verse of the day

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Witnesses. [Acts 1 v8]

I was in McDonalds and before me in the queue where two young men,one looked at the little cross I wear and asked me was I a Christian?,he asked me how long I had been a Christian I told him.The young lad I was talking to told me he had been a Christian for about a year,he said his friend wasn't,his friend said he was trying to become a Christian.I  told him it was not trying it was trusting,and that Christ saves not us. A chance encounter no,I had prayed that God would grant me an opportunity to witness to someone and He did.It was brief witness,but God can use those simple words, to bring that young man to Christ.It should be every Christians desire to see people come to Christ,on looking back on my life, I see that I have been a sower,yes I have seem people come to Christ, not a lot,but the main thing I have never lost the desire to witness. Let us remember some of the last words that our Saviour spoke, /ye shall receive power,after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you,/rely on the Holy Spirit,/and then our Saviour said,ye shall be witnesses unto Me[Acts 1 v8 ]
A  prayer..../Dear Lord help us to be  faithful witnesses,by our lives and our words Amen/

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Preaching [ 2 Timothy 4 v2 ]

I  ministered the word of God on Sunday,and I have come away with a feeling of uneasiness,and I wonder why?,maybe  I preached to long, whatever ,and yet I faithfully proclaimed the word God give. Preaching is very challenging,and  ,it is not easy,and yet it is very rewarding. First of all I preach because I believe God has called me to that task,and  all I am called to do is be faithful. When I stand up to preach I am not performing, I am ministering, in order to do that ,I sought to prepare myself ,by going to Bible college,by reading and studying the word of God.Being a minister of the word of God means a life time of study,one does not just get up and speak,no, we have to give ourselves to study,we must pray our way through our study and our preaching,no matter how gifted one may be,there must be real dependence on God. Our confidence must be in God, and His word,that word I preach will accomplish what God desires it to accomplish, I must by faith leave its effectiveness to God the Holy Spirit,it is God we are told grants the increase [1 Corinthians 3 v6-7 ] .As a preacher I believe Satan will seek to discourage ,in many ways,I had one lady in a church ,where I was leader who caused me so much pain,Satan I believe was using her,to seek to overthrow my ministry.My task is to be faithful,I am called to preach the word,in season out of  season,reprove,rebuke,exhort with all long suffering[2 Timothy 4 v2]
A  prayer..../Dear God help our pastors and all those called to minister the word of God,to be faithful,in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 29 July 2013

He will not fail you.[ Nahum 1 v7 ]

I was travelling to see a dear Christian couple in my car ,when I got a puncture,I was able to pull over,I was not able to phone the emergency services.What to do?well where I had stopped was  a garden centre,so I got it of the busy road I was on to the garden centres car park.It is long time since I changed a wheel,but I started to do it,and as I did a couple came along and the man offered to help,which he did.It made me think of the  many people God has sent to help me through out my Christian life,so many,from people giving me gifts,3 cars,financial gifts,food parcels,practical help. my wife and children who help me so much,the list it appears to me is endless.I am so grateful to God for all these people He sent. All these things were not chance happenings,they were part of  Gods providential care, to God be the Glory.Be encouraged dear child of God ,God will take care of you, His care for you ,will never cease, He will move the most unlikely people to help you,he will use whatever means He chooses,but He will not fail you.
A prayer...../Dear loving Heavenly Father ,thank You for Your unceasing care for Your children, we praise You in the name of Jesus  Amen /

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Gods providence in our lives.[Romans 8 v28 ]

As I said in my last blog,things have been stressful,but as I look back over the last two weeks,I see that we have past through a storm,and I see how God has undertaken,each problem was overcome,we where praying our way through. The Lord was working things out ,we had our unseen pilot on board,we did not flounder on the rocks,one of my reading touched on this,God guiding through dangerous waters,and it caused me to look back over my Christian pilgrimage ,and I am amazed and humbled at Gods unerring leading. Think much on the providence of God,of Gods over ruling,,it is truly amazing,that behind that frowning providence He hides a smiling face. Why do we have problems? well in His providence God sends them that we will keep dependent on Him, and that is the safest place to be,dependent on God.We have come through our time trial,but there will be others,you can depend on it, but the most important thing is, we can depend on our loving heavenly Father to bring us through.
A  prayer...../Dear God we thank You for Your providential care, we thank You tah we are under Your care in Jesus Name Amen /

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Stress. [ Psalm 23 ]

I wish I could say that I was always calm,but it is not so,these last two weeks have been very stressful and it all started with us changing our car,and trying to sort  out the insurance,we spent ages on the phone,plus we thought that the car we had bought had a problem.We also had a new couch arrive ,we had arranged for the old one to be taken away by a local hospice, all appeared well until the person came to collect the old couch,and told us he couldn't take it, so there we were with two couches sitting in our living room,we thankfully have sorted it out it was all a bit stressful with one trying to stay calm. So maybe you are feeling stressed out like me,so let us pray this prayer.
                                   Dear God ..../Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
                                                         till all our strivings cease,
                                                          Take from our souls the strain and stress,
                                                         and let our ordered lives confess,
                                                           the beauty of Thy peace/ [ John Greenleaf Whittier ]

Friday, 26 July 2013

Old age. [ Psalm 71 ]

A friend of mine was telling me about his church situation,they are so low in numbers,and more and more is being put on him,he is not young ,his health is not great,he feels he may have to leave, and go somewhere else.Things do become more difficult as we grow older,we are not as able as we once were,physically,or even mentally, we have to pace ourselves.I am not a young man anymore ,but I can still manage to do most things,but there will be a time that I will not be up to certain tasks.Yet I do not believe that old age is the finish of our usefulness,we have a lifetime of experience, we should have more of most things,like Bible knowledge,of godliness,wisdom,patience,and skills,God can use all these things in His wisdom and will. He understands that we are older and all that this means,more than we do ourselves,He is not in the business of pushing us over the edge,others might.Moses went on working until he was a 120 yrs,how did he do it? well God preserved him [Deuteronomy 34 v7],and then God took Him home.Most of us will not be blessed in that way,but we will be blessed, and cared for by our loving heavenly father, and one day He will take us home,remember the best is yet to be.
A  prayer..../ Dear God we thank for Your faithfulness,and the fact that it will never change,even when I grow old,receive our thanks in Jesus precious name Amen /

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Becoming a child. [Matthew 18v 1-4 ]

I had a Winnie the pooh moment in that I watched on TV a movie where he and his friends try to catch an Heffalump,there was a moment in the movie that I found myself getting emotional and even ,yes, and even found myself shedding a tear.I am in some ways am a 69 year old child..It made me think of what Jesus said,Except ye be converted, and become as little children,ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven [Matthew 18v3].I wonder what you think of those words?now it does not mean that we should act in a childish way,but that we should have a simplicity about us that will respond  to what Christ said.W Barclay points to ,two qualities in a child,dependence,and trust,think upon dependence,adults value their independence,especially from God,one of most popular songs of modern times is,I did it my way.When it comes to God and us we are to do it His way,and His way is Jesus [John 14v6]. Next trust ,one of the most meaningful yet challenging verses in the Bible is Proverbs 3 v5,trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not upon your own understanding. A child trusts their parents,to provide for them, to protect them, to love them. So it is if we are going to enter the kingdom of God there must be trust,in Christ for salvation,and for a life of kingdom living. The biggest obstacle is pride, Christ humbled Himself,so must we,irrespective of the consequences.
A  prayer..../ Dear God grant unto us that childlike trust that is acceptable to You in Jesus name. Amen/

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Where do I go from here? [Psalm 32 v8 ]

Don Williams sings a song about being on strike,of his money running out,bills not paid,and he asks the question,where do I go from here?/On a popular TV programme  called Top gear, it is about cars,often expensive cars, and there are three presenters they often race and test cars. On a particular programme which was being filmed in Spain,the 3 drove up a mountainous road,when suddenly the road came to an end,it was a road going nowhere.Life can be like that the road we are on suddenly comes to an end and we ask the question where do we go from here?.You may have just retired, you may have lost your husband or wife of many years,maybe your health has brought you to a full stop,or the plans you had made have come to nothing.I remember when I finished Bible college no door had opened,and there have been so times,I have found myself wondering,where do I go from here?.Those times were testing times,difficult times,but somehow God guided me on to the next place. I am at the point were I may be retiring,the question is if I retire where do I go from there?The answer is to trust God,simple but true,God will not forsake us,He will be our guide until the day we die[Psalm 48 v14].God has brought you to this place,he will not as it were run of and leave you,no He will continue to guide
A  prayer..... Dear God we thank You that You have assured us ,that You will be our guide continually,help us to rest in that truth, in Jesus name Amen

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Leaders. [Ephesians 4 v 8-13 ]

I was thinking about the church that I attend and one of the things I  like about it,it is a friendly church,we always have refreshments after the meetings,and once a month we have a fellowship meal. The pastor is a nice young man ,who is married and has 3 children,he is a sincere person,and we love him,and pray for him,for I know from experience how difficult being a pastor is.My time as a pastor and elder was not easy,some churches make it very difficult, for their leaders,yes sometimes the leaders bring trouble upon themselves. It is a big responsibility being a leader of a church, that is why James cautions those who want to become leaders [3 v1].  Today pray for your church leaders, for your pastor and for yourself,that you may not be a hindrance, but a help in the church God has placed you.
A  prayer...../Dear Lord Jesus we thank You for those godly yet imperfect people who lead your people,grant unto them wisdom,and cause them to be faithful in proclaiming Your word Amen /

Sunday, 21 July 2013

It never ceases [ Psalm 103v17]

Looking back on the week that has gone,I must confess,I am disappointed,for I let things get on top of me,the enemy of my soul,must have been clapping his hands, at my failures. The good thing is ,I kept the lines of communications open, I have brought it all to the mercy seat,now that is a encouraging term, mercy seat ,it is from the OT, it  was a covering over the ark of the covenant, wherein was the tablet of stone with the 10 commandment on it[Exodus 25].The commandments,teach us that we are sinners [Galations3v24,],that we come short of Gods glory[Romans 3 v23 ],but the mercy seat ,gives hope to all of us failures.Our salvation is an act of mercy, salvation has three tenses to it, past, present, and future,and it is all overshadowed by Gods mercy ,through Jesus the Son of God.Thankfully mercy did not cease when Christ saved us,oh no,it continues  on, and on , and on.So today even though I have had a bad week, I can say,/Thy mercy, my God,is the theme of my song,the joy of my heart,and the boast of my tongue[John Stocker]/
A  prayer ...../Dear God we praise You for Your mercy that endures for ever in Jesus name Amen /

I will be satisfied.[ 1 John 3 v1-2 ]

I was reading Psalm 17 ,when the words of v15,came with a deeper meaning,they read,/As for me,I will behold Thy face in righteousness.I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness/.He has been telling us about people who have their portion in this life,they are prosperous,seem to have it all.Let us not envy such people,as sometime we do ,their brief prosperity will soon vanish,God has placed them in slippery places [Psalm 73 v18],they fail to consider their end,with dire results [Luke 6 v24]Having mentioned these people,he declares ,as for me,here is David the man of God,reminding himself and us,that inspite of all his power and riches,his hope and desire goes beyond the things of this life.Then he declares,/I will behold Thy face in righteousness/,like Job he has an assurance of seeing his redeemer,in righteousness,David was a righteous man,but it was a flawed righteousness,but like us David will be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus [Jeremiah 23v6/ 1 Corinthians 1 v30]He finishes by declaring ,/I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness/.I must confess that inspite of all my best efforts, I remain dissatisfied with myself,but one day I will by Gods grace I will be changed into His likeness, yes then I will truly be satisfied
A  prayer ...../Dear God we thank You that one day we shall like Jesus, and on that day we will be satisfied. Amen/

Saturday, 20 July 2013

I have a friend .[ jOHN 15 V15 ]

Friendship is important for all of us,I have a number of friends,I received a letter from one yesterday,the word of God tells us a friend loveth at all times[Proverbs 17 v17 ] The story of the prodigal tells us about a young man who thought he had friends. It is remarkable that Jesus called Judus His friend [Matthew 26 vv50],how painful it is when a friend betrays us or lets us down, CP  Psalm55. What can one do? well in that Psalm David tells God all about it,and then he tells us what to do, cast our burden upon the Lord ,and He shall sustain us,and he ends the Psalm with these words,but I will trust in Thee. Thankfully our friends don't usually betray us ,but it does happen,be forgiving,leave it with God,remember they are weak sinners just like yourself,pray for them. In Isaiah 41 v8, God calls Abraham His friend,how privileged Abraham was,well the good news is,that when we come into the New Testament,sonship and friendship is granted unto every dear child of God,[John 15 v13-15/ 1 John 3 v1].Dear child of God you are not on your own,you have a friend called Jesus ,who will never leave you nor forsake you.Charles Bridges  wrote about Jesus,/He is the greatest,best,most loving,most disinterested and faithful of  friends,Truly He loveth at all times.
A  prayer...../Dear God we thank you for  our friends, we are amazed to think that our Lord and Saviour is our   friend ,thank You Amen/

Friday, 19 July 2013

Favourites.[ Galations 6 v10]

I believe that tea is our national drink,the Irish are great consumers of tea, I must confess I enjoy a mug of tea every morning with my toast,and in the evening I usually have a mug of tea , and two and a half digestive biscuits,the biscuits must be a certain brand.Life is made up mostly of ordinary things,our favourite paper,a favourite TV program,a favourite chair. There was a man called Jacob who had a favourite son, his name was Joseph,Jacob made a fuss of his favourite son, had a special coat made for him,but the problem was he had eleven other sons,and ten of those sons, felt a bit put out because of there fathers favouritism of Joseph.I say they felt a bit put out,but in fact they felt very angry,to the point of wanting to kill Joseph,and they nearly did.There is a favourite program of mine called ,everybody loves Raymond, he has a brother called Robert who feels unloved, because Raymond is the favourite. Today when it comes to our children,our church folk,our neighbours,let us seek to love everybody equally,for remember God loves all His children, equally.
A  prayer..../Dear God we thank You for Your all embracing love fill our hearts with such love in Jesus name Amen/

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Shadow land. [Romans 8 v28 ]

There is an old song with the words ,walking on the sunny side of the street,but the fact of the matter is that even on the sunny side of the street we will at times  have a shadow to pass through.Lets call the shadows ,shadow land, as I was thinking about this I thought of the shadows in my life.The things that cause me to worry,and I could number about 5 things that I would class as shadows,they are not life threatening, but they are there,and are causing me concern.So I found myself praying remove those shadows Lord,naming them one by one,experience tells me that is what I should do,bring these shadows to the Lord.I believe that all things are in Gods hands even the shadows,and He has allowed these things to come into my life for a purpose, ultimately  for my good,writing a letter to a dear friend, who is house bound, I wrote Romans 8 v28 as I finished the letter,/And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God/,this includes ,yes even the shadows.
A prayer....../Dear God we live in the shadow land,we pray that in your mercy you will remove these shadows in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Bravery. [Hebrews 11v36-39]

It is said of Lord Nelson that he lived for duty,and of course this is borne out by the message that he sent to the fleet at the battle of Trafalgar,/England expects everyman will do their duty/and his dying words.He was a very brave man and was religious, his father was a minister of religion,Nelson was born in the county of Norfolk. He was a heroic figure and became a national hero,and he was laid to rest in St Pauls cathedral in London.He wrote the following,/A brave man dies but once, a coward all his life long.We cannot escape death, and should it happen,recollect that it is the will of Him in whose hands are the issues of life and death. / Bravery can be manifested in many ways, not just on the battle field, I work with the mentally ill,and many of those who suffer from such an illness,manifest a degree of bravery. Think of the people you know ,or have known I am sure many of them have been brave people,I know a few people who were brave. Continually I read of many dear Christians who are living with danger continually,they are dear brave souls,of whom the world is not worthy.Today let us lift up a prayer for the many people who are facing persecution for the cause of Christ.
A  prayer...../Dear God we acknowledge that often we do not feel brave,so we ask for grace that will enable us to be brave as we face our fears in Jesus name Amen/

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

What is really important? [Matthew 6 v33]

My pastor was raising the issue of our cultural emphases and how it may not necessary be in keeping with Gods kingdom, he raised the issue of eduction.We all appreciate the importance of education,and we all applaud the young girl from Pakistan, Malala,who has shown such wonderful courage in promoting the rights of women to have an education. In this world education is vital ,it can liberate people from poverty,gave them an opportunity to earn a living.I did not achieve much in my schooling, no O levels,,no qualifcations,but I did learn the 3 R's,for this I will always be grateful. A young girl in Burma who was taken into a Christian care home,where she received an education,said how she who was a nobody was now a somebody.Yes education is so very important,but our worth must never be equated with our education, do  we need to think about,the worlds stand on education ,and what should be the Christians position,are they the same?.  Things are not just black and white,but that does not mean we just go along without praying for Gods will on the matter,in all our ways we are to acknowledge Him,and then He will direct our paths.I did say to my pastor that the most important thing for any family is that God would save  everyone of their children, I will be pleased that my grandchildren have a good education,but that will not take them to heaven,will not free them from their sin.The world is full of many godless educated people,who make mockery of God,by their actions and words.
A  prayer......./Dear God help us to appreciate what You consider is important in life in Jesus name/

Monday, 15 July 2013

Earthern vessels. [ 2 Corinthians 4 v7 ]

Consider these words from the Psalms,/Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why dost Thou cast me off?[42v9/43v2].These words where uttered by a man of God, a man who desired God, who loved God, nothing pleased him more than to be with Gods people in the house of God. Things were against him ,people were against him, it affected him,so much so, that his thoughts gave way ,to despair,and so we hear him uttering a number of times,the phrase,why art thou cast down oh my soul?it is a question,that he asks himself. I recently watched the movie , Lincoln, played by Daniel Day-Lewis,and one of the things I liked about the movie, Lincoln appears human. As we read the Bible we must remember that the people we read about are real people not dimigods,they had their moments of despair,they sometimes acted rashly,swore,lost their tempers,felt suicidal,felt like running away,disobeyed God. He uses earthern vessels,not vessels of gold or silver,He uses imperfect people,in spite of their imperfection,and He will use you and me.
A  prayer.....Dear God we often feel unworthy,and unsuited for Your service,feel like giving up,we thank you,that inspite of our obvious faults and failings You will use us,we thank you from a grateful heart ,in Jesus name Amen .

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Evidence. [ 1 John 2 v29 ]

The words,/ what if/, came to mind this morning, what if ,we were caught out when Jesus came back,we were caught  dwelling on a sinful thought, or caught with our hand in the cookie jar.?.I remember when I was a little boy going into a paper shop, they sold comics,the owner was not about,I loved reading comics,so I put a number of the comics up my jumper. When the owner came in he noticed them up my jumper,I was caught out,I cannot remember how I felt,but I never attempted anything like that again. 1 John 2 v28, reads ,/And now little children ,abide in Him,that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence,and not be ashamed at His coming/.  Of course John in his epistle is dealing with not one act of sinning but those who profess to be Christian, but by there very lives Deny that reality,they do not love their fellow Christians.What they are lacking in their lives is a given proff that they are Christs,we are saved by Christ alone,but  as John points out,in v29,/everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him/. When I started writing my blog I was considering a guanine believer ,but it appears to have broadened out ,and taken in the person who walks in sin,whose very walk Denys Christ,as opposed to the true Christian who at times falls into a sin , both are serious but for the true Christian  it will not mean rejection, by Christ.My study Bible writes/John is not talking about people whose victories are still incomplete,he is talking about people who make a practise of sinning and look for ways to justify it/
A  prayer...../ Dear God help us to see the importance of a holy life,as an evidence that we are Yours in Jesus name Amen/

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Total forgiveness.[ Psalm 32]

It was David who wrote ,/Remember not the sins of my youth[Psalm25 v7], as I grow older my mind  goes back to my youth,and my sinful tendancies. The mind, set on carnal pleasures,the hurts inflicted on others,the straying away from the Lord,and so we could go on.Even that godly man acknowledges that his youth was not  blameless ,yet while I can see my sinful youth I can also see how God in His mercy prvented me from utter destruction,and utter folly. Pray for the young that God would preserve them , save them,and keep them,He is there only hope,as He was and is our's.It is possible that as we grow older that our past can hunt us,the sins of our youth loom large before us,now if you know not Christ let me assure you ,that no matter what you have done,He is willing to forgive you.If you are a Christian, God remembers the way you were, but when you came to Christ He forgive you,and would not have you living under a cloud of condemnation. cp Romans 8v1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
A  prayer...../ Dear God we thank you for providing total forgiveness of all our sins through Jesus Amen

Friday, 12 July 2013

For His sake. [Psalm 29 ]

Psalm 29v2 reads ,/Give unto the Lord,the glory due unto His name,worship the Lord,in the beauty of holiness./These are words penned by David,the man who had killed a lion,a bear,a giant, never appeared to loose a battle, ruled over many nations,acquired great wealth.Unlike so many he never looses sight of the fact,that God should receive the glory, due to His name.Are you gifted? are you rich, have all your children come to know Christ?,are you being used in Gods service,have you recovered from an illness?give unto God the glory due unto His name Next David declares, /worship the Lord,/ look at this world observe how so many, worship false religions,fading glories,fanciful ideas, the words of this godly man, challenge the folly of mankind to worship the Lord .The word worship has the meaning of being worthy.only the Lord Jesus is worthy of worship.Next we are not only exhorted to worship the Lord,but to worship Him in the beauty of holiness.It was JcRyle who wrote a book called holiness, I remember reading it,but that was a long time ago, I forget what he wrote on holiness,could it be that many of us have forgotten the importance of holiness?,have we forgotten that God declared ,be ye holy[Leviticus 20v 7],this is the daily Christian goal,we may never fulfil it fully,but till the day we die we are ever seek that goal, and God will honour our sincere efforts.Finally consider how he describes  a holy life,it is a thing of beauty.
A  prayer....../Dear God we give unto You the glory due to Your name,we worship You alone,grant us grace each day to be holy, for Jesus sake Amen /

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The good shepherd [John 10 v1 -18]

I do love the Psalms, just reading them refreshes my soul,what is your favourite Psalm? it is not surprising to confess that mine is Psalm 23, I wonder why?. The Psalmist emphasises the Lord ,who provides,who guides,who restores,who is with us,who blesses us,.As I pointed out, it is all about the Lord and knowing Him,I get concern when people say I am a whatever,and I always feel like challenging that statement. David the writer of the Psalm was a Jew,an Israelite,now in the context that was important,but one could be a Jew an Israelite and not know the Lord.Please do not be satisfied with I am a whatsoever, no,David said the Lord was his shepherd. This means he was not trusting in tradition or nationhood,or family connections,no he was trusting in the Lord.Now of course the Jew could and does say the Lord is my shepherd,but he does not mean the Lord Jesus,oh no,he means something so different.He does not mean the one who was wounded for our transgressions,not the one who bare the sin of many,no he does not know that Lord. One may say the words,the Lord is my shepherd,but not have the true meaning of those words.In John 10 Jesus tells us that He is the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep,that is the shepherd of Psalm 23,can you really say the Lord is your shepherd?
A  prayer..../ Dear Lord Jesus,thank You for being my shepherd,and all that this means, Amen /

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

No slacking.. [ 1 Timothy 6 v 11-12 ]

God is sovereign but that in no ways takes away from the important truth that we are responsible for our actions,we need balance,when people over emphasise a particular doctrine,to the exclusion of the whole then they become imbalanced.We are called to pray but we are also called often to be the answer to our prayers,a dear brother I know ,was challenged by his father,as regards the needs of children,he is now the director of a wonderful children's mission.Wesley prayed but Wesley went,and worked ceaselessly till the day he died in telling people about Christ.The challenge is to be a doer of the word, what does Christ want us to do?,when God has something to be done,He  chooses a person to do it.Oh yes it is a risky business,but it is a risk worth starts of small and then then it opens up into something bigger,We do not know where it may lead,but if we be in Gods will He will guide us,we may stumble at our beginnings,God will use our stumbling to teach us,much more than  our successes.David when he was successful ,fell grievously[2 Samuel11], it was when Uzziah became strong he fell [2 Chronicles 26 v16 ]Yes God is sovereign but we are responsible to obey and serve Him,we are responsible to guard  our hearts and lives,no slacking,till the day we die
A  prayer......./Dear God help us to not slack in our service,help us to strive after holiness, in Jesus name Amen /.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

My hope and prayer [Ezekiel 37 v1-14 ]

Yesterday I brought to you the situation as I see it, I need to remind myself that there is a godly remnant in this country,Elijah had to be reminded of this.[1 Kings 19v18] The word of God also reminds us that that where sin abounds grace can much more abound[Romans 5 v20]. I was reminded of this today when I saw a man whom God saved,a man who  was far from God. That into the most ungodly places God raised up  a people unto Himself, the New Testament church came into being,in places where idolatry,reigned. Ezekiel had a vision of dead dried bones[37] and a amazing thing happened, those bones were transformed by the power of God ,into living beings.This reminds us that no matter how far a  people or a person has turned from God, He if He chooses,God can work a miracle of saving grace. Our nation thinks it needs many things when all it really needs is Jesus,the gospel is still the power of God unto salvation.Is this a false hope?will the nation continue to be deaf and deceived,or will there be a turning to  God who loves them?, my hope and prayer is, that it will be so.
A prayer......./Dear God with You all things are possible ,grant that we may see the impossible happen,this nation and many nations turning to Christ,in His name we ask this Amen /

Monday, 8 July 2013

The hour is dark.[2 Corinthians 4 v4 ]

Loads of money,plenty of buildings but no people,that reflects the situation in a particular group of churches,I know  many fine church buildings but the people who attend are few,and eventually all will be left will be  empty buildings. It is a sad reflection of the situation in this country,I often visit our great cathedrals,and wonder if they are only museums,where tourists visit,places where the remains  of yesterday hero's are . This country has a great and privileged Christian heritage,but this country on the whole has forsaken God,and what I fear is God may have forsaken us as a nation. Now this is not a hand wringing blog,but an honest appraisal of how I see the spiritual condition in our country. Is there hope of things changing?what may cause God to visit this land?that is the question many are asking,will He respond,will He send ,and here is an old fashion word,will He send a revival?. My thoughts turn to the book of Ezekiel ,the prophet of the exile,the message he gave was one of judgement for the nation of Judah,those still left in the promised land, it was grim,nothing would save them from the judgement of God,even if Noah,Daniel or Job prayed. Tomorrow we will consider further on this.
A prayer...../Dear God, You who desire that all should be saved,we bring our nation to You,and all we can ask is for mercy,in Jesus name Amen /

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Faith. [Hebrews 11 v 6 ]

In Hebrews 11 v8 we read the words ,/not knowing/,this refers to Abraham, responding to the call of God,and how he stepped out not knowing whither he went.He acted on faith. I believe as Christians we need to be reminded continually of the truth that the Christian life, is a life of faith, as it was for Abraham ,so it is for all Gods Christian, faith in God and His word. This involves doctrine,practice,and acceptance,as the word of God,Habakkuk 2 v4 declares the just shall live by faith,if we shift from this,we move from Gods will.The way of faith means we cannot always understand fully many of the things we believe.Recently a friend told me of a certain minister who spoke of a second chance,for those who die without Christ,when my friend pointed out the scriptural truth that after death the judgement the minster refused to accept this.The solemn truth is we are called to believe what Gods word says not what we think,that means accepting the doctrine of hell,it means accepting that we sinners,and the consequences of rejecting the only Saviour of sinners ,Jesus.
A prayer..../ Dear God help us to understand that we You demand of us all faith, in what You say,and not in what we think,in Jesus name Amen /

Saturday, 6 July 2013

I made a mistake, but God spoke.[ Psalm 46 v10 ]

It is a true saying we all make mistakes,well recently I made a mistake,and I was really annoyed,I let a shout out of me, which fortunately no one heard.Along with anger with myself at my making such a mistake ,there was a deep concern as to the consequences of my mistake. So I set out to do something about it, but I was  so angry with myself ,then at a particular moment a verse came into my mind,/Be still and know that I am God [Palm 46 v10]/.The good news is God undertook and resolved the problem and turned things around,it bore in upon me again the importance of applying the word of God into every situation,into every every problem.The scripture that I received was not just an empty platitude ,no it was the word of God, it is God telling us something that is vital for us to hear,and it is vital for us to hold unto it by faith. Through all the anger I felt with myself ,God spoke, and in spite of my anger ,I heard and sang the words to myself, repeated them to myself,and found God to be faithful.
A  prayer..../ Dear God ,in Your mercy help us in our difficulties ,to listen for  Your still small voice in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 5 July 2013

Are you burdened?[ Matthew 11 v28 ]

As I was carrying someones  shopping yesterday which was heavy,the words of our Saviour came to mind,/Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest [Matthew 11 v28 ] Jesus in saying this spoke to men's heart, and to their condition,He saw the grinding poverty,the oppressive religion, the weary hearts who struggled with so much..There is still a great deal of poverty in this world,and oppressive religion,in the west we may not experience grinding poverty or oppressive religion,but people are still carrying heavy burdens,the burden of broken relationships,of broken dreams,and broken hearts.Hear the word of Jesus ,come unto Me,cast your burdens upon me,I will help you,oppressed by sin ,and Satan,Jesus says come unto Me,I will forgive you and set you free.As you read this you may be asking is this true can Jesus really help me?. The answer is yes, untold millions have found Jesus to be a Saviour,who forgives ,and heals the broken hearted.The hymn writer,wrote, I came to Jesus as I was weary,and worn and sad,I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad[H Bonar]
A prayer....../ Dear God we praise and thank You that in Jesus,burdens can be lifted,and broken hearts can be mended. Amen /

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Fridge magnet [ John 4 v 4ff ]

We have a fridge magnet with the words, /give give give give me/ on it,our prayer life can be like this,although it is legitimate to ask God for what we need,some people thing it is wrong to ask God for whatever,it is not, Cp  Philippians 4 v6./Matthew7 v7.Those words on the fridge magnet appear to have a selfish ring to them,and selfishness is never an acceptable attitude in Gods eyes.Selfishness blinds us to the needs of others ,we loose sight of the fact that we are not the centre of the universe.It has with it, I am all right Jack attitude . It was William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army who sent a telegram to a gathering of Salvationist,with one word on it,/others/.Let me stress again that it is not wrong to ask God for whatever,but it becomes wrong when we are asking with the wrong motives and reasons.When I think of the words on the fridge magnet it reminds me of the words of our Saviour to the woman at the well,[John 4] when He said,whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again [v13 ].In saying this He was reminding the lady and us,that no matter how many pairs of shoes we buy,and no matter how many of anything we buy , we will not be satisfied, only He can  meet the deepest need of our hearts.
A  prayer...../ Dear God so many of us forget so easily that only Christ can meet our deepest need, grant us grace to embrace our Saviour and all His fullness. Amen /

We cannot comprehend. [Job 37 v5]

As we come to the end of the book of Job ,both Elihu and God challenge Job as to his limited knowledge as regards creation and God Himself,and in chap40v4 ,we have Job's response,which reads/,Behold I am vile ,what shall I answer Thee?I lay my hand upon my mouth/. In his response he acknowledges two things,his sinfulness,/I am vile/,surely not,did God not praise this man?, yes He did,but Job was a sinner, we have a very limited knowledge of our sinfulness,the Bible mentions godly men and women,but the best of them where sinners,we need the Spirit to reveal our true fallen nature, and believe what Gods word declares,  cp Romans 3 .and what Jeremiah says in  17v9,that the heart is deceitful above all things,and  desperately wicked,and then he adds for good measure,,/who can know it?.Job was not exaggerating in what he said,in fact it seems to me he did not go far enough.The next thing he acknowledges is his saying to much and saying the wrong things,we need to put into practise a control on our words.A lady I know told me of the former pastor of her church,who would not answer right away,but would wait for a short time,and then speak.We speak so often of things we do not know  ,instead of letting our words be few,we speak a multitude of words,and these words are not always edifying to those who hear.,we need to watch those words.
A prayer...../ Dear God forgive us our pride which results in foolish thoughts,and foolish words,foolish attitudes,in Jesus name Amen/

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

God will work as He see's fit. [ Isaiah 55 v 8-9 ]

In Acts 12v1-2 we read that Herod had James put to death with the sword,but in the same chapter we read how Peter was arrested ,and placed under an armed guard. Instead of being put to death he is miraculously delivered ,by an angel,there are a number of lessons we can learn from this. God is sovereign,we cannot tie Him down,recently I listened to a dear brother telling of a young lad who was healed,but he also told of a young girl who died.We should not expect God to work the same in all His children's lives,but we should realise that He is working in all His children's lives.God has an individual purpose for your life and mine.Some Christians will experience persecution others wont,some will experience ill health,some wont,some will experience great success in their preaching,in that souls will be saved like Jonah, and Peter,others like Isaiah,Jeremiah,and Ezekiel will not.In all these things God will be working out His perfect will in each of His children's lives.I believe we will not die until God see's fit,He has a plan not a funeral plan but a life plan for all His children.James did suffer ,yes we cannot often prevent suffering,but we can rest in the fact that in James case and in every dear child of Gods case,it is absent from the body and present with the Lord,the cross of suffering will be followed by the the crown of glory.
A  prayer...Dear God we acknowledge that Your ways are past finding out,and so God grant us grace to simply trust in Your perfect will in Jesus name Amen.

Monday, 1 July 2013

But now [ John 13 v7]

Job was the man who had everything, and lost everything ,in chapter 29 he goes over the life he had,the good he did,and the respect he was shown.Then we move into chapter 30,which opens with these words,but now,and he goes on to say how things had changed, he is now  held with disdain.I wonder are you in a but now moment?,the nature of life is one of change,and it is not always for the better.The first thought that came to me was that of change,diamonds may be forever,but most things are prone to change, I am not the man physically I once was,people can loose everything in a moment,just like Job. First of all what he experienced was not a punishment for something he did,because he was a godly man,who cared for his family,cared for those who where suffering,and one who genuinely feared God.As he considered his prosperity, he said to himself,surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long good life[29v18]. That is what of us most would like,but like Job we discover a but now experience,it may not be as severe as what Job experienced,but it can be for us a severe trial. What is the answer?well if we are in a but now experience, remember Job did not give up in his faith walk, and God did not give up on Job.And in this very dark but now experience,he declares by faith,that God knew all he was going through,and He would use this trial to perfect him[23 v10],in other words he would come out of this experience a better person.
A  prayer...../ Dear God in this changeable world help us to not give up ,when we experience a but now moment, help us to trust in You,even though we are suffering,and don't understand,in Jesus name Amen/