verse of the day

Monday, 31 December 2012

Forget it. [Philippians 3 v 13-14 ]

This is the last day of 2012 ,how do you feel? relieved ,exhausted,glad,grateful,I wonder are you old enough to remember the old vinyl records,LPs,I have got rid of mine.  You placed the record on a turn table then placed the arm of the record player unto the record ,on that arm was a needle later called a stylus.This needle went into grooves in the record and from that the sound was heard .There was only one problem,no matter how careful one was,the surface of the record became damaged, and the needle would become stuck in the one groove and so you would have the same words ,repeated again and again.Listen none of us should, or need to be stuck in  the groove of 2012,or2011 and so on,if so,we are only inviting pain and trouble into our lives.Israel was delivered from slavery in Egypt,by all accounts they should have been free,but they were not,because they continually looked back and even at times wanted to go back. I believe the most important words for all of us to take to heart , are the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 3v13,/Forgetting those things which are behind/,no matter how successful, on unsuccessful the past has been, forget it,no matter how painful it has been, forget it,Gods will for all of us is to not be held captive by our past.
A  prayer...../ Dear God free us from being stuck in the groove of our past, help us to forget those things that stop us from moving on, in Jesus name Amen/

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Smoking. [ Mark 10 v 51 ]

Soon  we are going to see anti smoking adverts,it will show tumours forming in the cigarette the person is smoking.It is a very dramatic advert illustrating the awful dangers in smoking, yet people will keep on smoking,the question is why?,yet do we need a why?,is it not just enough that it has become so obvious that smoking is playing with fire,is it really worth the risk?. I am 68 years of age,and when I was a wee boy I started smoking,I remember the principal of my school,spotting a friend and I smoking as we walked to school,and when we arrived at school,being called into his office , and after a short lecture,we were caned.I don't think it was a health issue ,it was because we had let down the school. It didn't stop us smoking, I don't think we wanted to give up,and at that stage,there was no evidence to show the dangers of smoking. I continued on smoking, until I was 20 years of age, and then I was restored to the Lord. It was considered a wrong thing to smoke,so by Gods grace I was able to quit the habit,saving my health,and saving me money.As I look back I am so grateful to my Saviour for not only helping me to ,stop smoking, but also for not going back to it.We all can become hooked to so many things,things we would be better with out,I believe there is victory in Jesus,He who saved us can free us,that is if we want to be free.
A   prayer...../Dear God we thank You that Your dear Son Jesus died not only that our sins may be forgiven,but also died to break the power of sin in our lives. Amen /

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Giving evil a foothold. [ Matthew 26 v33/ 69-75]

I heard someone say  that evil is just looking for a foothold,I wonder what you think of that?, is it true?, I think so. As I  read history so many evil people have waited and looked for a foothold, and unfortunately they succeeded.What a lot of pain and suffering  the world could have escaped if those evil leader had not managed to get a foothold. We all need to be on our guard, if we  waver there is every chance that evil will get a foothold,we all need to be vigilant.Our Saviour said,watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak [Mark 14 v38] In Pilgrims progress, Christian and Hopeful took what they believed the right way because it appeared the easiest way,and they fell into the clutches of Giant despair,who abused them and would have killed them. Let none of us be fooled by the easiest way,we are told that the way that we have to go is a way of tribulation[Acts 14v22]. The devil may go about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour[1 Peter 5 v8],but he can also translate himself into an angel of light[2 Corinthians11v14 ]. So the need is for vigilance,to be on our guard ,to have no confidence in the flesh for the arm of flesh shall fail us,let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls[ 1 Corinthians 10 v12]. Let us not give evil a foothold, for if we do, the consequences will be dire.
A  prayer......../ Dear God  help us not to give evil a foothold in Jesus name Amen/

Friday, 28 December 2012

Living with brokenness. [ Ephesians 2 v 13- 19 ]

I read  that what a lot of children wanted for Christmas was a father, I remember a person who longed for a relationship, with his mother,who had given him away to her sister to bring up,she never made any effort to be a mother,this affected him dreadfully. I was told by one of my sons,how someone who was staying with him and his family,was found crying because of an absent father, and,well you know the rest. It is all very sad,I  myself come from a broken family, it is an interesting term ,broken family,for it takes in the whole of a family,for the children grow up ,with a brokenness. The person who shot those children in Newtown came from a broken family, only God knows what affect it had on him, maybe he killed those children because .he resented that they did have parents. Now I do not know if what I am saying is right,nor am I saying  what he did was right, it was evil, but I believe that so much pain is caused by the brokenness of the family in all societies. What is the answer?,well I can only speak for myself, I discovered very early in my life a loving heavenly Father, this has always stayed with me, throughout my life. I believe we don't have to live in brokenness,be it from a broken family, or whatever,in Jesus we can know healing, and be granted an entrance into the family of a loving heavenly /
A prayer......./Dear heavenly Father,have mercy on the brokenness of so many ,many, people,in the name of Jesus who came heal the broken in heart,the broken in spirit. Amen/

Thursday, 27 December 2012

God is here. [ John 1 v14 ]

Our dear pastor illustrated a point by putting letters  on paper which read/ God is no where/, and then he changed the position of one letter, to spell out ,/ God is now here/.Consider the words God is no where, and how so many people,live as if that is true,also it may appear to those who are suffering that God is no where/. The second lot of words remind us of that vital truth,which Christmas declares that God is now here, Emmanuel means God is with us.Now Christ has gone to heaven, but that does not mean He is not here, no ,in the person of the Holy Spirit He is here. Jesus assured is followers that He would be with them,always,that He would never leave them nor forsake them.They would still have to face life an all that this means,but they would not face it alone.Have we not heard some dear Christians testify to the fact of God being with them in their deepest of trials.For the unsaved they live without the fear of the Lord ,acting in ways that declare God is no where. They may have a woolly idea about when they die,of some sort of after life,but that is all  it is. Today dear child of God take comfort that God is here now, here with you, no matter what you may be facing,here to strengthen you, provide for you,protect you, to comfort you, and to bring you through to eternal glory.
A  prayer..../Dear God inspite of what we see with our natural sight, by faith we believe that You are here, and not only here ,but You are with us,we thank You in Jesus name. Amen /

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Suffering,Sovereignty,Salvation. [ Revelation 7 v 10=17 ]

A number of us met to sing carols outside a local store ,we also give out leaflets,mince pies and other things,this we did in spite of the rain.I thought a few pieces of music would have suitable,Handels water music,Singing in the rain, and there shall be showers of blessing.Many of the people expressed thanks for seeking to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer,we hope we did.In our country we have experienced a tremendous lot of rain this year. The result many dear people have had to leave their homes because of flooding,hopefully most of them are insured, but not all,so for them it wont be a very  merry Christmas. Let us remember in prayer those affected by such events,also let us pray for many dear Christians who are suffering,violence,homelessness,I just read this morning of the Christians in Syria and their suffering. The so called Arab spring has become a time of great uncertainty for Gods people,when the true nature of Islam is being manifested,by intolerance,and violence. We are not exaggerating the situation,but we must not loose hope, or despair, for as I often remind you and myself God is still on the throne and He will remember His own.Also in this dark world of sin the dear Christ will still enter into the hearts of those whom God in His sovereign grace will choose.
A  prayer....../Dear God have mercy upon this suffering world, and especially Your dear children who are suffering, in Jesus name Amen/
A  prayer...../Dear God we praise You that You are sovereign over all things,uphold Your dear people in Syria and in many other place where Your people  are suffering,and in the midst of suffering build Your church,dear Lord and Saviour Amen /

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Going beyond being generous.]Romans 12 v1 [

I believe God is the giving God,He in other words is a very generous Being, He giveth and giveth and  giveth again. But it suddenly struck me that He is a sacrifical God, maybe that seems obvious, for surely in  giving His son we see sacrifice,it cost God dearly,I mean the whole Godhead,for Christ coming into this world involved ,all three within the Godhead, and that cost.Yes God is generous,but He is also sacrificial.Now I asked myself the question am I living a sacrificial life?,now I would say I am a reasonably generous person,but what about sacrifices  do I make?,or am prepared to make?I think it becomes a bit scarey when I think about it, and to be honest I have not given to much thought to it. May be I need to think a bit more about ,presenting my body as a living sacrifice , each day.This is something I have to give more thought to,I sort of remember a saying by someone, which goes something like, /If Christ be God and give himself for me then there is no sacrifice to great or me to make/. This is not about making a resolution, nor is it  just about money,and its not about making anybody  feeling guilty,goodness there is enough of that about, no it is about ,acting in ways that the reality of Christ in my life, not just in word, but also in deed. Nor am I calling for someone to be a martyr,although it may require that of us, no I want us all to be open to the Spirits leading, not guilt filled actions.
A  prayer..../Almighty God we bow before You with thankful heart for Your sacrificial  love to this world, and to us individually, in sending Jesus to die for our sins Amen /


Monday, 24 December 2012

Vanity fair. [ 1 John 2 v 15-17 ]

I must confess I think the most stupid adverts on the TV are those advertising perfume or aftershave, they try to convince us that if we will wear,this or that perfume or in my case aftershave,girls will get the boys, and the boys will get the girls.  There was a time of course when  men didn't wear aftershave, it was considered effeminate, many years ago I heard a speaker tell how a woman spoke to a preacher of wearing perfume, and he replied it was obvious she wasn't., we all laughed at this. They say advertisement pays , but it doesn't always pay to take them to serious, all some of them are good for, is giving one a bit of a laugh. I wonder would they sell many chocolates if  a very obese person was doing the advert,or if there was a warning on the packaging . I have got into the habit of reading the leaflet that comes with my medication to understand the benefits but also to understand the side effects. I wonder how it would effect the sales of cars,if it had a notice on it that tells us the side effect,like this car can kill,Maine and injure. The world advertises sex,violence,wealth,gambling,drink ,they never tell you the side effects,do they?but the word of God does,it always reminds us of the things we do not want to hear, that there is always consequences,as a person sows so shall they reap, that if you play with fire you will be burned.
A  prayer..../Dear God, help us to not be fooled by so much that is on offer, in vanity fair, in Jesus name Amen /

Sunday, 23 December 2012

When the season ends. [ Lamentation 3 v 22=23 ]

I receive Christmas cards and I send and give many,I suppose it is a bit of chore to write and send them,and maybe we feel there is not much point to it. Now I work with mentally ill people ,and one person in particular told me the number of cards he had received,that appeared important to to him.It appeared to me that it encouraged him and affirmed that people cared,that he was not alone.When God created man He declared that it was not good for man to be alone [Genesis 2 v18],things have not changed,and it seems to me that people still have that need for other people.In spite of a world that's population has grown into billions,people still feel lonely and isolated,the Beatles sang of all the lonely people were do they all come from?. At Christmas we make a special effort to contact people ,families get together,we give gifts,we feel a compassion for people, and all that is good. I am sure you have seen the little stickers on cars windows which reads,puppies are not just for Christmas,well making a special effort sending gifts,feeling compassion, is not just for Christmas,these are not things that should disappear,when the Christmas music stops,or when the Christmas tree comes down.
A  prayer ..../ Dear God,we thank You for all the goodness of Christmas,but help us to not let it cease, when the season to be jolly has finished, in Jesus name Amen /

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Am I living a lie?. [1 John 4 v20 ]

There are some people like Hitler who are born liars,telling lies is not a thing the Christian should be involved in,those who believe in Him who is the truth,should not tell lies. I suppose most of us would agree with that,and yet consider what John has to say to us from his epistle,/ If a man say,I love God,and hateth his brother, he is a liar.[ 1 Jn 4 v20]/and in fact it is a contradiction as John goes on to say,/for anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen/.John was called the beloved disciple,and ended his days in Ephesus,and it was said that when he was a very old man, and had to be carried into the fellowship, he would continually say, love one another. Continually in his 1st epistle he stresses the importance of loving one another. In fact the whole epistle stresses love,God is love ,and that who ever lives in love,lives in God, and God in Him[1st Jn 4 v16]. If we are an angry bitter soul with unforgiveness in our hearts,then we are out of fellowship with God. John again stresses ,that whoever loves God must love his brother [4v21]. This loving our fellow Christians is an evidence that we are a true child of God,this love will always forgive,always give,always manifest what love is, as is shown to us in 1st Corinthians 13. When our dear Saviour spoke about loving ,He said it was a commandment, [John 13 v 34-35],it is a telling witness to a world torn asunder by hate,and bitterness.The question is are we keeping this commandment?.
A  prayer...../Dear  God, forgive us for not loving as You love,  grant us the grace to love all we meet,and especially Your dear children in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 21 December 2012

How to spot a liar. [1 John 2 v22 ]

I have an aftershave called Truth, one of my sons give it to me , once I spray it on I cannot smell it ,but others do,and comment how nice a smell it gives of.[ By the way this is not an advertisement ]  How important is truth?,and where can one find truth?,well one will not find it in a bottle of aftershave, nor will you find it in Crystals,or in the cinema,or any of the great philosophers,or in cults,or  in the variety of religions that are in the world,of which there are many, or politics. One finds it in the Bible,but it goes even further than just finding it in the Bible. The Bible means a lot of things to a lot of people,and an awful lot of  what they believe is wrong,John in his epistle ,writes that anyone who denies that Jesus is Christ is a liar.[1 John 2 v22] Christ means Messiah, the anointed one, the long promised one, from the beginning of time.Marshall in his commentary ,writes a number of things about this verse./ For  John the height of  heresy is too deny that Jesus is the Messiah,the Son of God and Saviour/ Things have not changed, for Gods truth does not change, nor ever will.As you consider the child in the manger this  Christmas,ask God to give you a fresh revelation as to He was and is,and whole fast to that revelation, let no one rob you of the truth as to who Christ really is. As I put on the aftershave called truth, so let us put on the truth of the word of God,let us walk in that truth,let us tell others of this truth, that truth can be like my aftershave a sweet smelling fragrance, a saving fragrance[ 2 Corinthians 2v 15]
A prayer...../Dear God save us from believing a lie, for if we do then we become liars, in Jesus name Amen/.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Strengthen us [ Psalm 27 ]

As a Christian we have a tremendous advantage over the non Christian ,this is not statement of pride but  a humbling reality. As I prayed with my wife I prayed about the natural and the spiritual,for there is the natural and the spiritual,and the lesson we continually being taught by God is that without Christ,  we can do nothing [John 15 v5 ]. Now this is hard lesson to learn in fact we will always till the day we die or Christ comes , be learning this lesson.If we going to cope,if we are going to learn to endure,if we are going to overcome difficulties, if we are, I am sure you get the picture.  The great apostle that man of great learning,and abilities declared unashamedly that everything he did was in the strength of the Lord [ Philippians 4 v13 ]. In other words he needed  the Lord to help him in all things, we are no different, no matter how educated we are, how gifted we are, we need to learn to lean heavy upon the Lord, 24/7.The hymn writer wrote I dare not take one step without Thine aid, Habakkuk the prophet declared,the Lord God is my strength [3v9 ]. If we limited in abilities then we must not give into despair ,but we must see that in Gods strength we can do those things we have to do.As I look back I am amazed how the Lord has helped me,I know that our strength can wane,but not Gods.
A  prayer......./Dear God keep us from self reliance,help us to see that we need Your strength for each new day ,and each new task , in Jesus name strengthen us Amen /

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The devils stradigy. [ Genesis 3 v1-19 ]

I have just finished reading , /The rise and fall of the third of the third Reich,written by W.T. Shirer/,it was a fascinating read, and I really enjoyed it.Yet what I read was not enjoyable,in so many respects it was a horror story,a story that was stranger than fiction. Of a man who fooled a nation,under his rule he created jobs,and people often say this indicating the good he did, but the good he did was only a front,behind  that front Hitler was possessed with a hatred for those he believed to be inferior,and a deep hatred of the Jews. Initially the German people ignored what he was doing to the Jews because they had jobs and food in their bellies.Hitler was truly a child of the devil,for like the devil he was a born liar,and he worked to his fathers strategy,a strategy that would lead to the nations destruction. What the devil does, he tempts us with what appears so attractive,like drugs,power,sex and many other things,[in the case of Germany it was jobs and food to eat ]but he never tells us the true cost,until its to late,then we are hooked and our goose is cooked. So today let none of us be fooled by the goodies the devil dangles before us,for if we are, and we take his bait,we will forfeit so much that we love and care for,remember  temptation is not a sin it is the yielding that is,and also remember, God can help us overcome the devils temptations,so let us ask the Saviour to help us,He will carry us through.
A  prayer...../Dear God help us not to take the devils bait,help us to resist him,and to overcome temptation,in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Intimacy. [ Song of Solomon]

I wonder are you afraid intimacy?, I know some people and they can give an impression that they are not afraid, yet all the time,they don't want it. . I knew a couple before they got married,the girl appeared affectionate, but once she was married,her husband discovered  she didn't want intimacy. She was quite unkind in what she said to him,the marriage lasted a good few years, and then he left her,  may be she feels hard done by,but she didn't want intimacy. That sort of marriage is called by some to be a loveless marriage,for surely marriage is about intimacy,if one person refuses, then it will be no surprise if the marriage suffers. Let us look at this at a higher level, God and us,do we like intimacy? many people hide behind a front,they appear to be one thing outwardly but inwardly, they never really allow God that intimacy that He desires. It is interesting that one of the last things Jesus asked Peter, was,do you love me Peter?, he asked him three times, so we assume He thought it was important.[ John 21] , and of course it was.We were created for intimacy, for we are told ,the two shall be one,if this is not so them the relationship will suffer, be it a marriage ,or our relationship with with Jesus, for in essence that relationship is a love story
A  prayer......./ Dear God help those who for whatever reason are afraid of intimacy ,in their marriage and in their relationship with You in Jesus name Amen /. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Death.[ Acts 16 v31 ]

Another tragedy has occurred in America, a man went to a school and shot 27 people,some of them children,it is heartbreaking to think of such a thing taking place.All we can do is pray for that situation,remember it was not God who did it,for it is easy to blame Him,Adam Lanza did it.Last week I received word that my sister-in -law had died,again all we can do is pray , death stalks the world in one shape or another,through illness,or through violent means.One cannot out run death, but one can run to the Saviour,and then we will be saved,it does not answer all the questions relating to death,and I don't thing we will ever know all the answers, but it answers the question as to our eternal salvation. This life is short even if we live to a hundred,and it does us well to see things from an eternal prospective,for death is but a door into another dimension, it is not, that this life does not matter,but eternity matters more.We stress the importance of life, and of course it is important, but eternal life is of more importance,and it is vital that we are prepared to die,for without Christ the judgement of God awaits us.I cannot answer all the questions relating to the  tragedy in Newtown, or even the death of my sister-in-law,but I can point you to the one who died that we might live eternally, that person is Jesus.
A  prayer..../ Dear God we commit those dear people in Newtown to You ,have mercy,we also ask that when death touches us we may consider our eternal destiny in Jesus name Amen /

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Friendship [ John 15 v13 ]

I received a booklet with Christmas devotionals put out by my old Bible college, the Belfast bible College,the person who sent me it , is a dear friend,since my time in Bible college. She is confined to her home because of ill health, I write to her on a regular bases, and she replies occasionally . Just recently I had a conversation with another of my friends from Bible college,it is nice after all these years that I have still got their friendship. They both went on to serve the Lord, one became a deaconess, the other a pastor, he is still in the ministry although he is aged 75. Another friend of mine lives in Wales ,a godly minister, preached thousands of sermons, but because of ill health ,has had to stop all preaching, he is quite old. Another friend of mine is one I have known since I was in the ministry,their friendship is important to me,as indeed are all my friends, and I thank God for them. But the greatest friend I have is Jesus, there is so much one could say about my friend Jesus, I have never seen Him,but if I did I am sure I would recognise Him,of course one day I will see Him , and as the old hymn puts it, that will be glory for me. I have never seen Him but I love Him,because He first loved me,yes me ,even me, loved me so much He took the punishment for all my sins on the cross. Knowing Him is not an exclusive club, no He is willing to be the friend of anyone, who asks Him to be their Saviour, so why not ask Him now.
A  prayer...../ Dear God I thank for those dear people I can call a friend, and especially thank You for Jesus my forever friend  Amen/

Saturday, 15 December 2012

More Grace. [ Hebrews 4 v15 ]

More was the response to poor Oliver Twists request for more food ,in that orphanage one did not get more,the request would be seen as ingratitude, and would have been dealt with severely.In an old movie starring Humphrey Bogart ,he played the part of a down and out,he goes to a fellow American and asks for help,later he goes to him again receives help but is told not to make a habit of it. More we need more,but more of what?, more  grace,I am not ashamed to admit I need more grace,yesterdays  supply is gone,today I am a needy soul, in need of Gods grace. So what can I do ,well there is only one place I can receive grace , it is at Gods throne of grace,through Jesus.But surely God will get weary of me coming to Him,surely He will remind me of all the times He has helped me, and say enough, is enough,stand on your own two feet, stop coming to Me,and asking for more. No, He will not say that, James tells us,/He giveth more grace [4 v6 ].Of all the things we need the most important is more grace.So go to Jesus today, not as a beggar, but as child of God and ask Him for more grace, to meet your need,to overcome,to persevere, and to know  victory over the world the flesh and the devil, He will not say no to you.
A prayer...../ Dear God in the name of Your Son Jesus grant unto us grace, and more grace Amen /

Friday, 14 December 2012

Deep prayers. [ Genesis 32 v 24 -32]

A  lady was asked how she coped,she answered that usually she prayed ordinary prayers, but when she was faced with problems she prayed deeper prayers.In Psalm 130v1 we read, /Out of the depths I cried unto thee, O Lord/.Now that is a deep prayer , M Henry wrote,/ The best men may sometimes be in the depths in great trouble and affliction. But in the greatest depths,it is our privilege that we may cry unto God and be heard./Is our posture important when we pray? I dont think so, what is important is the attitude of the heart,my son John tells me how he prays while driving,he does not close his eyes.Consider Jonah,he prayed in the belly of a great fish ,when he was in a weakened condition ,Nehemiah prayed as he stood before a king[2 v4 ],but that prayer came from the heart of a man who was heartbroken,it was a deep prayer. It was James who wrote about the effectual fervant prayer having great effect[5 v16], and how Elijah prayed earnetly to great effect[v17].Consider our dear Saviour ,how He persisted in His prayer, and prayed with so much intensity,that He sweated great drops of blood, [Luke 22v44]. this was the deepest prayer ever prayed, there will be times when we will be faced with difficulties,and see great needs it will be then we will pray deep prayers,and God will hear and answer as is best,but in that deep prayer we will touch God, and He will touch us,as Jacob experienced[ Genesis 32 v 25 ]
A  prayer....../Dear God we thank that You hear our weakest of prayer, oh God teach us how to pray, in Jesus name Amen /

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Not giving up. [Luke 15 v 1-8 ]

It is important not to give up on people, after all God does not give up on us,I love the story  that Jesus told about the shepherd in Luke 15,how He left the 99 to go and find the one that was lost. Verse four reads ,and go after that which is lost, until he find it,think about those words ,/until he find it/, it seems to infer that he did not give up, he just kept on going until he found it. It is a picture of the good shepherds Jesus,who did not give up on us, Isaiah 53v6 ,reminds us that like lost sheep we have all gone astray,we are all lost. So there we were ,lost ,in mortal and eternal danger,we were doomed,ensnared by Satan and living in disobedience, blind to our condition,resistant to God and His ways,rebels. We were lost and we did not know it,or want to know,we despised the crucified one, never give Him a thought, He meant nothing to us . Like Paul we acted out of blind ignorance,and would have done away with religion,or if we did believe in God it was a god of our own invention.We never really considered our soul, all we considered,was the here and now,eating drinking,sport ,the pursuit of anything and everything,ignoring our deepest need, Christ.Yet in spite of all this, Christ never give up on us, He kept going until He found the one who was lost.So let none of us give up on others,let us keep praying for them,inspite of their attitude, for as they are, so we once were.
A prayer..../ Dear Lord Jesus we thank You, for not giving up on us, give us the grace in the pursuit of the Lost to not give up Amen /

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Multimillionaires. [ 1 Corinthians 3 v11= 15 ]

I was talking to someone and they pointed out to me how certain TV evangelist are multimillionaires, they would justify having so much wealth from the Bible,under the term ,the prosperity gospel. I must confess that it does appear suspect.It appears to me these multimillionaires will always be having to justify their riches,it is interesting that Billy Graham tells how a wealthy person offered to underwrite all the work of his ministry but he refused it. His reasoning was, people people who did support his work with little donations,would stop praying, and the work would take a nosedive. It may appear attractive financial security,and reason if there was more money more could be accomplished,but it appears that what is more important, is our total dependence on God. I'm told that mother Teresa stopped her workers having tooth brushes ,because the poor people she worked with had none.Also a person bought carpet for the premises she worked from, when she was absent, when she came back she had it all taken up and given to the poor.I suppose we have the two extremes,what is the right one?, are both right?,a friend of mine spoke of someone who was wealthy and generous,and they commentated on his generosity, and he replied,,as he gives it out the Lord,brings more in. I am very conscious as I write this of having a judgemental attitude, I sincerely hope not,in the end I am only accountable for myself,as to my possessions,and as to my giving.
A   prayer..../ Dear God  we thank You that You know the hearts of all people,help me to be as generous as You are in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A prisoner.[ Psalm 105 v 17-21 ]

The little letter by Paul to Philemon was written by him while he was in prison,he was  not there because he was guilty of any crime,but because he was a Christian,and proclaimed the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. This is still going on for many dear children of God,persecution, prison,and even death,we need not be surprised at this ,it is the way of the cross that leads home.It is unfair and yet it still happens and I suppose will always happen,there is an enduring to the end,when Christ will return. As I read this letter of Philemon, I noted that Paul describes his time in prison,by saying that he is a prisoner, of the Romans, of circumstances,of chance, no,he describes himself as the prisoner of  Jesus Christ.For Paul his Lord was always the first cause, our times are in His hands,Joseph was a prisoner of the Lord, and in the Lords time he was set free.Let us remember that God holds the key,and while we may not fully understand the why, we can trust Him to sustain us,preserve us, and in His good time to release us. Let us never loose sight of Gods sovereignty,this means as Pink writes, /A true recognition of Gods sovereignty will avow Gods perfect right to do as He wills/. Let us not murmur or complain, but to bow in humility and pray as our Saviour prayed,/Even so Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight[Matthew 11v26 ]
A  prayer...../ Dear God help us to view life in the light of Your sovereignty in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 10 December 2012

Staying faithful to the truth. [ 2 Timothy 2 v15 ]

I spoke to a friend  on the phone ,he is 75 yrs of age, and he is still a pastor ministering Gods word, he is very knowledgeable,has a vast library,and says he reads two theological books every week.I would class him as an academic, and yet he has not let his much learning go to his head,he loves the Lord intently and does not compromise in proclaiming the truth.My pastor who is now with the Lord,was not what one would call an academic,but he loved the Lord, and could preach a grand sermon,I owe him so much, and I loved him dearly.One should always try to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Saviour,we should respect those who are academic,not despise them,and we should also not despise those who are not academic. The main thing is, loving the Lord, and being faithful to the word of God, to not compromise in proclaiming the truth, not to depart from the simplicity of the gospel. The apostle Paul wrote of those who had departed from the faith,and who had started preaching error[1  Timothy 4 v1-3 ],let us remember that Gods truth does not change,man does not change,and they need to hear the gospel, and the word of God,I know I do.
A  prayer..../  Dear God in our pursuit of knowledge help us to stay true to Your word in Jesus name Amen /

Sunday, 9 December 2012

What is it to be? [ Colossians 1 v27]

John Newton said,/ I  am still in the land of the dying. I shall soon be in the land of the living /,I wonder what you think of these words.There is an old gospel hymn which goes,/I am going to a  city where the roses never die,here they bloom but for a season,soon their beauty is decayed, I am going to city where the roses never die/.In spite of medical advances we are all without exception going to die,yes we live in the land of the dying,but as John said we will soon be in the land of the living.I think for many of us there are so many things that have dulled our vision of the eternal glories that shine afar.For the unsaved the devil has blinded their minds as to death ,heaven and that great unmentionable hell,for the many it is, win the lottery and then we will have the security we desire. Yet all around us people are dying ,the undertaker will never go out of business,for we live in the land of the dying. Yet it does not cease there as John said,/I will soon be in the land of the living/,there is a land where no one will die,where there will be no need of doctors ,hospitals,undertakers,graveyards. It is a land that is fairer than day,a land when God will wipe away all tears,and there shall be no more sorrow,nor crying,neither shall there be any more pain.[Revelation 21 v4 ]At this time there is an opportunity for all to gain an entrance into this land of the living, by trusting in Jesus as their Saviour,as Colossians 1 v27 tells us,/ Christ in us the hope of glory/,if Christ is not in us then there is no hope of glory,no hope of entering the land of the living.
A prayer.../ Dear God in this land of the dying,we thank You there is hope for all who trust Your Son Jesus. Amen /

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Be still my soul. [ 1 Kings 19 v 11-12 ]

I was listening to that well known peace of music by Sibelius, Filandia, it starts quite loud and then all of a sudden you have this soft peaceful refrain like a that still small voice that Elijah heard ,that followed the fierce wind,the earth shaking earthquake,and the fire [1 Kings 19 v 11-12].That still small voice that stilled the fearful prophets heart, now that peaceful refrain has been put to a lovely hymn,Be still my soul.Sibelius of course wrote that music as a tribute to his home land Finland,but I cant help but think that God had him write it for that lovey hymn.I remember listening to the radio,and people spoke how this lovely hymn just hit the spot, and blessed then.We really do need to hear the still voice of God, for life can throw so much at us,the world is full of noise,and sometimes it can be a very fearful place,and we need to realise that God is the God of the still small voice . I remember a  person saying that God loves noise,no, God is the God of the still small voice. so let us consider some of the words from the hymn, Be still my soul by Katharina A. D. Von Schlegel.
Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change He faithful will remain. Be still my soul, thy best, thy heavenly Friend. Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Be still my soul , thy God doth undertake. To guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake. All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still my soul, the waves and wind still know. His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
A  prayer...../Dear God we confess that we are easily frightened,at times all we can hear is the wind,the earthquake ,and we see the fire,oh  God speak to our hearts with that still small voice, that our souls may be still and know that Thou art God, we ask this in our Saviours precious name Amen /

Friday, 7 December 2012

I shed a tear. [ Isaiah 9 v6 ]

Last night I  went to hear a choir sing of the Christ event,there was  also a computer display on a screen ,that enhanced the singing. As I listened to the choir and watched the screen, I was touched,I didn't applaud, I just shed a tear,for it brought home to me afresh the wonder of the incarnation. We all need moments in our lives when what what we believe, touches our hearts, and causes us to weep,not tears of sadness,but tears of wonder ,tears of gratitude, such where my tears.Christmas is many things to many people, family,friends,presents,food,but of course it is more so much more,it is about the greatest mystery ever manifested,and it began with a babe. Who was that little frail child?, non other than God with us, Immanuel [Matthew 1 v23 ],and why did He come?why should such a thing take place?. The answer is very profound, and yet so simple,love,yes love for you and me,yes a love that brought Him from heaven. Yet that was only the first step, the ultimate fulfilling and meaning of His coming, is in His name,Jesus,for it means saviour. What or who would He save?,sinners,that means you and I,how would He save?. Again we have a great mystery ,He would become a sacrifice on a cross.
             O how I love Him, how I adore Him,
             My breath my sunshine, my all in all.
              The great creator became my Saviour,
             And all Gods fullness, dwelleth in Him.
              [W. E. Booth- Clibborn ]
A  prayer..../ Father God we worship You through Your dear Son Jesus,we are touched when we consider Your Love Amen /

Thursday, 6 December 2012

God is. [ Psalm 46 ]

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble[Psalm 46v1]Are you troubled today?are you worried about your family,your job, your health?,the list could go on and on and on. So today consider this lovely Psalm,these opening words,it starts by telling us that God is a refuge.What is a refuge? it is a place of safety,we have women's refuges,where they can go to escape abusive husbands.Maybe you feel threatened where you live,yes even in your home,where can you flee to?,the answer is to the Lord who will keep you safe. Next the Psalmist  tells us that the Lord is our strength,are you feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of life?,are you feeling you cannot go on?are you feeling weak and inadequate?,well today spend time with your Lord,look to Him ,He will grant unto you the strength you need. Next are you in trouble?, troubles come to us in many shapes and sizes, look to God in your trouble, He will help you,it says so in His word, so it must be true. Verse 2 declares , Therefore will not we fear, we are told not throw away our confidence,it will be rewarded [Hebrews 10 v35 ],today trust Him, He will not fail you.
A  prayer...../ Dear God we praise You that we are not on our own,that You are with us,You will keep us safe, You will give us strength, You will help us,we thank You in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Are we up to the challenge? [ Acts 10 ]

I heard something recently that goes like this, a couple were seeking to take bibles into a strict Muslim country, and their car broke down.As they were figuring out what to do, nomads came along,and the nomads approached them and said, are you the ones who are bringing us the book of life. Here is a similar story,a Christian lady was in an Muslin  country,she pulled into a petrol station,and standing near by was a man carrying a gun,and the Lord spoke to her ,go give that man a bible.She thought that it was to dangerous,so she drove of, but the words she had heard persisted,so she went back and prayerfully went to the man,,and offered him  a bible, he told her that he was told to wait there, and someone would bring him the book of life.It is more and more difficult to reach people with the gospel,in Muslin countries,it has become like it was under Communism, this presents a tremendous challenge. But God is up to the challenge, the question is are we?
A  prayer...../ Dear God in a world that is becoming more and more intolerant to Your Gospel,help us to arise to the challenge of telling others about Christ,use us in what ever way it takes to rescue the perishing,in Jesus name Amen./

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Being confident. [ Psalm 138 v8 ]

The apostle wrote,/Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ[Philippians 1 v6 ]. I thought on on this ,this morning, and was encouraged,  because often one looks at others,and mostly ones self,and one can despair. As to others well we can pray ,sometimes that is all we can, but as I said to someone who told me that he prayed and fasted for a particular person he was concerned about, your prayers have not been wasted. You see it appeared that his prayers were not bringing the desired effect,I am sure we have all that experience,but I believe they will, our prayer requests are like uncashed cheques,they are lodged in the bank of heaven,God has not forgotten them, or  like a bill that people refuse to pay.God will in his way and in His own time cash in that cheque. The apostle Paul did all he could to build up the church at Philippi,as indeed we should do with our churches, our families , and ourselves,but Paul's confidence was not in Paul. His confidence was in God, in the Lord Jesus Christ,and that is were our confidence should be,we can change no one, but He can, He will not leave the job half finished,nothing is to hard for Him.
A  prayer...../Dear God Grant us the grace to not despair as regards the imperfections we see in others, and ourselves, help us to have faith to trust You to perfect that which concerns Your children , in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 3 December 2012

I speak at small gatherings of believers, they are but the remnants of former days,the folk who attend are lovely Christians. The thing is, unless God chooses to intervene,the gatherings will cease to be, and all  that be will  left is the building. Those folk have prayed as indeed I have that God would intervene,I often passed one particular church and would pray for it,but now it lies redundant. So what can one do?well let me tell you,and in telling I hope we will be guided by God the Holy Spirit.Recently I could not find one of my favourite books,I have a lot of books,but yesterday I found it,it is called the Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink, and in finding that book I was reminded again of that great truth, the sovereignty of God.Jesus our dear Saviour said He would build His church.[ Matthew 16v18]. Yes He will build His church ,and we must bow always to that reality,He is building His church,in the most difficult of places,in places one would never imagine,we need not fear as regards His church, in the end, it is His church,not ours, we are but part of that church.He can if He chooses revive even small gatherings. So let us not despair ,but by faith look unto Jesus the one who is our Sovereign Lord,who will build His church.
A  prayer....../Dear God let us to hold unto the fact that You are sovereign,over the world, over us,over Your church ,in Jesus name Amen /

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Freedom not licence. [ Galatians 5 ]

One of the big concerns in our country is maintaining a free press, and finding some way to regulate them,a free press is very important and I would be very unhappy if that was changed. The first thing totalitarian government's do to is control the press,for they don't want people to know what they are really doing,don't want, their dark deeds reported. Yet much an all, as I want a free press ,I, and many people feel they have abused their freedom, causing a lot of pain ,hurting and acting in ways that are criminal.Sometimes it appears to me that people are being tried by the press, instead of by the legitimate legal procedures.In Galatians 5v1, the apostle Paul reminds the Christians ,that,/It was for freedom that Christ has set us free/,they were in grave danger of going back into the bondage of the law.So Paul writes to seek to encourage them to stand firm in the truth of the Gospel,and in v13ff he reminds them that freedom is not licence to act in an unloving or unholy manner.The road we are on is a narrow way,and we must not stray unto the broad way,that would only lead to bondage. We can be so easy deceived into walking in paths of unrighteousness, because we have not listened to Gods word ,likewise we have failed to be led by Gods Spirit,and when that happens, we are no longer free.
A  prayer....../Dear God in a world were so many people are not free ,spiritually,intellectually,and morally,we ask that they may know the liberating power of Jesus, in His name we ask this name, and we also pray that we who have been set free in Christ may not use our freedom as a licence for wrong practises Amen/

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Works without faith. [ Ephesians 2 v8-9 ]

 James in his epistle stresses the importance of works, not for salvation but as an evidence of salvation,he writes that  faith without works is dead[2v17], but what about works without faith?. There are many ,many people who do good works ,every year millions are collected for children in need.. Muslims at Rama dam are taught to do good works now all this is commendable,also the Christmas season is a time when people manifest a spirit of generosity. The answer is ,while good works are commendable they have no bearing on our being accepted by God, good works are just that good works,they do not  commend us to God, or  in any shape or form,  grant us a standing before God. Neither the works of the law[Galatians 2v16] or the good works that we may do[Ephesians 2 v8-9] can give us standing before a holy God. I use the term holy so that we may begin to understand that like oil and water,holiness and sinfulness don't mix. In saying this I am emphasising the biblical truth that sins separate us from a holy God [Isaiah 59 v2 ]Not until sin is dealt with can we have any hope of being accepted by God,our works count for nothing,the only thing that counts in Gods sight is when He sent His only begotten Son, to do a work that no one else could do,to die on a cross. On that cross justice and mercy kissed each other,and the way was opened for sin to be forgiven. Here is what our Saviour said, in John 6 v29. /The work of God is this, to believe in the one He has sent/
A  prayer...../ Dear God help not to be fooled into thinking that we are  our good works , and make us acceptable in Your sight, for You have made it clear in Your word ,that only the work of Jesus on the cross is the  ground on which we are saved Amen /