verse of the day

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A debtor [ Romans 1 v14 ]

The movie,Saving private Ryan,tells the story of a mother and father,whose sons were serving in the 2nd world war,all of them got killed,bur one, Ryan.The authorities decided that to spare his parents further grief,Ryan should be brought home. A  group of soldiers are given the this task,and in the process,most of them are killed,but Ryan survives.The officer who lead this mission before he dies whispers to Ryan earn it,after the war Ryan returns to the grave of that officer,with his family,and as he looks at the grave,he askshis wife  ,/Tell me I have lead a good life,tell me I am a good man/ What he was saying was,did I attempt,to fulfil my debt to those who laid down their lives for me,it is the apostle Paul who declared himself a debtor[Romans 1 v14 ]. Just like Ryan he felt that he was under an obligation to the one who gave His life for him,he is not writing about earning his salvation,no one can do that,but of showing his gratitude to Christ,by loving and telling others of  Christ.It was Isaac Watts who wrote that wonderful hymn,When I survey the wondrous cross,the final words of this hymn sums up what I am trying to say,/Love so amazing so divine,demands my soul ,my life , my all./
A  prayer.../ Dear God in gratitude for the great love shown to us on Calvary,we offer our all to You ,we ask this in the name of Jesus,who loved us and gave Himself for us on Calvary. Amen /

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Experience Peace. [Philippians 4 v6-7 ]

Just recently I found myself becoming anxious,and the Holy Spirit reminded me, that I was to be anxious for nothing,but in everything by prayer and supplication,with thanksgiving,let my requests be made known to God,and the peace of God ,which surpasses all understanding will guard my heart and mind through  Christ Jesus[ Philippians 4 v6-7].I could have given in to my anxiety ,but instead I claimed these words,and experienced peace, so many times God has spoke to me, at times of difficulty.Of course if I had not read and memorised scripture, when the time of trial or temptation came, I would have been left floundering. Hiding the scriptures in our hearts is like planting a seed , that we are able to as it were harvest in, when it is needed.It is in someways like saving up for a rainy day,like and umbrella,that will keep the rain of us,those scriptures will encourage us ,and guide us. His word reminds us, that the Lord is our helper, and that He will always keeps His word,we will see the impossible becoming possible,and we will experience that most precious of gifts,the peace of God . We will stand in the storm and declare,I believe God,that it shall be even as it was told me[Acts 27v25]
A prayer....../ Dear God we thank You for Your word,on Thy word we will stand and not be afraid,in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 28 April 2014

This is my doing.[Romans 8 v28]

We where travelling home on the motorway, when we came to a stop,we had been notified that this hold up was caused by an accident.The natural reaction is to be annoyed  for the hold up,and to loose sight of why we where held up,an accident. So I prayed for those involved in that accident,I am also grateful that I was not involved in an accident.We had committed our way to God before we set out so we were in His hands,one has said there are no accidents in a child of Gods life. God our loving Heavenly Father is in control of all things that come into His children's lives,I read this in a devotional ,/ My child, I have a message for you today,it is only four words,but let them sink into your inner being,and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head,'This is my doing'./ Consider these words in relation to those things in your life,to the weaknesses,to the so called accidents,to the closed doors, to the frustrations.God your  loving heavenly Father has always a reason ,why those things happen in our lives,and they are always good reasons,always.Consider those four words,/This is my doing/,it is the Sovereign God speaking, and He does not lie,nor does He make mistakes when it comes to His dealings with His children.
A  prayer...../Dear God grant us grace for every trial,faith to trust in Your perfect will,and peace in the midst of every difficulties, in Jesus name Amen /

Saturday, 26 April 2014

I am Christian,not a......[ John 14 v6]

There they where two nice young lads,I was working and as they approached me I had no time to talk to them,all I could say was ,I am a Christian I am not a Mormon. Now I was not meaning to be rude, or unkind, but even those young men may not see the difference,they may in all sincerity believe they are  Christians,but they are not.To be Christian one must keep ones beliefs within the confines of the Bible,contrary to what the Mormons believe,the Bible and only the Bible is the word of God. For the Mormon they may give a token recognition to the Bible, but their faith is in what the book of Mormon teaches,God is seen as having a body,Christ is seen as having been married ,and had children., and was not conceived by the Holy Spirit. One of the bazaar teaching is that Christ is related to Lucifer,trying to understand Mormonisim is to say the least difficult,it can be best described as a religion that has gathered its teaching from many places but not from the Bible, like our Lord, said of a certain religious group in His day,they do err not knowing the scriptures [ Matthew 22v 29]
A  prayer....../ Dear God help people to come to a true knowledge of Your Son ,deliver those who have been ensnared by error,in Jesus name we ask this Amen ]
I will return to my Blog Monday, God Bless /

Friday, 25 April 2014

Anger [Galations 5 v 19-26]

I  have a confession to make I have a temper,as I look back on my life,it has dogged my footsteps,is a blight on my life,most times I am patient,and placid,but there are times when my temper takes over.It is an ongoing battle,the answer is not in anger management,but in first of all acknowledging it, to pray about it continually, to ask the Holy Spirit to begin to change me.There may be reasons to get angry,but that does not give us a reason to be angry,we do read of righteous anger,but most times my anger is far from that. So maybe you can pray for me ,now what about you?do you despair at your weaknesses?or do you seek God?.We all need to seek God, for he is the one who will perfect that which concerneth us, we really need to be honest with ourselves,and with God,I stressed the importance of prayer,not a one of thing but a continual seeking of God. We soon forget our weaknesses until the next time they surface ,being forgetful can be dangerous, every day bring that weakness to God, don't blame others for your weakness,be it temper,or whatever,for then we end up justifying it,confess it for what it is,sinful.By the way I may be Irish but that's no excuse,you may have red hair, none of these things are an excuse for our anger.
A  prayer...../Dear God forgive us for our sinful actions,be they in word or deed,we offer no excuses,but ask in Your mercy,to perfect that which concerneth us in Jesus name Amen/

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Praise our great Creator.[ Psalm 150]

I was in my garden and I heard singing,I stood and and tried to identify the singer,to no avail,he or she remained hidden to my sight,I am talking about a bird,what the bird was I don't know, it may have been a starling. This anonymous singer did not receive any  fee or applause,I suppose I must have been the only one to hear it sing,but I am sure God heard and was pleased,I know I was.There is still much beauty in this world,which we so often miss, be it a bird singing,a star filled sky,or whatever,much has been marred by the fall,it is David who declares that the heavens declare the glory of God [Psalm 19v1]. If this fallen creation declares the glory of God,I wonder what that new heaven and earth will be like [Isaiah 65v17/ 66v22/2  Peter 3 v13/ Revelation 21v1 ],I can only imagine.So often we are taken up with the fallenness of this world,today look up,admire the beauty of Gods world,smell a flower,listen to the birds singing,look at a little child,and praise our great creator.
                                        For the beauty of the earth,for the beauty of the skies,
                                         For the love which from our birth
                                         Over and around us lies.
                                         Father unto Thee we raise
                                         This our sacrifice of praise.[F.S,Pierpoint]

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Not forgsaken nor forgotten. [Isaiah 49 v 14-16]

I was making a cup of tea for myself,boiled the water, I then took a tea bag from the container put it ,in my mug, and then absentmindedly poured the boiling water into the container with the tea bags in it. My mind was on other things and I temporally had forgotten what I was doing,maybe it is a reminder that I am seventy years of age,and that it was a senior moment. In Isaiah 49 ,The nation of Israel cry out,/the Lord has forsaken ,and forgotten us[v14] Dear child of God could it be that you feel like this,problems and difficulties are mounting up,problems with your children,your marriage,problems at work,problems ,problems,and more problems.When Gideon was called by God to deliver Israel,he asked a question,/If the Lord be with us,why then is all this befallen us? [Judges 6 v13] Now of course there are many reasons why things befall us,the word of God tells us that God in His souvereignty is working all things for the good of His children [Romans 8 v28].Here is what He declared his people, /Behold I have engraved you on the palms of my hands/[v16],in other words they where not forgotten by God,nor would ever be, even though so often they had forsaken and forgotten Him. Unlike you and me God is never absent minded or forgetful of You His dear child.
A  prayer...../Dear God we thank You, that no matter who may forget us or forsake us You wont,we thank You in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Shine [ Matthew 5 v 14-16]

The other evening we had a power cut,suddenly we found ourselves engulfed in darkness,it did not last long,thankfully. I do not want to live in darkness,no one does,without light things would not grow,our bodies would suffer,we need light,God has made us that way. It is the apostle John who mentions the subject of light ,in a spiritual dimension,he tells us that Jesus is the light of the world[ 8v12]but he tells us that men do not embrace the light , which is Jesus ,in fact he tells us that there are people who hate that light[3v20].They do not like what the light reveals about them,when Jesus challenged the religious elite, they hated Him,and were continually planning to kill Him,and in the end they did just that,they wanted to remain in there darkness,in fact strange though it may seem,they loved the darkness rather than the light[3v19].So it continues,and everyday I am praying for dear people who are suffering,by those who hate the light. Our Lord tells us that we are the light of the world.[Matthew 5v14].W. Barclay,writes,/The light is meant to be seen,so Christianity is meant to be seen/, the Christian is not part of a secret society.Our Christianity is to be seen in all our doings,driving,working,in our language,there are no exclusion zones.
A  prayer,,,,,,,,/`Dear God for Jesus the light of the world we thank You, help us to shine, Amen/

Monday, 21 April 2014

Forward be our watchword. [ Philippians 3 v 10-14 ]

Just a personal reflection,on Easter Sunday,fifty years ago I was restored to the Lord,in a church,in Belfast.Since then many things have taken place in my life,I have changed,but not enough,it is never enough,the old nature still clings to me,and I identify with Paul and what he wrote in Romans 7,that in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing[v18].These are not just vain words they are the reality,I am conscious that I do not always give God the glory,how important it is to not rob God of His glory. So I just want to say,to God be the glory ,great things He has done for me,there is a little chorus which starts with the following words,/stop and let me tell you what the good Lords done for me/.What has He done for me?,He saved me,that is the vital point,knowing that you are saved,that Jesus is your Saviour,he has restored me many times,to himself,we are inclined to wander from Him. I speak of my weakness ,but most of all I rejoice in His faithfulness,of the fact that I am kept by the power of God. He has blessed me beyond my wildest expectation, and I thank Him for that,but I have to be careful that I keep my eye,my affections on my Lord,the words of Jesus to Peter ,when He asked him, /lovest thou Me more that these[ John 21 v 15]/, are a continual challenge to me.So onward ever onward,upward,ever upward, pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
A   prayer....../ Dear God we give You all the glory for all You have done in our lives,and ask for grace,in our onward journey toward glory, in Jesus name Amen/

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Help my unbelief. [ Mark 9 v 17ff ]

But Thomas,one of the twelve refused to believe in the resurrection,as far as he was concerned it did not happen,no words would convince him.He just would not believe,no matter what,the person he had placed his hope in was dead,then Jesus came,Jesus did not rebuke him,nor reject him,no Jesus understood,that sometimes sorrow,can cause us to loose hope,to blind us.You see the death of Jesus was the most devastating thing that ever happened to Thomas,blinded by that loss,he refused to listen,to what anybody said.Jesus did not leave Him there,Jesus  loved Him, and He loves you.We are frail fragile beings,we withdraw into our shell,trying to protect ourselves from being hurt,but the hurt remains,the pain remains. So there came a moment when Thomas and the other disciples where in hiding,the doors were shut,there were two lots of doors of the home they where in,and the door of the heart of Thomas,he was the man with the closed heart.Jesus came and ministered to Thomas,and He said something very important,blessed are they that have not seen,and yet have believed[John 20v29].I have never seen Jesus,I do not expect to see Him until I get to heaven, because I know for me and you it is a walk of faith,if you are struggling,tell Jesus,faith is a gift ask Him on this resurrection day,to help your unbelief.
A  prayer.....Dear Lord,/Let me at a throne of mercy,find a sweet relief, kneeling there in deep contrition,help my unbelief, Amen/ [ Words by F.J.Crosby]

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The in between day.[ Psalm 30 v5]

I suppose the day between Christs death and resurrection may be seen as the longest day,a day of despair for all of Christs followers,their whole world had it appeared come to an end. Faith had given away to doubt,confusion had set in,and sadness filled their hearts,and questions must have filled their minds.Questions of why Jesus had not stopped His death,after all He worked  miracles,calmed the raging sea,it must have appeared to them,that His power was so great that He could anything He wanted,so why did He allow Himself to be taken and crucified?.This in between day raised so many unanswered questions,I wonder are you in an in between day?, you may have experienced a terrible loss,or whatever,and like the disciples in this in between day ,you are devastated, and totally discouraged. Could it be that you feel that your Lord has failed you,after all you felt He could do anything,but it appears He did nothing, yes you prayed,read the scriptures,hoped and hoped. Well such was the disciples experience,let us remember this is but an in between day,it will pass,weeping may endure for a night,but joy cometh in the morning,[Psalm30v5], so hold on dear child of God ,Sunday is coming.
A  prayer...../ Dear  God  ,we thank You that our in between days, are not full stop days,they are but a pause.Thank You in Jesus name Amen /

Friday, 18 April 2014

Why good Friday? [ Philippians 2 v 5-11]

Why good Friday?, after all when one considers what took place, leading up to the event,Jesus being betrayed ,being arrested,the injustice,the mocking,the flogging,the crown of thorns,Peter deneying Him. Also the pain His mother experienced,and then the cross,a death that was slow and cruel, now none of those things are good,in fact they are absolutely awful. So again I ask the question ,why is it called good?, none of what happen ,would cause one to smile, or to get any comfort from.Why did Jesus go through with it, He could have escaped,he delibertly went to Jerusalem,knowing full well what that meant,the disciples never appeared to grasp what Jesus told them,but He knew . He knew that none of it could be described as good in itself,it was total evil,mans depravity was manifest in all its fullness.So again I ask the question,why Good Friday?. In one way all the badness,and evil that was being manifest on that day,was a clear indication as to the why,it shows us mans condition,if unrestrained ,is capable of depths of evil that makes one shudder.How wrong was William Barclay,when he wrote ,/Beyond a doubt Jesus did not believe in human depravity/,Jesus not only knew about mankinds human depravity,but on Good Friday He experienced  the full force of it. The cross shows our sinfulness, but it also shows us Gods answer,for Christ death was a sacrifice for sin,not His sin He was sinless,it was our sin,He died that we may be forgiven and go at last to Heaven,and that's why it is called Good Friday.
A  prayer...../ Dear God on this good Friday we give and praise You for Jesus and His death on Calvary,Amen/

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Whats it to be? [ Galations 5 v 16]

In Galations 5 and Romans 8 the apostle stresses the importance of life in the  Spirit ,and in Ephesians 5 v18 we are exhorted to be filled with the Spirit.This is to be the ongoing nature of our lives,not walking in the flesh,what is the flesh mean?,it means a life that can be hostile to God,a life where are affections,purposes,thoughts,word,and deeds are controlled by our sinful nature.In Galations 5v 19-21,we have a list of the works of the flesh.sexual immorality,impurity,lustful pleasures,idolatry,sorcery,hostility,quarrelling,jealousy,outbursts of anger,selfish ambition,dissension,division,envy,drunkenness.Then Paul adds,and other sins like these,so that's quite a list,and if we are honest we will acknowledge our sinful failings and weaknesses.What can we do?,well we can listen to the Spirit challenging us as regards those sinful attitudes,and behaviour.David king of Israel listened[2 Samuel 12],and repented of his sin, many of the kings didn't,the result was disaster ,for them and the nation.We always have a choice to live in the Spirit or to live in the flesh,the question is,what choice are we going to make?, I end with a quotation by Billy Graham,/ It is never a question of how much you and I have of the Spirit,but how much He has of us/
A  prayer...../ Dear God we have experienced the flesh life ,and all its bitterness, help us to live in the Spirit, in Jesus name Amen /

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

I shall not want. [Psalm 23]

John .G. Paton, who served God among south sea cannibals,was born in Scotland,tells of his early childhood,his mum and dad had 11 children. He tells how a time of difficulties arose in the country,the failure of the potato,the badness of the crops,and the high price of food,and there came a time when there was little in the home to feed the children.So one evening before the children went to bed, the mother assured them,that she had told God everything,and that He would send plenty in the morning. Next day a present came from her father,which met the need,her father did not know of their difficulties. The  mother seeing the children's surprise at such an answer to prayer,gathered her children around her,thanked God his goodness,and said,/O my children,love your Heavenly Father,tell Him in faith and prayer all your needs,and He will supply your wants so far as it shall be for your good and His glory./
A  prayer..../  Dear Lord we praise You that You are our Shepherd and we Your children shall not want, Amen /

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Spiritually blind. [ 1 Corinthians 1 v18- 31]

 1 Corinthians 2 v 14,reads ,/ The natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God,for they are folly to him,and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned/  Recently while speaking I used an illustration to help the people present to understand ,one of the benefit that come out of suffering.I have used in a recent blog,it was about a butterfly,that had to struggle to emerge from its cocoon,in order for its wings to develop, and how a lady tried to help it,but in fact ruined the butterflies life. After the meeting I conversed with a person,who appeared not to understand the point I was making,that was the spiritual application ,it appeared to be lost to him.Our Saviour was faced with this continually, He told a person that one needed to experience a new birth, and the very religious person had not a clue, My study bible tells me that the non-Christian cannot understand spiritual truths, it really needs the holy Spirit to open that persons mind and understanding.In John 3 v3,we read,/Jesus.....said....Verily, verily I say unto thee,except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God./Some people are born colour blind but all people are born spiritually blind,until they experience the new birth. We see this in writings of the philosophers,  all their writings, bears out mankinds spiritual blindness,and their total inability to understand spiritual truths.
A  prayer...../ Dear God help us to see the reality of mankinds condition,and grant as Your truth goes forth,that the Spirit of God may work in the hearts of the unsaved, that they may be brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Amen /

Monday, 14 April 2014

Dont give up.[Luke 18 v1]

I wonder if you do not see much point in praying,God has much more to than to listen to you,He is to busy,dealing with everything,so when you pray you make it short and sweet.Then there is the other extreme ,you are afraid to pray,in case you get what you don't want,you don't want the answer God may give  you. You feel that God may challenge you to step out of your comfort soul,there are people who will not leave there homes,to them they feel safe,but in reality they are prisoners of fear.Getting time to pray can be a problem, taking time to pray,is difficult,so many things to do.Does it really matter if I don't pray?after  all, multitude don't pray, yes but we are not to follow the multitudes, we are to follow Him,who said,men ought always to pray[Luke 18 v1] . He also added and not to give up,we give up for different reasons,and though there may be reasons for that,the reason to pray is far more compelling.We cut ourselves of from fellowship with God,which is the most important aspect of prayer,the hymn writer,speaks of the joys we share.Let us remember that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour ,but he is also our friend,friendship is important,and His friendship is most important,dont neglect that friendship.Share with Him your frustrations,your failures,your joys,your desires,He knows that we are far from perfect,but He will still remain our friend,so talk to Him,and do not forget to let Him talk to you.
A  prayer....../ Dear God help us to pray,and teach us what to pray,in Jesus name Amen/

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The miracle of Salvation. [ Acts 9 v 1ff]

I often go out into my garden to look up at the stars but because of the lighting from street lamps ,or the clouds ,I see very little of Gods handiwork. One wonders how one could not believe in God if one was astronomer. There are so many things in this world and universe that should cause people to even acknowledge  their creator,but it is not so.In the movie Frankenstein the monster calls Dr Frankenstein his father,but in real life the vast majority of people,deny God as their father. Consider what John wrote in his gospel ,/All things were made by Him[Jesus] 1v3] and then he goes on to write,/He was in the world, and the world was made by Him[Jesus], and the world knew Him not.[v10] Even those who should have known Him ,did not[The Jews],for we read,/He came unto his own, and His own received Him not[v11].Why this blindness?is it not incredible that not only did they not receive Him, they murdered Him. When they had a choice of Jesus and a murderer ,they choose a murderer, things have not changed,Paul the apostle lost his natural sight, but he was given spiritual sight,that enabled him, to see Christ .The word of God makes it clear,that the natural man  receives not the things of God,for they are foolishness unto him,neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned/1 Corinthians 2 v14] All is not lost,the fact that I know God,reminds me continually that with God all things are possible,God can open our hearts, can cause the miracle of the new birth to happen,when by His grace we trust Jesus as our Saviour, when we hear the word of God,and the Spirit of God does His own special work [John 16 v8-11 ]
A  prayer..../Dear God  we ask that You would open the dark  hearts of people,to receive Him who is the light of the world Amen /

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Light and darkness.[Colossians 1 v12-21 ]

 And God said let there be light,and there was light [Genesis 1 v 3],this was independent of the sun or the stars,how could it be?, I don't know, but I believe it to be so. Oh yes I believe in creation, God created light,we were not meant to dwell in perpetual darkness ,and yet we are told,that men love darkness rather than light, why?,because their deeds are evil [John 3 v19]Tell me how many people have you met today that are seeking after God,many church buildings are empty,the darkness seems ever to be increasing. As men live in darkness so they will end up in darkness eternally,in spite of mankinds advancements,darkness  continues to cover the face of the earth.Yet into this darkness stepped one man the God man,, Jesus,who said the most wonderful thing in the world,/I am the light of the world,he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life [John 8 v 12]He came to save those who sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to deliver all who trust Him, from the power of darkness,and translate them into His kingdom [Colossians 1 v14 ] . Let me ask you do want to be delivered from your darkness?,well in and through Christ it is possible. 
A prayer..../ Dear God thank You for sending Jesus to bring humanity out of darkness and into the light,Amen /

Friday, 11 April 2014

The reason not to fear. [ Hebrews 13 v 6 ]

I was told something that could easily instill fear in my heart,and others as well,but as a child of God I am called to trust in Him ,who continually tells His children to fear not.Yes there are dangers about,people who could harm us,there are dangers,from violence,illness, and so on.These dangers are real,but they are not in control of the child of Gods life,God is. Grant it,  Gods children do suffer,  I was reading about the Christians who are suffering in the Central Africa Republic at this time, I read these words ,/the Christians are dying like flies/, do pray for them,if we read Hebrews 11 we read of those who were delivered from dangers and death,but we also read of those who suffered greatly.Most of us are not in that situation,but the enemy of our souls is still active,likewise the world we live in is a fallen world. In the midst of life with all its dangers,pain ,and difficulties,Gods word for all of His dear children is, fear not. Here is a scripture for all of us as we face whatever,/Fear thou not,for I am with thee,be not dismayed,for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee,yea I will help thee. I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness[Isaiah 41 v10 ].
A  prayer......./Dear God free us from the bondage of fear,help us when fear arises to trust in You ,the living God ,in Jesus name Amen/

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Not just to be admired. [ Matthew 7 v24-27 ]

I am reading a helpful book called./The soul winner. by C .H.Spurgeon/,in it we are instructed by a man who was used mightily used by God in soul winning.Likewise I have just finished a book by George Mullier on prayer,these books were written by men whom God raised up,to serve their generation.We can learn much from these men,and how we can serve our generation,their example is something we can benefit from,they are not just portraits to be admired,but examples to follow .We can admire everything about Christ and rightly so,but He says to us follow me,we are to be both an admirer of Christ and a follower.As we follow ,He will lead ,He will teach,and He will use us,according to His will,which is good and perfect.This means we are to live out the principals of His kingdom,and they are very challenging,very,it means not only being generous,but sacrificial,it means forgiven those who hurt us,it means loving ,showing Calvary love,no greater love than that.It means being reliant on God in all things,to be teachable,I  said to a person who was critical of the church he attended,could it be that God was seeking to teach him some valuable  lessons, but he was dismissive of what I said.It will mean being faithful,to our wedding vows,and faithful to all our vows,so that when at last we stand before our Saviour we will hear Him say ,well done good and faithful servant.
A  prayer..../ Dear Saviour whom we love,worship,and admire,help us to follow You in all things. Amen/

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Weakness in prayer [Romans 8 v26-27]

I am thinking much about those words from Romans 8 v26-27, which reads,/Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities,for we know not what we should pray for as we ought,but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,because he maketh intercession for the saints ,according to the will of God/ We talk about mighty men of prayer,I have just finished read a book on a man called George Mullier of Bristol,and one could say he was a man of prayer,but even he would have to admit ,as we all would,that we are weak even in relation to prayer,as in all aspects of our lives,we are depending upon the Holy Spirit,especially in prayer,as the great apostle himself acknowledged.The Spirits knowledge is infinite,ours is finite,often when we pray it is two prayers inopposition to each other,we pray for the problem,whatever it may be,to be resolved,often it is answered as we request,but sometimes it is not, that's when the Spirit does his perfect work,and prays that Gods perfect will be carried out.I  have been praying about a certain thing for a long time,but  until now that prayer has not been answered,I believe the Spirit in love has been praying not yet,I have prayed in my life for things, noble things and the Spirit has prayed no.There is no problem in this,for every prayer should have at its core,the will of God,which we all need to submit to.
A  prayer ..../ Dear God help us to pray aright according to Your will,in Jesus name Amen /

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Mistakes. [ Matthew 7 v1-5]

I was ministering at a small church recently ,I had chosen the hymns at home,but when I announced the hymns,I discovered that I had chosen the hymns from the wrong hymn book.I have two different hymn books with red covers,I had chosen the wrong one.When you make a mistake publicly it can hurt,and cause us to overreact,as I drove home drove home I found myself saying maybe I should stop preaching. I feel sorry for sports people who make a mistake in front of millions of people watching on the TV,they must feel devastated.When I am prone to criticise other drivers,I jokingly say why cant they be perfect drivers  like me?.We often say none of us our perfect, but do we include ourselves in that statement? often we don't,and so we judge people harshly.We all make mistakes morally,yet we judge those who do?the news paper reporters hound people to death,because that person has made a mistake. Our Saviour warned us against judging others,he reminded us that we all have failures,and inconsistencies in our lives,and that when we point the finger at someone,there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves.[Matthew 7 v1- 5].Our mistakes be they morally or whatever should make us more humble, and less  prone to judge or criticise others,it is true none us are perfect, we all choose hymns from the wrong hymn book.
A prayer..../ Dear God grant that as we come in contact with fallen humanity, that we always remember that we are also fallen creatures,in Jesus name Amen /

Monday, 7 April 2014

Fishers of men [Acts 1 v 8]

The next card I received has a picture of a man fishing,my friend wrote the following on this picture,/Captured one old man,how he spends his retirement, down by the ferry,fishers of fish,or fishers of men?that will be yours/.Is it possible, at seventy,I can become a fisher of men?,It has got me thinking and wondering if God would use me,so often I have felt like the apostles when they worked all night and caught nothing[Luke 5v 5]. When I stand before God I hope on that day to rejoice over even one precious soul,won for Christ,and yes within my heart there is and always has been a soul thirst,which has never been satisfied. It is important to remember that linked with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,was the promise of power to be witnesses to the very end of the earth.Christianity did not become a world religion by dumb Christians,or by the apostles staying in Jerusalem.We rejoice over the great missionaries, Hudson Taylor,Judson of Burma,and the evangelism of the Wesley's,or the Salvation Army.It may be that the thought of those  people intimidate you,we are not to be cowed into dumb insolence,God can use us,the question we need to ask ourselves,is,am I willing to be used?
A  prayer..../Dear God lead us to one soul today,and teach us Lord just what to say,in Jesus name we ask this. Amen/

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Refecting God [ Matthew 5 v 14]

I  received birthday cards on my recent 70th birthday,I am thankful for them all,there was two I want to highlight,one was of trees reflection in water,my son Brian wrote the following,/I saw this card, and it made me think how well you have reflected God over the years/.It goes without saying that those words coming from my son blessed me. As a parent I confess I feel often that I have at times failed, I am sure Brian and my other boys can remember times when I did not reflect God. Lets face up to it none of us are perfect parents,we are at best earthern vessels,yet we are better people,better parents because of Jesus,and inspite of our imperfections,we can in a measure be reflections of God and His love.Let us seek to be sincere,but also recognise when we are sincerely wrong,Let not our obvious failures, crush us,but rather let it be a spur to look to God who will perfect that which concerneth us,we are all a work in progress. In our brokenness,let us seek to the one who can still use us and cause us to be reflections of Gods love ,to our families,friends and whoever we come in contact with.
A  prayer by  F.R. Havergal/ Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee. Amen /

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A love that satisfies.[John 4 v 6ff]

It is reported on the net that there is a man who is addicted to eating,bricks,mud, and gravel, the fact of the matter is humankind are prone to addiction,of one kind or another. The list is endless and I am sure that I do not need to remind you of the different addictions,eating,bricks ,mud,or gravel is taking the need of roughish in his diet a bit to far. Addiction is all about taking things to far,and it is with sadness to see people being destroyed by an addiction.As an Ulsterman I could admire the skills of one of the all time greats of football,but was so sad when he died of alcohol addiction. Is not addiction an indication  of a great need people feel?,I think it is,Jesus reminded a woman who appeared to be addicted to men, that like the water she drew from a well she would never be satisfied.Jesus told her as he tells us that only He can satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart[John 4v14]I trusted Jesus when but a child, but backslid,in others words I tried to have the need of my heart fulfilled in other things.Then one Sunday evening 50 years ago I heard a sermon, I cannot remember the words, but I do remember one thing, a deep,deep need of Christ, for I realised that only He could satisfy that need within my heart.I like sport,films,reading,and many other things, but I love Jesus,and that love satisfies me totally.
A  prayer...../ Dear God free us from those lying addictions,that can destroy us,open our minds and hearts to see that only Your Son Jesus can meet the deepest need of our hearts Amen /

Friday, 4 April 2014

Over the next hill. [ 2 Corinthians 5 v 7-11]

This is my birthday week and on Sunday I was presented with a lovely cake which had these words on it,/Over the hill/,which caused me to smile.I don't think I am over the hill yet,but those words reminded me of the words of an old gospel hymn which reads,/Over the next hill I will be home/.I was speaking to a dear friend recently and he was saying about the tremendous blessing, it is ,that he was ready,as indeed every Christian is ready for eternity.When Christ is our Saviour then we have a sure and certain hope of salvation,but sad it is, that the many who know not Christ are without hope and God.R.C.Sproul write how the Lord spoke to him,and brought him to a saving knowledge of Himself,from Ecclesiastes 11v3,/If a tree fall toward the south,or to the north,in the place where the tree falleth,there it shall be/.He writes,/As I heard those words,suddenly I was overwhelmed by thinking about myself, as a tree that had fallen and was lying inert,torpid,rotting in the woods. I saw that I was in just that spiritual position; I would lie there forever unless God did something/God the Holy Spirit brought conviction,which lead  him to trust Jesus as Saviour.For me over the next hill means I will be with Jesus,and with all the saints that have gone before.
A prayer....../Dear God we praise You that there is hope for all who trust Jesus as their Saviour. Amen/

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Seventy.[Psalm 90]

Today I have reached the grand old age of  seventy,for fifty of those years I have been following the Lord,and I am only to conscious that I am still  a work in progress.When one reaches seventy, ones mind turns to those well known words in Psalm 90,written by that man of God, Moses,who lived 120years..This Psalm is a prayer,it commences with a general statement,it reminds us of the everlasting God,that while we are creatures of time God is not.It passes on to remind us of the uncertainty and brevity of life,yes I may have reached the age of seventy,and may live beyond that,but my life will soon end.Moses reminds of this as R.C.Sproul writes that we need to be saved by God,but also from Him,why to be saved from Him?,because of His wrath.A dear friend who is older that I,said isn't it wonderful to be saved,yes it is,saved from wrath to come.In the light of these truths ,Moses writes ,/So teach us to number our days,that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom[v12].Let all of us live in the light of eternity,for us who know Christ,let walk in godly wisdom, and for you who know not Christ, trust Him before it is to late,that will be the wisest thing you will ever do.
A  prayer...../ Dear God forgive our foolish ways,grant us grace to live wisely,and grace to choose wisely,in Jesus name Amen/

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Witnesses [Acts 1 v 8 ]

I recently visited a place called Rayleigh which is in the county of Essex, and I stood before a monument,erected to a number of people who were burnt to death for their faith.I will share with you their names,Thomas Causton,John Ardely,Robert Drakes, and William Tyms,each of these brothers stood for truth,to them truth mattered. Truth does matter we must not compromise as regards the truth,I believe it was John Ardely,who in reply to Bishop Bonner declared,/If every hair of my head were a man,I would suffer death in the opinion and faith I now profess/ These dear brothers suffered martyrdom,in many countries today,many are following in their footsteps,and so it will always be.The word witness in Acts 1 v8 ,comes from the English word  martyr, in other words bearing witness by ones death. In Jude v3 we read,/that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints/. The question we need to be always asking is,what about truth?,it is not the popular question,but them we are not in a popularity contest. It was the apostle Paul who wrote of the offence of the cross [Galations 5 v11],things have not changed,and will not change,and as Christians we must not change,we are to be witnesses to Him who is the way the truth and the life[John 14 v6]
A  prayer...../ Dear God help and empower us to be witnesses for the truth for Jesus sake. Amen /

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Spared. [Romans 8 v32]

A man was out driving, a child ran in front of his car,he managed to stop in time,the child was soon snatch up by its mother,relieved the man drove unto his destination.That night he thanked God,for sparing that child's life,for sparing the child's mother from the pain of losing her child,and from  sparing him from the pain he would have felt if he had killed that child.When he had finished praying he opened his Bible and his eyes lighted on Romans 8 v32./He that spared not His own son,but delivered him up for us all/.His mind turned to the passage in Genesis 22,where Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac, and how he was spared from doing that,but in that story we read that a ram was sacrificed instead of Isaac.Isaac was spared from death but the ram was not,so it is that Christ was not spared by his Father,in order that all who trust Christ as Saviour, would be spared from Gods righteous judgement,the hymn writer put it ,this way, the wrath of God that was my due upon the Lamb was laid.
A  prayer....../Dear God we praise You for such love,that spared not Your Son from Calvary,that we would be saved eternally, thank You in Jesus name Amen /