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.