verse of the day

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

What type of prayer is right?. [ Luke 11 v1 ]

I have a friend who spoke in a critical manner of those who read prayers,he feels that it is less effective than ex temporary praying, unrehearsed,unplanned,relying on the Holy Spirit,at that time.The Jewish tradition is one of a written liturgy, and likewise the Church of England.I am writing about this because the minister of my church often reads his prayers,and I must confess I find them meaningful,it is a new experience for me , I was particularly blessed by a prayer he prayed recently.So what type of praying is right?,I think both are alright,after all we pray the Lords prayer,a written prayer,and I often use words from the Psalms in my prayers.Recently I prayed a very emotional unread prayer at a church prayer meeting,I felt very conscious of this,but a lady came up and commended me for my prayer,and she was critical of the fact that many prayed with no emotion..It is so easy to go through the motions when we pray or even read the word of God,and who wants that, God doesn't. I am sure we must be tolerant with each other, in all our different traditions,there is not necessary a wrong way or right way. Also we can learn from each other, and who knows what benefits we will receive,we should be open to the Spirits leading and guidance.I finish with a written prayer......../Grant us , Lord, 
                   to know that which is worth knowing,
                   to love that which is worth loving,
                   to praise that which can bear with p raise,
                    to hate that which in your sight is unworthy
                    to prize what to you is precious
                    and, above all,
                    to search out and do what is pleasing to you ,
                     through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[  Thomas a Kempis]

Monday, 29 April 2013

Being judgemental. [Matthew 7 v1 ff]

Our Saviour taught us not to judge others CP  Matthew 7v1ff,there are a number of reasons for that,so often we do not know the whole story.Next we have not walked in their shoes ,have I suffered abuse? no,but I know those who have,have I experienced poverty?,and so we could go on,no I have not walked in their shoes.The church is called to offer healing, not stoning,not severity but mercy,to minister grace, not judgement.The forces of law and order are there to carry out justice, they are ordained of God for that purpose [Romans 13 vff],if they abuse that power then they must be challenged.Thankfully we can do this in a democracy,many are not so fortunate,we need to pray for those who are suffering injustice ,at the hands of of the forces of law and order. As to ourselves we must remember if we judge someone, we need not be surprised if we find that the tables are turned on us ,CP /Judges 1 v 7/ William Barclay wrote the following,/There is hardly anyone who has not been guilty of some grave misjudgement,there is hardly anyone who has not suffered from someone else's misjudgement. And yet the strange fact is that there is hardly any commandment of Jesus which is more consistently broken, and neglected/
A  prayer..../ Dear God grant the heart of our Saviour, who did not come to condemn the world,who showed mercy and forgiveness to the fallen and undeserving,we ask this in His name Amen/

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The fikle crowd.[ Matthew 21 v9 / 27v23]

I like football,but I am glad I do not manage a team,some clubs change their managers, more than what you and I change our socks.Here today gone tomorrow.The children of Israel , during the reign of David,appear to be so fickle,they follow Absalom,then they followed Sheba,Absalom was the kings son,yet he wanted to kill his father,Sheba was a Benjamite who wanted to restore the kingship to Sauls tribe. Beware of the fickle crowd,the greatest example of that relates to our Saviour,one moment they were singing His praise, the next they were crying out for Him to be crucified.Winston Churchill was our greatest prime minister,but was voted out,in the election that followed victory in Europe.Beware of the fickle crowd,don't be swayed by  people,but be true,to Gods word and Gods will,for your life. So many people get caught up with the fickle crowd,history is full of examples of this,to their regret.I am not saying one should not take advice from others, but  one has to careful we are swayed by fear of being looking foolish,of going against the crowd,our Saviour had to face the scorn of many[Mark5 v40]. Jesus said follow Me, even though it means ,going against the fickle crowd,if our Lord had taken on board what the crowd said He would have avoided Calvary.
A prayer...../ Dear Lord help us to take up our cross and to follow You. Amen /

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Are you struggling? [ Psalm 103 ]

I must confess I am struggling,I think I am beginning to feel my age, I attended a prayer meeting and  although I did enter in somewhat I felt I may as well not have been there.The day had been very busy,I arose very early in the morning .to read Gods word and to pray,get breakfast,get ready,do my blog.Then I had to do shopping for the group I help run,went to dentist. I then collected one of my clients took him for breakfast,collected two more people and brought them to the group,help run the group,which meant getting tables and chairs out,helping with the dinner,washing up dishes,talking and engaging with the clients.I then transported three clients home,and then back to the office,and  work on the computer,then I  went home, made the dinner for two of us, a very full day,and of course then to the prayer meeting. I think God understands when I say I am struggling,he does not judge me,condemn me,shout at me,no He really understands.Let me also say He does not want us to carry guilt around with us,if you are tired ,mybe it is just because you are busy,which can bring on mental and physical weariness,don't add guilt to it. I leave the following words with you from Psalm 103 v 13-14,/Like as a father pitieth his children ,so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame,He remembereth that we are dust/
A  prayer....../ Dear God thank You for all You help us do,we thank You that You understand when we are tired,understand that we are but dust.and you love us even when we are struggling,we thank You in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 26 April 2013

The hard times. [2 Corinthians 4 v17]

The winter has been long,where I live ,we did escape the worst of the snow,but nevertheless the winter has been long, and we experienced a lot of rain. So what did it accomplish?, a good question,what good has come out of such season?,well today has been a nice day, sun was shining,and I believe it really made me appreciate such days even more,and particularly being able to sit out in my garden,and to read my Bible.If you have hard times, you really do appreciate the good times,I love my job,I  have a reasonable good wage, and I get to help people, but I remember the many not so nice jobs ,I worked at.I am grateful that I can drive and  I own a car,for I remember not been able to drive.I also remember my childhood when we had so little, although I am not wealthy God has blessed me.The difficulties  we experiences should help us to appreciate the good times,and the blessings that God grants unto us now.I would like to broaden this out more, consider how we will feel when we stand on that heavenly shore, when we see all that Christ has prepared for us.surly we will truly appreciate Heaven and Heavens glories, from the difficulties of earth to the delights of Heaven. Paul wrote,/For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us [Romans 8 v18 ]/.As Matthew Henry writes,/There is something,to come,something behind the curtain that will outshine all/ ,all the pain ,loneliness, sickness,and death itself.Our sufferings will help us to fully appreciate, the glorious blessing that we will enter into there..
A  prayer ...../Dear God help us to see that we live in a fallen world,and in this fallen world we will experience  suffering, but help us all to see that we will be compensated ,more fully than we can ever appreciate ,in Jesus name we thank you Amen /

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Perfect peace. [ John 16 v 33]

Yesterday  we thought on having a choice to run with our worries or to trust in God, today let us consider a scripture that can be a us,yes us,it will help me and it most certainty help
   Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace ,whose mind is stayed upon Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever,for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength  [Isaiah 26 v 3-4 ] Here we have one of those exceedingly great  promises from God,a God who cannot lie,in other words,if you and I , obey what we are being told ,we will have the desired result,which is perfect peace. Do we want perfect peace?,of course we do,everyone wants that.It is a rare thing for a big movie star to have not been divorced,so many disturbed people,driven to distraction,is it possible to know perfect peace?yes it is possible.,but it depends on us focusing on God.One of the most important things a sportsperson must learn,is the importance of not letting their thoughts  wonder,not to be distracted by the spectators,recently while watch a football on the TV,as a player was about to take a corner,spectators where throwing things at him,he just carried on, he stayed focused. Today amid all the distraction that we face we must stay focused on God, that means having an abiding trust in Him.I leave the words of that lovely old hymn ,by Frances R. Havergal with you.
       Like a river ,glorious,is Gods perfect peace, over all victorious,in it's bright increase.
       Perfect yet floweth fuller every  day,perfect  yet it groweth,deeper all the way.
       Stayed upon Jehovah,hearts are fully blest, Finding as He promised,perfect peace and rest.
A prayer....../Dear God help us to stay focused on You today, in Jesus name we ask this Amen /

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

I have a choice.[ Proverbs 3 v 5-6 /av]

As I woke from sleep this morning, worries started to crowd in as to the future,I hope to retire next year,and I was beset with anxiety,as regard my financial state.I who can say from experience ,that I have young,am now old,and I have never seen the righteous forsaken,nor his seed begging bread. Yet here I am worrying,of all people I should not worry,I who preached to many as regards God providing,I who have experienced God providing for all my needs,why am I worrying?. I suppose retiring is the big unknown for me I have sought to work all my life,I have worked over the retirement age,I hope to retire when I am 70.So what can I learn from all this?,well I have to do what I have always done pray,trust,and hold unto those exceeding and great promises from Gods word.It is said of Abraham that he moved from the known to the unknown,so it is for all of us,for life is full of changes,some we can see coming others we cannot,but change will come,death of a loved one,sudden unemployment,sickness,divorce,or our homes being destroyed by storms. If we are a child of God,we are called to trust God,that He will not fail us,He will test us,but for our betterment not for our detriment.Today am I going to run with my worries or am I going to trust God?  I have observed many people who run with their worries,it is not a pretty sight, it can destroy your very life.
A  prayer ..../ Dear loving Heavenly Father,as the devil attacks us with thoughts that can cause us to worry and fear,help us to resist him, and his lies.Help us to trust in your faithfulness in Jesus name Amen/

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Blessed are the few. [Matthew 18 v20 ]

As I was praying this morning,I found myself praying ,bless the few,I suppose I think of my own ministry,usually to the few, blessed are the few,and those few are very important,to my Saviour.We often quote the words of our Saviour when we pray from Matthew 18 v20 that where two or three are gathered together in our Saviours name,He is present ,He the Lord of glory,does not find it a problem to meet with the few. Recently I received an invitation to minister at a fellowship, they later contacted me to say that ,they wanted to cancel that invitation because there would be so few there,and offered me an alternative appointment. I know they meant well but I have never had a problem in ministering to the few,because I know my Saviour will be there.Our Saviour ministered to vast numbers,but He also at times ministered to the few,to the two sisters, Mary and Martha,and often to individuals.I became a minister to a small church,and I know what that means,they called me in the  hope that the church would grow,we had our moments ,when people did come in,for a while some success with young people, but in the end we were left with the few. Those few were precious to me,and I loved them and prayed for them each  day,and as I ministered to them I knew that my Saviours unseen presence would be there.
A  prayer...../ Dear God help all those who are meeting together in small groups,help them to realise, that you love them just as much as the many,and may they be conscious of your promised presence ..Amen/

Monday, 22 April 2013

Dont give up.[ Philippians 3 v14 ]

Yesterday morning as I travelled to speak I noticed as I crossed over the bridge to get unto the road I had to get on,that there was a very big traffic jam.I managed to escape it by going a different way,and to my surprise I arrived in time to take the meeting.There were about 9 of us,and I felt the Lord helping me as I spoke,and as we sang the last hymn,the pianist played so well, and I believe we all received a blessing.Now what if I had given up when I saw the traffic jam?,I would have missed a lovely time ministering Gods word,and  we all would have missed a blessing.but we didn't.Sometimes we give up to soon,think of the people in the Bible who could have given up but didn't. .Jacob is famous for those words, I will not let Thee go,except thou bless me[Genesis 32v26], and he received what he desired. Consider the lady in Luke 8, who had suffered for 12 long years,she had spent everything she had on doctors,but to no avail .In spite of that she did not give up,instead she came to Jesus, and used the one thing that cannot be bought, faith , and she received a wonderful blessing. Be it for earthly blessing or heavenly blessings let us not give up
               .  I've Wrestled on towards heaven, Gainst storm, and wind, and tide.
                   Now like a weary trav'ller,that leaneth on his guide.
                   Amid the shades of evening,while sinks life's lingering sand.
                  I hail the glory dawning, in Immanuel's land.
                    [A. R.Cousin]
A  prayer ...../ Dear God  grant us grace to press on,to not give up, in Jesus name. Amen/

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Wicked and unclean thoughts. [ 2 Corinthians 10 v 3- 5 ]

I would commend to your reading the writings by  William Gurnall, an old Puritan,I have three abridged volumes of his works,/The Christian in complete armour,/ I  purchased a daily devotional from his writings and I would like to share with you  one of those daily readings./ Christian, this is inperative for you to realize . When wicked or unclean thoughts first force their way into your mind, you have not yet sinned. This is the work of the devil, but if you so much as offer them a chair and begin polite conversation with them,you will become his accomplice...Your confidence must rest on this fact, unclean thoughts will not stay where the love of Christ reigns supreme. They are panicked by overhearing your conversations with Christ as an escaped murderer would be, upon realizing he has been spotted in town. And well they should be, for your holy thoughts will track down these evil thoughts and kill them on the spot. Both the trial and the sentence will be speedy. Secondly, steadfastly resist sins of the heart,thereby showing where your loyalties lie,....if you cherish Christs presence, declare your loyalty to Him at Satans first knock by renouncing every thought that is not a willing captive of God/
A prayer..../ Dear God help us to resist every evil thought,to not let it take root in our hearts,by Your Holy Spirit may every thought be brought into captivity, in Jesus name we ask this Amen /

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Only one answer.[ Psalm 121]

In 2 Samuel4 v4 we read that David lived for 70years,how did he manage to survive?,as a shepherd boy ,he had killed a bear and a lion,he had fought with a giant.As a soldier he fought many battles,was hunted and hounded by Saul,survived a rebellion by his son Absolam,also he appeared to have escaped any life threatening illness,how did he survive?.In 2 Samuel 8 v6/7, we read ,and the Lord preserved David. We can take all the precautions we can, but in the end unless the Lord preserves us, we will not survive.David was very conscious of the fact that God preserved him, in Psalm 121,written by David we read the following,/The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil,He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this day forth, and even for evermore/.I often feel vulnerable,I marvel that I have driven thousands of miles,that I was saved from drowning as a child,that I have been in many difficulties,faced many testings and temptations, how have I come through it all?well there is only one answer as far as I am concerned,the Lord has preserved me.Dear child of God you will survive, you will be kept safe,you will be brought through ,for our times our in Gods hands.Live not in fear,but trust Your God,who will preserve you,until His appointed time comes when He will call you and me home, and as we stand on heavens shore we will look back in amazement and thankfulness ,and praise God for preserving us.
A  prayer.../ Dear God we bow before You in thankfulness ,for saving and keeping us,and for the promise that You will preserve us unto Your heavenly kingdom,through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen /

Friday, 19 April 2013

True holiness [ Luke 11 v37 ff]

In Luke 14v1 we read,/that they watched Him/,they watched Jesus,they wanted to see what He would do,it was the Sabbath.Strict Sabbath keeping was very important, but they carried it to far,it became a burden and oppressive,state of affairs,in Luke 11v46, our Saviour declared to the religious leaders,/you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden/.The story is told of a minister of a church that held very strict sabbath rules,he lived beside a lake ,his church was on the other side of the lake,and so he had to drive around the lake to get to the church.One day there was a very heavy fall of snow,that made driving not possible,this left him with a dilemma, how could he get to his church service,so he rowed across.Later the leaders of the church met with him,and accused him of breaking the Sabbath by rowing the boat across the lake .The minister said ,it was the only way he could get to the church to conduct the service,and then one of the leaders, but did you enjoy it.? .Some religious people would squeeze the joy out of life, the Psalmist requested that God would restore to him the joy of His salvation.[[Psalm 51v12].The term worldliness is often used in a distorted way,one of my great regrets was objecting to my wife,who is now in glory, listening to her favourite singer,in the end she sold  her record collection.
A  prayer..../Dear God help us to to be holy,help us not to judge others,help us  not to lay heavy burdens upon people,help us to understand what true holiness means, in Jesus name. Amen/

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Women. [ 1 Thessalonians 5 v14 [Support the weak]

Yesterday in London Mrs Thatchers funeral took place,a lady admired by some, disliked by some,our first women Prime  Minister.That appeals to me, as one reads history, women have been treated so unfairly,it is women who suffer most in war,it is very painful to read,but how can it change?, I must confess I do not know. Continually we hear of women suffering, being forced into the sex trade,the terrible scandal in India,the abused women in their homes,and so it goes on. So today I give thanks for one women, who overcome so much ,and became Prime Minister, and who left her mark in history. Today let us pray for the dear women in this world who are suffering,in their homes, in their workplaces,in religious oppressive countries,of women who have been raped ,and suffered so much,and so we could go on.Let us pray for single mums, let us not judge them, leave that to a compassionate God,who loves them.
A prayer ...../ Dear God we lift up our voices to You for the many women who are struggling with the burdens they have to bear,for the many women who live in fear,of the many women who have suffered abuse, and neglect,in Jesus name we ask that You will help them . Amen /

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Do we need tuning? [ 1 Samuel 13 v14 ]

Before David comes on the scene we are told what type of a person he would be,it is revealed to us at a time when Saul is beginning to show his hidden weak character,and is told that his reign as king would not continue.Remember none of us are indispensable,we can be replaced,and indeed will be replaced , as Saul was, even the great apostle was conscious of this CP  1 Corinthians 9 v27.There was a belief at one time that the Kings of England felt that they could do what they wanted,they believed in the divine right of kings, but they were wrong as Charles the 1st found out.Saul was the Lords anointed, but he acted in ways, that offended God, and so was rejected,and replaced by a man after God own heart[1 Samuel 13 v14]. This was the type of person that replaced Saul,a man after Gods own heart,what does it mean to be a man after Gods own heart?.Well I believe it means that his heart was in tune with Gods,in an orchestra every instrument must be tune,if they are not, there will be discord.One of the first things I did when I started playing the guitar, was to buy an electric tuner,I had to tune it every time I used it.Davids heart was in tune with Gods,no discord,let us ask ourselves, is our hearts in tune with Gods?
A  prayer....../Dear God grant us the grace to be people whose hearts are in tune with Yours in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

He behaved honourably. [ 1 Samuel24 v 16-17 ]

Let us continue with David the man of God,David was to be king Sauls successor,but Saul was more interested that his son Jonathan would succeed him. David was a warrior and God granted him favour in all his endeavours,so much so that he became a national hero,and they sang songs about his greatness.This is what they sang,/Saul hath slain his thousands ,and David his ten thousands[ 1 Samuel 18 v7],this did not do David any favours, from that moment,Saul became his enemy.Saul knew that God had chosen another person to succeed him[1 Samuel 13v14/15v26]. Saul should have bowed to Gods will,but he didn't,instead he went on the rampage,possessed by the desire to kill David, and oppose God will. So how did David act?, well he never once tried to overthrow Saul,  there were times that he had opportunities to kill Saul , but he didn't,he acted in an honourable manner.When Saul died in battle David was  genuinely filled with sorrow and composed a song,[2Samuel 1]in his honour,in all things he behaved honourably. Two other very important lessons are to be learned in all this,leave God to deal with those who would try to harm us, we are told to leave God to deal with them [Romans 12 v19-21] The next lesson we learn is God will fulfil His purposes for us, the word had been given,David would be anointed as king[ 1 Samuel  16],Gods purposes for David could not be stopped,inspite of Sauls threatening,it came to pass [2 Samuel 5 v3 ]
A prayer ..../Dear God Help us to act in a God fearing honourable way at all times, in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 15 April 2013

Harden not your heart. [Hebrews 3 v7-8 ]

David was a man of God ,and one of the characteristics of this godly man  was his willingness to listen to God and respond to it in a proper manner.I think of two  occasions when he David did this,the first  we read about in 1 Samuel 25,  in this chapter we read how a man called Nabal offended David,and initially he responded by setting out to destroy Nabal   and his whole household .But Nabals wife Abigail intervened,she met David and spoke to him,and David listened,he sees Gods in it and acknowledges that God had used Abigail,to stop him from doing an evil act. The next occasion I want to highlight is when David had sinned [1 Samuel 11-12 ],he had committed adultery,and murder, by this time he was king,maybe he felt he was above the law,but the thing he had done displeased the Lord. Nathan was a prophet, and acted very bravely,he spoke to the king ,the word he had from God and David listened,and repented,CP Psalm 51,and God forgave Him.The word of God declares if today we hear Gods voice we are not to harden our hearts[Hebrews 3 v7-8],David could have done this,but he didn't,if he had not ,he would have ended up as another Saul,rejected by God.
A  prayer...../ Dear God help us not to harden our hearts when You speak to us,help us to appreciate it is always best to listen and obey,in Jesus name Amen /

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Glory here and glory there. [John 17 ]

I travelled to Belfast to attend the funeral of my oldest brother Davey,I don't  go home to much, now this was a sad time, but it was also a joyous time when one met with my family and friends. My  nephew and his wife had their little child there,and it reminded of the ongoing cycle of life,for the  writer of Ecclesiastes it was pretty meaningless,and for some it may appear that way,but as a Christian, I see life as  a gift from God,a gift that is precious.Of course for many life is hard,life is difficult,because of poverty,illness,and death,but as a Christian, I believe  that my life is not  defined by my circumstances, as a child of God ,my life has a greater purpose,to glorify my God and Saviour.I must never loose that focus,if I do then life will loose its meaning,so today let us all see our glorious purpose in life,that in our difficulties,trials,of whatever nature,we are called to glorify  God. Our dear Saviour prayed to His father,I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work which Thou give st me do do[ John 17 v4 ] ,consider what that meant for Him,a cross.and all its suffering,none of us want to suffer, but its inevitable that we will, to some degree,the challenge for all Gods children is,to glorify our Saviour,and when we  do ,then life will  have  meaning,and in the end eternal glory.
A prayer...../ Dear Father in heaven help us to glorify You in Jesus name and for His sake Amen /

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Where to focus.[ Psalm 121v1 ]

I hope God willing to work until next year and then retire, I will then be seventy, but I found myself asking the question can I make it?, can I cope with the demands of my job. Then one thinks what will I do if I retire?,I am filled with all sorts of questions,then  there is the ongoing challenge of  life,I often feel vunerable.Which raises the question will I do something stupid,and fall to some temptation,will I be able to say like Paul, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith[ 2 Timothy 4 v7 ]These are the uncertainties,consider what I have said, the many times I have used the letter I a lot of times in what I have said ,the most important thing we should remember is,there is one who is with us,and declares ./Fear Thou not, for I am with You, be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I will strenthen thee,yea I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.....For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand. Fear not, I will help thee/.[Isaiah 41 v10/13 ].
A  prayer..../Dear God help us not to focus on the I but on You we ask this in Jesus name Amen/

Friday, 12 April 2013

We have Hope . [Romans 8 v28-39 ]

Jim Braddock was an Irish American,he was a failed boxer,but he got the chance to get into the fight game,he was very poor,married with three children,it was the depression.I suppose he was driven by the desire to succeed, to be able to look after his family,well he succeeded,he went on to win the heavy weight championship of the world.In doing this he did something very important,he gave the many poor struggling people hope.I suppose when I think of Winston Churchill I think of a man a very imperfect man, who gave our nation hope, and the people enslaved by the Nazi es.People need hope,my heart goes out to those people who are struggling with difficulties, whatever they may be,for often they must despair. If you are a Christian it does not mean that you will not have difficulties, the things that are common to all men,will happen to you.  Do not despair God can turn every difficult you are faced with ,into a blessing, did not the apostle Paul write, That he gloried in his infirmities,how can that be?because then he experienced the very power of God working in him.He even took pleasure in his infirmities,in reproaches,in necessities,in persecutions, in distresses,because it was  for Christs sake,and in all that he experienced in his weakness strength[ 2 Corinthians 12 ]Faith in God  sees that no situation is out of Gods control,God can give us a hope,that is unexplainable to the natural eyes ,consider the words of one of Gods dear suffering children,nay in all these things we are more than conquerors  though Him that loved us.[Romans 8 v37 ]
A prayer    / Dear God we thank You that as Your dear child we can experience hope ,a hope that will never disappoint,because of Jesus. Amen /

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Psalm 46

Psalm 46 is a lovely Psalm,it is song of confidence,v2-3 speaks of the natural elements being in turmoil,and in v6 the natural man as the message puts it, ranting and raving,and threatening. There are so many things that can threaten us, even threaten to destroy us,but the writer of the Psalm, starts where we all need to start with ,God. The things that threaten were real,but so is God,what are you threatened with today?yes they are real,but God also is real,are they powerful?, God is more powerful Do you feel helpless?,then God will be your helper,is there no way out ?,God can make a way out.In v8-9 the writer points to what God has done, and what He can do,look back on past deliverance's ,be in encouraged, He changeth not,He who was faithful in the past will be faithful in the present. Consider v10/Be still and know that I am God, it is hard to be still,when we feel threatened,but here is the word of God for us all ,be still,and see how your God will undertake.Consider the last verse ,the Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, Selah,the word selah means pause and consider,yes pause and consider this wonderful truth that God is with us,He has not ,nor will He ever desert us.
A  prayer..../Dear God we praise You that You are with us,and that You will care for us,we thank You in Jesus name. Amen /

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Telling others [ Acts 1 v8 ]

 I recently went to speak at a fellowship,there were just six ladies there,this little fellowship is run by the two Margarets ,elderly ladies,who have served the Lord faithfully.When I go to preach there ,they always request that I preach the Gospel,for these dear ladies have a heart for the lost.They have witnessed to eastern Europeans recently,and mentioned how these people had attended their meeting. One wonders why so many different nationalities are in our country,could it be that God whose world it is,has brought them ,that they may hear the Gospel?. In spite of all the advances mankind has made,this fact remains,people need  Christ, they need to hear the good news of the Gospel,this will never change.nor will the command by our Saviour change,to go to tell,for how shall they hear without a preacher,the fact is they wont. Now I am not saying this to make you panic or feel guilty,but simply that you and I may remember are great responsibility to tell people about Jesus.
A  prayer.../Dear God help us to tell others about Your son Jesus,grant us wisdom in how best we can do this,in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Who knows. [ 1 Samuel 1-2 ]

In 1 Samuel 2 we have Hannah praying ,it is a most wonderful prayer,it came as a response to a prayer  that been being answered,Hannah was a woman of faith ,her faith must have been tested as faith will be.She was despised by her husbands other wife,and she was misunderstood by Gods high priest,but  she heard Gods voice, and believed.She named her son Samuel in honour of Gods faithfulness in answering her prayer,Samuel's name means asked of God.When she prayed for a child she had made a vow ,that if God would answer her prayer for child a son she would give him back to the Lord.Consider the challenge in that vow,so many people make vows or promises to God and don't keep them, ,but Hannah meant what she prayed,and kept her word.But she did not loose out, we often hold back in obeying God,feeling we will loose out, but God is no mans, or woman's debtor,they that honour Him ,He will honour them[ 1 Samuel 2 v30 ], God granted her five more children [1 Samuel 2 v21],God we are told will do exceedingly more abundantly than we can ask or think[Ephesians 3 v21].He did not only deliver Joseph from prison,but he made Prime minister,with power and authority.and when God answered Hannahs prayer for a son,He not only gave her a Son,but a son who would be a prophet.Who knows will happen when we pray,who knows what will happen when we obey,but we can be assured God will respond.
A  prayer....../Dear God help us to pray,in our difficulties,help us when we make You a promise to keep it,let us not be ruled by fear, but by  faith in Jesus name we ask this Amen /

Monday, 8 April 2013

Only one class. [ Romans 3 v23 ]

In   1 John2 v16 we read of the pride of life,it can be a pride in our possessions,power,position or status.Just recently a report has come out on our status.What class are we? the report says that there are seven classes in our country,there used to be,upper,middle, and working class.I wondered when I heard this what class do I belong to?,I come from a working class background, I wonder am I now middle class?. In Hinduism they have a cast system,at the bottom of the heap is the dear Dalit people or as they are better known untouchables. All these things can be seen as the pride of life, I am better than you,at least that is what we think,but it is not what God thinks.At its most ghastly this pride of life manifests itself in racism,mankind is continually inventing areas of life that cause them to feel superior. The Bible tells us that God made us from one blood,we are all by creation, Gods offspring[Acts 17v26-28],when God looks on this world is not with a look of disdain ,but with a look of love.God does class us as sinners we all stand equal before Him,and everyone of us has the same need,to be saved,by trusting in Jesus,the question I would like you answer are you a saved sinner or a lost sinner?
A prayer..../ Dear God  we thank You that You love this world of sinners so much, that You have provided  salvation,through Your Son Jesus. Amen /

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Cause and effect. [Ruth 1-4 ]

I believe in cause and effect ,the absuridy of evoultion is it does not really have an answer as to how everything not only came into being,and how everything became what they are. Now I have just started to read that lovely little book of Ruth, I say a lovely little book, yet we have serious things mentioned,famine,being  refugees,death, and desitution. The story takes place at the time of the Judges,the time when God raised up men and a woman, to rescue and rule over His people.Naomi is one the main people in this story,she lost so much,but gained a wonderful daughter-in-law, Ruth.[cp 1v16-18] Naomi and her family had gone to live in the land of Moab,she retuned with only her daughter-in-law Ruth,as she enters her home town Bethlehem ,her neighbours spoke to her,is this Naomi?,and she replies,/call me not Naomi[ pleasent] call me Mara[bitter]: for the Lord hath dealt bitterly with me.Yes she had to drink a bitter cup,but I dont believe she was bitter,or resentful towards God, but she acknowledged that the Lord had dealt with her.To her God was the first cause,if we are going through a trial remember God is has not lost control,we may not understand His ways,Naomi did'nt,but He is in control,He is working out His sovereign will in this world and in His childrens lives.So trust Him ,to even bring deliverance, and blessing into your life,for the end of a thing is better than the beginning.
A prayer ...../ Dear God help us to keep our eyes upon You ,help us to trust in You in every situation in Jesus Name/

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Fear of falling. [ Jude v 24;25 ]

Just recently I had a fear of falling, I don't mean physically, I mean spiritually,after all consider David a man after Gods own heart,he fell in the most awful manner, and all the consequences of that fall.Or consider Peter who walked with Jesus ,personally heard His  teaching, witnessed his miraculous power,yet he fell,oh he fell,what a tragedy. So what hope is there me,will I stand the test as Joseph did?,will I  stand and having done all to stand?. One has to be honest, so that others who are struggling may take heart,that we are all in the same boat,prone to wander Lord I feel it,prone to leave the God I love. Alright, what we can we say about this?well it is not a sin to feel like this,it would be a sin to give into those feelings. Paul, he needed an affliction to keep him from pride, what will God send into our lives to preserve our souls?,for He will preserve us, of this I am sure ,we are told we are kept by the power of God,He is able to keep us and deliver us.John Bunyan wrote the following,
                 O world of wonders.I can say no less,
                  That I should be preserved in that distress,
                  That I have met with here,O Blessed be,
                  That hand that from it, hath delivered me.
                  Dangers in darkness,devils,hell, and sin,
                    Did compass me,while I this vale was in.
                    Yea, snares and pits, and traps,and nets did lie
                     My path about, that worthless, silly I,
                    Might have been catch'd, entangled, and cast down;
                      But since I live ,let Jesus wear the crown
A  prayer..../..Dear God have mercy upon us, deliver us from evil without, and evil within in Jesus name Amem/

Friday, 5 April 2013

Pray, pray, pray. [ 1 Thessalonians 5 v 17]

I read these three words yesterday,/Pray,pray, pray/, in Luke 2 v36ff we read of a prophetess Anna who served the Lord with fastings and prayers night and day.She reminds me of a widow woman I knew called Rose,Rose never got out much ,but she prayed continually.We all need to be like these two women,we need to pray,pray,pray,I suppose I consider myself a man of prayer,and yet I know I need to pray more,we cannot slacken in this vital service.There is so much to pray about ,the need is great,the time is short,our needs and the needs of others are ever there.We are not talking about a shopping list mentality,though I do not like that term,we are talking of meeting with God,think about those words ,meeting with God.The God who loves us,with a sacrificial love,whose children we are,and delights when we pray,and listens intently to what we have to say,who assures us that as a Father, He desires to bless us and help us.Unfortunately we often have to experience difficulties before we seek Him,I realise that it is easy to be critical of others,to judge others.,because of there lack of prayer.In Psalm 103 v13-14 we read,/Like as a father pitieth his children,so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame,He remembereth that we are dust/.This word is not written to judge you but to encourage us all to pray,pray ,pray.
A prayer  ...../Dear God and Father are hearts are full of desire,we hunger and thirst for so many  things,grant us all the grace to love Thee more,and to  seek You continually,in Jesus name Amen /

Thursday, 4 April 2013

None so blind. [ 2 Corinthians 4 v4 ]

James Hamilton in his book on Michael Faraday,writes the following,/Great world events were passing under Faraday's very nose in that place, but he did not seem to fathom their importance/ . [Faraday and  Humphry Davy where visiting France during the Napoleonianic wars]This is not unusual in mankind take the Jews ,the waiting people,yes they are still waiting for a Messiah,and yet He came ,they should have recognised Him but in their blindness they did'nt. But the Jews are not on their own , we have passed through the Easter season,also the Christmas season,and yet how few people realise the importance of these seasons. Many people wear a cross who have not given any thought to its meaning,there is a saying ,there are none so blind who do not want to see.There are two factors that account for these things,sin and satan [1 Corinthians2 v14/2 Cor 4 v4 ].It is John who wrote,/And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,because their deeds were evil[3 v19],Satan will do his dirty best to make people focus on the wrong things,to their eternal ruin,as he did with Judas. Yet let us not despair God is sovereign, He will yet move on the hearts of blind mankind by His Spirit,He can use us in this great task of rescuing the perishing, you do realise that as a Christian we are meant to witness to the unsaved?.
A  prayer.../Dear God help use us,to become fishers of men women, and children in Jesus name Amen/

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Christs kingdom. [ John 18v36 ]

My Saviour said,/ My kingdom is not of this world [John 18 v36], just recently a former Archbishop of Canterbury writing in a national newspaper has criticised our Prime Minister,and his government,of  aiding and abetting secularisation within our society. The Prime Minister has pushed for gay marriages,many Christians believe that the government is not listening to their concerns. The fact of the matter is , our government and every other government,  will never represent the Kingdom of God,Jesus made it abundantly clear that His kingdom was not of this world.Many Christians find themselves under government's that are oppressive, and anti- Christian, when we vote we are not voting for the kingdom of God.As a Christian I have a dual nationality, I am a citizen of the United Kingdom and a citizen of Gods Kingdom. Whatever kingdom a Christian lives under ,they must be good citizen's,but that is not at the price of being told I have to change my religion,that I cannot have fellowship with other believers. In my own country I do not have that problem, but if I did then I must be prepared to take up my cross and follow Christ.It is interesting  in the same paper an agnostic wrote an article ,/The painful price we pay for love and the real meaning of Easter/,she wrote ,you cannot love without making sacrifices, and of the message of endurance that is entirely glorious/.
A  prayer...../ Dear Lord help Your people in whatever kingdom they find themselves in,to live as citizens of Your kingdom. Amen/

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Failed again. [ John 8 v32 ]

And the children of Israel did evil again  in the sight of  Lord [ Judges 13 v1],it is easy to be over critical of Israel ,and forget that we are not so different. We are all inclined to repeat certain things that we know we shouldn't,take Peter,who had a wonderful revelation that Christianity was for everyone Jew and Gentiles[[Acts 10].Peter was in no doubt what this meant,but later he reverts back to his old way of thinking and acting ,and is rebuked by Paul [Galations 2 v11ff].The word of God stresses the importance on the renewing of our minds[Romans12v2] ,Proverbs 23 v7 stresses that we act out of how we appears to me that,if I am going to break free from the sin that doth so easily besets me then I have to think differently.If my thought pattern does not change then I will not change,our Saviour was faced with people who had mind sets, based upon vain traditions,the traditions took over,and the truth of God,was not seen for what it was.Truth versus tradition,many churches have fallen into that trap,it is only the truth of Gods word that can set us free,there will be no change until we acknowledge and act upon Gods word. The unsaved person will not be saved until they gave up,their distorted way of thinking,and they embrace Christ who is the truth.Likewise as Christians we will never change if we continue to hold unto our old way of thinking,stop making excuses,stop feeling sorry for ourselves, and start standing firm on what Gods word teaches.
A  prayer...../Dear God so work in my life by Your Spirit, that I will think differently,according to word,and to act differently in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 1 April 2013

Did Jesus smile?.[ Romans 12 v15 ]

Our Saviour was called a man of sorrows and rightly so,for He, more than anyone else understood the effect of sin and satan, upon this world.The demon possessed,sick,poor,the distortion of the word of God,resulting in harshness,the lack of compassion,also injustice was very prevalent,and He could see the heart of mankind.In coming into this fallen planet He redressed the balance in men's perception of God, that He was a God of love,to the Jew He taught that God loved this world.[Acts 1 v8 ],that God never meant the Jews to think that they should be the exclusive brethren.So He came this man of sorrows,motivated for mankind's highest good,to bring them into a relationship that was all inclusive, and all embracing. man , the hymn wrote, man of sorrows what a name, for the son of God who came, ruined sinners to reclaim.Here is a question,did Jesus ever smile?it is not recorded that He did,I suppose we do not want to lessen the truth that He was a man of sorrows,but I am sure that He smiled, I think it is important to say this, because many of us as Christians only relate to a Christ who never smiles on them.When one thinks on Islam it appears to be they have a god who never smiles, a god who is standing over people with a big,big stick to beat the living daylights out of his followers, if they deviate from the rules and regulations. I don't think Christs smile is an indulgent smile,but a smile of pleasure and love,do you not think He welcomes us with a smile when we come into His presence?,and surely He welcomes sinners with a smile when they turn to Him for forgiveness, maybe we should learn to smile a bit more .
A  prayer..../ Dear Lord help us to reflect You in all things ,to weep with those who,to rejoice with those who rejoice,and to  smile more. Amen.