verse of the day

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The shield of faith. [ Luke 17 v 5 ]

Above all, taking the shield of faith,wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked[Ephesians 6 v16 ] In Hebrews 11 we have a list of Biblical heroes,men and women,why are the mentioned?,because they were people of faith. We will not go anywhere in our walk with God unless we go by faith,  my youngest son phoned to say he had lost his job.I sought to encourage him, and I prayed with him,and as I was going to bed,thinking of my dear sons situation, I heard God saying ,trust me,and I smiled, and said I would .What did I do?, I took the shield of faith, I held it up, trusting in God to undertake for my boy.We are told about the enemy coming in like a flood[Isaiah 59 v19],yes we have an enemy, never forget this, but don't be afraid,the shield of faith can quench all the fiery darts he throws at us. Have Faith in God,and His word,the God who delivered Paul in a storm when all thought they would perish , is the God who can deliver every child of God in every situation,I love the words spoken by Paul in the midst of that storm we read about in Acts27,when he told them, that all on that ship would be saved,he declares ,for I believe God,that it shall be even as it was told me[ v25]in other words he was holding up the shield of faith, and so it came to pass.
A  prayer...../Dear God help us to walk by faith,help us when the enemy of our soul attacks us to have faith,and so overcomes his lies and deceitfulness in Jesus name Amen/

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Are there any chinks in your armour?. [ Genesis 4 v 7]

And having on the breastplate of righteousness[Eph v14] The breast is the place that is the biggest target for the enemy to attack,modern police wear body armour.Barnes sees this breastplate of righteousness, as that of,integrity,holiness,purity of life,and sincerity of piety.In 1 Peter 3 v16 we are told that our good behaviour will be means of defeating those who would falsely accuse us.When the enemies of Daniel sought to accuse him,they could find nothing to charge him with[6v4]Our Saviour said that we were to let our light shine before men,that they see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven[Matthew 5 v16 ]A godly life will be a shield of righteousness,how many of us have forgotten this, David did,on a number of occasions,and brought shame upon himself,and trouble.We all have particular weaknesses, which if we do not guard against,can cause us great hurt,and pain,as had Cain who was warned,and failed to heed the warning,and it left a mark on him , for the rest of his life [Genesis 4 ] I wonder are there any chinks in your armour?if so be on your guard, if you don't the enemy will take advantage and cause you a lot of hurt.
A  prayer.../Dear God help us to not give evil a place in our lives, indeed deliver us from all evil in Jesus name Amen/

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Jehovah-tsidkenu. [ Philippians 3 v9]

Just a further note on the breastplate of righteousness,it seems to me that it has a two fold application,we have dwelt with one, the other is of the utmost importance.Our standing before a holy God depends not on our righteousness,on our good works or religious activities.The righteousness we depend on is of course the righteousness of Christ [1 Corinthians1v30],it is Jeremiah who writes of a coming day in which,Judah/Israel will be saved and be safe, because of Jehovah-tsidkenu,which means ,the Lord our righteousness.So it is in Christ our Lord and His righteousness are we saved and safe,the enemy of our soul will attack us,especially when we fail or slip up, he is called the accuser of the brethren[Revelation 12 v10].Just recently in a conversation with a person who told me  of all his religious activity, and spiritual condition,he made this accusation against me,that I was not saved. This upset me,but then the spirit of God brought to mind the words of Romans 8v33-34./Who shall lay anything to the charge of Gods elect?it is God who justifieth.Who is he that condemneth,?it is Christ that died,yea rather,that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.When the devil comes to God and points to the saints shortcomings God points him to Jesus, who is our acceptance,who is our breastplate of righteousness.
A prayer...../Dear God we praise and thank You for providing a breastplate of righteousness in Jesus . Amen /

Monday, 28 January 2013

The armour of God. [ Ephesians 6 v 11ff]

I just heard something that caused me to feel a bit annoyed,so what does one do?,well as I write this I prayed about it,told God how I feel,when things happen often unexpectedly,our first port of call should be prayer. The word of God tells us that the devil can take advantage of situations [2 Corinthians 2 v11],and of us,if we are not careful. If satan gets in he can cause so much trouble, so much hurt,to churches, to marriages,to friendships,he is just waiting an opportunity.We need to put on the whole armour of God if we are going to stand against the wiles of the devil[Ephesianns 6 v11ff]. Consider, it stresses the whole armour,we dare not neglect to leave any part of this armour of, for that leaves us unprotected,from his firey darts..Let us begin to consider this armour ,/v14/having your loins girt with  truth/it seems to me what we are being told here,is the importance of truth,the word of God.One old commentator writes,/we are not to be satisfied with holding the truth,we must let the truth hold us/.Just this week I heard on the radio a program where a minister let weird religious groups,become involved in his services.The world will applaud  him,the devil will rejoice, because the truth is being blurred,and people will be brought into confusion. That there is only one God, only one way to be saved,are truths that we must not compromise on, we will never go wrong /if we are encircled by the truth/,so says the same old commentator, and he is absolutely right.
A  prayer....Dear God let Your truth take hold me,let me never to forsake Your truth in Jesus name . Amen/

Sunday, 27 January 2013

We leak [ Ephesians 4 v23]

I wonder are you worried about the future? I must confess that there are things that concern me as to my future,next year I will be seventy,and the question is should I retire?,and if I  do,what will I do?. Another thing that concerns me,will I be able to support Gods work financially?what am I saying?, I am the guy who has been writing all those bloggs,I am a preacher,and yet I am voicing concerns.The fact of the matter is I am just like you,D L  Moody,said about being filled with the Spirit,  that he leaked. I suppose what I am saying is,that the life of faith is ongoing,it is a continual process,each new day ,requires new faith,and so it will continue, old Jacob felt overwhelmed to the point of declaring,that everything was against him [Genesis 43 v36],Elijah the powerful man of prayer,fell into a deep depression,and wished himself dead[1 Kings 19].There are many others we could mention,you and I are no different,we will not always be filled with faith,we do leak,and the lesson we need to learn continually is a continual reliance upon God.,it is possible to fall at the last hurdle,as it is the first.So we must go forward yes in much weakness,depending upon the grace of God,boasting excluded, only confident in our Saviour the author and finisher of our faith
A  prayer....../Dear God help us each day to be renewed by Your Spirit, that will enable us to be over comers, and not to be overcome in Jesus name Amen /

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A request. [ Matthew 10v8 ]

As I write this I suddenly remember my childhood,by today's standards I suppose we would have been classed as poor,mum had separated from my father,and he did not in anyway support us. I remember going to the pawn shop,it was a common practise, I remember having shoes with holes in them,of having to walk to school,I never did receive pocket money. I remember us not having any coal for the fire,at times,but we did have a free medical system,so if your were unwell you could go to the doctor,also free dental treatment.Some children received free dinners at school,I think we did for a period,and all children had free milk every day .It saddens me when I read of countries were the poor received no help whatsoever,I am not bitter about not having a lot when I was young,I do appreciate how God in His mercy brought us through,and how He has blessed me now.I prayed a prayer last night ,Lord help me to be as generous as You,and I laughed at my request,because I could never be as generous as God,but I can be to a degree,to have an open heart , and an open hand.
A  prayer...../Dear God have mercy upon those people who are struggling to care for their families,help us to help were we can in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 25 January 2013

Will they call us? [ Proverbs 10 v7 ]

I have finished reading my book on Judson of Burma, what a noble soul he was, one of his greatest legacy's is the Bible he translated,the only one ever to be translated. He was by all accounts a brilliant scholar,he was truly fitted for the task God give him,but he experienced so many difficulties,he witnessed the death of his wives.three in all,they were also godly,and he witnessed the death of many of his children. He experienced imprisonment,and sickness,and dangers at sea,but in it all, he remained faithful,he and his dear family, were the corn of wheat that fell into the ground and died,and produced much fruit. Our Saviour said that if we cling to our lives,we will lose them,but if we give our lives for Him we will find them[Matthew 10 v39].We read that the memory of the just is blessed[ Proverbs 10 v7 ],and truly that can be said of the Judsons,what memory will we leave, what legacy will we leave,will people rise up and call us blessed?.
A prayer.....Dear God we thank You for the Judsons who served You faithfully ,their memory is truly blest,give us grace to follow in their footsteps in Jesus name Amen./

Thursday, 24 January 2013

My jewels. [ Malachi 3v17]

I am reading a book about Adoniram Judson and his wife who where missionaries to Burma ,one of things that stands out is the difficulties they and others had to face. I am up to the place were they have lost two young children,they also suffered  in their travels,it was the age of sail,and that brought with it dangers.There is a Christian church in Burma,as there is in China, and as there is in most countries ,for that to happen it took men and women to obey the go in the gospel. The church in ever country started because there were those who obeyed the call of God, and there was a cost,only God knows how severe that cost was.We could go back to yesterdays reading and ask the question, why this waste?,from a human standpoint ,yes it may have appear to be a waste,often it appears they failed to win others to Christ,often they died in the journey to their supposed destination. Why did Eric Liddel decide to give up the glory of being a famous sportsman, admired by thousands,and go to China, and to die in a Japanese internment camp?. Why ? because he saw a greater glory, and he obeyed a greater calling,the salvation of that most precious commodity ,lost souls, to God they are the  most important thing He created.I like what the book of Malachi says/They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels[3v17]/.
A  prayer... ../Dear God open our minds and our hearts to respond to the great need of mankind ,to see that they are your Jewels, for whom Christ died Amen /


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

We have a soul. [ Matthew 10 v28 ]

I went to see the movie Les  Miserables if you go to see it take a hankie or tissues to wipe the tears away,it is full of deep realism,showing the harshness of life, and severe injustice of the times.The main character played by Hugh Jackson ,plays the part of a convict ,serving nineteen years for stealing bread to feed his starving family,is granted parole. But as an ex prisoner he receives no help from anybody until he comes in contact with a priest,who befriends him,feeding him,and giving him a bed for the night.During the night Valjean steals silver ,and flees only to be arrested and brought back to the priest.Who declares that he gave him the things and also gives him some more stuff to take with him.The actions by the priest has a profound effect upon Valjean,who later on declares,he taught me I had a soul. Yes he had a soul and so has every person, unlike animals we have a soul ,so many, many, people live as if they are just material being,but not so, we are made in Gods image,eternity is in our hearts,and we neglect this truth to our eternal hurt.No matter how wicked people in their animal behaviour become let us never loose sight that they have an never dying soul.
A prayer .../Almighty God have mercy upon humanity,that have forgotten that they have a soul,in Jesus name ,who came to save their never dying souls Amen /

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A waste. [ Matthew 25 v40]

 In Matthew 26 v6-13 we have an account of a woman who was misunderstood,and she became the target  of criticism,sound familiar.She was told she should have used her resources in a more humane way,instead of wasting it on Jesus.She had poured very precious ointment over His head as act of devotion,it was act of worship on Him who alone is worthy of worship.It appears she had more insight than the apostles,they only saw the waste,she saw His sacrificial death,and she expressed her love and devotion to Him in this lovely way. Jesus revealed to those disciples the true meaning of her action,He reminded them there is a place for helping others,but there is a place for honouring Him. Many will help the poor which is commendable,but will not  have a thought for Jesus,they are like the disciples, just focused on the creature and not a thought for the creator.Jesus said that what that lady did would always be remembered,so it is what we do for Jesus ,be it ever so little,or ever so great will be remembered, even though others may think it was a waste
A  prayer..../ Dear God help us to honour You even though others may think it a waste in Jesus name Amen ./

Monday, 21 January 2013

Agents for peace [ Matthew 5 v9 ]

My son John has 4 children,and you know what children are like, they have there moments of conflict,well John works away in his job. Just recently he spoke to his oldest boy and said to him, Morgan, you be an agent for peace,and I thought how meaningful that was. So I felt I should share it with you, for how many situations would be so much better,if  people took up that challenge, to be an agent for peace. How  many families,how many churches, how many countries would be affected, for the better,if they adopted those words,So many people are squaring up to each other,there are those in Islam who want to fight the world. Our Saviour said ,have peace with one another[ Mark 9v 50],  and in Romans 12v18,we are told,/Do all you can to live in peace with everyone/.Let us take on board those words to be an agent for peace, after all we follow one who is the prince of peace.Consider how  important peace is,it is a central aspect to our relationship with God,in Christ we have by faith peace ,with God,and in our day by day walk with Him we can know the peace of God.Now as we face this day can we be agents of peace,instead of agents of conflict,if we are agents of peace,then we can make a big difference in all our different situations.
A  prayer..... Dear God in a world so full of conflict help us to be agents for peace in Jesus name Amen/

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Present but gone. [ 1 Thessalonians 4 v 13]

I  was really angry with myself,I made a mistake, and it was the second time  I did it,I gave a big cry out, at my stupidity,but thankfully I was able ,to rectify my  mistake,so all is well with my world,until the next time. I wondered to myself was it  you know what creeping up on me?, I cant remember,I joke. It was only today that I was talking to someone, and he told me about someone he knew,who went all the way to Australia ,from England, to see his brother,only to find ,that his brother did not recognise him,he had dementia. Maybe some day they will find a cure,but in the meanwhile,how does one cope with a loved one suffering from this condition? ,of seeing that person they love,lost to them. The human condition can bring unto us so many things,things we have no control over,I heard a person on the radio, speaking of how he felt lost after having a stroke, of feeling his body had let him down.There so many things we cant control,but this I know my times are in Gods hands,indeed I wish them there,for they are safe hands,hands that will not let go of me,hands that will carry me through,till journeys end, hands I can trust even when I don't understand.
A  prayer...../ Dear Lord Jesus have mercy on those who watch those they love suffer,and those who no longer recognise those who are dear to them,help them not to despair Amen /

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Because He lives. [John 11 v25]

I was thinking this morning about the resurrection, it would be easy to be like the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection,when your dead ,your dead.After all ,death appears so final, and if you are cremated ,all that is left is an urn filled with is that it?.If that is it ,then we may as well live just for time,and the things of time,let us eat, drink and be merry. When the writers of the Bible wrote,they lived with a greater awareness of death,in our modern times,death is hidden from us,we are occasionally reminded of it when the funeral cars pass us on their way to the graveyard,or crematorium. Yes there are those who live with a fear of death,children do,but on the whole it appears to be a closed subject. Maybe us, in the prosperous west  feel ,that eventually we will solve the intrusion of death,so it wont knock on our door. Maybe we are to afraid to think upon death,it is such a morbid thing,so let us just push it to the back of our minds,but that will not help for it will come back to hunt us.As a Christian minister I continually am reminding myself ,and others of death,but not as the final curtain,but as a door into eternity,that will lead to Heaven or Hell,depending whither one has trusted Jesus as ones Saviour. As to our bodies,without faith all we see is death,its  over,its over,its over,but then I hear Jesus, telling me ,God is not a God of the dead, but a God of the living.[ Matthew 22 v23].I hear Him declare that He is the resurrection and the life,that if I have faith in Him I will live even though I die.Now Jesus did not only speak words, He showed the reality of what He said,by rising from the dead, and so it is, that because He lives,we shall live also.
A  prayer..../ Dear God we thank You for Jesus who conquered death,and that through believing Him,death will not be the end Amen

Friday, 18 January 2013

Predictable and unpredictable. [ Psalm 23]

Let it snow ,let it snow, let it snow,these words are swell in a song,but it is not on my wish list,snow is alright on Christmas cards,but it is not my favourite thing.Yet there is not much one can do about it,we can forecast the weather,but we cannot control it,was it Napoleon who told his generals, to leave the weather to him?,well if he did, he was soon brought down to earth,when he invaded Russia.There are things we cannot do much about,like growing old,like dying,like our inability to forecast the future we don't know what the next minute holds for us. The Bible tells us that we know not what a day may bring forth ,life is predictable,and yet is unpredictable,the unpredictability of it can cause us to be anxious,to loose sleep.I am sure we all have moments of anxiety,I know I have,maybe you are feeling anxious at this time,don't feel condemned,but make every effort to talk to your loving heavenly Father,it will make a difference,remember child of God He is your loving heavenly Father. We are told to cast all our cares upon Him for He cares for us [1 Peter 5 v7 ]. All your anxieties all your cares bring to the mercy seat leave them there,never a burden that He cant bear, never a friend like Jesus.
A  prayer....../ Dear loving heavenly Father,help us with those anxieties we have to bring them You,help us to trust and not be anxious in Jesus name Amen /

Thursday, 17 January 2013

No harsh severity. [ 2 Corinthians 10 v1 ]

Peter in his first epistle [2 v 11] writes/, Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul/.The first thing that struck me was the graciousness of these words,dearly beloved,Peter the great apostle,speaks with a gentleness to them. This same Peter had denied his Lord,failed Him miserably,had been forgiven,and restored,and recommissioned, was very aware of his own failings,was not adopting and attitude of holier than thou,but as Baxter said,he was speaking as a dying man to dying men .He does not speak to them in a dogmatic overbearing manner , but in a loving pleading way.I use to be a blood and thunder preacher, but I have changed,blood and thunder may scare people,but I wonder how effective it is?.Our dear Saviour wept over Jerusalem, one of the aspects of the Messiah was,that,He shall not strive nor cry,neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets [Matthew 12 v19]. Spurgeon writing on this,/ The wrath of man in hot controversy, the frenzy of wild rhetoric...He disdained such weapons in establishing His kingdom./He also comments on the following verse,/A bruised reed , shall He not break,and smoking flax shall He not quench[v20] He is gentle,and exercises no harsh severity. He bears and forebears with those who are unlovely in His eyes./
A prayer.../ Dear Saviour help us to speak the truth in love,to show a gentle and meek spirit with all men, to conqueror by thy gentleness. Amen /

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Easier but smaller.[ John 12 v24 ]

I was watching a film and a mother said to her son, to return home where it would be easier,and he replied,yes easier , but smaller.Easier but small, it is the easiest road that appears more attractive,some teams are content with just being,while others desire to achieve. Many people have chosen the easier way,and so their experience is limited and not fulfilling,but it is often in taking the apparent harder way,that we grow. It would have been easier for Dr .M.L.King to have refrained from leading the civil rights movement, but in so doing he would have been smaller,and America would have been smaller.When M. Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle church at Wittenberg, he was not taking the easy way,if he had refrained from doing this, he would have remained just another monk,instead of the great reformer. When people desired to follow Jesus, He did not promise the easy way,He told them ,to take up their cross, to Deny themselves.So many people clammier for instant riches,instant fame,while others strive years to reach their goal,and in that striving they grow,oh yes they may fail in their goals,they may even die in seeking to reach their goals,but there is something in the trying that the easier way can never give.
A  prayer..../Dear Saviour lead us in the way we should go,even if that way is not the easy way, Amen/

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Are you an Alien?[ Romans 3 v23 ]

I must confess that yesterday was a black dog day,I was not all sweetness and joy,if I had a dog I may have kicked it ,but then it may have bit me back.There are days not to many when the flesh appears to rule,and not the Spirit, oh yes there are reasons,but that does not make it right. I watched a movie about this Alien who came with the message that they ,his fellow aliens were going to wipe out humanity,because we were so bad,you see they must have been perfect aliens. Now of course I don't believe in aliens,but then many of us act like aliens we judge others as imperfect, the prodigals brother was an alien,he was the goody,his brother the baddy,who deserved only judgement. The bad days remind me that,I am a sinner saved by grace ,it reminds me,how much I need the grace of God, and why Jesus had to come.It reminds me that the best of men are but men,likewise the best of women,there are no exceptions.The great apostle Paul struggled with his imperfections to the point of despair [Romans 7v24 ],but the despair turned to relief, when the light dawned afresh,that he had a Saviour[7v25]. Yes a Saviour,remember,He saved us ,,He is saving us, and He will save us,now let me ask you the question are you an alien.
A  prayer...../Dear God thank You that You will never leave us nor forsake us even in those days or moments when we fail to rise above our fallen humanity, in Jesus name Amen/

Monday, 14 January 2013

The genuine article [ John 1 v 1-13 ]

I saw this watch for sale, at our local market,I liked the look of it,it was inexpensive,so I bought it,to add to my collection of watches. One day when one of my boys was visiting ,he said that's an Armani watch,and so he looked at,and sure enough,it had all the marking of an Armani watch. So I had acquired a watch worth possible a couple of hundred pounds,for a few pounds,or had I?.Well it just so happens my oldest boy had an Armani watch, so I compared my watch with his, and it was obvious, mine was a copy,it wasn't a true Armani watch, it wasn't the genuine article.Now I didn't buy it because it was an Armani watch I bought it because I liked the look of it,it makes no difference to me one way or the other,after all it is only a watch.But when it comes to being called a Christian ,it is absolutely vital that we are the genuine article,being a Christian goes further than having a name.It goes further than going to church,it goes further than praying,it goes further than being born into a so called Christian country,or family,it goes further than a label. Jesus said to a very religious person,you must be born again[John 3v7],as we have born physically,so Jesus tells us we must be born again,or from above.[3v6].  In John 1 v12,we are told how we can experience the new birth,/as many as receive Christ to them gave He the right or privilege to be called a Christian,a child of God.
A  prayer.../Dear God help us to examine ourselves as to whither we are  in the faith or not in Jesus name Amen /

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Looking beyond time.[ Revelation 21 v1-5 ]

With singleness of purpose and undistracted by all that is going on around them,their gaze is firmly fixed on Him who is the Christians goal and prize, Jesus, so writes Hughes in his commentary. We are exhorted as run this race to look unto Jesus,is it not so that so often we are distracted by so much of many things.Yet the starting and finishing of this race is dependant on Him,for without Him we can do nothing,in looking to Him,we will not be lulled into a false sense of forgetfulness,and the idea that ,only Christ had to suffer,yes Christ did have to suffer,so it is, that is ,the pathway of  His followers. Forget about the stupid so called prosperity gospel,we will not be carried to the skies,in flower beds of ease.I can here some say I did not sign up for that,well may be if that is the case, you signed up under false pretences.The cross was why Jesus came, that goal was fixed in eternity,Jesus never lost sight of this,[nor should we ],but He saw beyond the cross,beyond His pain,to the joy set before Him. So it is we are exhorted to look beyond our personal trials,to the joy that is set before us,we will struggle if all we have is suffering ,if we only view the things of time. The apostle Paul reminds us in 2Corinthians 4 v16ff ,/That is why we never gave up.Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and wont last very long. Yet they produce  for us a glory that vastly outweighs them, and will last forever.
A prayer...../Dear God help us to see beyond our difficulties to the joy that we will enter into,in heaven,in Jesus name Amen/

Saturday, 12 January 2013

The sin that so easily besets us.[ 1 Corinthians 11 v31]

Not only to lay aside every weight,but we are challenged,as regards the sin that so easily besets us,and the question is,what is our besetting sin.Is it covetousness?,is it taking the Lords name in vain?, is it in the sexual realm,are we feeding into it, on the inter-net?.Is it gossipping?,is it judging others?,is it cheating in some way?,is it idolatry?,is it unforgiveness?.So we could go on,as I write this,I must ask myself,what is my besetting sin?,we all have something,well is it not time that we stopped.and started being more honest to ourselves,and to God.It appears to me if we don't deal with them our Saviour will,for His will for everyone of us is holiness , make not little of little sins,God doesn't. Consider the word easily,it gives the idea of us being comfortable with it,of us not really facing up to it,of tolerating it, making excuses for it,maybe of rationalising it,instead of judging it by Gods word. Proverbs 14 v 9, tells us that fools make a mock of sin,they make light of it,don't take it as something that needs to be taken serious,well we have to remind ourselves how serious God takes sin. Hell is full of people who didn't take sin serious,did not consider its consequences, and let us never forget there is always consequences in relation to sin,first in relation to God,and in relation to ourselves,most people who do wrong hope they will never be found out, but when it comes to sin we are told ,be sure your sin will find you out.[ Numbers 32v23 ]
A  prayer...../ Dear God help us to be truly holy,grant the will to deal with our besetting sins, we ask this in the name of Jesus Amen/

Friday, 11 January 2013

Run with patience. [ James 5v 11 ]

The next thing we are told is,to run with patience the race that is set before us,I wonder how important do you think patience is?It is Vine who writes of three aspects of patience [1]The patient waiting for Christ. [2] Patient in our suffering as Christ was in is [Hebrews 12v2] [3] Being patient in the hope of Christs triumph and our deliverance.In an impatient world the Christian is called upon to exercise patience.Often when God gives a promise ,we are called upon to exercise patience,until the promise is fulfilled,Abraham is a great example of this ,although He and Sarah became impatient,a common human trait . As we exercise patience we are developing faith,and our becoming more Christlike,consider how patient He is with this world and with us. We may cry out I want it now,but God whispers be patient,we may think our opportunity is gone,God says be patient,we may say why did God not act sooner,He replies ,be patient. 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.
A prayer....../ Dear God grant me patience today,as I follow Your dear son Jesus Amen/

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Loosing weight.[ Matthew 18 v 8-9 ]

In Hebrews 12v1,we are exhorted to lay aside every weight,now the writer has likened the Christian faith as to a race, and the last thing one wants in a race is to have carry a weight.. That is obvious, but it does not always appear obvious, for many of us hold unto  things that  we should cast of.When people often came to Jesus desiring to follow Him,He would tell them that they would have to leave certain things behind,and even certain people. Yet even as Christians we accumulate things,habits,yes even people that we could consider as weights,that are hindering us.It is Hughes who writes about /Greek contestants in a race would strip naked,so the Christian should discipline himself [ 1 Cor 9 v25/27 ] and shun every excess which would hamper or incapacitate him as a participant in the greatest of all contents/.  The flesh will not like it but it is for the best,Pink in his exhaustive commentary on Hebrews writes of the demands of faith, and it is our Saviour who challenged Peter with the words,/lovest thou Me, more than these?[John 21v15]. For the Love of Jesus let us cast of those weights that are holding us back,and hindering us,in our Christian life.
A  prayer ..../Dear God help us to cast of everything that hinders us in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Faithful witnesses [Hebrews 11 v 4 ]

There are many lessons we have to learn in our Christian life, there are the general lessons which are universal like perseverance,like faith,but then there are those lesson that as individuals we need to learn.We all without exception carry a lot of baggage that we need to deal with,the writer of Hebrews stresses this ,/Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,and let us run with patience the race that is set before us[12v1]. First of all the writer likens the Christian life as to a race,and in running this race,he states 3 things. [1] The cloud of witnesses, those he has mentioned in chap11,they had triumphant over life by faith,for some of them it meant laying down lies,it is now our turn to take part in this race of faith, Hughes, says,their example should be an inspiration for us to give of our utmost in the struggle.  As they succeeded so can we,but consider ,that like them we are called to be a witness,to those watching on,our children,our nearest and dearest, our neighbours, our work colleagues. Think of the impact for harm if we fail in this race,think of the people we will cause to stumble,but think of the good we can do if we continue on to the end, consider ,Proverbs 10 v7/ The memory of the just is blessed/ may there be those who will rise up and praise the Lord ,for our witness while we lived.
A  prayer......../ Dear God grant us that we will be faithful witnesses ,for Your glory, in Jesus name . Amen /

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Rescue the perishing. [ Isaiah 6 v 8 ]

I have just finished listening to ,/Sinners in the hands of an angry God,  by Jonathan Edwards/, my what a solemn sermon it is,the most solemn one I have ever heard. It brings afresh the scriptural realities of  Gods final judgement,that is awesome,and so serious,of course it is not a subject that many preach on, I wonder why?. It left me thankful that I am saved, and have not been appointed unto wrath [1 Thessalonians 5 v9 ], and gives me a greater concern for the lost. There is no need to panic but there is a need to tell others about Christ,who alone can save from hell and eternal judgement. This is not as easy as one thinks,but God can help us by His Spirit,to speak the words of life,to those who lost, in doing this we need to pray,and be led by the Spirit. The day of salvation has not passed,God is still saving people,my son Brian told me of a church in London were a 1000 people are doing the Alpha course,pray about this. I read this morning of souls being saved in the state of Orissa in India,the church there has experienced severe persecution,but God is still saving.Let us remember that everyone needs to be saved without exception, and in spite of our weakness God can use us,indeed because of our weakness,God will use us.
A  prayer..../Dear God we pray that You may use us in telling others about Jesus grant that we will be willing to be used, in Jesus name Amen.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Pressing on. [ Philippians 3 v 13-14]

Winston Churchill said many quotable things here is something I read recently, /He is an unwise man who thinks, that there is any certain method of winning this war ,the only plan is to  persevere/ It is a good old term perseverance, and I believe we have to realise this, that the only way we can live the Christian life is by perseverance ,that means at times digging in, it means doggedly going forward, when it appears easier to give up. The sad thing is, there are those who do, like Demas, who got beguiled by this present world [2 Timothy 4 v10],I remember when I was a youngster,parting from Christ,I remember it as if was yesterday,some worldly pleasure became more attractive than actually following Christ.I found out that all that glittered was not gold. I still get tempted, but hopefully I will not make the same mistake twice,and of course the Lord did eventually restore me to himself. Isn't it wonderful to realise that although we give up on the Lord He does not give up on us,I an gratefully say He restored my soul.Whatever may cause us to give up,remember it is absolute folly to leave the safest,and surest way of life, following Jesus. Consider   Moses ,in Hebrews 11 we read,/That he  chose to suffer ,than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season., many of our dear Christian family,could have it easier if they refused to suffer,but like Moses they believe it better to suffer for the sake of Christ,and in that they saw a greater reward.Let us remember the cross now, but the crown later.
A  prayer..../ Dear God grant us the grace to persevere in Jesus name  Amen/

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A place of repentance. [ Hebrews 4 v 15-16]

Because of our inconsistencies we will feel condemned,their are times that I fail to be the Christian I should be,as I look back,I  remember temper out bursts,that truly dishonoured the Lord,and yes there are other things.Like the great apostle I confess that I am not perfect [Philippians 3 v12],in the ongoing to path of life,with all its pitfalls, sometimes I fall. In Proverbs 24 v16,we read,/ For a just man falleth seven times,and riseth up again/,it is dear old Matthew Henry, who comments on this,/The just man falls seven times perhaps,sins of infirmity,through the surprise of temptation, but he rises again by repentance,finds mercy with God,and regains his peace/ The word of God assures us,that if we confess our sins,He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,and to cleanse us from all unrigtheousness[ 1 John 1 v9 ].I look forward to Heaven when there will be no temptations,no falling,no sinning, in all its different colours,but while here, we will yield to temptation,this is not our desire,but it is a reality,nor am I saying we should make it an excuse for sinning.Simply put, if I sin I need not despair ,God has made a place for repentance and forgiveness,through our great high priest, even Jesus.
A prayer..../ Merciful God forgive us our sins,restore us to fellowship with You in Jesus name Amen/

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Discerning Gods will. [1 John 5 v14 ]

 Not feeling so well today,have a tummy bug,I am also diabetic,and have a  few other things wrong with me,so what do we do with sickness?,it is a subject that brings with it more questions than answers. We know that Christ healed, and it goes without saying ,God can heal,so if He can ,why does He not ,should all of Gods children, not be walking about with perfect health?.Did not our Saviour say that  His disciples would do greater works,and if we ask anything , in His name, He would do it[John 14 v13-14 ]. I know three Christians who have cancer,one is a young lad,so should one not pray for their healing and expect it to happen?.The questions go on and on,and we could become very frustrated, and even discouraged,because people are not healed,should we not just  accept the fact that we will become ill,we will die, and leave it that?. In a book advertised by a Bob Gass,it reads ,/You can be healed/, and underneath we read,/ God still heals today/.I believe God if He chooses will heal , of this I am certain. Recently a person told me about going to a faith healer,you know I do not read anywhere in the Bible the term faith healer,I do read of people being healed, by people of faith ,and faith they have exercised themselves.Christ our dear Saviour healed but He was not a faith healer,nor were any of the apostles faith healers. The Lord told His disciples to do it freely[Matthew 10 v 8],lifting donations,or collecting money, is not allowed,even Elisha knew this[ 2 Kings 5 ],it is so easy to take advantage of vunerable people. Now I really don't think we should relegate miracles to the Bible,nor do I mean to discourage anybody from looking  to God for a miracle,but it seems to me we must some how seek Gods will for our situations, be it for healing,financial,or whatever.
A  prayer......./ Dear God ,we believe, with You all things are possible, help us to discern Your will in all things, in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 4 January 2013

God mercies. [ Psalm 147 v 11 ]

I usually have porridge each morning for breakfast,I have never had a day without something to eat,when I was young things were  difficult.My mother and father broke up and my mum had to care for the four of us. In those days there was not much sympathy for women who left there husbands,and so she never received much help. We managed,just about,there was no pocket money, in fact there was hardly any money, but in Gods mercy we never went to bed hungry, my three brothers all shared the one bed,we lived in what was called a kitchen house,which had two small bedrooms,a little living room,a very small scullery, and an outside toilet. Such was the nature of our lives ,one had to just get on with things,I never liked school,but am grateful for what I did manage to learn,the basic three Rs.As I look back I am grateful to God,for preserving my family and me,yes things could have been better, but also things could have been worse.I have mentioned the mercy of God, and would encourage you to not dwell on, the difficulties of life,whatever they be,and give thanks for His mercy upon your life. Jeremiah declared, / It is of the Lords mercies that we are not consumed[Lamentations 3 v22]. None of us deserve anything, but God is merciful,let me repeat this, God is merciful, let us all be grateful for the mercy of God.
A  prayer....Dear God help us in our difficult experiences not to murmur, but to praise You for mercy, in Jesus name Amen /

Thursday, 3 January 2013

All things. [ Romans 8 v28 [AV ]

I am back at work  after the Christmas break,I work with people who suffer from mental illness, I have been doing this work for 21 yrs, I have always enjoyed my work,and I praise God for opening the door into this calling. There was a time when the only work I wanted to do was to be a minister,or a missionary,I  had attended Bible college with a real sense of Gods call upon my life. My wife and I applied to different missions ,but every door shut,I eventually managed a Christian bookshop,but it eventually closed,had a time of unemployment,and then came to live in England,to pastor a small evangelical church. I did this for about 3 yrs then resigned, but I continued to look only for Christian ministry,to no avail, again a time of unemployment. I did voluntary work during that time in a Christian bookshop.Along side that my personal circumstances were difficult, my first wife had died and I had remarried,so I saw a job as a cleaner,applied for it, and got the job. I worked at that for about 3yrs until I applied for my present job,as I have said ,I have always enjoyed this work. In all these things God has taught me lessons,and I can see His over ruling providence,and His guiding hand.I have never lost the call of God upon my life to preach,and God I believe has honoured this.
A prayer.../ Dear God help us trust in you at all times,when our circumstances are difficult,when doors close,in our disappointments,help us to hold unto the truth that all things are working together for our good, in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Last night. [ James 3 v 13-18 ]

Last night I sat up and saw the new year in and before I went to bed I asked the Lord for a word to take with me into the new year.The word that impressed itself upon me is found in Psalm 90 v 12/ So teach us to number our days,that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom/This is a challenge,for the new year,for some of us it may be our last year,how are we going to live it,what are we going to apply our hearts to? wisdom , the wisdom of the world?, no the wisdom that comes from above. We often limit that wisdom to the making of right decision,I am sure that is part of it,but surely we also need that wisdom when we make wrong decisions, when we make mistakes as to how we respond.It is in James epistle we have two types of wisdom contrasted,first we have the wisdom that is not from above.The qualities of that wisdom are anything but godly,they manifest bitterness,jealousy,boastfulness,lying,Stalin and Hitler were possessed by a cruel wisdom,devoid of love.The wisdom from above is the very opposite, it has godly qualities,purity,peace loving,gentle at all times,a willingness to yield,merciful, full of good deeds,showing no favouritism,always sincere.  Like love, the wisdom from above brings with it a tremendous challenge ,but it is challenge that must be accepted, and can only be manifested with the help of Gods Spirit.
A prayer..../ Dear God grant us Your wisdom ,a wisdom that is so different from the worlds wisdom,in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A happy eternity. [ Hebrews 11 v 8-16 ]

There was a godly minister who would wish his students a happy eternity,a happy eternity grants to us a vision of how we should live the incoming year, we must have eternal vision at all time.We are giving reminders of this by the messengers of death,my brother lost his dear wife suddenly,likewise a neighbour lost her mother. As to this life we are not going to live for ever,Methuselah lived to be 969 years of age,but in the end he still die,yes we are not going to live for ever,for as we are told ,it is appointed unto man once to die[Hebrews 9 v27], and that is an appointment which we will all have to keep.Is it possible to consider a happy eternity?yes it is, if we live in the light of eternity.The biggest if, is ,if we know Christ as our Saviour,so many dear people don't,and for them it will not be a happy eternity. I was listening  to my favourite radio programme recently,a little old lady, reminded all those listening that for the believer the best is yet to be. Success here brings its rewards,but they are only temporal,it is not that success here is not important,it is,but as to eternity,it can count for nothing. Success without Christ is folly,for it is only as we know Christ,and serve Christ, can we ever hope for a happy eternity
A  prayer.../.Dear God grant that we will all have a happy eternity in Jesus name Amen /