verse of the day

Sunday, 31 March 2013

It is just a matter of faith. [ Hebrews 11v6 ]

In the book by John Blanchard, ,/Does God believe in atheists?/I read the following,/It is certainly not a scientific matter to decide whether or not there is a God/ There are scientist like Richard Dawkins who I am sure is a brilliant scientist who declares that there is no God,he is an evangelistic atheist. Why should a scientist cross over into the area of faith?it appears to me that being an atheist is nothing to do  with science, but simply a case of rejecting the whole concept of faith. When the scientist would say the universe began with a big bang, I would simply have to say,that I believe that in the beginning God created heaven and earth. When the scientist would point to the suffering in the world,I would have to say that I believe that this is a fallen world,a world affected by sin.When the scientist would say that when one is dead, that is it,I would have to say that I believe,in an after life. You see it is a matter of faith that makes me a Christian,not science,not philosophy,not education,but simply faith.Faith in a God ,who sent His son Jesus into the world to die for our sins,and declares have faith in Him.The way of faith does not give us all the answers,but it brings us into a relationship with a God who has all the answers. Hebrews 11v6 ,reads,/Anyone who wants to approach God must believe, that He exists, and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him/
A prayer..../Dear God help us to hold fast to the truth,that knowing You, and walking with You is a matter of  faith, we ask this in Jesus name Amen /

Saturday, 30 March 2013

What is heaven worth?.[ Matthew 5 v11-12]

Let those will mock and scorn your faith. What is heaven worth if you cannot bear a little shame,so wrote William Gurnall.I am no different than anybody else I like to be accepted,who wants to be thought a religious fanatic,to be ostracized,to be talked about,who wants that,but the fact is in our walk with Jesus we are bound to at times to be mocked ,scorned,and of course it can go further than that,with persecution.This world is not a friend of Grace,consider the words of Christ,/Blessed are ye,when men shall revile you,and persecute you,and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,for my sake[Matthew5 v11]The servant is not greater than is lord,if they have persecuted Me,they will also persecute you[John 15 v20] It is the way of the cross that leads home, let me repeat this it is the way of the cross that leads home,but our Saviour reminds us,/Rejoice,and be exceeding glad,for great is your reward in heaven[Matthew 5 v12] Remember it is the cross here, and the crown there,whatever degree we may be suffering,it will be worth it all when we see Jesus.
A  prayer..../ Dear Lord grant us grace to bear with the,scorning and mocking of men,help us to daily take up our cross and follow You,and to know that it will be worth it all when we see Jesus Amen /

Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday. [ Isaiah 53 ]

The word good is an adjective a describing word, we use it in so many ways,good morning,good bye,good luck,we even use it to describe the Bible calling it the good book.One of my favourite cartoon characters , was Charlie Brown,and he often used the term good grief.He used this term when something would go wrong ,like his unsuccessful kite flying,or when the little girl  pulled away the ball every time he tried to kick it.Good grief,put together it appears a contradictory term, like good Friday ,how can the Christian church celebrate an event so grisly,horrendous,cruel,and horrible?The death of a man dying on a torture rack,called a cross,cannot be in anyway ,surely called good.Yet for all that,as Christians we call it good Friday,firstly because of who died on that cross, and secondly  why He died. Who was He ? He was that long awaited Saviour,the promised Messiah,His name was Jesus,He was unique,He never sinned, and He was the Son of God,the God man.Why then did He die? well on the cross He became a sacrifice for sin,sin that eternal barrier to a holy God,through His death all who believe in Him  receive forgiveness of sins,and so become children of God, so that is why we call it good Friday.
A  prayer......../Dear God we thank You., that You so loved this world  that You gave Your only begotten Son that if we believe in Him we would not perish but have everlasting life Amen /

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A message of hope. [John 1 v1-14 ]

Karl Popper said that,/every scientific discover must remain tentative for ever/,John Blanchard sums it up by saying, ,/In true science , the latest word is never the last word/.Yet many scientist speak with an arrogance,that neglects to acknowledge this,it is sad that we hear reports on the news,how that they the scientist are discovering new knowledge as to how the universe began. A big bang ,and somehow everything fell into place,and somehow this little planet,was in the exact right place,for life to come into existence.Then somehow from sludge, life somehow formed,and somehow all the vast variety of life,came into being,and somehow creatures grew their own feathers,somehow ,and so we could go on. I am not saying things don't change, but somehow I cannot accept the impossible is probable,apart from God. Now we owe a lot to science and we should honour them,but only as people with a very incomplete knowledge, they are people who need to show a greater degree of humility,and speak from a position of limited knowledge.I  am a person of very limited knowledge ,but I do not believe in the god of science,or the god of evolution,but I do believe in God who made everything,of mankind who spoilt everything.I believe in God who through His son Jesus has made it possible for all things to be made anew. Easter is a message of hope for all mankind,it tells us that sin can be forgiven,and that even though we die we who have trusted Jesus shall live.
A  prayer....Dear God we come before You in awe and worship,the with whom nothing is impossible,we praise You for the miracle of creation,and the miracle of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ Amen /

Monday, 25 March 2013

Don't be fooled . [ Psalm 30 ]

 In Psalm 30 v 6, David declares,/And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved/.My study Bible comments,/Security had made David feel invincible,he had wealth,power,fame,and this had gone to his head,making him feel self-reliant,self-secure,and independent of God/ This a picture of the world,look at the Hello magazine,where the famously rich,display their wealth,we expect this from the world, but not from a godly person like David. God loved David to much to let such a state of affairs  continue,and so he sent difficulties into his life,it appears he experienced a near death encounter.The end of the psalm v8ff has David crying unto God,the verse in this Psalm that stands out is v5,he writes of Gods anger,yes God is angry with His children at times ,and rightly so,but His anger is not unceasing,His favour will once again be experience.Then we read something that is very instructive to all who are experiencing chastening from God,it will pass, joy will come in the morning.The lessons we learn from this Psalm are,don't be fooled by prosperity,do not let it blind you,do not be so foolish as to place your confidence in temporal things. If we do then God will deal with us,for whom the Lord loveth He chastens.When He deals with us however severely,let us not become bitter,but repent and cry unto Him, if we do ,we will find favour,and emerge out of the darkness of night, into once again a  joyful Christian experience.
A prayer...../Dear God help us value what is most imporant,help us to not loose sight of You,and to always put You first ,in Jesus name Amen /
/I will return to my blog on Thursday, every blessing/

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Caleb [ Joshua 14 v6-15]

Let us consider the person of Caleb ,it was he with Joshua who  were spared by God,and of their generation where allowed to enter the promise land.In the Promise land he comes to Joshua who was in charge of the allocation of the land,he wants a particular piece of land.[ We are reading from Joshua 14 v6-15.] The first thing we see in this reading is a man who wholly followed the Lord,that in itself is a tremendous challenge,so many of us have divided loyalties,our Saviour said we cannot serve two masters[Matthew6 v24],we must make our choice.Next Caleb says,/the Lord hath kept me alive [v10],oh yes, see your doctor,take your medication,but remember it is the Lord who keeps you alive[ Revelation1 v18].This man was 85years of age,yet he says, I am as strong this day as I was in  the day that Moses sent me,as was my strength was then,even so is my strength now,for war,both to go out, and to come in.Then he  says give me this mountain,God will grant us the strength  we need for the task He wants us to do.Lastly he declares,if so be that the Lord will be with me,then I shall be able to drive then out.Here is a man of humble dependence on God,yes he had natural strength, he had abilities,he had desire,but success would only come from God.
A  prayer.../Dear God ,grant us to be wholly committed to You, in Jesus name we ask this Amen /

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Obedience and faith. [Hebrews 11v1 ]

Consider the words of Hebrews 11v8/By faith Abraham,when he was called to go out into a place which he should receive for an inheritance, obeyed, he went out, not knowing whither he went/  When I felt the call of God on my life , I thought I knew where I was going,I  was wrong, I didn't, one place in particular stands out, a certain mission,I had completed my training,applied ,and never even got an interview,but they did send me word saying that I had not been accepted.Rejected by that mission,but still feeling the call upon my life,so I tried other doors,they all remained shut,but the call remained.Like Abraham I did not know where I was going,but I was called, I believed that with all my heart. Obedience and faith go together ,in a very real sense you cannot have one without the other.Now of course God calls us to do many things,to give ,to take on responsibilities,even to marry,to have children, and it is easy to draw back.Remember what I have said, obedience and faith ,go together,it did for Abraham,and so it is for all Gods children. Gods call we obey,not knowing our way, but faith makes us bold,so wrote the hymn writer.
A prayer...../Dear God we come to You by faith,we ask for grace,to be those who will in faith obey You, in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 22 March 2013

Helping others [Luke 10 v 29ff]

What would we do if no one give us a helping hand,I am fortunate,that my colleagues at work are very helpful. I saw a young mother today struggling with two children, and I offered to help,she refused.I also remember offering a mother and her young son a lift in my car,through the snow she also refused, and I felt she thought that I was going to take advantage of her.I to appreciate that offers of help can be misunderstood,may be I was unwise,but my motives were pure.God see's the heart.  Consider the people Jesus helped, why did they not rise up and save Him?,but they didn't.Continually we read in the Bible how God continually promises to help.CP   =  Isaiah 41v10/Psalm 121 v 1-2/, unfortunately so many people only come to God to help them, when in trouble.They just use God ,but don't want a relationship that interferes with their life styles, they will accept the gift of help,but not the giver of every good and perfect gifts.My mother used to say if you cannot help don't hinder,there is a lot of wisdom in those words,and many heartaches would mankind avoid having ,if they followed that advice.Now we are not adding up Brownie points ,every time we help someone,salvation is not by works, it is a gift of God.God is well pleased when we help others,when we do it ,with the right motives and right reasons, and don't expect to receive thanks, we may, but we may not, remember God maketh the sun to rise and shine on the just and the sinner[Matthew 5 v45 ]
A  prayer.../..Dear God thank You for all the help You give us,help us to be more like You in Jesus name Amen./

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Time. [ Psalm 90]

Michael Faraday wrote,/What is the longest, and the shortest thing in the world,the swiftest, and the most slow,the most divisible and most extended,the least valued and the most regretted,without which  nothing can be done,which all that is small, and gives life and spirits to everything that is great?/The answer he said was time,as I grow older I am conscious how fleeting life is, and how quickly the years pass.In Ephesians 5 v16 and in Colossians 4v5, we are told to redeem the time.This is a challenge ,for it is something we can waste,instead of using it wisely.As I was doing this message I looked at the clock, and I heard myself saying I have not got much time,as I have to get ready and go to work.I have not got much time,it is true, life at best is very brief,the words of Psalm 90v12, come to mind,/So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom/. Now a word of caution,we are not meant to be slaves of time,and to run  around with a clock in our hands,but we are called upon to use time wisely. One translation of Eph5v16 goes like this, Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days, now that is the challenge we are faced with, may God grant us grace to obey it.
A  prayer....../Dear God  unlike You we are creatures of time,who fail to make most of time allotted to us,do help us Father to make the most of every opportunity to serve you,we ask this in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Gifts. [ Matthew 25 v 14ff ]

Michael Faraday was a brilliant scientist,also a wonderful communicator,but he was not very good at maths,he often bemoaned this fact.Some people used to say when I ministered in song ,I wish I could sing like you,the fact of the matter is,there will always be things that we cannot do,and maybe should not do.Some of us have a few gifts, others have many,then there our degrees of gifting, every pianist will not be a concert pianist,every artist will not be a Turner,every poet will not be a Robert Burns.But we all have some gifts,I remember a teacher telling about a young lad who was asked what he was good at,he said he could spit further than anybody else,now of course I am not encouraging spitting,it is not a very nice habit,but I am making a point that we all have some gifts, they may not be perfect gifts,but use then , do your best to improve them,pray Gods blessing on them.Do not hide your gifts,God has given them to you, and do not be intimidated ,by those with greater gifts. I remember many years ago when I visited a minister friend in Wales,who invited me to accompany him to a meeting he was preaching at,he asked me to sing.Now the dear people of Wales are noted for their singing,and as I waited to minister,we sang a hymn,and I could hear this lovely Welsh person singing,a lot better singer than I was,what should I have done run out the door?, no I got up and sang.
A  prayer....../Dear God help us to use whatever gifts You have given us in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Jeshurun. [Matthew 14v 25ff]

Speaking to Israel about God [Deuteronomy 33v26-27] ,Moses declares, /There is none like the God of Jeshurun,the term Jeshurun is a term of endearment, which would remind them of the  affection and love He had for them.This in spite of their  many faults and failings, yes God did punish them,did rebuke them,but He loved them,I am sure we all need to hear this term of endearment..Then he says ./who rides through the heavens to help you/God dwells in heaven,but this is not an escape from this world,no,He is not a God a way up there who does not care,no,  His eyes are upon the righteous, His ears are open unto their cry[Psalm 34 v15],and in their difficulties, He will come and help them. Next He tells them/The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms/The things of time are temporal,my car will eventually end up on the scrap heap,the so called gods of the ancients are are gone,but we have one who is eternal,a refuge that cannot fail us,yea will not fail us.Underneath us are the everlasting arms of the everlasting God,remember dear Peter,and his walking on the water[Matthew 14 v25ff],no we more likely remember him sinking in the water.But I wonder as Peter looked back on that experience, what he remembered, I like to think he remembered His Lord holding him up,saving him. As a sinner I was sinking to hell Jesus came and lifted me up,and ever since then, He has upheld  me and cared for me,and will continue to do.
A prayer.../Dear God we thank You that You love us,are near to us,and uphold us in Jesus Name Amen /

Monday, 18 March 2013

Confidence [Philippians 4 v13 ]

Are you a confident person?, are you brimming over with self confidence?,as I read the Bible I take encouragement that many of the people God choose and used were not very confident people.Take Moses when he was called by God,he made so many excuses,that he might be excused,but God persisted, and brought him through.[CP Exodus3-4]. Gideon needed a sign[Judges 6] Jeremiah told God that he could not speak,saying he was a child[Jeremiah 1v6]. As one reads the epistles the apostles are continually seeking to encourage people,who must have felt anything but confident,faced with so many challenges. The good news is ,God never give up on any of these people,because He knew, that what they needed was a God confidence. I have to remind myself as I am faced with difficulties, and tasks that I have to do,that God will help me.We do not graduate from the school of  God reliance,to the school of self reliance,no ,we will be taught continually that we need to always put our confidence in our Saviour,our natural self confidence, must be replaced ,by a spiritual dimension,that is expressed ,so fully by the great apostle Paul,/I can do all things,through Christ which strengthenth me[Philippians 4 v13 ]
A  prayer.../Dear heavenly Father help us to rely upon Your dear son Jesus in everthing we do this day. Amen.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

All about Him. [ Hebrews 12 v2 ]

I was speaking to someone recently about the new Pope,and he said that he heard that he was family man,I pointed out that a priest takes a vow of celibacy.I shared this  with another person and it really made him laugh,now whither he is a family man in neither here or there to me.Ulster protestants have never looked kindly on the Papacy, indeed a well known saying in Ulster is,/no pope here/.Of course I come from the land of Ian Paisley,I used to go and hear him preach,he often pointed out the errors of the Papacy.Error, where ever it is found must be challenged,be it the Papacy, liberalism,or in some so called evangelicalism.I read this of Michael Faradays parents,/When questions of temptation, sin,or example arose in the family, they turned to the Bible for an answer/. We must not be swayed by pure emotion,but by thus saith the Lord,I heard this Pope saying the Lords prayer, and I felt emotion arise, and then he entered into a hail Mary, poor Mary they burden her with so much, expect so much from her,which is contrary to the Bible.Mary was blessed as the Mother of our Lord,but she is not an eternal,omnipresent being,she is Mary, who like every one us, looked to Christ as her Saviour,she is not a co -redeemer,it is only Christ who saves, it is only Christ who mediates for mankind.The words of a modern chorus sums it up,Its all about You Jesus,that's it,it is all about Him, not the Pope,Mary, or whoever, He must take the highest station, and no one must be allowed to rob Him of His glory.
A prayer.../Dear God in this imperfect world guide us by Your Spirit and Your perfect word, in Jesus name Amen /

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Are you a sheep or a goat? [John 10 v1-18 ]

My son John was wearing a T shirt and it had writing on it,the letters were Greek,he asked me did I know what it said, I said I didn't,so he told me,/The Lord is my shepherd/.He  wore this to work and a few people asked him what the words meant,one person said to him, so you are sheep to which he replied yes, another person said that he saw himself as a goat,to which my son replied you would not want to be a goat. Now these terms of course are likening people to goats and sheep,when Jesus said He was the good shepherd, He was likening Himself to a shepherd,the people He was speaking to would understand fully what Jesus meant,it was a rural community,sheep,shepherds,goats,they were familiar with. In Matthew 25 v31ff Jesus speaks about when He will come again, and how on that day ,people will be divided into two camps,at His right hand will be the sheep, at His left hand will be the goats.The sheep will be saved, and enter that inheritance, prepared for them,but the goats, will go away into everlasting punishment.Now let me ask you a question, can you say that the Lord is your shepherd?if He is then all is well, if you are not,well as my son said, you wouldn't want to be a goat.
A  prayer...../Dear Lord we thank You for being the good Shepherd,for giving Your life for Your sheep,thank that we can say ,the Lord is my shepherd Amen/

Friday, 15 March 2013

Remember Joseph. [ Genesis 41 v 37ff ]

I am just starting to read the life of Michael Faraday the 19th century scientist,like Abraham Lincoln he received  very little education,but like Abraham Lincoln he read a lot,and rose to be a person of great distinction.Our beginnings can hold us back,but they can also challenge us to rise to become greater than our beginnings,granted that those two great men were very gifted, and intelligent ,but the fact remains we can rise above our difficult beginnings. Broken homes,poverty,illness,race,gender,all these things can be overcome,how?.Well there is that natural determination,but I want to show a better way,first of all it is knowing Christ,then we have a great advantage,we are not on our own.We have a friend with us who will help us.Oh yes there must be the struggles,but they are the proving times, the most profitable times,when we learn the lessons that God would teach us,of depending on Him,of the importance of prayer,of the word of God.These things are vital, so many people lessen their grip on these as they progress,we must tighten our grip,stay close to God,He can grant us favour,and success.The important thing on our onward journey, is our relationship with our God,relying upon Him ,trusting Him, and obeying Him,we may not rise to be a great scientist,or politician,we may,but we can rise from the ashes of a difficult beginning,remember Joseph.
A  prayer....../Dear God we praise and thank You, that  You can raise us out of the dust heap of our past,and grant us favour and success through our Lord Jesus Christ Amen /

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Amazed. [ John 11v40]

Just this week a problem arose in relation to one of my sons,he had a need,that came unexpectedly,now I so desired to help,which my wife and I did in a measure,but only in a measure. So what does one do?,first of all I prayed earnestly, for he is my son whom I love dearly,   and then I looked to Gods word for a promise,the first promise I received was Philippians 4 v19/But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus/. So God spoke but for this to happen a real difficulty had to be overcome, and then God spoke again,/ Is anything to hard for the Lord[Jeremiah 32v27/.So I continued to pray encouraged by the word given,the result was God answered,the need was met,God had been faithful. So what did I do then I thanked God for hearing and answering my prayers, amazed how quickly it was all resolved.
A prayer..../Dear God thank You for Your faithfulness,for prayers answered, for needs met,for difficulties overcome, and for Your perfect timing, in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

An evangelical church.[ Revelation3 v 7-13]

I come from Ulster, or Northern Ireland, it is a land that has known a lot of conflict,but it is also a land that is blest,in that, there are  so many fine gospel churches,I was privleaged from a child to come under the sound of the gospel. The church that I attended was an evangelical church in other words a church that believed fervently the word of God.In that church one heard regulary,the gospel. I remenber with a thankful  heart my pastor who is now in glory,preaching, of the night,over 48 yrs ago,entering the church building,and hearing him,and responding to the message,I cannot remember what he spoke on,but I praise God,that I responded, and so my life was changed, for evermore.I was restored to the good shepherd, my dear Saviour Jesus.In that church,I was fed spiritually,it was a  church that stressed the coming again of Jesus, and the importance of living in the light of that glorious event.In that church there was an active childrens work, pointing children to Jesus,for let us never forget that children need the saviour.It was an outward looking church,at times we attempted to reach the lost, by special evangelistic events,by door witnessing,and I remember we manned a bookstall each Saturday outside the church.It was missionary minded church,it supported by prayer,and giving, missionaries, one such man was Freddy Orr, a wonderful man of God, who served God in Brazil.So as I look back I thank God that I come from Ulster and that evangelical church on the Castlereagh Road in Belfast.
A  prayer..../ Dear God we praise You those faithful servants who were true to your word,help us to follow in there footsteps in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Testing,proving. [ 1 Peter 1 v 7 ]

I am sure we all wonder why certain things happen to us, why does God allow allow our marriages to fail through no fault of ours, why we are tempted ?why different  things happen, that we wish didn't happen?.Take the case of Abraham, who was told by God to take the son he loved and sacrifice him,why?.[ Genesis 22],well we read that it was a test. What was the test?we read that it was to see if Abraham feared the Lord,now of course God knows everything about us,for He is God,the trial was also for Abrahams sake,that he may not forget,even in old age, the lesson God would teach him.It is also recorded for our sakes,that we should at all times put God first,whatever the cost.Why does God allow us to be tempted,and tested,if we go to Deuteronomy 13v3, we read ,/For the Lord your God is testing you,to know whether you love the love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your souls.My daughter in law used to play a little game with the children,she would say how much do you love me,and the children would spread their arms wide, and say, this much?.Sometimes we talk about loveless marriages,how painful that must be, for who wants that,so it is that God desires above all else our love,He does not desire,cold obedience,a rule keeping exercise,a Christian in name only,and He does not desire a half hearted love, no ,He desires us to be whole hearted.If we ask God how much do You love us,He says look to the cross,see my Son nailed to that cross,His arms opened wide,and hear Him say that is how much I love you.
A prayer...../Dear God grant us grace to be faithful,and obedient,and wholehearted in our love for You in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 11 March 2013

Wearing jeans. [ 1 Samuel 16 v7 ]

There is a local church it started with a few Christians in a new housing estate, it has grown to about 400 people,God has blessed, in a time when many churches are diminishing. I rejoice that God is blessing that fellowship,and pray for it, but recently I was talking to a person who was critical of the leader of that church,because he was preaching heresy,living an immoral life,no ,none of those things. The criticism , was about how the leader dressed,he wears jeans,and a check shirt,every week, this is terrible,no its not,is that person right in his criticism, no he is not. Now I like to dress up ,look my best,but let me ask you ,should we be judging people,because they don't wear a shirt and tie?,or they take their coat of when preaching. I used to play a game called trivial pursuits, and that is all it is, trivia, not important,is it not time that we stop emphasising the importance of trivia in our Christian life.What a person wears is not important to God,what a person is, that's important,is that person a man of God?, is that woman a person of God?.Should we not be taken up with spiritual fruit, than the wearing of suits?are we showing disrespect to God if we stand before Him in a pair of jeans?no. Peter writes about being clothed with humility[1 Peter 5 v5 ],now that is what we need more of, Paul ,exhorts us to clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness,humility, gentleness, and patience[Colossians 3v12 ]
A prayer...../ Dear God help us to grow up,help us to stop judging others by how they dress,in Jesus Name Amen /

Saturday, 9 March 2013

No resting on our laurels.[ Hebrews 2 v3 ]

In spite of all the wonders and miracles that Israel had witnessed, Moses warns them of the dangers of leaving the worship of the only God,and turning to worship ,idols,creatures,or the moon and stars [Deuteronomy 4 v 14ff]. Unfortunately that is what they did ,so often cp Ezekiel 8,continually God had to challenge them,as regards idolatry, even King Solomon fell prey to this,influenced by his wives. None us can be sure of how we will act, a lady in the church of which I was an elder, who professed faith in Christ,turned to Mormonism.Jim Jones who professed to be an evangelical, turned into a monster,and under his leadership,hundreds of his followers committed suicide.Germany the birthplace of the reformation,became the birthplace of the Nazi party , and all the horrors that brought.England once a place of a strong church .With each new generation,changes will come,and not always for the best.I know I am saved, I have been a minister,preached the word faithfully,even had the joy of seeing people being saved,but I realise,that I could be so easy led astray, yes I know I am kept by the power of God, as all Gods children are,but I know also that things can change, and often for the worse,there must be no resting on our laurels.
 A  prayer...../Dear God help us to stay faithful to Your truth,help us to be holy,help us to be on our guard continually, in Jesus name/

Friday, 8 March 2013

O let me hear Thee speaking.[ 1 Samuel 3 v1-10]

I read one of my daily readings and it spoke to my heart,it made me aware of my vulnerability,and the cost of acting wrongly,but it also made me realise how much I need God.I am reminded of the prayer of Jabez,  in 1 Chronicles 4 v10./And Jabez called on the God of Israel,saying ,oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed,and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that wouldest keep me  from evil,that it may not grieve me.And God granted him that which he requested./ Could it be  that is the prayer you need to pray today. The last part strikes a chord with me,/ that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me/. Keep from evil,the world, the flesh, and the devil,all these things are arrayed against us,and so it will be till the day we die and go to heaven. The devil may leave us for a season,but he will be back,the flesh our carnal nature,may be overcome today, but it will not give up, the world has many empty promises and allurements,yes there are pleasures promised,but it is usually the pleasures of sin. There are multitude of voices out there clamouring for our attention,today I heard the voice of God in my daily reading,His was the voice that mattered.J.E.Bode wrote, / O let me hear Thee speaking,in accents clear and still,above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will. O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control, O speak and make me listen,Thou guardian of my soul/
A prayer..../Dear God speak to us,help  us, make us listen,and help us to obey, in Jesus name Amen.

There are consequences.[ Deuteronomy 28 ]

In Judges 6 a man called Gideon asked the Lord why,here is what he said,/if the Lord be with us why?/,you see Israel was suffering, they were being oppressed by foreign powers.God had promised to bless His people ,to prosper them,but it seems that Gideon did not realise that the blessing,was conditional. In Deuteronomy 28,for the blessing was conditional,requiring obedience. If they obeyed they would be blessed,if they didn't then they would come under a curse, it appears so simple, yet their whole history , was that of ignoring this truth.Now in spite of this they still were His children, our children may still disobey us,but they are still our children.  I watched a TV program, and the main character,swore to God that he would stop doing a certain thing, when he was about to do that thing again,it was pointed out to  him,that he had made a vow to God,and there would be consequences if he broke his vow.Well he argued with the person,God would understand,God is not so unreasonable,he even went to see a minister,seeking a way out,but in the end,he was made to realise,he had to keep His vow. Let us all pause and consider the importance of keeping our vows, if we don't,then it is no good asking God why, and if we are experiencing difficulties ,remember there is a consequence to disobedience.
A prayer..../Dear God  help us in our stupidity, to see that there are consequences to disobedience, in Jesus name Amen/

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The why prayer. [Psalm 22v1 ]

A brother in his prayer,prayed for all the why prayers, there are literally millions of people who are asking the question ,why?,and many yes, even of Gods children,who pray why?, prayers,,maybe we all have to some extent.We may not voice the why?, but we may think it,the Lord who understands and knows all things,is totally aware of our why?.What is your why?, at this time,maybe you have carried your why? with you for many years,even going back to your childhood.Why did my parents give me up for adoption?,why did God allow that to happen to me?,why did I loose my job?, why did I loose my husband?why am I suffering this illness?. In Matthew 27v 46 we have Jesus of all people praying a why prayer,so right away we see it is not wrong to ask God why?,in some ways it is a mystery, why Jesus of all people should pray that prayer,but He did.In praying that prayer Jesus was fulfilling the words of Psalm22 v1,it reminds us that the depth of His suffering was something that was real. .Why is it ,as Christians,we feel that we will not suffer?that the life we live will not bring to us various degrees of pain and hurts.In the Bible we see many of Gods choices saints suffering,Job  may have received twice as much as he had before [42v10]but I am sure he still felt pain as regards the children he lost.Then there is Joseph,hated by his natural family,sold as a slave,imprisoned for something he didn't do,He may have understood it,when he was released from prison,but what if he not been released?.We will leave it there and continue on tomorrow.
A  prayer ...../Dear God we confess there are times when we ask why,because we struggle, we thank You that you are not offended,when we ask why,into our confusion, pour in upon us Your grace and peace, in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The importace of All. [Proverbs 3 v 5-6 ]

There are particular scriptures that mean a lot to me,like Proverbs 3 v5-6. /Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him,and He shall direct thy paths./The key word in these verses is all, The scriptures speaks of the double minded man,that such a person is unstable in all his way[James 1 v8] W Barclay,/James uses a vivid word of such a man.He says that he is dipsuchos, which literally means a man with two soul,or two minds,inside him. One mind believes,the other mind disbelieves, and the man is a walking civil war  , in which trust and distrust of God wages a continual battle against each other/Honest doubt must submit to the all, and trust in Gods word. Each new day is a journey,as we step out into it,let us acknowledge God in everything we do remember the folly of Israel ,when they made a peace treaty with the Gibeonites,this they should not done,for we read, that they did not consult the Lord[Joshua 9 v14]. Charles Bridges wrote./ Be in the habit of going to Him in the first place- before self will,self pleasing,self-wisdom,human friends, convenience,expediency/
A prayer..../Dear God forgive our foolish ways, our giving into our doubts,of failing to coming to You as we should,in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Arrived [ Psalm 23v6 ]

I am sixty eight,and out of the blue a thought struck me,it appears to me that all my life I seem to be going somewhere , but never arriving. I think every Child of God may feel this,reflecting more on this ,I would  point you to Hebrews 11v13, there we have the saints of old, men and women of  faith., who confessed,that they were strangers, and pilgrims on this earth. They desired a better country,that is a heavenly, in other words no matter how prosperous they became, no matter how blessed they were,they never let the hope of heaven die,nor must we.Al Jolson was one my favourite singers when I was a  wee boy, and he used to sing a song called, Sonny boy. There is a line in that song which goes,/ You made a heaven, for me here on earth/, many people are trying to make heaven here on earth.They will never succeed,because we have sin here,and into every so called earthly paradise,death will always intrude in this fallen planet.Our mortality soon becomes evident as the years roll on, if we live long enough ,we are conscience of life's shortcomings. For the child of God the best is yet to come,and in the words of the hymn, there is a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar. On that day,the feeling of never arriving,will disappear,on that day we will have arrived at our final destination
A prayer...../Dear Lord lead us on to our heavenly destination, in Your name we ask this Amen /.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Empathy. [ 1 Peter 5 v7 ]

It was said of Abraham Lincoln that he possessed extraordinary empathy,Adam Smith said that,empathy is being able to place oneself in a persons situation, of feeling their misery,of changing places with those who suffer,to feel what they feel. As I hear of suffering ,the homeless,do I judge that person?or do I put myself in their place?,how do I feel for refugees?do I put myself in their place?.How do I feel towards people from poor countries,with no job,hungry children,no future,who try to get into the prosperous countries?,do I put myself in their place?.How do I feel every time I hear of a bomb going off,of the victims,who are often children,do I put myself in their place?. As a Christian I am called to follow in the footsteps of the Christ of the human road,in Christ we have a greater than Abraham Lincoln,the poet wrote this of Him,/ With every pang that rends the heart the man of sorrows has a part/.As the Christ of time and eternity views mankind's suffering,from rape,to cancer,he is overflowing with empathy,and a love that desires to help ,and comfort, Above all else he desires to draw them to himself, that His love may embrace them,and transform them,for this reason He came.
A prayer...../ Dear God soften our hearts,help us to be like our Saviour,who is touched with feelings of our infirmities ,Amen

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Betrayed.[ Hebrews 4 v 15-16 ]

In the movie Brave heart ,William Wallace and some of his men are attacked,William does battle with one of his attackers,only to discover he was none other than his Prince,the revelation leaves him stunned. I suppose one of the most hurtful things that can happen to a person,is to be betrayed by a trusted friend,an enemy ,that's not so bad,but a friend,that is terrible.It happens frequently in marriage,we just read the statistics,but fail to appreciate the awful pain,that wife feels ,who suddenly finds out she has been betrayed,by her closest friend,the child who finds that the father she loved ,and adored,is no longer around. That son who robs his elderly parents,cheats on them,to support a habit or a life style,how distraught those parents must be,it happens more than we realise. There was a man I know personally, the kindest,gentlest person,who ever lived,he helped everybody,nothing was to much bother for him. He had a group of very close friends,he did everything he could to help them, but what do you think,one of them betrayed my friend,money was at the bottom of it all.Now my friend was arrested by cruel people, whose only motive was to kill him,but that's not the end of it,another of my friends,so called friends who had promised undying love,deneyed that he knew my friend,as my friend was being tormented,all my friend could do was turn and look at him. My friends name is Jesus,what His friends did really hurt Him,but my friend told me,that He is glad that He experienced it, for now He understands the pain that others feel who have been betrayed,He says if they come to Him, He can help them..
A  prayer ...../ Dear Lord Jesus,we can truly say no one understands like You,You know,the pain caused by betrayal, not only do You know,but You also long to help us, if we but come to You. Amen /

Saturday, 2 March 2013

If we perish,we perish.[ Philippians 1 v 12-14 ]

Northern Nigeria has a 93 percent Muslim population,the Christian population have suffered a great deal, a group of extreme Muslims that go under the name of Boko Haram, have waged war against  Christians.Since 2009 it is thought that this group have caused the death of over 3000  Christians,
Christians also suffer discrimination, they even have to submit to aspects of Sharia law. We need to pray for those who are suffering for their faith, Hebrews 13 v3 ,exhorts us,/To remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body/.I was particularly struck with the words of a senior church leader,/We will keep the faith...if we perish , we perish/.May these words challenge all of us to pray for all Christians who are suffering for  Christ,but may they also encourage us to live and witness for Christ.
A  prayer../..Dear God it saddens our hearts when we read of the suffering of your people in so many lands,have mercy upon them,grant that we like them, will be found faithful in our witness for You, in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 1 March 2013

Practice what they preach.[ Matthew 23 v1-3]

The account in Numbers 22-24 of the prophet Balaam is interesting,he received the word of God and spoke it.It was the time when Israel was leaving the wilderness and about to enter the promise land,they would destroy nations,and take their land.The king of Moab was afraid,and so he sends for the prophet ,so that he may curse Israel,in doing this he would reward him.The prophet tells the king that he will only speak what God says and this he does,the king is very persistent,and tries to receive a word from the prophet that will spell Israels doom,but to no avail. Balaam continually tells the king he will only speak what God tells him,in fact he speaks  a blessing upon Israel. Until this point we can commend Balaam,he faithfully spoke the word of God,oh that all Gods ministers would do this.Balaam is referred to 3 times in the NT ,/2 Peter2 v15/Jude 11/Revelation2v14/. It appears that Balaam yielded to the lure of money,in Numbers 25 v1-3/ 31v15-16/,we read how on his advice,Israel became involved in idolatry,and immorality.He was obedient  in speaking,but his heart ,and desires were not,it is so easy to preach one thing publicly,but privately to act contrary to the very words we have proclaimed.
A prayer..../.Dear God grant that those who are called to preach Your word,will also practice what they preach in Jesus name Amen /