carol services,where nativity plays will be performed and the fact of the matter is they will be more interested in the performance of their children than of Jesus.They will hear carols and even sing them, yet they will leave totally unmoved or untouched,and sadly unsaved.If you are a Christian offer a prayer up to God ,that peoples eyes may be open, that they may see that Jesus is a Saviour, one who came to save people from their sins.[Matthew 1 v 21]
A prayer......Dear God we praise You for Jesus the Saviour of the world, grant that this Christmas many may come to know Him as their Saviour. Amen

Friday, 16 December 2011

Our greatest need. [John 4 v1 - 42 ]

Let us consider the emotional aspect of Christmas, it comes big time with the season, a season to be jolly or happy /merry Christmas. A season when that obese person comes around on his sledge,did you never think how cruel it is for the reindeers having to pull that big lump around, how do they manage to get off the ground, has nobody ever told him to go easy on the mince pies. But on a more serious note, we put to much expectations on Christmas, and not on Christ, mankind is continually looking in the wrong place, and at the wrong things,to satisfy their deepest needs. While I do not want to speculate about a famous sport person who committed suicide recently,he was successful,admired by many, and to those who knew him they are mystified as to why he killed himself.Could it be that for all his success ,life did not appear to hold any meaning. Remenber the woman at the well in John 4 and what Jesus said to her, whosoever drinketh of the water in the well would thirst again, but the water that He would give would completly satisfy.Do read the story yourself,and find out for yourself that Christmas the season will not,cannot satisfy mans greatest need ,only Christ can do that.
A prayer......./Dear God there are so many things that we cling to,go to,to satisfy our souls,it is the season,or some new toy,only to find out their emptiness,help us Lord ,remind us Lord continually,that only You, and You alone can satisfy our hearts longing,in Your name Lord Jesus we pray this Amen/

Thursday, 15 December 2011

He leads. [ Matthew 2 v 1- 11 ]

Ah Christmas,it seems to me that in our country ,there are three aspects of this season, Commercial,Emotional, and Spiritual.Let us consider the commercial,so many enterprises depend on Christmas to boost their sales,and at this time of recession,many are becoming more and more desperate.The shops ,garden centers start the season from October, if it keeps going the way it is,it will begin in January,and the words of the song,I wish it could be Christmas everyday, is going to come true. The good old Puritans under Cromwell sought to ban the festival of Christmas, but it did not last, for when Charles the 2nd became king,the ban was lifted.Now I dont want to be a kill joy,I like presents,turkey,etc,but, ah ,there is that but again, let us not be driven, the story of the wise men reminds us that they were led. Let us not be driven into debt,or whatever, the Lord does not drive His sheep, He leads them ,and takes extra care with the vunerable. [ Ezekiel 34 v16 ] I know we have heard it before,but it is worth repeating, Christ is the reason for the season,may it be so in all our lives.

A prayer.......Dear God thank You for Christmas, help us to enjoy it,but help us to see that unlike so many people, you do not drive us , but tenderly lead Your children, in Your name we ask this Amen.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Will I help or hinder? [ Philippians 1 v 27 ]

I am faced with a decision, should I become a member of the local chrch I attend, it is something I am praying about, for I know it is important to identify with local believers.I have been a member of various churches,and have sought to support them at the time,and they have supported me, for which I am grateful.I spoke awhile back to a church on what church membership meant.I did not choose the subject,so what conclusion did I come to ?. Well one of things I said was important was , unity,it saddens my heart and I am sure the Lords heart, at those who cause disunity,I have witnessed it and heard about it,to often. There are many reasons that contribute to disunity, they dont like the new pastor,so they refuse to accept him,and do everything to oppose and hurt him,little cliques form,were they talk, and talk about the new man and his shortcomings. Now let us be honest it is easy to find faults, for pastors are but men who are imperfect, R T. Kendal a most worthy pastor and teacher of the word ,experienced much opposition ,when he became the minister,following in the footsteps of Dr M. L. Jones, but he survived,and went on for many years, to be a blessing to that church, and to many believers.My mother used say, if you cant help then dont hinder,the question I ask myself, if I become a member of this church will I help or hinder,what are you a helper or an hindrance to your local church. A man called Fitzhugh wrote this as regards are relationship with the church./ When eact part is committed to the Saviour,s will. His members are united, His purpose they fulfil.
A prayer...../Dear God guide us to the church You wants to join,and as part of that church help us be a helper, not one who hinders, for Jesus sake Amen./

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Can you say . [Psalm 23 ]

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever [Psalm 23 v 6 ]Can anybody be sure of going to heaven?,is it not a presumptous statement?,many hope that they are going to heaven,some would say one cannot be sure.Of course many do not give it much thought, I was talking to a man today, who when asked was he saved ,replied that he had problems with heaven and hell. Many believe in heaven , a lot dont, it is not enough to believe in heaven,if you do not believe in Jesus. [John 14 v6 ] There is a sure and certain way to get to heaven, Jesus and only those who trust Him, and when You do trust in Him for the forgiveness of your sin. immediately the barrier is removed, sin is dwelt with [ John 3 v36 ]. Paul writing to the Thessalonian Christians,declared that God had delivered them from wrath to come[ 1 Thessalonians 1 v10 ],he assures them again in 5 v 9.In his epistle John declares, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life. [1 John 5 v13 ]. The Jailer in Acts 16 v 31 was told to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,he would be saved,in other words the moment he believed he would possess eternal life.Eteral life is a free gift,you cannot merit it, or buy it,no it is absolutely free [Romans 6 v23 ], although it was purchased at a tremendous cost, the death of Jesus on that cross. I wonder do you have the assurance that David had, can you say I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever?
A prayer...../Dear God we thank You that in a world of uncertainties, we can know that our sins are forgiven, we can know that we are going to heaven, when we know Jesus as our Saviour


Monday, 12 December 2011

Heaven beckons [ Psalm 32 v 1 ]

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. [ Psalm 23 v6 ] The man who wrote these words was David, the imperfect saint of God,yet inspite of his imperfection he had a heart for God,a humble heart,a seeking heart,and yet he had a heart that was at times very wicked , and selfish. Consider the dreadful behaviour he manifested,in the affair with Bathsheba[ 2Samuel 11], and the murder of her dear husband Uriah , an upright man,one of Davids mighty men[2 Samuel 23 v39 ].How can a man who committed adultery and murder, write , and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever?.Well Jesus said that all manner of sin would be forgiven[Matthew 12 v31 ],David repented of His sin [Psalm 51 ], and was assured of forgiveness[2 Samuel 12 v13 ].Let us also remember that the only sin that will keep us out of heaven, are the ones that have not been forgiven,like David we may have sinned in a terrible way,yet there is hope if forgiveness is sought.Heaven beckons everyone in the person of Jesus, who alone is the Saviour of sinners,like David,like you and I.
A prayer..../Father we are amazed and humbled at Your grace, that we are forgiven all our sins,
and granted a home in heaven, we thank You in Jesus name Amen./

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Our perfect home. [ Revelation 21 v1 - 5 ]

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever [Psalm 23v 6 ] We mentioned yesterday that it is vital that we live in the light of Heaven,to serve in the light of Heaven,to remember that we are strangers and pilgrims here. Now when I think of heaven ,I must confess I am not to sure what it is fully like, I know that nothing sinful will exsist there. Consider the blessing of that,because all the wrongs in this world are a result of sin,everything has been affected by sin,two of Englands great men, Nelson and Dickens,were adulterers ,yes our greatest of heroes are flawed, there is no land,city , town or village, that is not touched and affected by sin,lets go further, there is no individual that is not affected by sin. We cannot expect perfection here in an inperfect world ,yet people do,and they wonder why they are disappointed,their nearest and dearest do not care as they should, a friend hurts them. As to myself, well like Paul I cry out,O wretched man that I am, but here is the good news, in heaven, all will be perfect,no more imperfections,no more arguments, no more hurtful words, or sinful thougths
A prayer.../Dear Lord we thank You for the hope of heaven,were sin cannot affect its residents,
Lord You said you are preparing a place for your children,a perfect place,we
praise Your name, Amen.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Think on heaven. [ Hebrews 11 v 8 - 16 ]

And I dwell in the house of Lord for ever. [Psalm 23v 6 ] These words can be taken in the following way ,[ W Plummer writes, this]./ It is the desire, expectation, and determination of Gods people to seek their happiness in the service of God here, and they hope to enjoy His love, without enemy or interruption, for length of days, even forever in heaven hereafter./ For the saint of God heaven is their final destination, it is not that, an earthly exsistance is not important, but it is not the all important thing. The saint of God must live in the light of eternity, an old saint of God said when you are faced with temptation,look up into the sky and think of heaven. Yes we need to, as in we read Colossians 3 v 2 to / think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth [ NLT ]. Let us remember that all the glories of this world are temporal, the only lasting meaningful glory is the glory of heaven. It is only, what is done for Christ will last, we will think more on this next time.

A prayer...Dear God help us to realize that while life here is important, yet it must be lived out in the light of a greater reality, heaven,in Jesus name we ask this Amen

Friday, 9 December 2011

All will be well.[ Philippians 4 v 19 ]

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life .[Psalm 23 v 6 ]There was an old Chinese philosopher who rode a donkey sitting on it backwards, he may not have seen where he was going, but he could see where he had come from. David made his statement because he looked back ,and as he did he could see how God had undertaken for him. In another Psalm 37 v 25, an older David makes this statement as he looks back,/ I have been young , and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread./ So as David looks back he is absolutley confident that all will be well, God does change, what He did in the past,he will do in the present,and indeed in the future. In the case of Elijah when one source dries up ,God will provide another [ cp 1 Kings 17 v 7 - 9 ] Let us not limit the Holy one of Israel, the God who cannot lie will prove faithful ,if we are a child of God , like David we can say,/ Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives./
Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then
have nothing else to fear,
make you His service your delight,
He,ll make your wants His care.
[Nahum Tate ]
A prayer..../Dear Lord we confess that we look at our needs instead of You who will meet our
needs,help us to rest on Your faithfulness, forgive us,help us to hear Your still
small voice, saying ,trust Me,in Your name we ask this Amen.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Annointing. [ John 15 v 5 ]

Thou annointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over [ Psalm 23 v 5 ] Annointing was a common practice ,our Saviour mentions it [ Luke 7 v 46 ] after he had been annointed with ointment.Now David was annointed by Samuel [ 1 Samuel 16 v 13 ], and immediately the Spirit of God came upon him, in verse 14 we read how the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. I believe the annointing indicated Gods favour ,which now rested on David, and was no longer on Saul,this divine favour would rest upon David all his life, David acknowledges this, that all his success, all his victories came from Gods good favour .Likewise Davids greater son Jesus declared that ,the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, because He was annointed for a special mission [ Luke 4v 18 ]. With that annointing Gods favour and power , would be upon Him,and that equipped Jesus to accomplish that which would bless the whole world. W Pummer wrote , / The annointing clearly points to the effusion of the Holy Ghost,let us learn the neccessity of knowing Gods annointing in all our endevours, if we fail to know the annointing, then our preaching and service will be but a dry husk,that will have no effect on those we seek to minister to. Thomas T. Lynch wrote. Mighty Spirit, dwell with me, I myself would holy be. Mighty so as to prevail. Where unaided man must fail, Ever by a mighty hope. Pressing on and bearing up.
A prayer.....Dear God we have so much to learn in our relationship with You,the need to live and serve, not in our own power,but in the power of Your Spirit, Amen

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

God can. [ Psalm 66 ]

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, [Psalm23 v 5 ]Yes this charismatic person had enemies, king Saul ,and those who sided with him. Saul knew his days as king were numbered[ 1 Samuel 13v 14/ 15 v26] and when David rose to prominence, Saul became Davids enemy[ 1 Samuel 18 v 7 - 9 ]. Yet inspite of Sauls attempts to kill him ,David prospered,and when he lived among the Philistines [1 Samuel 27 ] the Lord watched over him and blessed him and preserved him. No opponents could hinder God, blessing His servant David,and indeed all of Gods servants, Joseph ,for were not his brothers c p Genesis 43 v33, and godly Job ,for was not satan his enemy cp 42 v12- 16. The word of God tells us, if God be for us ,who can be against us [Romans 8 v 31],yes He can prepare for us a table in the presence of our enemies.
A prayer......./ Dear God we rejoice that inspite of enemies and difficulties , You have provided
for all our needs,we praise and thank You in Jesus name Amen/

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The comforter. [ John 10 v 18 ]

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. [Psalm 23 v 5 ] I am never to sure what these were, Bonar in his commentary wrote,that they were for defence,also for beating bushes when the sheep went astray, and for killing serpents, and the like.Whatever they were, they brought comfort to the sheep, who were easily frightened, lions and bears threatened the sheep[1 Samuel 17 v 34 ]. The Bible continually compares Gods people to sheep [CP.Isaiah 53 / Ezekiel 34 / Matthew25 / John 10] ,and like sheep we face dangers, from Gods arch enemy , the Devil, now of course he cannot attack God, but he most certainly will attack Gods childrens.[ 1 Peter 5 v 8 ] Before our Saviour left His disciples , He said ,I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you [John 14 v18 ], and of course He did in the Person of the Holy Spirit , the comforter[ John 14 v26 ].It is William Barclay who wrote the following,/ Nowadays the word comfort has to do almost solely with sorrow....Beyond a shadow of doubt the Holy Spirit does that,but to limit His work to that,is sadly to belittle Him. We have a modern phrase which we often use. We talk of being able to cope. That is precisely the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to us, and takes away our inadequacies and enables us to cope with life. The Holy Spirit substitutes victorious for defeated living/,now little flock is this not a comfort to you?.
A prayer......./ Dear Lord we thank You that we have not been left to cope on our own, help us
to rely upon the Comforter at all times, in Your name we ask this Amen./

Monday, 5 December 2011

Make sure He is with you.[ 1 Thessalonians 1 v10 ]

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me/ Psalm 23 v4/ Yesterday we thought on death, the why of death, sin, ,the rich man, the poor man, death is the great leveller, we may cry out it is not fair I dont deserve to die.It interrupts all our plans, it comes uninvited, nothing we do can shut it out,we cant bribe it to stay away, tears are of no avail,it has pity on no one, the most beautiful and the most ugly die. Yet this is not the end of the story, for we are told in the Bible ,but after this the Judgment [Hebrews 9v 27 ],many say when you are dead your dead, and thats all there is to it, not so. Now consider that the apostle John was the apostle of love, read his writings,in 1st John 4, he mentions love 27 times, love permeates his writings.Yet it is in one of the best know verses in his writings,we read [ John 3 v16 ] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ,yes here is John emphasizes again the love of God, but John does not stop there, for humanity is meant to respond to this love, so it follows,that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.For many it is inconceivable that anybody should perish,but love does not nulify judgement, rather it provides a way to escape judgment ,that is by putting ones faith in Jesus. This is why David could say , I will fear no evil, for Thou[ Jesus the good Shepherd] art with him. While taking a funeral recently I said, make sure you do not go into eternity alone,make sure that He the good Shepherd is with You.
A prayer......./Dear Lord we thank You that when we come to face the valley of the shadow
of death we need fear no evil if You are with us. Amen/

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Death [Romans 5 v 12 ]

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me,Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23v 4. The word of God tells us that it is appointed unto men once to die Hebrews 9 v27 ], now everybody knows this, and of course most of us want to live as long as possible.It is said that this generation, are into denial in the matter of death, they rarely speak of it, or think of it. The Psalmist speaks of not being afraid of death, are you afraid of death?,someone wrote,/ The sum of all fears is the fear of death- the final loss of control/.David who wrote this Psalm faced death many times, yet he says he did not fear it, most of us will only face it only once.Some people welcome death as a friend, but is it?, the Bible says it is an enemy[ 1 Corinthians 15 v 26 ].God did not create us to die, but something terrible happened, we sinned, we disobeyed God [Genesis 3],and so an unwanted word ,and an unwanted experience came into being, death [ Romans 5 v12 ]. So sin is the cause of death,it is the penalty which effects everyone, men , women and children,humanty will never beat it,they may delay it,but thats all.
A prayer..../ Dear God help us see death for what it is, an enemy, and one we all have to face,
in Jesus name Amen./

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Honour Him. [Revelation 5 v 11ff ]

He leadeth me, in the paths of righteousness, for His name sake [Psalm 23 v3] Just a few more thoughts on these words , first on , He leadeth me, Barnes writes,/ we can have this assurance, if we follow the directions of His word, the teaching of His Spirit, and the guidance of His providence./ Next , for His name sake, in other words David wants the Lord to be honoured , in all that he writes, not only in what he writes ,but in all the way the Lord was dealings with him. People seek to honour their country and often do dishonourable things, we are to honour our parents and rightly so [Exodus 20 v 12].People shower honour on so many things, but the Christian priority should be to honour their Lord,and Saviour, in all things, for He alone is worthy to recieve power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
A prayer by Francis R Havergal......Lord, Thou , needest not, I know,
Service such as I can bring,
Yet I long to prove as I can bring,
Full allegiance to my King,
Thou an honour art to me,
Let me be a praise to Thee. Amen

Friday, 2 December 2011

Paths of righteousness. [ 2 Peter 3 v11 ]

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake Psalm 23 v 3. / Now we may have difficulties in relation to being led, and we do get it wrong, mybe you are faced with a decision ,and you are not sure what you should do. There is one thing you can be sure and its cleary seen in v3,the Lord leads us in paths of righteousness,He does not lead us to commit adultery,he does not lead us into anything that is questionable, he leads us in paths of righteousness. Now as my favourite author stresses we are saved by grace, grace means something we cannot merit,by religious activities, or good works [ Galations 3 v11/ Ephesians 2 v 8-9 ]So some may say, does that mean we can live any old way? no of course not, as an evangelical, I know there will always be that tension between liberty and licence, but the truth of being saved by grace still stands. I read this in the daily devotional Word for today,/ Grace rightly understood,doesn,t prevent holiness, it produces it. The grace of God that brings salvation....teaches us to say , No, to ungodliness and worldly passion, and to live self- controlled, upright and godly lives. [Titus 2 v11-12 ]Let us never loose sight of the truth ,that our good shepherd will only lead us in paths of righteousness.
A prayer..../Dear Lord help us to walk in paths of righteousness, Amen.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

He is leading. [ Psalm 48 v14 ]

/ He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake Psalm 23 v3/ Consider the personal aspect of these words, let me stress , that this a statement of personal conviction, and of personal faith. Unless we have a personal relationship with the Lord, life will have a limited purpose, or no purpose at all.Read the book of Ecclesiates ,the writer appears to write as one who sees life as pretty meaningless.This was not Davids outlook on life, he knew the Lord personally, that governed his life,does it govern our life?.So David declares ,that the Lord was leading him,and if we are a child of God ,we can say that He is leading us, but the question is this are we following Him?.Be very sure the most secure and best place in life is to follow the good shepherd,David knew this, even though it meant danger and difficulties, but in the end it meant glory[ 2 Timothy 4 v 7 -8.]
A prayer...../Dear Lord give us grace to follow You ,and to trust You . Amen.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

He restores. [ Matthew 11v 28- 30

He restoreth my soul [ Psalm 23 v3 ].We often apply this to a backslider but it has another meaning to it here, it applies to the child of God, who is exhausted, weary and sad. Oh yes Christians can feel like that ,the fact that David is inspired to write these words, bears out the truth that even the greatest of saints ,can feel washed out . Behind that smile there can be a sad heart,we must not judge others, or even ourselves, but simply be honest to ourselves and to our God. I like this reading from Matthew 11 v 28- 30 in the Message,/Are you tired? Burned out on religion, come to Me. Get away with me, and you will recover your life.I will show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me, watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I wont lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you will learn to live freely./ Last Sunday I went to minister at a church , and as I arrived , I felt weary,so I whispered a prayer, when I began to take the service, I felt God infused me, and enabled me to minister.
A prayer ...../ God, we are prone to so many things that wear us down , restore our souls
in Jesus name Amen.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Gods spoilt children. [ Psalm 37 v 3 -4 ]

Psalm 23 v 2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters/ Now I want you to imagine that you are a sheep , you are walking through a dry and barren landscape, with not to much to eat or drink,what you are dying for, is lush pastures, and cool water to drink. The shepherd knows this, and I suppose he will deney them their hearts desire, no of course he wont, he loves his sheep, so he gladly leads them to the place of plenty. Our Lord is not out to deprive His sheep, He delights to bless ,sometimes we give the impression that all God wants from us is to suffer and go without, and He wouldnt give us a smile. Now I am not into the prosperity so called Gospel, but sometimes I think He loves to spoil us His children,in the nicest sort of way. I see this in so many ways, in the small things He gives me, and in the gracious way He treats me.
A prayer.....Dear Father in heaven, thank You for treating us Your children in such a generous
and loving manner, at times we feel that You spoil us, we offer our thanks to You
in our Saviours name Amen.

Monday, 28 November 2011

A dependable Father. [ Matthew 6 v 24 - 34 ]

The Lord is my shepherd. [Psalm 23 v1 ], and then we read, /I shall want/, how often I have read those words, and depended on them. Why are these words there? to mock us in our times of need, no ,emphatically no, they are written out of Davids experience, in God, who keeps His word. It was God who moved David to write these words, so you and I ,would be encouraged to trust in the Lord ,who would provide for His children.When I was very young , my mum and dad seperated,a magisrtate made an order that my father was to pay my mother 25 shillings a week to help support his family,I had two older brothers and a sister ,well sad to say my dad never did pay my mother that princely sum of 25 shillings.The fact of the matter is, some fathers can not be depended on ,but from experience let me assure you, my loving Heavenly Fath er, can be depended on to look after His childrens needs.
His love in time past
Forbids me to think
He will leave me at last
In trouble to sink,
Each sweet Ebenezer
I have in review
Comfirms His good pleasure
To help me quite through.
A prayer..../Dear God we thank You for past mercies and trust You to undertake for us, all
our days, in Jesus name. Amen .

Sunday, 27 November 2011

I will remember their sins no more. [ Jeremiah 31 v 31 - 34 ]

The Lord is my shepherd.[Psalm 23 v1] In John 10 we read how those hired to look after the sheep, will leave the sheep to their fate, if they are threatened, but not so with the one whose sheep they are. He will defend the sheep to the point of dying for them, all this reminds us of what Jesus did for His sheep, He died for them. The laying down of His life had to be ,if we were going to be saved, if He had not been willing to lay down His life, then there have been no salvation, we would have all perished in our sin, with all the consequences that would mean. No forgiveness, no acceptance with a holy God,there would be bo promise of a heavenly home, for nothing that defileth can enter heaven [Revelation 21 v 27 ] In His death that awful thing called sin was dealt with totally ,completly, [ Hebrews 7 v 27 ], Let me share another story from the book Ragamuffin Gospel, by B Manning. A minister was told that a lady in his church , was claiming to have visions of Christ [B M points out, that there is always a thin line between the authentic mystic and the lunatic fringe]so the minister goes to her, and says,is it true that you have visions of Christ?, yes the lady replied. Well the next time you have a vision ask Him what sins I last confessed to Him. The woman was stunned. Did I hear you right, you actually want me to ask Him this, to tell me your sins. Exactly, please call me if anything happens. Ten days later the lady notified the minister of a recent apparition, so the minister went to see her. He arrived and questioned her, so you saw Jesus?, well did you ask Him what I requested?. Yes I did ,and you know what He said, these are His exact words, I Cant Remember.
A prayer...../Dear God we praise You for our Saviour who died to save us,that through Him our
sins are forgiven , help us to accept this wonderful blessing, in Jesus name Amen ./

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I know my sheep. [John 10 v 14 ]

The Lord is my shepherd[ Psalm 23v1 ]Now most of us dont know much about a shepherd, in John 10 we have things mentioned that help us to understand their role. In verse 3 we read that the shepherd knows his sheep by name, in the shepherds eyes they are not just a number.The worlds population is reckoned to be 7 billion ,we do not know how many of them are Christians,but the good Shepherd Jesus does ,he knows them by name. Next we read that He leads them,He goes before them ,and here is the important thing,the sheep follow Him. Now it should be a great comfort to have the assurance that Jesus our good shepherd is leading us. Joseph H. Gilmore wrote,/He leadeth me, O blessed thought. O words with heavenly comfort fraught. Whate,er I do, where,er I be. Still tis Gods hand that leadeth me/.This is a blessed thought, a great comfort, but has this implication for His sheep, for we may not appreciate what this fully means, for the hymn goes on to say./Sometimes mid, scenes of deepest gloom. The vital thing for us all,I believe is to trust, the one who is leading. I read this story recently,/ A two story house caught fire, most escaped but a little boy panicked and ran back upstairs and into his room. Suddenly he appeared at a smoke filled window,crying like crazy. His father ,outside ,shouted, jump son, jump, I,ll catch you, but daddy the boy cried, I cant see you.His father called, I know son, but I can see you./For that little boy if he was going to be saved , he would have take a leap of trust, it is the same for us all we are called to trust the one who is leading.
A prayer..../Lord I would clasp Thy hand in mine
Nor ever murmur nor repine.
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since tis my God that leadeth me. Amen.

The new covenant.[ Jeremiah 31v31 ff/ Hebrews 8 v13ff]

David declares ,that the Lord was his shepherd[ Psalm 23 v1],yes it was possible even under the old covenant to have this very personal relationship with God. During the period of the old covenant fellowship with God was possible ,but this fellowship included adherence to the ceremonial laws, the offerings,the Sabbath keeping. But when we come into the new covenant these things are swept away, and for those who put their trust in Jesus ,there is a relationship with God, that is free from legalisim, and the only barrier is sin.Through the good Shepherd, Jesus, we can come boldly into the presence of a God[ Hebrews 4 v16 ] who accepts and loves us freely and unconditionally. These words of a poem declare a wonderful truth,/ Near, nearer I cannot be, for in the person of His Son, Im just as near as He/,amazing but true.
A prayer..../Dear Father in heaven , for Your unconditional love in Jesus we thank You. Amen/

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Lord is my Shepherd. [ Psalm 23 ]

We will begin looking at the 23 rd Psalm , next to the Lords prayer , the 23rd Psalm must be the best known of the scriptures. So let us commence our study. ...../ The lord is my shepherd, consider how wonderful these words are, and yet how amazing. A little boy whispered into the ear of his new born baby sister,tell me what the God is like, for I have forgotten. What knowledge people once had of God is long forgotten most people are like Pharaoh, who declared, who is the Lord/ I know not the Lord [ Exodus 5 v 2 ].There is a darkness throughout our land, Christmas is but a commercal occassional, we who are Christians continue to tell people the true message of Christmas,but to little avail, these are not words of despair, for I believe in the Sovereignty of God. They are as it is, I wish it was not so, but alas Santa is as real to most people as our dear Saviour. Unless God reveals Himself, the dark ignorance will continue, such is mankinds condition they have forgotten what God is like.
A prayer..... Dear God we ask that in Your mercy,that You shine into the darkened hearts of people , and bring them to a true knowledge of Your Son Jesus. Amen .

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Be faithful, and trust God.[ Proverbs 20 v 6 ]

Earlier in the day I took a funeral service, my neighbours mother had requested ,that I take her funeral. I felt anxious but the Lord helped, and the mourners expressed appreciation. In preperation for the service they had requested no hymns, this sort of threw me hence the anxiety,did they want a secular funeral service?. Well I am not into secular funerals so I just went ahead and prepared , I read some scriptures and spoke on the 23rd Psalm, and finished reading that lovely old hymn, Abide with me. Tomorrow I will highlight my 3 points from Psalm 23,the lesson I learnt from this experience,we must be faithful, and trust God,for inspite of my forebodings, it appeared to go well.
A prayer...../Dear God it is so easy to feel intimidated ,help us by Your grace,to trust You, and be faithful in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The secret of success [ 1 Corinthians 2 v 1 -5 ]

After engaging with someone in a conversation about Christianty, I came away feeling I had make it sound to complicated, I found myself saying why cant I make it more simple , why indeed.It was the great apostle Paul who wrote of his ministry to the people at Corinth wrote that his message and preaching were plain, he did not use lofty, clever or persuasive speech. [ 1 Corinthians 2v 1/4]. In fact he writes to feelings of weakness, fear, and even trembling, so we could ask the question, how was his ministry so successful?.As a preacher I can really identify with Paul, sometimes one feels so inadequate as one comes to minister. Now here is the secret of his success, the power of the Holy Spirit [ 2v 4 ], not Pauls personality,not fancy speech, as the Message puts it, none of these things, it was the power of God. I remember someone pointing to a preacher of note and his success, I pointed out it is God who saves, and to God should go the Glory. Once Dr Chalmers was congratulated on a great speech to a crowded assembly. Yes, he said, but what did it do?.
A prayer...../ Dear God help us to continually realize that the secret of our Christian life and
ministry is the person and power of Your Spirit, in Jesus name. Amen ]

Monday, 21 November 2011

A shrug of the shoulder. [ Romans 1 v 18 - 32 ]

It was the prophet Ezekiel who spoke to the exiles in Babylon, he was moved by the Spirit of God to challenge Judah as to their sinful behaviour. The exile which lasted 70 years was a judgement for sin, the exiles in Babylon and those left in Judah had sinned greatly ,and it is in chapter 16 ,Ezekiel is declaring unto them their sin ,comparing them to a harlot. It is v47 he says ,/as if that were a very little thing/,instead of seeing what they were doing for what it was, awful and terrible ,they as it were shrugged their shoulders as if it didnt matter, they go on to commit even worse sins.Is this not a picture of this generation,adulterary, homosexuality,cheating in sport, many dont appear to be concerned with what they do, just as long as they get away with it. Their evil behaviour did not stop at what they had done, no, they went on to commit even worse things.So it is if the sinner is not challenged as to their bad behaviour ,they will go on to commit even greater sins.How does a person become an alcoholic?, by taking one drink, every sin starts somewhere , and we may shrug of any thing that may challenge us,and act as if what we are doing is not important,but sin of any kind should never be seen as a little thing,for as the Jews found out to their cost ,that their is a big price to pay.
A prayer...../ Dear God help us not to take sin lightly,to confess and forsake it,in Jesus name
Amen. /

Sunday, 20 November 2011

That first step. [Romans 4 v 17 - 21 ]

Basil D Olivera died , he was a cricketer, he origionally came from South Africa, but left because of the apartheid laws,he was then 28. He came to England and became an England cricketer ,when he was chosen to play for England,to play against South Africa, he was refused entry , the result was, England pulled out of any future test matches.until the release of Nelson Mandela, it was said of him he succeeded against the odds.Many people have succeeded against the odds, to some extent I feel that it could apply to myself ,mybe today you are facing difficulties, no job, no qualifications, apparently no chance. Mybe you have an idea to develop something you feel strongly about, and there are those who say you have no chance of succeeding, they may be right but then they may be wrong,everything may be against you, but if God is in it, it can and will succeed, God will not wave a magic wand,it may require hard long years to succed, let us remember the road to success starts with that first step, so prayerfully take that first step.
A prayer..../Dear God save us from despair ,help us to see with Your help, there is always hope
and that we can succeed against the odds, in Jesus name we ask this. Amen /

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Eternally grateful.[ Ephesians 2 v 1 - 9 ]

One of my sons, his wife and children are staying with us over this weekend, for most of us family is important,and rightly so.Now I want to quote a statistic, 70 percent of all young offenders come from single fatherless families, and a high percentage of young people involved in the recent riots were from single fatherless families. That is now, I find it interesting that I was brought up in a fatherless families, there were six of us ,and none of us got into trouble with the police . I suppose there may be many reasons why,our family escaped the law,we did have a larger family of uncles and aunts, also the times were different,there was also a degree of Christian influence, Sunday schools, childrens meetings,we all managed to find work. We also had Christian neighbours, hopefully they may have prayed for us, in the end I dont know, other than the mercy of God. I am grateful for the mercy of God towards my family,and towards me especially,for not only did God preserve my family, He saved me, and has kept me, for that mercy I will be eternally grateful.
A prayer..../Dear God we thank You for Your mercy in Jesus Your Son, a mercy that saves us
poor sinners Amen.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Just trust Me. [ Proverbs 3 v 5 ]

I must confess I am disappointed,the only supermarket were I buy my favourite bread, is no longer selling it. So what am I to do ?, I realize it is a very minor disappointment ,I am not complaining, after all I have a choice of a whole range of bread. But still I am disappointed, so what can I do?, well I had a brain wave ,I got on the net ,typed in what I wanted, and wallah, their was the recipe, so I am going to have a go at baking my favourite bread, watch this space. Disappointments can be trivial , more serious, and very serious, my disappointment I classed as trivia, but I appeciate that for many life is not easy, death,illness, divorce, unemployment,homelessness and so the list goes on. Well what does one do?, I read this recently in one my daily readings, it is one of the most meaningful things I have read. /Divine logic is beyond the grasp of my mind. I ask, Why this anguish?. The Father answers, Hush child, you wouldnt understand if I explained it to you. Just trust me.
A prayer....../Father we hear those words from You, just trust Me, they at times appear to mock
us, we hear the voice of doubt,and the enemy of our soul, so today grant us the
grace to simply trust You, in Jesus name. Amen/

Thursday, 17 November 2011

An unsinning heart. [ 1 Corinthians 15 v 51 - 53 ]

Continuing on the theme of our sinfulness,now as a Christian of many years,and likewise a preacher, I suppose many people look at me, and think that butter would not mealt in my mouth. Yet it is not so, for I am still in this body of flesh, and I am often having to contend with temptation,from my fallen nature, and from satan, and I dont always win that fight.As long as I live I know it will be a battle to the grave, there is no escape ,it is onward Christian soldiers , marching as to war.Yet one day the battle will be over, when we will stand on heavens shore , and that will mean many things, and it is one of those many things that struck me recently , when I was singing an old hymn. It was written by Robert Murray Mcheyne , called , I am a debtor, and one of the verses reads,/ When I stand before the throne. Dressed in beauty not my own. When I see Thee as Thou art. Love Thee with unsinning heart, Then , Lord, shall I fully know. Not till then- how much I owe./ It is those words ,Love Thee with unsinning heart, that struck a cord with me. Can any of us trully take in the wonder of those words, that hearts that are now described as deceitful and desperately wicked [Jeremiah 17 v 9 ], will on that day be fully and wholly changed,we will have unsinning hearts.
A prayer..../Dear God grant us the grace to overcome sin,help us to fight the good fight of faith
,until the day we stand before You with an unsinning heart, in Jesus name .Amen.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

It is grace all the way. [ Romans 16 v 24 ]

Many foolish people deney that they are sinners ,even though the word of God clearly teaches that we are all are sinners. When the Spirit of God convicts a person ,then the arguments cease, the protesting stops,and the only thing they can say is, God be merciful to me a sinner. We say amen to the truth in 1 John 1 v 8, which reads, if we say that we have no sin we decieve ourselves, and the truth is not in us. The Christian will always be but a sinner saved by grace , and will never cease to be amazed what God has done in saving them by His grace through His son Jesus.The words of that wonderful hymn by R Robinson come to mind, /
O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily Im constrained to be,
Let that grace ,Lord , like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander ,Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God Ilove,
Here,s my heart, Lord , take and seal it,
Seal it from Thy courts above.
A prayer..../Dear God we marvel at the wonders of Your grace in saving us, and keeping us,
grant us today an outpouring of that grace , in Jesus name Amen. /

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Freedom is worth everything. [ John v 34 - 36 ]

It was rememberance Sunday yesterday, when most people wore poppies,and through out our land people stood before momuments ,and laid wreaths,we do such things to honour and remember, those who died in present, and past wars.We like to think that they died for us ,so we could live in what is known as a free country, so we honour them. I saw part of TV show presented by Sir David Jason one our countries finest actors, he was speaking to a war veteran , who had escaped from a prisoner of war camp, he said that he had vowed never to be a prisoner again, and then he said, / Freedom is worth everything/.I am sure he is right, freedom trully is worth everything, Jesus believed this so much so that He gave His everything, that He could set people free, from the greatest bondage that people suffer from, sin.In Romans 6 v 17, declares ,once you were slaves of sin, in Christ and through His death on the cross we have been set free fom sin.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
fast bound in sin and natures night,
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the duneon flamed with light,
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
A prayer..../ Dear God we thank You for the freedom we have through Jesus Your Son. Amen.
[I will return to my blog Thursday morning ]

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Strange heroes. [ Hebrews 11 v 31 - 38 ]

I like old cowboy movies , when I was young one of my favourite actors was Audie Murphy, now the thing about Audie ,he looked really young, no one would have thought that he was especially brave. The parts he acted in were mostly cowboy movies and he was the hero, but the fact about Audie he was a real life hero. In the second world war he was one of America,s most decorated soldiers, strange but true, and it reminds me of a Bible character called David. Initially David was overlooked by his father, when Samuel came to annoint a new king.Later on when all Israel were afraid because a big giant was threatening them it was David who volunteered to fight the giant. Well, when he faced the giant, the giant as much as laughed at him, but the giant learned to his cost, that you dont judge a book by its cover. I dont know if A.M.knew the Lord, but I know David did , and his success in all his battles was down to that one thing. It would do us all good to remember the words of 1 Samuel 16 v 7,/ the Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
A prayer.../Dear Father we thank You that when we know Your son Jesus it makes us special,and though we are ordinary human beings, we can accomplish extraordinary things. Amen/

Friday, 11 November 2011

Healing .[ James 5 v 14- 15 ]

Recently we were having an open discussion on healing in the church I attend, the pastor led the discussion, most of us have thoughts on this subject. Some people say that miraculous healings are not for today, it would be interesting to know if any of the people, who read this blog, have been healed.In some ways the subject appears to be a minefield, many people have prayed for healing and have not been healed, my first wife died from cancer, I did pray for healing, the night before she died I read a scripture,that indicated that she was going to die. There are no easy answers, of course we all believe that God can heal,but will He?,that is the question. Even today a girl came into the church hall were we run a group, she could not get into the chuch building to light a candle,it seems her friend is dying in a hospice,she is a single parent and has three children, I assured her that I would pray for her[ Will you pray for her as God leads ]. Coming back to that discussion, it ended with the pastor giving an invitation for anyone who wanted to be prayed for, to indicate so, I was one of those who did, it was not emotional or pressurized , he simply annointed us with oil and prayed a simple prayer.I was not healed, but this will not stop me from believing that God still heals.
A prayer...../Dear God we struggle with suffering,we think of that dear girl dying leaving 3 chidren,we know you can heal, but often it does not happen,guide us in this by Your Spirit, in Jesus name. Amen ]

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Never cancelled, never rescinded.[ 1 Corinthians 9 v16 ]

It is that time again the anniversary of my coming to England to be a minister, much has happened since then, I still consider myself as a minister. Recently a person called me a lay preacher, I did not say anything but I did not appreciate what he said,in Romans 11v 29, we read,/ for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, / the message puts it like this,/ Gods gifts and Gods call are under warranty- never cancelled,never rescinded/. When I became a minister a friend said to me they cant take that away from you, they have tried but they never will. It is not about status, it is about the importance of my ministry, often my ministry has come under attack, but I have continued to be faithful to my calling. One hears people saying that they are no longer in the ministry,but as far as I am concerned,I have always been in the ministry, and will always be in the ministry. Because the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable, yes I will always be Bill the preacher.
A prayer....../Dear God help us be faithful to our calling , be it a nurse, fireman, or whatever in Jesus name. Amen/

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Wonder and worship. [ Psalm 19 ]

I read this today, /We miss the experance of awe, reverence,and wonder /, [ B Manning ] I am sure that this is true of many of us, our senses have been dulled by modern technology. Many of us have become blase, indifferent to the wonders all around us we are so under pressure , as the poet wrote ,we never stop and stare. There are I am sure many reasons why, we have reached the point we are at, we are distracted by financial pressures ,family pressures, personal pressures. We read in Psalm 8v3, When I consider Thy heavens , the works of Thy fingers, the moon, and the stars, which Thou hast ordained/, I remember the American astronaut while he circled the earth ,reading from Genesis 1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Mybe here is the reason why we are no longer filled awe, reverence and wonder, consider the program I watched earlier, about the origins of the universe, many brilliant people have theories, and thats all they have. As a Christian I believe this universe did not come into place by chance, it would be impossible for this to happen , I just hope I never forget this truth unfortunately many have,. There was a song that was popular many years ago called , I believe, here are some of the words.
I believe for every drop of rain that falls,
A flower grows.
Everytime I hear a new born baby cry,
Or touch a leaf , or see the sky,
Then I know why I believe.
A prayer....../ Dear God help us to never loose a sense of wonder of Thy creation, but let us above all else be filled with worship for You the Creator, in Jesus name, Amen ./

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Coffee or tea. [ 1 Corinthians 14 v 33 ]

I was in a local garden center, and I read this,/ Orchard coffee bar,now serving afternoon tea every Sunday/, we all know what they mean, but I saw the humour in what I read. Now let see where we will go with this, as a preacher it is no good saying one thing and preaching another. When I preach, I try to make it as clear as I can, and I seek to proclaim a Biblical message , I must never forget my grave responsibility,that of the telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It appears that certain ministers appear to forget their grave responsibility, that people need to hear clearly that they need to be saved. As a youngster I heard about sin and its consequences ,and about Jesus who became my Saviour, if the speaker had not told me this then, I would still be lost. The greatest need of mankind is to hear a clear Gospel message, and the greatest responsibility of the minister is to proclaim it, otherwise people are turning up for coffee and being offered tea.
A prayer..../ Dear Father help us to be true to You, and Your truth, in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 7 November 2011

Greed. [ Hebrews 13 v 5 ]

I was watching an old movie called ,/ The million pound note /, and one of themes of this old movie is greed, it may be an old movie but the theme is very up to date. I am convinced that present economic situation is caused by greed , those financiers involved in what took place must have realized what was happening,but they were making a lot of money. It appears to me a great deal of life involves greed, and it is coming back to bite many nations and many indiviuals. Now dont get me wrong ,I am not down ,or a judge of anyone, but as a minister of the word, I, and everyone else need to face up to the challenge of the word of God , on the subject of greed. It is something a lot of us dont face up to, the land of Greece is now having to come to terms with it, and so is every other nation in Europe. Many of our members of parliament showed an attitude of greed, but through the world especially in the poor countries , there is a great deal of greed in politics. Having said all this we need to be on our guard, for it is so easy like everyone else to become greedy, Proverbs was written by a very wise man ,and of course a very wealthy man, asked of God the following. Give me neither poverty nor riches [Proverbs 30 v 8 ], for he knew the dangerous of both states, and a greater than Solomon said, A mans life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth [ Luke 12 v15 ]
A prayer..../ Dear God help us all to have the right emphasis in our lives , grant us grace to live lives that glorify our Saviour. Amen ]

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Save our young people . [ Acts 4 v 12 ] ]

Yesterday we mentioned that all mankind, even young people are made in the image of God,which makes them very precious in Gods side. So the question why do they act so badly, that they are called animals?,well it is to Gods word we turn, and it tells us we fell from that initial state of sinlessness, to a sinful condition. This can appear to contradict the fact that we are created in the image of God, but the fact is ,our fallen nature is blind spiritually , [1 Corinthians 1v 14 ]we have hearts that are deceitful and desperately wicked [Jeremiah 17 v 9 ]. We can read Romans 3 and 5,to get a more full picture, so that is why some young people act like animals. This is also why Christ came ,to save and to change even our young people, and then hopefully they will start reflect the image of God to a greater degree, this process will come to its fullness and completeness, in Heaven.[ 1 John 3 v 1-2 ]
A prayer..../ Dear God have mercy upon our young people, save them we pray in Jesus name Amen /

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Not just animals. [ Genesis 1 v 16 - 17 ]

There is great concern about the young people in our country,most of the people who took part in the riots ,were young people, many of them are taking drugs , and alcohol. Recently people were asked what they thought about the young, their reply was,/ they were like animals/,which is a sad thing to say.But then is this not what evolution teaches,that we are just a higher species of animal, this what is taught to our children in schools, this is what we told continually from the media. So them why complain if these young people do act like animals,why should we expect any different behaviour, if that is what they are. If you believe in evolution then you must not expect people to have any moral boundries, anything goes. But now let me declare unto a better way, we are not evolutionary accidents,the Bible tells us that we were made in the image of God[ Genesis 1 v 17 ], that is what makes us different in Gods eyes , and gives unto us eternal value. [We will consider this further tomorrow]
A prayer..../Dear God open the eyes of people to see their true worth, in Jesus name Amen/

Friday, 4 November 2011

Call on Him.[ Ephesians 3 v 20 ]

In Jeremiah 33 v 3, we read,/ Call upon Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things,which thou knowest not./ These words were written when Jeremiah was in prison, sometime we let our circumstances , blind us to what God can do, and say, Jeremiah did not. The people are told to call on God, now the nations round about Israel had their own gods, and unfortunately Israel adopted these Gods ,so the opening words of this verse are mportant., Call upon Me, take your eyes and ears of any other source, or apparent source,let us fix our eyes upon God . Next we are to call on God , He delights to hear His children call upon Him, He will not turn a deaf ear to their call. The result of this will be trully wonderful,God will show us , great and mighty things,I was talking to one of my sons this morning, and we talked of the difficulties people are facing ,to get a place to live,there are so many difficulties in life, complicated situations,well whats the answer? God. Yes God , who can do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask , or think[Ephesians 3 v 20 ],so today call upon Him, and He will answer you.
A prayer..../ Dear God there is nothing to hard for Thee, so right now we call on You to undertake for us, in Jesus name Amen /

Thursday, 3 November 2011

I asked for help.[ Isaiah 41 v 10 ]

I asked for help today from two people, and both said no,it was a bit sad, but it happens, I like the words of the Lord in Hebrews 13v6 ,/So that we may boldly say,The Lord is my helper/.These words have an expression of confidence ,we may boldly say, I am afraid I cannot say this as regards those two people today.If we need help we may think of a friend, or even ones family,and consider going to them for help, and we hope that may help us, but then again they may not, they may be just unwilling, or they may not have the resources to help. But when we go to our Lord we can be confident that He will help,no uncertainy. Let us stop and consider those words , and all that they mean, The Lord is my helper, the Lord, He the Lord has all the neccessary resources to help ,financial help, physical help, whatever help we need, He is able to help. There is no reluctance on His part to help us , consider the wonderful words in Romans 8 v 32, /He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all ,how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things/.
A prayer..../ Dear Lord we have so many ongoing needs,some small,some large,some complicated, so we look to You , with confidence to meet our needs, in Jesus name Amen./

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Go to all. [ Matthew 28 v 19 - 26 ]

I did something today, that I have not done for years , I travelled on our local transport , and suddenly I was mixing with mothers with their children, elderly people, school children, and others. It made me realise how little contact I have with the general public,I spend a lot of time in my car, although I am often visit supermarkets , yet my ride on the bus mybe is a reminder of how it is so easy to become isolated from people. As we read the gospels we see one who left Heaven, and came to this earth, not into a palace, where He would have been secluded from the ordinary people, and would have been dressed in the best, and eat the best. No, Jesus was born into humble circumstances ,and He would mix with the poorest of people, and indeed the worst of people, and would enrich them, and make them the best of people.Jesus said follow me,as He left heaven and mixed with people,so the challenge comes to His followers to follow His example.
A prayer..../ Dear Lord Jesus help us to follow Your example to go to all with Your love, and Your Gospel. Amen /

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Its impossible. [ Titus 1 v2 ]

My mother would often say ,you cannot trust a liar,it is amazing how some people can tell a bare faced lie, and never bat an eyelid. Hitler fooled the British Prime minister Neville Chamberlain, into believing that he wanted peace ,when all the time he was planning for war. In Romans 1 v 25 we read of those who changed the truth of God into a lie,so many people have been guilty of this ,the cults, false religions,in Romans it is said of those who worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. The devil is seen both as a murderer and the father of lies , in other words he is the one were lies originate from, all men are not liars, but none tell the truth all the time. Someone told me something recently ,and after I had left him, I thought ,did he tell me the truth?. Now let us turn our thoughts away from sinful weak humanity, to God,and ask the question, do you know what it is impossible for God to do?. This is what we read in Titus 1 v 2, God cannot lie, what that means is ,He is completly trustworthy,what He says He will do. I rest my soul in the truth that God cannot lie,when His word tells me that if I believe in Jesus I shall be saved[ Acts 16v31],when I read that Jesus said He will return again [John 14 v s ], I believe Him,and when He says He will never leave me nor forsake me, I believe Him,why? because it is impossible for God to lie.
A prayer..../ Dear God we thank You for the truth that You cannot lie ,that You always keep Your word, help us to be like You, in Jesus name. Amen ]

Monday, 31 October 2011

Repent .[ Luke 13 v1- 5 ]

I was listening to a discussion on the radio,the subject was the energy suppliers in the U K, and how they were being unfair to the consumers. The person leading the discussion wanted to bring the discussion to a close , so he asked one person to sum up briefly, what the energy companies should do, the man replied,/ Repent/. I am sure he may have a point, many of these big companies have not always acted in a very ethical way, especially in developing countries. I personally try to avoid buying petrol from a particular brand because of that companies bad practices. Repent, it is a biblical term , and means expressing sorrow, but also involves a change of mind,it is important in relation to being saved[ Acts 20 v21 ], I would say that it is ongoing in the Christian life.[2 Corinthians 7 v9 ]. In Luke 13 the subject arose as to why certain people had died violent deaths ,the general belief was, that these people had suffered because of their sinfulness, but our Saviour told them to stop judging others ,and to realise their own need for repentance,and if they didnt they would perish, and He was not just talking about them dying , for after death the judgment [ Hebrews 9 v27 ].
A prayer..../ /Dear God have mercy upon those dear people who are being exploited by others, grant that a true spirit of repentance may come upon their exploiters, but also grant that we may all may see the need of repentance,in Jesus name .Amen ]

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween. [ 2 Corinthians 10 v 3 - 5 ]

One translation of the Bible tells us to not let the world squeeze us into its mould, if we are Christians, ambassadors for Christ ,then we must reflect the kingdom of God, at all times. Now I write this, because we are at that time of the year called Halloween, personally I dont have strong veiws on this occasion , it appears to me it has no real significance, but let me tell you something that has me think. My oldest son was staying with us last night,and we got talking about Halloween, he at this time is living with his daughter, they have two dogs, they sleep in the kitchen.Well like many people my granddaugther bought a pumpkin did the usual thing with it, then placed the pumpkin on the window leadge. During the night the household was wakened by the dogs howling like wolves, something they have never did before. When they took the pumpkin out of the room ,the dogs stopped howling, this really happened, now I am not telling you this to scare you, nor for any of us to overreact ,it has made me think. Wizards and witches to most people, are funny make believe creatures, but in Africa the witch doctor is a sinister force, and those involed in witchcraft in this country seek to connect with a world that is opposed to Gods kingdom.
A prayer..../Dear God help us to not just to accept all that our culture presents to us, gave us grace and wisdom in all things, in Jesus name Amen./

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Families.[ Hebrews 13 v 4 ]

We decided to go that famous store Ikea ,it sells mainly furniture, it is Swedish, it is very popular especially the resturant,if you go between 9.30 and 11.30 during the week,you can have a breakfast for 99 pence,which includes a drink. I have a confession to make I treated myself to a croissant and a coffee which I really enjoyed, as I sat eating my breakfast, I thought ,if I wanted to have a quite breakfast I wouldnt go to Ikea , the store has a emphasis on families. It is nice to see people together as a family, anything that promotes family life can only be good,there is so much that works ill for families,throughout the world,in many countries it is poverty, violence,unfaithfulness,the list goes on, today let us pray for families.
A prayer..../ Dear God have mercy upon the families of our world,our country,our town, our street, in Jesus name. Amen /

Friday, 28 October 2011

Yes we can . [ Philippians 4 v 13 ]

Let me pick out a verse from my daily Bible reading , 2 Timothy 2 v 1,this letter was written by Paul to this young man who overseeing the church at Ephesus, so Paul wrote to him, to instruct, encourage, and to challenge him. Verse one declares,/Thou therefore my son, be strong, / I remember a person replied when she was told to pull her self together, I am not a pair of curtains. It is easy to say to someone stop that habit,stop those recurring angry outbursts, stop those lustful thoughts, etc. What they may reply ,I cannnot do it, I have tried, and tried, and have failed, have we not all been there,that sin that so easily besets us,and beats us time and time again. Well of course Paul did not just say ,/Thou therefore my son, be strong,/ he goes on to say,/ in the grace that is in Christ Jesus/, now that puts a whole different emphasis on what Paul was saying. We cannot pull ourselves together in our own strength,but we can, by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,through that grace we can beat , the devil , the flesh, and the world.
A prayer.../ Father grant us the grace we need, in our service for You,in the temptations we meet, and the tasks we have to perform, in Jesus name Amen ./

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Grace for the needy.[Luke18 v 9 -14 ]

I have just stared to read a book called,/The Ragamuffin Gospel it emphasies the grace of God ,remember read every book ,and listen to every sermon with discernment based on Gods word,ask God the Holy Spirit to help you,He will [John 16v13 ] Well what can one say about the Grace of God, firstly it is an act of God by a gracious God, it is granted to the undeserving, or to those who acknowledge they are undeserving, a quotation from this book, /Grace has to be drunk straight, no water, no ice,and certainly no ginger ale, neither goodness, nor badness, nor the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case./I was speaking to a person pointing that the Bible says we are all without exception sinners, he replied, I am not a sinner. It is very hard for the not so bad people to accept that they are in fact sinners, and it is even harder to accept the consequences of that truth. The result, they place themselves outside the grace of God,they reject the need of Biblical grace, for it is only for the needy. It was the needy that responded to Jesus, not the selfrighteous,those selfrighteous people despised the needy, Jesus welcomed them with open arms,with His last breath, He welcomed a thief ,and granted him eternal life. [ Luke 23 v39- 43 ]I am sure when we get to heaven we will be surprised as to those our Saviour has saved, and if we are trully honest the greatest surprise will be the fact that we are in heaven, a sinner saved by grace.
A prayer..../ Dear God , we are all without exception needy ,and our deepest need is for Your grace,help us to see this,and to seek Your Son Jesus Amen ./

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

He loves us all. [Acts 15 v36 -41 ]

I have just finished reading a message by George Whitefield ,he ministered at the time of the Wesleys and was used by God in the revival that swept this country , America , even my own country. As I have travelled through this country,I have passed many Methodist chapels,many are empty,just buildings, np longer places of worship,yet there are still many in use. While the Wesleys created a network of churches, Whitefield didnt,and did not want to, be that as it may,we honour the memory of these men of God.It is interesting that the Wesleys, had their differences ,George was a Calvinist, the Wesleys were Arminians,yet God used them both. From early on in my Christian life I have seen the importance of honouring all true Christians, and loving them, and to realize that God can use all of us, as He sees fit, and He loves us all.
A prayer / Dear God bless all Thy people, help us to love all Thy people, in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Never forget Jesus. [ Deuteronomy 4v 23 ]

I read in the obituaries column of a newspaper, about a Leif Hovelse an Norwegian, a resistance fighter at the time of the Nazi occupation,on the night he was arrested,and as he was taken , his dear mother cried out,/ Leif, never forget Jesus. /, and He never did.It appears that many people forget all about Jesus, they appear to forget what He taught them, and what He has done for them, in the case of Leif Heif, he acted out the part , by forgiving those who tortured him. He said, /When I answered the Nazis with the same treatment meted out to me, their spirit had conquered me/.I must confess I sometimes forget Jesus, and I put self first, when I think thoughts I shouldnt, when I say things I shouldnt. In Psalm 16 v8 we read,/ I have set the Lord always before me/, here is the secret of not forgetting Jesus. I am sure we have all had the experienced ,of watching T V, and someone stands in front of the screen, what do you do? you say, would you move please. Well why dont we do that when worries blot out Jesus,or temptation comes as so often they do,tell then to get out of the way. In Hebrews 12 we read,/ And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus./
A prayer.../Dear Lord Jesus, strange though it be, I do not always keep my eyes on You, I am inclined to forget how much I need You, grant that this day may be different. Amen /

Monday, 24 October 2011

Getting our wires crossed. [Reveltation 2 v 1- 7 ]

The football team I support got beaten 6/1 many would see this as a tradgedy, a disaster, the worst day in their lives, but then on the news we hear that an earthquake has struck in Turkey, with the loss of many, many lives.Now that is a tragedy , a disaster, and for those involved in it, it trully is the worst day of their lives. If only we could see what is important, not the trivia, the preacher yesterday ,has a young son who has cancer, my dear wife died of cancer, now these things are tragic and affect us more deeply than a football team loosing 6/1. Let me tell you a terrible tragedy ,in fact a disaster, people are so taken up with things, and are blind to their souls need, now that is a tragedy.people treasure so much that is of no importance, and forget what is important, their souls well being , their spiritual needs, which can only be fulfilled in Christ.
A prayer /Dear God forgive us for getting our wires crossed ,for loosing sight of what is really imporant, in Jesus name Amen.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Inadquate. [ Jeremiah 1 v 6-7 ]

I have been preaching for many years so why was I feeling totally inadequate earlier this evening, as I was preparing to go out to preach. I felt I should not go , give up preaching. I had I thought, my sermon ready, but as I went over it, it did not seem to have a meaningful ending, I started wrecking my brains ,praying for a useful illustration, but nothing came. Preaching is not easy but can be very rewarding, I sometimes preach the same sermon twice. but usually I prepare a fresh sermon. So here was I feeling like giving up on preaching , but then I did my daily Bible reading from Jeremiah ,and we have the prophet saying to God, I cannot speak, for I am a child, he felt inadequate, so I was in good company, so God agreed with him, no He didnt, He told the prophet, say not, I am a child, for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. [Jeremiah 1 v6- 7 ] So with all my feelings of inadequacy I went and preached and God helped me, and for that I am grateful.
A prayer / Dear God help us to be faithful in those tasks You have entrusted to us, help us to trust You for the grace we need , in Jesus name . Amen ./

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Our bodies. [ 1 Corintians 6 v 19 -20 ]

I noticed someone I know had lost weight,of course it was a woman, I dont think most men are into dieting,although my oldest boy has lost a lot of weight. I mentioned to the girl that her face looked thinner and she took it as a compliment,personally I think she looked a bit better when she was a bit heavier, but I would not dare tell her that.We live at time when the body beautiful is everything,of course we should look after our bodies,so I keep telling myself. Now for the Christian the body is seen as a temple of the Holy Spirit , and we ought not to be involved in anything unholy, and we should seek to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits . [ 1 Corinthians 6 v 19- 20 ] This is in contrast to the worlds attitude , so often the body is seen as something to be used in an abusive way,and so much is done for the glory of man. Romans 12 v1 ff brings us a tremendous challenge , it reads,/Take your everyday ordinary life- your sleeping,eating, going to work, and walking around life- and place it before God as an offering/ [T M
A prayer..../ Dear God take my whole being,my hands, my feet, my eyes,my tongue, my ears,and my mind,and help me to glorify You, in Jesus name. Amen/

Friday, 21 October 2011

We can make a difference.[ John 15 v16 ]

Battered and bloody, the tyrant of Libya, moments later he was dead,and then there were the pictures, I must confess it was upsetting. As one who comes from N Ireland,a land of conflict I never got used to the bombings, shootings and sectarian division, yet many dear people have to live with so much that is evil. Inspite of this there are many people who are seeking to make a difference, for those dear people and organisations we thank God. Let us not despair of the darkness in this world ,one day ,yes one day,God will cause it to end,in the meanwhile, two things, dont be afraid ,because God is still on the throne, and He will remember His own. Next let us by the grace of God seek to make a difference, we can, remember it is trully better to light even a small candle, than to sit in the darkness and be filled with despair.
This little light of mine
Im going to let it shine
This little light of mine,
Im going to let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Dear God help me to shine, to be light in the darkness, to bring hope, to bring love, to bring
my Saviour to a needy world. Amen.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Amazing. [ Romans 5 v6- 11 ]

I heard on the radio two things that are shocking, in China a two year old child is run over by a car,a hit and run incident,thats very sad, but whats even worse 16 people were filmed walking by the child,and she was run over again. She survived and was taken to hospital seriousally injured,many Chinese are shocked and asking serious questions, about their society, and rightly so. The next thing that I heard was,Texas that wonderful state in America, is were the most abused children in the world die, I am sure many people of this state are shocked, one hopes so. When people ignor the vunerable who are injured , and being hurt, or when they are part of it ,then there is something seriousally wrong ,with such people. Yet here is the most amazing thing, God so loved this world He gave His son to die for it,amazing love, amazing grace, amazing God.
A prayer. Dear God we trully are amazed at the love that drew salvation plan, the grace that brought it down to man ,the mighty gulf that You did span at Calvary. Amen.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

No mercy. [ Ephesians 2 v 1 - 10 ]

I was watching a movie and I heard the words,/ no mercy/,those words should make us tremble and shudder, for they remind us of the unthinkable, especially when it comes to God. Consider if God withdrew His mercy from this world, this world would cease to exsist, and all, I mean all its inhabitants, would end up in hell [,the exception would be those who have trusted Jesus].Every blessing would be removed food,water, all those things we enjoy would turn to dust,of course those who have accepted I spoke to a person about going on holiday, when I quizzed her, was she a believer? she indictated she was, then she said something ,and I said those were not the words of a believer, like so many, she had no time for God,empty profession, but no possession. It is only when grace touches us do we realize the truth of the universality of sin and what that means[ read Romans 3 ], and the truth of the words of Lamentations 3 v 10, Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed.
A prayer.. / Dear God we praise You for Your mercy, we thank You that the words no mercy,
does not apply to this world now,that You are still blessing in a multitude of ways,
thank You in Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Change.. [ Hebrews 11v 8 ]

Sometimes I think of change ,when we visited our son and his wife recently , I thought if I moved to where my son lived, I would become homesick, I would miss the familiar,well I suppose it will not happen. I am too old , then I remember Abraham ,and Moses, both were old men yet God called them, and here is the important part, they obeyed. There is a verse of a hymn which goes, Gods call we obey, not knowing our way but faith makes us bold, when we move at Gods command then all will be well. If Iwas to move because of a whim or fancy then I would have a reason to be anxious, but with God in it, as I have said, all will be well. If I move in the will of God, then God will undertake, there may be difficulties, and obstacles, but the God who calls will undertake, no matter about ones age, limatations,or gender.
A prayer. /Grant me , O Lord, to feel Thy hand,
Of tenderness and power,
Is holding mine and leading me,
Each day, each hold.

Monday, 17 October 2011

All need grace. [ Romans 3 v 23 ]

I spoke to a lady in work, I felt she may be a Christian,but she is not, although she is nicer than some I know who are Christians,some Christians are living examples of what it trully means to be saved by grace, for they are not all that nice. Yet God loves them, and they are precious in His sight, and of course just in case I am feeling superior ,I am not perfect, as I look into my heart, all I can say is I am glad you cannot see the dark thoughts,and so many other things lurking there, you may not want to read my blog. The fact of the matter is , none of us are perfect, and all of us are inperfect, all our inperfections are seen by God/, as Whittier wrote , / Our thoughts lie open to Thy sight, And naked to Thy glance, Our secret sins are in Thy light,Of Thy pure countenance/. It is grace for all, or not at all, it is as simple as that,only by grace can we enter ,and only by Grace can we stand.Niceness dose not negate grace,and badness only emphasizes the need of it.
A prayer.. /Dear God help us to see that all our in need of Thy grace, in Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Dont be careless. [ Galations 5 v 16 ]

We have just returned from visiting our youngest boy and his wife,the subject of church attendance came up, my son mentioned that one does not have go every week to be a Christian. That is right,but the more important thing is we need to go, we need to meet with our fellow Christians ,to encourage and to be encouraged . We attended the church he attends and what a blessing it was,if I lived nearer I would attend that church,it just enforced, what I had been saying. Meeting with other believers,reading the word of God, praying are all vital to our spiritual wellbeing.These things are not meant to be legalistic things, they should be actions of love, that will enable all of us to live for Jesus everyday. So let us not be careless,we do so at a cost to our spiritual walk, because they are spiritual activities, and the Christian life is meant to be a Spiritual life,it will, make no mistake about it, affect us, when they loose their importance in our lives.
A prayer. /Dear God grant that we will not grow careless in those things that are important,in Jesus name Amen ./

Friday, 14 October 2011

Pray for all men.. [1 Timothy 2 v1 ]

I was at my dentist this morning, just for a check up and the dreaded cleaning,the reception called my name, and said would you like to go up, I replied not really.I dont like going up to the dentist, because I know I will experience pain, and who likes pain, and whats more we have to pay them, I think they should be paying us. All joking aside I thank God for my dentist, she is a nice lady, and she does a good job, I wonder how many of us neglect to pray for dentist, doctors, nurses, firemen ,police ,teachers, social workers, and yes, even traffic wardens. They all do important service for all of us, and without them we would all be in difficulties, so let us offer up a prayer for them.
A prayer /Dear God we thank You for those people who serve us in specialist way, bless them we pray, in Jesus name. Amen./
[I will return to my blog on Monday every blessing]

Thursday, 13 October 2011

What a great God. [Psalm 121 ]

Isaiah 40 is a wonderful chapter, it is written to comfort Gods people, that God had forgiven them,yes He had dealt with them severely,but now they must move on in their relationship with Him.God wants them to get their eyes on Him to see His glory, unlike what man says,and indeed man himself ,they are to consider that what He says, His word shall not pass away[ v8 ].They are reminded of the Spirit of Gods sovereign powers [ 13], also in comparison to God the nations are as nothing. Next, God is not to be compared to an idol, God is spirit [John 4 v24 ], who rules over all, there is no power or being equal to Him[ v22- 24 ]. Israel are to get their eyes of earth bound realities , to where power really is, not only to
look by faith on God but to wait upon Him, and as they do,the result will be, they shall mount up wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk , and not faint[31 ].
Be still and know that I am God,
O,er all exalted high,
The subject nations of the earth,
My Name shall magnify,
The Lord of Hosts is on our side,
The God of Jacob is for us
A refuge strong and sure.
[The Psalter ]
A prayer /Lord we confess that our sight is so often earth bound, help us to be people of faith,
in our everyday life, in Jesus name. Amen ]