verse of the day

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

By the rivers of Babylon. [ Psalm 137 ]

Who would have thought Psalm 137 would have made the hit parade, but it did, I was reminded of this when I listened to the song,/By the rivers of Babylon /,the music is very lively and attractive, the words are both a lament and a prayer. This Psalm is borne out of suffering, suffering that should never have happened, Israel had a history of forsaking God , it was a very bad habit that they never broke. Time after time they would forsake God, God bore with them, pleaded with them ,chastised them, but to no avail, it came to a head under king Zedekiah. The prophet Jeremiah kept pleading with the nation , to change there ways, but to no avail, so God acted in judgement against the nation,by sending the Babylonion army to invade the land, killing most of the population, and taken a remnant to Babylon, where they stayed for 70 years. As I said this need never have happened, if only, they had been faithful to God and His ways.[ Dear God help us to be faithful to You, help us not to get into the habit of going our own way, knowing that if we do ,you in mercy will deal with us, in Jesus name we ask this. Amen ]

Monday, 30 May 2011

The glory of God. [ John 12 v23 36 ]

As a Christian the most important challenge in my life is to glorify God,our Saviour declared,I have glorified Thee on the earth [John17 v4 ], in every aspect of His life He glorified God, and especially in His death on a cross. It is understandable that we want to be free from problems in life , and so we pray for there removal, but the reality is ,they may not be removed [2 Corinthians 12 v 8 ff],we may not recieve the healing we prayed for ,or that perfect family, or that perfect marriage. Our Saviour prayed as He was facing death on a cross, if it was possible that He may not have to go through with it, have we not all prayed such prayers?. This is often where we stop praying, and yes in the will of God it may happen, but Jesus did not stop praying ,for the removal of the cross, He went on to pray, /Yet, I want your will not mine/. In John 12 v28 ,our Saviour prayed ,/Father glorify your name/, Ezekiel Hopkins wrote the following on this, /Though life is naturally dear,and the cup which I am to drink, very bitter,and the wrath that I am to undergo, heavy and infinite, yet all these things are not so considerable to me as your glory, and therefore , though it will bring agonies, by death, by the cross, yet, Father, glorify your name/. [ Dear God help me to see that the most important thing in my life is your glory,help me never to loose sight of this, in Jesus name Amen ]

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Jesus, the Christ, and son of God. [ John 20 v31 ]

The Gosple of John was written with a purpose in mind ,and it is chapter 20 v31, we read that purpose, / But these are written , that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ,the Son of God, and believing ye might have life through His name/. He underlines the importance of belief, John continually challenges us to believe,we live in an unbelieving world, who reject creation, live just for what they see, John says believe. Believe in what or who ?, Jesus the one the O T scriptures foretold would come,and not only is He the Christ, but the son of God,in other words He was trully God , we must not compromise when it comes to truth. The result of believing, that we may have life through Him, eternal life, a fullness of life here and now,and a life of eternal glory. [ Dear God ,grant that many today may believe in Jesus , the promised one ,Jesus the son of God, who came and died for sinners ,such as us,that all may be saved eternally, Amen ]

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Our vision [ John 3v 16 ]

The gospel of John is the last gospel to be written, it is different from the other gospels,it omits ,the conception and birth of Christ,His baptism,His temptations, the casting out of demons,the transfiguration, the last supper,Christs struggle in prayer in Gethsemane,His ascension. John became the leader of the church in Ephesus ,a gentile city,the church was going beyond its Jewish roots,expanding into the whole world,and so John must have written with that in veiw.[John 3 v16 ]. Many dear Christians in the lands of Islam are persecuted because Christianity is seen as a western religion, but they are wrong,it is not western, or eastern, no it is for the whole world. Christianity is not restricted to any culture,or race, nor can any culture or race claim to be Christian. Christs kingdom is a spiritual kingdom,and everyone is equal,and accepted by God,as Christians our vision should always be for the world.[ Dear God help us to see beyond our narrow vision of what Your church is, grant us a vision that embraces all mankind ,in Jesus name Amen ]

Friday, 27 May 2011

Value Him. [ Philippians 3 ]

I wrote this recently,/ We hang unto the rubbish in our lives, feeling that Christ wants to impoverish and weaken us, instead of realizing that He wants to enrich and empower us./It was the apostle Paul who spoke of the things that he once held dear,to him it was his pedigree,and religious standing, these things were everything to him, he was prepared to die for them and even kill for them. Them one day something happened ,he had a revelation of Christ,and all things changed, he not only saw what was important, but who was important, Christ,and so he writes in Philippians 3 v 8. /All the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life.Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my master, firsthand, everything I once I had going for me is insignificant , dog dung, I,ve dumped it all in the trash, so I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him/. Let us ask the question,do we treasure Christ above all else, are we choosing dog dung ? ,have we failed to appreciate what is important , and who is important, Christ. [ Dear God help us to see that the most important thing in life is to know Christ, to value Him more than all else. Amen ]

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Burdens [ Psalm 55 v 22 ]

I am sure we are all carrying some sort of burden,it is the nature of life, burdens come in different sizes,flavours, colours,and of course we dont have a choice, if we did ,we would not choose any burden. Burdens range from the major to the the minor,to the painful ,to irritations, as I say ,burdens are part of life, some come and go, some stay. As our dear Saviour looked at humanity,He saw the burdens that people were carrying, and He spoke these wonderful ,wonderful, words, /Come unto to me ,all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest [Matthew 11 v28]/. Come says Jesus , yes you have a choice, then He says ,all, it is an all inclusive invitation, so why not respond to this invitation by Jesus, come with your burden, and find that rest which you need. [Dear Lord Jesus I come to you with my burdens, grant me that rest , that I ,so need. Amen ]

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I was not able to blog this morning,owing to someone messing about, my son John has sorted it out, so I will continue in the morning. every blessing

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Gods blessing. [ Genesis 50 v20 ]

Carrying on with the thought of Gods blessing, and the importance of it in our lives, and even an nations life. As I look at nations I desire that God would bless them, and as I look and pray for the church of Christ my prayer is that God would bless, for I believe that the blessing of God is so vital to the well being of this world, to the church and to my family, and to myself. Now having Gods blessing in ones life does not mean that ,you will have perfect health,a perfect family or a perfect marriage. Consider this little verse , /I,ll that God blesses is our good and unblest good is ill ,and all is right that seems most wrong if it be His sweet will./. I remember hearing this little verse spoken by a dear Christian friend, it has always remained with me,especially in relation to my friend who died of cancer, leaving a husband and young children.I suppose what we are seeking to convey to you, and to myself, is that the blessing of God means that what ever we may experience,all is for our good, and will work out for our good, even though it may mean ,pain and loss.[ Dear God grant us the grace of humility,grant us the grace of submissiveness, in all of life,and the grace to trust You to bless all things for our good, in Jesus name Amen ]

Monday, 23 May 2011

Blessings. [ Psalm 32 v 1-2 ]

When we sneeze we say bless me or someone else may say it, I wonder why ?,as a Christian I realize that the most important thing in my life is to know the blessing of God in my life. The Christian life begins with a blessing we read of it in Psalm 32 v1,/ Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered./ This blessing comes not through merit or effort on our part, but by the Grace of God, for by grace are we saved and that not of ourselves, it is a gift from God[ Ephesians 2 v8 ].We recieve this gift when we come to God ,acknowledging our sinfulness,and trust Jesus to save us. The only way we can experience this blessing is to seek it,we have it wonderfully illustrated in Luke 15, where we read of a young man who dug a deep pit for himself. This young man had slept with whores, wasted his money and his life,he had not given much thought to the consequences,the result he ended up in deep poverty,nearly naked,shoeless,and starving. At his lowest ebb we read,he came to himself,and said ,I will arise and go to my father,and the wonderful thing is this, his father recieved him. This is a picture of sinners who come to an end of themselves,and come to God the father in all their need,when they do this, they experience that wonderful blessing we read in Psalm 32 v1. Mybe you are like this young man at your lowest ebb, why not arise and come to Jesus, the Father will recieve you and forgive you ,all your sins. Here is a prayer you could pray. [Dear God I come to you in all my need, receive me, forgive me ,through Jesus Your son. Amen ]

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pressure. [ 1 Kings 19 v 1-12]

Years ago we purchased a pressure cooker, it had a little valve that released the steam, without that valve ,it more than likely would have blown up. It appears to me that for many ,myself included at times, we are under pressure, we may not always handle the pressure ,the release valve for many ,is to act in a way ,that may put us under greater preasure. I was in a car yesterday and the person driving it, appeared to loose control, he started to drive like a maniac, I spoke to him quitely and told him to stop driving in such a manner, which thankfully he did, and I said to him, you are under a lot of pressure, mybe I should have said more, but I didnt. Like that young man one does not always handle pressure, even though we may be Christians.and we can let things get out of control. If we are Christians then we need to be led,not driven ,we need to hear that still small voice, of our Lord, telling us to be still and know that He is in control.Let us finish with the words of a hymn by J G. Whittier,let us pray these words. [ Dear Lord and Father... Drop Thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease, take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered life confess the beauty of Thy peace. Breathe through the heats of our desire,Thy coolness and Thy balm, let sense be dumb, let flesh retire, speak through the earthquake,wind and fire,O still small voice of calm. Amen ]

Saturday, 14 May 2011

sorry I was not able to blog yesterday my blog was not available I am now on holiday will be blogging when I come back from holiday Sun week

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Life in the Spirit . [ Romans 8 ]

Romans 8 is a wonderful chapter,some put the title over it, Life in the Spirit, in v6, we read ,/For to be carnally minded is death,but to be spiritually minded is life and peace/. As Christians we have been brought into a new relationship, a spiritual relationship, before we became Christians ,our minds where on natural things we really did not consult God, oh yes we may have prayed, even gone to church, but we did not live for God. In fact we were hostile to God, not prepared to submit to Him ,in our natural condition, we had no power to please God, or to do His will[ v7-8]. As Christians we recieved God the Spirit, and everything changed, and that for the better, we have the Spirits power that enables us to live a life that is so much better than our old lives. Leon Morris in his commentary on Romans write,/ The non Christian may have good intentions, but their horizons are bounded by the the things of this life./ I wonder is that you ?,as Christians we realise that good intentions are not enough,our horizons stretch into the eternal realms, into life in the Spirit. The door to that life in the Spirit is through Christ, that life in Christ leads us into unbounded possibilities, a life of freedom, peace and joy.[ Dear God thanks for all You have brought us into through Your dear son Jesus, a life of freedom, power, love ,joy and peace. Amen ]

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Trust . [Proverbs 3 v 5-6 ]

In Proverbs 20 v24 we read ,/ Mans going are of the Lord, how can a man then understand his own way?/.I would commend to your reading the commentary by Charles Bridges on Proverbs on this verse. His opening remarks are these,/Gods uncontrollable power and sovereignty, mans absolute dependance and helplessness- let these be foundation principiles/. We do know what any day will bring forth [Proverbs 27 v1 ], as Joseph set out to see his brothers he did not realise,what that would lead to [Genesis 37], slavery,prison,and them being promoted to a position of power. We are not to live in fear of events, many people are living in such fear,we are called to trust God . If we are a child of God, hear this, though you may have heard it before, that God will work out everything for your good, let me stress the everything, God tells us clearly this truth in the words of Romans 8 v28, and in the lives of His saints that we read of in the bible. I finish with the words of C Bridges,which is a prayer, we could all pray it/ Often do I look back amazed at the strangeness of my course, so different, so contrary to my way. But it is enough for me, that all is in thine hands,that my steps are ordered of Thee [Psalm 37v23/16v9 ]. I dare trust thy wisdom, Thy goodness, Thy tenderness, Thy faithful care.Lead me - uphold me- forsake me not. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to Glory/.Amen .

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

T L C. [1 Corinthians 13 [The Message ]

We read in John 11 v 35 these simple but profound words, Jesus wept, so often we read of Jesus being moved with compassion, when He healed , He did it out of love, when He fed the hungry, He did it out of love. His whole mission in coming ,was motivated by love [John 3v 16 ], He never acted just out of duty, but out of love, you see it is possible to do things, even noble things, without love. Yes people need help, but what they need is loving help, so many people are crying out for T L C, tender loving care.When I started in my present job, working with mentally ill people, I was introduced to the word, empathy, what does empathy mean,it means,to understand and enter into how another person is feeling. The doctor who just precribes, and writes prescriptions, and who does not feel empathy, is lacking ,and same goes for us. And yet I feel love goes deeper than empathy, much deeper, for it will involve an echo of Calvary love, a love that will sacrifice self, a love that will not want its own way, do read 1 Corinthians 13, in the Message[ A paraphrase version of the Bible]. [Oh God of love forgive me for my unloving ways,thoughts ,and words, help me to change and be more, and more like my Saviour. Amen ]

Monday, 9 May 2011

Facing uncertainties. [ Psalm 78 v53 ]

In Psalm 78 v53 we read these words,/ And He led them on safely/, these words are to do with Israel ,when God delivered them out of Egypt, the deliverance was wonderful, but it was just the beginning, they now had to reach the promised land. On their journey they would have to face many things,they would travel through a wilderness, yet inspite of all the difficulties they would arrive at the promised land. How did they manage to complete and finish their journey?very simple, God led them on safely, how are you and I going to get through?,God. The hymn writer wrote of the many dangers toils and snares that he came through, how? God, the God of all grace. Today you may be facing uncertainties,your heart may be filled with worry,and cares,take comfort from these words in Psalm 78 v53. Trust in your God to undertake for you, He will not fail you , He will lead you on safely. A B. Smith wrote,/I know who holds the future,and He will guide me with His hand,with God things dont just happen , everything by Him is planned. So as I face tomorrow with its problems large and small, I will trust the God of miracles, give to Him my all/.[ Dear God help us to trust in You with all our hearts,to realise that You will lead us on safely, in Jesus name we ask this. Amen ]

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Judgment. [ 1 Peter 4 v17 -18 ]

One of the earlist Christian books I read was on Elijah by ,Pink, I cannot remember much about it,but one thing I do know that a study on the prophet Elijah ,is always profitable. We read about him first in 1 Kings 17,he just suddenly appears, we are told where he came from, but we dont know anything else about his background. He was called by God to speak to an ungodly king, called Ahab,he suddenly and dramatically appears to him, with a word of judgment. The message he brought was, that there would not only be no rain ,but there would also be no dew, Not a drop of dew or rain, this would last for about three and a half years, we are inclined to complain if we get rain, we want sun and more sun. This was not happening so the people could enjoy the sun, it was a judgment upon a nation , led by king Ahab , who had forsaken God, had turned to vain idols.God will chastise His people,none of us will escape that, but a more serious thing is when God judges His people. It is Peter who writes of judgment beginning first on Christians [1 Peter 4 v17 ], and it is A M. Stibbs who comments on this, he writes,/ For if God , the righteous judge, so hates sin [and He does ]that He judges His redeemed people[not with hell ],what will be the fate of unbelievers, when His full wrath against sinners is revealed./ Christian let us not take a light veiw of sin, let us take sin as serious as God does.[ God and Father help us to see that sin is repulsive ,and evil, and to play around with it will bring Your judgment down upon us, in Jesus name we ask this Amen.]

Saturday, 7 May 2011

He is merciful. [ Ephesians 2 v 4 ]

Continuing on in Luke 22, let us consider v 62,/ And Peter went out,and wept bitterly/,here was Peter in blind panic deneying his Lord,then we read v61,/ And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. That look stopped Peter in his tracks, he suddenly remembered what his Lord had said,and immediately he left ,and he wept bitterly.We can I am sure imagine how Peter must have felt, that look ,must have cut into his heart, he must have felt a utter swine,would he have been ever able to look at himself in the mirror again?. So thats the end of Peter,no , he would be forgiven and restored as our Saviour said he would[ Luke 22 v31-33]. Christ came to save sinners,the Peters,you and I,we may fall morally, spiritually, but Jesus still loves us, will forgive us ,and even restore us, and use us. Charles Wesley wrote,/ I know Thee ,Saviour ,who thou art. Jesus the feeble sinners friend.Nor wilt Thou with the night depart, But stay and love me to the end. Thy mercies never shall remove, Thy nature and Thy name is love/. [ Dear God we thank You for being merciful to Peter, and to me,we thank You in Jesus name Amen ]

Friday, 6 May 2011

Forgetfulness [ 1 Corinthians 10 v12 ]

In Luke 22v61 we read ,/ And Peter remembered the word of the Lord/, our Saviour had warned him, that he would fail, Peter had dismissed the idea [Matthew 26 v 33-35 ]. It is Shakespeare who said man know thyself,very few of us know ourselves, we are told that none of us know the sinful depths of our hearts [Jeremiah 17v9 ]. Really godly people have acted in most ungodly ways at time, King David is a prime example [2Samuel 11, and his son Solomon 1Kings 11]. Peter was a man of God but what him made a man of God was God, Peter like all of us was also a sinner saved by grace. We learn from these things that we will only be godly people as we rely on the Lord, and we remember and practice what He says unto us. Peter failed because Peter forgot what the Lord had told Him, what the Lord had told him should have put him on his guard but it didnt, and so he fell. Let us take the following words to heart,/ Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. [1 Corinthians 10 v12 ][ Dear Lord help us not to be be forgetful of Your word, its warnings and instructions,help us to stand in our hours of temptation, and trials, in Jesus name Amen ]

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The wrong company. [Psalm 1 ]

The next thing we read about Peter is,/ Peter sat down among them [v 55 ],in doing this he was asking for trouble, these where the people who had been baying for Jesus blood. If you mix with that crowd ,then you will find things becoming difficult and even dangerous,as Peter was going to find out. The enemies of Christ will not love His followers, and will not take kindly to their presence. In Psalm 1v1 we read ,/Blessed is the man, who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners/. If I am a Man U fan I dont go to the football match and stand with the opposing fans,if I do I will be risking life and limb. There are situations and people we need to avoid,the sad thing about Peter is, he begins to identify with these people. He finds himself saying things which he would regret for the rest of his life, He denied the one person he loved more than anyone else, Jesus. He denies his Lord not once but three times,he is filled with panic and with fear,and He lets himself down and His Lord down.[ Dear Lord guide my footsteps this day ,help me not to be like Peter, and deney Thee, in anyway. Amen ]

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Following at a distance [Luke 22 v 54 - 62 ]

Let us consider Peter on the night of his Lords betrayal as is recorded in Luke 22, our Lord had just been arrested, and we read, Peter followed afar off v54. Now it is understandable that he followed at a distance, in fact there was not much else he could do, at this stage he was doing his best, to keep in touch with his master, so let us not point the finger at him. In fact mybe that is a practice we should stop doing altogether,there are those who are like Peter, and to us they appear to be following afar off, but the Lord knows their hearts. He knows the whole story and understands their difficulties,emotional,intellectual,or whatever,He knows that they are trying to follow Him, in their weakened condition. And they more than likely know where they are at,in Ecclesiastes 9 v 11, we read ,/ The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong/. I have known Christians who were leaders in the church of Christ, but are now away from God. Peter may have been following afar off, but he was still following,in his weakness ,dear weak child of God, press on in your weakness,even if it is at a distance. [Dear Lord so often we are like Peter, following You at a distance, struggling ,stumbling, we thank You, that You still love us, and would encourage us to not give up . Amen ]

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bin Laden .[ Luke 13 1 v1- 5 ]

So Bin Laden is dead the man behind the murder of thousands of people, many of us remember that day when those planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, the wickedness of such and act. The sorrow it caused, the pain which many feel to this day, to some extent justice has caught up with him, I dont rejoice at any persons death, be it Hitler, or Bin Laden. But evil must be judged, those who do wrong must be held to account, it was our Lord who spoke of certain people who died in Luke 13 v1-5. He spoke of two lots of people,who had died violent deaths, the general consensus was, that they had died because of their wickedness, and deserved what they got,but Jesus turns this into an opportunity, to tell His hearers an important truth, here is what He said,/ Do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem.? I tell you no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish./Bin Laden was a sinner, but so are we, everyone of us,we need to appreciate that we will all be judged by a Holy God, unless we repent of our sin , and trust Jesus to forgave us. Here is a prayer you may pray. [ Dear God I acknowledge my sin , grant me the grace to repent,and to trust Jesus as my Saviour. Amen ]

Monday, 2 May 2011

Eternity . [ Hebrews 11v 13 - 16 ]

As I sat down to write I hear the words of a song,/ a stranger, in a strange land/,these words remind me of Hebrews 11v13, which is about those believers who died in faith. These people of faith saw beyond this world to a heavenly homeland, a place more excellent than planet earth. This faith vision filled their lives, and hearts, their focus was not on the temporal, but on the eternal . In chapter 12 we are exhorted to look to Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. In exhorting us to look to Jesus we are being encouraged to follow His example, to look beyond this life , to a glorious homeland,where we will live and reign with Christ. None of these people sought to escape this life, nor should we,like them we have been brought into exsistence for a purpose,to glorify God. May all of us live in the light of eternity, glorify God in the light of eternity,honour God in the light of eternity. Eternity is not an escape clause,but rather a reason for living ,for Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us , even our blessed Lord Jesus.[ Father in Heaven, help us to glorify You in the light of eternity in Jesus name. Amen ]

Sunday, 1 May 2011

My times are in Thy hand.[ Psalm23]

Let us continue to consider Psalm 31 and verse 15,/ My times are in Thy hands,in saying this he is reminding himself that there are no second causes,not circumstances, not even in his own hands. In a world that appears out of control, the eye of faith declares,my God is in control,and so I can have confidence, that all will be well[Romans 8 v28 ].I recently purchased an ornament, it is of a large hand, and two people are sitting on it, and it is called,/in safe hands/.Is this not what David was saying ,inspite of all he was going through, he was in safe hands,he was trusting God with his future and his here and now.Our Saviour told us that no one can pluck us out of the hands of our heavenly Father [John 10v29 ],today child of God remind yourself that you are in safe hands. Whatever changes may come into our lives,we are in safe hands, come what may,hands that will keep us safe ,all the days of our lives. Henry F.Lyte wrote, /My times are in Thy hand. My God I wish them there..... My times are in Thy hand. Why should I doubt or fear? A Fathers hand will never cause, His child a needless fear. My times are in Thy hand. Jesus the crucified. Thy hand my cruel sins have pirced, Is now my guard and guide/. [ Dear God we rejoice that our times are in Your sovereign hands, so help us trust and not be afraid, in the name of Jesus . Amen]